As You Like It

Updated July 24, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

I'm looking for a Shakespeare quote that begins: Tongues in trees, . . . in brooks . . .

Any ideas?

The Answer:

What a lovely quote! This is said by Duke Senior in Act II, Scene I of As You Like It.

The entire monologue is as follows:

Now, my co-mates and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say
“This is no flattery: these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.”
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
I would not change it.

If you interested in reading the play, you can find the full text on our site.

-The Editors

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