As You Like It
Act II, Scene 3
Before Oliver’s house.
- Enter Orlando and Adam, meeting.
- Who’s there?
Adam2 - 15
- What, my young master? O my gentle master,
- O my sweet master, O you memory
- Of old Sir Rowland! Why, what make you here?
- Why are you virtuous? Why do people love you?
- And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant?
- Why would you be so fond to overcome
- The bonny priser of the humorous Duke?
- Your praise is come too swiftly home before you.
- Know you not, master, to some kind of men
- Their graces serve them but as enemies?
- No more do yours. Your virtues, gentle master,
- Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
- O, what a world is this, when what is comely
- Envenoms him that bears it!
- Why, what’s the matter?
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- O unhappy youth,
- Come not within these doors! Within this roof
- The enemy of all your graces lives.
- Your brother—no, no brother, yet the son
- (Yet not the son, I will not call him son)
- Of him I was about to call his father—
- Hath heard your praises, and this night he means
- To burn the lodging where you use to lie,
- And you within it. If he fail of that,
- He will have other means to cut you off;
- I overheard him, and his practices.
- This is no place, this house is but a butchery;
- Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.
- Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?
- No matter whither, so you come not here.
Orlando32 - 38
- 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?
- This 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.
Adam39 - 56
- But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
- The thrifty hire I sav’d 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,
- Yea, 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
- Hot 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,
- I’ll do the service of a younger man
- In all your business and necessities.
Orlando57 - 69
- O good old man, how well in thee appears
- The constant service of the antique world,
- When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
- Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
- Where none will sweat but for promotion,
- And having that do choke their service up
- Even with the having. It is not so with thee.
- But, poor old man, thou prun’st a rotten tree,
- That cannot so much as a blossom yield
- In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
- But come thy ways, we’ll go along together,
- And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,
- We’ll light upon some settled low content.
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- Master, go on, and I will follow thee
- To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.
- From seventeen years till now almost fourscore
- Here lived I, but now live here no more.
- At seventeen years many their fortunes seek,
- But at fourscore it is too late a week;
- Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
- Than to die well, and not my master’s debtor.