Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: As You Like It (Modern)
  • 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 (Modern)

    Enter Orlando and Adam,[ meeting].
    Orlando Who's there?
    705Adam What, my young master? Oh, my gentle master!
    Oh, my sweet master, oh, 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?
    710Why would you be so fond to overcome
    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?
    715No more do yours. Your virtues, gentle master,
    Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
    Oh, what a world is this, when what is comely
    Envenoms him that bears it!
    Why, what's the matter?
    O unhappy youth,
    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
    725Of him I was about to call his father --
    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.
    730I overheard him and his practices.
    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.
    735Orlando What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food,
    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.
    740I rather will subject me to the malice
    Of a diverted blood and bloody brother.
    Adam But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
    The thrifty hire I saved under your father,
    Which I did store to be my foster nurse
    745When service should in my old limbs lie lame
    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;
    [Offering money]
    750All this I give you. Let me be your servant.
    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
    755The means of weakness and debility;
    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.
    760Orlando Oh, good old man, how well in thee appears
    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,
    765And having that do choke their service up
    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.
    770But come thy ways. We'll go along together,
    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.
    775From seventeen years till now almost fourscore
    Here livèd 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
    780Than to die well and not my master's debtor.