ACT 3, SCENE 3: The forest.


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!                                                                                                        [5]

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

JAQUES: [Aside] O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse
than Jove in a thatched house!                                                               [10]

TOUCHSTONE: When a man's verses cannot be under-
stood, nor a man's good wit seconded with the for-
ward 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.                                               [15]

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                       [20]
do feign.

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

TOUCHSTONE: I do, truly; for thou swearest to me
thou art honest: now, if thou wert a poet, I might                            [25]
have some hope thou didst feign.

AUDREY: Would you not have me honest?

TOUCHSTONE: No, truly, unless thou wert hard-
favoured; for honesty coupled to beauty is to have
honey a sauce to sugar.                                                                             [30]

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.                  [35]

AUDREY: I am not a slut, though I thank the gods I am

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                           [40]
been with Sir Oliver Martext, the vicar of the next
village, who hath promised 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!                                                               [45]

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                            [50]
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                  [55]
therefore blessed? No: as a walled 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 a horn more precious than to want.                                      [60]
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?

SIR OLIVER MARTEXT: Is there none here to give the
woman?                                                                                                       [65]

TOUCHSTONE: I will not take her on gift of any

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

JAQUES: [Advancing.] Proceed, proceed: I'll give                                         [70]

TOUCHSTONE: Good even, good Master What-ye-
call't: how do you, sir? You are very well met: God
'ild you for your last company: I am very glad to see
you: even a toy in hand here, sir: nay, pray be                                   [75]

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                               [80]

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                        [85]
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                          [90]
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.                              [95]
Farewell, good Master Oliver: not,--
O sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver,
Leave me not behind thee:
but,--                                                                                                            [100]
Wind away,
Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee.


SIR OLIVER MARTEXT: 'Tis no matter: ne'er a fan-
tastical knave of them all shall flout me out of my                           [105]


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