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The little foolery that wise men have makes a great show.

      — As You Like It, Act I Scene 2


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As You Like It

Act II

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Scene 1. The Forest of Arden

Scene 2. The DUKE’S palace

Scene 3. Before OLIVER’S house

Scene 4. The Forest of Arden

Scene 5. Another part of the forest

Scene 6. The forest

Scene 7. The forest


Act II, Scene 1

The Forest of Arden

      next scene .

Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and two or three LORDS, like foresters

  • Duke. Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
    Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
    Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods 550
    More free from peril than the envious court?
    Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
    The seasons' difference; as the icy fang
    And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
    Which when it bites and blows upon my body, 555
    Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
    'This is no flattery; these are counsellors
    That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
    Sweet are the uses of adversity,
    Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, 560
    Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
    And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
    Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
    Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
    I would not change it. 565
  • Amiens. Happy is your Grace,
    That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
    Into so quiet and so sweet a style.
  • Duke. Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
    And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools, 570
    Being native burghers of this desert city,
    Should, in their own confines, with forked heads
    Have their round haunches gor'd.
  • First Lord. Indeed, my lord,
    The melancholy Jaques grieves at that; 575
    And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
    Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
    To-day my Lord of Amiens and myself
    Did steal behind him as he lay along
    Under an oak whose antique root peeps out 580
    Upon the brook that brawls along this wood!
    To the which place a poor sequest'red stag,
    That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
    Did come to languish; and, indeed, my lord,
    The wretched animal heav'd forth such groans 585
    That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
    Almost to bursting; and the big round tears
    Cours'd one another down his innocent nose
    In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool,
    Much marked of the melancholy Jaques, 590
    Stood on th' extremest verge of the swift brook,
    Augmenting it with tears.
  • Duke. But what said Jaques?
    Did he not moralize this spectacle?
  • First Lord. O, yes, into a thousand similes. 595
    First, for his weeping into the needless stream:
    'Poor deer,' quoth he 'thou mak'st a testament
    As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
    To that which had too much.' Then, being there alone,
    Left and abandoned of his velvet friends: 600
    'Tis right'; quoth he 'thus misery doth part
    The flux of company.' Anon, a careless herd,
    Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
    And never stays to greet him. 'Ay,' quoth Jaques
    'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens; 605
    'Tis just the fashion. Wherefore do you look
    Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
    Thus most invectively he pierceth through
    The body of the country, city, court,
    Yea, and of this our life; swearing that we 610
    Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse,
    To fright the animals, and to kill them up
    In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.
  • Duke. And did you leave him in this contemplation?
  • Second Lord. We did, my lord, weeping and commenting 615
    Upon the sobbing deer.
  • Duke. Show me the place;
    I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
    For then he's full of matter.
  • First Lord. I'll bring you to him straight. Exeunt 620
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 2

The DUKE’S palace

      next scene .


  • Frederick. Can it be possible that no man saw them?
    It cannot be; some villains of my court
    Are of consent and sufferance in this.
  • First Lord. I cannot hear of any that did see her. 625
    The ladies, her attendants of her chamber,
    Saw her abed, and in the morning early
    They found the bed untreasur'd of their mistress.
  • Second Lord. My lord, the roynish clown, at whom so oft
    Your Grace was wont to laugh, is also missing. 630
    Hisperia, the Princess' gentlewoman,
    Confesses that she secretly o'erheard
    Your daughter and her cousin much commend
    The parts and graces of the wrestler
    That did but lately foil the sinewy Charles; 635
    And she believes, wherever they are gone,
    That youth is surely in their company.
  • Frederick. Send to his brother; fetch that gallant hither.
    If he be absent, bring his brother to me;
    I'll make him find him. Do this suddenly; 640
    And let not search and inquisition quail
    To bring again these foolish runaways. Exeunt
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

Before OLIVER’S house

      next scene .

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting

  • Adam. What, my young master? O my gentle master! 645
    O my sweet master! O you memory
    Of old Sir Rowland! Why, what make you here?
    Why are you virtuous? Why do people love you?
    And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant?
    Why would you be so fond to overcome 650
    The bonny prizer of the humorous Duke?
    Your praise is come too swiftly home before you.
    Know you not, master, to some kind of men
    Their graces serve them but as enemies?
    No more do yours. Your virtues, gentle master, 655
    Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
    O, what a world is this, when what is comely
    Envenoms him that bears it!
  • Adam. O unhappy youth! 660
    Come not within these doors; within this roof
    The enemy of all your graces lives.
    Your brother- no, no brother; yet the son-
    Yet not the son; I will not call him son
    Of him I was about to call his father- 665
    Hath heard your praises; and this night he means
    To burn the lodging where you use to lie,
    And you within it. If he fail of that,
    He will have other means to cut you off;
    I overheard him and his practices. 670
    This is no place; this house is but a butchery;
    Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.
  • Orlando. Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?
  • Adam. No matter whither, so you come not here.
  • Orlando. What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food, 675
    Or with a base and boist'rous sword enforce
    A thievish living on the common road?
    This I must do, or know not what to do;
    Yet this I will not do, do how I can.
    I rather will subject me to the malice 680
    Of a diverted blood and bloody brother.
  • Adam. But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
    The thrifty hire I sav'd under your father,
    Which I did store to be my foster-nurse,
    When service should in my old limbs lie lame, 685
    And unregarded age in corners thrown.
    Take that, and He that doth the ravens feed,
    Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
    Be comfort to my age! Here is the gold;
    All this I give you. Let me be your servant; 690
    Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
    For in my youth I never did apply
    Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
    Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
    The means of weakness and debility; 695
    Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
    Frosty, but kindly. Let me go with you;
    I'll do the service of a younger man
    In all your business and necessities.
  • Orlando. O good old man, how well in thee appears 700
    The constant service of the antique world,
    When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
    Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
    Where none will sweat but for promotion,
    And having that do choke their service up 705
    Even with the having; it is not so with thee.
    But, poor old man, thou prun'st a rotten tree
    That cannot so much as a blossom yield
    In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
    But come thy ways, we'll go along together, 710
    And ere we have thy youthful wages spent
    We'll light upon some settled low content.
  • Adam. Master, go on; and I will follow thee
    To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.
    From seventeen years till now almost four-score 715
    Here lived I, but now live here no more.
    At seventeen years many their fortunes seek,
    But at fourscore it is too late a week;
    Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
    Than to die well and not my master's debtor. Exeunt 720
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 4

The Forest of Arden

      next scene .



  • Rosalind. O Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!
  • Touchstone. I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary.
  • Rosalind. I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel, 725
    and to cry like a woman; but I must comfort the weaker vessel, as
    doublet and hose ought to show itself courageous to petticoat;
    therefore, courage, good Aliena.
  • 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; 730
    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. 735


  • Rosalind. Ay, be so, good Touchstone. Look you, who comes here, a
    young man and an old in solemn talk.
  • Corin. That is the way to make her scorn you still.
  • Silvius. O Corin, that thou knew'st how I do love her! 740
  • Corin. I partly guess; for I have lov'd ere now.
  • Silvius. No, Corin, being old, thou canst not guess,
    Though in thy youth thou wast as true a lover
    As ever sigh'd upon a midnight pillow.
    But if thy love were ever like to mine, 745
    As sure I think did never man love so,
    How many actions most ridiculous
    Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?
  • Corin. Into a thousand that I have forgotten.
  • Silvius. O, thou didst then never love so heartily! 750
    If thou rememb'rest not the slightest folly
    That ever love did make thee run into,
    Thou hast not lov'd;
    Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,
    Wearing thy hearer in thy mistress' praise, 755
    Thou hast not lov'd;
    Or if thou hast not broke from company
    Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,
    Thou hast not lov'd.
    O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe! Exit Silvius 760
  • 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 765
    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 770
    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 775
    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. 780
  • Rosalind. Peace, fool; he's not thy kinsman.
  • Corin. Else are they very wretched. 785
  • Rosalind. Peace, I say. Good even to you, friend.
  • Corin. And to you, gentle sir, and to you all.
  • Rosalind. I prithee, shepherd, if that love or gold
    Can in this desert place buy entertainment,
    Bring us where we may rest ourselves and feed. 790
    Here's a young maid with travel much oppress'd,
    And faints for succour.
  • Corin. Fair sir, I pity her,
    And wish, for her sake more than for mine own,
    My fortunes were more able to relieve her; 795
    But I am shepherd to another man,
    And do not shear the fleeces that I graze.
    My master is of churlish disposition,
    And little recks to find the way to heaven
    By doing deeds of hospitality. 800
    Besides, his cote, his flocks, and bounds of feed,
    Are now on sale; and at our sheepcote now,
    By reason of his absence, there is nothing
    That you will feed on; but what is, come see,
    And in my voice most welcome shall you be. 805
  • Rosalind. What is he that shall buy his flock and pasture?
  • Corin. That young swain that you saw here but erewhile,
    That little cares for buying any thing.
  • Rosalind. I pray thee, if it stand with honesty,
    Buy thou the cottage, pasture, and the flock, 810
    And thou shalt have to pay for it of us.
  • Celia. And we will mend thy wages. I like this place,
    And willingly could waste my time in it.
  • Corin. Assuredly the thing is to be sold.
    Go with me; if you like upon report 815
    The soil, the profit, and this kind of life,
    I will your very faithful feeder be,
    And buy it with your gold right suddenly. Exeunt
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 5

Another part of the forest

      next scene .


  • Amiens. Under the greenwood tree 820
    Who loves to lie with me,
    And turn his merry note
    Unto the sweet bird's throat,
    Come hither, come hither, come hither.
    Here shall he see 825
    No enemy
    But winter and rough weather.
  • Amiens. It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.
  • Jaques (lord). I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck melancholy 830
    out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs. More, I prithee, more.
  • Amiens. My voice is ragged; I know I cannot please you.
  • Jaques (lord). I do not desire you to please me; I do desire you to sing.
    Come, more; another stanzo. Call you 'em stanzos?
  • Amiens. What you will, Monsieur Jaques. 835
  • Jaques (lord). Nay, I care not for their names; they owe me nothing. Will
    you sing?
  • Amiens. More at your request than to please myself.
  • Jaques (lord). Well then, if ever I thank any man, I'll thank you; but
    that they call compliment is like th' encounter of two dog-apes; 840
    and when a man thanks me heartily, methinks have given him a
    penny, and he renders me the beggarly thanks. Come, sing; and you
    that will not, hold your tongues.
  • Amiens. Well, I'll end the song. Sirs, cover the while; the Duke
    will drink under this tree. He hath been all this day to look 845
  • Jaques (lord). And I have been all this day to avoid him. He is too
    disputable for my company. I think of as many matters as he; but
    I give heaven thanks, and make no boast of them. Come, warble, come.
    SONG 850
    [All together here]
    Who doth ambition shun,
    And loves to live i' th' sun,
    Seeking the food he eats,
    And pleas'd with what he gets, 855
    Come hither, come hither, come hither.
    Here shall he see
    No enemy
    But winter and rough weather.
  • Jaques (lord). I'll give you a verse to this note that I made yesterday in 860
    despite of my invention.
  • Jaques (lord). Thus it goes:
    If it do come to pass
    That any man turn ass, 865
    Leaving his wealth and ease
    A stubborn will to please,
    Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame;
    Here shall he see
    Gross fools as he, 870
    An if he will come to me.
  • Amiens. What's that 'ducdame'?
  • Jaques (lord). 'Tis a Greek invocation, to call fools into a circle. I'll
    go sleep, if I can; if I cannot, I'll rail against all the
    first-born of Egypt. 875
  • Amiens. And I'll go seek the Duke; his banquet is prepar'd.

Exeunt severally

. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 6

The forest

      next scene .


  • Adam. Dear master, I can go no further. O, I die for food! Here lie
    I down, and measure out my grave. Farewell, kind master. 880
  • Orlando. Why, how now, Adam! No greater heart in thee? Live a
    little; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little. If this uncouth
    forest yield anything savage, I will either be food for it or
    bring it for food to thee. Thy conceit is nearer death than thy
    powers. For my sake be comfortable; hold death awhile at the 885
    arm's end. I will here be with thee presently; and if I bring thee
    not something to eat, I will give thee leave to die; but if thou
    diest before I come, thou art a mocker of my labour. Well said!
    thou look'st cheerly; and I'll be with thee quickly. Yet thou
    liest in the bleak air. Come, I will bear thee to some shelter; 890
    and thou shalt not die for lack of a dinner, if there live
    anything in this desert. Cheerly, good Adam! Exeunt
. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 7

The forest


A table set out. Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and LORDS, like outlaws

  • Duke. I think he be transform'd into a beast;
    For I can nowhere find him like a man. 895
  • First Lord. My lord, he is but even now gone hence;
    Here was he merry, hearing of a song.
  • Duke. If he, compact of jars, grow musical,
    We shall have shortly discord in the spheres.
    Go seek him; tell him I would speak with him. 900


  • First Lord. He saves my labour by his own approach.
  • Duke. Why, how now, monsieur! what a life is this,
    That your poor friends must woo your company?
    What, you look merrily! 905
  • Jaques (lord). A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' th' forest,
    A motley fool. A miserable world!
    As I do live by food, I met a fool,
    Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
    And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good terms, 910
    In good set terms- and yet a motley fool.
    'Good morrow, fool,' quoth I; 'No, sir,' quoth he,
    'Call me not fool till heaven hath sent me fortune.'
    And then he drew a dial from his poke,
    And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye, 915
    Says very wisely, 'It is ten o'clock;
    Thus we may see,' quoth he, 'how the world wags;
    'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine;
    And after one hour more 'twill be eleven;
    And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe, 920
    And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
    And thereby hangs a tale.' When I did hear
    The motley fool thus moral on the time,
    My lungs began to crow like chanticleer
    That fools should be so deep contemplative; 925
    And I did laugh sans intermission
    An hour by his dial. O noble fool!
    A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.
  • Duke. What fool is this?
  • Jaques (lord). O worthy fool! One that hath been a courtier, 930
    And says, if ladies be but young and fair,
    They have the gift to know it; and in his brain,
    Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit
    After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd
    With observation, the which he vents 935
    In mangled forms. O that I were a fool!
    I am ambitious for a motley coat.
  • Duke. Thou shalt have one.
  • Jaques (lord). It is my only suit,
    Provided that you weed your better judgments 940
    Of all opinion that grows rank in them
    That I am wise. I must have liberty
    Withal, as large a charter as the wind,
    To blow on whom I please, for so fools have;
    And they that are most galled with my folly, 945
    They most must laugh. And why, sir, must they so?
    The why is plain as way to parish church:
    He that a fool doth very wisely hit
    Doth very foolishly, although he smart,
    Not to seem senseless of the bob; if not, 950
    The wise man's folly is anatomiz'd
    Even by the squand'ring glances of the fool.
    Invest me in my motley; give me leave
    To speak my mind, and I will through and through
    Cleanse the foul body of th' infected world, 955
    If they will patiently receive my medicine.
  • Duke. Fie on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.
  • Duke. Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin;
    For thou thyself hast been a libertine, 960
    As sensual as the brutish sting itself;
    And all th' embossed sores and headed evils
    That thou with license of free foot hast caught
    Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.
  • Jaques (lord). Why, who cries out on pride 965
    That can therein tax any private party?
    Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,
    Till that the wearer's very means do ebb?
    What woman in the city do I name
    When that I say the city-woman bears 970
    The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
    Who can come in and say that I mean her,
    When such a one as she such is her neighbour?
    Or what is he of basest function
    That says his bravery is not on my cost, 975
    Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits
    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 himself; if he be free, 980
    Why then my taxing like a wild-goose flies,
    Unclaim'd of any man. But who comes here?

Enter ORLANDO with his sword drawn

  • Orlando. Forbear, and eat no more.
  • Orlando. Nor shalt not, till necessity be serv'd.
  • Duke. Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy distress?
    Or else a rude despiser of good manners,
    That in civility thou seem'st so empty? 990
  • Orlando. You touch'd my vein at first: the thorny point
    Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show
    Of smooth civility; yet am I inland bred,
    And know some nurture. But forbear, I say;
    He dies that touches any of this fruit 995
    Till I and my affairs are answered.
  • Jaques (lord). An you will not be answer'd with reason, I must die.
  • Duke. What would you have? Your gentleness shall force
    More than your force move us to gentleness.
  • Orlando. I almost die for food, and let me have it. 1000
  • Duke. Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.
  • Orlando. Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you;
    I thought that all things had been savage here,
    And therefore put I on the countenance
    Of stern commandment. But whate'er you are 1005
    That in this desert inaccessible,
    Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
    Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time;
    If ever you have look'd on better days,
    If ever been where bells have knoll'd to church, 1010
    If ever sat at any good man's feast,
    If ever from your eyelids wip'd a tear,
    And know what 'tis to pity and be pitied,
    Let gentleness my strong enforcement be;
    In the which hope I blush, and hide my sword. 1015
  • Duke. True is it that we have seen better days,
    And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church,
    And sat at good men's feasts, and wip'd our eyes
    Of drops that sacred pity hath engend'red;
    And therefore sit you down in gentleness, 1020
    And take upon command what help we have
    That to your wanting may be minist'red.
  • Orlando. Then but forbear your food a little while,
    Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn,
    And give it food. There is an old poor man 1025
    Who after me hath many a weary step
    Limp'd in pure love; till he be first suffic'd,
    Oppress'd with two weak evils, age and hunger,
    I will not touch a bit.
  • Duke. Go find him out. 1030
    And we will nothing waste till you return.
  • Orlando. I thank ye; and be blest for your good comfort! Exit
  • Duke. Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
    This wide and universal theatre
    Presents more woeful pageants than the scene 1035
    Wherein we play in.
  • Jaques (lord). All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts, 1040
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
    Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, 1045
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation 1050
    Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts 1055
    Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
    His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes 1060
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

Re-enter ORLANDO with ADAM

  • Duke. Welcome. Set down your venerable burden,
    And let him feed.
  • Orlando. I thank you most for him.
  • Adam. So had you need;
    I scarce can speak to thank you for myself. 1070
  • Duke. Welcome; fall to. I will not trouble you
    As yet to question you about your fortunes.
    Give us some music; and, good cousin, sing.
    Blow, blow, thou winter wind, 1075
    Thou art not so unkind
    As man's ingratitude;
    Thy tooth is not so keen,
    Because thou art not seen,
    Although thy breath be rude. 1080
    Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly.
    Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
    Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
    This life is most jolly.
    Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, 1085
    That dost not bite so nigh
    As benefits forgot;
    Though thou the waters warp,
    Thy sting is not so sharp
    As friend rememb'red not. 1090
    Heigh-ho! sing, &c.
  • Duke. If that you were the good Sir Rowland's son,
    As you have whisper'd faithfully you were,
    And as mine eye doth his effigies witness
    Most truly limn'd and living in your face, 1095
    Be truly welcome hither. I am the Duke
    That lov'd your father. The residue of your fortune,
    Go to my cave and tell me. Good old man,
    Thou art right welcome as thy master is.
    Support him by the arm. Give me your hand, 1100
    And let me all your fortunes understand. Exeunt