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Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


As You Like It: Act 2, Scene 4



for: i.e., disguised as.
          Enter ROSALIND for Ganymede, CELIA for Aliena,
alias: i.e., called. —"Touchstone," like "Bozo" or "Crusty," is a clown name, not a given name. In Shakespeare's time, a touchstone was used to test the quality of gold or silver, so Touchstone's clown name suggests that he tests the quality of people.
          and Clown, alias TOUCHSTONE.

      ROSALIND
  1   O Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!

      TOUCHSTONE
  2   I care not for my spirits, if my legs were
  3   not weary.

      ROSALIND
  4   I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's
  5   apparel and to cry like a woman; but I must
6. weaker vessel: i.e., woman. . . doublet and hose: —Doublet and hose were the basics of any gentleman's clothing. In the painting below, the "hose" are the fashionably puffy red trunks.
9. I cannot go no further:. —Yes, it is a double negative. No, it does not indicate that Celia doesn't know grammar.
  6   comfort the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose
  7   ought to show itself courageous to petticoat:
  8   therefore courage, good Aliena!

      CELIA
  9   I pray you, bear with me; I cannot go no
 10   further.

      TOUCHSTONE
 11   For my part, I had rather bear with you than
12. bear you: carry you.  cross: (1) burden (as in the phrase, "to bear a cross"). (2) money. —As you can see from the set of pewter replicas every coin of Shakespeare's time had a cross on the back.
 12   bear you; yet I should bear no cross if I did
 13   bear you, for I think you have no money in
 14   your purse.

      ROSALIND
15. Well, this is the forest of Arden:Rosalynde, a prose romance by Thomas Lodge, was Shakespeare's principal source for this play, and since the setting of Lodge's story is the Ardennes forest in France, it is often said that "the forest of Arden" is the Ardennes forest, but there was also a forest of Arden just north of Shakespeare's home town, and the rustic natives of the Forest, such as Corin, Silvius, William, and Audrey, seem to be very English.
 15   Well, this is the forest of Arden.

      TOUCHSTONE
 16   Ay, now am I in Arden; the more fool I;
 17   when I was at home, I was in a better place:
 18   but travellers must be content.

           Enter CORIN and SILVIUS.

      ROSALIND
 19   Ay, be so, good Touchstone. Look you,
 20   who comes here; a young man and an
21. solemn: serious.
 21   old in solemn talk.

      CORIN
 22   That is the way to make her scorn you still.

      SILVIUS
 23   O Corin, that thou knew'st how I do love her!

      CORIN
 24   I partly guess; for I have loved ere now.

      SILVIUS
 25   No, Corin, being old, thou canst not guess,
 26   Though in thy youth thou wast as true a lover
 27   As ever sigh'd upon a midnight pillow:
 28   But if thy love were ever like to mine—
 29   As sure I think did never man love so—
 30   How many actions most ridiculous
31. fantasy: i.e., fanciful daydreams of love.
 31   Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?

      CORIN
 32   Into a thousand that I have forgotten.

      SILVIUS
 33   O, thou didst then ne'er love so heartily!
 34   If thou remember'st not the slightest folly
 35   That ever love did make thee run into,
 36   Thou hast not loved:
 37   Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,
 38   Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress' praise,
 39   Thou hast not loved:
 40   Or if thou hast not broke from company
 41   Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,
 42   Thou hast not loved.
 43   O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!

           Exit [SILVIUS].

      ROSALIND
44-45. searching of: probing, i.e., thinking about the reason for.  hard adventure: bad luck. —Seeing the love-woe of Silvius reminds Rosalind that she is hopelessly in love with Orlando, whom she may never see again.
 44   Alas, poor shepherd! searching of thy wound,
 45   I have by hard adventure found mine own.

      TOUCHSTONE
 46   And I mine. I remember, when I was in love I
 47   broke my sword upon a stone and bid him take
48. a-night: at night.
 48   that for coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I
49. batler: a club for beating clothes while washing them.
 49   remember the kissing of her batler and the cow's
50. chopt: chapped.
 50   dugs that her pretty chopt hands had milked; and
51. peascod: pea pod. —Touchstone, as part of his mockery of sentimental romantic clichés, apparently alludes to a country tradition called "peascod wooing."
 51   I remember the wooing of a peascod instead of her,
 52   from whom I took two cods and, giving her them
 53   again, said with weeping tears 'Wear these for my
 54   sake.' We that are true lovers run into strange
55-56. as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature / in love mortal in folly: i.e., as certainly as all that lives must die, so all lovers show their humanity in their foolishness in love.
 55   capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature
 56   in love mortal in folly.

      ROSALIND
57. ware: aware. —In his reply to Rosalind (line 58), Touchstone deliberately uses the same word, "ware," with a different meaning, "wary."
 57   Thou speakest wiser than thou art ware of.

      TOUCHSTONE
 58   Nay, I shall ne'er be ware of mine own wit
 59   till I break my shins against it.

      ROSALIND
 60   Jove, Jove! this shepherd's passion
60-61. this shepherd's passion / Is much upon my fashion: i.e., the (wildly extravagant) passion of Silvius (for Phebe) is much like my feeling (for Orlando).
 61   Is much upon my fashion.

      TOUCHSTONE
62. something: somewhat.
 62   And mine; but it grows something stale
 63   with me.

      CELIA
 64   I pray you, one of you question yond man
 65   If he for gold will give us any food:
66. clown: country fellow. —Rosalind's following jest, "Peace, fool: he's not thy kinsman" (meaning, "shut up, fool, he's not a relation of yours") depends on the fact that "clown" also means "jester."
 66   I faint almost to death.

      TOUCHSTONE
 66                                             Holla! you clown!

      ROSALIND
 67   Peace, fool: he's not thy kinsman.

      CORIN
 67                                                           Who calls?

      TOUCHSTONE
 68   Your betters, sir.

      CORIN
68. Else are they very wretched: i.e., anyone who is not my better (not richer and not of a higher class) must be extremely miserable.
 68                                 Else are they very wretched.

      ROSALIND
69. Peace, I say: — This is addressed to Touchstone. She is again telling him to hold his tongue.
 69   Peace, I say. Good even to you, friend.

      CORIN
 70   And to you, gentle sir, and to you all.

      ROSALIND
 71   I prithee, shepherd, if that love or gold
72. desert place: —in this context, a place without inns, taverns, or even houses.  entertainment: food and shelter.
 72   Can in this desert place buy entertainment,
 73   Bring us where we may rest ourselves and feed:
 74   Here's a young maid with travel much oppress'd
75. faints for succor: is faint for lack of aid (i.e., food).
 75   And faints for succor.

      CORIN
 75                                         Fair sir, I pity her
 76   And wish, for her sake more than for mine own,
 77   My fortunes were more able to relieve her;
 78   But I am shepherd to another man,
79. do not shear the fleeces that I graze: i.e., am not the owner who profits from the shearing of the sheep I graze.
 79   And do not shear the fleeces that I graze:
 80   My master is of churlish disposition
81. recks: reckons, cares.
 81   And little recks to find the way to heaven
 82   By doing deeds of hospitality:
83. cote: cottage.  bounds of feed: areas in which he has grazing rights. 84. our sheepcote: —A sheepcote is a pen for sheep, but apparently Corin and others (his family? more shepherds?) live there.
 83   Besides, his cote, his flocks and bounds of feed
 84   Are now on sale, and at our sheepcote now,
 85   By reason of his absence, there is nothing
 86   That you will feed on; but what is, come see,
87. in my voice: i.e., because I will vouch for you.
 87   And in my voice most welcome shall you be.

      ROSALIND
88. What is he that shall buy his flock and pasture: who is the person who is going to buy his flock and pasture.
 88   What is he that shall buy his flock and pasture?

      CORIN
89. That young swain that you saw here but erewhile: That young lover that you saw here only a short while ago; i.e., Silvius.
 89   That young swain that you saw here but erewhile,
 90   That little cares for buying any thing.

      ROSALIND
91. if it stand with honesty: i.e., if it would be honest of you to do so. —Apparently Rosalind is worried that Corin might betray his friendship . . . 93. have to pay for it: i.e., have the money to pay for it.
 91   I pray thee, if it stand with honesty,
 92   Buy thou the cottage, pasture and the flock,
 93   And thou shalt have to pay for it of us.

      CELIA
94. mend: increase.
 94   And we will mend thy wages. I like this place.
95. waste my time: (enjoyably) pass my time.
 95   And willingly could waste my time in it.

      CORIN
 96   Assuredly the thing is to be sold.
 97   Go with me; if you like upon report
 98   The soil, the profit and this kind of life,
99. feeder: servant.
 99   I will your very faithful feeder be
100. suddenly: speedily.
100   And buy it with your gold right suddenly.

           Exeunt.