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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.

    Scena Septima.

    Enter Duke Sen. & Lord, like Out-lawes.
    Du.Sen. I thinke he be transform'd into a beast,
    For I can no where finde him, like a man.
    9751.Lord. My Lord, he is but euen now gone hence,
    Heere was he merry, hearing of a Song.
    Du.Sen. If he compact of iarres, grow Musicall,
    We shall haue shortly discord in the Spheares:
    Go seeke him, tell him I would speake with him.

    980Enter Iaques.
    1.Lord. He saues my labor by his owne approach.
    Du.Sen. Why how now Monsieur, what a life is this
    That your poore friends must woe your companie,
    What, you looke merrily.
    985Iaq. A Foole, a foole: I met a foole i'th Forrest,
    A motley Foole (a miserable world:)
    As I do liue by foode, I met a foole,
    Who laid him downe, and bask'd him in the Sun,
    And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good termes,
    990In good set termes, and yet a motley foole.
    Good morrow foole (quoth I:) no Sir, quoth he,
    Call me not foole, till heauen hath sent me fortune,
    And then he drew a diall from his poake,
    And looking on it, with lacke-lustre eye,
    995Sayes, very wisely, it is ten a clocke:
    Thus we may see (quoth he) how the world wagges:
    'Tis but an houre agoe, since it was nine,
    And after one houre more, 'twill be eleuen,
    And so from houre to houre, we ripe, and ripe,
    1000And then from houre to houre, we rot, and rot,
    And thereby hangs a tale. When I did heare
    The motley Foole, thus morall on the time,
    My Lungs began to crow like Chanticleere,
    That Fooles should be so deepe contemplatiue:
    1005And I did laugh, sans intermission
    An houre by his diall. Oh noble foole,
    A worthy foole: Motley's the onely weare.
    Du.Sen. What foole is this?
    Iaq. O worthie Foole: One that hath bin a Courtier
    1010And sayes, if Ladies be but yong, and faire,
    They haue the gift to know it: and in his braiue,
    Which is as drie as the remainder bisket
    After a voyage: He hath strange places cram'd
    With obseruation, the which he vents
    1015In mangled formes. O that I were a foole,
    I am ambitious for a motley coat.
    Du.Sen. Thou shalt haue one.
    Iaq. It is my onely suite,
    Prouided that you weed your better iudgements
    1020Of all opinion that growes ranke in them,
    That I am wise. I must haue liberty
    Wiithall, as large a Charter as the winde,
    To blow on whom I please, for so fooles haue:
    And they that are most gauled with my folly,
    1025They most must laugh: And why sir must they so?
    The why is plaine, as way to Parish Church:
    Hee, that a Foole doth very wisely hit,
    Doth very foolishly, although he smart
    Seeme senselesse of the bob. If not,
    1030The Wise-mans folly is anathomiz'd
    Euen by the squandring glances of the foole.

    Inuest me in my motley: Giue me leaue
    To speake my minde, and I will through and through
    Cleanse the foule bodie of th'infected world,
    1035If they will patiently receiue my medicine.
    Du.Sen. Fie on thee. I can tell what thou wouldst do.
    Iaq. What, for a Counter, would I do, but good?
    Du.Sen. Most mischeeuous foule sin, in chiding sin:
    For thou thy selfe hast bene a Libertine,
    1040As sensuall as the brutish sting it selfe,
    And all th'imbossed sores, and headed euils,
    That thou with license of free foot hast caught,
    Would'st thou disgorge into the generall world.
    Iaq. Why who cries out on pride,
    1045That can therein taxe any priuate party:
    Doth it not flow as hugely as the Sea,
    Till that the wearie verie meanes do ebbe.
    What woman in the Citie do I name,
    When that I say the City woman beares
    1050The cost of Princes on vnworthy shoulders?
    Who can come in, and say that I meane her,
    When such a one as shee, such is her neighbor?
    Or what is he of basest function,
    That sayes his brauerie is not on my cost,
    1055Thinking that I meane him, but therein suites
    His folly to the mettle of my speech,
    There then, how then, what then, let me see wherein
    My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right,
    Then he hath wrong'd himselfe: if he be free,
    1060why then my taxing like a wild-goose flies
    Vnclaim'd of any. man But who come here?

    Enter Orlando.
    Orl. Forbeare, and eate no more.
    Iaq. Why I haue eate none yet.
    1065Orl. Nor shalt not, till necessity be seru'd.
    Iaq. Of what kinde should this Cocke come of?
    Du.Sen. Art thou thus bolden'd man by thy distres?
    Or else a rude despiser of good manners,
    That in ciuility thou seem'st so emptie?
    1070Orl. You touch'd my veine at first, the thorny point
    Of bare distresse, hath tane from me the shew
    Of smooth ciuility: yet am I in-land bred,
    And know some nourture: But forbeare, I say,
    He dies that touches any of this fruite,
    1075Till I, and my affaires are answered.
    Iaq. And you will not be answer'd with reason,
    I must dye.
    Du.Sen. What would you haue?
    Your gentlenesse shall force, more then your force
    1080Moue vs to gentlenesse.
    Orl. I almost die for food, and let me haue it.
    Du.Sen. Sit downe and feed, & welcom to our table
    Orl. Speake you so gently? Pardon me I pray you,
    I thought that all things had bin sauage heere,
    1085And therefore put I on the countenance
    Of sterne command'ment. But what ere you are
    That in this desert inaccessible,
    Vnder the shade of melancholly boughes,
    Loose, and neglect the creeping houres of time:
    1090If euer you haue look'd on better dayes:
    If euer beene where bels haue knoll'd to Church:
    If euer sate at any good mans feast:
    If euer from your eye-lids wip'd a teare,
    And know what 'tis to pittie, and be pittied:
    1095Let gentlenesse my strong enforcement be,
    In the which hope, I blush, and hide my Sword.