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encounters in the forest the banished Duke and his friends; here also he meets with Rosalind, and several love scenes occur between them. In the end, the chief characters being assembled together, Hymen enters and joins the hands of Rosalind and Orlando, and Celia and Oliver. At this juncture Jaques de Bois, another son of Sir Rowland, arrives, and brings intelligence that the usurping Duke Frederick has resolved to bequeath his crown to his brother and retire into solitude, and the comedy thus concludes. Much amusement is created by the clown Touchstone, who marries Audrey, a country girl whom he has met in the forest. Dr. Johnson says of this comedy: "The fable is wild and pleasing; the character of Jaques is natural and well preserved; the comic dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays, and the graver part is elegant and harmonious."

Аст I.

Modesty and Courage in Youth.

I BESEECH you, punish me not with your hard thoughts, wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny so fair and excellent ladies anything. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial: wherein if I be foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that is willing to be so I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty.


We still have slept together,

Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together:
And wheresoe'er we went, like Juno's swans,

Still we went coupled, and inseparable.


Solitude preferred to a Court Life, and the
Advantages of Adversity.

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.

Reflections on a wounded Stag.

DUKE. 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.

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
To-day, my lord of Amiens, and myself,

*The heads of arrows barbed.


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.


But what said Jaques ?

Did he not moralize this spectacle?

LORD. O, yes, into a thousand similes.

First, for his weeping in the needless stream;

"Poor deer," quoth he, "thou makʼst a testament

As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more

To that which had too much."

Then, being 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?"

Gratitude in an Old Servant.

I have five hundred crowns,

The thrifty hire I saved under your father,

Which I did store to be




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;
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 to my blood.

A Lover described.

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,

Wearing 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.

Jaques' description of a Fool.

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


"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:


may we see," quoth he, "how the world wags; 'Tis but an hour ago, since it was nine;

And after an hour more, 't will 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.

A Fool's Liberty of Speech.

I must have liberty

Withal, as large a charter as the wind,

To blow on him 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 anatomised
Even by the squand'ring glances of the fool.

A gentle Petition.

But whate'er you are,

That in this desert inaccessible,

* Alluding to the parti-coloured garment worn by the ancient


Bob-hit, blow.

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