Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
As You Like It
ACT V, SCENE I. The forest of Arden
Aut. Ay, I know who ’tis; he hath no in-
terest in me in the world: here comes the man
Touch. It is meat and drink to me to see a
clown: by my troth, we that have good wits
have much to answer for; we shall be flouting;
we cannot hold.
Will. Good even, Audrey.
Aud. God ye good even, William.
Will. And good even to you, sir.
Touch. Good even, gentle friend. Cover thy
head, cover thy head; nay, prithee, be cov-
ered. How old are you, friend?
Will. Five and twenty, sir.
Touch. A ripe age. Is thy name William?
Will. William, sir. [here?
Touch. A fair name. Wast born i’ the forest
Will. Ay, sir, I thank God. [rich?
Touch. ‘Thank God;’ a good answer. Art
Will. Faith, sir, so so.
Touch. ‘So so’ is good, very good, very excel-
lent good; and yet it is not; it is but so-so.
Art thou wise?
Will. Ay, sir, I have a pretty wit.
Touch. Why, thou sayest well. I do now re-
member a saying; ‘The fool doth think he is wise,
but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.’
The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire
to eat a grape, would open his lips when he put
it into his mouth; meaning thereby that grapes
were made to eat and lips to open. You do love
Will. I do, sir.
Touch. Give me your hand. Art thou learned?
Will. No, sir.
Touch. Then learn this of me: to have, is to
have; for it is a figure in rhetoric that drink,
being poured out of a cup into a glass, by filling
the one doth empty the other; for all your
writers do consent that ipse is he: now, you are
not ipse, for I am he.
Will. Which he, sir?
Touch. He, sir, that must marry this woman.
Therefore, you clown, abandon,–which is in
the vulgar leave,–the society,–which in the
boorish is company,–of this female,–which in
the common is woman; which together is,
abandon the society of this female, or, clown,
thou perishest; or, to thy better understanding,
diest; or, to wit I kill thee, make thee away,
translate thy life into death, thy liberty into
bondage: I will deal in poison with thee, or in
bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy with thee in
faction; I will o’errun thee with policy; I will
kill thee a hundred and fifty ways: therefore
tremble and depart.
Aud. Do, good William.
Will. God rest you merry, sir.
(On 3/27/15 – Join me in the continuation of Shakespeare’s
“As You Like It”