List iconAs You Like It:
Act 4, scene 3
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As You Like It
Act 4, scene 3



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In As You Like It, witty words and romance play out against the disputes of divided pairs of brothers. Orlando’s older…

Act 1, scene 1

Orlando demands that his elder brother Oliver give him part of the money left by their father. Oliver decides to…

Act 1, scene 2

Orlando wins the wrestling match and, at the same time, wins the heart of Rosalind, daughter of the legitimate duke,…

Act 1, scene 3

Duke Frederick suddenly decides to banish Rosalind. His daughter Celia, determined to go with Rosalind into exile, suggests that they…

Act 2, scene 1

In the Forest of Arden, the banished duke (Duke Senior) and the courtiers who share his exile discuss their life…

Act 2, scene 2

Duke Frederick, discovering Celia’s disappearance, suspects Orlando. He sends servants to bring Orlando to court.

Act 2, scene 3

Orlando learns from Adam, an old servant, that Oliver plans to kill Orlando. Adam and Orlando decide to go in…

Act 2, scene 4

Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone reach the Forest of Arden. Rosalind is in disguise as a boy named Ganymede and Celia…

Act 2, scene 5

Amiens’ song celebrating life in the woods is mocked by Jaques’ parody of the song.

Act 2, scene 6

Orlando leaves Adam, near starvation, under a tree and goes off determined to find food.

Act 2, scene 7

As Duke Senior and his companions sit down to eat, Orlando enters, demanding food. Welcomed by the duke, he brings…

Act 3, scene 1

Duke Frederick gives Oliver one year to produce Orlando. In the interim, he seizes Oliver’s lands.

Act 3, scene 2

Orlando hangs poems in praise of Rosalind on trees in the forest, where Rosalind and Celia find them. In disguise…

Act 3, scene 3

Touchstone, desiring a goat-keeper named Audrey, has arranged for a country priest to marry them in the woods. Jaques persuades…

Act 3, scene 4

Corin invites “Ganymede” and “Aliena” to observe the lovelorn Silvius as Silvius courts the disdainful Phoebe.

Act 3, scene 5

“Ganymede” intervenes to try to help Silvius prevail over Phoebe and win her love. Instead, Phoebe falls in love with…

Act 4, scene 1

Rosalind, as Ganymede, pretends to be Rosalind while Orlando courts her. With Celia as priest, they go through the beginning…

Act 4, scene 2

Duke Senior’s courtiers celebrate their having killed a deer.

Act 4, scene 3

Phoebe sends “Ganymede” a letter offering herself in marriage. As Rosalind and Celia wait for Orlando, they learn that he…

Act 5, scene 1

Touchstone verbally overpowers William, a rival for Audrey’s love.

Act 5, scene 2

Orlando, envious that his brother Oliver and “Aliena,” having fallen in love, plan to be married immediately, tells “Ganymede” how…

Act 5, scene 3

Touchstone and Audrey listen while two pages sing.

Act 5, scene 4

In the presence of Duke Senior and his lords, “Ganymede” reminds Orlando, Silvius, and Phoebe of their promises. “He” and…

Act 5, epilogue

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Scene 3
Enter Rosalind dressed as Ganymede and Celia
dressed as Aliena.

ROSALIND How say you now? Is it not past two o’clock?
 And here much Orlando.
CELIA I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain
 he hath ta’en his bow and arrows and is gone forth
5 to sleep.

As You Like It
ACT 4. SC. 3

Enter Silvius.

 Look who comes here.
SILVIUS, to Rosalind 
 My errand is to you, fair youth.
 My gentle Phoebe did bid me give you this.
He gives Rosalind a paper.
 I know not the contents, but as I guess
10 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.
Rosalind reads the letter.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 
 Patience herself would startle at this letter
15 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.
20 Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,
 This is a letter of your own device.
 No, I protest. I know not the contents.
 Phoebe did write it.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede  Come, come, you are a
25 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.
30 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.
SILVIUS Sure it is hers.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 
 Why, ’tis a boisterous and a cruel style,

As You Like It
ACT 4. SC. 3

35 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?
40 So please you, for I never heard it yet,
 Yet heard too much of Phoebe’s cruelty.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 
 She Phoebes me. Mark how the tyrant writes.
 Art thou god to shepherd turned,
 That a maiden’s heart hath burned?

45 Can a woman rail thus?
SILVIUS Call you this railing?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 
 Why, thy godhead laid apart,
 Warr’st thou with a woman’s heart?

 Did you ever hear such railing?
50 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,
55 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
60 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,
65 Or else by him my love deny,
 And then I’ll study how to die.

As You Like It
ACT 4. SC. 3

SILVIUS Call you this chiding?
CELIA, as Aliena Alas, poor shepherd.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Do you pity him? No, he
70 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 tame
 snake, and say this to her: that if she love me, I
75 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.Silvius exits.

Enter Oliver.

 Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you, if you know,
80 Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
 A sheepcote fenced about with olive trees?
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.
85 But at this hour the house doth keep itself.
 There’s none within.
 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,
90 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?
CELIA, as Aliena 
 It is no boast, being asked, to say we are.
95 Orlando doth commend him to you both,

As You Like It
ACT 4. SC. 3

 And to that youth he calls his Rosalind
 He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?
He shows a stained handkerchief.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 
 I am. What must we understand by this?
 Some of my shame, if you will know of me
100 What man I am, and how, and why, and where
 This handkercher was stained.
CELIA, as Aliena  I pray you tell it.
 When last the young Orlando parted from you,
 He left a promise to return again
105 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
110 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,
115 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
120 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.
125 This seen, Orlando did approach the man
 And found it was his brother, his elder brother.

As You Like It
ACT 4. SC. 3

CELIA, as Aliena 
 O, I have heard him speak of that same brother,
 And he did render him the most unnatural
 That lived amongst men.
OLIVER 130 And well he might so do,
 For well I know he was unnatural.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 
 But to Orlando: did he leave him there,
 Food to the sucked and hungry lioness?
 Twice did he turn his back and purposed so,
135 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.
CELIA, as Aliena 140Are you his brother?
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Was ’t you he rescued?
CELIA, as Aliena 
 Was ’t you that did so oft contrive to kill him?
 ’Twas I, but ’tis not I. I do not shame
 To tell you what I was, since my conversion
145 So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 
 But for the bloody napkin?
OLIVER  By and by.
 When from the first to last betwixt us two
 Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed—
150 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,
155 There stripped himself, and here upon his arm
 The lioness had torn some flesh away,

As You Like It
ACT 4. SC. 3

 Which all this while had bled; and now he fainted,
 And cried in fainting upon Rosalind.
 Brief, I recovered him, bound up his wound,
160 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
165 That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
Rosalind faints.
CELIA, as Aliena 
 Why, how now, Ganymede, sweet Ganymede?
 Many will swoon when they do look on blood.
CELIA, as Aliena 
 There is more in it.—Cousin Ganymede.
OLIVER Look, he recovers.
ROSALIND 170I would I were at home.
CELIA, as Aliena We’ll lead you thither.—I pray you,
 will you take him by the arm?
OLIVER, helping Rosalind to rise Be of good cheer,
 youth. You a man? You lack a man’s heart.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 175I 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.
OLIVER This was not counterfeit. There is too great
180 testimony in your complexion that it was a passion
 of earnest.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede Counterfeit, I assure you.
OLIVER Well then, take a good heart, and counterfeit to
 be a man.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede 185So I do; but, i’ faith, I should
 have been a woman by right.
CELIA, as Aliena Come, you look paler and paler. Pray
 you draw homewards.—Good sir, go with us.

As You Like It
ACT 4. SC. 3

 That will I, for I must bear answer back
190 How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.
ROSALIND, as Ganymede I shall devise something.
 But I pray you commend my counterfeiting to him.
 Will you go?
They exit.