As you Like it

Page 28

Ros. How say you now, is it not past two a clock? And heere much Orlando

Cel. I warrant you, with pure loue, & troubled brain, Enter Siluius.

He hath t'ane his bow and arrowes, and is gone forth To sleepe: looke who comes heere

Sil. My errand is to you, faire youth, My gentle Phebe, did bid me giue you this: I know not the contents, but as I guesse By the sterne brow, and waspish action Which she did vse, as she was writing of it, It beares an angry tenure; pardon me, I am but as a guiltlesse messenger

Ros. Patience her selfe would startle at this letter, And play the swaggerer, beare this, beare all: Shee saies I am not faire, that I lacke manners, She calls me proud, and that she could not loue me Were man as rare as Phenix: 'od's my will, Her loue is not the Hare that I doe hunt, Why writes she so to me? well Shepheard, well, This is a Letter of your owne deuice

Sil. No, I protest, I know not the contents, Phebe did write it

Ros. Come, come, you are a foole, And turn'd into the extremity of loue. I saw her hand, she has a leatherne hand, A freestone coloured hand: I verily did thinke That her old gloues were on, but twas her hands: She has a huswiues hand, but that's no matter: I say she neuer did inuent this letter, This is a mans inuention, and his hand

Sil. Sure it is hers

Ros. Why, tis a boysterous and a cruell stile, A stile for challengers: why, she defies me, Like Turke to Christian: womens gentle braine Could not drop forth such giant rude inuention, Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect Then in their countenance: will you heare the letter? Sil. So please you, for I neuer heard it yet: Yet heard too much of Phebes crueltie

Ros. She Phebes me: marke how the tyrant writes.

Read.

Art thou god, to Shepherd turn'd? That a maidens heart hath burn'd. Can a woman raile thus? Sil. Call you this railing? Ros.

Read.

Why, thy godhead laid a part, War'st thou with a womans heart? Did you euer heare such railing? Whiles the eye of man did wooe me, That could do no vengeance to me. Meaning me a beast. If the scorne of your bright eine Haue power to raise such loue in mine, Alacke, in me, what strange effect Would they worke in milde aspect? Whiles you chid me, I did loue, How then might your praiers moue? He that brings this loue to thee, Little knowes this Loue in me: And by him seale vp thy minde, Whether that thy youth and kinde Will the faithfull offer take Of me, and all that I can make, Or else by him my loue denie, And then Ile studie how to die

Sil. Call you this chiding? Cel. Alas poore Shepheard

Ros. Doe you pitty him? No, he deserues no pitty: wilt thou loue such a woman? what to make thee an instrument, and play false straines vpon thee? not to be endur'd. Well, goe your way to her; (for I see Loue hath made thee a tame snake) and say this to her; That if she loue me, I charge her to loue thee: if she will not, I will neuer haue her, vnlesse thou intreat for her: if you bee a true louer hence, and not a word; for here comes more company.

Exit. Sil.

Enter Oliuer.

Oliu. Good morrow, faire ones: pray you, (if you | know) Where in the Purlews of this Forrest, stands A sheep-coat, fenc'd about with Oliue-trees

Cel. West of this place, down in the neighbor bottom The ranke of Oziers, by the murmuring streame Left on your right hand, brings you to the place: But at this howre, the house doth keepe it selfe, There's none within

As you Like it Page 29

William Shakespeare Plays

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book