This was a huge scene, and I can use about maybe a million quotes, but I’ll try to stay reasonable:
Enter ORLANDO, with a paper
Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love:
And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
Thy huntress’ name that my full life doth sway.
O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books
And in their barks my thoughts I’ll character;
That every eye which in this forest looks
Shall see thy virtue witness’d every where.
Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree
The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.
This is the first part of the scene. We see Orlando, who is deeply in love with Rosalind, hangs songs and sonnets, or rather carves them, onto trees. Not only that, but they are all about Rosalind! Remember where Rosalind is now? She is in the same forrest, pretending to be a man named Ganymede!
From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rosalind.
Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
Through all the world bears Rosalind.
All the pictures fairest lined
Are but black to Rosalind.
Let no fair be kept in mind, But the fair of Rosalind.
Rosalind finds a bit of Orlando’s work! Then, she meets him, while she is still dressed as Ganymede!
Rosalind is your love’s name?
I do not like her name.
There was no thought of pleasing you when she was
Okay, I put that there because I was too busy laughing to pay attention to the next part, which is IMPORTANT!
[Aside to CELIA] 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 ambles
withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops
withal and who he 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
Who ambles Time withal?
With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that
hath not the gout, for the one sleeps easily because
he cannot study, and the other lives merrily because
he feels no pain, the one lacking the burden of lean
and wasteful learning, the other knowing no burden
of heavy tedious penury; 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 stays 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; here in 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: but 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 that he
laid to the charge of women?
There were none principal; they were all like one
another as half-pence are, every one fault seeming
monstrous till his fellow fault came to match it.
I prithee, recount some of them.
No, I will not cast away my physic but on those that
are sick. There is a man haunts the forest, that
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
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 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, then 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.
Here we see Rosalind’s plan to “cure” Orlando of his love. She says that she can cure him, all he has to do is come on over to her house, and woo her. Mind you that Orlando (who is in love with Rosalind) doesn’t know that Ganymede is just Rosalind in disguise, meaning that She will look just like Rosalind!
Lets see what happens next!