Internet Shakespeare Editions

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.
    Clow. Truely Shepheard, in respect of it selfe, it is a
    good life; but in respect that it is a shepheards life, it is
    1215naught. In respect that it is solitary, I like it verie well:
    but in respect that it is priuate, it is a very vild life. Now
    in respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth mee well: but in
    respect it is not in the Court, it is tedious. As it is a spare
    life (looke you) it fits my humor well: but as there is no
    1220more plentie in it, it goes much against my stomacke.
    Has't any Philosophie in thee shepheard?
    Cor. No more, but that I know the more one sickens,
    the worse at ease he is: and that hee that wants money,
    meanes, and content, is without three good frends. That
    1225the propertie of raine is to wet, and fire to burne: That
    pood pasture makes fat sheepe: and that a great cause of
    the night, is lacke of the Sunne: That hee that hath lear-
    ned no wit by Nature, nor Art, may complaine of good
    breeding, or comes of a very dull kindred.
    1230Clo. Such a one is a naturall Philosopher:
    Was't euer in Court, Shepheard?
    Cor. No truly.
    Clo. Then thou art damn'd.
    Cor. Nay, I hope.
    1235Clo. Truly thou art damn'd, like an ill roasted Egge,
    all on one side.
    Cor. For not being at Court? your reason.
    Clo. Why, if thou neuer was't at Court, thou neuer
    saw'st good manners: if thou neuer saw'st good maners,
    1240then thy manners must be wicked, and wickednes is sin,
    and sinne is damnation: Thou art in a parlous state shep-
    Cor. Not a whit Touchstone, those that are good ma-
    ners at the Court, are as ridiculous in the Countrey, as
    1245the behauiour of the Countrie is most mockeable at the
    Court. You told me, you salute not at the Court, but
    you kisse your hands; that courtesie would be vncleanlie
    if Courtiers were shepheards.
    Clo. Instance, briefly: come, instance.
    1250Cor. Why we are still handling our Ewes, and their
    Fels you know are greasie.
    Clo. Why do not your Courtiers hands sweate? and
    is not the grease of a Mutton, as wholesome as the sweat
    of a man? Shallow, shallow: A better instance I say:
    Cor. Besides, our hands are hard.
    Clo. Your lips wil feele them the sooner. Shallow a-
    gen: a more sounder instance, come.
    Cor. And they are often tarr'd ouer, with the surgery
    1260of our sheepe: and would you haue vs kisse Tarre? The
    Courtiers hands are perfum'd with Ciuet.
    Clo. Most shallow man: Thou wormes meate in re-
    spect of a good peece of flesh indeed: learne of the wise
    and perpend: Ciuet is of a baser birth then Tarre, the
    1265verie vncleanly fluxe of a Cat. Mend the instance Shep-
    Cor. You haue too Courtly a wit, for me, Ile rest.
    Clo. Wilt thou rest damn'd? God helpe thee shallow
    man: God make incision in thee, thou art raw.
    1270Cor. Sir, I am a true Labourer, I earne that I eate: get
    that I weare; owe no man hate, enuie no mans happi-
    nesse: glad of other mens good content with my harme:
    and the greatest of my pride, is to see my Ewes graze, &
    my Lambes sucke.
    1275Clo. That is another simple sinne in you, to bring the
    Ewes and the Rammes together, and to offer to get your
    liuing, by the copulation of Cattle, to be bawd to a Bel-
    weather, and to betray a shee-Lambe of a tweluemonth
    to a crooked-pated olde Cuckoldly Ramme, out of all
    1280reasonable match. If thou bee'st not damn'd for this, the
    diuell himselfe will haue no shepherds, I cannot see else
    how thou shouldst scape.
    Cor. Heere comes yong Mr Ganimed, my new Mistris-
    ses Brother.
    1285Enter Rosalind.

    Ros.From the east to westerne Inde,
    no iewel is like Rosalinde,
    Hir worth being mounted on the winde,
    through all the world beares Rosalinde.
    1290All the pictures fairest Linde,
    are but blacke to Rosalinde:
    Let no face bee kept in mind,
    but the faire of Rosalinde.

    Clo. Ile rime you so, eight yeares together; dinners,
    1295and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted: it is the right
    Butter-womens ranke to Market.
    Ros. Out Foole.
    Clo. For a taste.

    If a Hart doe lacke a Hinde,
    1300 Let him seeke out Rosalinde:
    If the Cat will after kinde,
    so be sure will Rosalinde:
    Wintred garments must be linde,
    so must slender Rosalinde:
    1305They that reap must sheafe and binde,
    then to cart with Rosalinde.
    Sweetest nut, hath sowrest rinde,
    such a nut is Rosalinde.
    He that sweetest rose will finde,
    1310 must finde Loues pricke, & Rosalinde.

    This is the verie false gallop of Verses, why doe you in-
    fect your selfe with them?
    Ros. Peace you dull foole, I found them on a tree.
    Clo. Truely the tree yeelds bad fruite.
    1315Ros. Ile graffe it with you, and then I shall graffe it
    with a Medler: then it will be the earliest fruit i'th coun-
    try: for you'l be rotten ere you bee halfe ripe, and that's
    the right vertue of the Medler.
    Clo. You haue said: but whether wisely or no, let the
    1320Forrest iudge.
    Enter Celia with a writing.
    Ros. Peace, here comes my sister reading, stand aside.

    Cel. Why should this Desert bee,
    for it is vnpeopled? Noe:
    1325Tonges Ile hang on euerie tree,
    that shall ciuill sayings shoe.
    Some, how briefe the Life of man
    runs his erring pilgrimage,
    That the stretching of a span,
    1330 buckles in his summe of age.
    Some of violated vowes,
    twixt the soules of friend, and friend:
    But vpon the fairest bowes,
    or at euerie sentence end;
    1335Will I Rosalinda write,
    teaching all that reade, to know
    The quintessence of euerie sprite,
    heauen would in little show.
    Therefore heauen Nature charg'd,
    1340 that one bodie shonld be fill'd
    With all Graces wide enlarg'd,
    nature presently distill'd