I must have liberty withal, as large a charter as the wind, to blow on whom I please

A part of a speech of Jacques in As You Like It (2.7):

I must have liberty
Withal, as large a charter as the wind,
To blow on whom I please; for so fools have;
And they that are most galled with my folly,
They most must laugh. And why, sir, must they so?
The ‘why’ is plain as way to parish church:
He that a fool doth very wisely hit
Doth very foolishly, although he smart,
Not to seem senseless of the bob: if not,
The wise man’s folly is anatomized
Even by the squandering glances of the fool.
Invest me in my motley; give me leave
To speak my mind, and I will through and through
Cleanse the foul body of the infected world,
If they will patiently receive my medicine.

Because the syntax grows squishy around the middle, here’s the Arden gloss on He that…: He who is wounded by the fool’s well-aimed blow behaves very stupidly if he does not pretend – even while he is smarting under the wound – that the shaft has missed its mark.

There’s a possible echo of this image in a near-contemporary play I happen also to be reading, John Marston’s The Malcontent (1.3):

See, here he come. Now shall you hear the extremity of a malcontent: he is as free as air; he blows over every man.

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