From “As You Like It,” Act II. Sc. 7.
ALL the world ’s a stage,And all the men and women merely players:They have their exits and their entrances;And one man in his time plays many parts,His Acts being seven ages. At first the Infant, 5Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.Then the whining School-boy, with his satchelAnd shining morning face, creeping like snailUnwillingly to school. And then the Lover,Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad 10Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a Soldier,Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard;Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,Seeking the bubble reputationEven in the cannon’s mouth. And then the Justice, 15In fair round belly with good capon lined,With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,Full of wise saws and modern instances,—And so he plays his part. The sixth age shiftsInto the lean and slippered Pantaloon, 20With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side;His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wideFor his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,Turning again toward childish treble, pipesAnd whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, 25That ends this strange eventful history,Is second childishness, and mere oblivion,—Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.