ACT I
Scene 1
 

Orchard of OLIVER'S house

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM

ORLANDO
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
hir'd; 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.

Enter OLIVER

ADAM
Yonder comes my master, your brother.

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

[ADAM retires]

OLIVER
Now, sir! what make you here?

ORLANDO
Nothing; I am not taught to make any thing.

OLIVER
What mar you then, sir?

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

OLIVER
Marry, sir, be better employed, and be nought awhile.

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

OLIVER
Know you where you are, sir?

ORLANDO
O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.

OLIVER
Know you before whom, sir?

ORLANDO
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.

OLIVER
What, boy!

[Strikes him]

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

OLIVER
Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

ORLANDO
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 pull'd out thy
tongue for saying so. Thou has rail'd on thyself.

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

OLIVER
Let me go, I say.

ORLANDO
I will not, till I please; you shall hear me. My father
charg'd you in his will to give me good education: you have
train'd 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.

OLIVER
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.

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

OLIVER
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

OLIVER
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

DENNIS
Calls your worship?

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

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

OLIVER
Call him in. [Exit DENNIS] 'Twill be a good way; and
to-morrow the wrestling is.

Enter CHARLES

CHARLES
Good morrow to your worship.

OLIVER
Good Monsieur Charles! What's the new news at the new
court?

CHARLES
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.

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

CHARLES
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.

OLIVER
Where will the old Duke live?

CHARLES
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.

OLIVER
What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new Duke?

CHARLES
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 will.

OLIVER
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.

CHARLES
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

OLIVER
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 school'd 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.

Exit