As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

How say you now? Is it not past two o'clock? And here much Orlando.
What do you say now? Isn’t it past two o'clock? And I see a lot of Orlando here.
I warrant you, with pure love and troubled brain he hath ta'en his bow and arrows and is gone forth to sleep.
I’m telling you, he’s taken his bow and arrows and, with a pure love and a worried brain, has gone to take a nap.
SILVIUS enters.
25Look who comes here.
Look who’s coming.
(to ROSALIND) My errand is to you, fair youth.
My gentle Phoebe did bid me give you this.
I know not the contents, but as I guess
By the stern brow and waspish action
30Which she did use as she was writing of it,
It bears an angry tenor. Pardon me.
I am but as a guiltless messenger.
(Gives the letter)
(to ROSALIND) I’ve been sent to find you, young man. My lovely Phoebe told me to give you this letter. I don’t know what’s in it, but guessing from her stern expression and her wasp-like demeanor as she was writing it, I bet she’s angry. You’ll have to excuse me, as I’m just the messenger.
(Examines the letter) (as Ganymede) Patience herself would startle at this letter
35And play the swaggerer. Bear this, bear all.
She says I am not fair, that I lack manners.
She calls me proud, and that she could not love me
Were man as rare as phoenix. 'Od’s my will,
Her love is not the hare that I do hunt.
40Why writes she so to me? Well, shepherd, well,
This is a letter of your own device.
(reading the letter as Ganymede) Patience herself would be shocked by this letter and become feisty. If I can take this, I can take anything. She says I’m not handsome and have no manners. She says I’m arrogant and that she couldn’t love me even if men were as rare as the mythical phoenix. Honestly! I’m not hunting after her love. Why would she write this way to me? Tell the truth, shepherd: you wrote this letter.
No, I protest, I know not the contents.
Phoebe did write it.
No, I swear, I don’t even know what’s in it. Phoebe wrote it.