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As You Like It

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Act I, Scene 1

Orchard of OLIVER’S house



  • Orlando. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed
    me by will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou say'st,
    charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well; and there
    begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and 5
    report speaks goldenly of his profit. For my part, he keeps me
    rustically at home, or, to speak more properly, stays me here at
    home unkept; for call you that keeping for a gentleman of my
    birth that differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are
    bred better; for, besides that they are fair with their feeding, 10
    they are taught their manage, and to that end riders dearly
    hir'd; but I, his brother, gain nothing under him but growth; for
    the which his animals on his dunghills are as much bound to him
    as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the
    something that nature gave me his countenance seems to take from 15
    me. He lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a
    brother, and as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my
    education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the spirit of
    my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against
    this servitude. I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no 20
    wise remedy how to avoid it.

[Enter OLIVER]

  • Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother.
  • Orlando. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me
    up. 25

[ADAM retires]

  • Oliver. Now, sir! what make you here?
  • Orlando. Nothing; I am not taught to make any thing.
  • Oliver. What mar you then, sir?
  • Orlando. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a 30
    poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.
  • Oliver. Marry, sir, be better employed, and be nought awhile.
  • Orlando. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What
    prodigal portion have I spent that I should come to such penury?
  • Oliver. Know you where you are, sir? 35
  • Orlando. O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.
  • Oliver. Know you before whom, sir?
  • Orlando. Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know you are
    my eldest brother; and in the gentle condition of blood, you
    should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better 40
    in that you are the first-born; but the same tradition takes not
    away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us. I have as
    much of my father in me as you, albeit I confess your coming
    before me is nearer to his reverence.
  • Oliver. What, boy! [Strikes him] 45
  • Orlando. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
  • Oliver. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
  • Orlando. I am no villain; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
    Boys. He was my father; and he is thrice a villain that says such
    a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not 50
    take this hand from thy throat till this other had pull'd out thy
    tongue for saying so. Thou has rail'd on thyself.
  • Adam. [Coming forward] Sweet masters, be patient; for your father's
    remembrance, be at accord.
  • Orlando. I will not, till I please; you shall hear me. My father
    charg'd you in his will to give me good education: you have
    train'd me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all
    gentleman-like qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in
    me, and I will no longer endure it; therefore allow me such 60
    exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor
    allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy
    my fortunes.
  • Oliver. And what wilt thou do? Beg, when that is spent? Well, sir,
    get you in. I will not long be troubled with you; you shall have 65
    some part of your will. I pray you leave me.
  • Orlando. I no further offend you than becomes me for my good.
  • Oliver. Get you with him, you old dog.
  • Adam. Is 'old dog' my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in
    your service. God be with my old master! He would not have spoke 70
    such a word.
    Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM
  • Oliver. Is it even so? Begin you to grow upon me? I will physic
    your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither. Holla,
    Dennis! 75


  • Oliver. Was not Charles, the Duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?
  • Dennis. So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access
    to you. 80
  • Oliver. Call him in. [Exit DENNIS] 'Twill be a good way; and
    to-morrow the wrestling is.


  • Charles. Good morrow to your worship.
  • Oliver. Good Monsieur Charles! What's the new news at the new 85
  • Charles. There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news; that
    is, the old Duke is banished by his younger brother the new Duke;
    and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary
    exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new Duke; 90
    therefore he gives them good leave to wander.
  • Oliver. Can you tell if Rosalind, the Duke's daughter, be banished
    with her father?
  • Charles. O, no; for the Duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her,
    being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have 95
    followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at
    the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own
    daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.
  • Oliver. Where will the old Duke live?
  • Charles. They say he is already in the Forest of Arden, and a many 100
    merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood
    of England. They say many young gentlemen flock to him every day,
    and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
  • Oliver. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new Duke?
  • Charles. Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint you with a 105
    matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger
    brother, Orlando, hath a disposition to come in disguis'd against
    me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he
    that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well.
    Your brother is but young and tender; and, for your love, I would 110
    be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honour, if he come
    in; therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint
    you withal, that either you might stay him from his intendment,
    or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is
    thing of his own search and altogether against my will. 115
  • Oliver. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt
    find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my
    brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to
    dissuade him from it; but he is resolute. I'll tell thee,
    Charles, it is the stubbornest young fellow of France; full of 120
    ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret
    and villainous contriver against me his natural brother.
    Therefore use thy discretion: I had as lief thou didst break his
    neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if thou
    dost him any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace 125
    himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison, entrap
    thee by some treacherous device, and never leave thee till he
    hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other; for, I
    assure thee, and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one
    so young and so villainous this day living. I speak but brotherly 130
    of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush
    and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.
  • Charles. I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come
    to-morrow I'll give him his payment. If ever he go alone again,
    I'll never wrestle for prize more. And so, God keep your worship! Exit 135
  • Oliver. Farewell, good Charles. Now will I stir this gamester. I
    hope I shall see an end of him; for my soul, yet I know not why,
    hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never school'd and
    yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly
    beloved; and, indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and 140
    especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am
    altogether misprised. But it shall not be so long; this wrestler
    shall clear all. Nothing remains but that I kindle the boy
    thither, which now I'll go about. Exit