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As You Like It

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Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and JAQUES
ROSALIND, CELIA, and JAQUES enter.

JAQUES
I prithee, pretty youth, let me be better acquainted with thee.
JAQUES
Please, pretty young man, I’d like to get to know you better.

ROSALIND
They say you are a melancholy fellow.
ROSALIND
They say you are a melancholy fellow.

JAQUES
I am so. I do love it better than laughing.
JAQUES
I am. I like it better than laughing.

5
ROSALIND
Those that are in extremity of either are abominable fellows and betray themselves to every modern censure worse than drunkards.
ROSALIND
People who are either too serious or too silly are awful. They make themselves targets for ridicule even faster than drunks do.

JAQUES
Why, ’tis good to be sad and say nothing.
JAQUES
Well, I think it’s good to be serious and keep quiet.

ROSALIND
Why then, ’tis good to be a post.
ROSALIND
In that case it’s good to be a post.

10
JAQUES
I have neither the scholar’s melancholy, which is emulation; nor the musician’s, which is fantastical; nor the courtier’s, which is proud; nor the soldier’s, which is ambitious; nor the lawyer’s, which is politic; nor the lady’s, which is nice; nor the lover’s, which is all these, but it is a melancholy of mine own, compounded of many simples, extracted from many objects, and indeed the sundry contemplation of my travels, in which my often rumination wraps me in a most humorous sadness.
JAQUES
I’m not a scholar’s kind of melancholy, which is all about impressing one’s peers, or a musician’s, which comes from his passion for his art. I don’t have the proud melancholy of a courtier or the ambitious melancholy of a soldier or the calculated melancholy of a lawyer. My melancholy is not like a lady’s—which is nothing more than an affectation—nor like a lover’s, which combines all of these qualities. My melancholy is purely my own—a compound made from many ingredients. I’m serious because I’ve traveled so much. When I think about all the things I’ve seen, I sink into deep thoughts.

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