As You Like It

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Act II, Scene 3

Before OLIVER’S house

       
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Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting

  • Adam. What, my young master? O my gentle master! 645
    O my sweet master! O you memory
    Of old Sir Rowland! Why, what make you here?
    Why are you virtuous? Why do people love you?
    And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant?
    Why would you be so fond to overcome 650
    The bonny prizer of the humorous Duke?
    Your praise is come too swiftly home before you.
    Know you not, master, to some kind of men
    Their graces serve them but as enemies?
    No more do yours. Your virtues, gentle master, 655
    Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
    O, what a world is this, when what is comely
    Envenoms him that bears it!
  • Adam. O unhappy youth! 660
    Come not within these doors; within this roof
    The enemy of all your graces lives.
    Your brother- no, no brother; yet the son-
    Yet not the son; I will not call him son
    Of him I was about to call his father- 665
    Hath heard your praises; and this night he means
    To burn the lodging where you use to lie,
    And you within it. If he fail of that,
    He will have other means to cut you off;
    I overheard him and his practices. 670
    This is no place; this house is but a butchery;
    Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.
  • Orlando. Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?
  • Adam. No matter whither, so you come not here.
  • Orlando. What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food, 675
    Or with a base and boist'rous sword enforce
    A thievish living on the common road?
    This I must do, or know not what to do;
    Yet this I will not do, do how I can.
    I rather will subject me to the malice 680
    Of a diverted blood and bloody brother.
  • Adam. But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
    The thrifty hire I sav'd under your father,
    Which I did store to be my foster-nurse,
    When service should in my old limbs lie lame, 685
    And unregarded age in corners thrown.
    Take that, and He that doth the ravens feed,
    Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
    Be comfort to my age! Here is the gold;
    All this I give you. Let me be your servant; 690
    Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
    For in my youth I never did apply
    Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
    Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
    The means of weakness and debility; 695
    Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
    Frosty, but kindly. Let me go with you;
    I'll do the service of a younger man
    In all your business and necessities.
  • Orlando. O good old man, how well in thee appears 700
    The constant service of the antique world,
    When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
    Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
    Where none will sweat but for promotion,
    And having that do choke their service up 705
    Even with the having; it is not so with thee.
    But, poor old man, thou prun'st a rotten tree
    That cannot so much as a blossom yield
    In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
    But come thy ways, we'll go along together, 710
    And ere we have thy youthful wages spent
    We'll light upon some settled low content.
  • Adam. Master, go on; and I will follow thee
    To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.
    From seventeen years till now almost four-score 715
    Here lived I, but now live here no more.
    At seventeen years many their fortunes seek,
    But at fourscore it is too late a week;
    Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
    Than to die well and not my master's debtor. Exeunt 720

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