Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)

As you like it.
Ros. Where learned you that oath foole?
230Clo. Of a certaine Knight, that swore by his Honour
they were good Pan-cakes, and swore by his Honor the
Mustard was naught: Now Ile stand to it, the Pancakes
were naught, and the Mustard was good, and yet was
not the Knight forsworne.
235Cel. How proue you that in the great heape of your
Ros. I marry, now vnmuzzle your wisedome.
Clo. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chinnes,
and sweare by your beards that I am a knaue.
240Cel. By our beards (if we had them) thou art.
Clo. By my knauerie (if I had it) then I were: but if
you sweare by that that is not, you are not forsworn: no
more was this knight swearing by his Honor, for he ne-
uer had anie; or if he had, he had sworne it away, before
245euer he saw those Pancakes, or that Mustard.
Cel. Prethee, who is't that thou means't?
Clo. One that old Fredericke your Father loues.
Ros. My Fathers loue is enough to honor him enough;
speake no more of him, you'l be whipt for taxation one
250of these daies.
Clo. The more pittie that fooles may not speak wise-
ly, what Wisemen do foolishly.
Cel. By my troth thou saiest true: For, since the little
wit that fooles haue was silenced, the little foolerie that
255wise men haue makes a great shew; Heere comes Mon-
sieur the Beu.

Enter le Beau.

Ros. With his mouth full of newes.
Cel. Which he vvill put on vs, as Pigeons feed their
Ros. Then shal we be newes-cram'd.
Cel. All the better: we shalbe the more Marketable.
Boon-iour Monsieur le Beu, what's the newes?
Le Ben. Faire Princesse,
265you haue lost much good sport.
Cel. Sport: of what colour?
Le Beu. What colour Madame? How shall I aun-
swer you?
Ros. As wit and fortune will.
270Clo. Or as the destinies decrees.
Cel. Well said, that was laid on with a trowell.
Clo. Nay, if I keepe not my ranke.
Ros. Thou loosest thy old smell.
Le Beu. You amaze me Ladies: I would haue told
275you of good wrastling, which you haue lost the sight of.
Ros. Yet tell vs the manner of the Wrastling.
Le Beu. I wil tell you the beginning: and if it please
your Ladiships, you may see the end, for the best is yet
to doe, and heere where you are, they are comming to
280performe it.
Cel. Well, the beginning that is dead and buried.
Le Beu. There comes an old man, and his three sons.
Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale.
Le Beu. Three proper yong men, of excellent growth
285and presence.
Ros. With bils on their neckes: Be it knowne vnto
all men by these presents.
Le Beu. The eldest of the three, wrastled with Charles
the Dukes Wrastler, which Charles in a moment threw
290him, and broke three of his ribbes, that there is little
hope of life in him: So he seru'd the second, and so the
third: yonder they lie, the poore old man their Father,
making such pittiful dole ouer them, that all the behol-

ders take his part with weeping.
295Ros. Alas.
Clo. But what is the sport Monsieur, that the Ladies
haue lost?
Le Beu. Why this that I speake of.
Clo. Thus men may grow wiser euery day. It is the
300first time that euer I heard breaking of ribbes was sport
for Ladies.
Cel. Or I, I promise thee.
Ros. But is there any else longs to see this broken
Musicke in his sides? Is there yet another doates vpon
305rib-breaking? Shall we see this wrastling Cosin?
Le Beu. You must if you stay heere, for heere is the
place appointed for the wrastling, and they are ready to
performe it.
Cel. Yonder sure they are comming. Let vs now stay
310and see it.

Flourish. Enter Duke, Lords, Orlando, Charles,
and Attendants.

Duke. Come on, since the youth will not be intreated
His owne perill on his forwardnesse.
315Ros. Is yonder the man??
Le Beu. Euen he, Madam.
Cel. Alas, he is too yong: yet he looks successefully
Du. How now daughter, and Cousin:
Are you crept hither to see the wrastling?
320Ros. I my Liege, so please you giue vs leaue.
Du. You wil take little delight in it, I can tell you
there is such oddes in the man: In pitie of the challen-
gers youth, I would faine disswade him, but he will not
bee entreated. Speake to him Ladies, see if you can
325mooue him.
Cel. Call him hether good Monsieuer Le Beu.
Duke. Do so: Ile not be by.
Le Beu. Monsieur the Challenger, the Princesse cals
for you.
330Orl. I attend them with all respect and dutie.
Ros. Young man, haue you challeng'd Charles the
Orl. No faire Princesse: he is the generall challenger,
I come but in as others do, to try with him the strength
335of my youth.
Cel. Yong Gentleman, your spirits are too bold for
your yeares: you haue seene cruell proofe of this mans
strength, if you saw your selfe with your eies, or knew
your selfe with your iudgment, the feare of your aduen-
340ture would counsel you to a more equall enterprise. We
pray you for your owne sake to embrace your own safe-
tie, and giue ouer this attempt.
Ros. Do yong Sir, your reputation shall not therefore
be misprised: we wil make it our suite to the Duke, that
345the wrastling might not go forward.
Orl. I beseech you, punish mee not with your harde
thoughts, wherein I confesse me much guiltie to denie
so faire and excellent Ladies anie thing. But let your
faire eies, and gentle wishes go with mee to my triall;
350wherein if I bee foil'd, there is but one sham'd that vvas
neuer gracious: if kil'd, but one dead that is willing to
be so: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I haue none to
lament me: the world no iniurie, for in it I haue nothing:
onely in the world I fil vp a place, which may bee better
355supplied, when I haue made it emptie.
Ros. The little strength that I haue, I would it vvere
with you.