As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 5

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ORLANDO

I take some joy to say you are because I would be talking of her.

ORLANDO

I like to pretend you are, because then it’s almost like actually talking to her.

ROSALIND

Well, in her person I say I will not have you.

ROSALIND

Well, on behalf of Rosalind, I’ll tell you I don’t want you.

ORLANDO

Then, in mine own person I die.

ORLANDO

Then, on behalf of myself, I’ll tell you I’ll die.

ROSALIND

80No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a Grecian club, yet he did what he could to die before, and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would have lived many a fair year though Hero had turned nun if it had not been for a hot midsummer night, for, good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the Hellespont and, being taken with the cramp, was drowned; and the foolish chroniclers of that age found it was Hero of Sestos. But these are all lies. Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.

ROSALIND

No, you won’t die yourself, but only by proxy. This world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time not one man has ever actually died from love.

Troilus

According to ancient myth, Troilus, Cressida’s lover, was killed by the warrior Achilles. Leander drowned while swimming across the Hellespont to visit his lover, Hero. Both were described and redescribed through the ages as tragic lovers.

Troilus
may have wanted to die from love, and he’s now considered one of the great, tragic love heroes, but, in fact, a Greek with a club beat his brains out. It had nothing to do with love. Leander would have lived many more years if it hadn’t been for a particularly hot summer night, when he went swimming in the Hellespont, got a cramp, and drowned. The foolish poets of the time insisted he died for love, but they’re lying. All the love stories are lies. Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not because of love.

ORLANDO

I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind, for I protest her frown might kill me.

ORLANDO

I hope Rosalind doesn’t feel as you do. Her frown alone would kill me.

ROSALIND

95By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come; now I will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on disposition, and ask me what you will, I will grant it.

ROSALIND

No, her frown wouldn’t kill a fly. But come on, now I’ll play your Rosalind, and in a more friendly state of mind. Whatever you ask for, I’ll give.

ORLANDO

Then love me, Rosalind.

ORLANDO

Then love me, Rosalind.

ROSALIND

Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays and all.

ROSALIND

Okay, I will—on Fridays and Saturdays, and the rest.

ORLANDO

100And wilt thou have me?

ORLANDO

And will you have me?