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Enter ORLANDO and ADAM
ORLANDO and ADAM enter.

ORLANDO

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 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.

ORLANDO

I remember, Adam, that’s

exactly

The actual reason is never made clear; the audience has happened upon a conversation already in progress.

exactly
why my father only left me a thousand crowns in his will. And as you know, my father commanded my brother, Oliver, to make sure that I was brought up well—and that’s where my sadness begins. Oliver keeps my brother Jaques away at school, and everyone says he’s doing extremely well there. But he keeps me at home in the country—to be precise, he keeps me stuck at home but doesn’t support me. I ask you, is this any way to treat a gentleman as nobly born as I am, to pen me in like an ox? His horses get treated better than I do—at least he feeds them and trains them properly, and spends a lot of money on trainers for them. All I’ve gained from his care is weight, which makes me as indebted to him as his animals on the manure pile are. He gives me plenty of nothing, and takes away everything else, letting me eat with his servants, refusing me what’s owed me as his brother, and ruining my good birth with a poor education. This is what angers me, Adam. My father’s temper and spirit, which I think I share, makes me want to mutiny against my brother’s tyranny. I won’t stand for it any longer, though I haven’t yet figured out how to revolt.
Enter OLIVER
OLIVER enters.

ADAM

Yonder comes my master, your brother.

ADAM

Here comes my master, your brother.

ORLANDO

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

ORLANDO

Go hide, Adam, and you’ll hear how he abuses me.

OLIVER

25 Now, sir, what make you here?

OLIVER

ORLANDO

Nothing. I am not taught to make anything.

ORLANDO

Nothing. I’ve never been taught how to make anything.

OLIVER

What mar you then, sir?

OLIVER

Well, then, what are you messing up?

ORLANDO

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

ORLANDO

I’m helping you mess up one of God’s creations—your poor, unworthy brother—by having him do nothing.

OLIVER

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

OLIVER

Indeed, sir, find something better to do and get lost for a while.

ORLANDO

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

ORLANDO

OLIVER

Know you where you are, sir?

OLIVER

Do you know where you are, sir?

ORLANDO

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

ORLANDO

Yes, sir, very well—I’m here in your orchard.

OLIVER

Know you before whom, sir?

OLIVER

Do you know whom you’re talking to?

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.

ORLANDO

Yes, better than you know me. I know you’re my oldest brother, and deserve more respect. But we’re in the same family, so you should acknowledge that I am a gentleman too. According to custom, as the first-born you are my superior. But it’s not customary to treat me like I’m not even a gentleman, even if there were twenty brothers between you and me. I have as much of our father in me as you do, though I admit you’re closer to him and matter more because you’re older.

OLIVER

What, boy! (strikes him)

OLIVER

(hitting ORLANDO) What nerve!

ORLANDO

Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this. (seizes him)

ORLANDO

(grabbing hold of OLIVER) Come on, big brother; you don’t know anything about fighting.

OLIVER

Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

OLIVER

What, you dare put your 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 pulled out thy tongue for saying so. Thou hast railed on thyself.

ORLANDO

I’m no villain. I’m the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys, and anyone who claims my father’s sons are villains is a villain himself. If you weren’t my brother, I’d leave this hand of mine on your neck until I’d pulled out your tongue for talking like this. You’ve only insulted yourself.

ADAM

Sweet masters, be patient. For your father’s remembrance, be at accord.

ADAM

Gentlemen, calm down. For the sake of your father’s memory, make peace.

OLIVER

55 Let me go, I say.

OLIVER

Let me go, I say.

ORLANDO

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 gentlemanlike 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.

ORLANDO

I won’t until I’m ready. You will listen to me. My father instructed you in his will to give me a good education. But you’ve raised me as a peasant, hiding from me what I needed to become a gentleman. My father’s spirit is growing in me, and I won’t take this any longer. Either give me the freedom to act like someone of my own rank or give me my share of the inheritance, so that I can seek my fortune elsewhere.

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.

OLIVER

And what are you going to do after you’ve spent your money? Beg? Well, sir, go inside. I’m not going to be bothered by you for long. You’ll get some of what you want. Now please leave me alone.

ORLANDO

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

ORLANDO

I won’t bother you any more than necessary.

OLIVER

Get you with him, you old dog.

OLIVER

(to ADAM) And you get lost too, 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.

ADAM

Is that my reward—to be called “old dog?” Well, it’s true, I’ve served this family so long I’ve gotten old and toothless, like a dog. God bless my old master. He would never have spoken to me like this.
Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM
ORLANDO and ADAM exit.

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!

OLIVER

Is that how it’s going to be? Are you starting to challenge me? I’ll cure you of your insolence, and I’m not going to give you a thousand crowns, either!—Hey, Dennis!
Enter DENNIS
DENNIS enters.

DENNIS

75 Calls your Worship?

DENNIS

Did you call for me, your Worship?

OLIVER

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

OLIVER

Wasn’t 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.

DENNIS

Yes, sir, he’s here at the door right now and asks to see you.

OLIVER

80 Call him in.

OLIVER

Call him in.
Exit DENNIS
DENNIS exits.
'Twill be a good way, and tomorrow the wrestling is.
I have a good plan. And tomorrow is the wrestling match.
Enter CHARLES
CHARLES enters.

CHARLES

Good morrow to your Worship.

CHARLES

Good morning, sir.

OLIVER

Good Monsieur Charles, what’s the new news at the new court?

OLIVER

Good Mr. Charles! Tell me, what’s the latest 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.

CHARLES

No news but the old news: the old Duke Senior has been banished by his younger brother, the new Duke Frederick. A few loyal lords have gone into exile with Duke Senior, and given up their lands and money to Frederick—so he’s happy enough to have them leave.

OLIVER

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

OLIVER

Can you tell me whether Rosalind, Duke Senior’s daughter, has also been banished?

CHARLES

Oh, 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.

CHARLES

Oh, no. Duke Frederick’s daughter, Celia, grew up with Rosalind, and Celia loves her cousin so much that she would have either followed her into exile or died of grief. Rosalind has stayed at court, where Duke Frederick loves her like his own daughter. No two women ever loved each other like they do.

OLIVER

Where will the old duke live?

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.

CHARLES

They say he’s already in the Forest of Arden. He has many cheerful men with him, and they live like Robin Hood and his outlaws. People say that new batches of young men flock there every day, and that they all pass the time without a care, like people did in the

Golden Age

In Greek mythology, the first humans lived in a Golden Age, free from work, conflict, or violence, and without the need of laws.

Golden Age
.

OLIVER

What, you wrestle tomorrow before the new duke?

OLIVER

So, are you going to wrestle before the new duke tomorrow?

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 disguised against me to try a fall. Tomorrow, 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

Indeed I do, sir, and I’ve come to let you in on a certain problem. I’ve been informed by certain sources I can’t disclose that your younger brother Orlando plans to fight me in disguise. Tomorrow, sir, I’m fighting for my reputation, and any man who gets away without a broken bone or two is an exceptional wrestler indeed. Your brother is young and inexperienced, and because of my affection for you, I’d hate to crush him—though I’d have to, if he challenged me. I’m telling you all this out of affection for you, so you can either keep him from carrying out his plans or prepare to accept his disgrace, which will be his own fault, not mine.

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 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 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 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 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.

OLIVER

Charles, I thank you for your loyalty to me, and you’ll see that I’ll reward you. I’d heard about my brother’s plan and have been subtly trying to change his mind, but he’s determined. I tell you, Charles, he’s the stubbornest young fellow in France: overly ambitious, jealous of other people’s good qualities, and a traitor against me, his own blood brother. So use your discretion. I’d be just as happy if you broke his neck as his finger. And you’d better be careful, because if you embarrass him at all—in fact, if he doesn’t beat you thoroughly—he’ll come after you and won’t leave you alone till he’s poisoned you or trapped you—killed you, in other words, one way or another. It brings me to tears to say this, but there isn’t another person alive who is so young and at the same time so wicked. Because he’s my brother, I have to take his side. But if I really laid him bare, I’d have to weep and hang my head, and you would not believe me, his behavior is so shocking.

CHARLES

I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come tomorrow, 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.

CHARLES

I’m very glad I came to see you. If he shows up tomorrow, I’ll give him what’s coming to him. If he can manage to walk after our fight, I’ll never wrestle for money again. Farewell, my lord.

OLIVER

Farewell, good Charles.

OLIVER

Take care, Charles.
Exit CHARLES
CHARLES exits.
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 misprized. 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.
Now it’s time to get this playboy brother of mine all worked up. I hope I’ll see the end of him soon—I don’t know why, but I hate nothing in the world as much as him, though he’s an upstanding guy. He’s never gone to school but he’s smart, with good values, and everyone is delighted by him and loves him, especially my subjects, who know him the best. They love him, and therefore they despise me. But not for long; Charles will take care of everything. All I have to do is get Orlando to fight, which I’ll do now.
Exit
He exits.