List iconAs You Like It:
Act 2, scene 7
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As You Like It
Act 2, scene 7



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In As You Like It, witty words and romance play out against the disputes of divided pairs of brothers. Orlando’s older…

Act 1, scene 1

Orlando demands that his elder brother Oliver give him part of the money left by their father. Oliver decides to…

Act 1, scene 2

Orlando wins the wrestling match and, at the same time, wins the heart of Rosalind, daughter of the legitimate duke,…

Act 1, scene 3

Duke Frederick suddenly decides to banish Rosalind. His daughter Celia, determined to go with Rosalind into exile, suggests that they…

Act 2, scene 1

In the Forest of Arden, the banished duke (Duke Senior) and the courtiers who share his exile discuss their life…

Act 2, scene 2

Duke Frederick, discovering Celia’s disappearance, suspects Orlando. He sends servants to bring Orlando to court.

Act 2, scene 3

Orlando learns from Adam, an old servant, that Oliver plans to kill Orlando. Adam and Orlando decide to go in…

Act 2, scene 4

Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone reach the Forest of Arden. Rosalind is in disguise as a boy named Ganymede and Celia…

Act 2, scene 5

Amiens’ song celebrating life in the woods is mocked by Jaques’ parody of the song.

Act 2, scene 6

Orlando leaves Adam, near starvation, under a tree and goes off determined to find food.

Act 2, scene 7

As Duke Senior and his companions sit down to eat, Orlando enters, demanding food. Welcomed by the duke, he brings…

Act 3, scene 1

Duke Frederick gives Oliver one year to produce Orlando. In the interim, he seizes Oliver’s lands.

Act 3, scene 2

Orlando hangs poems in praise of Rosalind on trees in the forest, where Rosalind and Celia find them. In disguise…

Act 3, scene 3

Touchstone, desiring a goat-keeper named Audrey, has arranged for a country priest to marry them in the woods. Jaques persuades…

Act 3, scene 4

Corin invites “Ganymede” and “Aliena” to observe the lovelorn Silvius as Silvius courts the disdainful Phoebe.

Act 3, scene 5

“Ganymede” intervenes to try to help Silvius prevail over Phoebe and win her love. Instead, Phoebe falls in love with…

Act 4, scene 1

Rosalind, as Ganymede, pretends to be Rosalind while Orlando courts her. With Celia as priest, they go through the beginning…

Act 4, scene 2

Duke Senior’s courtiers celebrate their having killed a deer.

Act 4, scene 3

Phoebe sends “Ganymede” a letter offering herself in marriage. As Rosalind and Celia wait for Orlando, they learn that he…

Act 5, scene 1

Touchstone verbally overpowers William, a rival for Audrey’s love.

Act 5, scene 2

Orlando, envious that his brother Oliver and “Aliena,” having fallen in love, plan to be married immediately, tells “Ganymede” how…

Act 5, scene 3

Touchstone and Audrey listen while two pages sing.

Act 5, scene 4

In the presence of Duke Senior and his lords, “Ganymede” reminds Orlando, Silvius, and Phoebe of their promises. “He” and…

Act 5, epilogue

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Scene 7
Enter Duke Senior and Lords, like outlaws.

 I think he be transformed into a beast,
 For I can nowhere find him like a man.
 My lord, he is but even now gone hence.
 Here was he merry, hearing of a song.
5 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.

Enter Jaques.

 He saves my labor by his own approach.
DUKE SENIOR, to Jaques 
 Why, how now, monsieur? What a life is this
10 That your poor friends must woo your company?
 What, you look merrily.
 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,
15 Who laid him down and basked him in the sun
 And railed on Lady Fortune in good terms,

As You Like It
ACT 2. SC. 7

 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
20 fortune.”
 And then he drew a dial from his poke
 And, looking on it with lack-luster eye,
 Says very wisely “It is ten o’clock.
 Thus we may see,” quoth he, “how the world wags.
25 ’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
30 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!
35 A worthy fool! Motley’s the only wear.
DUKE SENIOR What fool is this?
 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,
40 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. O, that I were a fool!
 I am ambitious for a motley coat.
45 Thou shalt have one.
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
50 Withal, as large a charter as the wind,

As You Like It
ACT 2. SC. 7

 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:
55 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.
60 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.
 Fie on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.
65 What, for a counter, would I do but good?
 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
70 That thou with license of free foot hast caught
 Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.
JAQUES Why, who cries out on pride
 That can therein tax any private party?
 Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea
75 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,
80 When such a one as she such is her neighbor?
 Or what is he of basest function
 That says his bravery is not on my cost,
 Thinking that I mean him, but therein suits

As You Like It
ACT 2. SC. 7

 His folly to the mettle of my speech?
85 There then. How then, what then? Let me see
 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
90 Unclaimed of any man.

Enter Orlando, brandishing a sword.

 But who comes here?
ORLANDO Forbear, and eat no more.
JAQUES Why, I have eat none yet.
 Nor shalt not till necessity be served.
JAQUES 95Of what kind should this cock come of?
DUKE SENIOR, to Orlando 
 Art thou thus boldened, man, by thy distress,
 Or else a rude despiser of good manners,
 That in civility thou seem’st so empty?
 You touched my vein at first. The thorny point
100 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.
JAQUES 105An you will not be answered with reason, I
 must die.
DUKE SENIOR, to Orlando 
 What would you have? Your gentleness shall force
 More than your force move us to gentleness.
 I almost die for food, and let me have it.
110 Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.

As You Like It
ACT 2. SC. 7

 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
115 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,
120 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.
He sheathes his sword.
125 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,
130 And take upon command what help we have
 That to your wanting may be ministered.
 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
135 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.
DUKE SENIOR  Go find him out,
140 And we will nothing waste till you return.
 I thank you; and be blessed for your good comfort.
He exits.

As You Like It
ACT 2. SC. 7

 Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy.
 This wide and universal theater
 Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
145 Wherein we play 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,
150 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,
155 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
160 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
165 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
170 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.

Enter Orlando, carrying Adam.

As You Like It
ACT 2. SC. 7

 Welcome. Set down your venerable burden,
175 And let him feed.
ORLANDO I thank you most for him.
ADAM So had you need.—
 I scarce can speak to thank you for myself.
 Welcome. Fall to. I will not trouble you
180 As yet to question you about your fortunes.—
 Give us some music, and, good cousin, sing.

The Duke and Orlando continue their conversation,


AMIENS sings 
  Blow, blow, thou winter wind.
  Thou art not so unkind
  As man’s ingratitude.
185  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.
190  Then heigh-ho, the holly.
  This life is most jolly.

  Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
  That dost not bite so nigh
  As benefits forgot.
195  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.
200  Then heigh-ho, the holly.
  This life is most jolly.

As You Like It
ACT 2. SC. 7

DUKE SENIOR, to Orlando 
 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
205 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.
210 To Lords. Support him by the arm. To Orlando.
 Give me your hand,
 And let me all your fortunes understand.
They exit.