William Shakespeare's As You Like It in the complete original text.
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As You Like It

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Act I. Scene I.

Act I. Scene I.—An Orchard near OLIVER'S House.

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.

Orl. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this
fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thou-
sand crowns, and, as thou sayest, charged my
brother on his blessing, to breed me well: and
there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques
he keeps at school, and report speaks goldenly
of his profit: for my part, he keeps me rustically
at home, or, to speak more property, 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,
they are taught their manage, and to that end
riders dearly hired: 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
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 wise remedy
how to avoid it.
Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother.
Orl. Go apart, Adam, and thou snalt hear
how he will shake me up.

Enter OLIVER.
Oli. Now, sir! what make you here?
Orl. Nothing: I am not taught to make any-
thing.
Oli. What mar you then, sir?
Orl. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that
which God made, a poor unworthy brother of
yours, with idleness.
Oli. Marry, sir, be better employed, and be
naught awhile.
Orl. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks
with them? What prodigal portion have I spent,
that I should come to such penury?
Oli. Know you where you are, sir?
Orl. O! sir, very well: here in your orchard.
Oli. Know you before whom, sir?
Orl. Ay, better than he 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, 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.
Oli. What. boy!
Orl. Come, come, elder brother, you are too
young in this.
Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
Orl. 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 take this hand from thy throat till
this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying
so: thou hast railed on thyself.
Adam. [Coming forward.] Sweet masters, be
patient: for your father's remembrance, be at
accord.
Oli. Let me go, I say.
Orl. I will not, till I please: you shall hear
me. My father charged you in his will to give
me good education: you have trained 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 exercise as may be-
come a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery
my father left me by testament; with that I will
go buy my fortunes.
Oli. 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 some part of
your will: I pray you, leave me.
Orl. I will no further offend you than becomes
me for my good.
Oli. 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
such a word. [Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM.
Oli. Is it even so? begin you to grow upon
me? I will physic your rankness, and yet give
no thousand crowns neither. Holla, Dennis!

Enter DENNIS.
Den. Calls your worship?
Oli. Was not Charles the duke's wrestler here
to speak with me?
Den. So please you, he is here at the door,
and importunes access to you.
Oli. Call him in. [Exit DENNIS.] 'Twill be
a good way; and to-morrow the wresthng is.

Enter CHARLES.
Cha. Good morrow to your worship.
Oli. Good Monsieur Charles, what's the new
news at the new court?
Cha. 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 re-
venues enrich the new duke; therefore he gives
them good leave to wander, in
Oli. Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's
daughter, be banished with her father?
Cha. O, no; for the duke's daughter, her
cousin, so loves her,—being ever from their
cradles bred together,—that she would have
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.
Oli. Where will the old duke live?
Cha. They say he is already in the forest of
Arden, and a many 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.
Oli. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the
new duke?
Cha. Marry, do I, sir; and I came to acquaint
you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to
understand that your younger brother Orlando
hath a disposition to come in disguised 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 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 a thing of his own
search and altogether against my will.
Oli. 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 ambition, an envious
emulator of every man's good parts, a secret
and villanous contriver against me his natural
brother: therefore use thy discretion. I had as
lief thou didst break his neck as his finger. And
thou wer? best look to't; for if thou dost him
any slight disgrace, or if he do not mightily
grace 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 villanous
this day living. I speak but brotherly of him;
but should I anatomize him to thee as he is,
I must blush and weep, and thou must look pale
and wonder.
Cha. 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.
Oli. 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 schooled
and yet learned, full of noble device, of all sorts
enchantingly beloved, and, indeed so much in
the heart of the world, and 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.
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