Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: David Bevington
Peer Reviewed

As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)


As you Like it.
1
Actus primus. Scœna Prima.
Enter Orlando and Adam.
Orlando.
As I remember Adam, it was vpon this fashion
5bequeathed me by will, but poore a thousand
Crownes, and as thou saist, charged my bro-
ther on his blessing to breed mee well: and
there begins my sadnesse: My brother Iaques he keepes
at schoole, and report speakes goldenly of his profit:
10for my part, he keepes me rustically at home, or (to speak
more properly) staies me heere at home vnkept: for call
you that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that dif-
fers not from the stalling of an Oxe? his horses are bred
better, for besides that they are faire with their feeding,
15they are taught their mannage, and to that end Riders
deerely hir'd: but I (his brother) gaine nothing vnder
him but growth, for the which his Animals on his
dunghils are as much bound to him as I: besides this no-
thing that he so plentifully giues me, the something that
20nature gaue mee, his countenance seemes to take from
me: hee lets mee feede with his Hindes, barres mee the
place of a brother, and as much as in him lies, mines my
gentility with my education. This is it Adam that
grieues me, and the spirit of my Father, which I thinke
25is within mee, begins to mutinie against this seruitude.
I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise
remedy how to auoid it.
Enter Oliuer.
Adam. Yonder comes my Master, your brother.
30Orlan. Goe a-part Adam, and thou shalt heare how
he will shake me vp.
Oli. Now Sir, what make you heere?
Orl. Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.
Oli. What mar you then sir?
35Orl. Marry sir, I am helping you to mar that which
God made, a poore vnworthy brother of yours with
idlenesse.
Oliuer. Marry sir be better employed, and be naught
a while.
40Orlan. Shall I keepe your hogs, and eat huskes with
them? what prodigall portion haue I spent, that I should
come to such penury?
Oli. Know you where you are sir?
Orl. O sir, very well: heere in your Orchard.
45Oli. Know you before whom sir?
Orl. I, better then him I am before knowes mee: I
know you are my eldest brother, and in the gentle con-
dition of bloud you should so know me: the courtesie of
nations allowes you my better, in that you are the first
50borne, but the same tradition takes not away my bloud,
were there twenty brothers betwixt vs: I haue as much
of my father in mee, as you, albeit I confesse your com-
ming before me is neerer to his reuerence.
Oli. What Boy.
55Orl. Come, come elder brother, you are too yong in
Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me villaine?
Orl. I am no villaine: I am the yongest sonne of Sir
Rowland de Boys, he was my father, and he is thrice a vil-
laine that saies such a father begot villaines: wert thou
60not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy
throat, till this other had puld out thy tongue for saying
so, thou hast raild on thy selfe.
Adam. Sweet Masters bee patient, for your Fathers
remembrance, be at accord.
65Oli. Let me goe I say.
Orl. I will not till I please: you shall heare mee: my
father charg'd you in his will to giue me good educati-
on: you haue train'd me like a pezant, obscuring and
hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities: the spirit
70of my father growes strong in mee, and I will no longer
endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may be-
come a gentleman, or giue mee the poore allottery my
father left me by testament, with that I will goe buy my
fortunes.
75Oli. 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 haue some part of your will, I pray you
leaue me.
Orl. I will no further offend you, then becomes mee
80for my good.
Oli. Get you with him, you olde dogge.
Adam. Is old dogge my reward: most true, I haue
lost my teeth in your seruice: God be with my olde ma-
ster, he would not haue spoke such a word.
Ex. Orl. Ad.
85Oli. Is it euen so, begin you to grow vpon me? I will
physicke your ranckenesse, and yet giue no thousand
crownes neyther: holla Dennis.
Enter Dennis.
Den. Calls your worship?
90Oli. Was not Charles the Dukes Wrastler heere to
speake with me?
Den. So please you, he is heere at the doore, and im-
portunes accesse to you.
Oli. Call him in: 'twill be a good way: and to mor-
95row the wrastling is.
Enter Charles.
Cha. Good morrow to your worship.
Oli. Good Mounsier Charles: what's the new newes
at the new Court?
100Charles. There's no newes at the Court Sir, but the
olde newes: that is, the old Duke is banished by his yon-
ger brother the new Duke, and three or foure louing
Lords haue put themselues into voluntary exile with
him, whose lands and reuenues enrich the new Duke,
105therefore he giues them good leaue to wander.
Oli. Can you tell if Rosalind the Dukes daughter bee
banished with her Father?
Cha. O no; for the Dukes daughter her Cosen so
loues her, being euer from their Cradles bred together,
110that hee would haue followed her exile, or haue died to
stay behind her; she is at the Court, and no lesse beloued
of her Vncle, then his owne daughter, and neuer two La-
dies loued as they doe.
Oli. Where will the old Duke liue?
115Cha. They say hee is already in the Forrest of Arden,
and a many merry men with him; and there they liue
like the old Robin Hood of England: they say many yong
Gentlemen flocke to him euery day, and fleet the time
carelesly as they did in the golden world.
120Oli. What, you wrastle to morrow before the new
Duke.
Cha. Marry doe I sir: and I came to acquaint you
with a matter: I am giuen sir secretly to vnderstand, that
your yonger brother Orlando hath a disposition to come
125in disguis'd against mee to try a fall: to morrow sir I
wrastle for my credit, and hee that escapes me without
some broken limbe, shall acquit him well: your brother
is but young and tender, and for your loue I would bee
loth to foyle him, as I must for my owne honour if hee
130come in: therefore out of my loue to you, I came hither
to acquaint you withall, that either you might stay him
from his intendment, or brooke such disgrace well as he
shall runne into, in that it is a thing of his owne search,
and altogether against my will.
135Oli. Charles, I thanke thee for thy loue to me, which
thou shalt finde I will most kindly requite: I had my
selfe notice of my Brothers purpose heerein, and haue by
vnder-hand meanes laboured to disswade him from it;
but he is resolute. Ile tell thee Charles, it is the stubbor-
140nest yong fellow of France, full of ambition, an enuious
emulator of euery mans good parts, a secret & villanous
contriuer against mee his naturall brother: therefore vse
thy discretion, I had as liefe thou didst breake his necke
as his finger. And thou wert best looke to't; for if thou
145dost him any slight disgrace, or if hee doe not mightilie
grace himselfe on thee, hee will practise against thee by
poyson, entrap thee by some treacherous deuise, and ne-
uer leaue thee till he hath tane thy life by some indirect
meanes or other: for I assure thee, (and almost with
150teares I speake it) there is not one so young, and so vil-
lanous this day liuing. I speake but brotherly of him,
but should I anathomize him to thee, as hee is, I must
blush, and weepe, and thou must looke pale and
wonder.
155Cha. I am heartily glad I came hither to you: if hee
come to morrow, Ile giue him his payment: if euer hee
goe alone againe, Ile neuer wrastle for prize more: and
so God keepe your worship.
Exit.
Farewell good Charles. Now will I stirre this Game-
160ster: I hope I shall see an end of him; for my soule (yet
I know not why) hates nothing more then he: yet hee's
gentle, neuer school'd, and yet learned, full of noble
deuise, of all sorts enchantingly beloued, and indeed
so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my
165owne people, who best know him, that I am altogether
misprised: but it shall not be so long, this wrastler shall
cleare all: nothing remaines, but that I kindle the boy
thither, which now Ile goe about.
Exit.