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As You Like It

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ACT II  SCENE IV The Forest of Arden. 
[ Enter ROSALIND for Ganymede, CELIA for Aliena, and TOUCHSTONE ]
ROSALINDO Jupiter, how weary are my spirits!
TOUCHSTONEI care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary.
ROSALINDI could find in my heart to disgrace my man's
apparel and to cry like a woman; but I must comfort
the weaker vessel, as doublet and hose ought to show
itself courageous to petticoat: therefore courage,
good Aliena!8
CELIAI pray you, bear with me; I cannot go no further.
TOUCHSTONEFor my part, I had rather bear with you than bear
you; yet I should bear no cross if I did bear you,
for I think you have no money in your purse.
ROSALINDWell, this is the forest of Arden.
TOUCHSTONEAy, now am I in Arden; the more fool I; when I was
at home, I was in a better place: but travellers
must be content.16
ROSALINDAy, be so, good Touchstone.
Look you, who comes here; a young man and an old in
solemn talk.
CORINThat is the way to make her scorn you still.
SILVIUSO Corin, that thou knew'st how I do love her!
CORINI partly guess; for I have loved ere now.
SILVIUSNo, Corin, being old, thou canst not guess,
Though in thy youth thou wast as true a lover
As ever sigh'd upon a midnight pillow:25
But if thy love were ever like to mine--
As sure I think did never man love so--
How many actions most ridiculous
Hast thou been drawn to by thy fantasy?

CORINInto a thousand that I have forgotten.
SILVIUSO, thou didst then ne'er love so heartily!
If thou remember'st not the slightest folly
That ever love did make thee run into,
Thou hast not loved:
Or if thou hast not sat as I do now,35
Wearying thy hearer in thy mistress' praise,
Thou hast not loved:
Or if thou hast not broke from company
Abruptly, as my passion now makes me,
Thou hast not loved.
O Phebe, Phebe, Phebe!
ROSALINDAlas, poor shepherd! searching of thy wound,
I have by hard adventure found mine own.43
TOUCHSTONEAnd I mine. I remember, when I was in love I broke
my sword upon a stone and bid him take that for
coming a-night to Jane Smile; and I remember the
kissing of her batlet and the cow's dugs that her
pretty chopt hands had milked; and I remember the
wooing of a peascod instead of her, from whom I took
two cods and, giving her them again, said with
weeping tears 'Wear these for my sake.' We that are
true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is
mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.
ROSALINDThou speakest wiser than thou art ware of.
TOUCHSTONENay, I shall ne'er be ware of mine own wit till I
break my shins against it.56
ROSALINDJove, Jove! this shepherd's passion
Is much upon my fashion.
TOUCHSTONEAnd mine; but it grows something stale with me.
CELIAI pray you, one of you question yond man
If he for gold will give us any food:
I faint almost to death.
TOUCHSTONEHolla, you clown!
ROSALINDPeace, fool: he's not thy kinsman.
CORINWho calls?
TOUCHSTONEYour betters, sir.
CORINElse are they very wretched.
ROSALINDPeace, I say. Good even to you, friend.
CORINAnd to you, gentle sir, and to you all.
ROSALINDI prithee, shepherd, if that love or gold
Can in this desert place buy entertainment,
Bring us where we may rest ourselves and feed:
Here's a young maid with travel much oppress'd70
And faints for succor.
CORINFair sir, I pity her
And wish, for her sake more than for mine own,
My fortunes were more able to relieve her;
But I am shepherd to another man
And do not shear the fleeces that I graze:
My master is of churlish disposition
And little recks to find the way to heaven
By doing deeds of hospitality:
Besides, his cote, his flocks and bounds of feed
Are now on sale, and at our sheepcote now,80
By reason of his absence, there is nothing
That you will feed on; but what is, come see.
And in my voice most welcome shall you be.
ROSALINDWhat is he that shall buy his flock and pasture?
CORINThat young swain that you saw here but erewhile,
That little cares for buying any thing.
ROSALINDI pray thee, if it stand with honesty,
Buy thou the cottage, pasture and the flock,
And thou shalt have to pay for it of us.
CELIAAnd we will mend thy wages. I like this place.
And willingly could waste my time in it.91
CORINAssuredly the thing is to be sold:
Go with me: if you like upon report
The soil, the profit and this kind of life,
I will your very faithful feeder be
And buy it with your gold right suddenly.

Next: As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 5

Explanatory notes for Act 2, Scene 4
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

The arrival of the girls and Touchstone and the finding of other lovers in this forest entertain us. Rosalind now takes command, as is fitting for "doublet and hose."

Line 1. O Jupiter: Evidently an oath is a necessary accompaniment to doublet and hose. Of course Rosalind is really in a weary mood, but she must comfort Celia, who is exhausted.

2. Any pathos in this scene is abruptly discouraged by Touchstone.

4. Rosalind makes her complaint as an aside. What are Celia and Touchstone doing?

6. doublet and hose: coat and breeches, but the coat fitted the body closely and the skirts of it came below the waistline. It was called doublet because it was made of double material with padding between. Hose now means stocking, but then included stockings and breeches.

7. What action accompanies Rosalind's words of encouragement?

11. cross: English coins often had a cross upon them which gives Touchstone his opportunity. The saying "cross the palm" comes from this custom. How about the casket of jewels?

29. fantasy: love.

43. hard adventure: unfortunately.

44. Again Touchstone breaks in at the right moment to relieve the scene. Note the personifying of stone and peascod, which shows the vividness of his imagination.

47. batlet: a wooden bat for beating the clothes while they were being washed. chopt: chopped.

48. peascod: A pea-pod with nine peas was always put on the shelf by a kitchen-maid, as she believed that the first man who entered would be her lover. An old proverb read: "Wintertime for shoeing, peascod time for wooing."

49. cods: peas.

60. weeping tears: Certainly emphatic.

52. capers: actions.

53. mortal in folly: very foolish.

54. ware: aware.

66. be ware: beware.

57. Evidently two lines from an old song. Touchstone's ballad has lost its sweetness.

63. clown: a country bumpkin according to Touchstone's meaning.

71. faints for succor: for want of succor.

75. fleeces: sheep. What figure of speech? graze: feed.

77. recks: cares.

79. cote: cottage as in sheepcote in the next line.

84. What is he: who is he.

90. This suggestion comes with Celia's usual thoughtfulness.

91. waste: spend.

95. feeder: shepherd.


1. Describe the entrance of the three. How do they show that they are weary? Is there anything comic?

2. Which girl is the leader now? Why?

3. Touchstone, you remember, is Shakespeare's own. What does he add to the scene?

4. Describe the dress of the girls.

5. At what two places in the scene does Touchstone deliberately imitate Rosalind?

6. Why did Shakespeare introduce the two shepherds? Describe them.

7. Why does he make our first glimpse of the sighing lover so brief?

8. Can you suggest Touchstone's expression during the lover's words? Rosalind's?

9. Why is Touchstone so rude to Corin? What effect does Rosalind's courtesy have ?

10. Why do they make no inquiry for the banished Duke?

How to cite the explanatory notes:

Shakespeare, William. As You Like It. Eds. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.


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