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Speeches (Lines) for Touchstone
in "As You Like It"

Total: 74

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Speech text



Celia. Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither, but
Nature's, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull to reason of
such goddesses, and hath sent this natural for our whetstone; for
always the dullness of the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How
now, wit! Whither wander you?

Touchstone. Mistress, you must come away to your father.



Celia. Were you made the messenger?

Touchstone. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.



Rosalind. Where learned you that oath, fool?

Touchstone. Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were
good pancakes, and swore by his honour the mustard was naught.
Now I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the mustard
was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.



Rosalind. Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.

Touchstone. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear
by your beards that I am a knave.



Celia. By our beards, if we had them, thou art.

Touchstone. By my knavery, if I had it, then I were. But if you
swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn; no more was this
knight, swearing by his honour, for he never had any; or if he
had, he had sworn it away before ever he saw those pancackes or
that mustard.



Celia. Prithee, who is't that thou mean'st?

Touchstone. One that old Frederick, your father, loves.



Celia. My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough, speak no
more of him; you'll be whipt for taxation one of these days.

Touchstone. The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise
men do foolishly.



Rosalind. As wit and fortune will.

Touchstone. Or as the Destinies decrees.



Celia. Well said; that was laid on with a trowel.

Touchstone. Nay, if I keep not my rank-



Rosalind. Alas!

Touchstone. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have



Le Beau. Why, this that I speak of.

Touchstone. Thus men may grow wiser every day. It is the first time
that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.



Rosalind. O Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!

Touchstone. I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary.



Celia. I pray you bear with me; I cannot go no further.

Touchstone. For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear you;
yet I should bear no cross if I did bear you; for I think you
have no money in your purse.



Rosalind. Well, this is the Forest of Arden.

Touchstone. Ay, now am I in Arden; the more fool I; when I was at
home I was in a better place; but travellers must be content.



Rosalind. Alas, poor shepherd! searching of thy wound,
I have by hard adventure found mine own.

Touchstone. And I mine. I remember, when I was in love, I broke my
sword upon a stone, and bid him take that for coming a-night to
Jane Smile; and I remember the kissing of her batler, and the
cow's dugs that her pretty chapt hands had milk'd; and I remember
the wooing of peascod instead of her; from whom I took two cods,
and giving her them again, said with weeping tears 'Wear these
for my sake.' We that are true lovers run into strange capers;
but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal
in folly.



Rosalind. Thou speak'st wiser than thou art ware of.

Touchstone. Nay, I shall ne'er be ware of mine own wit till I break
my shins against it.



Rosalind. Jove, Jove! this shepherd's passion
Is much upon my fashion.

Touchstone. And mine; but it grows something stale with me.



Celia. I pray you, one of you question yond man
If he for gold will give us any food;
I faint almost to death.

Touchstone. Holla, you clown!



Corin. Who calls?

Touchstone. Your betters, sir.



Corin. And how like you this shepherd's life, Master Touchstone?

Touchstone. Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good
life; but in respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is nought.
In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well; but in
respect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now in
respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respect
it is not in the court, it is tedious. As it is a spare life,
look you, it fits my humour well; but as there is no more plenty
in it, it goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in
thee, shepherd?



Corin. No more but that I know the more one sickens the worse at
ease he is; and that he that wants money, means, and content, is
without three good friends; that the property of rain is to wet,
and fire to burn; that good pasture makes fat sheep; and that a
great cause of the night is lack of the sun; that he that hath
learned no wit by nature nor art may complain of good breeding,
or comes of a very dull kindred.

Touchstone. Such a one is a natural philosopher. Wast ever in
court, shepherd?



Corin. No, truly.

Touchstone. Then thou art damn'd.



Corin. Nay, I hope.

Touchstone. Truly, thou art damn'd, like an ill-roasted egg, all on
one side.



Corin. For not being at court? Your reason.

Touchstone. Why, if thou never wast at court thou never saw'st good
manners; if thou never saw'st good manners, then thy manners must
be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art
in a parlous state, shepherd.



Corin. Not a whit, Touchstone. Those that are good manners at the
court are as ridiculous in the country as the behaviour of the
country is most mockable at the court. You told me you salute not
at the court, but you kiss your hands; that courtesy would be
uncleanly if courtiers were shepherds.

Touchstone. Instance, briefly; come, instance.



Corin. Why, we are still handling our ewes; and their fells, you
know, are greasy.

Touchstone. Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? And is not the
grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow,
shallow. A better instance, I say; come.



Corin. Besides, our hands are hard.

Touchstone. Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again. A
more sounder instance; come.



Corin. And they are often tarr'd over with the surgery of our
sheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are
perfum'd with civet.

Touchstone. Most shallow man! thou worm's meat in respect of a good
piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is
of a baser birth than tar- the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend
the instance, shepherd.



Corin. You have too courtly a wit for me; I'll rest.

Touchstone. Wilt thou rest damn'd? God help thee, shallow man! God
make incision in thee! thou art raw.



Corin. Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that I
wear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other
men's good, content with my harm; and the greatest of my pride is
to see my ewes graze and my lambs suck.

Touchstone. That is another simple sin in you: to bring the ewes
and the rams together, and to offer to get your living by the
copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a bell-wether, and to betray
a she-lamb of a twelvemonth to crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram,
out of all reasonable match. If thou beest not damn'd for this,
the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how
thou shouldst scape.



Rosalind. 'From the east to western Inde,
No jewel is like Rosalinde.
Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
Through all the world bears Rosalinde.
All the pictures fairest lin'd
Are but black to Rosalinde.
Let no face be kept in mind
But the fair of Rosalinde.'

Touchstone. I'll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners, and
suppers, and sleeping hours, excepted. It is the right
butter-women's rank to market.



Rosalind. Out, fool!

Touchstone. For a taste:
If a hart do lack a hind,
Let him seek out Rosalinde.
If the cat will after kind,
So be sure will Rosalinde.
Winter garments must be lin'd,
So must slender Rosalinde.
They that reap must sheaf and bind,
Then to cart with Rosalinde.
Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
Such a nut is Rosalinde.
He that sweetest rose will find
Must find love's prick and Rosalinde.
This is the very false gallop of verses; why do you infect
yourself with them?



Rosalind. Peace, you dull fool! I found them on a tree.

Touchstone. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.



Rosalind. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a
medlar. Then it will be the earliest fruit i' th' country; for
you'll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that's the right
virtue of the medlar.

Touchstone. You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest
Enter CELIA, with a writing



Celia. How now! Back, friends; shepherd, go off a little; go with
him, sirrah.

Touchstone. Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat;
though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.



(stage directions). Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY; JAQUES behind

Touchstone. Come apace, good Audrey; I will fetch up your goats,
Audrey. And how, Audrey, am I the man yet? Doth my simple feature
content you?



Audrey. Your features! Lord warrant us! What features?

Touchstone. I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most
capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.



Jaques (lord). [Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a
thatch'd house!

Touchstone. When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's
good wit seconded with the forward child understanding, it
strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room.
Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.



Audrey. I do not know what 'poetical' is. Is it honest in deed and
word? Is it a true thing?

Touchstone. No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning,
and lovers are given to poetry; and what they swear in poetry may
be said as lovers they do feign.



Audrey. Do you wish, then, that the gods had made me poetical?

Touchstone. I do, truly, for thou swear'st to me thou art honest;
now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst



Audrey. Would you not have me honest?

Touchstone. No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favour'd; for honesty
coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.



Audrey. Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods make me

Touchstone. Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were
to put good meat into an unclean dish.



Audrey. I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.

Touchstone. Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness;
sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may be, I will
marry thee; and to that end I have been with Sir Oliver Martext,
the vicar of the next village, who hath promis'd to meet me in
this place of the forest, and to couple us.



Audrey. Well, the gods give us joy!

Touchstone. Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger
in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no
assembly but horn-beasts. But what though? Courage! As horns are
odious, they are necessary. It is said: 'Many a man knows no end
of his goods.' Right! Many a man has good horns and knows no end
of them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his
own getting. Horns? Even so. Poor men alone? No, no; the noblest
deer hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man therefore
blessed? No; as a wall'd town is more worthier than a village, so
is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare
brow of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no
skill, by so much is horn more precious than to want. Here comes
Sir Oliver.
Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met. Will you dispatch us here
under this tree, or shall we go with you to your chapel?



Sir Oliver Martext. Is there none here to give the woman?

Touchstone. I will not take her on gift of any man.



Jaques (lord). [Discovering himself] Proceed, proceed; I'll give her.

Touchstone. Good even, good Master What-ye-call't; how do you, sir?
You are very well met. Goddild you for your last company. I am
very glad to see you. Even a toy in hand here, sir. Nay; pray be



Jaques (lord). Will you be married, motley?

Touchstone. As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb, and
the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons
bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.



Jaques (lord). And will you, being a man of your breeding, be married
under a bush, like a beggar? Get you to church and have a good
priest that can tell you what marriage is; this fellow will but
join you together as they join wainscot; then one of you will
prove a shrunk panel, and like green timber warp, warp.

Touchstone. [Aside] I am not in the mind but I were better to be
married of him than of another; for he is not like to marry me
well; and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me
hereafter to leave my wife.



Jaques (lord). Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.

Touchstone. Come, sweet Audrey;
We must be married or we must live in bawdry.
Farewell, good Master Oliver. Not-
O sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver,
Leave me not behind thee.
Wind away,
Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee.



(stage directions). Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY

Touchstone. We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.



Audrey. Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old
gentleman's saying.

Touchstone. A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey, a most vile Martext.
But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to



(stage directions). Enter WILLIAM

Touchstone. It is meat and drink to me to see a clown. By my troth,
we that have good wits have much to answer for: we shall be
flouting; we cannot hold.



William. And good ev'n to you, sir.

Touchstone. Good ev'n, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy
head; nay, prithee be cover'd. How old are you, friend?



William. Five and twenty, sir.

Touchstone. A ripe age. Is thy name William?



William. William, sir.

Touchstone. A fair name. Wast born i' th' forest here?



William. Ay, sir, I thank God.

Touchstone. 'Thank God.' A good answer.
Art rich?



William. Faith, sir, so so.

Touchstone. 'So so' is good, very good, very excellent good; and
yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?



William. Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

Touchstone. Why, thou say'st well. I do now remember a saying: 'The
fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be
a fool.' The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a
grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth; meaning
thereby that grapes were made to eat and lips to open. You do
love this maid?



William. I do, sir.

Touchstone. Give me your hand. Art thou learned?



William. No, sir.

Touchstone. Then learn this of me: to have is to have; for it is a
figure in rhetoric that drink, being pour'd out of cup into a
glass, by filling the one doth empty the other; for all your
writers do consent that ipse is he; now, you are not ipse, for I
am he.



William. Which he, sir?

Touchstone. He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you
clown, abandon- which is in the vulgar leave- the society- which
in the boorish is company- of this female- which in the common is
woman- which together is: abandon the society of this female; or,
clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding, diest;
or, to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy life into
death, thy liberty into bondage. I will deal in poison with thee,
or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction;
will o'er-run thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and
fifty ways; therefore tremble and depart.



Corin. Our master and mistress seeks you; come away, away.

Touchstone. Trip, Audrey, trip, Audrey. I attend, I attend.



(stage directions). Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY

Touchstone. To-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will we
be married.



First Page. Well met, honest gentleman.

Touchstone. By my troth, well met. Come sit, sit, and a song.



Second Page. I'faith, i'faith; and both in a tune, like two gipsies
on a horse.
It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding.
Sweet lovers love the spring.
Between the acres of the rye,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country folks would lie,
In the spring time, &c.
This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower,
In the spring time, &c.
And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crowned with the prime,
In the spring time, &c.

Touchstone. Truly, young gentlemen, though there was no great
matter in the ditty, yet the note was very untuneable.



First Page. You are deceiv'd, sir; we kept time, we lost not our

Touchstone. By my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear such
a foolish song. God buy you; and God mend your voices. Come,
Audrey. Exeunt



Jaques (lord). There is, sure, another flood toward, and these couples are
coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of very strange beasts which
in all tongues are call'd fools.

Touchstone. Salutation and greeting to you all!



Jaques (lord). Good my lord, bid him welcome. This is the motley-minded
gentleman that I have so often met in the forest. He hath been a
courtier, he swears.

Touchstone. If any man doubt that, let him put me to my purgation.
I have trod a measure; I have flatt'red a lady; I have been
politic with my friend, smooth with mine enemy; I have undone
three tailors; I have had four quarrels, and like to have fought



Jaques (lord). And how was that ta'en up?

Touchstone. Faith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the
seventh cause.



Duke. I like him very well.

Touchstone. God 'ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I press in
here, sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear
and to forswear, according as marriage binds and blood breaks. A
poor virgin, sir, an ill-favour'd thing, sir, but mine own; a
poor humour of mine, sir, to take that that man else will. Rich
honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor house; as your pearl
in your foul oyster.



Duke. By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.

Touchstone. According to the fool's bolt, sir, and such dulcet



Jaques (lord). But, for the seventh cause: how did you find the quarrel on
the seventh cause?

Touchstone. Upon a lie seven times removed- bear your body more
seeming, Audrey- as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain
courtier's beard; he sent me word, if I said his beard was not
cut well, he was in the mind it was. This is call'd the Retort
Courteous. If I sent him word again it was not well cut, he would
send me word he cut it to please himself. This is call'd the Quip
Modest. If again it was not well cut, he disabled my judgment.
This is call'd the Reply Churlish. If again it was not well cut,
he would answer I spake not true. This is call'd the Reproof
Valiant. If again it was not well cut, he would say I lie. This
is call'd the Countercheck Quarrelsome. And so to the Lie
Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.



Jaques (lord). And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?

Touchstone. I durst go no further than the Lie Circumstantial, nor
he durst not give me the Lie Direct; and so we measur'd swords
and parted.



Jaques (lord). Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?

Touchstone. O, sir, we quarrel in print by the book, as you have
books for good manners. I will name you the degrees. The first,
the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the
Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the
Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance;
the seventh, the Lie Direct. All these you may avoid but the Lie
Direct; and you may avoid that too with an If. I knew when seven
justices could not take up a quarrel; but when the parties were
met themselves, one of them thought but of an If, as: 'If you
said so, then I said so.' And they shook hands, and swore
brothers. Your If is the only peace-maker; much virtue in If.

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