As You Like It
Act II, Scene 1
The Forest of Arden.
- Enter Duke Senior, Amiens, and two or three Lords, like
Duke Senior1 - 17
- 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 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
- 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.
Amiens18 - 20
- I would not change it. Happy is your Grace,
- That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
- Into so quiet and so sweet a style.
Duke Senior21 - 25
- 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 gor’d.
First Lord in Arden26 - 44
- 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.
- Today 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 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
- 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,
- Stood on th’ extremest verge of the swift brook,
- Augmenting it with tears.
Duke Senior45 - 46
- But what said Jaques?
- Did he not moralize this spectacle?
First Lord in Arden47 - 65
- O yes, into a thousand similes.
- 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
- “’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.
- And did you leave him in this contemplation?
Second Lord in Arden67 - 68
- We did, my lord, weeping and commenting
- Upon the sobbing deer.
Duke Senior69 - 71
- Show me the place.
- I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
- For then he’s full of matter.
First Lord in Arden72
- I’ll bring you to him straight.