Shakespeare Quotes

We have seen better days

Duke Senior:
True is it that we have seen better days,
And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church,
And sat at good men's feasts, and wip'd our eyes
Of drops that sacred pity hath engend'red;
And therefore sit you down in gentleness,
And take upon command what help we have
That to your wanting may be minst'red.

As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 120–126

When the hero of a romance chances upon a band of strangers in a dark and mysterious forest, he naturally assumes they're savages or criminals. Our hero Orlando is no exception, but this is a coterie of exiled courtiers, led by the deposed Duke Senior. The duke and his men have "seen better days," it is true, but they haven't forgotten their manners. Even as Orlando draws his sword and demands to be fed, the duke replies gently with a pitiful speech and freely offers help. From here on, all is well, but there are complications and surprises in store for everyone. Unbeknownst to either the Duke or Orlando, the woman our hero dotes on is the Duke's daughter.

Themes: expressions and idioms, time, humility

Speakers: Duke Senior