As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 7

page Act 2 Scene 7 Page 4

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75What woman in the city do I name,
When that I say the city-woman bears
The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
Who can come in and say that I mean her,
When such a one as she such is her neighbor?
80Or what is he of basest function
That says his bravery is not of 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
85My tongue hath wronged him. If it do him right,
Then he hath wronged himself. If he be free,
Why then my taxing like a wild goose flies
Unclaimed of any man. But who comes here?
What woman in the city am I talking about when I say that the clothes on a city-woman’s unworthy back are rich enough to suit a prince? Who can say I mean just her when all her neighbors are exactly like her? And when some lowlife protests that his fancy clothes aren’t my problem, isn’t he basically admitting that I’m talking about him? Well, then. Tell me how I’ve wronged him. If I was right about him, he’s the one who’s done wrong. If he isn’t guilty of the faults I’m talking about, well then, my accusations fly by like wild geese, whom no one owns, since they don’t apply to any man. But who is this?
Enter ORLANDO, with his sword drawn
ORLANDO enters with his sword drawn.

ORLANDO

Forbear, and eat no more.

ORLANDO

Stop, and eat no more.

JAQUES

90Why, I have eat none yet.

JAQUES

But I haven’t eaten anything yet.

ORLANDO

Nor shalt not till necessity be served.

ORLANDO

And you won’t until the needy eat.

JAQUES

Of what kind should this cock come of?

JAQUES

What kind of fighting cock is this?

DUKE SENIOR

Art thou thus boldened, man, by thy distress
Or else a rude despiser of good manners,
95That in civility thou seem’st so empty?

DUKE SENIOR

Are you acting so boldly from hardship or because you despise good manners? Why do you seem so lacking in civility?

ORLANDO

You touched 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.
100He dies that touches any of this fruit
Till I and my affairs are answerèd.

ORLANDO

You were right the first time. My piercing distress has stripped me of smooth manners. But I wasn’t raised in the forest, and I was somewhat well-bred. But stop, I say. Whoever eats this fruit before I’ve been taken care of dies.