As you Like it


William Shakespeare

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Classic Literature Library

As you Like it Page 01

Actus primus. Scoena Prima.

Enter Orlando and Adam.

Orlando. As I remember Adam, it was vpon this fashion bequeathed me by will, but poore a thousand Crownes, and as thou saist, charged my brother 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: for 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 differs not from the stalling of an Oxe? his horses are bred better, for besides that they are faire with their feeding, they 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 nothing that he so plentifully giues me, the something that nature 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 is 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

Orlan. 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? Orl. 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

Orlan. 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

Oli. 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 condition of bloud you should so know me: the courtesie of nations allowes you my better, in that you are the first borne, 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 comming before me is neerer to his reuerence

Oli. What Boy

Orl. Come, come elder brother, you are too yong in this

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 villaine that saies such a father begot villaines: wert thou not 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

Oli. 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 education: you haue train'd me like a pezant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities: the spirit of my father growes strong in mee, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or giue mee the poore allottery my father left me by testament, with that I will goe buy my fortunes

William Shakespeare
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