As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 3

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OLIVER

What, boy! (strikes him)

OLIVER

(hitting ORLANDO) What nerve!

ORLANDO

45Come, 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

55Let 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.