Internet Shakespeare Editions

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. Exit.
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. Exit.

Scœna Secunda.

170Enter 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