As You Like It

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Rosalind and Celia
coz (n.) [abbreviation of] cousin See Topics: cousin


I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.


Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am

mistress of, and would you yet were merrier. Unless

you could teach me to forget a banished father, you

must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary
learn (v.) 1 teach, instruct [not a regional dialect usage as in modern English]



Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full weight

that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father, had

banished thy uncle, the Duke my father, so thou hadst

been still with me, I could have taught my love to take
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

thy father for mine; so wouldst thou, if the truth of

thy love to me were so righteously tempered as mine is
righteously (adv.) rightly, correctly, truly
temper (v.) 1 blend, mix, concoct, compound

to thee.


Well, I will forget the condition of my estate,
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances

to rejoice in yours.


You know my father hath no child but I, nor none

is like to have; and truly, when he dies, thou shalt be his
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

heir: for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce,
perforce (adv.) 1 forcibly, by force, violently See Topics: Frequency count

I will render thee again in affection, by mine
render (v.) 3 give back [to], return [to]

honour I will, and when I break that oath, let me turn
oath (n.) promise, undertaking

monster. Therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rose,

be merry.


From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports.
henceforth, from from now on, from this time forth
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count

Let me see – what think you of falling in love?


Marry, I prithee do, to make sport withal; but love
sport (n.) 4 subject of sport

no man in good earnest, nor no further in sport neither,
good (adj.) 1 [intensifying use] real, genuine

than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst in honour

come off again.
come off (v.) 2 escape, get away


What shall be our sport then?


Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune

from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be
henceforth (adv.) from now on, from this time forth See Topics: hence, thence, and whence

bestowed equally.


I would we could do so; for her benefits are

mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman doth

most mistake in her gifts to women.


'Tis true, for those that she makes fair she scarce

makes honest, and those that she makes honest she
honest (adj.) 1 chaste, pure, virtuous

makes very ill-favouredly.
ill-favouredly (adv.) 2 with plain features, unattractively


Nay, now thou goest from Fortune's office
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

to Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in

the lineaments of Nature.
lineament (n.) 1 line, feature, characteristic, attribute

Enter Touchstone


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
flout at (v.) mock, jeer, scoff
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

sent in this fool to cut off the argument?


Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature,

when Fortune makes Nature's natural the cutter-off of
natural (n.) congenital idiot, half-wit, fool

Nature's wit.


Peradventure this is not Fortune's work neither,
peradventure (adv.) perhaps, maybe, very likely See Topics: Frequency count

but Nature's, who perceiveth our natural wits too dull

to reason of such goddesses and hath sent this natural
natural (n.) congenital idiot, half-wit, fool

for our whetstone: for always the dullness of of the fool is
whetstone (n.) shaped stone used for sharpening [whetting] tools

the whetstone of the wits. How now, wit, whither
wit (n.) 6 lively person, sharp-minded individual

wander you?


Mistress, you must come away to your



Were you made the messenger?
messenger (n.) 1 pursuivant, officer


No, by mine honour, but I was bid to
bid (v.), past form bade 1 command, order, enjoin, tell

come for you.


Where learned you that oath, fool?


Of a certain knight that swore by his

honour they were good pancakes and swore by his

honour the mustard was naught: now I'll stand to it
naught, nought (adj.) 1 worthless, useless, of no value
stand to it (v.) 1 swear to it, insist upon it

the pancakes were naught and the mustard was good,

and yet was not the knight forsworn.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count


How prove you that, in the great heap of your



Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.


Stand you both forth now: stroke your
forth (adv.) 2 forward

chins and swear by your beards that I am a knave.
knave (n.) 1 scoundrel, rascal, rogue See Topics: Frequency count


By our beards – if we had them – thou art.


By my knavery – if I had it – then I were;
knavery (n.) 1 roguish trick, rouguery, trickery

but if you swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn:
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 1 swear falsely, perjure [oneself], break one's word See Topics: Frequency count

no more was this knight, swearing by his honour, for

he never had any; or if he had, he had sworn it away

before ever he saw those pancakes or that mustard.


Prithee, who is't that thou meanest?


One that old Frederick, your father, loves.


My father's love is enough to honour him enough.

Speak no more of him; you'll be whipped for taxation
taxation (n.) 1 criticism, censure, slander

one of these days.


The more pity that fools may not speak

wisely what wise men do foolishly.


By my troth, thou sayest true: for since the little

wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery that
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

wise men have makes a great show. Here comes Monsieur

the Beu.

Enter Le Beau


With his mouth full of news.


Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their
put (v.) 2 force, press, thrust



Then shall we be news-crammed.


All the better: we shall be the more marketable.

Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau, what's the news?


Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count


Sport? Of what colour?
colour (n.) 5 type, kind, nature


What colour, madam? How shall I answer you?


As wit and fortune will.
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


Or as the Destinies decrees.


Well said, that was laid on with a trowel.


Nay, if I keep not my rank –


Thou losest thy old smell.


You amaze me, ladies. I would have told you of
amaze (v.) 1 confuse, perplex, bewilder

good wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.


Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.


I will tell you the beginning; and, if it please

your ladyships, you may see the end, for the best is yet

to do, and here, where you are, they are coming to

perform it.


Well, the beginning that is dead and buried.


There comes an old man and his three sons –


I could match this beginning with an old tale.


Three proper young men, of excellent growth
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

and presence –


With bills on their necks: ‘Be it known unto
bill (n.) 2 notice, label, proclamation, placard

all men by these presents'.
present (n.) 4 written document


The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles,

the Duke's wrestler, which Charles in a moment threw

him, and broke three of his ribs, that there is little hope

of life in him. So he served the second, and so the third.

Yonder they lie, the poor old man their father making

such pitiful dole over them that all the beholders take
dole (n.) 1 grief, sorrow, sadness

his part with weeping.




But what is the sport, Monsieur, that the

ladies have lost?


Why, this that I speak of.


Thus men may grow wiser every day. It is

the first time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport

for ladies.


Or I, I promise thee.


But is there any else longs to see this broken
broken (adj.) 7 arranged for different groups of instruments

music in his sides? Is there yet another dotes upon
dote on / upon (v.) 1 be infatuated with, idolize

rib-breaking? Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?


You must if you stay here, for here is the place

appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform



Yonder, sure, they are coming. Let us now stay

and see it.

Flourish. Enter Duke Frederick, Lords, Orlando,

Charles, and attendants


Come on. Since the youth will not be entreated, his
entreat, intreat (v.) 1 persuade, prevail upon

own peril on his forwardness.
forwardness (adj.) rashness, boldness, over-eagerness


Is yonder the man?


Even he, madam.


Alas, he is too young; yet he looks successfully.
successfully (adv.) likely to succeed


How now, daughter and cousin? Are you crept

hither to see the wrestling?


Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave.
liege (n.) lord, sovereign See Topics: Address forms


You will take little delight in it, I can tell you, there

is such odds in the man. In pity of the challenger's
odds (n. plural) 1 superiority, advantage, edge

youth I would fain dissuade him, but he will not be
fain (adv.) gladly, willingly See Topics: Frequency count

entreated. Speak to him, ladies, see if you can move him.
entreat, intreat (v.) 1 persuade, prevail upon


Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.


Do so: I'll not be by.

He stands aside


Monsieur the challenger, the princess calls for



I attend them with all respect and duty.
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]


Young man, have you challenged Charles the



No, fair Princess. He is the general challenger;

I come but in as others do, to try with him the strength
try (v.) 3 contest, decide, fight out

of my youth.


Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for

your years. You have seen cruel proof of this man's

strength; if you saw yourself with your eyes, or knew

yourself with your judgement, the fear of your adventure

would counsel you to a more equal enterprise. We pray
counsel (v.) advise, urge
equal (adj.) 1 fair, equitable, evenhanded

you for your own sake to embrace your own safety, and

give over this attempt.


Do, young sir, your reputation shall not therefore

be misprized: we will make it our suit to the Duke
misprize (v.) despise, undervalue, scorn

that the wrestling might not go forward.
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count


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
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

foiled, there is but one shamed that was never gracious;
gracious (adj.) 4 in favour, enjoying grace, esteemed

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.


The little strength that I have, I would it were

with you.


And mine, to eke out hers.
eke, eke out (v.) add to, increase, supplement


Fare you well. Pray heaven, I be deceived in
deceive (v.) 1 delude, mislead, take in



Your heart's desires be with you!


Come, where is this young gallant that is so
gallant (n.) 1 fine gentleman, man of fashion See Topics: Address forms

desirous to lie with his mother earth?


Ready, sir, but his will hath in it a more

modest working.
working (n.) 3 aim, endeavour, performance


You shall try but one fall.
try (v.) 3 contest, decide, fight out


No, I warrant your grace, you shall not entreat
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count

him to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him

from a first.


You mean to mock me after; you should not

have mocked me before. But come your ways!


Now Hercules be thy speed, young man!
speed (n.) 2 assistance, aid, protector


I would I were invisible, to catch the strong fellow

by the leg.

Orlando and Charles wrestle


O excellent young man!


If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who

should down.

A shout as Charles is thrown


(coming forward)

No more, no more.


Yes, I beseech your grace, I am not yet well

breathed (adv.) exercised, extended, exerted


How dost thou, Charles?


He cannot speak, my lord.


Bear him away.

Attendants carry Charles off

What is thy name, young man?


Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir

Rowland de Boys.


I would thou hadst been son to some man else.

The world esteemed thy father honourable,

But I did find him still mine enemy.
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this deed

Hadst thou descended from another house.

But fare thee well, thou art a gallant youth;

I would thou hadst told me of another father.

Exit Duke, with Lords, Le Beau, and Touchstone


Were I my father, coz, would I do this?


I am more proud to be Sir Rowland's son,

His youngest son, and would not change that calling
calling (n.) 1 name, designation

To be adopted heir to Frederick.


My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul,

And all the world was of my father's mind.

Had I before known this young man his son,

I should have given him tears unto entreaties

Ere he should thus have ventured.
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count


                         Gentle cousin,

Let us go thank him, and encourage him.

My father's rough and envious disposition
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity See Topics: Frequency count

Sticks me at heart. – Sir, you have well deserved.
stick (v.) 3 pierce, stab, wound

If you do keep your promises in love

But justly as you have exceeded all promise,
justly (adv.) exactly, precisely, closely

Your mistress shall be happy.


(taking a chain from her neck)


Wear this for me – one out of suits with fortune,
out of suits with out of favour with
suits, out of out of favour

That could give more but that her hand lacks means.

(to Celia) Shall we go, coz?


Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.

Rosalind and Celia begin to withdraw


Can I not say ‘ I thank you ’? My better parts

Are all thrown down, and that which here stands up

Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.
liveless (adj.) spelling variant of ‘lifeless’
mere (adv.) 1 totally, absolutely
quintain (n.) heavy post used as a mark for tilting practice


He calls us back. My pride fell with my fortunes:

I'll ask him what he would. – Did you call, sir?
will (v.), past form would 1 desire, wish, want

Sir, you have wrestled well, and overthrown

More than your enemies.


                         Will you go, coz?


Have with you. (To Orlando) Fare you well.

Exeunt Rosalind and Celia


What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
passion (n.) 1 powerful feeling, overpowering emotion [often opposed to ‘reason’]

I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference.
conference (n.) 1 conversation, talk, discourse

Enter Le Beau

O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!

Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.


Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
counsel (v.) advise, urge

To leave this place. Albeit you have deserved

High commendation, true applause, and love,

Yet such is now the Duke's condition,
condition (n.) 1 disposition, temper, mood, character

That he misconsters all that you have done.
misconster (v.) misconstrue, misinterpret, take wrongly

The Duke is humorous – what he is, indeed,
humorous (adj.) 1 capricious, moody, temperamental

More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.
conceive (v.) 1 understand, comprehend, follow


I thank you, sir; and pray you tell me this,

Which of the two was daughter of the Duke

That here was at the wrestling?


Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners,

But yet indeed the taller is his daughter;

The other is daughter to the banished Duke,

And here detained by her usurping uncle

To keep his daughter company, whose loves

Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.

But I can tell you that of late this Duke

Hath ta'en displeasure 'gainst his gentle niece,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Grounded upon no other argument
argument (n.) 8 cause, reason [for a dispute]

But that the people praise her for her virtues

And pity her for her good father's sake;

And, on my life, his malice 'gainst the lady

Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well;

Hereafter, in a better world than this,

I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.


I rest much bounden to you: fare you well.
bounden (v.) indebted, obliged, grateful
rest (v.) 1 remain, stay, stand

Exit Le Beau

Thus must I from the smoke into the smother,
smother (n.) suffocating smoke

From tyrant Duke unto a tyrant brother.

But heavenly Rosalind!


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