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About this text

  • Title: As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: David Bevington
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-369-4

    Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    As You Like It (Folio 1, 1623)

    As you Like it.
    Actus primus. Scœna Prima.
    Enter Orlando and Adam.
    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
    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-1751
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    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.