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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.
    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.