As You Like It

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Rosalind, Celia, and Jaques
pretty (adj.) 3 [of men] fine, good-looking


I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted

with thee.


They say you are a melancholy fellow.


I am so: I do love it better than laughing.


Those that are in extremity of either are

abominable fellows, and betray themselves to every
betray (v.) 3 give up, expose, lay open [especially: to punishment]

modern censure worse than drunkards.
censure (n.) 2 condemnation, blame, stricture
modern (adj.) ordinary, trite, commonplace, everyday


Why, 'tis good to be sad and say nothing.
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count


Why then, 'tis good to be a post.
post (n.) 3 door-post


I have neither the scholar's melancholy, which is

emulation; nor the musician's, which is fantastical; nor
fantastical (adj.) 1 fanciful, imaginative, full of wild ideas

the courtier's, which is proud; nor the soldier's, which is

ambitious; nor the lawyer's, which is politic; nor the
politic (adj.) 2 crafty, wily, self-serving

lady's, which is nice; nor the lover's, which is all these:
nice (adj.) 1 fastidious, particular, fussy, overscrupulous

but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of

many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed
simple (n.) 1 ingredient, element, constituent

the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my

often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
humorous (adj.) 1 capricious, moody, temperamental


A traveller! By my faith, you have great

reason to be sad. I fear you have sold your own lands to
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count

see other men's; then, to have seen much and to have

nothing is to have rich eyes and poor hands.


Yes, I have gained my experience.

Enter Orlando
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn See Topics: Frequency count


And your experience makes you sad. I had

rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to

make me sad – and to travail for it too!
travail, travel (v.) 2 travel, journey [often overlapping with sense 1]


Good day, and happiness, dear Rosalind!


Nay then, God buy you, an you talk in blank verse.



(as he goes)

Farewell, Monsieur Traveller. Look

you lisp and wear strange suits; disable all the benefits
benefit (n.) 5 quality, advantage, gift
disable (v.) disparage, belittle, devalue
lisp (v.) 3 put on a foreign accent
strange (adj.) 4 foreign, alien, from abroad

of your own country; be out of love with your nativity,
nativity (n.) 3 country of birth

and almost chide God for making you that countenance
chide (v.), past form chid 1 scold, rebuke, reprove See Topics: Frequency count
countenance (n.) 1 demeanour, bearing, manner

you are; or I will scarce think you have swam in a
swim (v.) 1 float, sail

gondola. – Why, how now, Orlando, where have you

been all this while? You a lover! An you serve me such

another trick, never come in my sight more.


My fair Rosalind, I come within an hour of my



Break an hour's promise in love? He that will

divide a minute into a thousand parts, and break but a

part of the thousandth part of a minute in the affairs of

love, it may be said of him that Cupid hath clapped him

o'th' shoulder, but I'll warrant him heart-whole.
heart-whole (adj.) with affections uncommitted, with the heart uninvolved
warrant (v.) 3 act as a pledge for, give an assurance about


Pardon me, dear Rosalind.


Nay, an you be so tardy come no more in my

sight; I had as lief be wooed of a snail.
lief, had as should like just as much See Topics: Frequency count


Of a snail?


Ay, of a snail: for though he comes slowly, he

carries his house on his head – a better jointure, I think,
jointure (n.) marriage settlement, part of a husband's estate due to his widow

than you make a woman. Besides he brings his destiny

with him.


What's that?


Why, horns; which such as you are fain to be

beholding to your wives for. But he comes armed in his
fain (adj.) 1 obliged, forced, compelled

fortune, and prevents the slander of his wife.
prevent (v.) 1 forestall, anticipate
slander (n.) 1 dishonour, disgrace, disrepute


Virtue is no horn-maker; and my Rosalind is
horn-maker (n.) maker of cuckolds



And I am your Rosalind.


It pleases him to call you so; but he hath a Rosalind

of a better leer than you.
leer (n.) 1 complexion, countenance, look


Come, woo me, woo me: for now I am in a

holiday humour, and like enough to consent. What
humour (n.) 1 mood, disposition, frame of mind, temperament [as determined by bodily fluids] See Topics: Frequency count
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

would you say to me now, an I were your very, very



I would kiss before I spoke.


Nay, you were better speak first, and when you

were gravelled for lack of matter, you might take occasion
gravelled (v.) perplexed, at a loss, stumped
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance

to kiss. Very good orators, when they are out, they will
out (adv.) 2 at a loss, put out, nonplussed; unable to remember one's lines

spit, and for lovers lacking – God warn us! – matter, the

cleanliest shift is to kiss.
cleanly (adj.) 2 deft, skilful, clever


How if the kiss be denied?


Then she puts you to entreaty, and there

begins new matter.
matter (n.) 1 subject-matter, content, substance


Who could be out, being before his beloved
out (adv.) 2 at a loss, put out, nonplussed; unable to remember one's lines



Marry, that should you if I were your mistress,

or I should think my honesty ranker than my wit.
honesty (n.) 1 virtue, chastity
rank (adj.) 11 strong, stout, firm
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


What, of my suit?
of (prep.) 10 out of
suit (n.) 4 clothing, dress, garb
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship


Not out of your apparel, and yet out of your
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress See Topics: Frequency count

suit. Am not I your Rosalind?
suit (n.) 4 clothing, dress, garb


I take some joy to say you are, because I would

be talking of her.


Well, in her person, I say I will not have you.


Then, in mine own person, I die.


No, faith, die by attorney. The poor world is
attorney, by by proxy [as opposed to ‘in person’]

almost six thousand years old, and in all this time there

was not any man died in his own person, videlicit, in a

love-cause. Troilus had his brains dashed out with a

Grecian club, yet he did what he could to die before,

and he is one of the patterns of love. Leander, he would

have lived many a fair year though Hero had turned

nun, if it had not been for a hot midsummer night: for,

good youth, he went but forth to wash him in the

Hellespont and being taken with the cramp was drowned,

and the foolish chroniclers of that age found it was ‘Hero

of Sestos'. But these are all lies; men have died from

time to time and worms have eaten them, but not for



I would not have my right Rosalind of this

mind, for I protest her frown might kill me.


By this hand, it will not kill a fly. But come,

now I will be your Rosalind in a more coming-on
coming-on (adj.) amenable, agreeable, compliant

disposition; and ask me what you will, I will grant it.
disposition (n.) 3 inclination, mood, frame of mind


Then love me, Rosalind.


Yes, faith will I, Fridays and Saturdays and



And wilt thou have me?


Ay, and twenty such.
twenty, and [ballad catch phrase, used as an intensifer] and many more See Topics: Numbers


What sayest thou?


Are you not good?


I hope so.


Why then, can one desire too much of a good

thing? Come, sister, you shall be the priest and marry

us. – Give me your hand, Orlando. – What do you say,



Pray thee, marry us.


I cannot say the words.


You must begin, ‘ Will you, Orlando.’


Go to. – Will you, Orlando, have to wife this



I will.


Ay, but when?


Why, now, as fast as she can marry us.


Then you must say ‘ I take thee, Rosalind, for



I take thee, Rosalind, for wife.


I might ask you for your commission, but I
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]

do take thee, Orlando, for my husband. There's a girl

goes before the priest, and certainly a woman's thought
go before (v.) 1 anticipate, forestall

runs before her actions.


So do all thoughts, they are winged.


Now tell me how long you would have her

after you have possessed her.


For ever and a day.


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. I will be more jealous

of thee than a Barbary cock-pigeon over his hen, more
Barbary cock-pigeon type of pigeon from the Barbary coast; [reputedly of Eastern men] man who jealously safeguards his wife See Topics: World [outside Britain], places and peoples

clamorous than a parrot against rain, more new-fangled
new-fangled (adj.) fond of novelty, distracted by new things

than an ape, more giddy in my desires than a monkey;
giddy (adj.) 1 frivolous, flighty, fickle, irresponsible

I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I

will do that when you are disposed to be merry; I will

laugh like a hyen, and that when thou art inclined to
hyen (n.) hyena



But will my Rosalind do so?


By my life, she will do as I do.


O, but she is wise.


Or else she could not have the wit to do this.
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

The wiser, the waywarder. Make the doors upon a
make (v.) 15 make fast, shut, close
waywarder (n.) obstinate, wilful, self-willed

woman's wit, and it will out at the casement; shut that,
casement (n.) 1 window [on hinges and able to be opened]
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

and 'twill out at the key-hole; stop that, 'twill fly with
stop (v.) 2 stop up, close (up), shut

the smoke out at the chimney.


A man that had a wife with such a wit, he might
wit (n.) 2 mental sharpness, acumen, quickness, ingenuity See Topics: Frequency count

say ‘ Wit, whither wilt?’
wit (n.) 6 lively person, sharp-minded individual


Nay, you might keep that check for it, till you

met your wife's wit going to your neighbour's bed.


And what wit could wit have to excuse that?


Marry, to say she came to seek you there. You

shall never take her without her answer, unless you take

her without her tongue. O, that woman that cannot make

her fault her husband's occasion, let her never nurse her

child herself, for she will breed it like a fool.


For these two hours, Rosalind, I will leave thee.


Alas, dear love, I cannot lack thee two hours!


I must attend the Duke at dinner. By two
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]

o'clock I will be with thee again.


Ay, go your ways, go your ways: I knew what

you would prove, my friends told me as much, and I

thought no less. That flattering tongue of yours won

me. 'Tis but one cast away, and so, come death. Two
cast away (v.) 1 cast off, discard, throw away

o'clock is your hour?


Ay, sweet Rosalind.


By my troth, and in good earnest, and so God

mend me, and by all pretty oaths that are not dangerous,

if you break one jot of your promise, or come one minute

behind your hour, I will think you the most pathetical
pathetical (adj.) 2 pathetic, miserable, deplorable

break-promise, and the most hollow lover, and the most
break-promise (n.) promise-breaker

unworthy of her you call Rosalind, that may be chosen

out of the gross band of the unfaithful. Therefore,
gross (adj.) 3 whole, total, entire

beware my censure, and keep your promise.
censure (n.) 2 condemnation, blame, stricture


With no less religion than if thou wert indeed
religion (n.) 1 religious observance, spiritual duty, obligation

my Rosalind. So, adieu.


Well, Time is the old justice that examines all

such offenders, and let Time try. Adieu!
try (v.) 5 judge the case

Exit Orlando


You have simply misused our sex in your love-prate.
love-prate (n.) love-chatter, amorous talk
misuse (v.) 1 disgrace, deride, abuse
simply (adv.) 1 completely, absolutely, totally

We must have your doublet and hose plucked

over your head, and show the world what the bird hath

done to her own nest.


O coz, coz, coz, my pretty little coz, that thou

didst know how many fathom deep I am in love! But it

cannot be sounded: my affection hath an unknown
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion

bottom, like the Bay of Portugal.


Or rather, bottomless, that as fast as you pour

affection in, it runs out.


No, that same wicked bastard of Venus, that

was begot of thought, conceived of spleen, and born of
spleen (n.) 5 impulse, caprice, whim
thought (n.) 2 melancholic reflection, anxiety, sorrow, worry

madness, that blind rascally boy that abuses everyone's
abuse (v.) 1 deceive, mislead, fool, cheat

eyes because his own are out, let him be judge how

deep I am in love. I'll tell thee, Aliena, I cannot be out

of the sight of Orlando: I'll go find a shadow and sigh

till he come.


And I'll sleep.


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