Quotes in Context

"A Holiday Humour"

Context: Passionately in love with each other, Rosalind and Orlando have never spoken to each other of their love. Both are now in the Forest of Arden, where Rosalind is in disguise as a young man named Ganymede. Orlando does not see through her disguise, and Rosalind wittily takes advantage of the situation. She offers to pose as Rosalind, so that Orlando may know what he is in for. Thus, thinking he is making love to a proxy, Orlando actually woos the genuine Rosalind, who, indeed in a holiday humor, may jest as she pleases. When Orlando is late to a meeting, she tells him she would rather be wooed by a snail, who "brings his destiny with him," that is, the horns the cuckold is proverbially supposed to wear. To Rosalind's vast satisfaction, Orlando replies that "virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is virtuous." The jest continues:


ROSALIND
Come, woo me, woo me; for now I am in a holiday humour, and like enough to consent. What would you say to me now, an I were your very, very Rosalind?
ORLANDO
I would kiss before I spoke.
ROSALIND
Nay, you were better speak first, and when you were gravelled for lack of matter, you might take occasion to kiss.
. . .

"A Motley Fool"

Context: This play is generally felt to be Shakespeare's most nearly perfect romantic comedy. Duke Senior and his followers are living in Arden forest because Frederick, the Duke's brother, has usurped the throne. Now the Duke, with Amiens, a lord attending on him, and other lords are searching in the forest for Jaques, a melancholic lord who also attends on Duke Senior. The character of Jaques is revealed in the following dialogue between himself and Duke Senior, when the former appears in the forest.


DUKE SENIOR
Why how now monsieur, what a life is this,
That your poor friends must woo your company.
What, you look merrily.
JAQUES
A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' th' forest,
A motley fool–a miserable world–
As I do live by food, I met a fool,
Who laid him down and basked him in the sun,
And railed on Lady Fortune in good terms,
In good set terms, and yet a motley fool.
. . .

"All The World's A Stage"

Context: Duke Senior, in the Forest of Arden with his lords Jaques, Amiens, and others, is about to eat when they are interrupted by the entrance of Orlando, who has been driven from his home by his greedy oldest brother. Orlando demands and is given food, but he will not eat until he summons his "old poor man" Adam. At his departure, Duke Senior remarks, "This wide and universal theatre/ Presents more woeful pageants than the scene/ Wherein we play in." Jaques then responds with his justly famous speech. The idea of the world's being a stage was common in Shakespeare's time. Du Bartas (Divine Weekes and Workes, 1578, First Week, First Day) had said that "The World's a stage, where God's omnipotence,/ His justice, knowledge, love, and providence/ Do act the parts." Thomas Heywood, in his Apology for Actors (1612), and Thomas Middleton, A Game of Chess (1624, Act V, sc. i) used the same idea.


JAQUES
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
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 lover,
Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. . . .

"An Ill-favoured Thing Sir, But Mine Own"

Context: The Forest of Arden provides refuge to an exiled Duke of France and his followers; to the daughter of the Duke, Rosalind (disguised as the shepherd lad Ganymede) and her cousin and friend, Celia (disguised as the shepherdess Aliena); to Orlando and his cruel brother, Oliver; and to the clown, Touchstone, as well as to a number of native inhabitants of the area. From a general state of confusion, a reconciliation is effected: Rosalind, revealing herself to her father, plans to wed Orlando; Celia intends to marry his repentant brother Oliver; the little shepherdess, Phebe, is reconciled to the love-sick shepherd, Silvius; and even the clown Touchstone, addressing the Duke, announces his intention to marry the goat-girl, Audrey:


TOUCHSTONE
God 'ild you sir, I desire you of the like, I press in here sir, amongst the rest of the country copulatives, to swear and to forswear, according as marriage binds and blood breaks–a poor virgin sir, an ill-favoured thing sir, but mine own; a poor humour of mine sir, to take that that no man else will. Rich honesty dwells like a miser sir, in a poor house, as your pearl in your foul oyster.

"Answer Me In One Word"

Context: Orlando, the hated youngest brother of Oliver, wrestles and defeats Charles, wrestler to Duke Frederick. Because of this event, Rosalind, daughter to the exiled Duke Senior, falls in love with him. Duke Frederick, having usurped the dukedom from his brother, Duke Senior, feels compelled to banish Rosalind also. Into banishment, Rosalind is accompanied by Celia, Duke Frederick's daughter and Rosalind's cousin. Rosalind goes into banishment disguised as a youth named Ganymede. Orlando goes through Arden Forest hanging love notes on the trees and carving Rosalind's name in the bark. Celia discovers one of the notes and reads it before Rosalind, piquing her curiosity. When Celia admits that she has seen Orlando, Rosalind is deeply embarrassed over her clothes and predicament:


ROSALIND
Alas the day, what shall I do with my doublet and hose? What did he when thou saw'st him? What said he? How looked he? Wherein went he? What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee? And when shalt thou see him again? Answer me in one word.

"Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind"

Context: Duke Senior and his companions are rejoined in the Forest of Arden by Orlando and his "poor old man" named Adam. Both groups are exiles; therefore, they have the exile's feeling in common. In an effort to drive away gloom, Duke Senior calls upon Ameins, one of his lords, for a song. The piece Amiens sings is beautifully suitable to the occasion. The first stanza follows:


AMIENS
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho, sing heigh-ho, unto the green holly,
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
Then heigh-ho, the holly,
This life is most jolly.

"Chewing The Food Of Sweet And Bitter Fancy"

Context: In the Forest of Arden, Orlando, suitor of Rosalind, discovers and kills a lion ready to attack his cruel brother, Oliver, with whom he becomes reconciled because of this act of bravery and compassion. Wounded, Orlando dispatches Oliver to explain his delay in an appointment with the shepherd lad who instructs him in how to win the hand of Rosalind (actually Rosalind disguised as a shepherd lad as she searches for her father, an exiled Duke).


OLIVER
When last the young Orlando parted from you,
He left a promise to return again
Within an hour, and pacing through the forest,
Chewing the food of sweet and bitter fancy,
Lo what befell. He threw his eye aside,
And mark what object did present itself.
Under an old oak, whose boughs were mossed with age,
And high top bald with dry antiquity,
A wretched ragged man, o'ergrown with hair,
Lay sleeping on his back; about his neck
A green and gilded snake had wreathed itself,
Who with her head, nimble in threats, approached
The opening of his mouth; but suddenly,
Seeing Orlando, it unlinked itself,
And with indented glides did slip away
Into a bush, under which bush's shade
A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,
Lay couching head on ground, with catlike watch
When that the sleeping man should stir; for 'tis
The royal disposition of that beast
To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead.
This seen, Orlando did approach the man,
And found it was his brother, his elder brother.

"Good Wine Needs No Bush"

Context: The play ends with two restorations and four marriages. The usurper Duke Frederick is converted to a life of religion and returns the crown to Duke Senior, who has spent many happy years of exile in the Forest of Arden; Oliver, who had tyrannized over his brother, Orlando, decides to retire as a shepherd to the Forest of Arden and turns over house and estate to Orlando. Orlando marries Rosalind, daughter of Duke Senior; Oliver marries Celia, daughter of Duke Frederick; the court jester Touchstone marries the rustic Audrey; the shepherd Silvius marries the shepherdess Phebe. Finally, after a closing dance, Rosalind makes a curtain speech, asking for the audience's applause, and alluding to the fact that female roles in Shakespeare's day were played by boys in women's dress: "If I were a woman. . . ." The comment reminds the audience that the boy actor has, in the play proper, performed the part of a woman disguised as a man. Rosalind suggests that if the play were a good one, it would scarcely need an apologetic epilogue, just as "good wine needs no bush"–that is, a good vintner would need no bush of evergreen hung over his door to draw trade, such bushes being the common sign on the wine trade. A good product needs no advertisement.


ROSALIND
. . .
If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play. I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me. My way is to conjure you, and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, o women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of the play as please you. And I charge you, o men, for the love you bear to women–as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hates them–that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not. And I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell. [Exeunt.]

"How The World Wags"

Context: His throne usurped by his brother, a Duke of France lives a peaceful, rustic life in exile with a group of followers in the Forest of Arden. However, one of his lords, Jaques, who does not become adapted to the silvan life, weeps when a deer is shot for food and wanders off alone. The Duke searches all day for his doleful companion, but, when Jaques finally appears, he is in a gay mood because of a fool he met in the forest. He repeats the dialogue for the Duke and his lords:


JAQUES
. . .
Good morrow, fool, quoth I. No sir, quoth he,
Call me not fool till heaven hath sent me fortune.
And then he drew a dial from his poke,
And looking on it, with lack-lustre eye,
Says very wisely, it is ten o'clock:
Thus we may see, quoth he, how the world wags
'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,
And after one hour more, 'twill be eleven;
And so from hour to hour we ripe, and ripe,
And then from hour to hour we rot, and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale. . . .

"I Can Suck Melancholy Out Of A Song, As A Weasel Sucks Eggs"

Context: Duke Senior, exiled by his usurping brother, is, together with his followers, having a thoroughly pleasurable time in the paradisal Forest of Arden. "Sweet are the uses of adversity," says the Duke. One of his followers, however, seems constitutionally unable to take pleasure in anything, unless it is in his own melancholy; he is the "melancholy Jaques." After one of the Duke's men, Lord Amiens, sings a verse of the delightful song, "Under the greenwood tree," Jaques begs him to continue:


JAQUES
More, more, I prithee more.
AMIENS
It will make you melancholy Monsieur Jaques.
JAQUES
I thank it. More, I prithee more. I can suck melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs. More, I prithee more.
AMIENS
My voice is ragged. I know I cannot please you.
JAQUES
I do not desire you to please me, I do desire you to sing. Come, more; another stanzo. . . .

"Lean And Slippered Pantaloon"

Context: For the sixth of his "seven ages" of man, the "melancholy Jaques" refers to a stock figure of Italian comedy, the Pantaloon, usually an old, lean, gullible dotard, clothed precisely as Shakespeare describes him. Jaques presents his cynical description of the seven ages–the infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, "pantaloon," and senile dodderer–after his master, the exiled Duke Senior, has pointed out that unhappiness may be found, not only in the Forest of Arden, but in the entire world, the "wide and universal theatre." Jaques replies:


JAQUES
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
. . .
The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble pipes
And whistles in his sound.
. . .

"Men Are April When They Woo, December When They Wed"

Context: A French Duke, his throne usurped by his brother Duke Frederick, lives with his followers in exile in Arden Forest. His daughter Rosalind, who lives at the court as a companion for Celia, Frederick's daughter, becomes enamored of Orlando. Mistreated in Frederick's court, Rosalind and Celia flee to the Forest of Arden in search of Duke Senior, posing as a shepherd and shepherdess, Ganymede and Aliena. Rosalind discovers Orlando in the forest and playfully, as the shepherd Ganymede, gives him lessons in how to woo his Rosalind. At last she brings Orlando to the point of proposing to his beloved, but then she chides him for man's inconstancy:


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.

"Men Have Died From Time To Time But Not For Love"

Context: Rosalind, banished by her uncle Duke Frederick, is in Arden Forest, but disguised as a boy named Ganymede. She meets her love, Orlando, who does not recognize her. But she urges Orlando, who says that he is in love with Rosalind, to court her as though she were Rosalind. Clever, saucy Rosalind teases Orlando in her own person though disguised as the rustic boy. She tells Orlando that Rosalind will not have him. Orlando responds that if she will not have him, then he will die. Rosalind tells him that men have died for various reasons but never for love. She then asks him how long he will love Rosalind, and he replies "for ever, and a day." To this she chidingly responds that men and women are warmer in wooing than in staying married:


ROSALIND
. . . The poor world is almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there was not any man died in his own person, videlicet, in a love-cause. . . . Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
. . .
. . . 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.

"Motley's The Only Wear"

Context: A Duke of France, his throne usurped by his brother, lives with a number of his followers in exile in the Forest of Arden. The Duke and all his lords except Jaques enjoy the simplicity of their sylvan existence. Jaques, however, is usually sad, weeping when a deer is shot for food and wandering alone in the forest. The Duke, concerned, searches all day for Jaques, only to find his doleful follower in a gay mood. Jaques tells his friends that in the forest he encountered a fool with a watch and that the fool's crude philosophy about time has made him merry.


JACQUES
. . .
And then he drew a dial from his poke,
And looking on it, with lack-lustre eye,
Says very wisely, it is ten o'clock:
Thus we may see, quoth he, how the world wags.
'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,
And after one hour more, 'twill be eleven;
And so from hour to hour we ripe, and ripe,
And then from hour to hour we rot, and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale. When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep contemplative.
And I did laugh sans intermission
An hour by his dial. O noble fool,
A worthy fool. Motley's the only wear.

"My Age Is As A Lusty Winter, Frosty, But Kindly"

Context: Kept in penury, uneducated, and refused his share of an inheritance by his evil older brother, the young gentleman Orlando now discovers that the older brother, Oliver, intends to murder him. He is warned that he must run away by a faithful old retainer, Adam, who offers his life savings and asks only that he be permitted to serve his young master:


ADAM
. . .
Here is the gold;
All this I give you. Let me be your servant.
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty.
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
The means of weakness and debility.
Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty, but kindly. Let me go with you;
I'll do the service of a younger man
In all your business and necessities.
ORLANDO
O good old man, how well in thee appears
The constant service of the antique world,
When service sweat for duty, not for meed.
. . .

"O How Full Of Briers Is This Working-day World!"

Context: Rosalind is the daughter of an exiled ruler, Duke Senior, but has remained at court because of her devotion to her cousin Celia, daughter of the usurping ruler, Duke Frederick. Saddened whenever she thinks of her banished father, Rosalind is given new cause for concern. She is in love at first sight with Orlando, tyrannized by his older brother, Oliver. But she has no way of knowing whether her love is returned, though it is. To make matters worse, Orlando has been banished from court by a suspicious Duke Frederick, who, furthermore, is about to banish Rosalind. At this point we find her sighing over her love for the man she would like to marry (whom she calls her "child's father" in anticipation), and being teased by Celia:


CELIA
But is all this for your father?
ROSALIND
No, some of it is for my child's father. O how full of briers is this working-day world!
CELIA
They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths our very petticoats will catch them.
ROSALIND
I could shake them off my coat; these burs are in my heart.

"Sans Teeth, Sans Eyes, Sans Taste, Sans Everything"

Context: Driven from home by his wicked brother, Orlando and his faithful old servant, Adam, arrive in the Forest of Arden, tired and hungry. Leaving the weary Adam, Orlando rudely demands food of the exiled ruler, Duke Senior, only to find it offered to him courteously and instantly. While Orlando leaves to find Adam, Duke Senior and his follower, the "melancholy Jaques," comment on the unhappiness to be discerned in the world–"This wide and universal theatre." Jaques now delivers his famous speech on the "seven ages" of man, ages that begin in toothless infancy and end in toothless second childhood. Just as Jaques concludes, as though in ironic comment on the speech, Adam totters in, almost carried by Orlando:


JAQUES
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances.
And one man in his time plays many parts,
He acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling, and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel
. . .
Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

"Seeking The Bubble Reputation Even In The Cannon's Mouth"

Context: Duke Senior, a deposed ruler, has already spent a number of pleasant years in the paradisal Forest of Arden. To the forest now come other sanctuary-seekers, among them Orlando, a young gentleman who, together with his faithful old servant, Adam, left home when he discovered that his evil brother, Oliver, intended to murder him. In need of food, Orlando rudely interrupts Duke Senior's dinner but, to his shame, finds himself and Adam courteously invited to partake. While Orlando leaves to find Adam, Duke Senior points out to the "melancholy Jaques" that others have reason to be melancholy too: "Thou seest, we are not all alone unhappy./ This wide and universal theatre/ Presents more woeful pageants than the scene/ Wherein we play in." Not to be outdone, Jaques responds with his famous speech: "All the world's a stage,/ And all the men and women merely players./ They have their exits and their entrances,/ And one man in his time plays many parts,/ His acts being seven ages." Both ideas–the world as a stage and the seven ages of man–are Classical and Renaissance commonplaces. The seven ages include those of the infant, the schoolboy, the lover, the soldier, the justice, the old man, and finally, man in his second childhood. Jaques has something cynical to say about each. The soldier he describes as:


JAQUES
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth.
. . .

"Sermons In Stones"

Context: A Duke, known only as Duke Senior, his throne usurped by his brother, Duke Frederick, lives in exile in the Forest of Arden with a company of followers to whom he expounds his ideas of the superiority of a simple rustic life to that of the court:


DUKE SENIOR
Now my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which when it bites and blows upon my body
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say
This is no flattery; these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad ugly and venomous,
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.

"Sweep On You Fat And Greasy Citizens"

Context: An exiled ruler, Duke Senior, lives out his banishment in the pleasant Forest of Arden, an existence he and his followers delight in as simple, natural, and wholesome. "Hath not old custom made this life more sweet/ Than that of painted pomp?" asks the Duke. There is, however, one dissenter among his followers–the melancholy Jaques, who bemoans the slaying of deer for food and is otherwise unhappy. Another of the Duke's followers describes Jaques' reaction to the sight of a wounded stag weeping into a stream and being ignored by a passing herd, a sight that permits Jaques to moralize on human complacency:


FIRST LORD
. . .
Anon a careless herd,
Full of the pasture, jumps along by him, [the wounded deer]
And never stays to greet him. Ay, quoth Jaques,
Sweep on you fat and greasy citizens,
'Tis just the fashion; wherefore do you look
Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?
Thus most invectively he pierceth through
The body of the country, city, court,
Yea, and of this our life, swearing that we
Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse,
To fright the animals, and to kill them up
In their assigned and native dwelling-place.

"Sweet Are The Uses Of Adversity"

Context: In this play, which has been called Shakespeare's "most perfect comedy," Duke Senior has had his dukedom usurped by his brother, Duke Frederick. Duke Senior, banished from the dukedom, has gone into exile in the Forest of Arden, and there he and his followers "live like the old Robin Hood of England." We meet Duke Senior and his fellow lords in exile in Arden, where the duke is putting the best possible face on his misfortune. He asks his followers, "Hath not old custome made this life more sweet / Than that of painted pomp? / Are not these woods / More free from peril than the envious court?" He then further comments on the therapeutic effect of adversity and of the country life:


DUKE SENIOR
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad ugly and venomous,
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.

"The Retort Courteous"

Context: As the play nears its end, Duke Senior, Jaques, and all the other friends of the Duke are met in the forest. Rosalind is about to make everybody happy by having all lovers marry whom they love. Touchstone, the "motley-gentleman" as Jaques calls him, enters, and to prove that he has been a courtier, says that he has "trod a measure," has "flattered a lady," been "politic" with his friend, "smooth" with his enemy, has "undone three tailors," has had "four quarrels, and like to have fought one." This man, whom the Duke calls "swift and sententious," explains how he found "the quarrel on the seventh cause":


TOUCHSTONE
Upon a lie seven times removed. . . . I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard. He sent me word, if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the mind it was. This is called the Retort Courteous. If I sent him word again, it was not well cut, he would send me word he cut it to please himself. This is called the Quip Modest. If again, it was not well cut, he disabled my judgment. This is called the Reply Churlish. If again, it was not well cut, he would answer I spake not true. This is called the Reproof Valiant. If again, it was not well cut, he would say I lie. This is called the Countercheck Quarrelsome; and so to the Lie Circumstantial and Lie Direct.

"The Fair, The Chaste, And Unexpressive She"

Context: Safe in the Forest of Arden, the fugtive Orlando has time to remember his love for Rosalind. Daughter of Duke Senior, who has spent many pleasant years of exile in the Forest, Rosalind is now herself a fugitive from court and is in disguise as a young man, having adopted the name Ganymede. Her presence is unknown both to her father and her lover. Orlando festoons the trees of the forest with poems in praise of Rosalind, despite his insistence that she is indescribable, "unexpressive":


ORLANDO
Hang there my verse, in witness of my love,
And thou thrice-crowned queen of night survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
Thy huntress' name, that my full life doth sway.
O Rosalind, these trees shall be my books,
And in their barks my thoughts I'll character,
That every eye, which in this forest looks,
Shall see thy virtue witnessed every where.
Run, run, Orlando, carve on every tree
The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she.

"The Fool Doth Think He Is Wise, But The Wise Man Knows Himself To Be A Fool"

Context: Duke Frederick has usurped the throne of his brother, Duke Senior. The latter lives in the Forest of Arden like Robin Hood, surrounded with merry men. Frederick, spiteful and splenetic, banishes Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior, who lives at his court as a companion to Celia, his own daughter. Celia insists upon accompanying her cousin, who journeys to the Forest in search of her father. For protection's sake, Rosalind, being taller, dons boy's clothing, and Touchstone, her father's jester, goes along as a companion. In the forest many adventures befall them; each finds a sweetheart, including Touchstone, who finds Audrey, a country girl and falls in love with her. Now, in the woods, William, a simple country bumpkin who has a prior claim to Audrey, approaches them. Touchstone sounds him out.


TOUCHSTONE
. . . Art thou wise?
WILLIAM
Ay, sir; I have a pretty wit.
TOUCHSTONE
Why, thou sayst well. I do now remember a saying, the fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. . . .

"The More Fool I"

Context: The scene is the Forest of Arden, whither has fled Duke Senior, whose throne has been usurped by his younger brother, Frederick. With him have come several attendant lords. Rosalind, Duke Senior's daughter, had remained at the court of her usurping uncle because of her affection for the latter's daughter, Celia. But when Duke Frederick discovers that his niece has fallen in love with Orlando, the son of a supporter of his elder brother, he banishes her from his court. Rosalind decides to join her father. Dressed in boy's clothes and accompanied by her faithful cousin Celia and Touchstone, a clown, she enters the Forest of Arden in search of the deposed Duke. The three are exhausted after their long journey and dejected in spirits. The following conversation ensues:


CELIA
I pray you bear with me, I cannot go no further.
TOUCHSTONE
For my part, I had rather bear with you than bear you; yet I should bear no cross if I did bear you, for I think you have no money in your purse.
ROSALIND
Well, this is the forest of Arden.
TOUCHSTONE
Ay, now I am in Arden, the more fool I; when I was at home I was in a better place, but travellers must be content.

"Thereby Hangs A Tale"

Context: Duke Senior, Amiens, and other lords are seeking Jaques in the Forest of Arden. Jaques is now reported to be "merry" since hearing Amiens sing the song "Under the Greenwood Tree." Duke Senior urges someone to seek out Jaques. At this moment Jaques enters and comments that he met "a motley fool" "Who laid him down and basked him in the sun, / And railed on Lady Fortune in good terms." Jaques then reports that the fool looked at his watch and "Says very wisely, it is ten o'clock." Then he continues the fool's speech:


JAQUES
Thus we may see, quoth he, how the world wags
'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,
And after one hour more, 'twill be eleven;
And so from hour to hour we ripe, and ripe,
. . .
And thereby hangs a tale. When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep contemplative.

"Thou Art In A Parlous State"

Context: Into the pleasant exile of the Forest of Arden comes Touchstone, the court jester, following Rosalind, daughter of the banished Duke Senior, and Celia, daughter of the usurper, Duke Frederick. Duke Senior has spent a good many years in the Forest of Arden, and earlier in the play he compared his life in the woods quite favorably with his life at court: "Are not these woods/ More free from peril than the envious court?" Now the theme of court versus country is developed by Touchstone, in a conversation with the shepherd Corin. Touchstone gravely tells Corin that, since the rustic has never been at court, he is damned. Corin protests:


CORIN
For not being at court? Your reason?
TOUCHSTONE
Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never saw'st good manners; if thou never saw'st good manners, then thy manners must be wicked, and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous state shepherd.
CORIN
Not a whit Touchstone; those that are good manners at the court, are as ridiculous in the country as the behavior of the country is most mockable at the court.
. . .

"Thou Speakest Wiser Than Thou Art Aware Of"

Context: Two aspects of love–the pain of passion and the silly behavior that passion can lead to–are suggested at this point in the play. Hearing the shepherd Silvius describe his love for the shepherdess Phebe, Rosalind is reminded of her own passion for Orlando. But the clown Touchstone reminds her also that lovers can behave quite foolishly. Indeed, says he, everyone who falls in love proves his humanity by his folly:


TOUCHSTONE
. . .
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.
ROSALIND
Thou speak'st wiser than thou art ware of.
TOUCHSTONE
Nay, I shall ne'er be ware of mine own wit, till I break my shins against it.
ROSALIND
Jove, Jove, this shepherd's passion
Is much upon my fashion.
TOUCHSTONE
And mine, but it grows something stale with me.

"Under The Greenwood Tree"

Context: The scene is the forest of Arden. The First Lord tells Duke Senior, who has been banished by his brother Duke Frederick and has gone to the forest, that Jaques, a lord attending on Duke Senior, is "melancholy." Now we see Jaques with Amiens, another lord attending Duke Senior. Amiens sings a stanza of a beautiful song. Jaques calls for more, but Amiens insists that the song will make him "melancholy." Jaques responds, "More, I prithee more. I can suck melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs." This is the first stanza of Amiens' song:


AMIENS
Under the greenwood tree,
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither.
Here shall he see
No enemy,
But winter and rough weather.

"We That Are True Lovers Run Into Strange Capers"

Context: Lovers gather in the Forest of Arden, a pleasant, Arcadian retreat. Among them is the banished Rosalind, daughter of the banished Duke Senior. Listening to the shepherd Silvius speak of his passion for the shepherdess Phebe, Rosalind is reminded of her own love "wound," given to her by the young Orlando. At this point the court fool, Touchstone, mocks the behavior of young men and women in love, remembering his own youth when he lunged at imaginary rivals, kissed everything his rustic mistress touched, including the small bat she used in washing clothes, and employed peapods as love tokens:


ROSALIND
Alas, poor shepherd! Searching of thy wound,
I have by hard adventure found mine own.
TOUCHSTONE
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 chopped 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.

"With Bag And Baggage"

Context: Rosalind, daughter to Duke Senior, is banished as her father was. Celia, daughter to Duke Frederick–who has usurped his brother's throne–accompanies Rosalind to the forest of Arden. Rosalind, disguised as Ganymede, a country fellow, is loved by Orlando, who nails love poems to her on trees throughout the forest. Touchstone, a clown, and Corin, a shepherd, are walking in the woods talking nonsense when they come upon Rosalind, who is reading one of Orlando's poems which she has found. Celia, disguised as Aliena, Ganymede's sister, enters, also reading these love verses. Rosalind protests: "O most gentle Jupiter, what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never dried, have patience good people." Celia then asks Touchstone and Corin to leave them. The former replies.


TOUCHSTONE
Come shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat, though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.