Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
As You Like It
SCENE IV. The Forest of Arden.
Ros. Alas, poor shepherd! searching of thy
I have by hard adventure found mine own.
Touch. And 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.
Ros. Thou speakest wiser than thou art ware
Touch. Nay, I shall ne’er be ware of mine
own wit till I break my shins against it.
Ros. Jove, Jove! this shepherd’s passion
Is much upon my fashion.
Touch. And mine; but it grows something
stale with me.
Cel. I pray you, one of you question yond man
If he for gold will give us any food:
I faint almost to death.
Touch. Holla, you clown!
Ros. Peace, fool: he’s not thy kinsman.
Cor. Who calls?
Touch. Your betters, sir.
Cor. Else are they very wretched.
Ros. Peace, I say.
Good even to you, friend.
Cor. And to you, gentle sir, and to you all.
Ros. I 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 op-
And faints for succor.
Cor. Fair 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,
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.
Ros. What is he that shall buy his flock and
Cor. That young swain that you saw here
That little cares for buying anything.
Ros. I 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.
Cel. And we will mend thy wages. I like this
And willingly could waste my time in it.
Cor. Assuredly 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.
(On 2/27/15 – Join me in the continuation of Shakespeare’s
“As You Like It”