As You Like It

From Quotes
Perhaps the old monks were right when they tried to root love out; perhaps the poets are right when they try to water it. It is a blood-red flower, with the color of sin; but there is always the scent of a god about it.
Olive Schreiner
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As You Like It is a pastoral comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1599 or 1600.

Act I

  • Celia: Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
    Rosalind: 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.
    Celia: 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair, she scarce makes honest; and those that she makes honest, she makes very ill-favouredly.
    Rosalind: Nay; now thou goest from Fortune's office to Nature's: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of Nature.
    Celia: 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 sent in this fool to cut off the argument?
    • Scene ii

  • How now, wit! whither wander you?
    • Celia, scene ii

  • The little foolery that wise men have makes a great show.
    • Celia, scene ii

  • Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.
    • Celia, scene ii

  • Your heart’s desires be with you!
    • Celia, scene ii

  • One out of suits with fortune.
    • Rosalind, scene ii

  • My pride fell with my fortunes.
    • Rosalind, scene ii

  • Hereafter, in a better world than this,
    I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
    • Le Beau, scene ii

  • Celia: Not a word?
    Rosalind: Not one to throw at a dog.
    • Scene iii

  • O, how full of briars is this working-day world!
    • Rosalind, scene iii

  • Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
    • Rosalind, scene iii

  • We’ll have a swashing and a martial outside,
    As many other mannish cowards have.
    • Rosalind, scene iii

Act II

  • 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.
    • Duke Senior, scene i

  • The big round tears
    Coursed one another down his innocent nose
    In piteous chase.
    • First Lord, scene i

  • Poor deer, quoth he, thou makest a testament
    As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more
    To that which had too much.
    • First Lord, scene i
    • Quoting Jaques

  • Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens.
    • First Lord, scene i
    • Quoting Jaques

  • And He that doth the ravens feed,
    Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
    Be comfort to my age!
    • Adam, scene iii

  • For in my youth I never did apply
    Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood.
    • Adam, scene iii

  • Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
    Frosty, but kindly.
    • Adam, scene iii

  • O, good old man, how well in thee appears
    The constant service of the antique world,
    When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
    Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
    Where none will sweat but for promotion.
    • Orlando, scene iii

  • Ay, now am I in Arden: the more fool I. When I was at home, I was in a better place; but travellers must be content.
    • Touchstone, scene iv

  • If thou remember’st not the slightest folly
    That ever love did make thee run into,
    Thou hast not lov’d.
    • Silvius, scene iv

  • I shall ne’er be 'ware of mine own wit, till I break my shins against it.
    • Touchstone, scene iv

  • Under the greenwood tree
    Who loves to lie with me,
    And tune his merry note
    Unto the sweet bird's throat —
    Come hither, come hither, come hither!
    Here shall he see
    No enemy
    But winter and rough weather.
    • Amiens, scene v

  • Live a little; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little.
    • Orlando, scene vi

  • I met a fool i’ the forest,
    A motley fool.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • And rail’d on Lady Fortune in good terms,
    In good set terms.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • And then he drew a dial from his poke,
    And looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
    Says very wisely, It is ten o’clock:
    Thus we may see,
    quoth he, how the world wags.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • 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.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • 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.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • Motley ’s the only wear.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • 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 cramm’d
    With observation, the which he vents
    In mangled forms.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • I am ambitious for a motley coat.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • I must have liberty
    Withal, as large a charter as the wind,
    To blow on whom I please.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • The why is plain as way to parish church.
    • Jaques, scene vii

  • 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 look’d on better days,
    If ever been where bells have knoll’d to church,
    If ever sat at any good man’s feast,
    If ever from your eyelids wip'd a tear,
    And know what 'tis to pity and be pitied —
    Let gentleness my strong enforcement be.
    • Orlando, scene vii

  • True is it that we have seen better days.
    • Duke Senior, scene vii

  • And wip'd our eyes
    Of drops that sacred pity hath engender’d.
    • Duke Senior, scene vii

  • Oppress’d with two weak evils, age and hunger.
    • Orlando, scene vii

  • 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:
    And then the whining school-boy, 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 honour, 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 lin'd,
    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 slipper’d pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
    His youthful hose, well sav'd, 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, scene vii

  • 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.
    • Amiens, scene vii


  • The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she.
    • Orlando, scene ii

  • It goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?
    • Touchstone, scene ii

  • He that wants money, means, and content, is without three good friends.
    • Corin, scene ii

  • This is the very false gallop of verses.
    • Touchstone, scene ii

  • Let us make an honourable retreat.
    • Touchstone, scene ii

  • With bag and baggage.
    • Touchstone, scene ii

  • O, wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! and yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all whooping.
    • Celia, scene ii

  • Answer me in one word.
    • Rosalind, scene ii

  • I do desire we may be better strangers.
    • Orlando, scene ii

  • Time travels in divers paces with divers persons. I’ll tell you who Time ambles withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal.
    • Rosalind, scene ii

  • Every one fault seeming monstrous, till his fellow fault came to match it.
    • Rosalind, scene ii

  • Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.
    • Orlando, scene ii

  • I would the gods had made thee poetical.
    • Touchstone, scene iii

  • Down on your knees,
    And thank Heaven, fasting, for a good man’s love.
    • Rosalind, scene v

Act IV

  • It is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and, indeed, the sundry contemplation of my travels, which, by often rumination, wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
    • Jaques, scene i

  • I have gained my experience.
    • Jaques, scene i

  • I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad.
    • Rosalind, scene i

  • I will scarce think you have swam in a gondola.
    • Rosalind, scene i

  • I warrant him heart-whole.
    • Rosalind, scene i

  • Very good orators, when they are out, they will spit; and for lovers, lacking (God warn us!) matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.
    • Rosalind, scene i

  • Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love.
    • Rosalind, scene i

  • Can one desire too much of a good thing?
    • Rosalind, scene i

  • For ever and a day.
    • Orlando, scene ii

  • 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.
    • Rosalind, scene i

  • The horn, the horn, the lusty horn,
    Is not a thing to laugh to scorn.
    • First Lord, scene ii

  • Chewing the cud of sweet and bitter fancy.
    • Oliver, scene iii

Act V

  • It is meat and drink to me.
    • Touchstone, scene i

  • So-so is good, very good, very excellent good; and yet it is not; it is but so-so.
    • Touchstone, scene i

  • The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
    • Touchstone, scene i

  • I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways.
    • Touchstone, scene i

  • No sooner met, but they looked; no sooner looked, but they loved; no sooner loved, but they sighed; no sooner sighed, but they asked one another the reason; no sooner knew the reason but they sought the remedy.
    • Rosalind, scene ii

  • How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes!
    • Orlando, scene ii

  • It was a lover and his lass,
    With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino!
    That o’er the green corn-field did pass
    In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
    When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding:
    Sweet lovers love the Spring.
    • Pages, scene iii

  • Here comes a pair of very strange beasts, which in all tongues are called fools.
    • Jaques, scene iv

  • An ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own.
    • Touchstone, scene iv

  • Rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a poor house, as your pearl in your foul oyster.
    • Touchstone, scene iv

  • We quarrel in print, by the book, as you have books for good manners: I will name you the degrees. The first, the Retort Courteous; the second, the Quip Modest; the third, the Reply Churlish; the fourth, the Reproof Valiant; the fifth, the Countercheck Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct.
    • Touchstone, scene iv

  • Your If is the only peace-maker; much virtue in If.
    • Touchstone, scene iv

  • Good wine needs no bush.
    • Rosalind, epilogue

  • What a case am I in.
    • Rosalind, epilogue

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