As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

ROSALIND

I might ask you for your commission, but I do take thee, Orlando, for my husband. There’s a girl goes before the priest, and certainly a woman’s thought runs before her actions.

ROSALIND

Maybe I should ask you what right you have to take me, but I’ll take you, Orlando, to be my husband. Look, I’ve sped ahead of the priest and answered the question before he even asked. A woman’s thoughts are always running ahead of her actions.

ORLANDO

So do all thoughts. They are winged.

ORLANDO

So do all thoughts. They have wings.

ROSALIND

Now tell me how long you would have her after you have possessed her.

ROSALIND

Now tell me how long you intend to keep her.

ORLANDO

Forever and a day.

ORLANDO

Forever and a day.

ROSALIND

125Say “a day” without the “ever.” No, no, Orlando, men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives. I will be more jealous of thee than a Barbary cock- pigeon over his hen, more clamorous than a parrot against rain, more newfangled than an ape, more giddy in my desires than a monkey. I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain, and I will do that when you are disposed to be merry. I will laugh like a hyena, and that when thou art inclined to sleep.

ROSALIND

You might as well just say for “a day,” and forget the “ever” part. No, Orlando, men are like April when they’re wooing a girl—young, and passionate—but like December once they’re married and their passions have cooled. Women are as sweet and temperate as springtime when they’re single, but the climate changes once they’re married. I’ll be more jealous of you than a wild rooster over his hen; more noisy than a parrot chattering about the rain; more fond of new things than an ape; more giddy about getting what I want than a monkey. I’ll cry at nothing, and I’ll always do it when you’re in a good mood. And when you want to go to sleep, I’ll be up laughing like a hyena.

ORLANDO

135But will my Rosalind do so?

ORLANDO

But will my Rosalind do this, too?

ROSALIND

By my life, she will do as I do.

ROSALIND

Indeed, she’ll act just like me.

ORLANDO

Oh, but she is wise.

ORLANDO

But she is wise.