Title: As You Like It

Author: William Shakespeare

Language: English

Year of First Publication: 1623

Edition: First Folio, Isaac Jaggard, and Edward Blount, London, 1623

License: Public Domain

Last revision: May 27, 2020

As You Like It

William Shakespeare



Act 1

Scene 1: Orchard of Oliver's house.

Scene 2: Lawn before the Duke's palace.

Scene 3: A room in the palace.

Act 2

Scene 1: The Forest of Arden.

Scene 2: A room in the palace.

Scene 3: Before OLIVER'S house.

Scene 4: The Forest of Arden.

Scene 5: The Forest.

Scene 6: The forest.

Scene 7: The forest.

Act 3

Scene 1: A room in the palace.

Scene 2: The forest.

Scene 3: The forest.

Scene 4: The forest.

Scene 5: Another part of the forest.

Act 4

Scene 1: The forest.

Scene 2: The forest.

Scene 3: The forest.

Act 5

Scene 1: The forest.

Scene 2: The forest.

Scene 3: The forest.

Scene 4: The forest.



SCENE I. Orchard of Oliver's house.



As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion

bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand crowns,

and, as thou sayest, charged my brother, on his

blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my

sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and

report speaks goldenly of his profit: for my part,

he keeps me rustically at home, or, to speak more

properly, stays me here at home unkept; for call you

that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that

differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses

are bred better; for, besides that they are fair

with their feeding, they are taught their manage,

and to that end riders dearly hired: but I, his

brother, gain nothing under him but growth; for the

which his animals on his dunghills are as much

bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so

plentifully gives me, the something that nature gave

me his countenance seems to take from me: he lets

me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a

brother, and, as much as in him lies, mines my

gentility with my education. This is it, Adam, that

grieves me; and the spirit of my father, which I

think is within me, begins to mutiny against this

servitude: I will no longer endure it, though yet I

know no wise remedy how to avoid it.


Yonder comes my master, your brother.


Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will

shake me up.



Now, sir! what make you here?


Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.


What mar you then, sir?


Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God

made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.


Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.


Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with them?

What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should

come to such penury?


Know you where your are, sir?


O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.


Know you before whom, sir?


Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know

you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle

condition of blood, you should so know me. The

courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that

you are the first-born; but the same tradition

takes not away my blood, were there twenty brothers

betwixt us: I have as much of my father in me as

you; albeit, I confess, your coming before me is

nearer to his reverence.


What, boy!


Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.


Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?


I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir

Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and he is thrice

a villain that says such a father begot villains.

Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand

from thy throat till this other had pulled out thy

tongue for saying so: thou hast railed on thyself.


Sweet masters, be patient: for your father's

remembrance, be at accord.


Let me go, I say.


I will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My

father charged you in his will to give me good

education: you have trained me like a peasant,

obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like

qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in

me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow

me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or

give me the poor allottery my father left me by

testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.


And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent?

Well, sir, get you in: I will not long be troubled

with you; you shall have some part of your will: I

pray you, leave me.


I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good.


Get you with him, you old dog.


Is 'old dog' my reward? Most true, I have lost my

teeth in your service. God be with my old master!

he would not have spoke such a word.



Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? I will

physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand

crowns neither. Holla, Dennis!



Calls your worship?


Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?


So please you, he is here at the door and importunes

access to you.


Call him in.


'Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.



Good morrow to your worship.


Good Monsieur Charles, what's the new news at the

new court?


There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news:

that is, the old duke is banished by his younger

brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords

have put themselves into voluntary exile with him,

whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke;

therefore he gives them good leave to wander.


Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be

banished with her father?


O, no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves

her, being ever from their cradles bred together,

that she would have followed her exile, or have died

to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no

less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and

never two ladies loved as they do.


Where will the old duke live?


They say he is already in the forest of Arden, and

a many merry men with him; and there they live like

the old Robin Hood of England: they say many young

gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time

carelessly, as they did in the golden world.


What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?


Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a

matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand

that your younger brother Orlando hath a disposition

to come in disguised against me to try a fall.

To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he that

escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him

well. Your brother is but young and tender; and,

for your love, I would be loath to foil him, as I

must, for my own honour, if he come in: therefore,

out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you

withal, that either you might stay him from his

intendment or brook such disgrace well as he shall

run into, in that it is a thing of his own search

and altogether against my will.


Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which

thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had

myself notice of my brother's purpose herein and

have by underhand means laboured to dissuade him from

it, but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles:

it is the stubbornest young fellow of France, full

of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's

good parts, a secret and villanous contriver against

me his natural brother: therefore use thy

discretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck

as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if

thou dost him any slight disgrace or if he do not

mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise

against thee by poison, entrap thee by some

treacherous device and never leave thee till he

hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other;

for, I assure thee, and almost with tears I speak

it, there is not one so young and so villanous this

day living. I speak but brotherly of him; but

should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must

blush and weep and thou must look pale and wonder.


I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come

to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: if ever he go

alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more: and

so God keep your worship!


Farewell, good Charles.


Now will I stir this gamester: I hope I shall see

an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why,

hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle, never

schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of

all sorts enchantingly beloved, and indeed so much

in the heart of the world, and especially of my own

people, who best know him, that I am altogether

misprised: but it shall not be so long; this

wrestler shall clear all: nothing remains but that

I kindle the boy thither; which now I'll go about.


SCENE II. Lawn before the Duke's palace.



I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.


Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of;

and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could

teach me to forget a banished father, you must not

learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.


Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full weight

that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father,

had banished thy uncle, the duke my father, so thou

hadst been still with me, I could have taught my

love to take thy father for mine: so wouldst thou,

if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously

tempered as mine is to thee.


Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to

rejoice in yours.


You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is

like to have: and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt

be his heir, for what he hath taken away from thy

father perforce, I will render thee again in

affection; by mine honour, I will; and when I break

that oath, let me turn monster: therefore, my

sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry.


From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let

me see; what think you of falling in love?


Marry, I prithee, do, to make sport withal: but

love no man in good earnest; nor no further in sport

neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst

in honour come off again.


What shall be our sport, then?


Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from

her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.


I would we could do so, for her benefits are

mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman

doth most mistake in her gifts to women.


'Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce

makes honest, and those that she makes honest she

makes very ill-favouredly.


Nay, now thou goest from Fortune's office to

Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world,

not in the lineaments of Nature.



No? when Nature hath made a fair creature, may she

not by Fortune fall into the fire? Though Nature

hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not

Fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?


Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when

Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of

Nature's wit.


Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but

Nature's; who perceiveth our natural wits too dull

to reason of such goddesses and hath sent this

natural for our whetstone; for always the dulness of

the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How now,

wit! whither wander you?


Mistress, you must come away to your father.


Were you made the messenger?


No, by mine honour, but I was bid to come for you.


Where learned you that oath, fool?


Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they

were good pancakes and swore by his honour the

mustard was naught: now I'll stand to it, the

pancakes were naught and the mustard was good, and

yet was not the knight forsworn.


How prove you that, in the great heap of your



Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.


Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and

swear by your beards that I am a knave.


By our beards, if we had them, thou art.


By my knavery, if I had it, then I were; but if you

swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn: no

more was this knight swearing by his honour, for he

never had any; or if he had, he had sworn it away

before ever he saw those pancakes or that mustard.


Prithee, who is't that thou meanest?


One that old Frederick, your father, loves.


My father's love is enough to honour him: enough!

speak no more of him; you'll be whipped for taxation

one of these days.


The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely what

wise men do foolishly.


By my troth, thou sayest true; for since the little

wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery

that wise men have makes a great show. Here comes

Monsieur Le Beau.


With his mouth full of news.


Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.


Then shall we be news-crammed.


All the better; we shall be the more marketable.


Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what's the news?


Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.


Sport! of what colour?


What colour, madam! how shall I answer you?


As wit and fortune will.


Or as the Destinies decree.


Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.


Nay, if I keep not my rank,--


Thou losest thy old smell.


You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good

wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.


You tell us the manner of the wrestling.


I will tell you the beginning; and, if it please

your ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is

yet to do; and here, where you are, they are coming

to perform it.


Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.


There comes an old man and his three sons,--


I could match this beginning with an old tale.


Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.


With bills on their necks, 'Be it known unto all men

by these presents.'


The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles, the

duke's wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him

and broke three of his ribs, that there is little

hope of life in him: so he served the second, and

so the third. Yonder they lie; the poor old man,

their father, making such pitiful dole over them

that all the beholders take his part with weeping.




But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies

have lost?


Why, this that I speak of.


Thus men may grow wiser every day: it is the first

time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport

for ladies.


Or I, I promise thee.


But is there any else longs to see this broken music

in his sides? is there yet another dotes upon

rib-breaking? Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?


You must, if you stay here; for here is the place

appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to

perform it.


Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us now stay and see it.

Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants


Come on: since the youth will not be entreated, his

own peril on his forwardness.


Is yonder the man?


Even he, madam.


Alas, he is too young! yet he looks successfully.


How now, daughter and cousin! are you crept hither

to see the wrestling?


Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave.


You will take little delight in it, I can tell you;

there is such odds in the man. In pity of the

challenger's youth I would fain dissuade him, but he

will not be entreated. Speak to him, ladies; see if

you can move him.


Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.


Do so: I'll not be by.


Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you.


I attend them with all respect and duty.


Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?


No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I

come but in, as others do, to try with him the

strength of my youth.


Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for your

years. You have seen cruel proof of this man's

strength: if you saw yourself with your eyes or

knew yourself with your judgment, the fear of your

adventure would counsel you to a more equal

enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to

embrace your own safety and give over this attempt.


Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore

be misprised: we will make it our suit to the duke

that the wrestling might not go forward.


I beseech you, punish me not with your hard

thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny

so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let

your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my

trial: wherein if I be foiled, there is but one

shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one

dead that was willing to be so: I shall do my

friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me, the

world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in

the world I fill up a place, which may be better

supplied when I have made it empty.


The little strength that I have, I would it were with you.


And mine, to eke out hers.


Fare you well: pray heaven I be deceived in you!


Your heart's desires be with you!


Come, where is this young gallant that is so

desirous to lie with his mother earth?


Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.


You shall try but one fall.


No, I warrant your grace, you shall not entreat him

to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him

from a first.


An you mean to mock me after, you should not have

mocked me before: but come your ways.


Now Hercules be thy speed, young man!


I would I were invisible, to catch the strong

fellow by the leg.

They wrestle


O excellent young man!


If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who

should down.

Shout. CHARLES is thrown


No more, no more.


Yes, I beseech your grace: I am not yet well breathed.


How dost thou, Charles?


He cannot speak, my lord.


Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?


Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys.


I would thou hadst been son to some man else:

The world esteem'd thy father honourable,

But I did find him still mine enemy:

Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this deed,

Hadst thou descended from another house.

But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth:

I would thou hadst told me of another father.

Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK, train, and LE BEAU


Were I my father, coz, would I do this?


I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son,

His youngest son; and would not change that calling,

To be adopted heir to Frederick.


My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul,

And all the world was of my father's mind:

Had I before known this young man his son,

I should have given him tears unto entreaties,

Ere he should thus have ventured.


Gentle cousin,

Let us go thank him and encourage him:

My father's rough and envious disposition

Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserved:

If you do keep your promises in love

But justly, as you have exceeded all promise,

Your mistress shall be happy.



Giving him a chain from her neck

Wear this for me, one out of suits with fortune,

That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.

Shall we go, coz?


Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.


Can I not say, I thank you? My better parts

Are all thrown down, and that which here stands up

Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.


He calls us back: my pride fell with my fortunes;

I'll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir?

Sir, you have wrestled well and overthrown

More than your enemies.


Will you go, coz?


Have with you. Fare you well.



What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?

I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference.

O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!

Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.

Re-enter LE BEAU


Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you

To leave this place. Albeit you have deserved

High commendation, true applause and love,

Yet such is now the duke's condition

That he misconstrues all that you have done.

The duke is humorous; what he is indeed,

More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.


I thank you, sir: and, pray you, tell me this:

Which of the two was daughter of the duke

That here was at the wrestling?


Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners;

But yet indeed the lesser is his daughter

The other is daughter to the banish'd duke,

And here detain'd by her usurping uncle,

To keep his daughter company; whose loves

Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.

But I can tell you that of late this duke

Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece,

Grounded upon no other argument

But that the people praise her for her virtues

And pity her for her good father's sake;

And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady

Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well:

Hereafter, in a better world than this,

I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.


I rest much bounden to you: fare you well.


Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;

From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother:

But heavenly Rosalind!


SCENE III. A room in the palace.



Why, cousin! why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy! not a word?


Not one to throw at a dog.


No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon

curs; throw some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.


Then there were two cousins laid up; when the one

should be lamed with reasons and the other mad

without any.


But is all this for your father?


No, some of it is for my child's father. O, how

full of briers is this working-day world!


They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in

holiday foolery: if we walk not in the trodden

paths our very petticoats will catch them.


I could shake them off my coat: these burs are in my heart.


Hem them away.


I would try, if I could cry 'hem' and have him.


Come, come, wrestle with thy affections.


O, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself!


O, a good wish upon you! you will try in time, in

despite of a fall. But, turning these jests out of

service, let us talk in good earnest: is it

possible, on such a sudden, you should fall into so

strong a liking with old Sir Rowland's youngest son?


The duke my father loved his father dearly.


Doth it therefore ensue that you should love his son

dearly? By this kind of chase, I should hate him,

for my father hated his father dearly; yet I hate

not Orlando.


No, faith, hate him not, for my sake.


Why should I not? doth he not deserve well?


Let me love him for that, and do you love him

because I do. Look, here comes the duke.


With his eyes full of anger.

Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords


Mistress, dispatch you with your safest haste

And get you from our court.


Me, uncle?


You, cousin

Within these ten days if that thou be'st found

So near our public court as twenty miles,

Thou diest for it.


I do beseech your grace,

Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me:

If with myself I hold intelligence

Or have acquaintance with mine own desires,

If that I do not dream or be not frantic,--

As I do trust I am not--then, dear uncle,

Never so much as in a thought unborn

Did I offend your highness.


Thus do all traitors:

If their purgation did consist in words,

They are as innocent as grace itself:

Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.


Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor:

Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.


Thou art thy father's daughter; there's enough.


So was I when your highness took his dukedom;

So was I when your highness banish'd him:

Treason is not inherited, my lord;

Or, if we did derive it from our friends,

What's that to me? my father was no traitor:

Then, good my liege, mistake me not so much

To think my poverty is treacherous.


Dear sovereign, hear me speak.


Ay, Celia; we stay'd her for your sake,

Else had she with her father ranged along.


I did not then entreat to have her stay;

It was your pleasure and your own remorse:

I was too young that time to value her;

But now I know her: if she be a traitor,

Why so am I; we still have slept together,

Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together,

And wheresoever we went, like Juno's swans,

Still we went coupled and inseparable.


She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness,

Her very silence and her patience

Speak to the people, and they pity her.

Thou art a fool: she robs thee of thy name;

And thou wilt show more bright and seem more virtuous

When she is gone. Then open not thy lips:

Firm and irrevocable is my doom

Which I have pass'd upon her; she is banish'd.


Pronounce that sentence then on me, my liege:

I cannot live out of her company.


You are a fool. You, niece, provide yourself:

If you outstay the time, upon mine honour,

And in the greatness of my word, you die.

Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK and Lords


O my poor Rosalind, whither wilt thou go?

Wilt thou change fathers? I will give thee mine.

I charge thee, be not thou more grieved than I am.


I have more cause.


Thou hast not, cousin;

Prithee be cheerful: know'st thou not, the duke

Hath banish'd me, his daughter?


That he hath not.


No, hath not? Rosalind lacks then the love

Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one:

Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl?

No: let my father seek another heir.

Therefore devise with me how we may fly,

Whither to go and what to bear with us;

And do not seek to take your change upon you,

To bear your griefs yourself and leave me out;

For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,

Say what thou canst, I'll go along with thee.


Why, whither shall we go?


To seek my uncle in the forest of Arden.


Alas, what danger will it be to us,

Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!

Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.


I'll put myself in poor and mean attire

And with a kind of umber smirch my face;

The like do you: so shall we pass along

And never stir assailants.


Were it not better,

Because that I am more than common tall,

That I did suit me all points like a man?

A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh,

A boar-spear in my hand; and--in my heart

Lie there what hidden woman's fear there will--

We'll have a swashing and a martial outside,

As many other mannish cowards have

That do outface it with their semblances.


What shall I call thee when thou art a man?


I'll have no worse a name than Jove's own page;

And therefore look you call me Ganymede.

But what will you be call'd?


Something that hath a reference to my state

No longer Celia, but Aliena.


But, cousin, what if we assay'd to steal

The clownish fool out of your father's court?

Would he not be a comfort to our travel?


He'll go along o'er the wide world with me;

Leave me alone to woo him. Let's away,

And get our jewels and our wealth together,

Devise the fittest time and safest way

To hide us from pursuit that will be made

After my flight. Now go we in content

To liberty and not to banishment.



SCENE I. The Forest of Arden.

Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and two or three Lords, like foresters


Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,

Hath not old custom made this life more sweet

Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods

More free from peril than the envious court?

Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,

The seasons' difference, as the icy fang

And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,

Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,

Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say

'This is no flattery: these are counsellors

That feelingly persuade me what I am.'

Sweet are the uses of adversity,

Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,

Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;

And this our life exempt from public haunt

Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,

Sermons in stones and good in every thing.

I would not change it.


Happy is your grace,

That can translate the stubbornness of fortune

Into so quiet and so sweet a style.


Come, shall we go and kill us venison?

And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,

Being native burghers of this desert city,

Should in their own confines with forked heads

Have their round haunches gored.

First Lord

Indeed, my lord,

The melancholy Jaques grieves at that,

And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp

Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.

To-day my Lord of Amiens and myself

Did steal behind him as he lay along

Under an oak whose antique root peeps out

Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:

To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,

That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,

Did come to languish, and indeed, my lord,

The wretched animal heaved forth such groans

That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat

Almost to bursting, and the big round tears

Coursed one another down his innocent nose

In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool

Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,

Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,

Augmenting it with tears.


But what said Jaques?

Did he not moralize this spectacle?

First Lord

O, yes, into a thousand similes.

First, for his weeping into the needless stream;

'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament

As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more

To that which had too much:' then, being there alone,

Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends,

''Tis right:' quoth he; 'thus misery doth part

The flux of company:' anon a careless herd,

Full of the pasture, jumps along by him

And never stays to greet him; 'Ay' quoth Jaques,

'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;

'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look

Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'

Thus most invectively he pierceth through

The body of the country, city, court,

Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we

Are mere usurpers, tyrants and what's worse,

To fright the animals and to kill them up

In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.


And did you leave him in this contemplation?

Second Lord

We did, my lord, weeping and commenting

Upon the sobbing deer.


Show me the place:

I love to cope him in these sullen fits,

For then he's full of matter.

First Lord

I'll bring you to him straight.


SCENE II. A room in the palace.

Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords


Can it be possible that no man saw them?

It cannot be: some villains of my court

Are of consent and sufferance in this.

First Lord

I cannot hear of any that did see her.

The ladies, her attendants of her chamber,

Saw her abed, and in the morning early

They found the bed untreasured of their mistress.

Second Lord

My lord, the roynish clown, at whom so oft

Your grace was wont to laugh, is also missing.

Hisperia, the princess' gentlewoman,

Confesses that she secretly o'erheard

Your daughter and her cousin much commend

The parts and graces of the wrestler

That did but lately foil the sinewy Charles;

And she believes, wherever they are gone,

That youth is surely in their company.


Send to his brother; fetch that gallant hither;

If he be absent, bring his brother to me;

I'll make him find him: do this suddenly,

And let not search and inquisition quail

To bring again these foolish runaways.


SCENE III. Before OLIVER'S house.

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting


Who's there?


What, my young master? O, my gentle master!

O my sweet master! O you memory

Of old Sir Rowland! why, what make you here?

Why are you virtuous? why do people love you?

And wherefore are you gentle, strong and valiant?

Why would you be so fond to overcome

The bonny priser of the humorous duke?

Your praise is come too swiftly home before you.

Know you not, master, to some kind of men

Their graces serve them but as enemies?

No more do yours: your virtues, gentle master,

Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.

O, what a world is this, when what is comely

Envenoms him that bears it!


Why, what's the matter?


O unhappy youth!

Come not within these doors; within this roof

The enemy of all your graces lives:

Your brother--no, no brother; yet the son--

Yet not the son, I will not call him son

Of him I was about to call his father--

Hath heard your praises, and this night he means

To burn the lodging where you use to lie

And you within it: if he fail of that,

He will have other means to cut you off.

I overheard him and his practises.

This is no place; this house is but a butchery:

Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.


Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?


No matter whither, so you come not here.


What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food?

Or with a base and boisterous sword enforce

A thievish living on the common road?

This I must do, or know not what to do:

Yet this I will not do, do how I can;

I rather will subject me to the malice

Of a diverted blood and bloody brother.


But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,

The thrifty hire I saved under your father,

Which I did store to be my foster-nurse

When service should in my old limbs lie lame

And unregarded age in corners thrown:

Take that, and He that doth the ravens feed,

Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,

Be comfort to my age! Here is the gold;

And all this I give you. Let me be your servant:

Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;

For in my youth I never did apply

Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,

Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo

The means of weakness and debility;

Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,

Frosty, but kindly: let me go with you;

I'll do the service of a younger man

In all your business and necessities.


O good old man, how well in thee appears

The constant service of the antique world,

When service sweat for duty, not for meed!

Thou art not for the fashion of these times,

Where none will sweat but for promotion,

And having that, do choke their service up

Even with the having: it is not so with thee.

But, poor old man, thou prunest a rotten tree,

That cannot so much as a blossom yield

In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry

But come thy ways; well go along together,

And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,

We'll light upon some settled low content.


Master, go on, and I will follow thee,

To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.

From seventeen years till now almost fourscore

Here lived I, but now live here no more.

At seventeen years many their fortunes seek;

But at fourscore it is too late a week:

Yet fortune cannot recompense me better

Than to die well and not my master's debtor.


SCENE IV. The Forest of Arden.

Enter ROSALIND for Ganymede, CELIA for Aliena, and TOUCHSTONE


O Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!


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


I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's

apparel and to cry like a woman; but I must comfort

the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose ought to show

itself courageous to petticoat: therefore courage,

good Aliena!


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


For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear

you; yet I should bear no cross if I did bear you,

for I think you have no money in your purse.


Well, this is the forest of Arden.


Ay, now am I in Arden; the more fool I; when I was

at home, I was in a better place: but travellers

must be content.


Ay, be so, good Touchstone.


Look you, who comes here; a young man and an old in

solemn talk.


That is the way to make her scorn you still.


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


I partly guess; for I have loved ere now.


No, Corin, being old, thou canst not guess,

Though in thy youth thou wast as true a lover

As ever sigh'd upon a midnight pillow:

But if thy love were ever like to mine--

As sure I think did never man love so--

How many actions most ridiculous

Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?


Into a thousand that I have forgotten.


O, thou didst then ne'er love so heartily!

If thou remember'st not the slightest folly

That ever love did make thee run into,

Thou hast not loved:

Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,

Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress' praise,

Thou hast not loved:

Or if thou hast not broke from company

Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,

Thou hast not loved.

O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!



Alas, poor shepherd! searching of thy wound,

I have by hard adventure found mine own.


And I mine. I remember, when I was in love I broke

my sword upon a stone and bid him take that for

coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I remember the

kissing of her batlet and the cow's dugs that her

pretty chopt hands had milked; and I remember the

wooing of a peascod instead of her, from whom I took

two cods and, giving her them again, said with

weeping tears 'Wear these for my sake.' We that are

true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is

mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.


Thou speakest wiser than thou art ware of.


Nay, I shall ne'er be ware of mine own wit till I

break my shins against it.


Jove, Jove! this shepherd's passion

Is much upon my fashion.


And mine; but it grows something stale with me.


I pray you, one of you question yond man

If he for gold will give us any food:

I faint almost to death.


Holla, you clown!


Peace, fool: he's not thy kinsman.


Who calls?


Your betters, sir.


Else are they very wretched.


Peace, I say. Good even to you, friend.


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


I prithee, shepherd, if that love or gold

Can in this desert place buy entertainment,

Bring us where we may rest ourselves and feed:

Here's a young maid with travel much oppress'd

And faints for succor.


Fair sir, I pity her

And wish, for her sake more than for mine own,

My fortunes were more able to relieve her;

But I am shepherd to another man

And do not shear the fleeces that I graze:

My master is of churlish disposition

And little recks to find the way to heaven

By doing deeds of hospitality:

Besides, his cote, his flocks and bounds of feed

Are now on sale, and at our sheepcote now,

By reason of his absence, there is nothing

That you will feed on; but what is, come see.

And in my voice most welcome shall you be.


What is he that shall buy his flock and pasture?


That young swain that you saw here but erewhile,

That little cares for buying any thing.


I pray thee, if it stand with honesty,

Buy thou the cottage, pasture and the flock,

And thou shalt have to pay for it of us.


And we will mend thy wages. I like this place.

And willingly could waste my time in it.


Assuredly the thing is to be sold:

Go with me: if you like upon report

The soil, the profit and this kind of life,

I will your very faithful feeder be

And buy it with your gold right suddenly.


SCENE V. The Forest.

Enter AMIENS, JAQUES, and others



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.


More, more, I prithee, more.


It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.


I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck

melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs.

More, I prithee, more.


My voice is ragged: I know I cannot please you.


I do not desire you to please me; I do desire you to

sing. Come, more; another stanzo: call you 'em stanzos?


What you will, Monsieur Jaques.


Nay, I care not for their names; they owe me

nothing. Will you sing?


More at your request than to please myself.


Well then, if ever I thank any man, I'll thank you;

but that they call compliment is like the encounter

of two dog-apes, and when a man thanks me heartily,

methinks I have given him a penny and he renders me

the beggarly thanks. Come, sing; and you that will

not, hold your tongues.


Well, I'll end the song. Sirs, cover the while; the

duke will drink under this tree. He hath been all

this day to look you.


And I have been all this day to avoid him. He is

too disputable for my company: I think of as many

matters as he, but I give heaven thanks and make no

boast of them. Come, warble, come.


Who doth ambition shun

All together here

And loves to live i' the sun,

Seeking the food he eats

And pleased with what he gets,

Come hither, come hither, come hither:

Here shall he see No enemy

But winter and rough weather.


I'll give you a verse to this note that I made

yesterday in despite of my invention.


And I'll sing it.


Thus it goes:--

If it do come to pass

That any man turn ass,

Leaving his wealth and ease,

A stubborn will to please,

Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame:

Here shall he see

Gross fools as he,

An if he will come to me.


What's that 'ducdame'?


'Tis a Greek invocation, to call fools into a

circle. I'll go sleep, if I can; if I cannot, I'll

rail against all the first-born of Egypt.


And I'll go seek the duke: his banquet is prepared.

Exeunt severally

SCENE VI. The forest.



Dear master, I can go no further. O, I die for food!

Here lie I down, and measure out my grave. Farewell,

kind master.


Why, how now, Adam! no greater heart in thee? Live

a little; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little.

If this uncouth forest yield any thing savage, I

will either be food for it or bring it for food to

thee. Thy conceit is nearer death than thy powers.

For my sake be comfortable; hold death awhile at

the arm's end: I will here be with thee presently;

and if I bring thee not something to eat, I will

give thee leave to die: but if thou diest before I

come, thou art a mocker of my labour. Well said!

thou lookest cheerly, and I'll be with thee quickly.

Yet thou liest in the bleak air: come, I will bear

thee to some shelter; and thou shalt not die for

lack of a dinner, if there live any thing in this

desert. Cheerly, good Adam!


SCENE VII. The forest.

A table set out. Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and Lords like outlaws


I think he be transform'd into a beast;

For I can no where find him like a man.

First Lord

My lord, he is but even now gone hence:

Here was he merry, hearing of a song.


If he, compact of jars, grow musical,

We shall have shortly discord in the spheres.

Go, seek him: tell him I would speak with him.


First Lord

He saves my labour by his own approach.


Why, how now, monsieur! what a life is this,

That your poor friends must woo your company?

What, you look merrily!


A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest,

A motley fool; a miserable world!

As I do live by food, I met a fool

Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,

And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good terms,

In good set terms and yet a motley fool.

'Good morrow, fool,' quoth I. 'No, sir,' quoth he,

'Call me not fool till heaven hath sent me fortune:'

And then he drew a dial from his poke,

And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,

Says very wisely, 'It is ten o'clock:

Thus we may see,' quoth he, 'how the world wags:

'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,

And after one hour more 'twill be eleven;

And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,

And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;

And thereby hangs a tale.' When I did hear

The motley fool thus moral on the time,

My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,

That fools should be so deep-contemplative,

And I did laugh sans intermission

An hour by his dial. O noble fool!

A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.


What fool is this?


O worthy fool! One that hath been a courtier,

And says, if ladies be but young and fair,

They have the gift to know it: and in his brain,

Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit

After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd

With observation, the which he vents

In mangled forms. O that I were a fool!

I am ambitious for a motley coat.


Thou shalt have one.


It is my only suit;

Provided that you weed your better judgments

Of all opinion that grows rank in them

That I am wise. I must have liberty

Withal, as large a charter as the wind,

To blow on whom I please; for so fools have;

And they that are most galled with my folly,

They most must laugh. And why, sir, must they so?

The 'why' is plain as way to parish church:

He that a fool doth very wisely hit

Doth very foolishly, although he smart,

Not to seem senseless of the bob: if not,

The wise man's folly is anatomized

Even by the squandering glances of the fool.

Invest me in my motley; give me leave

To speak my mind, and I will through and through

Cleanse the foul body of the infected world,

If they will patiently receive my medicine.


Fie on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.


What, for a counter, would I do but good?


Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin:

For thou thyself hast been a libertine,

As sensual as the brutish sting itself;

And all the embossed sores and headed evils,

That thou with licence of free foot hast caught,

Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.


Why, who cries out on pride,

That can therein tax any private party?

Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,

Till that the weary very means do ebb?

What woman in the city do I name,

When that I say the city-woman bears

The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?

Who can come in and say that I mean her,

When such a one as she such is her neighbour?

Or what is he of basest function

That says his bravery is not of my cost,

Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits

His folly to the mettle of my speech?

There then; how then? what then? Let me see wherein

My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right,

Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free,

Why then my taxing like a wild-goose flies,

Unclaim'd of any man. But who comes here?

Enter ORLANDO, with his sword drawn


Forbear, and eat no more.


Why, I have eat none yet.


Nor shalt not, till necessity be served.


Of what kind should this cock come of?


Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy distress,

Or else a rude despiser of good manners,

That in civility thou seem'st so empty?


You touch'd my vein at first: the thorny point

Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show

Of smooth civility: yet am I inland bred

And know some nurture. But forbear, I say:

He dies that touches any of this fruit

Till I and my affairs are answered.


An you will not be answered with reason, I must die.


What would you have? Your gentleness shall force

More than your force move us to gentleness.


I almost die for food; and let me have it.


Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.


Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you:

I thought that all things had been savage here;

And therefore put I on the countenance

Of stern commandment. But whate'er you are

That in this desert inaccessible,

Under the shade of melancholy boughs,

Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time

If ever you have look'd on better days,

If ever been where bells have knoll'd to church,

If ever sat at any good man's feast,

If ever from your eyelids wiped a tear

And know what 'tis to pity and be pitied,

Let gentleness my strong enforcement be:

In the which hope I blush, and hide my sword.


True is it that we have seen better days,

And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church

And sat at good men's feasts and wiped our eyes

Of drops that sacred pity hath engender'd:

And therefore sit you down in gentleness

And take upon command what help we have

That to your wanting may be minister'd.


Then but forbear your food a little while,

Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn

And give it food. There is an old poor man,

Who after me hath many a weary step

Limp'd in pure love: till he be first sufficed,

Oppress'd with two weak evils, age and hunger,

I will not touch a bit.


Go find him out,

And we will nothing waste till you return.


I thank ye; and be blest for your good comfort!



Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:

This wide and universal theatre

Presents more woeful pageants than the scene

Wherein we play in.


All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,

That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Re-enter ORLANDO, with ADAM


Welcome. Set down your venerable burthen,

And let him feed.


I thank you most for him.


So had you need:

I scarce can speak to thank you for myself.


Welcome; fall to: I will not trouble you

As yet, to question you about your fortunes.

Give us some music; and, good cousin, sing.



Blow, blow, thou winter wind.

Thou art not so unkind

As man's ingratitude;

Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen,

Although thy breath be rude.

Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:

Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:

Then, heigh-ho, the holly!

This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,

That dost not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot:

Though thou the waters warp,

Thy sting is not so sharp

As friend remember'd not.

Heigh-ho! sing, and c.


If that you were the good Sir Rowland's son,

As you have whisper'd faithfully you were,

And as mine eye doth his effigies witness

Most truly limn'd and living in your face,

Be truly welcome hither: I am the duke

That loved your father: the residue of your fortune,

Go to my cave and tell me. Good old man,

Thou art right welcome as thy master is.

Support him by the arm. Give me your hand,

And let me all your fortunes understand.



SCENE I. A room in the palace.



Not see him since? Sir, sir, that cannot be:

But were I not the better part made mercy,

I should not seek an absent argument

Of my revenge, thou present. But look to it:

Find out thy brother, wheresoe'er he is;

Seek him with candle; bring him dead or living

Within this twelvemonth, or turn thou no more

To seek a living in our territory.

Thy lands and all things that thou dost call thine

Worth seizure do we seize into our hands,

Till thou canst quit thee by thy brothers mouth

Of what we think against thee.


O that your highness knew my heart in this!

I never loved my brother in my life.


More villain thou. Well, push him out of doors;

And let my officers of such a nature

Make an extent upon his house and lands:

Do this expediently and turn him going.


SCENE II. The forest.

Enter ORLANDO, with a paper


Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love:

And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey

With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,

Thy huntress' name that my full life doth sway.

O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books

And in their barks my thoughts I'll character;

That every eye which in this forest looks

Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where.

Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree

The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.




And how like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone?


Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good

life, but in respect that it is a shepherd's life,

it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I

like it very well; but in respect that it is

private, it is a very vile life. Now, in respect it

is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in

respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As

is it a spare life, look you, it fits my humour well;

but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much

against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?


No more but that I know the more one sickens the

worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money,

means and content is without three good friends;

that the property of rain is to wet and fire to

burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep, and that a

great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that

he that hath learned no wit by nature nor art may

complain of good breeding or comes of a very dull kindred.


Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast ever in

court, shepherd?


No, truly.


Then thou art damned.


Nay, I hope.


Truly, thou art damned like an ill-roasted egg, all

on one side.


For not being at court? Your reason.


Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never sawest

good manners; if thou never sawest good manners,

then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is

sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous

state, shepherd.


Not a whit, Touchstone: those that are good manners

at the court are as ridiculous in the country as the

behavior of the country is most mockable at the

court. You told me you salute not at the court, but

you kiss your hands: that courtesy would be

uncleanly, if courtiers were shepherds.


Instance, briefly; come, instance.


Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their

fells, you know, are greasy.


Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? and is not

the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of

a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say; come.


Besides, our hands are hard.


Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again.

A more sounder instance, come.


And they are often tarred over with the surgery of

our sheep: and would you have us kiss tar? The

courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.


Most shallow man! thou worms-meat, in respect of a

good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and

perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar, the

very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.


You have too courtly a wit for me: I'll rest.


Wilt thou rest damned? God help thee, shallow man!

God make incision in thee! thou art raw.


Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get

that I wear, owe no man hate, envy no man's

happiness, glad of other men's good, content with my

harm, and the greatest of my pride is to see my ewes

graze and my lambs suck.


That is another simple sin in you, to bring the ewes

and the rams together and to offer to get your

living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a

bell-wether, and to betray a she-lamb of a

twelvemonth to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram,

out of all reasonable match. If thou beest not

damned for this, the devil himself will have no

shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst



Here comes young Master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.

Enter ROSALIND, with a paper, reading


From the east to western Ind,

No jewel is like Rosalind.

Her worth, being mounted on the wind,

Through all the world bears Rosalind.

All the pictures fairest lined

Are but black to Rosalind.

Let no fair be kept in mind

But the fair of Rosalind.


I'll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners and

suppers and sleeping-hours excepted: it is the

right butter-women's rank to market.


Out, fool!


For a taste:

If a hart do lack a hind,

Let him seek out Rosalind.

If the cat will after kind,

So be sure will Rosalind.

Winter garments must be lined,

So must slender Rosalind.

They that reap must sheaf and bind;

Then to cart with Rosalind.

Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,

Such a nut is Rosalind.

He that sweetest rose will find

Must find love's prick and Rosalind.

This is the very false gallop of verses: why do you

infect yourself with them?


Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.


Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.


I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it

with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit

i' the country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half

ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.


You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the

forest judge.

Enter CELIA, with a writing


Peace! Here comes my sister, reading: stand aside.



Why should this a desert be?

For it is unpeopled? No:

Tongues I'll hang on every tree,

That shall civil sayings show:

Some, how brief the life of man

Runs his erring pilgrimage,

That the stretching of a span

Buckles in his sum of age;

Some, of violated vows

'Twixt the souls of friend and friend:

But upon the fairest boughs,

Or at every sentence end,

Will I Rosalinda write,

Teaching all that read to know

The quintessence of every sprite

Heaven would in little show.

Therefore Heaven Nature charged

That one body should be fill'd

With all graces wide-enlarged:

Nature presently distill'd

Helen's cheek, but not her heart,

Cleopatra's majesty,

Atalanta's better part,

Sad Lucretia's modesty.

Thus Rosalind of many parts

By heavenly synod was devised,

Of many faces, eyes and hearts,

To have the touches dearest prized.

Heaven would that she these gifts should have,

And I to live and die her slave.


O most gentle pulpiter! what tedious homily of love

have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never

cried 'Have patience, good people!'


How now! back, friends! Shepherd, go off a little.

Go with him, sirrah.


Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat;

though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.



Didst thou hear these verses?


O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of

them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.


That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.


Ay, but the feet were lame and could not bear

themselves without the verse and therefore stood

lamely in the verse.


But didst thou hear without wondering how thy name

should be hanged and carved upon these trees?


I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder

before you came; for look here what I found on a

palm-tree. I was never so be-rhymed since

Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat, which I

can hardly remember.


Trow you who hath done this?


Is it a man?


And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck.

Change you colour?


I prithee, who?


O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for friends to

meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes

and so encounter.


Nay, but who is it?


Is it possible?


Nay, I prithee now with most petitionary vehemence,

tell me who it is.


O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful

wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that,

out of all hooping!


Good my complexion! dost thou think, though I am

caparisoned like a man, I have a doublet and hose in

my disposition? One inch of delay more is a

South-sea of discovery; I prithee, tell me who is it

quickly, and speak apace. I would thou couldst

stammer, that thou mightst pour this concealed man

out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow-

mouthed bottle, either too much at once, or none at

all. I prithee, take the cork out of thy mouth that

may drink thy tidings.


So you may put a man in your belly.


Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his

head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?


Nay, he hath but a little beard.


Why, God will send more, if the man will be

thankful: let me stay the growth of his beard, if

thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.


It is young Orlando, that tripped up the wrestler's

heels and your heart both in an instant.


Nay, but the devil take mocking: speak, sad brow and

true maid.


I' faith, coz, 'tis he.






Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and

hose? What did he when thou sawest him? What said

he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes

him here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he?

How parted he with thee? and when shalt thou see

him again? Answer me in one word.


You must borrow me Gargantua's mouth first: 'tis a

word too great for any mouth of this age's size. To

say ay and no to these particulars is more than to

answer in a catechism.


But doth he know that I am in this forest and in

man's apparel? Looks he as freshly as he did the

day he wrestled?


It is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the

propositions of a lover; but take a taste of my

finding him, and relish it with good observance.

I found him under a tree, like a dropped acorn.


It may well be called Jove's tree, when it drops

forth such fruit.


Give me audience, good madam.




There lay he, stretched along, like a wounded knight.


Though it be pity to see such a sight, it well

becomes the ground.


Cry 'holla' to thy tongue, I prithee; it curvets

unseasonably. He was furnished like a hunter.


O, ominous! he comes to kill my heart.


I would sing my song without a burden: thou bringest

me out of tune.


Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must

speak. Sweet, say on.


You bring me out. Soft! comes he not here?



'Tis he: slink by, and note him.


I thank you for your company; but, good faith, I had

as lief have been myself alone.


And so had I; but yet, for fashion sake, I thank you

too for your society.


God be wi' you: let's meet as little as we can.


I do desire we may be better strangers.


I pray you, mar no more trees with writing

love-songs in their barks.


I pray you, mar no more of my verses with reading

them ill-favouredly.


Rosalind is your love's name?


Yes, just.


I do not like her name.


There was no thought of pleasing you when she was



What stature is she of?


Just as high as my heart.


You are full of pretty answers. Have you not been

acquainted with goldsmiths' wives, and conned them

out of rings?


Not so; but I answer you right painted cloth, from

whence you have studied your questions.


You have a nimble wit: I think 'twas made of

Atalanta's heels. Will you sit down with me? and

we two will rail against our mistress the world and

all our misery.


I will chide no breather in the world but myself,

against whom I know most faults.


The worst fault you have is to be in love.


'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue.

I am weary of you.


By my troth, I was seeking for a fool when I found



He is drowned in the brook: look but in, and you

shall see him.


There I shall see mine own figure.


Which I take to be either a fool or a cipher.


I'll tarry no longer with you: farewell, good

Signior Love.


I am glad of your departure: adieu, good Monsieur




[Aside to CELIA] I will speak to him, like a saucy

lackey and under that habit play the knave with him.

Do you hear, forester?


Very well: what would you?


I pray you, what is't o'clock?


You should ask me what time o' day: there's no clock

in the forest.


Then there is no true lover in the forest; else

sighing every minute and groaning every hour would

detect the lazy foot of Time as well as a clock.


And why not the swift foot of Time? had not that

been as proper?


By no means, sir: Time travels in divers paces with

divers persons. I'll tell you who Time ambles

withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops

withal and who he stands still withal.


I prithee, who doth he trot withal?


Marry, he trots hard with a young maid between the

contract of her marriage and the day it is

solemnized: if the interim be but a se'nnight,

Time's pace is so hard that it seems the length of

seven year.


Who ambles Time withal?


With a priest that lacks Latin and a rich man that

hath not the gout, for the one sleeps easily because

he cannot study, and the other lives merrily because

he feels no pain, the one lacking the burden of lean

and wasteful learning, the other knowing no burden

of heavy tedious penury; these Time ambles withal.


Who doth he gallop withal?


With a thief to the gallows, for though he go as

softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.


Who stays it still withal?


With lawyers in the vacation, for they sleep between

term and term and then they perceive not how Time moves.


Where dwell you, pretty youth?


With this shepherdess, my sister; here in the

skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.


Are you native of this place?


As the cony that you see dwell where she is kindled.


Your accent is something finer than you could

purchase in so removed a dwelling.


I have been told so of many: but indeed an old

religious uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was

in his youth an inland man; one that knew courtship

too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard

him read many lectures against it, and I thank God

I am not a woman, to be touched with so many

giddy offences as he hath generally taxed their

whole sex withal.


Can you remember any of the principal evils that he

laid to the charge of women?


There were none principal; they were all like one

another as half-pence are, every one fault seeming

monstrous till his fellow fault came to match it.


I prithee, recount some of them.


No, I will not cast away my physic but on those that

are sick. There is a man haunts the forest, that

abuses our young plants with carving 'Rosalind' on

their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns and elegies

on brambles, all, forsooth, deifying the name of

Rosalind: if I could meet that fancy-monger I would

give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the

quotidian of love upon him.


I am he that is so love-shaked: I pray you tell me

your remedy.


There is none of my uncle's marks upon you: he

taught me how to know a man in love; in which cage

of rushes I am sure you are not prisoner.


What were his marks?


A lean cheek, which you have not, a blue eye and

sunken, which you have not, an unquestionable

spirit, which you have not, a beard neglected,

which you have not; but I pardon you for that, for

simply your having in beard is a younger brother's

revenue: then your hose should be ungartered, your

bonnet unbanded, your sleeve unbuttoned, your shoe

untied and every thing about you demonstrating a

careless desolation; but you are no such man; you

are rather point-device in your accoutrements as

loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other.


Fair youth, I would I could make thee believe I love.


Me believe it! you may as soon make her that you

love believe it; which, I warrant, she is apter to

do than to confess she does: that is one of the

points in the which women still give the lie to

their consciences. But, in good sooth, are you he

that hangs the verses on the trees, wherein Rosalind

is so admired?


I swear to thee, youth, by the white hand of

Rosalind, I am that he, that unfortunate he.


But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?


Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.


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. Yet I profess curing it by counsel.


Did you ever cure any so?


Yes, one, and in this manner. He was to imagine me

his love, his mistress; and I set him every day to

woo me: at which time would I, being but a moonish

youth, grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing

and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow,

inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles, for every

passion something and for no passion truly any

thing, as boys and women are for the most part

cattle of this colour; would now like him, now loathe

him; then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep

for him, then spit at him; that I drave my suitor

from his mad humour of love to a living humour of

madness; which was, to forswear the full stream of

the world, and to live in a nook merely monastic.

And thus I cured him; and this way will I take upon

me to wash your liver as clean as a sound sheep's

heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't.


I would not be cured, youth.


I would cure you, if you would but call me Rosalind

and come every day to my cote and woo me.


Now, by the faith of my love, I will: tell me

where it is.


Go with me to it and I'll show it you and by the way

you shall tell me where in the forest you live.

Will you go?


With all my heart, good youth.


Nay you must call me Rosalind. Come, sister, will you go?


SCENE III. The forest.



Come apace, good Audrey: I will fetch up your

goats, Audrey. And how, Audrey? am I the man yet?

doth my simple feature content you?


Your features! Lord warrant us! what features!


I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most

capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.


[Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove

in a thatched house!


When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a

man's good wit seconded with the forward child

Understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a

great reckoning in a little room. Truly, I would

the gods had made thee poetical.


I do not know what 'poetical' is: is it honest in

deed and word? is it a true thing?


No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most

feigning; and lovers are given to poetry, and what

they swear in poetry may be said as lovers they do feign.


Do you wish then that the gods had made me poetical?


I do, truly; for thou swearest to me thou art

honest: now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some

hope thou didst feign.


Would you not have me honest?


No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favoured; for

honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.


[Aside] A material fool!


Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods

make me honest.


Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut

were to put good meat into an unclean dish.


I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.


Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness!

sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may

be, I will marry thee, and to that end I have been

with Sir Oliver Martext, the vicar of the next

village, who hath promised to meet me in this place

of the forest and to couple us.


[Aside] I would fain see this meeting.


Well, the gods give us joy!


Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart,

stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple

but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts. But what

though? C ourage! As horns are odious, they are

necessary. It is said, 'many a man knows no end of

his goods:' right; many a man has good horns, and

knows no end of them. Well, that is the dowry of

his wife; 'tis none of his own getting. Horns?

Even so. Poor men alone? No, no; the noblest deer

hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man

therefore blessed? No: as a walled town is more

worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a

married man more honourable than the bare brow of a

bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no

skill, by so much is a horn more precious than to

want. Here comes Sir Oliver.


Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met: will you

dispatch us here under this tree, or shall we go

with you to your chapel?


Is there none here to give the woman?


I will not take her on gift of any man.


Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.



Proceed, proceed I'll give her.


Good even, good Master What-ye-call't: how do you,

sir? You are very well met: God 'ild you for your

last company: I am very glad to see you: even a

toy in hand here, sir: nay, pray be covered.


Will you be married, motley?


As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb and

the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and

as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.


And will you, being a man of your breeding, be

married under a bush like a beggar? Get you to

church, and have a good priest that can tell you

what marriage is: this fellow will but join you

together as they join wainscot; then one of you will

prove a shrunk panel and, like green timber, warp, warp.


[Aside] I am not in the mind but I were better to be

married of him than of another: for he is not like

to marry me well; and not being well married, it

will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife.


Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.


'Come, sweet Audrey:

We must be married, or we must live in bawdry.

Farewell, good Master Oliver: not,--

O sweet Oliver,

O brave Oliver,

Leave me not behind thee: but,--

Wind away,

Begone, I say,

I will not to wedding with thee.



'Tis no matter: ne'er a fantastical knave of them

all shall flout me out of my calling.


SCENE IV. The forest.



Never talk to me; I will weep.


Do, I prithee; but yet have the grace to consider

that tears do not become a man.


But have I not cause to weep?


As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.


His very hair is of the dissembling colour.


Something browner than Judas's marry, his kisses are

Judas's own children.


I' faith, his hair is of a good colour.


An excellent colour: your chestnut was ever the only colour.


And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch

of holy bread.


He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana: a nun

of winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously;

the very ice of chastity is in them.


But why did he swear he would come this morning, and

comes not?


Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.


Do you think so?


Yes; I think he is not a pick-purse nor a

horse-stealer, but for his verity in love, I do

think him as concave as a covered goblet or a

worm-eaten nut.


Not true in love?


Yes, when he is in; but I think he is not in.


You have heard him swear downright he was.


'Was' is not 'is:' besides, the oath of a lover is

no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are

both the confirmer of false reckonings. He attends

here in the forest on the duke your father.


I met the duke yesterday and had much question with

him: he asked me of what parentage I was; I told

him, of as good as he; so he laughed and let me go.

But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a

man as Orlando?


O, that's a brave man! he writes brave verses,

speaks brave words, swears brave oaths and breaks

them bravely, quite traverse, athwart the heart of

his lover; as a puisny tilter, that spurs his horse

but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble

goose: but all's brave that youth mounts and folly

guides. Who comes here?



Mistress and master, you have oft inquired

After the shepherd that complain'd of love,

Who you saw sitting by me on the turf,

Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess

That was his mistress.


Well, and what of him?


If you will see a pageant truly play'd,

Between the pale complexion of true love

And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain,

Go hence a little and I shall conduct you,

If you will mark it.


O, come, let us remove:

The sight of lovers feedeth those in love.

Bring us to this sight, and you shall say

I'll prove a busy actor in their play.


SCENE V. Another part of the forest.



Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe;

Say that you love me not, but say not so

In bitterness. The common executioner,

Whose heart the accustom'd sight of death makes hard,

Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck

But first begs pardon: will you sterner be

Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?

Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN, behind


I would not be thy executioner:

I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.

Thou tell'st me there is murder in mine eye:

'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,

That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,

Who shut their coward gates on atomies,

Should be call'd tyrants, butchers, murderers!

Now I do frown on thee with all my heart;

And if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill thee:

Now counterfeit to swoon; why now fall down;

Or if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame,

Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers!

Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee:

Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains

Some scar of it; lean but upon a rush,

The cicatrice and capable impressure

Thy palm some moment keeps; but now mine eyes,

Which I have darted at thee, hurt thee not,

Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eyes

That can do hurt.


O dear Phebe,

If ever,--as that ever may be near,--

You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,

Then shall you know the wounds invisible

That love's keen arrows make.


But till that time

Come not thou near me: and when that time comes,

Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not;

As till that time I shall not pity thee.


And why, I pray you? Who might be your mother,

That you insult, exult, and all at once,

Over the wretched? What though you have no beauty,--

As, by my faith, I see no more in you

Than without candle may go dark to bed--

Must you be therefore proud and pitiless?

Why, what means this? Why do you look on me?

I see no more in you than in the ordinary

Of nature's sale-work. 'Od's my little life,

I think she means to tangle my eyes too!

No, faith, proud mistress, hope not after it:

'Tis not your inky brows, your black silk hair,

Your bugle eyeballs, nor your cheek of cream,

That can entame my spirits to your worship.

You foolish shepherd, wherefore do you follow her,

Like foggy south puffing with wind and rain?

You are a thousand times a properer man

Than she a woman: 'tis such fools as you

That makes the world full of ill-favour'd children:

'Tis not her glass, but you, that flatters her;

And out of you she sees herself more proper

Than any of her lineaments can show her.

But, mistress, know yourself: down on your knees,

And thank heaven, fasting, for a good man's love:

For I must tell you friendly in your ear,

Sell when you can: you are not for all markets:

Cry the man mercy; love him; take his offer:

Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.

So take her to thee, shepherd: fare you well.


Sweet youth, I pray you, chide a year together:

I had rather hear you chide than this man woo.


He's fallen in love with your foulness and she'll

fall in love with my anger. If it be so, as fast as

she answers thee with frowning looks, I'll sauce her

with bitter words. Why look you so upon me?


For no ill will I bear you.


I pray you, do not fall in love with me,

For I am falser than vows made in wine:

Besides, I like you not. If you will know my house,

'Tis at the tuft of olives here hard by.

Will you go, sister? Shepherd, ply her hard.

Come, sister. Shepherdess, look on him better,

And be not proud: though all the world could see,

None could be so abused in sight as he.

Come, to our flock.



Dead Shepherd, now I find thy saw of might,

'Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?'


Sweet Phebe,--


Ha, what say'st thou, Silvius?


Sweet Phebe, pity me.


Why, I am sorry for thee, gentle Silvius.


Wherever sorrow is, relief would be:

If you do sorrow at my grief in love,

By giving love your sorrow and my grief

Were both extermined.


Thou hast my love: is not that neighbourly?


I would have you.


Why, that were covetousness.

Silvius, the time was that I hated thee,

And yet it is not that I bear thee love;

But since that thou canst talk of love so well,

Thy company, which erst was irksome to me,

I will endure, and I'll employ thee too:

But do not look for further recompense

Than thine own gladness that thou art employ'd.


So holy and so perfect is my love,

And I in such a poverty of grace,

That I shall think it a most plenteous crop

To glean the broken ears after the man

That the main harvest reaps: loose now and then

A scatter'd smile, and that I'll live upon.


Know'st now the youth that spoke to me erewhile?


Not very well, but I have met him oft;

And he hath bought the cottage and the bounds

That the old carlot once was master of.


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

Between 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

I 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?


Phebe, with all my heart.


I'll write it straight;

The matter's in my head and in my heart:

I will be bitter with him and passing short.

Go with me, Silvius.



SCENE I. The forest.



I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted

with thee.


They say you are a melancholy fellow.


I am so; I do love it better than laughing.


Those that are in extremity of either are abominable

fellows and betray themselves to every modern

censure worse than drunkards.


Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.


Why then, 'tis good to be a post.


I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is

emulation, nor the musician's, which is fantastical,

nor the courtier's, which is proud, nor the

soldier's, which is ambitious, nor the lawyer's,

which is politic, nor the lady's, which is nice, nor

the lover's, which is all these: but it is a

melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples,

extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry's

contemplation of my travels, in which my often

rumination wraps me m a most humorous sadness.


A traveller! By my faith, you have great reason to

be sad: I fear you have sold your own lands to see

other men's; then, to have seen much and to have

nothing, is to have rich eyes and poor hands.


Yes, I have gained my experience.


And your experience makes you sad: I had rather have

a fool to make me merry than experience to make me

sad; and to travel for it too!



Good day and happiness, dear Rosalind!


Nay, then, God be wi' you, an you talk in blank verse.



Farewell, Monsieur Traveller: look you lisp and

wear strange suits, disable all the benefits of your

own country, be out of love with your nativity and

almost chide God for making you that countenance you

are, or I will scarce think you have swam in a

gondola. Why, how now, Orlando! where have you been

all this while? You a lover! An you serve me such

another trick, never come in my sight more.


My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my promise.


Break an hour's promise in love! He that will

divide a minute into a thousand parts and break but

a part of the thousandth part of a minute in the

affairs of love, it may be said of him that Cupid

hath clapped him o' the shoulder, but I'll warrant

him heart-whole.


Pardon me, dear Rosalind.


Nay, an you be so tardy, come no more in my sight: I

had as lief be wooed of a snail.


Of a snail?


Ay, of a snail; for though he comes slowly, he

carries his house on his head; a better jointure,

I think, than you make a woman: besides he brings

his destiny with him.


What's that?


Why, horns, which such as you are fain to be

beholding to your wives for: but he comes armed in

his fortune and prevents the slander of his wife.


Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous.


And I am your Rosalind.


It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a

Rosalind of a better leer than you.


Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday

humour and like enough to consent. What would you

say to me now, an I were your very very Rosalind?


I would kiss before I spoke.


Nay, you were better speak first, and when you were

gravelled for lack of matter, you might take

occasion to kiss. Very good orators, when they are

out, they will spit; and for lovers lacking--God

warn us!--matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.


How if the kiss be denied?


Then she puts you to entreaty, and there begins new matter.


Who could be out, being before his beloved mistress?


Marry, that should you, if I were your mistress, or

I should think my honesty ranker than my wit.


What, of my suit?


Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your suit.

Am not I your Rosalind?


I take some joy to say you are, because I would be

talking of her.


Well in her person I say I will not have you.


Then in mine own person I die.


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.


I would not have my right Rosalind of this mind,

for, I protest, her frown might kill me.


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



Then love me, Rosalind.


Yes, faith, will I, Fridays and Saturdays and all.


And wilt thou have me?


Ay, and twenty such.


What sayest thou?


Are you not good?


I hope so.


Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?

Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry us.

Give me your hand, Orlando. What do you say, sister?


Pray thee, marry us.


I cannot say the words.


You must begin, 'Will you, Orlando--'


Go to. Will you, Orlando, have to wife this Rosalind?


I will.


Ay, but when?


Why now; as fast as she can marry us.


Then you must say 'I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.'


I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.


I might ask you for your commission; but I do take

thee, Orlando, for my husband: there's a girl goes

before the priest; and certainly a woman's thought

runs before her actions.


So do all thoughts; they are winged.


Now tell me how long you would have her after you

have possessed her.


For ever and a day.


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.


But will my Rosalind do so?


By my life, she will do as I do.


O, but she is wise.


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.


A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might say

'Wit, whither wilt?'


Nay, you might keep that cheque for it till you met

your wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.


And what wit could wit have to excuse that?


Marry, to say she came to seek you there. You shall

never take her without her answer, unless you take

her without her tongue. O, that woman that cannot

make her fault her husband's occasion, let her

never nurse her child herself, for she will breed

it like a fool!


For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.


Alas! dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours.


I must attend the duke at dinner: by two o'clock I

will be with thee again.


Ay, go your ways, go your ways; I knew what you

would prove: my friends told me as much, and I

thought no less: that flattering tongue of yours

won me: 'tis but one cast away, and so, come,

death! Two o'clock is your hour?


Ay, sweet Rosalind.


By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God mend

me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous,

if you break one jot of your promise or come one

minute behind your hour, I will think you the most

pathetical break-promise and the most hollow lover

and the most unworthy of her you call Rosalind that

may be chosen out of the gross band of the

unfaithful: therefore beware my censure and keep

your promise.


With no less religion than if thou wert indeed my

Rosalind: so adieu.


Well, Time is the old justice that examines all such

offenders, and let Time try: adieu.



You have simply misused our sex in your love-prate:

we must have your doublet and hose plucked over your

head, and show the world what the bird hath done to

her own nest.


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.


Or rather, bottomless, that as fast as you pour

affection in, it runs out.


No, that same wicked bastard of Venus that was begot

of thought, conceived of spleen and born of madness,

that blind rascally boy that abuses every one's eyes

because his own are out, let him be judge how deep I

am in love. I'll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out

of the sight of Orlando: I'll go find a shadow and

sigh till he come.


And I'll sleep.


SCENE II. The forest.

Enter JAQUES, Lords, and Foresters


Which is he that killed the deer?

A Lord

Sir, it was I.


Let's present him to the duke, like a Roman

conqueror; and it would do well to set the deer's

horns upon his head, for a branch of victory. Have

you no song, forester, for this purpose?


Yes, sir.


Sing it: 'tis no matter how it be in tune, so it

make noise enough.



What shall he have that kill'd the deer?

His leather skin and horns to wear.

Then sing him home;

The rest shall bear this burden

Take thou no scorn to wear the horn;

It was a crest ere thou wast born:

Thy father's father wore it,

And thy father bore it:

The horn, the horn, the lusty horn

Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.


SCENE III. The forest.



How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock? and

here much Orlando!


I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain, he

hath ta'en his bow and arrows and is gone forth to

sleep. Look, who comes here.



My errand is to you, fair youth;

My gentle Phebe bid me give you this:

I know not the contents; but, as I guess

By the stern brow and waspish action

Which she did use as she was writing of it,

It bears an angry tenor: pardon me:

I am but as a guiltless messenger.


Patience herself would startle at this letter

And play the swaggerer; bear this, bear all:

She says I am not fair, that I lack manners;

She calls me proud, and that she could not love me,

Were man as rare as phoenix. 'Od's my will!

Her love is not the hare that I do hunt:

Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,

This is a letter of your own device.


No, I protest, I know not the contents:

Phebe did write it.


Come, come, you are a fool

And turn'd into the extremity of love.

I saw her hand: she has a leathern hand.

A freestone-colour'd hand; I verily did think

That her old gloves were on, but 'twas her hands:

She has a huswife's hand; but that's no matter:

I say she never did invent this letter;

This is a man's invention and his hand.


Sure, it is hers.


Why, 'tis a boisterous and a cruel style.

A style for-challengers; why, she defies me,

Like Turk to Christian: women's gentle brain

Could not drop forth such giant-rude invention

Such Ethiope words, blacker in their effect

Than in their countenance. Will you hear the letter?


So please you, for I never heard it yet;

Yet heard too much of Phebe's cruelty.


She Phebes me: mark how the tyrant writes.


Art thou god to shepherd turn'd,

That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?

Can a woman rail thus?


Call you this railing?



Why, thy godhead laid apart,

Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?

Did you ever hear such railing?

Whiles the eye of man did woo me,

That could do no vengeance to me.

Meaning me a beast.

If the scorn of your bright eyne

Have power to raise such love in mine,

Alack, in me what strange effect

Would they work in mild aspect!

Whiles you chid me, I did love;

How then might your prayers move!

He that brings this love to thee

Little knows this love in me:

And by him seal up thy mind;

Whether that thy youth and kind

Will the faithful offer take

Of me and all that I can make;

Or else by him my love deny,

And then I'll study how to die.


Call you this chiding?


Alas, poor shepherd!


Do you pity him? no, he deserves no pity. Wilt

thou love such a woman? What, to make thee an

instrument and play false strains upon thee! not to

be endured! Well, go your way to her, for I see

love hath made thee a tame snake, and say this to

her: that if she love me, I charge her to love

thee; if she will not, I will never have her unless

thou entreat for her. If you be a true lover,

hence, and not a word; for here comes more company.




Good morrow, fair ones: pray you, if you know,

Where in the purlieus of this forest stands

A sheep-cote fenced about with olive trees?


West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom:

The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream

Left on your right hand brings you to the place.

But at this hour the house doth keep itself;

There's none within.


If that an eye may profit by a tongue,

Then should I know you by description;

Such garments and such years: 'The boy is fair,

Of female favour, and bestows himself

Like a ripe sister: the woman low

And browner than her brother.' Are not you

The owner of the house I did inquire for?


It is no boast, being ask'd, to say we are.


Orlando doth commend him to you both,

And to that youth he calls his Rosalind

He sends this bloody napkin. Are you he?


I am: what must we understand by this?


Some of my shame; if you will know of me

What man I am, and how, and why, and where

This handkercher was stain'd.


I pray you, tell it.


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 wreathed 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.


O, I have heard him speak of that same brother;

And he did render him the most unnatural

That lived amongst men.


And well he might so do,

For well I know he was unnatural.


But, to Orlando: did he leave him there,

Food to the suck'd and hungry lioness?


Twice did he turn his back and purposed 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 awaked.


Are you his brother?


Wast you he rescued?


Was't you that did so oft contrive to kill him?


'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.


But, for the bloody napkin?


By and by.

When from the first to last betwixt us two

Tears our recountments had most kindly bathed,

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

Dyed in his blood unto the shepherd youth

That he in sport doth call his Rosalind.



Why, how now, Ganymede! sweet Ganymede!


Many will swoon when they do look on blood.


There is more in it. Cousin Ganymede!


Look, he recovers.


I would I were at home.


We'll lead you thither.

I pray you, will you take him by the arm?


Be of good cheer, youth: you a man! you lack a

man's heart.


I do so, I confess it. Ah, sirrah, a body would

think this was well counterfeited! I pray you, tell

your brother how well I counterfeited. Heigh-ho!


This was not counterfeit: there is too great

testimony in your complexion that it was a passion

of earnest.


Counterfeit, I assure you.


Well then, take a good heart and counterfeit to be a man.


So I do: but, i' faith, I should have been a woman by right.


Come, you look paler and paler: pray you, draw

homewards. Good sir, go with us.


That will I, for I must bear answer back

How you excuse my brother, Rosalind.


I shall devise something: but, I pray you, commend

my counterfeiting to him. Will you go?



SCENE I. The forest.



We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.


Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old

gentleman's saying.


A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile

Martext. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the

forest lays claim to you.


Ay, I know who 'tis; he hath no interest in me in

the world: here comes the man you mean.


It is meat and drink to me to see a clown: by my

troth, we that have good wits have much to answer

for; we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.



Good even, Audrey.


God ye good even, William.


And good even to you, sir.


Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy

head; nay, prithee, be covered. How old are you, friend?


Five and twenty, sir.


A ripe age. Is thy name William?


William, sir.


A fair name. Wast born i' the forest here?


Ay, sir, I thank God.


'Thank God;' a good answer. Art rich?


Faith, sir, so so.


'So so' is good, very good, very excellent good; and

yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?


Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.


Why, thou sayest well. I do now remember a saying,

'The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man

knows himself to be a fool.' The heathen

philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape,

would open his lips when he put it into his mouth;

meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and

lips to open. You do love this maid?


I do, sir.


Give me your hand. Art thou learned?


No, sir.


Then learn this of me: to have, is to have; for it

is a figure in rhetoric that drink, being poured out

of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty

the other; for all your writers do consent that ipse

is he: now, you are not ipse, for I am he.


Which he, sir?


He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you

clown, abandon,--which is in the vulgar leave,--the

society,--which in the boorish is company,--of this

female,--which in the common is woman; which

together is, abandon the society of this female, or,

clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better

understanding, diest; or, to wit I kill thee, make

thee away, translate thy life into death, thy

liberty into bondage: I will deal in poison with

thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy

with thee in faction; I will o'errun thee with

policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways:

therefore tremble and depart.


Do, good William.


God rest you merry, sir.




Our master and mistress seeks you; come, away, away!


Trip, Audrey! trip, Audrey! I attend, I attend.


SCENE II. The forest.



Is't possible that on so little acquaintance you

should like her? that but seeing you should love

her? and loving woo? and, wooing, she should

grant? and will you persever to enjoy her?


Neither call the giddiness of it in question, the

poverty of her, the small acquaintance, my sudden

wooing, nor her sudden consenting; but say with me,

I love Aliena; say with her that she loves me;

consent with both that we may enjoy each other: it

shall be to your good; for my father's house and all

the revenue that was old Sir Rowland's will I

estate upon you, and here live and die a shepherd.


You have my consent. Let your wedding be to-morrow:

thither will I invite the duke and all's contented

followers. Go you and prepare Aliena; for look

you, here comes my Rosalind.



God save you, brother.


And you, fair sister.



O, my dear Orlando, how it grieves me to see thee

wear thy heart in a scarf!


It is my arm.


I thought thy heart had been wounded with the claws

of a lion.


Wounded it is, but with the eyes of a lady.


Did your brother tell you how I counterfeited to

swoon when he showed me your handkerchief?


Ay, and greater wonders than that.


O, I know where you are: nay, 'tis true: there was

never any thing so sudden but the fight of two rams

and Caesar's thrasonical brag of 'I came, saw, and

overcame:' for your brother and my sister no sooner

met but they looked, no sooner looked but they

loved, no sooner loved but they sighed, no sooner

sighed but they asked one another the reason, no

sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy;

and in these degrees have they made a pair of stairs

to marriage which they will climb incontinent, or

else be incontinent before marriage: they are in

the very wrath of love and they will together; clubs

cannot part them.


They shall be married to-morrow, and I will bid the

duke to the nuptial. But, O, how bitter a thing it

is to look into happiness through another man's

eyes! By so much the more shall I to-morrow be at

the height of heart-heaviness, by how much I shall

think my brother happy in having what he wishes for.


Why then, to-morrow I cannot serve your turn for Rosalind?


I can live no longer by thinking.


I will weary you then no longer with idle talking.

Know of me then, for now I speak to some purpose,

that I know you are a gentleman of good conceit: I

speak not this that you should bear a good opinion

of my knowledge, insomuch I say I know you are;

neither do I labour for a greater esteem than may in

some little measure draw a belief from you, to do

yourself good and not to grace me. Believe then, if

you please, that I can do strange things: I have,

since I was three year old, conversed with a

magician, most profound in his art and yet not

damnable. If you do love Rosalind so near the heart

as your gesture cries it out, when your brother

marries Aliena, shall you marry her: I know into

what straits of fortune she is driven; and it is

not impossible to me, if it appear not inconvenient

to you, to set her before your eyes tomorrow human

as she is and without any danger.


Speakest thou in sober meanings?


By my life, I do; which I tender dearly, though I

say I am a magician. Therefore, put you in your

best array: bid your friends; for if you will be

married to-morrow, you shall, and to Rosalind, if you will.


Look, here comes a lover of mine and a lover of hers.


Youth, you have done me much ungentleness,

To show the letter that I writ to you.


I care not if I have: it is my study

To seem despiteful and ungentle to you:

You are there followed by a faithful shepherd;

Look upon him, love him; he worships you.


Good shepherd, tell this youth what 'tis to love.


It is to be all made of sighs and tears;

And so am I for Phebe.


And I for Ganymede.


And I for Rosalind.


And I for no woman.


It is to be all made of faith and service;

And so am I for Phebe.


And I for Ganymede.


And I for Rosalind.


And I for no woman.


It is to be all made of fantasy,

All made of passion and all made of wishes,

All adoration, duty, and observance,

All humbleness, all patience and impatience,

All purity, all trial, all observance;

And so am I for Phebe.


And so am I for Ganymede.


And so am I for Rosalind.


And so am I for no woman.


If this be so, why blame you me to love you?


If this be so, why blame you me to love you?


If this be so, why blame you me to love you?


Who do you speak to, 'Why blame you me to love you?'


To her that is not here, nor doth not hear.


Pray you, no more of this; 'tis like the howling

of Irish wolves against the moon.


I will help you, if I can:


I would love you, if I could. To-morrow meet me all together.


I will marry you, if ever I marry woman, and I'll be

married to-morrow:


I will satisfy you, if ever I satisfied man, and you

shall be married to-morrow:


I will content you, if what pleases you contents

you, and you shall be married to-morrow.


As you love Rosalind, meet:


as you love Phebe, meet: and as I love no woman,

I'll meet. So fare you well: I have left you commands.


I'll not fail, if I live.


Nor I.


Nor I.


SCENE III. The forest.



To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will

we be married.


I do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is

no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the

world. Here comes two of the banished duke's pages.

Enter two Pages

First Page

Well met, honest gentleman.


By my troth, well met. Come, sit, sit, and a song.

Second Page

We are for you: sit i' the middle.

First Page

Shall we clap into't roundly, without hawking or

spitting or saying we are hoarse, which are the only

prologues to a bad voice?

Second Page

I'faith, i'faith; and both in a tune, like two

gipsies on a horse.


It was a lover and his lass,

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,

That o'er the green corn-field did pass

In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,

When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding:

Sweet lovers love the spring.

Between the acres of the rye,

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino

These pretty country folks would lie,

In spring time, and c.

This carol they began that hour,

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,

How that a life was but a flower

In spring time, and c.

And therefore take the present time,

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino;

For love is crowned with the prime

In spring time, and c.


Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great

matter in the ditty, yet the note was very


First Page

You are deceived, sir: we kept time, we lost not our time.


By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear

such a foolish song. God be wi' you; and God mend

your voices! Come, Audrey.


SCENE IV. The forest.



Dost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy

Can do all this that he hath promised?


I sometimes do believe, and sometimes do not;

As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.



Patience once more, whiles our compact is urged:

You say, if I bring in your Rosalind,

You will bestow her on Orlando here?


That would I, had I kingdoms to give with her.


And you say, you will have her, when I bring her?


That would I, were I of all kingdoms king.


You say, you'll marry me, if I be willing?


That will I, should I die the hour after.


But if you do refuse to marry me,

You'll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd?


So is the bargain.


You say, that you'll have Phebe, if she will?


Though to have her and death were both one thing.


I have promised to make all this matter even.

Keep you your word, O duke, to give your daughter;

You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter:

Keep your word, Phebe, that you'll marry me,

Or else refusing me, to wed this shepherd:

Keep your word, Silvius, that you'll marry her.

If she refuse me: and from hence I go,

To make these doubts all even.



I do remember in this shepherd boy

Some lively touches of my daughter's favour.


My lord, the first time that I ever saw him

Methought he was a brother to your daughter:

But, my good lord, this boy is forest-born,

And hath been tutor'd in the rudiments

Of many desperate studies by his uncle,

Whom he reports to be a great magician,

Obscured in the circle of this forest.



There is, sure, another flood toward, and these

couples are coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of

very strange beasts, which in all tongues are called fools.


Salutation and greeting to you all!


Good my lord, bid him welcome: this is the

motley-minded gentleman that I have so often met in

the forest: he hath been a courtier, he swears.


If any man doubt that, let him put me to my

purgation. I have trod a measure; I have flattered

a lady; I have been politic with my friend, smooth

with mine enemy; I have undone three tailors; I have

had four quarrels, and like to have fought one.


And how was that ta'en up?


Faith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the

seventh cause.


How seventh cause? Good my lord, like this fellow.


I like him very well.


God 'ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I

press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country

copulatives, to swear and to forswear: according as

marriage binds and blood breaks: a poor virgin,

sir, an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own; a poor

humour of mine, sir, to take that that no man else

will: rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a

poor house; as your pearl in your foul oyster.


By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.


According to the fool's bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases.


But, for the seventh cause; how did you find the

quarrel on the seventh cause?


Upon a lie seven times removed:--bear your body more

seeming, Audrey:--as thus, sir. I did dislike the

cut of a certain courtier's beard: he sent me word,

if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the

mind it was: this is called the Retort Courteous.

If I sent him word again 'it was not well cut,' he

would send me word, he cut it to please himself:

this is called the Quip Modest. If again 'it was

not well cut,' he disabled my judgment: this is

called the Reply Churlish. If again 'it was not

well cut,' he would answer, I spake not true: this

is called the Reproof Valiant. If again 'it was not

well cut,' he would say I lied: this is called the

Counter-cheque Quarrelsome: and so to the Lie

Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.


And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?


I durst go no further than the Lie Circumstantial,

nor he durst not give me the Lie Direct; and so we

measured swords and parted.


Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?


O sir, we quarrel in print, by the book; as you have

books for good manners: I will name you the degrees.

The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the

Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the

fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the

Countercheque Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with

Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct. All

these you may avoid but the Lie Direct; and you may

avoid that too, with an If. I knew when seven

justices could not take up a quarrel, but when the

parties were met themselves, one of them thought but

of an If, as, 'If you said so, then I said so;' and

they shook hands and swore brothers. Your If is the

only peacemaker; much virtue in If.


Is not this a rare fellow, my lord? he's as good at

any thing and yet a fool.


He uses his folly like a stalking-horse and under

the presentation of that he shoots his wit.


Still Music


Then is there mirth in heaven,

When earthly things made even

Atone together.

Good duke, receive thy daughter

Hymen from heaven brought her,

Yea, brought her hither,

That thou mightst join her hand with his

Whose heart within his bosom is.


[To DUKE SENIOR] To you I give myself, for I am yours.


To you I give myself, for I am yours.


If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.


If there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind.


If sight and shape be true,

Why then, my love adieu!


I'll have no father, if you be not he:

I'll have no husband, if you be not he:

Nor ne'er wed woman, if you be not she.


Peace, ho! I bar confusion:

'Tis I must make conclusion

Of these most strange events:

Here's eight that must take hands

To join in Hymen's bands,

If truth holds true contents.

You and you no cross shall part:

You and you are heart in heart

You to his love must accord,

Or have a woman to your lord:

You and you are sure together,

As the winter to foul weather.

Whiles a wedlock-hymn we sing,

Feed yourselves with questioning;

That reason wonder may diminish,

How thus we met, and these things finish.


Wedding is great Juno's crown:

O blessed bond of board and bed!

'Tis Hymen peoples every town;

High wedlock then be honoured:

Honour, high honour and renown,

To Hymen, god of every town!


O my dear niece, welcome thou art to me!

Even daughter, welcome, in no less degree.


I will not eat my word, now thou art mine;

Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.



Let me have audience for a word or two:

I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,

That bring these tidings to this fair assembly.

Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day

Men of great worth resorted to this forest,

Address'd a mighty power; which were on foot,

In his own conduct, purposely to take

His brother here and put him to the sword:

And to the skirts of this wild wood he came;

Where meeting with an old religious man,

After some question with him, was converted

Both from his enterprise and from the world,

His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother,

And all their lands restored to them again

That were with him exiled. This to be true,

I do engage my life.


Welcome, young man;

Thou offer'st fairly to thy brothers' wedding:

To one his lands withheld, and to the other

A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.

First, in this forest, let us do those ends

That here were well begun and well begot:

And after, every of this happy number

That have endured shrewd days and nights with us

Shall share the good of our returned fortune,

According to the measure of their states.

Meantime, forget this new-fall'n dignity

And fall into our rustic revelry.

Play, music! And you, brides and bridegrooms all,

With measure heap'd in joy, to the measures fall.


Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,

The duke hath put on a religious life

And thrown into neglect the pompous court?


He hath.


To him will I : out of these convertites

There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.


You to your former honour I bequeath;

Your patience and your virtue well deserves it:


You to a love that your true faith doth merit:


You to your land and love and great allies:


You to a long and well-deserved bed:


And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage

Is but for two months victuall'd. So, to your pleasures:

I am for other than for dancing measures.


Stay, Jaques, stay.


To see no pastime I what you would have

I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave.



Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites,

As we do trust they'll end, in true delights.

A dance



It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue;

but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord

the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs

no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no

epilogue; yet to good wine they do use good bushes,

and good plays prove the better by the help of good

epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am

neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with

you in the behalf of a good play! I am not

furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not

become me: my way is to conjure you; and I'll begin

with the women. 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.