A line-by-line translation

As You Like It

As You Like It Translation Act 3, Scene 5

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Enter SILVIUS and PHOEBE

SILVIUS

Sweet Phoebe, do not scorn me. Do not, Phoebe. Say that you love me not, but say not so In bitterness. The common executioner, Whose heart th' accustomed sight of death makes hard, Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck But first begs pardon. Will you sterner be Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?

SILVIUS

Sweet Phoebe, don't scorn me. Do not, Phoebe. You can tell me you don't love me, but don't do it so bitterly. Even the executioner—whose heart has grown hard from seeing so much death—still begs his victim's pardon before he lets his axe fall. Will you be even crueler than someone who makes his living through blood and killing?

Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN, behind

PHOEBE

I would not be thy executioner. I fly thee, for I would not injure thee. Thou tell’st me there is murder in mine eye. 'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable That eyes, that are the frail’st and softest things, Who shut their coward gates on atomies, Should be called tyrants, butchers, murderers. Now I do frown on thee with all my heart, And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee. Now counterfeit to swoon, why, now fall down; Or if thou canst not, Oh, for shame, for shame, Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers. Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee. Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains Some scar of it. Lean upon a rush, The cicatrice and capable impressure Thy palm some moment keeps. But now mine eyes, Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not. Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes That can do hurt.

PHOEBE

I don't want to be your executioner. I avoid you so that I won't hurt you. You tell me there is murder in my eyes. That's a pretty phrase, sure, and very probable that eyes—which are the frailest, softest things, and so cowardly that they shut their lids even to something as harmless as dust—should be tyrants, butchers, and murderers. Now I'm frowning at you with all my strength. And if my eyes really can wound, then let them kill you. Now go ahead, pretend to faint, go fall down—or if you can't, oh, for shame, don't lie and tell me that my eyes are murderers. Now show me the wound my eyes have caused you. If you get scratched with a pin, it leaves a scar. If you even lean on a rush, it leaves a visible impression in your palm for a moment. But my eyes, which I've hurled at you, haven't hurt you at all. Now I am sure that there is no force in eyes that can cause injury.

SILVIUS

O dear Phoebe, If ever—as that ever may be near— You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy, Then shall you know the wounds invisible That love’s keen arrows make.

SILVIUS

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PHOEBE

But till that time Come not thou near me. And when that time comes, Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not, As till that time I shall not pity thee.

PHOEBE

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ROSALIND

[Advancing, as Ganymede] And why, I pray you? Who mightbe your mother, That you insult, exult, and all at once, Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty— As, by my faith, I see no more in you Than without candle may go dark to bed— Must you be therefore proud and pitiless? Why, what means this? Why do you look on me? I see no more in you than in the ordinary Of nature’s sale-work.— 'Od’s my little life, I think she means to tangle my eyes, too. —No, faith, proud mistress, hope not after it. 'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair, Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream That can entame my spirits to your worship. —You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her, Like foggy south puffing with wind and rain? You are a thousand times a properer man Than she a woman. 'Tis such fools as you That makes the world full of ill-favored children. 'Tis not her glass but you that flatters her, And out of you she sees herself more proper Than any of her lineaments can show her. —But, mistress, know yourself. Down on your knees And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love, For I must tell you friendly in your ear, Sell when you can; you are not for all markets. Cry the man mercy, love him, take his offer. Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer. —So take her to thee, shepherd. Fare you well.

ROSALIND

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PHOEBE

Sweet youth, I pray you chide a year together.I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.

PHOEBE

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ROSALIND

He’s fall'n in love with your foulness. [to SILVIUS] And she’ll fall in love with my anger. If it be so, as fast as she answers thee with frowning looks, I’ll sauceher with bitter words. [to PHOEBE] Why look you so uponme?

ROSALIND

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PHOEBE

For no ill will I bear you.

PHOEBE

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ROSALIND

I pray you, do not fall in love with me, For I am falser than vows made in wine. Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house, 'Tis at the tuft of olives, here hard by. —Will you go, sister?— Shepherd, ply her hard. —Come, sister.— Shepherdess, look on him better, And be not proud. Though all the world could see, None could be so abused in sight as he. —Come, to our flock.

ROSALIND

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Exeunt ROSALIND, CELIA and CORIN

PHOEBE

Dead shepherd, now I find thy saw of might:“Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?”

PHOEBE

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SILVIUS

Sweet Phoebe—

SILVIUS

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PHOEBE

Ha, what sayst thou, Silvius?

PHOEBE

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SILVIUS

Sweet Phoebe, pity me.

SILVIUS

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PHOEBE

Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.

PHOEBE

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SILVIUS

Wherever sorrow is, relief would be. If you do sorrow at my grief in love, By giving love your sorrow and my grief Were both extermined.

SILVIUS

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PHOEBE

Thou hast my love. Is not that neighborly?

PHOEBE

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SILVIUS

I would have you.

SILVIUS

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PHOEBE

Why, that were covetousness. Silvius, the time was that I hated thee, And yet it is not that I bear thee love, But since that thou canst talk of love so well, Thy company, which erst was irksome to me, I will endure, and I’ll employ thee too. But do not look for further recompense Than thine own gladness that thou art employed.

PHOEBE

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SILVIUS

So holy and so perfect is my love, And I in such a poverty of grace, That I shall think it a most plenteous crop To glean the broken ears after the man That the main harvest reaps. Loose now and then A scattered smile, and that I’ll live upon.

SILVIUS

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PHOEBE

Know’st thou the youth that spoke to me erewhile?

PHOEBE

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SILVIUS

Not very well, but I have met him oft,And he hath bought the cottage and the boundsThat the old carlot once was master of.

SILVIUS

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PHOEBE

Think not I love him, though I ask for him. 'Tis but a peevish boy—yet he talks well— But what care I for words? Yet words do well When he that speaks them pleases those that hear. It is a pretty youth—not very pretty— But sure he’s proud—and yet his pride becomes him. He’ll make a proper man. The best thing in him Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue Did make offense, his eye did heal it up. He is not very tall—yet for his years he’s tall. His leg is but so-so—and yet ’tis well. There was a pretty redness in his lip, A little riper and more lusty red Than that mixed in his cheek: ’twas just the difference Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask. There be some women, Silvius, had they marked him In parcels as I did, would have gone near To fall in love with him; but for my part I love him not nor hate him not; and yet I have more cause to hate him than to love him. For what had he to do to chide at me? He said mine eyes were black and my hair black And, now I am remembered, scorned at me. I marvel why I answered not again. But that’s all one: omittance is no quittance. I’ll write to him a very taunting letter, And thou shalt bear it. Wilt thou, Silvius?

PHOEBE

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SILVIUS

Phoebe, with all my heart.

SILVIUS

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PHOEBE

I’ll write it straight. The matter’s in my head and in my heart. I will be bitter with him and passing short. Go with me, Silvius.

PHOEBE

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Exeunt

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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.