As You Like It

by William Shakespeare

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Act V, Scene I: The Forest of Arden


TOUCHSTONE We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Audrey.

AUDREY Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's saying.

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

AUDREY Ay, I know who 'tis: he hath no interest in me in the world: here comes the man you mean. [Enter WILLIAM.] TOUCHSTONE 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.

WILLIAM Good even, Audrey.

AUDREY God ye good even, William.

WILLIAM And good even to you, sir.

TOUCHSTONE Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy head, cover thy head; nay, pr'ythee, be covered. How old are you, friend?

WILLIAM Five and twenty, sir.

TOUCHSTONE A ripe age. Is thy name William?

WILLIAM William, sir.

TOUCHSTONE A fair name. Wast born i' the forest here?

WILLIAM Ay, sir, I thank God.

TOUCHSTONE "Thank God;"—a good answer. Art rich?

WILLIAM Faith, sir, so-so.

TOUCHSTONE "So-so" is good, very good, very excellent good:—and yet it is not; it is but so-so. Art thou wise?

WILLIAM Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.

TOUCHSTONE Why, thou say'st 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?

WILLIAM I do, sir.

TOUCHSTONE Give me your hand. Art thou learnèd?

WILLIAM No, sir.

TOUCHSTONE Then learn this of me:—to have is to have; for it is a figure in rhetoric that drink, being poured out of 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.

WILLIAM Which he, sir?

TOUCHSTONE 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; will o'er-run thee with policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways; therefore tremble and depart.

AUDREY Do, good William.

WILLIAM God rest you merry, sir.


[Enter CORIN.]

CORIN Our master and mistress seek you; come away, away!

TOUCHSTONE Trip, Audrey, trip, Audrey;—I attend, I attend.



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