As You Like It

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 3
No Fear Act 3 Scene 3 Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

AUDREY

Would you not have me honest?

AUDREY

What, you don’t want me to be chaste?

TOUCHSTONE

No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favored, for honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.

TOUCHSTONE

Not really, unless you were ugly. Chastity and beauty together in one woman is like sweetening sugar with honey.

JAQUES

(aside) A material fool.

JAQUES

(to himself) A sensible fool.

AUDREY

25Well, I am not fair, and therefore I pray the gods make me honest.

AUDREY

Well, I’m not beautiful, so I hope that I can at least be chaste.

TOUCHSTONE

Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were to put good meat into an unclean dish.

TOUCHSTONE

Yes, but wasting chastity on a dirty slut is like putting good meat in a dirty dish.

AUDREY

I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.

AUDREY

I’m not a slut—I keep myself clean—but I thank God I am ugly.

TOUCHSTONE

30Well, praised be the gods for thy foulness; sluttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it may be, I will marry thee; and to that end I have been with Sir Oliver Martext, the vicar of the next village, who hath promised to meet me in this place of the forest and to couple us.

TOUCHSTONE

Well, praise the Lord you’re ugly. Maybe sluttishness will follow. Be that as it may, I’m going to marry you. To that end, I’ve spoken with Sir Oliver Martext, the vicar from the next village, and he’s promised to meet us here and marry us.

JAQUES

35 (aside) I would fain see this meeting.

JAQUES

(to himself) This I’d like to see.

AUDREY

Well, the gods give us joy.

AUDREY

Well, God bless this marriage!

TOUCHSTONE

Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger in this attempt, for here we have no temple but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts. But what though? Courage. As horns are odious, they are necessary. It is said, “Many a man knows no end of his goods.” Right: many a man has good horns and knows no end of them.

TOUCHSTONE

Amen. You know, some men, who have fear in their hearts, might falter at this point. After all, these woods aren’t a proper

church

Men whose wives cheated on them (called cuckolds) were imagined as having horns. Touchstone plays on the connection between a deer’s horns and a cuckold’s horns.

church
, and there’s no congregation here but horned animals. But who cares? I’ll be brave. Horns may be hateful, but they’re also necessary.
They say, “Many a man doesn’t know the full extent of what he owns.” Exactly: many a man will see no end to the horns his wife furnishes him with.