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About this text

  • Title: As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-369-4

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)

    As you like it.
    Lords haue put themselues into voluntary exile with
    him, whose lands and reuenues enrich the new Duke,
    105therefore he giues them good leaue to wander.
    Oli. Can you tell if Rosalind the Dukes daughter bee
    banished with her Father?
    Cha. O no; for the Dukes daughter her Cosen so
    loues her, being euer from their Cradles bred together,
    110that hee would haue followed her exile, or haue died to
    stay behind her; she is at the Court, and no lesse beloued
    of her Vncle, then his owne daughter, and neuer two La-
    dies loued as they doe.
    Oli. Where will the old Duke liue?
    115Cha. They say hee is already in the Forrest of Arden,
    and a many merry men with him; and there they liue
    like the old Robin Hood of England: they say many yong
    Gentlemen flocke to him euery day, and fleet the time
    carelesly as they did in the golden world.
    120Oli. What, you wrastle to morrow before the new
    Cha. Marry doe I sir: and I came to acquaint you
    with a matter: I am giuen sir secretly to vnderstand, that
    your yonger brother Orlando hath a disposition to come
    125in disguis'd against mee to try a fall: to morrow sir I
    wrastle for my credit, and hee that escapes me without
    some broken limbe, shall acquit him well: your brother
    is but young and tender, and for your loue I would bee
    loth to foyle him, as I must for my owne honour if hee
    130come in: therefore out of my loue to you, I came hither
    to acquaint you withall, that either you might stay him
    from his intendment, or brooke such disgrace well as he
    shall runne into, in that it is a thing of his owne search,
    and altogether against my will.
    135Oli. Charles, I thanke thee for thy loue to me, which
    thou shalt finde I will most kindly requite: I had my
    selfe notice of my Brothers purpose heerein, and haue by
    vnder-hand meanes laboured to disswade him from it;
    but he is resolute. Ile tell thee Charles, it is the stubbor-
    140nest yong fellow of France, full of ambition, an enuious
    emulator of euery mans good parts, a secret & villanous
    contriuer against mee his naturall brother: therefore vse
    thy discretion, I had as liefe thou didst breake his necke
    as his finger. And thou wert best looke to't; for if thou
    145dost him any slight disgrace, or if hee doe not mightilie
    grace himselfe on thee, hee will practise against thee by
    poyson, entrap thee by some treacherous deuise, and ne-
    uer leaue thee till he hath tane thy life by some indirect
    meanes or other: for I assure thee, (and almost with
    150teares I speake it) there is not one so young, and so vil-
    lanous this day liuing. I speake but brotherly of him,
    but should I anathomize him to thee, as hee is, I must
    blush, and weepe, and thou must looke pale and
    155Cha. I am heartily glad I came hither to you: if hee
    come to morrow, Ile giue him his payment: if euer hee
    goe alone againe, Ile neuer wrastle for prize more: and
    so God keepe your worship.
    Farewell good Charles. Now will I stirre this Game-
    160ster: I hope I shall see an end of him; for my soule (yet
    I know not why) hates nothing more then he: yet hee's
    gentle, neuer school'd, and yet learned, full of noble
    deuise, of all sorts enchantingly beloued, and indeed
    so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my
    165owne people, who best know him, that I am altogether
    misprised: but it shall not be so long, this wrastler shall
    cleare all: nothing remaines, but that I kindle the boy
    thither, which now Ile goe about.

    Scœna Secunda.

    Enter Rosalind, and Cellia.

    Cel. I pray thee Rosalind, sweet my Coz, be merry.
    Ros. Deere Cellia; I show more mirth then I am mi-
    stresse of, and would you yet were merrier: vnlesse you
    could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not
    175learne mee how to remember any extraordinary plea-
    Cel. Heerein I see thou lou'st mee not with the full
    waight that I loue thee; if my Vncle thy banished father
    had banished thy Vncle the Duke my Father, so thou
    180hadst beene still with mee, I could haue taught my loue
    to take thy father for mine; so wouldst thou, if the truth
    of thy loue to me were so righteously temper'd, as mine
    is to thee.
    Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my estate,
    185to reioyce in yours.
    Cel. You know my Father hath no childe, but I, nor
    none is like to haue; and truely when he dies, thou shalt
    be his heire; for what hee hath taken away from thy fa-
    ther perforce, I will render thee againe in affection: by
    190mine honor I will, and when I breake that oath, let mee
    turne monster: therefore my sweet Rose, my deare Rose,
    be merry.
    Ros. From henceforth I will Coz, and deuise sports:
    let me see, what thinke you of falling in Loue?
    195Cel. Marry I prethee doe, to make sport withall: but
    loue no man in good earnest, nor no further in sport ney-
    ther, then with safety of a pure blush, thou maist in ho-
    nor come off againe.
    Ros. What shall be our sport then?
    200Cel. Let vs sit and mocke the good houswife For-
    tune from her wheele, that her gifts may henceforth bee
    bestowed equally.
    Ros. I would wee could doe so: for her benefits are
    mightily misplaced, and the bountifull blinde woman
    205doth most mistake in her gifts to women.
    Cel. 'Tis true, for those that she makes faire, she scarce
    makes honest, & those that she makes honest, she makes
    very illfauouredly.
    Ros. Nay now thou goest from Fortunes office to Na-
    210tures: Fortune reignes in gifts of the world, not in the
    lineaments of Nature.

    Enter Clowne.
    Cel. No; when Nature hath made a faire creature,
    may she not by Fortune fall into the fire? though nature
    215hath giuen vs wit to flout at Fortune, hath not Fortune
    sent in this foole to cut off the argument?
    Ros. Indeed there is fortune too hard for nature, when
    fortune makes natures naturall, the cutter off of natures
    220Cel. Peraduenture this is not Fortunes work neither,
    but Natures, who perceiueth our naturall wits too dull
    to reason of such goddesses, hath sent this Naturall for
    our whetstone. for alwaies the dulnesse of the foole, is
    the whetstone of the wits. How now Witte, whether
    225wander you?
    Clow. Mistresse, you must come away to your farher.
    Cel. Were you made the messenger?
    Clo. No by mine honor, but I was bid to come for you