Phebe’s friend Rosalind is, unknown to her, disguised as a boy called Ganymede. Silvius, a young sheperd, is in love with Phebe. When ‘Ganymede’ sees Phebe harshly rejecting Silvius, she scolds her, telling her that she is not beautiful enough to reject him and should count herself lucky to have his love. Phebe’s reaction to this criticism is to fall in love with ‘Ganymede’, thinking he is a proud and handsome young man who is not afraid to speak his mind. In this speech to Silvius, however, she tries to convince herself that she is indifferent to Ganymede…

Think not I love him, though I ask for him.
‘Tis but a peevish boy; yet he talks well;
But what care I for words? yet words do well,
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
It is a pretty youth: not very pretty:
But, sure, he’s proud; and yet his pride becomes him:
He’ll make a proper man: the best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence his eye did heal it up.
He is not very tall; yet for his years he’s tall:
His leg is but so so; and yet ’tis well:
There was a pretty redness in his lip,
A little riper and more lusty red
Than that mix’d in his cheek; ’twas just the difference
Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they mark’d him
In parcels as I did, would have gone near
To fall in love with him; but, for my part,
I love him not nor hate him not; and yet
Have more cause to hate him than to love him:
For what had he to do to chide at me?
He said mine eyes were black and my hair black;
And, now I am remember’d, scorn’d at me.
I marvel why I answer’d not again:
But that’s all one; omittance is no quittance.
I’ll write to him a very taunting letter,
And thou shalt bear it: wilt thou, Silvius?