Enter Duke Senior, Amiens, and two or three Lords, like foresters
Duke Senior 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
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but 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,
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,
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 every thing.
I would not change it.
Amiens Happy is your grace,
That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
Into so quiet and so sweet a style.
Duke Senior Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
Being native burghers of this desert city,
Should in their own confines with forked heads
Have their round haunches gored.
First Lord Indeed, my lord,
The melancholy Jaques grieves at that,
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
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
To the which place a poor sequester’d stag,
That from the hunter’s aim had ta’en a hurt,
Did come to languish, and indeed, my lord,
The wretched animal heaved forth such groans
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting, and the big round tears
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool
Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
Augmenting it with tears.
Duke Senior But what said Jaques?
Did he not moralize this spectacle?
First Lord O, yes, into a thousand similes.
First, for his weeping into the needless stream;
‘Poor deer,’ quoth he, ‘thou makest a testament
As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
To that which had too much:’ then, being there alone,
Left and abandon’d of his velvet friends,
‘’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;
’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
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 Senior And did you leave him in this contemplation?
Second Lord We did, my lord, weeping and commenting
Upon the sobbing deer.
Duke Senior 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.
Enter Duke Frederick, with Lords
Duke 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.
The ladies, her attendants of her chamber,
Saw her abed, and in the morning early
They found the bed untreasured of their mistress.
Second Lord My lord, the roynish clown, at whom so oft
Your grace was wont to laugh, is also missing.
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;
And she believes, wherever they are gone,
That youth is surely in their company.
Duke 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,
And let not search and inquisition quail
To bring again these foolish runaways.
Enter Orlando and Adam, meeting
Orlando Who’s there?
Adam What, my young master? O, my gentle master!
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
The bonny priser 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,
Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
O, what a world is this, when what is comely
Envenoms him that bears it!
Orlando Why, what’s the matter?
Adam O unhappy youth!
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 —
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 practises.
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?
Or with a base and boisterous 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
Of a diverted blood and bloody brother.
Adam But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
The thrifty hire I saved under your father,
Which I did store to be my foster-nurse
When service should in my old limbs lie lame
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;
And all this I give you. Let me be your servant:
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;
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
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
Even with the having: it is not so with thee.
But, poor old man, thou prunest a rotten tree,
That cannot so much as a blossom yield
In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry
But come thy ways; well go along together,
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 fourscore
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.
Enter Rosalind for Ganymede, Celia for Aliena, and Touchstone
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 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; 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 Ay, be so, good Touchstone.
Enter Corin and Silvius
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!
Corin I partly guess; for I have loved 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 —
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 ne’er love so heartily!
If thou remember’st not the slightest folly
That ever love did make thee run into,
Thou hast not loved:
Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,
Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress’ praise,
Thou hast not loved:
Or if thou hast not broke from company
Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,
Thou hast not loved.
O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!
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 batlet and the cow’s dugs that her pretty chopt hands had milked; and I remember the wooing of a 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 speakest 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!
Rosalind Peace, fool: he’s not thy kinsman.
Corin Who calls?
Touchstone Your betters, sir.
Corin Else are they very wretched.
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:
Here’s a young maid with travel much oppress’d
And faints for succor.
Corin Fair sir, I pity her
And wish, for her sake more than for mine own,
My fortunes were more able to relieve her;
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:
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.
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,
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
The soil, the profit and this kind of life,
I will your very faithful feeder be
And buy it with your gold right suddenly.
Enter Amiens, Jaques, and others
Under the greenwood tree
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
But winter and rough weather.
Jaques More, more, I prithee, more.
Amiens It will make you melancholy, Monsieur Jaques.
Jaques I thank it. More, I prithee, more. I can suck melancholy 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 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.
Jaques Nay, I care not for their names; they owe me nothing. Will you sing?
Amiens More at your request than to please myself.
Jaques Well then, if ever I thank any man, I’ll thank you; but that they call compliment is like the encounter of two dog-apes, and when a man thanks me heartily, methinks I 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 you.
Jaques 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.
All together here
Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i’ the sun,
Seeking the food he eats
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
But winter and rough weather.
Jaques I’ll give you a verse to this note that I made yesterday in despite of my invention.
Amiens And I’ll sing it.
Jaques Thus it goes:—
If it do come to pass
That any man turn ass,
Leaving his wealth and ease,
A stubborn will to please,
Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame:
Here shall he see
Gross fools as he,
An if he will come to me.
Amiens What’s that ‘ducdame’?
Jaques ’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.
Amiens And I’ll go seek the duke: his banquet is prepared.
Enter Orlando and Adam
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.
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 any thing 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 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 lookest cheerly, and I’ll be with thee quickly. Yet thou liest in the bleak air: come, I will bear thee to some shelter; and thou shalt not die for lack of a dinner, if there live any thing in this desert. Cheerly, good Adam!
A table set out. Enter Duke Senior, Amiens, and Lords like outlaws
Duke Senior I think he be transform’d into a beast;
For I can no where find him like a man.
First Lord My lord, he is but even now gone hence:
Here was he merry, hearing of a song.
Duke Senior 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.
First Lord He saves my labour by his own approach.
Duke Senior Why, how now, monsieur! what a life is this,
That your poor friends must woo your company?
What, you look merrily!
Jaques A fool, a fool! I met a fool i’ the 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,
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,
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,
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,
And I did laugh sans intermission
An hour by his dial. O noble fool!
A worthy fool! Motley’s the only wear.
Duke Senior What fool is this?
Jaques O worthy fool! One that hath been a courtier,
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
In mangled forms. O that I were a fool!
I am ambitious for a motley coat.
Duke Senior Thou shalt have one.
Jaques It is my only suit;
Provided that you weed your better judgments
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,
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,
The wise man’s folly is anatomized
Even by the squandering 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 the infected world,
If they will patiently receive my medicine.
Duke Senior Fie on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.
Jaques What, for a counter, would I do but good?
Duke Senior Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin:
For thou thyself hast been a libertine,
As sensual as the brutish sting itself;
And all the embossed sores and headed evils,
That thou with licence of free foot hast caught,
Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.
Jaques Why, who cries out on pride,
That can therein tax any private party?
Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,
Till that the weary very means do ebb?
What woman in the city do I name,
When that I say the city-woman bears
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 of my cost,
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,
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.
Jaques Why, I have eat none yet.
Orlando Nor shalt not, till necessity be served.
Jaques Of what kind should this cock come of?
Duke Senior 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?
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
Till I and my affairs are answered.
Jaques An you will not be answered with reason, I must die.
Duke Senior 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.
Duke Senior 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
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,
If ever sat at any good man’s feast,
If ever from your eyelids wiped 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.
Duke Senior 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 wiped our eyes
Of drops that sacred pity hath engender’d:
And therefore sit you down in gentleness
And take upon command what help we have
That to your wanting may be minister’d.
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,
Who after me hath many a weary step
Limp’d in pure love: till he be first sufficed,
Oppress’d with two weak evils, age and hunger,
I will not touch a bit.
Duke Senior Go find him out,
And we will nothing waste till you return.
Orlando I thank ye; and be blest for your good comfort!
Duke Senior Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:
This wide and universal theatre
Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.
Jaques 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,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
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
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
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
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
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 everything.
Re-enter Orlando, with Adam
Duke Senior Welcome. Set down your venerable burthen,
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.
Duke Senior 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.
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.
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,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember’d not.
Heigh-ho! sing, & c.
Duke Senior 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,
Be truly welcome hither: I am the duke
That loved 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,
And let me all your fortunes understand.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59