As You Like It | Act 3, Scene 2 | Royal Shakespeare Company


There is a man haunts the forest,
abuses our young plants with carving ‘Rosalind’ on their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies on brambles, all, forsooth, deifying the name of Rosalind: if I could meet that fancy-monger I would
give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the
quotidian of love upon him. I am he that is so love-shaked: I pray you tell me your remedy. There is none of my uncle’s marks upon you: he taught me how to know a man in love; in which
cage of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner. What were his marks? A lean cheek, which you have not, a blue eye and sunken, which you have not, an unquestionable
spirit, which you have not, a beard neglected, which you have not; but I pardon you for that, for simply your having in beard is a younger brother’s revenue: then your hose should be ungartered, your bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe untied and every thing about you demonstrating a careless desolation; but you are no such man; you are rather point-device in your accoutrements as
loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other. Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe
I love. Me believe it! you may as soon make her that you love believe it; which, I warrant, she is
apter to do than to confess she does: that is one of the points in the which women still give the lie to their consciences. But, in good sooth, are you he that hangs the verses on the trees, wherein the name of Rosalind is so admired? I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand
of Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he. But are you so much in love as your rhymes
speak? Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much. Love is merely a madness, and, I tell you,
deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen
do: and the reason why they are not so punished and
cured is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the
whippers are in love too. Yet I profess curing it by
counsel. Did you ever cure any so? Yes, one, and in this manner. He was to imagine
me his love, his mistress; and I set him every
day to woo me: at which time would I, being but a moonish youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable,
longing and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow,
inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles, for every
passion something and for no passion truly any thing, as boys and women are for the most part cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe him; then entertain him, forswear him; now weep for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor from his mad humour of love to a living humour of madness; which was, to forswear the full stream of the world, and to live in a nook merely monastic. And thus I cured him; and this way will I
take upon me to wash your liver as clean as a sound
sheep’s heart, that there shall not be one spot of
love in’t. I would not be cured, youth. I would cure you, if you would but call me
Rosalind and come every day to my cote and woo me. Now, by the faith of my love, I will: Tell me where it is. Go with me to it and I’ll show it you and
by the way you shall tell me where in the forest you
live. Will you go? With all my heart, good youth. Nay, you must call me Rosalind. Come, sister, will you go?

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