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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act V. Scene I.

As You Like It

The Forest of Arden.


Touch.We shall find a time, Audrey: Patience, gentle Audrey.

Aud.Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman’s saying.

Touch.A most wicked Sir Oliver, Audrey; a most vile Martext. But, Audrey, there is a youth here in the forest lays claim to you.

Aud.Ay, I know who ’tis: he hath no interest in me in the world. Here comes the man you mean.


Touch.It is meat and drink to me to see a clown. By my troth, we that have good wits have much to answer for: we shall be flouting; we cannot hold.

Will.Good even, Audrey.

Aud.God ye good even, William.

Will.And good even to you, sir.

Touch.Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy head; nay, prithee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

Will.Five-and-twenty, sir.

Touch.A ripe age. Is thy name William?

Will.William, sir.

Touch.A fair name. Wast born i’ the forest here?

Will.Ay, sir, I thank God.

Touch.‘Thank God;’ a good answer. Art rich?

Will.Faith, sir, so so.

Touch.‘So so,’ is good, very good, very excellent good: and yet it is not; it is but so so. Art thou wise?

Will.Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

Touch.Why, thou sayest well. I do now remember a saying, ‘The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.’ The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth; meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and lips to open. You do love this maid?

Will.I do, sir.

Touch.Give me your hand. Art thou learned?

Will.No, sir.

Touch.Then learn this of me: to have, is to have; for it is a figure in rhetoric, that drink, being poured out of a cup into a glass, by filling the one doth empty the other; for all your writers do consent that ipse is he: now, you are not ipse, for I am he.

Will.Which he, sir?

Touch.He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you clown, abandon,—which is in the vulgar, leave,—the society,—which in the boorish is, company,—of this female,—which in the common is, woman; which together is, abandon the society of this female, or, clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding, diest; or, to wit, I kill thee, make thee away, translate thy life into death, thy liberty into bondage. I will deal in poison with thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in faction; I will o’errun thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways: therefore tremble, and depart.

Aud.Do, good William.

Will.God rest you merry, sir.[Exit.

Enter CORIN.

Cor.Our master and mistress seek you: come, away, away!

Touch.Trip, Audrey! trip, Audrey! I attend, I attend.[Exeunt.