As You Like It is a pastoral comedy of mistaken identity and disguise. Exiled from the court by her uncle Frederick, Rosalind heads to the forest of Arden, disguised as a boy, Ganymede. Orlando, her love, is also banished to the forest by his brother. Orlando pines for Rosalind while Phebe, a shepherdess, falls for Ganymede. Frederick orders Oliver, Orlando's brother, to go in search of Rosalind. Orlando saves Oliver, the two are reunited, and Orlando learns the truth, that Ganymede is really his love Rosalind.
As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599 or 1600.
Celia : 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair, she scarce makes honest; and those that she makes honest, she makes very ill-favouredly. Rosalind : Nay; now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of Nature. Celia : No? When Nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by Fortune fall into the fire?— Though Nature hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not Fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?
Orlando : I beseech you, punish me not with your hard thoughts: wherein I confess me much guilty to deny so fair and excellent ladies anything. But let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial: wherein if I be foiled there is but one shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one dead that is willing to be so: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me: the world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in the world I fill up a place, which may be better supplied when I have made it empty. Rosalind : The little strength that I have, I would it were with you.
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
In piteous chase.
To that which had too much.
Be comfort to my age!
When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
Where none will sweat but for promotion.
Thou hast not lov’d.
And tune his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat—
Come hither, come hither, come hither!
Here shall he see
But winter and rough weather.
Says very wisely, It is ten o’clock:Thus we may see, quoth he, how the world wags.
And thereby hangs a tale.
And I did laugh, sans intermission
An hour by his dial.
Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit
After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm’d
With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms.
To blow on whom I please.
Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time;
If ever you have look’d on better days,
If ever been where bells have knoll’d to church,
If ever sat at any good man’s feast,
If ever from your eyelids wip'd a tear,
And know what 'tis to pity and be pitied—
Let gentleness my strong enforcement be.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms:
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard;
Jealous in honour, sudden, and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin'd,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav'd, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
As man's ingratitude ;
Thy tooth is not so keen
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
For I must tell you friendly in your ear,—Sell while you can; you are not for all markets.
Orlando : What sayest thou? Rosalind : Are you not good? Orlando : I hope so. Rosalind : Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing?
Orlando : So do all thoughts; they are winged. Rosalind : Now tell me how long you would have her, after you have possessed her. Orlando : For ever and a day. Rosalind : Say "a day," without the "ever." No, no, Orlando: men are April when they woo, December when they wed: maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives.
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.
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