As You Like It Act I, Scene 1
by William Shakespeare

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Act I, Scene 1


SCENE I. An Orchard near OLIVER'S house.

[Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.]

As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion,--bequeathed me by
will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou say'st, 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 properly, 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.

Yonder comes my master, your brother.

Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up.

[ADAM retires]

[Enter OLIVER.]

Now, sir! what make you here?

Nothing: I am not taught to make anything.

What mar you then, sir?

Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a
poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.

Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.

Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What
prodigal portion have I spent that I should come to such penury?

Know you where you are, sir?

O, sir, very well: here in your orchard.

Know you before whom, sir?

Ay, better than him 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.

What, boy!

Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.

Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

I am no villain: I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
Bois: 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 has railed on thyself.

[Coming forward] Sweet masters, be patient; for your
father's remembrance, be at accord.

Let me go, I say.

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
exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor
allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go
buy my fortunes.

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.

I no further offend you than becomes me for my good.

Get you with him, you old dog.

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.]

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.]

Calls your worship?

Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?

So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access to

Call him in.

[Exit DENNIS.]

--'Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.

[Enter CHARLES.]

Good morrow to your worship.

Good Monsieur Charles!--what's the new news at the new court?

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 revenues enrich the new duke;
therefore he gives them good leave to wander.

Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished
with her father?

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.

Where will the old duke live?

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.

What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?

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 disguis'd 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 thing of his own search, and altogether against my

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 villainous contriver against me his natural brother:
therefore use thy discretion: I had as lief thou didst break his
neck as his finger. And thou wert 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 villainous 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.

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!


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.