As You Like It: Act 2, Scene 1
Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS,
*and two or three Lords, like foresters.
1Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
2Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
3Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
4More free from peril than the envious court?
5Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
6The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
7And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
8Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
9Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
10'This is no flattery: these are counsellors
11That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
12Sweet are the uses of adversity,
13Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
14Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
15And this our life exempt from public haunt
16Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
17Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
18I would not change it. Happy is your grace,
19That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
20Into so quiet and so sweet a style.
21Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
22And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
23Being native burghers of this desert city,
24Should in their own confines with forked heads
25Have their round haunches gored.
25Indeed, my lord,
26The melancholy Jaques grieves at that,
27And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
28Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
29Today my Lord of Amiens and myself
30Did steal behind him as he lay along
31Under an oak whose antique root peeps out
32Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
33To the which place a poor sequest'red stag,
34That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
35Did come to languish, and indeed, my lord,
36The wretched animal heaved forth such groans
37That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
38Almost to bursting, and the big round tears
39Coursed one another down his innocent nose
40In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool,
41Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
42Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
43Augmenting it with tears.
43But what said Jaques?
44Did he not moralize this spectacle?
45O, yes, into a thousand similes.
46First, for his weeping into the needless stream;
47'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament
48As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
49To that which had too much:' then, being there alone,
50Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends,
51''Tis right:' quoth he; 'thus misery doth part
52The flux of company.' Anon a careless herd,
53Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
54And 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
57Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
58Thus most invectively he pierceth through
59The body of the country, city, court,
60Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we
61Are mere usurpers, tyrants and what's worse,
62To fright the animals and to kill them up
63In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.
64And did you leave him in this contemplation?
65We did, my lord, weeping and commenting
66Upon the sobbing deer.
66Show me the place:
67I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
68For then he's full of matter.
69I'll bring you to him straight.