Oliver speaks to Celia and Rosalind who are still disguised as Aliena and Ganymede. Oliver recounts the story of how Orlando rescued him from a lioness and was hurt in doing so. He then goes on to tell them that after Oliver bound up Orlando's wound, Orlando bid Oliver to take his bloody handkerchief to his love, Rosalind, and to tell her the story of the lioness so that she "might excuse his broken promise."
When last the young Orlando parted from you He left a promise to return again Within an...View Full Monologue Text
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 oak, whose boughs were moss'd 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 wreath'd itself,
Who with her head nimble in threats approach'd
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlink'd 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.
And well he might so do,
For well I know he was unnatural.
Twice did he turn his back and purpos'd 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 awak'd.
'Twas I; but 'tis not I. I do not shame
To tell you what I was, since my conversion
So sweetly tastes, being the thing I am.
By and by.
When from the first to last, betwixt us two,
Tears our recountments had most kindly bath'd,
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 stripp'd 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 recover'd 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,
Dy'd in his blood, unto the shepherd youth
That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.
AuthorName: William Shakespeare
Eras: 1601-1700, 1501-1600
Age Range: 20s - Early, 20s - Late, 30s - Early, 30s - Late
Dialects: Standard American, Standard English
PlayName: As You Like It
Rating: Suitable for all ages
Copyright Status: Public domain