Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


As You Like It: Act 2, Scene 1



           Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS,
like: i.e., dressed like.
          and two or three Lords, like foresters.

      DUKE SENIOR
  1   Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
2. old: long-continued.
  2   Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
3. painted pomp: artificial, empty ceremony.
  3   Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
4. envious: malicious, spiteful.
  4   More free from peril than the envious court?
5-6. Here feel we but the penalty of Adam, / The seasons' difference: i.e., Here we suffer only what Adam first suffered after his original sin, the change of seasons. 6. as: such as, for example. 7. churlish: rough, rude.
  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. feelingly: through my senses. —The Duke is making a little joke. 12. uses: benefits.
 11   That feelingly persuade me what I am.'
 12   Sweet are the uses of adversity,
13-14. the toad . . . his head: Folklore said that toads grew precious jewels in their heads . . . 15. exempt from public haunt: i.e., isolated from ordinary human society.
 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: i.e., I would not exchange it for any other way of life. 19-20. translate the stubbornness of fortune / Into so quiet and so sweet a style: i.e., transform the brute facts of misfortune into a patient and hopeful philosophy of life. —In an ordinary view . . .
 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. irks me: upsets me that.  fools: innocents.
 22   And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
23. desert: uninhabited by humans.
 23   Being native burghers of this desert city,
24. confines: territories.  forked heads: two-pronged hunting arrows? —Two-pronged hunting arrowheads did exist; see the picture . . .
 24   Should in their own confines with forked heads
 25   Have their round haunches gored.

      First Lord
 
25                                                           Indeed, my lord,
26. Jaques: This name should be pronounced with two syllables (probably JAY-qweez), not as in modern French, with one syllable.
 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. along: stretched out.
 30   Did steal behind him as he lay along
31. antique: ancient.
 31   Under an oak whose antique root peeps out
32. brawls along: noisily rushes through.
 32   Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
33. sequest'red: separated from the herd.
 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: chased one another.
 39   Coursed one another down his innocent nose
40. fool: innocent.
 40   In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool,
41. marked of: observed by.
 41   Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
42. extremest verge: very edge of the bank.
 42   Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
43. Augmenting it: i.e., adding more water to the rushing water of the brook.
 43   Augmenting it with tears.

      DUKE SENIOR
 
43                                                   But what said Jaques?
44. moralize: interpret morally or symbolically.
 44   Did he not moralize this spectacle?

      First Lord
 
45   O, yes, into a thousand similes.
46. needless: having no need (of additional water).
 46   First, for his weeping into the needless stream;
 47   'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament
48. worldlings: worldly men; those who conform to the customs of the time.  sum of more: additional amount . . . 50. of: by.  velvet: i.e., in flourishing condition. —There's a pun here: Velvet is a clothing material worn by . . . 51-52. "'Tis . . . company": i.e., "That's just how it goes," . . . Anon: just then. careless: carefree. 53. Full of the pasture: i.e., well-fed.  jumps along by him: romps along past him.
 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. just: exactly.
 56   'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look
57. broken: ruined.
 57   Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
58. invectively: with invective; in abusive language.  pierceth through: skewers; satirizes.
 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. mere: out-and-out.  what's worse: whatever may be worse. 62. kill them up: i.e., kill them all off.
 61   Are mere usurpers, tyrants and what's worse,
 62   To fright the animals and to kill them up
63. assigned: —This word seems to convey the idea that the forest was given to the deer by God.
 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. cope: deal with, converse with.  sullen: melancholy. 68. matter: substance, good sense.
 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.