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Act III, Scene 2
This long scene is again set in the Forest of Arden and shows all the major characters. It opens with the love-sick Orlando. He has been writing verses about Rosalind, which he hangs in the trees. He also carves her name into the bark.
Corin and Touchstone are seen walking through the forest while they discuss the advantages and disadvantages of court life vs. country life. The fool makes long speeches in which he constantly contradicts himself. Corin, an uneducated man of the forest, is almost as foolish as Touchstone. He states that his greatest pride is to see his "ewes graze" and his "lambs suck." Touchstone argues that it is sinful to make a living by the copulation of cattle. The two men are interrupted by Rosalind, disguised as Ganymede. She plucks and reads one of the verses that Orlando has hung in a tree. Touchstone mocks the mediocre quality of the verses, saying that the tree has yielded bad fruit. As Touchstone departs with Corin, Celia joins Rosalind.
Celia comments on the fact that Rosalind's name is found in all the verses hanging in the trees. Rosalind begs her friend to reveal the identity of the author of these verses. After a good bit of teasing, Celia reveals that Orlando has written the poetry. Swooning over Orlando, Rosalind immediately regrets her man's attire and wants to know where she can find the man of her dreams. Celia tells Rosalind that she has seen Orlando lying under a tree like a dropped acorn or a wounded knight.
As Celia and Rosalind are talking, Orlando and Jaques come through the trees. The girls hide themselves from view, but stay close enough to overhear the conversation between the two men. Jaques insults Orlando, telling him not to spoil trees with his verses. Orlando retorts by telling Jaques not to mar his verses by reading them badly. Jaques comments that he does not like the name Rosalind. Orlando snaps back that there was no plan to please the fool when she was christened. Jaques further insults Orlando by saying he was looking for a fool when he found him. Orlando tells the fool he needs to look into the brook to find a fool, for there he will see his own reflection. After their verbal volley, Jaques seems happy to part company with Orlando.
Rosalind, still disguised as Ganymede, comes out of hiding after Jaques leaves and enters into conversation with Orlando. Of course, he cannot recognize her. When she inquires what time it is, he says that there are no clocks in the forest. Rosalind responds with a challenge: "Then there is no true lover in the forest," for if there was one he would want to sigh every minute with the movement of the clock. Rosalind then comments on time in general; she says that time trots with a young man, ambles with an ill-learned priest and a rich man, gallops with a thief, and stays with lawyers in the vacation. Rosalind then changes the subject. She tells how there is a man who haunts the forest abusing trees by carving the name of Rosalind into the bark. She says if she meets him, she plans to cure him of his love malady, for she has cured others of love sickness.