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  • Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY; JAQUES behind

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Aside O knowledge ill-inhabited, worse than Jove
    in a thatched house!

  • 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 swearest to me thou art
    honest: now, if thou wert a poet, I might have some
    hope thou didst feign.

  • Would you not have me honest?

  • No, truly, unless thou wert hard-favoured; for
    honesty coupled to beauty is to have honey a sauce to sugar.

  • Aside A material fool!

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

  • 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 promised to meet me in this place
    of the forest and to couple us.

  • Aside I would fain see this meeting.

  • Well, the gods give us joy!

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

  • Is there none here to give the woman?

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

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

  • Advancing
    Proceed, proceed I'll give her.

  • 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 covered.

  • Will you be married, motley?

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • '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.


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