As You Like It: Act 2, Scene 1



           Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS,
  *        and two or three Lords, like foresters.

      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.

      AMIENS
 
18   I would not change it. Happy is your grace,
 19   That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
 20   Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

      DUKE SENIOR
 
21   Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
 22   And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
 23   Being native burghers of this desert city,
 24   Should in their own confines with forked heads
 25   Have their round haunches gored.

      First Lord
 
25                                                           Indeed, my lord,
 26   The melancholy Jaques grieves at that,
 27   And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
 28   Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
 29   Today my Lord of Amiens and myself
 30   Did steal behind him as he lay along
 31   Under an oak whose antique root peeps out
 32   Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
 33   To the which place a poor sequest'red stag,
 34   That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
 35   Did come to languish, and indeed, my lord,
 36   The wretched animal heaved forth such groans
 37   That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
 38   Almost to bursting, and the big round tears
 39   Coursed one another down his innocent nose
 40   In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool,
 41   Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
 42   Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
 43   Augmenting it with tears.

      DUKE SENIOR
 
43                                                   But what said Jaques?
 44   Did he not moralize this spectacle?

      First Lord
 
45   O, yes, into a thousand similes.
 46   First, for his weeping into the needless stream;
 47   'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament
 48   As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
 49   To that which had too much:' then, being there alone,
 50   Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends,
 51   ''Tis right:' quoth he; 'thus misery doth part
 52   The flux of company.' Anon a careless herd,
 53   Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
 54   And never stays to greet him; 'Ay' quoth Jaques,
 55   'Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;
 56   'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look
 57   Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
 58   Thus most invectively he pierceth through
 59   The body of the country, city, court,
 60   Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we
 61   Are mere usurpers, tyrants and what's worse,
 62   To fright the animals and to kill them up
 63   In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.

      DUKE SENIOR
 
64   And did you leave him in this contemplation?

      Second Lord
 
65   We did, my lord, weeping and commenting
 66   Upon the sobbing deer.

      DUKE SENIOR
 
66                                             Show me the place:
 67   I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
 68   For then he's full of matter.

      First Lord
 
69   I'll bring you to him straight.

           Exeunt.