As You Like It

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

ORLANDO

30Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?

ORLANDO

Then where would you have me go, Adam?

ADAM

No matter whither, so you come not here.

ADAM

It doesn’t matter where, so long as it’s not here.

ORLANDO

What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food,
Or with a base and boist'rous sword enforce
A thievish living on the common road?
35This I must do, or know not what to do.
Yet this I will not do, do how I can.
I rather will subject me to the malice
Of a diverted blood and bloody brother.

ORLANDO

What, would you have me beg for my food? Or become a lowlife, sticking up travelers on the road? This is all that’s left for me to do, but I won’t do it. I’d rather give myself up to the hatred of a violent brother who refuses to recognize that we are brothers.

ADAM

But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
40The thrifty hire I saved under your father,
Which I did store to be my foster nurse
When service should in my old limbs lie lame
And unregarded age in corners thrown.
Take that, and He that doth the ravens feed,
45Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
Be comfort to my age. Here is the gold.
All this I give you. Let me be your servant.
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty,
For in my youth I never did apply
50Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood
Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
The means of weakness and debility.
Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty but kindly. Let me go with you.
55I’ll do the service of a younger man
In all your business and necessities.

ADAM

But don’t do that. I have five-hundred gold coins, which I carefully saved when I was working for your late father. I meant to use it for my retirement, to help me when my old body was lame and forgotten in some dark corner. But take the money, and God, who feeds even the raven and looks after even the sparrow, will comfort me in my old age. Here is the gold, I give it all to you. Let me be your servant. I know I may be old, but I’m strong and healthy, because in my youth I never drank nor lived recklessly. Therefore, my old age is like a blustery winter: cold, but kindly. Let me go with you. I’ll do everything a younger man could do for you.