Orchard of OLIVER'S house.

As I remember, Adam, it was upon
this fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a
thousand 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 proerly,
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 (30)
how he will shake me up. Enter OLIVER.

Now, sir! what make you here?

Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.

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 (39)
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 firsborn;
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 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.

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 will 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 you.

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 (111)
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. (119)

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 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 honor, 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.

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
labored 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 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 practice 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

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

Farewell, good Charles. [Exit 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 (180)
the boy thither; which now I'll go about. [Exit.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (36 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: