As You Like It
Contrasting Regions Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you;
I thought that all things had been savage here,
And therefore put I on the countenance
Of stern commandment. (2.7.5)
Orlando assumes everything in the forest is brutal, so he tries to be brutal too. He means to contrast the court to the forest, but the irony is that the court has proved more brutal to him than the forest could ever be.
Not a whit, Touchstone. Those that are good manners at the
court are as ridiculous in the country as the behaviour of the
country is most mockable at the court. You told me you salute not at the court, but you kiss your hands; that courtesy would be
uncleanly if courtiers were shepherds.
Instance, briefly; come, instance.
Why, we are still handling our ewes; and their fells, you
know, are greasy.
Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? And is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say; come.
Besides, our hands are hard.
Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow again. A more sounder instance; come.
And they are often tarr'd over with the surgery of our
sheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are
perfum'd with civet.
Most shallow man! thou worm's meat in respect of a good piece of flesh indeed! Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar--the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend
the instance, shepherd.
You have too courtly a wit for me; I'll rest. (3.2.6)
Corin argues that the attitudes and social conventions of the court have no place in the country. The custom of hand-kissing, for example, wouldn't work in the country because everybody's hands are always greasy and smelly from handling sheep. Touchstone, as usual, says that's not a good enough reason and argues with Corin until the old shepherd gives up and says Touchstone is too witty for him.
First, in this forest, let us do those ends
That here were well begun and well begot:
And after, every of this happy number
That have endured shrewd days and nights with us
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.
Meantime, forget this new-fall'n dignity
And fall into our rustic revelry. (5.4.8)
Wait a minute here. If life in the country is so great, why does everyone decide to return to court when they find out their old titles and fortunes will be restored? Because Arden isn't exactly the "real world," it seems like the forest can only ever be a temporary refuge.