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As You Like It
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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workAs You Like It
Act 1, scene 1
Orlando demands that his elder brother Oliver give him part of the money left by their father. Oliver decides to get rid of Orlando by encouraging him to take part in a wrestling match almost sure to be fatal.Enter Orlando and Adam.
ORLANDO 0001 As I remember, Adam, it was upon this
0002 fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand
0003 crowns, and, as thou sayst, charged my brother on
0004 his blessing to breed me well. And there begins my
0005 5 sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and
0006 report speaks goldenly of his profit. For my part, he
0007 keeps me rustically at home, or, to speak more
0008 properly, stays me here at home unkept; for call you
0009 that “keeping,” for a gentleman of my birth, that
0010 10 differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are
0011 bred better, for, besides that they are fair with their
0012 feeding, they are taught their manage and, to that
0013 end, riders dearly hired. But I, his brother, gain
0014 nothing under him but growth, for the which his
0015 15 animals on his dunghills are as much bound to him
0016 as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives
0017 me, the something that nature gave me his countenance
0018 seems to take from me. He lets me feed with
0019 his hinds, bars me the place of a brother, and, as
0020 20 much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my
0021 education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me, and the
0022 spirit of my father, which I think is within me,
0023 begins to mutiny against this servitude. I will no
p. 90024 longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy
0025 25 how to avoid it.
ADAM 0026 Yonder comes my master, your brother.
ORLANDO 0027 Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he
0028 will shake me up.⌜Adam steps aside.⌝
OLIVER 0029 Now, sir, what make you here?
ORLANDO 0030 30Nothing. I am not taught to make anything.
OLIVER 0031 What mar you then, sir?
ORLANDO 0032 Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that
0033 which God made, a poor unworthy brother of
0034 yours, with idleness.
OLIVER 0035 35Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught
ORLANDO 0037 Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with
0038 them? What prodigal portion have I spent that I
0039 should come to such penury?
OLIVER 0040 40Know you where you are, sir?
ORLANDO 0041 O, sir, very well: here in your orchard.
OLIVER 0042 Know you before whom, sir?
ORLANDO 0043 Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I
0044 know you are my eldest brother, and in the gentle
0045 45 condition of blood you should so know me. The
0046 courtesy of nations allows you my better in that you
0047 are the first-born, but the same tradition takes not
0048 away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt
0049 us. I have as much of my father in me as you, albeit I
0050 50 confess your coming before me is nearer to his
OLIVER, ⌜threatening Orlando⌝ 0052 What, boy!
ORLANDO, ⌜holding off Oliver by the throat⌝ 0053 Come,
0054 come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
OLIVER 0055 55Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
ORLANDO 0056 I am no villain. I am the youngest son of Sir
p. 110057 Rowland de Boys. He was my father, and he is
0058 thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains.
0059 Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this
0060 60 hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out
0061 thy tongue for saying so. Thou hast railed on thyself.
ADAM, ⌜coming forward⌝ 0062 Sweet masters, be patient. For
0063 your father’s remembrance, be at accord.
OLIVER, ⌜to Orlando⌝ 0064 Let me go, I say.
ORLANDO 0065 65I will not till I please. You shall hear me. My
0066 father charged you in his will to give me good
0067 education. You have trained me like a peasant,
0068 obscuring and hiding from me all gentlemanlike
0069 qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in
0070 70 me, and I will no longer endure it. Therefore allow
0071 me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or
0072 give me the poor allottery my father left me by
0073 testament. With that I will go buy my fortunes.
⌜Orlando releases Oliver.⌝
OLIVER 0074 And what wilt thou do—beg when that is
0075 75 spent? Well, sir, get you in. I will not long be
0076 troubled with you. You shall have some part of your
0077 will. I pray you leave me.
ORLANDO 0078 I will no further offend you than becomes
0079 me for my good.
OLIVER, ⌜to Adam⌝ 0080 80Get you with him, you old dog.
ADAM 0081 Is “old dog” my reward? Most true, I have lost
0082 my teeth in your service. God be with my old
0083 master. He would not have spoke such a word.
Orlando ⌜and⌝ Adam exit.
OLIVER 0084 Is it even so? Begin you to grow upon me? I
0085 85 will physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand
0086 crowns neither.—Holla, Dennis!
DENNIS 0087 Calls your Worship?
p. 13OLIVER 0088 Was not Charles, the Duke’s wrestler, here to
0089 speak with me?
DENNIS 0090 90So please you, he is here at the door and
0091 importunes access to you.
OLIVER 0092 Call him in. ⌜Dennis exits.⌝ ’Twill be a good
0093 way, and tomorrow the wrestling is.
CHARLES 0094 Good morrow to your Worship.
OLIVER 0095 95Good Monsieur Charles, what’s the new news
0096 at the new court?
CHARLES 0097 There’s no news at the court, sir, but the old
0098 news. That is, the old duke is banished by his
0099 younger brother the new duke, and three or four
0100 100 loving lords have put themselves into voluntary
0101 exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich
0102 the new duke. Therefore he gives them good leave
0103 to wander.
OLIVER 0104 Can you tell if Rosalind, the Duke’s daughter,
0105 105 be banished with her father?
CHARLES 0106 O, no, for the Duke’s daughter her cousin so
0107 loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together,
0108 that ⌜she⌝ would have followed her exile or have
0109 died to stay behind her. She is at the court and no
0110 110 less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter,
0111 and never two ladies loved as they do.
OLIVER 0112 Where will the old duke live?
CHARLES 0113 They say he is already in the Forest of Arden,
0114 and a many merry men with him; and there they
0115 115 live like the old Robin Hood of England. They say
0116 many young gentlemen flock to him every day and
0117 fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden
OLIVER 0119 What, you wrestle tomorrow before the new
0120 120 duke?
p. 15CHARLES 0121 Marry, do I, sir, and I came to acquaint you
0122 with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand
0123 that your younger brother Orlando hath a
0124 disposition to come in disguised against me to try a
0125 125 fall. Tomorrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit, and he
0126 that escapes me without some broken limb shall
0127 acquit him well. Your brother is but young and
0128 tender, and for your love I would be loath to foil
0129 him, as I must for my own honor if he come in.
0130 130 Therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to
0131 acquaint you withal, that either you might stay him
0132 from his intendment, or brook such disgrace well
0133 as he shall run into, in that it is a thing of his own
0134 search and altogether against my will.
OLIVER 0135 135Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which
0136 thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had
0137 myself notice of my brother’s purpose herein, and
0138 have by underhand means labored to dissuade him
0139 from it; but he is resolute. I’ll tell thee, Charles, it is
0140 140 the stubbornest young fellow of France, full of
0141 ambition, an envious emulator of every man’s good
0142 parts, a secret and villainous contriver against me
0143 his natural brother. Therefore use thy discretion. I
0144 had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger.
0145 145 And thou wert best look to ’t, for if thou dost him
0146 any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace
0147 himself on thee, he will practice against thee by
0148 poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device,
0149 and never leave thee till he hath ta’en thy life by
0150 150 some indirect means or other. For I assure thee—
0151 and almost with tears I speak it—there is not one so
0152 young and so villainous this day living. I speak but
0153 brotherly of him, but should I anatomize him to
0154 thee as he is, I must blush and weep, and thou must
0155 155 look pale and wonder.
CHARLES 0156 I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he
p. 170157 come tomorrow, I’ll give him his payment. If ever
0158 he go alone again, I’ll never wrestle for prize more.
0159 And so God keep your Worship.
⌜OLIVER⌝ 0160 160Farewell, good Charles.⌜Charles⌝ exits.
0161 Now will I stir this gamester. I hope I shall see an
0162 end of him, for my soul—yet I know not why—
0163 hates nothing more than he. Yet he’s gentle, never
0164 schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of all
0165 165 sorts enchantingly beloved, and indeed so much in
0166 the heart of the world, and especially of my own
0167 people, who best know him, that I am altogether
0168 misprized. But it shall not be so long; this wrestler
0169 shall clear all. Nothing remains but that I kindle the
0170 170 boy thither, which now I’ll go about.