As you Like it

Page 04

Cel. Were you made the messenger? Clo. No by mine honor, but I was bid to come for you Ros. Where learned you that oath foole? Clo. Of a certaine Knight, that swore by his Honour they were good Pan-cakes, and swore by his Honor the Mustard was naught: Now Ile stand to it, the Pancakes were naught, and the Mustard was good, and yet was not the Knight forsworne

Cel. How proue you that in the great heape of your knowledge? Ros. I marry, now vnmuzzle your wisedome

Clo. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chinnes, and sweare by your beards that I am a knaue

Cel. By our beards (if we had them) thou art

Clo. By my knauerie (if I had it) then I were: but if you sweare by that that is not, you are not forsworn: no more was this knight swearing by his Honor, for he neuer had anie; or if he had, he had sworne it away, before euer he saw those Pancakes, or that Mustard

Cel. Prethee, who is't that thou means't? Clo. One that old Fredericke your Father loues

Ros. My Fathers loue is enough to honor him enough; speake no more of him, you'l be whipt for taxation one of these daies

Clo. The more pittie that fooles may not speak wisely, what Wisemen do foolishly

Cel. By my troth thou saiest true: For, since the little wit that fooles haue was silenced, the little foolerie that wise men haue makes a great shew; Heere comes Monsieur the Beu. Enter le Beau.

Ros. With his mouth full of newes

Cel. Which he will put on vs, as Pigeons feed their young

Ros. Then shal we be newes-cram'd

Cel. All the better: we shalbe the more Marketable. Boon-iour Monsieur le Beu, what's the newes? Le Beu. Faire Princesse, you haue lost much good sport

Cel. Sport: of what colour? Le Beu. What colour Madame? How shall I aunswer you? Ros. As wit and fortune will

Clo. Or as the destinies decrees

Cel. Well said, that was laid on with a trowell

Clo. Nay, if I keepe not my ranke

Ros. Thou loosest thy old smell

Le Beu. You amaze me Ladies: I would haue told you of good wrastling, which you haue lost the sight of

Ros. Yet tell vs the manner of the Wrastling

Le Beu. I wil tell you the beginning: and if it please your Ladiships, you may see the end, for the best is yet to doe, and heere where you are, they are comming to performe it

Cel. Well, the beginning that is dead and buried

Le Beu. There comes an old man, and his three sons

Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale

Le Beu. Three proper yong men, of excellent growth and presence

Ros. With bils on their neckes: Be it knowne vnto all men by these presents

Le Beu. The eldest of the three, wrastled with Charles the Dukes Wrastler, which Charles in a moment threw him, and broke three of his ribbes, that there is little hope of life in him: So he seru'd the second, and so the third: yonder they lie, the poore old man their Father, making such pittiful dole ouer them, that all the beholders take his part with weeping

Ros. Alas

Clo. But what is the sport Monsieur, that the Ladies haue lost? Le Beu. Why this that I speake of

Clo. Thus men may grow wiser euery day. It is the first time that euer I heard breaking of ribbes was sport for Ladies

Cel. Or I, I promise thee

As you Like it Page 05

William Shakespeare Plays

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book