…Shakespeare, that is. It would also be good for John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Dodd, and perhaps soon, Hillary. Actually, it kind of makes me want to try some winter camping again.

This scene is from “As You Like It”. The Duke of Amiens has suffered a political reverse of his own, and takes exile in the forest of Arden. There is much I could say, but it would all sound so inarticulate set next to Shakespeare, so I’ll let it stand on its own:

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.