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As You Like It

Please see the bottom of the page for extensive explanatory notes and other helpful As You Like It resources.

ACT V  SCENE III The forest. 
TOUCHSTONETo-morrow is the joyful day, Audrey; to-morrow will
we be married.
AUDREYI do desire it with all my heart; and I hope it is
no dishonest desire to desire to be a woman of the
world. Here comes two of the banished duke's pages.
[Enter two Pages]
First PageWell met, honest gentleman.
TOUCHSTONEBy my troth, well met. Come, sit, sit, and a song.
Second PageWe are for you: sit i' the middle.
First PageShall we clap into't roundly, without hawking or
spitting or saying we are hoarse, which are the only10
prologues to a bad voice?
Second PageI'faith, i'faith; and both in a tune, like two
gipsies on a horse.
It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green corn-field did pass
In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding:
Sweet lovers love the spring.
Between the acres of the rye,20
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
These pretty country folks would lie,
In spring time, &c.
This carol they began that hour,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life was but a flower
In spring time, &c.
And therefore take the present time,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino;
For love is crowned with the prime30
In spring time, &c.
TOUCHSTONETruly, young gentlemen, though there was no great
matter in the ditty, yet the note was very
First PageYou are deceived, sir: we kept time, we lost not our time.
TOUCHSTONEBy my troth, yes; I count it but time lost to hear
such a foolish song. God buy you; and God mend
your voices! Come, Audrey.

Next: As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 4

Explanatory notes for Act 5, Scene 3
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

An interlude which contains one of the most musical and best known of Shakespeare's songs. Of course it is necessary for the requirements of the play.

Line 4. dishonest: immodest. woman of the world: a married woman.

9. As they throw themselves down Audrey, with much giggling, sits with Touchstone in the middle.

10. clap into 't roundly: begin at once. The rest of the speech is a sharp hit at absurd apologies often heard.

12. the only prologues: only the prologues.

13. a tune: one tune, as also in a horse in the following line.

18. ring time: marriage time.

21. acres: fields.

34. matter: thought. Are we reminded of another critic in an earlier scene?

38. God buy you: God be with you, like our Good-bye.


1. Describe Audrey's action in this scene.

2. Which is the better critic, Touchstone or Jaques?

3. Purpose of the scene.

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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