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Home > As You Like It > ACT II - SCENE I. The Forest of Arden.

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ACT II - SCENE I. The Forest of Arden.
DUKE SENIOR
1    Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
2    Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
3    Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
4    More free from peril than the envious court?
5    Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
6    The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
7    And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
8    Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
9    Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
10   'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
11   That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
12   Sweet are the uses of adversity,
13   Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
14   Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
15   And this our life exempt from public haunt
16   Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
17   Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
18   I would not change it.
AMIENS
19   Happy is your grace,
20   That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
21   Into so quiet and so sweet a style.
DUKE SENIOR
22   Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
23   And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
24   Being native burghers of this desert city,
25   Should in their own confines with forked heads
26   Have their round haunches gored.
First Lord
27   Indeed, my lord,
28   The melancholy Jaques grieves at that,
29   And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
30   Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
31   To-day my Lord of Amiens and myself
32   Did steal behind him as he lay along
33   Under an oak whose antique root peeps out
34   Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
35   To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
36   That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
37   Did come to languish, and indeed, my lord,
38   The wretched animal heaved forth such groans
39   That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
40   Almost to bursting, and the big round tears
41   Coursed one another down his innocent nose
42   In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool
43   Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
44   Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
45   Augmenting it with tears.
DUKE SENIOR
46   But what said Jaques?
47   Did he not moralize this spectacle?
First Lord
48   O, yes, into a thousand similes.
49   First, for his weeping into the needless stream;
50   'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament
51   As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
52   To that which had too much:' then, being there alone,
53   Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends,
54   ''Tis right:' quoth he; 'thus misery doth part
55   The flux of company:' anon a careless herd,
56   Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
57   And never stays to greet him; 'Ay' quoth Jaques,
58   'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;
59   'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look
60   Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
61   Thus most invectively he pierceth through
62   The body of the country, city, court,
63   Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we
64   Are mere usurpers, tyrants and what's worse,
65   To fright the animals and to kill them up
66   In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.
DUKE SENIOR
67   And did you leave him in this contemplation?
Second Lord
68   We did, my lord, weeping and commenting
69   Upon the sobbing deer.
DUKE SENIOR
70   Show me the place:
71   I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
72   For then he's full of matter.
First Lord
73   I'll bring you to him straight.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IIIACT II, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • EPILOGUE

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