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Hath not old custom made this life more sweet

Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference; as, the icy fang,

And churlish chiding of the winter's wind;
Which when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold; I smile, and say,-
This is no flattery: these are counsellers
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of adversity;

Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head:
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.

Ami. I would not change it. Happy is your


That can translate the stubbornness of fortune

Into so quiet and so sweet a style.

Duke S. Come, shall we go and kill us venison? And yet it irks me,1 the poor dappled fools,— Being native burghers of this desert city,— Should, in their own confines, with forked heads? Have their round haunches gored.

1 Lord.

Indeed, my lord.

The melancholy Jaques grieves at that;

And, in that kind, swears you do more usurp

2 Barbed arrows.

It gives me pain.

Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.
To-day, my lord of Amiens, and myself,
Did steal behind him, as he lay along

Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood:
To the which place a poor sequester'd stag,
That from the hunters' aim had ta'en a hurt,
Did come to languish; and, indeed, my lord,
The wretched animal heaved forth such groans,
That their discharge did stretch his leathern coat
Almost to bursting; and the big round tears
Coursed one another down his innocent nose
In piteous chase: and thus the hairy fool,
Much marked of the melancholy Jaques,

Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
Augmenting it with tears.

Duke S.

But what said Jaques ?*

Did he not moralise this spectacle?


1 Lord. O, yes, into a thousand similes. First, for his weeping in the needless stream; 'Poor deer,' quoth he, 'thou makest a testament As worldlings do, giving thy sum of more

To that which had too much.' Then, being there

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Full of the pasture, jumps along by him,

1 The stream that needed not such a supply of moisture.

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And never stays to greet him; 'Ay,' quoth Jaques,
Sweep on, you fat and greasy citizens;
'Tis just the fashion: wherefore do you look
Upon that poor and broken bankrupt there?'
Thus most invectively he pierceth through
The body of country, city, court,

Yea, and of this our life; swearing, that we
Are mere usurpers, tyrants, and what's worse,
To fright the animals, and to kill them up,
In their assign'd and native dwelling-place.

Duke S. And did you leave him in this contemplation ?

2 Lord. We did, my lord, weeping and commenting

Upon the sobbing deer.

Duke S.


Show me the place :

I love to cope 1 him in these sullen fits,

For then he's full of matter.

2 Lord. I'll bring you to him straight. [Exeunt.


A room in the palace.

Enter DUKE Frederick, lords, and Attendants.

Duke F. Can it be possible that no man saw

It cannot be some villains of my court
Are of consent and sufferance in this.

1 Encounter.

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