Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)


Actus Secundus. Scœna Prima.
605
Enter Duke Senior: Amyens, and two or three Lords
like Forresters.
Duk.Sen. Now my Coe-mates, and brothers in exile:
Hath not old custome made this life more sweete
Then that of painted pompe? Are not these woods
610More free from perill then the enuious Court?
Heere feele we not the penaltie of Adam,
The seasons difference, as the Icie phange
And churlish chiding of the winters winde,
Which when it bites and blowes vpon my body
615Euen till I shrinke with cold, I smile, and say
This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly perswade me what I am:
Sweet are the vses of aduersitie
Which like the toad, ougly and venemous,
620Weares yet a precious Iewell in his head:
And this our life exempt from publike haunt,
Findes tongues in trees, bookes in the running brookes,
Sermons in stones, and good in euery thing.
Amien. I would not change it, happy is your Grace
625That can translate the stubbornnesse of fortune
Into so quiet and so sweet a stile.
Du.Sen. Come, shall we goe and kill vs venison?
And yet it irkes me the poore dapled fooles
Being natiue Burgers of this desert City,
630Should intheir owne confines with forked heads
Haue their round hanches goard.
1. Lord. Indeed my Lord
The melancholy Iaques grieues at that,
And in that kinde sweares you doe more vsurpe
635Then doth your brother that hath banish'd you:
To day my Lord of Amiens, and my selfe,
Did steale behinde him as he lay along
Vnder an oake, whose anticke roote peepes out
Vpon the brooke that brawles along this wood,
640To the which place a poore sequestred Stag
That from the Hunters aime had tane a hurt,
Did come to languish; and indeed my Lord
The wretched annimall heau'd forth such groanes
That their discharge did stretch his leatherne coat
645Almost to bursting, and the big round teares
Cours'd one another downe his innocent nose
In pitteous chase: and thus the hairie foole,
Much marked of the melancholie Iaques,
Stood on th'extremest verge of the swift brooke,
650Augmenting it with teares.
Du.Sen. But what said Iaques?
Did he not moralize this spectacle?
1. Lord. O yes, into a thousand similies.
First, for his weeping into the needlesse streame;
655Poore Deere quoth he, thou mak'st a testament
As worldlings doe, giuing thy sum of more
To that which had too must: then being there alone,
Left and abandoned of his veluet friend;
'Tis right quoth he, thus miserie doth part
660The Fluxe of companie: anon a carelesse Heard
Full of the pasture, iumps along by him
And neuer staies to greet him: I quoth Iaques,
Sweepe on you fat and greazie Citizens,
'Tis iust the fashion; wherefore doe you looke
665Vpon that poore and broken bankrupt there?
Thus most inuectiuely he pierceth through
The body of Countrie, Citie, Court,
Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we
Are meere vsurpers, tyrants, and whats worse
670To fright the Annimals, and to kill them vp
In their assign'd and natiue dwelling place.
D.Sen. And did you leaue him in this contemplation?
2.Lord. We did my Lord, weeping and commenting
Vpon the sobbing Deere.
675Du.Sen. Show me the place,
I loue to cope him in these sullen fits,
For then he's full of matter.
1. Lor. Ile bring you to him strait.
Exeunt.