Three years and a bit, some good thoughts (I hope), and much silliness: 500 posts. I thought about posting "The Anniversary" by John Donne, one of my very favorite poets (and a poem which gets quoted in Busman's Honeymoon, if you, like me, enjoy tracking down Dorothy Sayers's references); but then I thought it would be more appropriate to post a bit of the play after which this blog is named, As You Like It. This is from my favorite scene, Rosalind's School of Love (to quote Harold Bloom), Act IV, Scene i:
No, 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, videlicit, 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 coroners 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.ORLANDO ROSALIND
By 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.ORLANDO ROSALIND ORLANDO ROSALIND ORLANDO ROSALIND ORLANDO ROSALIND
Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?ROSALIND ORLANDO ROSALIND
. . . . . . .
Say 'a day,' without the 'ever.' No, no, Orlando; men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. I will be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen, more clamorous than a parrot against rain, more new-fangled than an ape, more giddy in my desires than a monkey: I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you are disposed to be merry; I will laugh like a hyen, and that when thou art inclined to sleep.ORLANDO ROSALIND ORLANDO ROSALIND Or else she could not have the wit to do this: the wiser, the waywarder: make the doors upon a woman's wit and it will out at the casement; shut that and 'twill out at the key-hole; stop that, 'twill fly with the smoke out at the chimney.
And my other favorite lines from this play:
- O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping!
- Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see No enemy
But winter and rough weather.
- Love is merely a madness, and, I tell you, deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do: and the reason why they are not so punished and cured is, that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love too.
- Pray you, no more of this; 'tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon.
- O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou didst know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it cannot be sounded: my affection hath an unknown bottom, like the bay of Portugal.
- I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you: and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women--as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hates them--that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me and breaths that I defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good beards or good faces or sweet breaths will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell.