As You Like It Act II, Scene vii Jacques
(This speech is used in our interview with Nicholas Martin-Smith)
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139 All the world’s a stage,
140 And all the men and women merely players;
141 They have their exits and their entrances,
142 And one man in his time plays many parts,
143 His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
144 Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
145 Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
146 And shining morning face, creeping like snail
147 Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
148 Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
149 Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
150 Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
151 Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
152 Seeking the bubble reputation
153 Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
154 In fair round belly with good capon lined,
155 With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
156 Full of wise saws and modern instances;
157 And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
158 Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
159 With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
160 His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
161 For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
162 Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
163 And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
164 That ends this strange eventful history,
165 Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
166 Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.