Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > As You Like It > Act II, scene I

	[Enter DUKE SENIOR, AMIENS, and two or three Lords,
	like foresters]

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 but 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.
	I would not change it.

AMIENS: Happy is your grace,
	That can translate the stubbornness of fortune
	Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

DUKE SENIOR: Come, shall we go and kill us venison?
	And yet it irks me the poor dappled fools,
	Being native burghers of this desert city,
	Should in their own confines with forked heads
	Have their round haunches gored.

First Lord: Indeed, my lord,
	The melancholy Jaques grieves at that,
	And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp
	Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
	To-day my Lord of Amiens and myself
	Did steal behind him as he lay along
	Under an oak whose antique root peeps out
	Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
	To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
	That from the hunter's aim had ta'en a hurt,
	Did come to languish, and indeed, my lord,
	The wretched animal heaved forth such groans
	That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
	Almost to bursting, and the big round tears
	Coursed one another down his innocent nose
	In piteous chase; and thus the hairy fool
	Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,
	Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
	Augmenting it with tears.

DUKE SENIOR: But what said Jaques?
	Did he not moralize this spectacle?

First Lord: O, yes, into a thousand similes.
	First, for his weeping into the needless stream;
	'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament
	As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
	To that which had too much:' then, being there alone,
	Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends,
	''Tis right:' quoth he; 'thus misery doth part
	The flux of company:' anon a careless herd,
	Full of the pasture, jumps along by him
	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 assign'd and native dwelling-place.

DUKE SENIOR: And did you leave him in this contemplation?

Second Lord: We did, my lord, weeping and commenting
	Upon the sobbing deer.

DUKE SENIOR: Show me the place:
	I love to cope him in these sullen fits,
	For then he's full of matter.

First Lord: I'll bring you to him straight.



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