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

Act V. Scene IV.

As You Like It

Another Part of the Forest.


Duke S.Dost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy

Can do all this that he hath promised?

Orl.I sometimes do believe, and sometimes do not;

As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.


Ros.Patience once more, whiles our compact is urg’d.

[To the DUKE.]You say, if I bring in your Rosalind,

You will bestow her on Orlando here?

Duke S.That would I, had I kingdoms to give with her.

Ros.[To ORLANDO.]And you say, you will have her when I bring her?

Orl.That would I, were I of all kingdoms king.

Ros.[To PHEBE.]You say, that you’ll marry me, if I be willing?

Phe.That will I, should I die the hour after.

Ros.But if you do refuse to marry me,

You’ll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd?

Phe.So is the bargain.

Ros.[To SILVIUS.]You say, that you’ll have Phebe, if she will?

Sil.Though to have her and death were both one thing.

Ros.I have promis’d to make all this matter even.

Keep you your word, O duke, to give your daughter;

You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter;

Keep your word, Phebe, that you’ll marry me,

Or else, refusing me, to wed this shepherd;

Keep your word, Silvius, that you’ll marry her,

If she refuse me: and from hence I go,

To make these doubts all even.[Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA.

Duke S.I do remember in this shepherd boy

Some lively touches of my daughter’s favour.

Orl.My lord, the first time that I ever saw him,

Methought he was a brother to your daughter;

But, my good lord, this boy is forest-born,

And hath been tutor’d in the rudiments

Of many desperate studies by his uncle,

Whom he reports to be a great magician,

Obscured in the circle of this forest.


Jaq.There is, sure, another flood toward, and these couples are coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of very strange beasts, which in all tongues are called fools.

Touch.Salutation and greeting to you all!

Jaq.Good my lord, bid him welcome. This is the motley-minded gentleman that I have so often met in the forest: he hath been a courtier, he swears.

Touch.If any man doubt that, let him put me to my purgation. I have trod a measure; I have flattered a lady; I have been politic with my friend, smooth with mine enemy; I have undone three tailors; I have had four quarrels, and like to have fought one.

Jaq.And how was that ta’en up?

Touch.Faith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the seventh cause.

Jaq.How seventh cause? Good my lord, like this fellow.

Duke S.I like him very well.

Touch.God ’ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear, and to forswear, according as marriage binds and blood breaks. A poor virgin, sir, an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own: a poor humour of mine, sir, to take that no man else will. Rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor house, as your pearl in your foul oyster.

Duke S.By my faith, he is very swift and sententious.

Touch.According to the fool’s bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases.

Jaq.But, for the seventh cause; how did you find the quarrel on the seventh cause?

Touch.Upon a lie seven times removed:—bear your body more seeming, Audrey:—as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier’s beard: he sent me word, if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the mind it was: this is called ‘the retort courteous.’ If I sent him word again, it was not well cut, he would send me word, he cut it to please himself: this is called the ‘quip modest.’ If again, it was not well cut, he disabled my judgment: this is called the ‘reply churlish.’ If again, it was not well cut, he would answer, I spake not true: this is called the ‘reproof valiant:’ if again, it was not well cut, he would say, I lie: this is called the ‘countercheck quarrelsome’: and so to the ‘lie circumstantial,’ and the ‘lie direct.’

Jaq.And how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?

Touch.I durst go no further than the ‘lie circumstantial,’ nor he durst not give me the ‘lie direct;’ and so we measured swords and parted.

Jaq.Can you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?

Touch.O sir, we quarrel in print; by the book, as you have books for good manners: I will name you the degrees. The first, the ‘retort courteous;’ the second, the ‘quip modest;’ the third, the ‘reply churlish;’ the fourth, the ‘reproof valiant;’ the fifth, the ‘countercheck quarrelsome;’ the sixth, the ‘lie with circumstance;’ the seventh, the ‘lie direct.’ All these you may avoid but the lie direct; and you may avoid that too, with an ‘if.’ I knew when seven justices could not take up a quarrel; but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an ‘if,’ as ‘If you said so, then I said so;’ and they shook hands and swore brothers. Your ‘if’ is the only peace-maker; much virtue in ‘if.’

Jaq.Is not this a rare fellow, my lord? he’s as good at any thing, and yet a fool.

Duke S.He uses his folly like a stalkinghorse, and under the presentation of that he shoots his wit.

Enter HYMEN, leading ROSALIND in woman’s clothes, and CELIA.

Still Music.

Hym.Then is there mirth in heaven,

When earthly things made even

Atone together.

Good duke, receive thy daughter;

Hymen from heaven brought her;

Yea, brought her hither,

That thou mightst join her hand with his,

Whose heart within her bosom is.

Ros.[To DUKE S.]To you I give myself, for I am yours.

[To ORLANDO.]To you I give myself, for I am yours.

Duke S.If there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.

Orl.If there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind.

Phe.If sight and shape be true,

Why then, my love adieu!

Ros.[To DUKE S.]I’ll have no father, if you be not he.

[To ORLANDO.]I’ll have no husband, if you be not he:

[To PHEBE.]Nor ne’er wed woman, if you be not she.

Hym.Peace, ho! I bar confusion:

’Tis I must make conclusion

Of these most strange events:

Here’s eight that must take hands

To join in Hymen’s bands,

If truth holds true contents.

[To ORLANDO and ROSALIND.]You and you no cross shall part:

[To OLIVER and CELIA.]You and you are heart in heart:

[To PHEBE.]You to his love must accord,

Or have a woman to your lord:

[To TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY.]You and you are sure together,

As the winter to foul weather.

Whiles a wedlock hymn we sing,

Feed yourselves with questioning,

That reason wonder may diminish,

How thus we met, and these things finish.

  • SONG.
  • Wedding is great Juno’s crown:
  • O blessed bond of board and bed!
  • ’Tis Hymen peoples every town;
  • High wedlock then be honoured.
  • Honour, high honour, and renown,
  • To Hymen, god of every town!
  • Duke S.O my dear niece! welcome thou art to me:

    Even daughter, welcome in no less degree.

    Phe.[To SILVIUS.]I will not eat my word, now thou art mine;

    Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.


    Jaq. de B.Let me have audience for a word or two:

    I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,

    That bring these tidings to this fair assembly.

    Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day

    Men of great worth resorted to this forest,

    Address’d a mighty power, which were on foot

    In his own conduct, purposely to take

    His brother here and put him to the sword:

    And to the skirts of this wild wood he came,

    Where, meeting with an old religious man,

    After some question with him, was converted

    Both from his enterprise and from the world;

    His crown bequeathing to his banish’d brother,

    And all their lands restor’d to them again

    That were with him exil’d. This to be true,

    I do engage my life.

    Duke S.Welcome, young man;

    Thou offer’st fairly to thy brothers’ wedding:

    To one, his lands withheld; and to the other

    A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.

    First, in this forest, let us do those ends

    That here were well begun and well begot;

    And after, every of this happy number

    That have endur’d shrewd days and nights with us,

    Shall share the good of our returned fortune,

    According to the measure of their states.

    Meantime, forget this new-fall’n dignity,

    And fall into our rustic revelry.

    Play, music! and you, brides and bridegrooms all,

    With measure heap’d in joy, to the measures fall.

    Jaq.Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,

    The duke hath put on a religious life,

    And thrown into neglect the pompous court?

    Jaq. de B.He hath.

    Jaq.To him will I: out of these convertites

    There is much matter to be heard and learn’d.

    [To DUKE S.]You to your former honour I bequeath;

    Your patience and your virtue well deserve it:

    [To ORLANDO.]You to a love that your true faith doth merit:

    [To OLIVER.]You to your land, and love, and great allies:

    [To SILVIUS.]You to a long and well-deserved bed:

    [To TOUCHSTONE.]And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage

    Is but for two months victual’d. So, to your pleasures:

    I am for other than for dancing measures.

    Duke S.Stay, Jaques, stay.

    Jaq.To see no pastime, I: what you would have

    I’ll stay to know at your abandon’d cave.[Exit.

    Duke S.Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites,

    As we do trust they’ll end, in true delights.[A dance. Exeunt.



    It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no bush, ’tis true that a good play needs no epilogue; yet to good wine they do use good bushes, and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me: my way is, to conjure you; and I’ll begin with the women. I charge you, O women! for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you: and I charge you, O men! for the love you bear to women,—as I perceive by your simpering none of you hate them,—that between you and the women, the play may please. If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not; and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell.[Exeunt.