As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Then but forbear your food a little while
Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn
130And give it food. There is an old poor man
Who after me hath many a weary step
Limped in pure love. Till he be first sufficed,
Oppressed with two weak evils, age and hunger,
I will not touch a bit.
Then please, put off your eating for a little while I, like a mother doe, find my fawn and bring it food. There is a poor old man who, purely out of love, has limped after me for miles. He’s burdened by two debilitating evils—age and hunger. Until he’s fed, I won’t eat a thing.
135Go find him out,
And we will nothing waste till you return.
Go find him. We won’t touch a thing till you return.
I thank you; and be blessed for your good comfort.
Thank you, and God bless you for your hospitality.
He exits.
Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy.
This wide and universal theater
140Presents more woeful pageants than the scene
Wherein we play in.
You see, we’re not alone in our unhappiness. This wide, universal theater has more sad plays than our own little scene.
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances,
145And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
Then the whining schoolboy with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
150Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
The whole world is a stage, and all the men and women merely actors. They have their exits and their entrances, and in his lifetime a man will play many parts, his life separated into seven acts. In the first act he is an infant, whimpering and puking in his nurse’s arms. Then he’s the whining schoolboy, with a book bag and a bright, young face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to school. Then he becomes a lover, huffing and puffing like a furnace as he writes sad poems about his mistress’s eyebrows. In the fourth act, he’s a soldier, full of foreign curses, with a beard like a panther, eager to defend his honor and quick to fight.

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