I '11 die for 't, but some woman had the ring.
Bas. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul,
No woman had it, but a civil doctor,
Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
And begg'd the ring ; the which I did deny him,
And suffer'd him to go displeased away ;
Even he that had held up the very life
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet
ACT V., Sc. 1.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
I was enforced to send it after him :
I was beset with shame and courtesy ;
My honour would not let ingratitude
So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady ;
For, by these blessed candles of the night,
Had you been there, I think you would have
The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.
For. Let not that doctor e'er come near my
Since he hath got the jewel that I loved,
And that which you did swear to keep for me,
I will become as liberal as you ;
I '11 not deny him anything I have,
No, not my body nor my husband's bed :
Know him I shall, I am well sure of it :
Lie not a night from home; watch me like
If you do not, if I be left alone,
Now, by mine honour, which is yet mine own,
I '11 have that doctor for my bedfellow.
Ner. And I his clerk ; therefore be well advis'd
How you do leave me to mine own protection.
Gra. Well, do you so : let me not take him,
For if I do, I '11 mar the young clerk's pen.
Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these
Por. Sir, grieve not you; you 're welcome
Bas. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong ;
And, in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see myself,
Por. Mark yoxi but that !
In both my eyes he doubly sees himself ;
In each eye, one : swear by your double self,
And there 's an oath of credit.
-Bas. Nay, but hear me :
Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear
I never more will break an oath with thee.
Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth ;
Which, but for him that had your husband's ring,
Had quite miscarried : I dare be bound again,
My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
Will never more break faith advisedly.
Por. Then you shall be his surety. Give him
And bid him keep it better than the other.
Ant. Here, Lord Bassanio ; swear to keep this
Bas. By heaven, it is the same I gave the
Por. I had it of him : pardon me, Bassanio ;
For, by this ring, the doctor lay with me.
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano ;
For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk,
In lieu of this last night did lie with me.
Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways
In summer, when the ways are fair enough :
What, are we cuckolds ere we have deserv'd it ?
Por. Speak not so grossly. You are all amaz'd :
Here is a letter, read it at your leisure ;
It comes from Padua, from Bellario :
There you shall find that Portia was the doctor ;
Nerissa there, her clerk : Lorenzo here,
Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
And even but now return' d ; I have not yet
Enter' d my house. Antonio, you are welcome ;
And I have better news in store for you
Than you expect : unseal this letter soon ;
There you shall find three of your argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly :
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.
Ant. I am dumb.
Bas. Were you the doctor, and I knew you
Gra. Were you the clerk that is to make me
Ner. Ay, but the clerk that never meansto do it,
Unless he live until he be a man.
-Bas. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow :
When I am absent, then, He with my wife.
Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life and
For here I read for certain that my ships
Are safely come to road.
Por. How now, Lorenzo !
My clerk hath some good comforts, too, for you.
Ner. Ay, and I '11 give them him without a
There do I give to you and Jessica,
From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
After his death, of all he dies possess' d of.
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Of starved people.
Por. It is almost morning,
And yet I 'm sure you are not satisfied
Of these events at full. Let us go in,
And charge us there upon inter'gatories,
And we will answer all things faithfully.
Gra. Let it be so : the first inter' gatory
That my Nerissa shall be sworn on, is,
Whether till the next night she had rather stay,
Or go to bed now, being two hours to day :
But were the day come, I should wish it dark,
That I were couching with the doctor's clerk.
Well, while I live, I '11 fear no other thing
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa' s ring. Exeunt.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
NAMES OF THE ACTORS.
DUKE, living in banishment.
FREDERICK, his brother, and usurper of his dominions.
^fouES 8 ' } lords attendin S on t}i e banished duke.
LE BEAU, a courtier attending upon Frederick.
CHARLES, wrestler to Frederick.
JAQUES, > sons of Sir Eowland de Boys.
DENNIS, } ( servants to Oliver.
TOUCHSTONE, a clown.
SIR OLIVER MARTEXT, a vicar.
WILLIAM, a country fellow, in love with Audrey.
A person representing Hymen.
EOSALIND, daughter to the banished duke.
CELIA, daughter to Frederick.
PHEBE, a shepherdess.
AUDREY, a country wench.
Lords, pages, and attendants, &.
The first published text of this play appears in the folio of 1623, but it is possible it had already been
published in quarto ; if so, no copy has been preserved. The text is unusually pure, and
there is little difference in the readings of the first four editions. The plot is original,
but may have been suggested by a story of Lodge : Euphues' Golden Legacy,
which, again, was derived from a very old English story, the Tale of
Gamelyn. The scene is laid partly in the court of an imaginary duke,
partly in the forest of Arden, or Ardennes, on the confines of
Belgium and France. The Arden described, however, is
that of Shakespeare's own country, and charac-
ters and costumes are English. The play
may be justly considered the best of
the comedies, and in this re-
spect the culmination of
the poet's work.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
Scene I, Orchard of Oliver's House.
Enter Orlando and Adam.
Orl. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this
fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thou-
sand crowns, and, as thou sayest, charged my
brother, on his blessing, to breed me well : and
there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he
keeps at school, and report speaks goldenly of
his profit : for my part, he keeps me rustically
at home, or, to speak more properly, stays me
here at home unkept ; for call you that keeping
for a gentleman of my birth, that differs not from
the stalling of an ox ? His horses are bred better ;
for, besides that they are fair with their feeding,
they are taught their manage, and to that end
riders dearly hired, but I, his brother, gain noth-
ing under him but growth, for the which his
animals on his dunghills are as much bound to
him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plenti-
fully gives me, the something that nature gave
me, his countenance seems to take from me : he
lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of
a brother, and as much as in him lies, mines my
gentility with my education. This is it, Adam,
that grieves me, and the spirit of my father,
which I think is within me, begins to mutiny
against this servitude. I will no longer endure
it, though yet I know no wise remedy hpw to
Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother.
Orl. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how
he will shake me up.
OH. Now, sir ! what make you here ?
Orl. Nothing: I am not taught to make any
OH. What mar you then, sir ?
Orl. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that
which God made, a poor unworthy brother of
yours, with idleness.
Oli. Marry, sir, be better employed, and be
Orl. Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with
them? What prodigal portion have I spent that
I should come to such penury ?
Oli. Know you where you are, sir ?
Orl. O, sir, very well : here in your orchard.
Oli. Know you before whom, sir ?
Orl. Ay, better than him I am before knows
me. I know you are my eldest brother, and in
the gentle condition of blood you should so know
me. The courtesy of nations allows you my
better, in that you are the first-born, but the
same tradition takes not away my blood were
there twenty brothers betwixt us : I have as much
of my father in me as you, albeit, I confess, your
coming before me is nearer to his reverence.
Oli. What, boy !
Orl. Come, come, elder brother, you are too
young in this.
Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain ?
Orl. I am no villain; I am the youngest son of
Sir Rowland de Boys ; he was my father, and he
is thrice a villain that says such a father begot
villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not
take this hand from thy throat till this other had
pulled out thy tongue for saying so : thou hast
railed on thyself.
Adam. Sweet masters, be patient : for your
father's remembrance, be at accord.
Oli. Let me go, I say.
Orl. I will not till I please : you shall hear me :
my father charged you in his will to give me good
education: you have trained me like a peasant,
obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like
qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong
in me and I will no longer endure it: therefore
allow me such exercises as may become a gentle-
man, or give me the poor allottery my father left
me by testament; with that I will go buy my
Oli. And what wilt thou do ? beg, when that
is spent ? Well, sir, get you in : I will not long be
troubled with you ; you shall have some part of
your will : I pray you, leave me.
Orl. I will no further offend you than becomes
me for my good.
Oli. Get you with him, you old dog.
Adam. Is old dog my reward ? most true, I
have lost my teeth in your service : God be with
my old master, he would not have spoke such a
word. Exeunt Orlando and Adam.
Oli. Is it even so ? begin you to grow upon
me ? I will physic your rankness, and yet give
no thousand crowns neither. Holla, Dennis !
Den. Calls your worship?
Oli. Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here
to speak with me ?
Den. So please you, he is here at the door and
importunes access to you.
Oli. Call him in. [Exit Dennis.! 'Twill be a
good way ; and to-morrow the wrestling is.
Cha. Good morrow to your worship.
Oli. Good Monsieur Charles, what 's the new
news at the new court ?
Cha. There 's no news at the court, sir, but the
old news : that is, the old duke is banished by
his younger brother the new duke, and three or
four loving lords have put themselves into volun-
tary exile with him, whose lands and revenues
As You LIKE IT.
ACT L, Sc. 2.
enrich the new duke, therefore he gires them
good leave to wander.
Oli. Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's
daughter, be banished with her father ?
Cha. O, no; for the duke's daughter, her
cousin, so loves her, being ever from their cradles
bred together, that she would have followed her
exile, or have died to stay behind her ; she is at
the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than
his own daughter ; and never two ladies loved as
Oli. Where will the old duke live ?
Cha. They say he is already in the forest of
Arden, and a many merry men with him, and
there they live like the old Robin Hood of Eng-
land : they say many young gentlemen flock to
him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as
they did in the golden world.
Oli. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the
new duke ?
Cha. Marry, do I, sir, and I came to acquaint
you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to
understand that your younger brother Orlando
hath a disposition to come in disguised against
me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for
my credit, and he that escapes me without some
broken limb shall acquit him well. Your brother
is but young and tender ; and, for your love, I
would be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own
honour, if he come in : therefore, out of my love
to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal, that
either you might stay him from his intendment or
brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in
that it is a thing of his own search and altogether
against my will,
Oli. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me,
which thou shalt find I will most kindly requite.
I had myself notice of my brother's purpose here-
in and have by underhand means laboured to
dissuade him from it, but he is resolute. I '11
tell thee, Charles : it is the stubbornest young
fellow of France, full of ambition, an envious
emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and
villainous contriver against me his natural brother :
therefore use thy discretion ; I had as lief thou
didst break his neck as his finger. And thou
wert best look to 't ; for if thou dost him any
slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace
himself on thee, he will practise against thee by
poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device
and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy life by
some indirect means or other ; for, I assure thee,
and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one
so young and so villainous this day living. I
speak but brotherly of him ; but should I anato-
mise him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep,
and thou must look pale and wonder.
Cha. I am heartily glad I came hither to you.
If he come to-morrow, I '11 give him his payment :
if ever he go alone again, I '11 never wrestle for
prize more : and so, G-od keep your worship !
Oli. Farewell, good Charles. [Exit Charles.']
Now will I stir this gamester : I hope I shall see
an end of him ; for my soul, yet I know not why,
hates nothing more than he. Yet he 's gentle,
never schooled and yet learned, full of noble
device, of all sorts enchantingly beloved, and
indeed so much in the heart of the world, and
especially of my own people, who best know him,
that I am altogether misprised : but it shall not
be so long ; this wrestler shall clear all : nothing
remains but that 1 kindle the boy thither ; which
now I '11 go about. Exit.
Scene II. Before the Duke's Palace.
Enter Celia and Rosalind.
Cel. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be
Ros. Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am
mistress of, and would you yet I were merrier ?
Unless you could teach me to forget a banished
father, you must not learn me how to remember
any extraordinary pleasure.
Cel. Hei-ein I see thou lovest me not with the
full weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy
banished father, had banished thy uncle, the duke
my father, so thou hadst been still with me, I
could have taught my love to take thy father for
mine : so wouldst thou, if the truth of thy love to
me were so righteously tempered as mine is to
Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my
estate, to rejoice in yours.
Cel. You know my father hath no child but
I, nor none is like to have : and, truly, when he
dies, thou shalt be his heir, for what he hath
taken away from thy father perforce, I will
render thee again in affection ; by mine honour, I
will ; and when I break that oath, let me turn
monster : therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear
Rose, be merry.
Ros. From henceforth I will, coz, and devise
sports. Let me see ; what think you of falling in
Cel. Marry, I prithee, do, to make sport withal :
but love no man in good earnest ; nor no further
in sport neither than with safety of a pure blush
thou mayst in honour come off again.
Ros. What shall be our sport, then ?
Cel. Let us sit and mock the good housewife
Fortune from her wheel, that her gifts may hence-
forth be bestowed equally.
Ros. I would we could do so, for her benefits
are mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind
woman do_th most mistake in her gifts to women.
Cel. 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair
she scarce makes honest, and those that she
makes honest she makes very ill-favouredly.
Ros. Nay, now thou gpest from Fortune's ofiice
to Nature's : Fortune reigns in gifts of the world,
not in the lineaments of Nature.
Cel. No ? when Nature hath made a fair crea-
ture, may she not by Fortune fall into the fire ?
Though Nature hath given us wit to flout at
Fortune, hath not Fortune sent in this fool to
cut off the argument ?
Ros. Indeed, there is Foj-tune too hard for
Nature, when Fortune makes Nature's natural
the cutter-off of Nature's wit.
Cel. Peradventure this is not Fortune's work
neither, but Nature's ; who perceiveth our natural
wits too dull to reason of such goddesses and
hath sent this natural for our whetstone ; for
always the dulness of the food is the whetstone
of the wits. How now, wit ! whither wander you ?
ACT I., Sc. 2.
As You LIKE IT.
Tou. Mistress, you must come away to your
Gel. Were you made the messenger ?
Tou. No, by mine honour, but I was bid to
come for you.
Ros. Where learned you that oath, fool ?
Tou. Of a certain knight that swore by his
honour they were good pancakes, and swore by
his honour the mustard was naught : now I '11
stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the
mustard was good, and yet was not the knight
Gel. How prove you that, in the great heap of
your knowledge ?
Ros. Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.
Tou. Stand you both forth now : stroke your
chins, and swear by your beards that I am a
Gel. By our beards, if we had them, thou art.
Tou. By my knavery, if I had it, then I were ;
but if you swear by that that is not, you are not
forsworn : no more was this knight, swearing by
his honour, for he never had any ; or if he had, he
had sworn it away before ever he saw those pan-
cakes or that mustard.
Gel. Prithee, who is 't that thou meanest ?
Tou. One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
Gel. My father' s love is enough to honour him :
enough ! speak no more of him ; you '11 be whipped
for taxation one of these days.
Tou. The more pity, that fools may not speak
wisely what wise men do foolishly.
Gel. By my troth, thou sayest true ; for since
the little wit that fools have was silenced, the
little foolery that wise men have makes a great
show. Here comes Monsieur Le Beau.
Ros. With his mouth full of news.
Gel. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed
Ros. Then shall we be news-crammed.
Gel. All the better; we shall be the more
Enter Le Beau.
Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau : what 's the news ?
Le Beau. Fair princess, you have lost much
Gel. Sport ! of what colour ?
Le Beau . What colour, madam ! how shall I
answer you ?
Ros. As wit and fortune will.
Tou. Or as the destinies decree.
Gel. Well said : that was laid on with a trowel.
Tou. Nay, if I keep not my rank,
Ros. Thou losest thy old smell.
Le Beau. You amaze me, ladies : I would have
told you of good wrestling, which you have lost
the sight of.
Ros. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.
Le Beau. I will tell you the beginning, and, if
it please your ladyships, you may see the end ;
for the best is yet to do, and here, where you are,
they are coming to perform it.
Gel. Well, the beginning, that is dead and
Le Beau. There comes an old man and his
Gel. I could match this beginning with an old
Le Beau. Three proper young men, of excellent
growth and presence.
Ros. With bills on their necks, Be it knovm
unto all men l>y these presents.
Le Beau. The eldest of the three wrestled'with
Charles, the duke's wrestler; which Charles in a
moment threw him and broke three of his ribs,
that there is little hope of life in him : so he
served the second and so -the third. Yonder they
lie ; the poor old man, their father, making such
pitiful dole over them that all the beholders take
his part with weeping.
Ros. Alas !
Tou. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the
ladies have lost ?
Le Beau. Why, this that I speak of.
Tou. Thus men may grow wiser every day : it
is, the first time that ever I heard breaking of ribs
was sport for ladies.
Gel. Or I, I promise thee.
Ros. But is there any else longs to see this
broken music in his sides ? is there yet another
dotes upon rib-breaking ? Shall we see this
wrestling, cousin ?
Le Beau. You must, if you stay here ; for here
is the place appointed for the wrestling, and they
are ready to perform^t.
Gel. Yonder, sure, they are coming : let us
now stay and see it.
Flourish. Enter Duke Frederick, Lords,
Orlando, Charles and Attendants.
Duke F. Come on : since the youth will not be
entreated, his own peril on his forwardness.
Ros. Is yonder the man?
Le Beau. Even he, madam.
Gel. Alas, he is too young ! yet he looks suc-
Duke F. How now, daughter and cousin ! are
you crept hither to see the wrestling ?
Ros. Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave.
Duke F. You will take little delight in it, I can
tell you ; there is such odds in the man. In pity
of the challenger's youth I would fain dissuade
him, but he will not be entreated. Speak to him,
ladies ; see if you can move him.
Gel. Call him hither, good Monsieur le Beau.
Duke F. Do so : I '11 not be by.
Le Beau. Monsieur the challenger, the princess
calls for you.
Orl. I attend them with all respect and duty.
Ros. Young man, have you challenged Charles
the wrestler ?
Orl. No, fair princess ; he is the general chal-
lenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with
him the strength of my youth.
Gel. Young gentleman, your spirits are too
bold for your years. You have seen cruel proof
of this man's strength : if you saw yourself with
your eyes or knew yourself with your judgment,
the fear of your adventure would counsel you to a
more equal enterprise. We pray you, for your
own sake, to embrace your own safety and give
over this attempt.
-Ros. Do, young sir ; your reputation shall not
therefore be misprised : we will make it our suit
to the duke that the wrestling might not go
Orl. I beseech you, punish me not with your
As You LIKE IT.
ACT L, Sc. 3.
hard thoughts; wherein I confess me much
guilty, to deny so fair and excellent ladies any
thing. 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.
Eos. The little strength that I have, I would it
were with you.
Gel. And mine, to eke out hers.
Ros. Fare you well : pray heaven I be deceived
in you !
Gel. Your heart's desires be with you !
Cha. Come, where is this young gallant that is
so desirous to lie with his mother earth ?
Orl. Ready, sir ; but his will hath in it a more
Duke F. You shall try but one fall.
Cha. No, I warrant your grace, you shall not
entreat him to a second, that have so mightily
persuaded him from a first.
Orl. You mean to mock me after; you should
not have mocked me before : but come your ways.
Ros. Now Hercules be thy speed, young man !
Cel. I would I were invisible, to catch the
strong fellow by the leg. They wrestle.
Ros. O excellent young man !
Cel. If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can
tell who should down.
Shout. Charles is thrown.
Duke F. No more, no more.
Orl. Yes, I beseech your grace : I am not yet
Duke F. How dost thou, Charles ?
Le Beau. He cannot speak, my lord.
Duke F. Bear him away. What is thy name,
young man ?
Orl. Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of
Sir Eowland de Boys.
Duke F. I would thou hadst been son to some
man else :
The world esteem'd thy father honourable,
But I did find him still mine enemy :
Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this
Hadst thou descended from another house.
But fare thee well ; thou art a gallant youth :
I would thou hadst told me of another father.
Exeunt Duke Fred., train and Le Beau.
Cel. Were I my father, coz, would I do this ?
Orl. I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son,
His youngest son ; and would not change that
To be adopted heir to Frederick.
Ros. My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul,
And all the world was of my father's mind :
Had I before known this young man his son,
I should have given him tears unto entreaties,
Ere he should thus have ventured.
Cel. Gentle cousin,
Let us go thank him and encourage him :
My father's rough and envious disposition
Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserved :