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As You Like It

ACT II  SCENE IIA room in the palace.
[Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords]
DUKE FREDERICKCan it be possible that no man saw them?
It cannot be: some villains of my court
Are of consent and sufferance in this.
First LordI cannot hear of any that did see her.
The ladies, her attendants of her chamber,
Saw her abed, and in the morning early
They found the bed untreasured of their mistress.
Second LordMy lord, the roynish clown, at whom so oft
Your grace was wont to laugh, is also missing.
Hisperia, the princess’ gentlewoman,10
Confesses that she secretly o’erheard
Your daughter and her cousin much commend
The parts and graces of the wrestler
That did but lately foil the sinewy Charles;
And she believes, wherever they are gone,
That youth is surely in their company.
DUKE FREDERICKSend to his brother; fetch that gallant hither;
If he be absent, bring his brother to me;
I’ll make him find him: do this suddenly,
And let not search and inquisition quail20
To bring again these foolish runaways.

Next: As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 3

Explanatory notes for Act 2, Scene 2
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

Again we have a brief glimpse of the usurping Duke, which tells us that the girls and Touchstone have carried out their plans.

Line 3. are … this: have assisted them to escape.

7. untreastured: a beautiful metaphor.

8. roynish: base. Why should the clown be spoken of so contemptuously at this time?

10. Hisperia … company: Is it surprising that Hisperia should come to this conclusion? Picture the change of expression on the Duke’s face as the speech proceeds.

17. gallant: Orlando.

19. suddenly: immediately. It is not strange that the Duke seizes the opportunity for revenge when we remember his feeling for old Sir Rowland.

20. quail: cease.


1. How long have we been expecting this scene?

2. Why does the scene immediately follow the preceding?

3. What trait in Duke Frederick is particularly emphasized?