Print Friendly, PDF & Email

As You Like It

ACT V  SCENE IVThe forest.
DUKE SENIORDost thou believe, Orlando, that the boy
Can do all this that he hath promised?
ORLANDOI sometimes do believe, and sometimes do not;
As those that fear they hope, and know they fear.
ROSALINDPatience once more, whiles our compact is urged:
You say, if I bring in your Rosalind,
You will bestow her on Orlando here?
DUKE SENIORThat would I, had I kingdoms to give with her.
ROSALINDAnd you say, you will have her, when I bring her?
ORLANDOThat would I, were I of all kingdoms king.10
ROSALINDYou say, you’ll marry me, if I be willing?
PHEBEThat will I, should I die the hour after.
ROSALINDBut if you do refuse to marry me,
You’ll give yourself to this most faithful shepherd?
PHEBESo is the bargain.
ROSALINDYou say, that you’ll have Phebe, if she will?
SILVIUSThough to have her and death were both one thing.
ROSALINDI have promised to make all this matter even.
Keep you your word, O duke, to give your daughter;
You yours, Orlando, to receive his daughter:20
Keep your word, Phebe, that you’ll marry me,
Or else refusing me, to wed this shepherd:
Keep your word, Silvius, that you’ll marry her.
If she refuse me: and from hence I go,
To make these doubts all even.
DUKE SENIORI do remember in this shepherd boy
Some lively touches of my daughter’s favour.
ORLANDOMy lord, the first time that I ever saw him
Methought he was a brother to your daughter:
But, my good lord, this boy is forest-born,30
And hath been tutor’d in the rudiments
Of many desperate studies by his uncle,
Whom he reports to be a great magician,
Obscured in the circle of this forest.
JAQUESThere is, sure, another flood toward, and these
couples are coming to the ark. Here comes a pair of
very strange beasts, which in all tongues are called fools.
TOUCHSTONESalutation and greeting to you all!
JAQUESGood my lord, bid him welcome: this is the
motley-minded gentleman that I have so often met in40
the forest: he hath been a courtier, he swears.
TOUCHSTONEIf any man doubt that, let him put me to my
purgation. I have trod a measure; I have flattered
a lady; I have been politic with my friend, smooth
with mine enemy; I have undone three tailors; I have
had four quarrels, and like to have fought one.
JAQUESAnd how was that ta’en up?
TOUCHSTONEFaith, we met, and found the quarrel was upon the
seventh cause.
JAQUESHow seventh cause? Good my lord, like this fellow.51
DUKE SENIORI like him very well.
TOUCHSTONEGod ‘ild you, sir; I desire you of the like. I
press in here, sir, amongst the rest of the country
copulatives, to swear and to forswear: according as
marriage binds and blood breaks: a poor virgin,
sir, an ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own; a poor
humour of mine, sir, to take that that no man else
will: rich honesty dwells like a miser, sir, in a
poor house; as your pearl in your foul oyster.60
DUKE SENIORBy my faith, he is very swift and sententious.
TOUCHSTONEAccording to the fool’s bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases.
JAQUESBut, for the seventh cause; how did you find the
quarrel on the seventh cause?
TOUCHSTONEUpon a lie seven times removed:–bear your body more
seeming, Audrey:–as thus, sir. I did dislike the
cut of a certain courtier’s beard: he sent me word,
if I said his beard was not cut well, he was in the
mind it was: this is called the Retort Courteous.
If I sent him word again ‘it was not well cut,’ he
would send me word, he cut it to please himself:
this is called the Quip Modest. If again ‘it was73
not well cut,’ he disabled my judgment: this is
called the Reply Churlish. If again ‘it was not
well cut,’ he would answer, I spake not true: this
is called the Reproof Valiant. If again ‘it was not
well cut,’ he would say I lied: this is called the
Counter-cheque Quarrelsome: and so to the Lie
Circumstantial and the Lie Direct.
JAQUESAnd how oft did you say his beard was not well cut?
TOUCHSTONEI durst go no further than the Lie Circumstantial,
nor he durst not give me the Lie Direct; and so we
measured swords and parted.
JAQUESCan you nominate in order now the degrees of the lie?85
TOUCHSTONEO sir, 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
Countercheque Quarrelsome; the sixth, the Lie with
Circumstance; the seventh, the Lie Direct. All
these you may avoid but the Lie Direct; and you may
avoid that too, with an If. I knew when seven
justices could not take up a quarrel, but when the
parties were met themselves, one of them thought but
of an If, as, ‘If you said so, then I said so;’ and
they shook hands and swore brothers. Your If is the
only peacemaker; much virtue in If.
JAQUESIs not this a rare fellow, my lord? he’s as good at
any thing and yet a fool.100
DUKE SENIORHe uses his folly like a stalking-horse and under
the presentation of that he shoots his wit.
[Still Music]
HYMENThen is there mirth in heaven,
When earthly things made even
Atone together.
Good duke, receive thy daughter
Hymen from heaven brought her,
Yea, brought her hither,
That thou mightst join her hand with his
Whose heart within his bosom is.110
ROSALIND[To DUKE SENIOR] To you I give myself, for I am yours.110
To you I give myself, for I am yours.
DUKE SENIORIf there be truth in sight, you are my daughter.
ORLANDOIf there be truth in sight, you are my Rosalind.
PHEBEIf sight and shape be true,
Why then, my love adieu!
ROSALINDI’ll have no father, if you be not he:
I’ll have no husband, if you be not he:
Nor ne’er wed woman, if you be not she.
HYMENPeace, ho! I bar confusion:120
‘Tis I must make conclusion
Of these most strange events:
Here’s eight that must take hands
To join in Hymen’s bands,
If truth holds true contents.
You and you no cross shall part:
You and you are heart in heart
You to his love must accord,
Or have a woman to your lord:
You and you are sure together,133
As the winter to foul weather.
Whiles a wedlock-hymn we sing,
Feed yourselves with questioning;
That reason wonder may diminish,
How thus we met, and these things finish.
Wedding is great Juno’s crown:
O blessed bond of board and bed!
‘Tis Hymen peoples every town;
High wedlock then be honoured:
Honour, high honour and renown,140
To Hymen, god of every town!
DUKE SENIORO my dear niece, welcome thou art to me!
Even daughter, welcome, in no less degree.
PHEBEI will not eat my word, now thou art mine;
Thy faith my fancy to thee doth combine.
JAQUES DE BOYSLet me have audience for a word or two:
I am the second son of old Sir Rowland,
That bring these tidings to this fair assembly.
Duke Frederick, hearing how that every day
Men of great worth resorted to this forest,150
Address’d a mighty power; which were on foot,
In his own conduct, purposely to take
His brother here and put him to the sword:
And to the skirts of this wild wood he came;
Where meeting with an old religious man,
After some question with him, was converted
Both from his enterprise and from the world,
His crown bequeathing to his banish’d brother,
And all their lands restored to them again
That were with him exiled. This to be true,
I do engage my life.160
DUKE SENIORWelcome, young man;
Thou offer’st fairly to thy brothers’ wedding:
To one his lands withheld, and to the other
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
First, in this forest, let us do those ends
That here were well begun and well begot:
And after, every of this happy number
That have endured shrewd days and nights with us
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.170
Meantime, forget this new-fall’n dignity
And fall into our rustic revelry.
Play, music! And you, brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap’d in joy, to the measures fall.
JAQUESSir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,
The duke hath put on a religious life
And thrown into neglect the pompous court?
JAQUESTo him will I : out of these convertites
There is much matter to be heard and learn’d.180
You to your former honour I bequeath;
Your patience and your virtue well deserves it:
You to a love that your true faith doth merit:
You to your land and love and great allies:
You to a long and well-deserved bed:
And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage
Is but for two months victuall’d. So, to your pleasures:
I am for other than for dancing measures.
DUKE SENIORStay, Jaques, stay.
JAQUESTo see no pastime I what you would have190
I’ll stay to know at your abandon’d cave.
DUKE SENIORProceed, proceed: we will begin these rites,
As we do trust they’ll end, in true delights.
[A dance]

Next: As You Like It, Epilogue

Explanatory notes for Act 5, Scene 4
From As You Like It. Ed. Samuel Thurber, Jr. and Louise Wetherbee. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1922.
(Line numbers have been altered.)

The concluding scene, which contains the denouement, is to many critics disappointing. The light tone, however, is continued to the end, and we rejoice in the happy ending which is altogether “as we like it.”

Line 4. This line rather obscurely aims to describe a mental state of mingled hope and fear.

18. even: straight.

27. lively: lifelike. This brief dialogue shows how nearly Rosalind was discovered. They are both suspicious.

31. rudiments: first principles.

32. desperate: “forbidden by law.”

34. obscured: concealed.

Enter Touchstone and Audrey. The scene which follows is needed to give time for Rosalind to make her preparations. Note the manner of Touchstone and also of poor Audrey.

38. Touchstone’s bow is that of a true courtier while Audrey, at his prompting, can manage only an awkward courtesy.

42. put … purgation: challenge me for proof.

43. trod a measure: Remember Young Lochinvar. Touchstone’s idea of a courtier shows that he knows them.

50. How seventh cause: Touchstone’s instant readiness to start off with a voluble explanation of what looks like a well-adjusted system of causes and lies should not mislead us into attempts to find order and consistency in his account of his quarrel with a certain courtier, and in his explanations of his quarrel in accordance with the rules of quarreling with which he seems so familiar. Remember that his business is to entertain and he is doing it. like this fellow: Jaques enjoys showing off the fool whose praises he so enthusiastically sang in Act II. Note that Touchstone rises to the occasion.

53. I … like: Allow me to return the compliment. Another bow accompanies this, perhaps several.

56. copulatives: those who wish to be joined together in wedlock.

56. blood: passion. a … virgin: Can you not imagine Audrey’s complete embarrassment as she is introduced to these gentle-folk?

61. swift and sententious: ready and wise.

62. the fool’s bolt: A bolt was a blunt arrow. See Henry V, III, 7, 131, you are better at proverbs, by how much “A fool’s bolt is soon shot.” and … diseases: Just Touchstone’s nonsense. Compare Launcelot’s Fates and Destiniesand such odd sayings, the Sisters Three and such branches of learning. This sort of absurdity appealed to the London audience.

66. Touchstone, with much relish, plunges into his exposition of the seventh cause, not forgetting to chide poor Audrey, who, in trying to escape notice, is becoming more and more embarrassed.

67. seeming: becomingly.

73. Quip: a sharp retort. Shakespeare uses it frequently. Recall Milton’s Quips and cranks and wanton wiles in “Allegro.”

78. Countercheck: check or rebuff, as in chess.

83. measured swords: A regular preliminary of a duel with swords was the ceremony of measuring the weapons, that the parties might be seen to be on a footing of perfect equality. Touchstone’s duel went as far as measuring the swords.

84. Jaques may well question Touchstone, whom he suspected of making the whole thing up.

86. by the book: There were books, which are still in existence, on the etiquette of quarreling. The particular book to which this passage refers is probably “Vincentio Saviolo his Practise. In two Books. The first intreating of the use of the rapier and Dagger. The second of Honor and honorable Quarrels.”

87. books for good manners: books of etiquette. These are not unknown at the present time.

97. swore brothers: This is an allusion to fratres jurati (sworn brothers) of the days of chivalry. This indicated an oath to protect each other.

101. stalking horse: a horse, either real or the figure of one, behind which sportsmen approached their game. The Duke seems to appreciate that Touchstone is satirizing one of the affectations of the times.

102. presentation: cover.

Enter Hymen. Hymen was the god of marriage. We usually associate yellow and white and a blazing torch with him. Imagine the scene, especially the sensation created by Rosalind in her wedding garments. Can you not hear her laugh as she watches Orlando’s face? Still music: low, soft music.

106. atone: are at one.

111. What action here?

117. These are Rosalind’s last words. Do we, however, forget that she is present?

125. If … contents: If truth is true.

126. It is not difficult to understand to whom Hymen is speaking in the lines which follow.

132. wedlock hymn: Music always formed a part of wedding ceremonies.

133. Juno’s crown: Juno was the presiding goddess of marriage.

143. Even … degree: The Duke has just called Celia, correctly, his niece. But to express the warmth of his feeling, he goes further and calls her daughter, welcome in no less degree than a real daughter.

144. Phebe finds no difficulty in returning to her old love. eat my word: A very modern expression.

146. Shakespeare tells us of the change in Duke Frederick through the story of Jaques de Boys so that the evil from outside Arden may not penetrate too sharply. How much better this is than in the novel!

150. men of great worth: “Touchstone bows.”

151. addressed a mighty power: gathered a great force of armed men.

152. in … conduct: under his leadership.

156. an old religious man: a hermit. This forest has unending possibilities.

156. question: talk. converted: Duke Frederick is going in to a monastery.

161. engage: pledge.

162. offer ‘st fairly: make a goodly present.

163. to the other: Through his marriage to Rosalind Orlando will have a great estate.

164. at large: of great extent.

166. do those ends: accomplish those ends.

168. shrewd: evil.

170. states: estates. Amiens is standing near. Do you remember that he said in Act II, I would not change it? What is his attitude now?

175. Just as the happy couples are finding their places for the measure, Jaques steps forward. There is too much happiness here for him. With apt congratulation to all the bridegrooms he goes. Note that he is a courtier still, even though he prefers to share the life of the convertite.

192. The scene ends in a charming dance. Shakespeare knew well how to make a picturesque conclusion.


1. Why are Duke Senior and Orlando such good friends?

2. How does Shakespeare manage suspense in this scene?

3. Discuss the possibility that the Duke and Orlando have already suspected the identity of Rosalind.

4. Why is the scene with Touchstone put just here? How would it be made amusing?

5. Describe the actions of Audrey.

6. Describe fully the scene of the wedding, not forgetting courtiers and countryfolk.

7. Is the Duke pleased with the news brought by Jaques de Boys? Defend your answer.

8. Is there any point in this scene where Jaques forgets to be melancholy ?

9. Comment on the ending.