ACT III
Scene 3
 

The forest

Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY; JAQUES behind

TOUCHSTONE
Come apace, good Audrey; I will fetch up your goats,
Audrey. And how, Audrey, am I the man yet? Doth my simple feature
content you?

AUDREY
Your features! Lord warrant us! What features?

TOUCHSTONE
I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most
capricious poet, honest Ovid, was among the Goths.

JAQUES
[Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove in a
thatch'd house!

TOUCHSTONE
When a man's verses cannot be understood, nor a man's
good wit seconded with the forward child understanding, it
strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room.
Truly, I would the gods had made thee poetical.

AUDREY
I do not know what 'poetical' is. Is it honest in deed and
word? Is it a true thing?

TOUCHSTONE
No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning,
and lovers are given to poetry; and what they swear in poetry may
be said as lovers they do feign.

AUDREY
Do you wish, then, that the gods had made me poetical?

TOUCHSTONE
I do, truly, for thou swear'st to me thou art honest;
now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didst
feign.

AUDREY
Would you not have me honest?

TOUCHSTONE
No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favour'd; for honesty
coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.

JAQUES
[Aside] A material fool!

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

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

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

TOUCHSTONE
Well, 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 promis'd to meet me in
this place of the forest, and to couple us.

JAQUES
[Aside] I would fain see this meeting.

AUDREY
Well, the gods give us joy!

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. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his
own getting. Horns? Even so. Poor men alone? No, no; the noblest
deer hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man therefore
blessed? No; as a wall'd town is more worthier than a village, so
is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare
brow of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no
skill, by so much is horn more precious than to want. Here comes
Sir Oliver.

Enter SIR OLIVER MARTEXT

Sir Oliver Martext, you are well met. Will you dispatch us here
under this tree, or shall we go with you to your chapel?

MARTEXT
Is there none here to give the woman?

TOUCHSTONE
I will not take her on gift of any man.

MARTEXT
Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.

JAQUES
[Discovering himself] Proceed, proceed; I'll give her.

TOUCHSTONE
Good even, good Master What-ye-call't; how do you, sir?
You are very well met. Goddild you for your last company. I am
very glad to see you. Even a toy in hand here, sir. Nay; pray be
cover'd.

JAQUES
Will you be married, motley?

TOUCHSTONE
As the ox hath his bow, sir, the horse his curb, and
the falcon her bells, so man hath his desires; and as pigeons
bill, so wedlock would be nibbling.

JAQUES
And will you, being a man of your breeding, be married
under a bush, like a beggar? Get you to church and have a good
priest that can tell you what marriage is; this fellow will but
join you together as they join wainscot; then one of you will
prove a shrunk panel, and like green timber warp, warp.

TOUCHSTONE
[Aside] I am not in the mind but I were better to be
married of him than of another; for he is not like to marry me
well; and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me
hereafter to leave my wife.

JAQUES
Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.

TOUCHSTONE
Come, sweet Audrey;
We must be married or we must live in bawdry.
Farewell, good Master Oliver. Not-
O sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver,
Leave me not behind thee.
But-
Wind away,
Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee.

Exeunt JAQUES, TOUCHSTONE, and AUDREY

MARTEXT
'Tis no matter; ne'er a fantastical knave of them all
shall flout me out of my calling.

Exit