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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,

20 And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye, Says very wisely, 'It is ten o'clock; Thus may we 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 28 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

32 An hour by his dial. O noble fool! A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.

Duke S. What fool is this? Jaq. 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 cramm'd 40
With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms. O that I were a fool!
I am ambitious for a motley coat.

Duke S. Thou shalt have one.

It is my only suit; 44 Provided that you weed your better judgments 20 dial: pocket sun-dial (?) poke: pocket 23 wags: goes forward

28 thereby ... tale; cf. n. 29 moral: moralize 30 chanticleer; cf. n. 32 sans: without 34 wear: proper uniform (i.e., we ought all to dress as fools) 39 dry: dull, stupid

44 my only suit; cf. n.

41 vents: utters

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 galled with my folly,
They most must laugh. And why, sir, must they so?
The 'why' is plain as way to parish church: 52
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 anatomiz'd

56 Even by the squandering 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,

60 If they will patiently receive my medicine. Duke S. Fie on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst

do. Jaq. What, for a counter, would I do, but good ? Duke S. Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding

64 For thou thyself hast been a libertine, As sensual as the brutish sting itself; And all the embossed sores and headed evils, That thou with licence of free foot hast caught, 68 Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.

Jaq. Why, who cries out on pride, That can therein tax any private party? Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,


72 Till that the weary very means do ebb? 48 large ... . charter: broad license

50 galled: made sore 55 senseless: insensible bob: taunt

57 squandering: random 63 counter: a coin of no intrinsic value 66 sting: carnal impulse 67 embossed : swollen headed evils: diseases come to a head 68 licence of free foot: licentious freedom

69 general: whole 73 weary very; cf. n.

71 tax: censure



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 neighbour?
Or what is he of basest function,
That says his bravery is not on 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

My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right, 84
Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free,
Why then, my taxing like a wild goose flies,
Unclaim'd of any man. But who comes here?

Enter Orlando [with his sword drawn].
Orl. Forbear, and eat no more.

Why, I have eat none yet. 88
Orl. Nor shalt not, till necessity be serv'd.
Jaq. Of what kind should this cock come of?
Duke S. Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy dis-

Or else a rude despiser of good manners,

92 That in civility thou seem'st so empty?

Orl. You touch'd my vein at first: the thorny point
Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show
Of smooth civility; yet I am inland bred

And know some nurture. But forbear, I say:
He dies that touches any of this fruit
Till I and my affairs are answered.
79 function: office, or employment


79-82 Cf. n. 81 suits: fits

82 mettle: substance 85 free: 1.e., from guilt or blame

91 bolden'd: emboldened 94 vein: disposition

96 inland; cf. n. 97 nurture: gentle upbringing


Jaq. An


will not be answered with reason, 100 I must die. Duke S. What would you have? Your gentleness

shall force More than your force move us to gentleness.

Orl. I almost die for food; and let me have it. 104 Duke S. Sit down and feed, and welcome to our

table. Orl. 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

108 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; 112 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,

116 And know what 'tis to pity, and be pitied, Let gentleness my strong enforcement be: In the which hope I blush, and hide sword. Duke S. True is it that we have seen better days,

120 And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church, And sat at good men's feasts, and wip'd our eyes Of drops that sacred pity hath engender'd; And therefore sit you down in gentleness And take upon command what help we have That to your wanting may be minister'd.

Orl. Then but forbear your food a little while,



100 An: if
118 enforcement: compulsion
126 wanting: necessity

114 knoll'd: rung, tolled 125 upon command: at pleasure

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
Limp'd in pure love: till he be first suffic'd,
Oppress'd with two weak evils, age and hunger, 132
I will not touch a bit.
Duke S.

Go find him out, And we will nothing waste till you return. Orl. I thank ye; and be bless'd for your good comfort!

[Exit.] Duke S. Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy:

136 This wide and universal theatre Presents more woful pageants than the scene Wherein we play in. Jaq.

All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players: 140 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.

144 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 woful 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

152 Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lin'd, 132 Oppress’d: oppressed as he is



139 All ...

stage; cf. n.

144 Mewling: crying feebly 150 pard: leopard 151 Jealous: suspicious, or, apprehensive 154 capon; cf. n.

143 seven ages; cf. n.

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