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As You Like It

As You Like It Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter JAQUES and LORDS, like foresters

JAQUES

Which is he that killed the deer?

JAQUES

Who is the man that killed the deer?

FIRST LORD

Sir, it was I.

FIRST LORD

It was me, sir.

JAQUES

Let’s present him to the duke like a Roman conqueror. And it would do well to set the deer’s horns upon his head for a branch of victory.—Have you no song, forester, for this purpose?

JAQUES

Let's present this man to the duke like a victorious Roman conqueror. And we should also put the deer's horns on his head, like a victory branch. Do you have a song, forester, for such an occasion?

SECOND LORD

Yes, sir.

SECOND LORD

Yes, sir.

JAQUES

Sing it. 'Tis no matter how it be in tune, so it make noise enough.

JAQUES

Sing it. It doesn't matter if it's in tune or not, as long as it makes enough noise.

SECOND LORD

[sings] What shall he have that killed the deer? His leather skin and horns to wear. Then sing him home. (The rest shall bear this burden.) Take thou no scorn to wear the horn. It was a crest ere thou wast born. Thy father’s father wore it, And thy father bore it. The horn, the horn, the lusty horn Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.

SECOND LORD

[Singing]
What should we give the man who killed the deer?
Its leather hide and horns to wear.
Then sing him home with this song.
(The rest will carry the burden of the deer and the chorus.)
Don't be ashamed to wear the horns.
They have been worn since before you were born.
Your father's father wore them,
And your father wore them.
The horn, the horn, the lustful horn,
Is not to be laughed at or scorned.

Exeunt

Enter ROSALIND and CELIA

ROSALIND

How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock? And here much Orlando.

ROSALIND

What do you say now? Isn't it past two o'clock? And no Orlando here.

CELIA

I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain he hath ta'en his bow and arrows and is gone forth to sleep.

CELIA

I promise you: with pure love and a troubled mind he has taken his bow and arrows and gone to take a nap.

Enter SILVIUS

Look who comes here.

Look who's coming.

SILVIUS

[To ROSALIND] My errand is to you, fair youth. My gentle Phoebe did bid me give you this. I know not the contents, but as I guess By the stern brow and waspish action Which she did use as she was writing of it, It bears an angry tenor. Pardon me. I am but as a guiltless messenger. [Gives the letter]

SILVIUS

[To ROSALIND] I'm here to find you, fair youth. My lovely Phoebe told me to give you this letter. I don't know what it says, but guessing from her stern expression and spiteful demeanor while she was writing it, it has an angry tone. Forgive me. I'm just the innocent messenger. [He gives her the letter]

ROSALIND

[Examines the letter as Ganymede] Patience herself would startle at this letter And play the swaggerer. Bear this, bear all. She says I am not fair, that I lack manners. She calls me proud, and that she could not love me Were man as rare as phoenix. 'Od’s my will, Her love is not the hare that I do hunt. Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well, This is a letter of your own device.

ROSALIND

[Reading the letter] The goddess of patience herself would be shocked by this letter, and get angry. If I can put up with this, I can put up with anything. Phoebe writes that I'm not handsome, and that I lack good manners. She calls me proud, and says she couldn't love me even if I was the last man on earth. My God, her love isn't the rabbit I'm hunting! Why should she write like this to me? Well, shepherd, hmm—you wrote this letter.

SILVIUS

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

SILVIUS

No, I promise, I don't even know what it says. Phoebe wrote it.

ROSALIND

Come, come, you are a fool, And turned into the extremity of love. I saw her hand. She has a leathern hand, A freestone-colored hand. I verily did think That her old gloves were on, but ’twas her hands. She has a huswife’s hand—but that’s no matter. I say she never did invent this letter. This is a man’s invention, and his hand.

ROSALIND

Come, come, you're being a fool: you've been driven to the madness of love. I saw her hands: she has leathery, yellowish-brown hands. I honestly thought she was wearing old gloves, but they were her real hands. She has housewife's hands—but that's not the point. I say she never wrote this letter. These are a man's words, and a man's handwriting.

SILVIUS

Sure it is hers.

SILVIUS

It's really hers though.

ROSALIND

Why, ’tis a boisterous and a cruel style, A style for challengers. Why, she defies me Like Turk to Christian. Women’s gentle brain Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention, Such Ethiop words, blacker in their effect Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?

ROSALIND

Well, it's written in a cruel and rowdy style, like someone asking for a fight. Why, she challenges me like a Turk challenging a Christian. No, a woman's noble brain could never come up with words so crude and violent—words black in their ink but even darker in their meanings. Do you want to hear the letter?

SILVIUS

So please you, for I never heard it yet,Yet heard too much of Phoebe’s cruelty.

SILVIUS

If it pleases you to read it, for I haven't heard it yet—although I've already heard too much of Phoebe's cruelty.

ROSALIND

She Phoebes me. Mark how the tyrant writes. [reads] Art thou god to shepherd turned, That a maiden’s heart hath burned? Can a woman rail thus?

ROSALIND

Well, now she's "Phoebe-ing" me. Listen to how the tyrant writes. [Reading] "Are you a god transformed into a shepherd, that you have so burned my heart?" How could a woman rant like this?

SILVIUS

Call you this railing?

SILVIUS

You call that ranting?

ROSALIND

[reads] Why, thy godhead laid apart, Warr’st thou with a woman’s heart? Did you ever hear such railing? Whiles the eye of man did woo me, That could do no vengeance to me. Meaning me a beast. If the scorn of your bright eyne Have power to raise such love in mine, Alack, in me what strange effect Would they work in mild aspect? Whiles you chid me, I did love. How then might your prayers move? He that brings this love to thee Little knows this love in me, And by him seal up thy mind Whether that thy youth and kind Will the faithful offer take Of me, and all that I can make, Or else by him my love deny, And then I’ll study how to die.

ROSALIND

[Reading] "Why have you set aside your godlike nature and taken human form just to wrestle with a woman's heart?" Did you ever hear such criticism? [Reading] "While other men have wooed me, they never could hurt me." That means she thinks I'm a beast. [Reading] "If the scorn in your bright eyes had the power to make me fall in love, what power might your eyes have if they looked at me more pleasantly? While you were scolding me, I was falling in love. Consider then how your prayers might move me. The man who brings this love letter to you doesn't know about my feelings. Enclose your thoughts in a letter and send it back to me through him. Tell me whether your youthful nature will accept my faithful offer of myself and all that I can do, or else tell me that you'll deny my love, so I might figure out how to die."

SILVIUS

Call you this chiding?

SILVIUS

You call this scolding?

CELIA

[As Aliena] Alas, poor shepherd.

CELIA

Oh, poor shepherd.

ROSALIND

Do you pity him? No, he deserves no pity.— Wilt thou love such a woman? What, to make thee an instrument and play false strains upon thee? Not to be endured. Well, go your way to her, for I see love hath made thee a tamesnake, and say this to her: that if she love me, I charge her to love thee; if she will not, I will never have her unless thou entreat for her. If you be a true lover, hence and not a word, for here comes more company.

ROSALIND

Do you pity him? No, he doesn't deserve pity. 

[To SILVIUS] Do you still insist on loving such a woman? So she can use you like an instrument and play false tunes on you? It shouldn't be endured. Well, go back to her if you want—for I can tell that love has made you into a tame, impotent snake. Tell her this: if she loves me, then I command her to love you. And if she won't love you, tell her that I will never take her unless you beg me on her behalf. Now if you're a true lover, go away and don't say another word, because here comes more company.

Exit SILVIUS

Enter OLIVER

OLIVER

Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you, if you know, Where in the purlieus of this forest standsA sheepcote fenced about with olive trees?

OLIVER

Good morning, pretty ones. Tell me please, if you know: where can I find a shepherd's cottage surrounded by olive trees, somewhere within the borders of this forest?

CELIA

[as Aliena] West of this place, down in the neighbor bottom, The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream Left on your right hand brings you to the place. But at this hour the house doth keep itself. There’s none within.

CELIA

West of here, in the nearby valley, a row of willows by the stream on the right leads to the cottage. But right now the house is keeping itself. There's no one inside.

OLIVER

If that an eye may profit by a tongue, Then should I know you by description. Such garments, and such years. “The boy is fair, Of female favor, and bestows himself Like a ripe sister; the woman low And browner than her brother.” Are not you The owner of the house I did inquire for?

OLIVER

If eyes can get a sense of a description that's been spoken, then I recognize you. You match the clothing and ages I was told: "The boy is pretty and effeminate, and conducts himself like a mature woman. The woman is shorter and darker than her brother." Are you the owners of the house I just asked about?

CELIA

It is no boast, being asked, to say we are.

CELIA

It's not boasting, since you asked, to say that we are.

OLIVER

Orlando doth commend him to you both,And to that youth he calls his RosalindHe sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?

OLIVER

Orlando sends his regards to you both, and to the youth he calls "his Rosalind" he sends this bloody handkerchief. Is that you?

ROSALIND

[as Ganymede] I am. What must we understand by this?

ROSALIND

Yes. What does this mean?

OLIVER

Some of my shame, if you will know of me What man I am, and how, and why, and whereThis handkercher was stained.

OLIVER

It's a story with some shame on my part—a story about what kind of man I am—and how, why, and where this handkerchief was stained.

CELIA

I pray you, tell it.

CELIA

Please, tell it.

OLIVER

When last the young Orlando parted from you, He left a promise to return again Within an hour, and pacing through the forest, Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy, Lo, what befell. He threw his eye aside— And mark what object did present itself: Under an old oak, whose boughs were mossed with age And high top bald with dry antiquity, A wretched, ragged man, o'ergrown with hair, Lay sleeping on his back. About his neck A green and gilded snake had wreathed itself, Who with her head, nimble in threats, approached The opening of his mouth. But suddenly, Seeing Orlando, it unlinked itself And, with indented glides, did slip away Into a bush, under which bush’s shade A lioness, with udders all drawn dry, Lay couching, head on ground, with catlike watch When that the sleeping man should stir—for ’tis The royal disposition of that beast To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead. This seen, Orlando did approach the man And found it was his brother, his elder brother.

OLIVER

When the young Orlando last left you, he promised to return again within an hour. He was pacing through the forest, musing on the bittersweetness of love, when—oh! what a terrible thing happened—he looked off to the side, and guess what he saw there? Under an old oak, whose lower branches were mossy with age and whose high upper branches were leafless, ancient, and dry, he saw a wretched, ragged man with overgrown hair lying asleep on his back. A green and gold snake had wound itself around this man's neck and was slowly approaching his open mouth. But suddenly, when it saw Orlando, the serpent uncoiled itself and slipped away, gliding into a bush. But under this same bush there was a lioness, whose cubs had nursed her dry so that she was undernourished and hungry. She crouched in the bush's shadow with her head on the ground, watching the man in a catlike way and waiting to see if he would move—for it is in the lion's royal nature not prey on anything that seems dead. Seeing this lioness, Orlando approached the sleeping man and saw that it was his brother—his older brother.

CELIA

Oh, I have heard him speak of that same brother,And he did render him the most unnaturalThat lived amongst men.

CELIA

Oh, I've heard him talk about that same brother, and describe him as the most inhumane man in the world.

OLIVER

And well he might so do,For well I know he was unnatural.

OLIVER

And he would be right to do so. I know very well how inhumane he was.

ROSALIND

But to Orlando: did he leave him there, Food to the sucked and hungry lioness?

ROSALIND

But back to Orlando: did he leave his brother there to be food for the dry and hungry lioness?

OLIVER

Twice did he turn his back and purposed so, But kindness, nobler ever than revenge, And nature, stronger than his just occasion, Made him give battle to the lioness, Who quickly fell before him; in which hurtling, From miserable slumber I awaked.

OLIVER

Twice he turned away, intending to leave him there. But ultimately his brotherly love was nobler than his desire for revenge, and his natural goodness was stronger than his justifiable excuse to leave his brother to the lioness. He battled with the lioness, quickly defeating her, and the noise of their tumult woke me up from my miserable slumber.

CELIA

Are you his brother?

CELIA

Are you his brother?

ROSALIND

Was ’t you he rescued?

ROSALIND

Was it you he rescued?

CELIA

Was ’t you that did so oft contrive to kill him?

CELIA

Was it you who was always trying to kill him?

OLIVER

'Twas I, but ’tis not I. I do not shame To tell you what I was, since my conversionSo sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.

OLIVER

It was me, but it's not me now. I'm not ashamed to tell you what I once was, since my conversion to my new self seems so sweet.

ROSALIND

But for the bloody napkin?

ROSALIND

But what about the bloody handkerchief?

OLIVER

By and by. When from the first to last betwixt us two Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed— As how I came into that desert place— In brief, he led me to the gentle duke, Who gave me fresh array and entertainment, Committing me unto my brother’s love, Who led me instantly unto his cave, There stripped himself, and here upon his arm The lioness had torn some flesh away, Which all this while had bled. And now he fainted, And cried in fainting upon Rosalind. Brief, I recovered him, bound up his wound, And after some small space, being strong at heart, He sent me hither, stranger as I am, To tell this story, that you might excuse His broken promise, and to give this napkin Dyed in his blood unto the shepherd youth That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.

OLIVER

In a minute. When we had been reunited, and tearfully told each other our entire stories—for me, how I had come to this deserted place—in brief, he led me to the noble duke, who gave me fresh clothing and food and drink, and committed me to my brother's care. Orlando immediately took me to his cave, where he stripped off his clothing and saw that he had a wound on his arm where the lioness had torn off some of his flesh. This wound had been bleeding the whole time. Orlando fainted then, but as he fainted he called for "Rosalind." In brief, I helped him recover, and bound up his wound. After only a little while, for he is strong at heart, he sent me here—though I am a stranger—to find you and tell you this story, begging that you might forgive his broken promise. He wanted me to give this handkerchief, dyed with his blood, to the shepherd boy whom he jokingly calls his Rosalind.

ROSALIND swoons

CELIA

Why, how now, Ganymede, sweet Ganymede?

CELIA

Why, what's this now, Ganymede, sweet Ganymede?

OLIVER

Many will swoon when they do look on blood.

OLIVER

Many people faint when they see blood.

CELIA

There is more in it.—Cousin Ganymede.

CELIA

There is more to it than that. 

[To ROSALIND] Cousin Ganymede.

OLIVER

Look, he recovers.

OLIVER

Look, he's recovering.

ROSALIND

I would I were at home.

ROSALIND

I wish I were at home.

CELIA

We’ll lead you thither.—I pray you, will you take him by the arm?

CELIA

We'll take you there. 

[To OLIVER] Please, will you take him by the arm?

OLIVER

Be of good cheer, youth. You a man? You lack a man’s heart.

OLIVER

Cheer up, boy. Are you a man? It seems you lack a man's heart.

ROSALIND

I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would think this was well-counterfeited. I pray you tell your brother how well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho.

ROSALIND

I do indeed, I confess it. Ha, sir, you can see that this was all pretend. Please tell your brother how well I played my part. Heigh-ho.

OLIVER

This was not counterfeit. There is too great testimony in your complexion that it was a passion of earnest.

OLIVER

This was no act. Your flushed cheeks declare that your passion was real.

ROSALIND

Counterfeit, I assure you.

ROSALIND

I was just pretending, I assure you.

OLIVER

Well then, take a good heart and counterfeit to be a man.

OLIVER

Well then, cheer up and pretend to be a man.

ROSALIND

So I do. But i' faith, I should have been a woman by right.

ROSALIND

That's what I'm doing. But honestly, I should have been born a woman.

CELIA

Come, you look paler and paler. Pray you, draw homewards.—Good sir, go with us.

CELIA

Come, you're getting paler and paler. Please, let's go home. 

[To OLIVER] Good sir, come with us.

OLIVER

That will I, for I must bear answer backHow you excuse my brother, Rosalind.

OLIVER

I'll do that, for I must bring your answer back to my brother and tell him how you forgave him, Rosalind.

ROSALIND

I shall devise something. But I pray you commend my counterfeiting to him. Will you go?

ROSALIND

I'll come up with something. But please, tell him how well I kept up my act as Rosalind. Will you come with us?

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.