Royal Shakespeare Company – As You Like It, Act 3 Scene 2 – stage scene – NY

I will speak to him, like a saucy
lackey and under that habit play the knave with him. Do you hear, forester? Very well: what would you? I pray you, what is’t o’clock? You should ask me what time o’ day: there’s
no clock in the forest. Then there is no true lover in the forest; else sighing every minute and groaning every hour would detect the lazy foot of Time as well as a clock. And why not the swift foot of Time? Had not that been as proper? By no means, sir: Time travels in divers paces
with divers persons. I’ll tell you who Time trots
withal, who Time ambles withal, who Time gallops withal and who Time stands still withal. I prithee, who doth he trot withal? Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the contract of her marriage and the day it is
solemnized: if the interim be but a se’nnight, Time’s pace is so hard that it seems the length of seven year. Who ambles Time withal? With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich
man that hath not the gout, these Time ambles withal. Who doth he gallop withal? With a thief to the gallows, for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself
too soon there. Who stands it still withal? With lawyers in the vacation, for they sleep
between term and term and then they perceive not how
Time moves. Where dwell you, pretty youth? With this shepherdess, my sister; on the skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat. Are you native of this place? As the cony that you see dwell where she is
kindled. Your accent is something finer than you could
purchase in so removed a dwelling. I have been told so of many: indeed an old
religious uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was
in his youth an inland man; one that knew courtship
too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard him read many lectures against it, and I thank God
I am not a woman, to be touched with so many giddy offences as he hath generally taxed
their whole sex withal. Can you remember any of the principal evils he laid to the charge of women? There were none principal; they were like one another as half-pence are, every one fault
seeming monstrous till his fellow fault came to match it. Prithee, recount some of them. No, I will not cast away my physic but on
those that are sick. There is a man haunts our forest, that abuses our young plants with carving ‘Rosalind’ on every bark; 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’ll pardon you for that, Then your sleeve to be 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.
But, in good sooth, are you he that hangs the verses on the trees, wherein 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 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 anything, as women are most part
cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe
him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep
for him, then spit at him; that I drove 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 not be one spot of love
in’t. I would not be cured, youth. I would cure you, if you would but call me

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