Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)

As you like it.
Phe. I wil not eate my word, now thou art mine,
2725Thy faith, my fancie to thee doth combine.

Enter Second Brother.
2. Bro. Let me haue audience for a word or two:
I am the second sonne of old Sir Rowland,
That bring these tidings to this faire assembly.
2730Duke Frederick hearing how that euerie day
Men of great worth resorted to this forrest,
Addrest a mightie power, which were on foote
In his owne conduct, purposely to take
His brother heere, and put him to the sword:
2735And to the skirts of this wilde Wood he came;
Where, meeting with an old Religious man,
After some question with him, was conuerted
Both from his enterprize, and from the world:
His crowne bequeathing to his banish'd Brother,
2740And all their Lands restor'd to him againe
That were with him exil'd. This to be true,
I do engage my life.
Du.Se. Welcome yong man:
Thou offer'st fairely to thy brothers wedding:
2745To one his lands with-held, and to the other
A land it selfe at large, a potent Dukedome.
First, in this Forrest, let vs do those ends
That heere vvete well begun, and wel begot:
And after, euery of this happie number
2750That haue endur'd shrew'd daies, and nights with vs,
Shal share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.
Meane time, forget this new-falne dignitie,
And fall into our Rusticke Reuelrie:
2755Play Musicke, and you Brides and Bride-groomes all,
With measure heap'd in ioy, to'th Measures fall.
Iaq. Sir, by your patience: if I heard you rightly,
The Duke hath put on a Religious life,
And throwne into neglect the pompous Court.
27602. Bro. He hath.
Iaq. To him will I: out of these conuertites,
There is much matter to be heard, and learn'd:
you to your former Honor, I bequeath
your patience, and your vertue, well deserues it.
2765you to a loue, that your true faith doth merit:
you to your land, and loue, and great allies:
you to a long, and well-deserued bed:
And you to wrangling, for thy louing voyage
Is but for two moneths victuall'd: So to your pleasures,
2770I am for other, then for dancing meazures.
Du.Se. Stay, Iaques, stay.
Iaq. To see no pastime, I: what you would haue,
Ile stay to know, at your abandon'd caue.
Du.Se. Proceed, proceed: wee'l begin these rights,
2775As we do trust, they'l end in true delights.
Ros. It is not the fashion to see the Ladie the Epi-
logue: but it is no more vnhandsome, then to see the
Lord the Prologue. If it be true, that good wine needs
no bush, 'tis true, that a good play needes no Epilogue.
2780Yet to good wine they do vse good bushes : and good
playes proue the better by the helpe of good Epilogues:
What a case am I in then, that am neither a good Epi-
logue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalfe of a
good play? I am not furnish'd like a Begger, therefore
2785to begge will not become mee. My way is to coniure
you, and Ile begin with the Women. I charge you (O
women) for the loue you beare to men, to like as much
of this Play, as please you: And I charge you (O men)
for the loue you beare to women (as I perceiue by your
2790simpring, none of you hates them) that betweene you,
and the women, the play may please. If I were a Wo-
man, I would kisse as many of you as had beards that
pleas'd me, complexions that lik'd me, and breaths that
I defi'de not : And I am sure, as many as haue good
2795beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will for my kind
offer, when I make curt'sie, bid me farewell.

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