Come apace, good Audrey; I will fetch up your goats,
Audrey. And how, Audrey, am I the man yet? Doth my simple feature
Your features! Lord warrant us! What features?
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
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.
I do not know what 'poetical' is. Is it honest in deed and
word? Is it a true thing?
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.
Do you wish, then, that the gods had made me poetical?
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
Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the gods make me
Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul slut were
to put good meat into an unclean dish.
I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am foul.
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.
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
I will not take her on gift of any man.
Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.
JAQUES [Discovering himself] Proceed, proceed; I'll give her.
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
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.
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.
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.
Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee.