As You Like It: Act 3, Scene 3



           Enter Clown [TOUCHSTONE], AUDREY;
           and JAQUES [behind].

      TOUCHSTONE
  1   Come apace, good Audrey: I will
  2   fetch up your goats, Audrey. And
  3   how, Audrey? am I the man yet?
  4   doth my simple feature content you?

      AUDREY
  5   Your features! Lord warrant us! what
  6   features?

      TOUCHSTONE
  7   I am here with thee and thy goats,
  8   as the most capricious poet, honest
  9   Ovid, was among the Goths.

      JAQUES   [Aside.]
 10   O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse
 11   than Jove in a thatched house!

      TOUCHSTONE
 12   When a man's verses cannot be understood,
 13   nor a man's good wit seconded with the forward
 14   child Understanding, it strikes a man more
 15   dead than a great reckoning in a little room.
 16   Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.

      AUDREY
 17   I do not know what 'poetical' is: is it honest in
 18   deed and word? is it a true thing?

      TOUCHSTONE
 19   No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most
 20   feigning; and lovers are given to poetry,
 21   and what they swear in poetry may be said
 22   as lovers they do feign.

      AUDREY
 23   Do you wish then that the gods had made
 24   me poetical?

      TOUCHSTONE
 25   I do, truly; for thou swearest to me thou art
 26   honest: now, if thou wert a poet, I might
 27   have some hope thou didst feign.

      AUDREY
 28   Would you not have me honest?

      TOUCHSTONE
 29   No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favoured;
 30   for honesty coupled to beauty is to have
 31   honey a sauce to sugar.

      JAQUES  [Aside.]
 32   A material fool!

      AUDREY
 33   Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray
 34   the gods make me honest.

      TOUCHSTONE
 35   Truly, and to cast away honesty upon
 36   a foul slut were to put good meat into
 37   an unclean dish.

      AUDREY
 38   I am not a slut, though I thank the gods
 39   I am foul.

      TOUCHSTONE
 40   Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness!
 41   sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as
 42   it may be, I will marry thee, and to that end
 43   I have been with Sir Oliver Martext, the vicar
 44   of the next village, who hath promised to meet
 45   me in this place of the forest and to couple us.

      JAQUES  [Aside.]
 46   I would fain see this meeting.

      AUDREY
 47   Well, the gods give us joy!

      TOUCHSTONE
 48   Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart,
 49   stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple
 50   but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts. But what
 51   though? Courage! As horns are odious, they are
 52   necessary. It is said, 'many a man knows no end of
 53   his goods:' right; many a man has good horns, and
 54   knows no end of them. Well, that is the dowry of
 55   his wife; 'tis none of his own getting. Horns?
 56   Even so. Poor men alone? No, no; the noblest deer
 57   hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man
 58   therefore blessed? No: as a walled town is more
 59   worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a
 60   married man more honourable than the bare brow
 61   of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better
 62   than no skill, by so much is a horn more precious
 63   than to want. Here comes Sir Oliver.

           Enter SIR OLIVER MARTEXT.

 64   Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met: will you
 65   dispatch us here under this tree, or shall we go
 66   with you to your chapel?

      SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
 67   Is there none here to give the woman?

      TOUCHSTONE
 68   I will not take her on gift of any man.

      SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
 69   Truly, she must be given, or the marriage
 70   is not lawful.

      JAQUES  [Coming Forward.]
 71   Proceed, proceed I'll give her.

      TOUCHSTONE
 72   Good even, good Master What-ye-call't:
 73   how do you, sir? You are very well met:
 74    God 'ild you for your last company:
 75   I am very glad to see you: even a toy
 76   in hand here, sir: nay, pray be covered.

      JAQUES
 77   Will you be married, motley?

      TOUCHSTONE
 78   As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse
 79   his curb and the falcon her bells, so
 80   man hath his desires; and as pigeons
 81   bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.

      JAQUES
 82   And will you, being a man of your
 83   breeding, be married under a bush like
 84   a beggar? Get you to church, and have
 85   a good priest that can tell you what
 86   marriage is: this fellow will but join
 87   you together as they join wainscot;
 88   then one of you will prove a shrunk
 89   panel and, like green timber, warp, warp.

      TOUCHSTONE  [Aside.]
 90   I am not in the mind but I were better to
 91   be married of him than of another: for he
 92   is not like to marry me well; and not being
 93   well married, it will be a good excuse for
 94   me hereafter to leave my wife.

      JAQUES
 95   Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.

      TOUCHSTONE
 96   Come, sweet Audrey:
 97   We must be married, or we must live in bawdry.
 98   Farewell, good Master Oliver: not,—
 99               'O sweet Oliver,
100               O brave Oliver,
101           Leave me not behind thee;'
102   but,—
103               'Wind away,
104               Begone, I say,
105           I will not to wedding with thee.'

           [Exeunt JAQUES, TOUCHSTONE
           and AUDREY.]

      SIR OLIVER MARTEXT
106   'Tis no matter: ne'er a fantastical knave of
107   them all shall flout me out of my calling.

           Exit.