As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine,
75Alack, in me what strange effect
Would they work in mild aspect?
Whiles you chid me, I did love.
How then might your prayers move?
He that brings this love to thee
80Little knows this love in me,
And by him seal up thy mind
Whether that thy youth and kind
Will the faithful offer take
Of me, and all that I can make,
85Or else by him my love deny,
And then I’ll study how to die.
(reading) “If the scorn in your bright eyes can make me fall so deeply in love, can you imagine what power they might have if they looked at me more kindly? While you sneered at me, I loved you. Consider what effect kind prayers might have. The man that brings you this letter doesn’t know how I feel about you. Send me your answer via him. Tell me via him whether you will accept my faithful offer of myself and all that I can do. Or tell him you will deny my love, in which case I’ll figure out how to die.”
Call you this chiding?
You call this sneering?
(as Aliena) Alas, poor shepherd.
(as Aliena) Oh, you poor shepherd!
Do you pity him? No, he deserves no pity.—Wilt thou love such a woman? What, to make thee an instrument and play false strains upon thee? Not to be endured. Well, go your way to her, for I see love hath made thee a tame snake, and say this to her: that if she love me, I charge her to love thee; if she will not, I will never have her unless thou entreat for her. If you be a true lover, hence and not a word, for here comes more company.
Why do you pity him? He doesn’t deserve any pity. (to SILVIUS) Why would you love such a woman? So she can turn you into an instrument and play lousy tunes on you? It’s unbearable. Well, go back to her—I can tell she’s turned you into a perfectly tame snake—and tell her this: if she loves me, I command her to love you. And if she won’t love you, tell her I’ll never take her unless you beg me to. If you’re a true lover, get out of here. No, don’t say another word, because here comes more company.
SILVIUS exits.
OLIVER enters.
Good morrow, fair ones. Pray you, if you know,
Where in the purlieus of this forest stands
A sheepcote fenced about with olive trees?
Good morning, pretty ones. Tell me, if you know: where in this forest is there a shepherd’s cottage surrounded by olive trees?