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That your poor friends must woo your company?
What! you look merrily.

Jaq. A fool, a fool!I met a fool i'th forest,
A motley fool;-a miserable world!—

As I do live by food, I met a fool;

Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
And rail'd on lady Fortune in good terms,
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:TM
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 may we see, quoth he, how the world wags:
'Tis but an hour ago, since it was nine;
And after an 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
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,
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 bisket

After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd
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 ;°

m Call me not fool, till heaven hath sent me fortune:] Fortuna favet fatuis, is, as Mr. Upton observes, the saying here alluded to; or, as in Publius Syrus : "Fortuna, nimium quem fovet, stultum facit."-REED.


motley-] A habit composed of various colours, the customary dress of a domestic fool.

suit;] Suit means petition I believe, not dress.-JOHNSON.

you weed


better judgments

Provided that
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 :

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

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 the infected world,

If they will patiently receive my medicine.

Duke S. Fye 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 sin: 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,
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,
Till that the very very means do ebb?
What woman in the city do I name,
When that I say, The city-woman bears

The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?


- if not, &c.] Unless men have the prudence not to appear touched with the sarcasms of a jester, they subject themselves to his power; and the wise man will have his folly anatomized, that is, dissected and laid open, by the squandering glances or random shots of a fool.-JOHNSON.

q counter,] About the time when this play was written, the French counters (i. e. pieces of false money used as a means of reckoning) were brought into use in England.-STEEVENS.

brutish sting-] A line from Othello,

-our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts,"

Is quoted by Steevens to illustrate these words. Dr. Johnson proposes to read sty for sting.

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 bravery3 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 wherein
My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right,
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.

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 distress; Or else a rude despiser of good manners,

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 am I 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.

Jaq. An you will not be answered with reason, I must die.

Duke S. What would you have? Your gentleness shall More than your force move us to gentleness.


Orl. I almost die for food, and let me have it.
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

Of stern commandment: But whate'er you are,
That in this desert inaccessible,


his bravery-] i. e. His fine clothes.


inland-] i. e. Civilized, opposed to upland the old expression for rustick, which has become obsolete.-TODD. nurture.] i. e. Education.

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 eye-lids wip'd a tear,
And know what 'tis to pity, and be pitied;
Let gentleness my strong enforcement be:
In the which hope, I blush, and hide my sword.
Duke S. True is it that we have seen better days:
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 ministred.

Orl. Then, but forbear your food a little while,
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,—
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!


Duke S. Thou seest, we are not all alone unhappy :

This wide and universal theatre

Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.'

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,

× And take upon command—] i. e. At your own command.—STEEVENS. Wherein we play in.] This manner of repeating the preposition, which some of the modern editors have altered, was in Shakspeare's time a familiar idiom of our language; in proof of which Mr. Malone has collected a long string of apposite quotations; they may be found in the last edition of his Shakspeare, vol. vi. p. 70.

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