William Shakespeare: As You Like It


It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but
it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue.
If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good
play needs no epilogue. Yet to good wine they do use good bushes;
and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues.
What a case am I in, then, that am neither a good epilogue nor
cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not
furnished like a beggar; therefore to beg will not become me: my
way is to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge
you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of
this play as please you: and I charge you, O men, for the love
you bear to women;--as I perceive by your simpering, none of you
hates them,--that between you and the women the play may please.
If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that
pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied
not; and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces,
or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy,
bid me farewell.



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