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As You Like It

As You Like It Translation Act 2, Scene 7

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Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and LORDS like outlaws.

DUKE SENIOR

I think he be transformed into a beast,For I can nowhere find him like a man.

DUKE SENIOR

I think he must have transformed into an animal, because I cannot find him anywhere looking like a man.

FIRST LORD

My lord, he is but even now gone hence.Here was he merry, hearing of a song.

FIRST LORD

My lord, he just left from here. Here he was happy, listening to a song.

DUKE SENIOR

If he, compact of jars, grow musical,We shall have shortly discord in the spheres.Go seek him. Tell him I would speak with him.

DUKE SENIOR

If that man, who is made up of internal conflict, should become musical, then we will soon have discord among even the planets. Go find him. Tell him I would speak with him.

Enter JAQUES

FIRST LORD

He saves my labor by his own approach.

FIRST LORD

He saves me the trouble by coming here himself.

DUKE SENIOR

Why, how now, monsieur? What a life is this That your poor friends must woo your company?What, you look merrily.

DUKE SENIOR

Why, what's going on, sir? What a life is this that your poor friends must come begging for your company? Hmm...you look happy.

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. “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 lackluster 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.

JAQUES

A fool, a fool, I met a fool in the forest, a jester dressed in mixed colors. What a miserable world! As sure as I live off of food, I met a fool who was lying down and basking in the sun, complaining against Lady Fortune using good, well-practiced language, and yet he was a professional fool. "Good morning, fool," I said. "No, sir," he said, "Don't call me 'fool' until heaven has sent me my fortune." And then he pulled a sundial from his pocket and, looking at it gravely, said very wisely, "It is ten o'clock. So we may see," he said, "how the world moves. It was nine only an hour ago, and in one more hour it will be eleven. And so from hour to hour we ripen and ripen, and from hour to hour we rot and rot, and there's a story in all this." When I heard that fool moralizing about time in this way, I began to laugh and exclaim like a rooster. That fools should be so contemplative made me laugh without a break for a full hour, as recorded by the fool's sundial. Oh, noble fool! A worthy fool! Jester's clothing is the only thing to wear.

DUKE SENIOR

What fool is this?

DUKE SENIOR

What fool is this?

JAQUES

O worthy fool!— One that hath been a courtier And says, “If ladies be but young and fair, They have the gift to know it.” And in his brain, Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit After a voyage, he hath strange places crammed With observation, the which he vents In mangled forms. Oh, that I were a fool! I am ambitious for a motley coat.

JAQUES

Oh, worthy fool! 

[To DUKE SENIOR] A fool who has been at court, and who says, "If ladies are young and fair, they also always know it." He has a brain as dry as a sailor's biscuit after a voyage, and he has crammed strange parts of it with observations, which he expresses in a twisted, roundabout way. Oh, I wish I were a fool! My ambition is to wear a jester's coat.

DUKE SENIOR

Thou shalt have one.

DUKE SENIOR

You will have one then.

JAQUES

It is my only suit, Provided that you weed your better judgments Of all opinion that grows rank in them That I am wise. I must have liberty Withal, as large a charter as the wind, To blow on whom I please, for so fools have. And they that are most gallèd with my folly, They most must laugh. And why, sir, must they so? The “why” is plain as way to parish church: He that a fool doth very wisely hit Doth very foolishly, although he smart, Not to seem senseless of the bob. If not, The wise man’s folly is anatomized Even by the squand'ring glances of the fool. Invest me in my motley. Give me leave To speak my mind, and I will through and through Cleanse the foul body of th' infected world, If they will patiently receive my medicine.

JAQUES

It is the only suit I will wear, and the only request I will make too, as long as you will rid yourself of any wild-growing ideas that I am wise. Along with my jester's suit, I must have the freedom—like the wind—to blow my satiric comments on anyone I please, just like real fools do. And whoever is most wounded by my foolishness also has to laugh the most. And why, sir, must he? The answer is as plain as the path to a parish church: any man a fool happens to satirize would be foolish (even if he's smart) not to pretend to ignore the barbed joke. Otherwise, the wise man's foolishness would be exposed even by jokes not meant to mock him. Dress me up in jester's clothes. Give me permission to speak my mind, and I will through and through cleanse the sick body of the infected world—if it can accept my medicine.

DUKE SENIOR

Fie on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.

DUKE SENIOR

Curse you! I know what you would do.

JAQUES

What, for a counter, would I do but good?

JAQUES

I'll give you a penny if you tell me: what would I do besides good?

DUKE SENIOR

Most mischievous foul sin in chiding sin, For thou thyself hast been a libertine, As sensual as the brutish sting itself, And all th' embossèd sores and headed evils That thou with license of free foot hast caught Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.

DUKE SENIOR

You would be committing a mischievous, foul sin by criticizing other people's sins. For you yourself have been a shameless sinner—as lustful as carnal appetite itself. And all the swollen boils and pimples of sin that you acquired in your free roaming you would now burst and return to the general public.

JAQUES

Why, who cries out on pride That can therein tax any private party? Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea Till that the weary very means do ebb? What woman in the city do I name, When that I say the city-woman bears The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders? Who can come in and say that I mean her, When such a one as she such is her neighbor? Or what is he of basest function That says his bravery is not of my cost, Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits His folly to the mettle of my speech? There then. How then, what then? Let me see wherein My tongue hath wronged him. If it do him right, Then he hath wronged himself. If he be free, Why then my taxing like a wild goose flies Unclaimed of any man. But who comes here?

JAQUES

Why, if I cry out against pride in general, should that mean that I'm criticizing a particular person? Doesn't pride flow as much as a moving sea, which exhausts even its own source? Am I naming any specific woman of the city when I say that the clothes a city-woman wears are rich enough for a prince? Who can come in and say that I mean her specifically, when all her neighbors are the same? Or if some low-ranking man tells me that his fancy clothes are none of my business, then isn't he just admitting that his foolishness is exactly what I'm talking about? Well then. How then, what then? Tell me how my words have wronged him. If they describe him accurately, then he has done wrong himself. If they don't describe him, why, then my criticisms fly past like a wild goose, unclaimed by any man. But who is this coming?

Enter ORLANDO, with his sword drawn

ORLANDO

Forbear, and eat no more.

ORLANDO

Stop, and eat no more.

JAQUES

Why, I have eat none yet.

JAQUES

Why, I haven't eaten anything yet.

ORLANDO

Nor shalt not till necessity be served.

ORLANDO

And you won't until what has to be done is done.

JAQUES

Of what kind should this cock come of?

JAQUES

What kind of fighting rooster is this?

DUKE SENIOR

Art thou thus boldened, man, by thy distressOr else a rude despiser of good manners,That in civility thou seem’st so empty?

DUKE SENIOR

Are you acting so boldly, man, because you are in distress? Or do you just despise good manners, that you should seem so lacking in civility?

ORLANDO

You touched my vein at first. The thorny point Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show Of smooth civility, yet am I inland bred And know some nurture. But forbear, I say. He dies that touches any of this fruit Till I and my affairs are answerèd.

ORLANDO

You described me right the first time. The painful thorn of distress has robbed me of the performance of good manners, though I was raised in civilized society and had a proper upbringing. But stop, I say. Whoever touches this fruit before my business is taken care of will die.

JAQUES

An you will not be answered with reason, I must die.

JAQUES

If you won't listen to reason, then I must die.

DUKE SENIOR

What would you have? Your gentleness shall forceMore than your force move us to gentleness.

DUKE SENIOR

What do you want? Your gentlemanly manners will persuade us to act, more than your force will persuade us to act gentlemanly.

ORLANDO

I almost die for food, and let me have it.

ORLANDO

I am almost dying with hunger, so let me have some food.

DUKE SENIOR

Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.

DUKE SENIOR

Sit down and eat, and welcome to our table.

ORLANDO

Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you. I thought that all things had been savage here, And therefore put I on the countenance Of stern commandment. But whate'er you are That in this desert inaccessible, Under the shade of melancholy boughs, Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time, If ever you have looked on better days, If ever been where bells have knolled to church, If ever sat at any good man’s feast, If ever from your eyelids wiped a tear And know what ’tis to pity and be pitied, Let gentleness my strong enforcement be, In the which hope I blush and hide my sword.

ORLANDO

Do you really speak like such a gentleman? Forgive me, I beg you. I thought that everything in this forest was savage and wild, so I made myself act stern and demanding. But whoever you are—you who sit under the shade of gloomy branches, losing track of the creeping hours of time in this inaccessible wilderness—if you have ever seen better days, or ever heard bells calling you to church, or ever sat at a good man's table for a feast, or ever wiped a tear from your eyes; if you know what it is to pity and be pitied, then let my gentle manners persuade you. In the hope of this, I will blush at my former rudeness, and put away my sword.

DUKE SENIOR

True is it that we have seen better days And have with holy bell been knolled to church, And sat at good men’s feasts and wiped our eyes Of drops that sacred pity hath engendered. And therefore sit you down in gentleness, And take upon command what help we have That to your wanting may be ministered.

DUKE SENIOR

It is true that we have seen better days, and have been summoned to church by the ringing of holy bells, and have sat at good men's feasts, and have wiped away tears caused by sacred pity. Therefore sit down with us and ask for whatever it is you need, so that we may provide it.

ORLANDO

Then but forbear your food a little while Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn And give it food. There is an old poor man Who after me hath many a weary step Limped in pure love. Till he be first sufficed, Oppressed with two weak evils, age and hunger, I will not touch a bit.

ORLANDO

Then if you will please stop eating for a little while, I—like a mother deer—will go find my fawn and give it food. There is a poor old man who has limped after me for many weary miles, purely out of love. He is oppressed by two evils, age and hunger, and until he gets food I won't eat a bit.

DUKE SENIOR

Go find him out,And we will nothing waste till you return.

DUKE SENIOR

Go find him, and we won't eat anything until you return.

ORLANDO

I thank you; and be blessed for your good comfort.

ORLANDO

I thank you, and God bless you for your kind hospitality.

Exit

DUKE SENIOR

Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy. This wide and universal theater Presents more woeful pageants than the scene Wherein we play in.

DUKE SENIOR

You see that we are not the only unhappy ones here. This wide and universal theater presents more sad plays than just the small scene we are acting in.

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. Then the whining schoolboy 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 honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. 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. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

JAQUES

The whole world is a stage, and all the men and women merely actors. They have their exits and their entrances, and in his lifetime one man plays many parts, with the ages of his life in seven acts. In the first act he is the infant, crying and puking in the nurse's arms. Then he plays the whining schoolboy with his book bag and bright youthful face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school. And then he is the lover, sighing like a furnace and writing sad songs about his beloved's eyebrows. Then he is a soldier, full of foreign curses and bearded like a leopard, quick to fight and jealously responding to any slight to his honor, seeking fleeting fame and reputation even if it means putting himself in front of the cannon's mouth. Then he plays the judge, with a nice round belly lined with the bribes he's taken, with stern eyes and a beard cut to a respectable shape, full of wise sayings and everyday examples of his points; and in this way he plays his part. In the sixth act he shifts into the skinny, ridiculous old man, wearing slippers on his feet, glasses on his nose, and a money bag at his side. The stockings he has saved since his youth are now way too wide for his shriveled legs, and his big manly voice becomes like a child's voice, squeaking and whistling. In the last scene of all, which ends this strange, eventful story, the man enters his second childhood and goes mentally blank—without teeth, without eyes, without taste, without everything.

Enter ORLANDO bearing ADAM

DUKE SENIOR

Welcome. Set down your venerable burden,And let him feed.

DUKE SENIOR

Welcome. Set down your honorable old burden, and let the old man eat.

ORLANDO

I thank you most for him.

ORLANDO

I thank you very much on his behalf.

ADAM

So had you need.— I scarce can speak to thank you for myself.

ADAM

As you need to, for I can barely speak to thank you for myself.

DUKE SENIOR

Welcome. Fall to. I will not trouble youAs yet to question you about your fortunes.—Give us some music, and, good cousin, sing.

DUKE SENIOR

Welcome. Start eating. I won't trouble you with questions about your situation yet. 

[To AMIENS] Now give us some music, and, good cousin, sing for us.

AMIENS

[sings] 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. Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky, That dost not bite so nigh As benefits forgot. Though thou the waters warp, Thy sting is not so sharp As friend remembered not. 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.

AMIENS

[Singing]
Blow, blow, you winter wind.
You are not as cruel
As man's ingratitude.
Your teeth are not so sharp,
For you cannot be seen,
Although your breath is harsh.
Heigh-ho, sing heigh-ho, sing to the green holly.
Most friendship is false, most love is only folly.
Then heigh-ho, the holly.
This life is so jolly.
Freeze, freeze, you bitter sky,
Your bite is not as piercing
As when good deeds are forgotten.
Though you can freeze the waters,
Your sting is not as sharp
As a friend who is forgotten.
Heigh-ho, sing heigh-ho, sing to the green holly.
Most friendship is false, most love is only folly.
Then heigh-ho, the holly.
This life is so jolly.

DUKE SENIOR

If that you were the good Sir Rowland’s son, As you have whispered faithfully you were, And as mine eye doth his effigies witness Most truly limned and living in your face, Be truly welcome hither. I am the duke That loved your father. The residue of your fortune Go to my cave and tell me.— Good old man, Thou art right welcome as thy master is. Support him by the arm. Give me your hand, And let me all your fortunes understand.

DUKE SENIOR

If you really are the good Sir Rowland's son, as you convincingly whispered that you are—and as I can see his likeness perfectly portrayed and alive in your face—you are truly welcome here. I am the duke who loved your father. Come to my cave and tell me the rest of what has happened to you. 

[To ADAM] Good old man, you are just as welcome as your master is. 

[To ORLANDO] Support him with your arm. Give me your hand, and explain your situation.

Exeunt

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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.