• Enter TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY, and JAQUES behind

    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?

    TOUCHSTONE

    5I 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 thatched house.

    TOUCHSTONE

    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.

    AUDREY

    I do not know what “poetical” is. Is it honest in deed and word? Is it a true thing?

    TOUCHSTONE

    15No, 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.

    AUDREY

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

    TOUCHSTONE

    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 feign.
  • TOUCHSTONE and AUDREY enter, with JAQUES following unseen.

    TOUCHSTONE

    Come on, sweet Audrey. I’ll get your goats, Audrey. Well now, what do you think, Audrey? Am I the man for you, Audrey? Do my simple features please you?

    AUDREY

    Your features, God help us! What features?

    TOUCHSTONE

    Well, I’m out here with you and your goats, in the same way that the witty poet Ovid was abandoned to the barbaric Goths.

    goats

    Goths sounds like goats. Touchstone makes a series of puns, none of which Audrey catches.

    JAQUES

    (to himself) Oh, knowledge put to such bad use is worse than a god cooped up in a hut.

    TOUCHSTONE

    When a man’s jokes fall that flat, it’s as depressing as getting a large bill for a short stay in a little room. Really, Audrey, I wish you were more poetical.

    AUDREY

    I don’t know what “poetical” means. Is it “chaste in word and action”? Does it mean being truthful?

    TOUCHSTONE

    Not really, for the truest poetry is often the most artificial. Lovers are fond of poetry and often concoct great lies in their poems.

    AUDREY

    But you still wish the gods had made me poetical?

    TOUCHSTONE

    I do, in fact. Right now you swear to me that you are a virgin; if you were a poet, I might have some hope you were lying.