Growing up, I saw my mother’s bookplate in many of the books I picked up at home, and recently saw it again in a cookbook that had been up in the attic:
But this time, I wondered where that quote came from. As it turns out, it’s from Shakespeare, Duke Senior exiled in the forest of Arden in As You Like It, Act II, Scene I:
“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 not 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 counselors
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 everything.
I would not change it.”
Nor would I.