As You Like It, ACT I
SCENE I. Orchard of Oliver’s house.
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM
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.
Yonder comes my master, your brother.
Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will
shake me up.
Now, sir! what make you here?
Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.
What mar you then, sir?
Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God
made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.
Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.
Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with them?
What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should
come to such penury?
Know you where your are, sir?
O, sir, very well; here in your orchard.
Know you before whom, sir?
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.
Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
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.
Sweet masters, be patient: for your father’s
remembrance, be at accord.
Let me go, I say.
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 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.
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.
I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good.
Get you with him, you old dog.
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
Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? I will
physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand
crowns neither. Holla, Dennis!
Calls your worship?
Was not Charles, the duke’s wrestler, here to speak with me?
So please you, he is here at the door and importunes
access to you.
Call him in.
‘Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.
Good morrow to your worship.
Good Monsieur Charles, what’s the new news at the
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.
Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke’s daughter, be
banished with her father?
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.
Where will the old duke live?
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.
What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?
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.
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 a thing of his own search
and altogether against my will.
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 villanous 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 villanous 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.
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!
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
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
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.
ACT I. SCENE II.
SCENE II. Lawn before the Duke’s palace.
Enter CELIA and ROSALIND
I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of;
and would you yet I were merrier? Unless you could
teach me to forget a banished father, you must not
learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full weight
that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished father,
had banished thy uncle, the duke my father, so thou
hadst been still with me, I could have taught my
love to take thy father for mine: so wouldst thou,
if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously
tempered as mine is to thee.
Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to
rejoice in yours.
You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is
like to have: and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt
be his heir, for what he hath taken away from thy
father perforce, I will render thee again in
affection; by mine honour, I will; and when I break
that oath, let me turn monster: therefore, my
sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry.
From henceforth I will, coz, and devise sports. Let
me see; what think you of falling in love?
Marry, I prithee, do, to make sport withal: but
love no man in good earnest; nor no further in sport
neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst
in honour come off again.
What shall be our sport, then?
Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune from
her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
I would we could do so, for her benefits are
mightily misplaced, and the bountiful blind woman
doth most mistake in her gifts to women.
‘Tis true; for those that she makes fair she scarce
makes honest, and those that she makes honest she
makes very ill-favouredly.
Nay, now thou goest from Fortune’s office to
Nature’s: Fortune reigns in gifts of the world,
not in the lineaments of Nature.
No? when Nature hath made a fair creature, may she
not by Fortune fall into the fire? Though Nature
hath given us wit to flout at Fortune, hath not
Fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?
Indeed, there is Fortune too hard for Nature, when
Fortune makes Nature’s natural the cutter-off of
Peradventure this is not Fortune’s work neither, but
Nature’s; who perceiveth our natural wits too dull
to reason of such goddesses and hath sent this
natural for our whetstone; for always the dulness of
the fool is the whetstone of the wits. How now,
wit! whither wander you?
Mistress, you must come away to your father.
Were you made the messenger?
No, by mine honour, but I was bid to come for you.
Where learned you that oath, fool?
Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they
were good pancakes and swore by his honour the
mustard was naught: now I’ll stand to it, the
pancakes were naught and the mustard was good, and
yet was not the knight forsworn.
How prove you that, in the great heap of your
Ay, marry, now unmuzzle your wisdom.
Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and
swear by your beards that I am a knave.
By our beards, if we had them, thou art.
By my knavery, if I had it, then I were; but if you
swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn: no
more was this knight swearing by his honour, for he
never had any; or if he had, he had sworn it away
before ever he saw those pancakes or that mustard.
Prithee, who is’t that thou meanest?
One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
My father’s love is enough to honour him: enough!
speak no more of him; you’ll be whipped for taxation
one of these days.
The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely what
wise men do foolishly.
By my troth, thou sayest true; for since the little
wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery
that wise men have makes a great show. Here comes
Monsieur Le Beau.
With his mouth full of news.
Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.
Then shall we be news-crammed.
All the better; we shall be the more marketable.
Enter LE BEAU
Bon jour, Monsieur Le Beau: what’s the news?
Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Sport! of what colour?
What colour, madam! how shall I answer you?
As wit and fortune will.
Or as the Destinies decree.
Well said: that was laid on with a trowel.
Nay, if I keep not my rank,–
Thou losest thy old smell.
You amaze me, ladies: I would have told you of good
wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.
You tell us the manner of the wrestling.
I will tell you the beginning; and, if it please
your ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is
yet to do; and here, where you are, they are coming
to perform it.
Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.
There comes an old man and his three sons,–
I could match this beginning with an old tale.
Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence.
With bills on their necks, ‘Be it known unto all men
by these presents.’
The eldest of the three wrestled with Charles, the
duke’s wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him
and broke three of his ribs, that there is little
hope of life in him: so he served the second, and
so the third. Yonder they lie; the poor old man,
their father, making such pitiful dole over them
that all the beholders take his part with weeping.
But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies
Why, this that I speak of.
Thus men may grow wiser every day: it is the first
time that ever I heard breaking of ribs was sport
Or I, I promise thee.
But is there any else longs to see this broken music
in his sides? is there yet another dotes upon
rib-breaking? Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?
You must, if you stay here; for here is the place
appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to
Yonder, sure, they are coming: let us now stay and see it.
Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants
Come on: since the youth will not be entreated, his
own peril on his forwardness.
Is yonder the man?
Even he, madam.
Alas, he is too young! yet he looks successfully.
How now, daughter and cousin! are you crept hither
to see the wrestling?
Ay, my liege, so please you give us leave.
You will take little delight in it, I can tell you;
there is such odds in the man. In pity of the
challenger’s youth I would fain dissuade him, but he
will not be entreated. Speak to him, ladies; see if
you can move him.
Call him hither, good Monsieur Le Beau.
Do so: I’ll not be by.
Monsieur the challenger, the princesses call for you.
I attend them with all respect and duty.
Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?
No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I
come but in, as others do, to try with him the
strength of my youth.
Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold for your
years. You have seen cruel proof of this man’s
strength: if you saw yourself with your eyes or
knew yourself with your judgment, the fear of your
adventure would counsel you to a more equal
enterprise. We pray you, for your own sake, to
embrace your own safety and give over this attempt.
Do, young sir; your reputation shall not therefore
be misprised: we will make it our suit to the duke
that the wrestling might not go forward.
I beseech you, punish me not with your hard
thoughts; wherein I confess me much guilty, to deny
so fair and excellent ladies any thing. But let
your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my
trial: wherein if I be foiled, there is but one
shamed that was never gracious; if killed, but one
dead that was willing to be so: I shall do my
friends no wrong, for I have none to lament me, the
world no injury, for in it I have nothing; only in
the world I fill up a place, which may be better
supplied when I have made it empty.
The little strength that I have, I would it were with you.
And mine, to eke out hers.
Fare you well: pray heaven I be deceived in you!
Your heart’s desires be with you!
Come, where is this young gallant that is so
desirous to lie with his mother earth?
Ready, sir; but his will hath in it a more modest working.
You shall try but one fall.
No, I warrant your grace, you shall not entreat him
to a second, that have so mightily persuaded him
from a first.
An you mean to mock me after, you should not have
mocked me before: but come your ways.
Now Hercules be thy speed, young man!
I would I were invisible, to catch the strong
fellow by the leg.
O excellent young man!
If I had a thunderbolt in mine eye, I can tell who
Shout. CHARLES is thrown
No more, no more.
Yes, I beseech your grace: I am not yet well breathed.
How dost thou, Charles?
He cannot speak, my lord.
Bear him away. What is thy name, young man?
Orlando, my liege; the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys.
I would thou hadst been son to some man else:
The world esteem’d thy father honourable,
But I did find him still mine enemy:
Thou shouldst have better pleased me with this deed,
Hadst thou descended from another house.
But fare thee well; thou art a gallant youth:
I would thou hadst told me of another father.
Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK, train, and LE BEAU
Were I my father, coz, would I do this?
I am more proud to be Sir Rowland’s son,
His youngest son; and would not change that calling,
To be adopted heir to Frederick.
My father loved Sir Rowland as his soul,
And all the world was of my father’s mind:
Had I before known this young man his son,
I should have given him tears unto entreaties,
Ere he should thus have ventured.
Let us go thank him and encourage him:
My father’s rough and envious disposition
Sticks me at heart. Sir, you have well deserved:
If you do keep your promises in love
But justly, as you have exceeded all promise,
Your mistress shall be happy.
Giving him a chain from her neck
Wear this for me, one out of suits with fortune,
That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.
Shall we go, coz?
Ay. Fare you well, fair gentleman.
Can I not say, I thank you? My better parts
Are all thrown down, and that which here stands up
Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.
He calls us back: my pride fell with my fortunes;
I’ll ask him what he would. Did you call, sir?
Sir, you have wrestled well and overthrown
More than your enemies.
Will you go, coz?
Have with you. Fare you well.
Exeunt ROSALIND and CELIA
What passion hangs these weights upon my tongue?
I cannot speak to her, yet she urged conference.
O poor Orlando, thou art overthrown!
Or Charles or something weaker masters thee.
Re-enter LE BEAU
Good sir, I do in friendship counsel you
To leave this place. Albeit you have deserved
High commendation, true applause and love,
Yet such is now the duke’s condition
That he misconstrues all that you have done.
The duke is humorous; what he is indeed,
More suits you to conceive than I to speak of.
I thank you, sir: and, pray you, tell me this:
Which of the two was daughter of the duke
That here was at the wrestling?
Neither his daughter, if we judge by manners;
But yet indeed the lesser is his daughter
The other is daughter to the banish’d duke,
And here detain’d by her usurping uncle,
To keep his daughter company; whose loves
Are dearer than the natural bond of sisters.
But I can tell you that of late this duke
Hath ta’en displeasure ‘gainst his gentle niece,
Grounded upon no other argument
But that the people praise her for her virtues
And pity her for her good father’s sake;
And, on my life, his malice ‘gainst the lady
Will suddenly break forth. Sir, fare you well:
Hereafter, in a better world than this,
I shall desire more love and knowledge of you.
I rest much bounden to you: fare you well.
Exit LE BEAU
Thus must I from the smoke into the smother;
From tyrant duke unto a tyrant brother:
But heavenly Rosalind!
SCENE III. A room in the palace.
Enter CELIA and ROSALIND
Why, cousin! why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy! not a word?
Not one to throw at a dog.
No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon
curs; throw some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.
Then there were two cousins laid up; when the one
should be lamed with reasons and the other mad
But is all this for your father?
No, some of it is for my child’s father. O, how
full of briers is this working-day world!
They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in
holiday foolery: if we walk not in the trodden
paths our very petticoats will catch them.
I could shake them off my coat: these burs are in my heart.
Hem them away.
I would try, if I could cry ‘hem’ and have him.
Come, come, wrestle with thy affections.
O, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself!
O, a good wish upon you! you will try in time, in
despite of a fall. But, turning these jests out of
service, let us talk in good earnest: is it
possible, on such a sudden, you should fall into so
strong a liking with old Sir Rowland’s youngest son?
The duke my father loved his father dearly.
Doth it therefore ensue that you should love his son
dearly? By this kind of chase, I should hate him,
for my father hated his father dearly; yet I hate
No, faith, hate him not, for my sake.
Why should I not? doth he not deserve well?
Let me love him for that, and do you love him
because I do. Look, here comes the duke.
With his eyes full of anger.
Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords
Mistress, dispatch you with your safest haste
And get you from our court.
Within these ten days if that thou be’st found
So near our public court as twenty miles,
Thou diest for it.
I do beseech your grace,
Let me the knowledge of my fault bear with me:
If with myself I hold intelligence
Or have acquaintance with mine own desires,
If that I do not dream or be not frantic,–
As I do trust I am not–then, dear uncle,
Never so much as in a thought unborn
Did I offend your highness.
Thus do all traitors:
If their purgation did consist in words,
They are as innocent as grace itself:
Let it suffice thee that I trust thee not.
Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor:
Tell me whereon the likelihood depends.
Thou art thy father’s daughter; there’s enough.
So was I when your highness took his dukedom;
So was I when your highness banish’d him:
Treason is not inherited, my lord;
Or, if we did derive it from our friends,
What’s that to me? my father was no traitor:
Then, good my liege, mistake me not so much
To think my poverty is treacherous.
Dear sovereign, hear me speak.
Ay, Celia; we stay’d her for your sake,
Else had she with her father ranged along.
I did not then entreat to have her stay;
It was your pleasure and your own remorse:
I was too young that time to value her;
But now I know her: if she be a traitor,
Why so am I; we still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learn’d, play’d, eat together,
And wheresoever we went, like Juno’s swans,
Still we went coupled and inseparable.
She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness,
Her very silence and her patience
Speak to the people, and they pity her.
Thou art a fool: she robs thee of thy name;
And thou wilt show more bright and seem more virtuous
When she is gone. Then open not thy lips:
Firm and irrevocable is my doom
Which I have pass’d upon her; she is banish’d.
Pronounce that sentence then on me, my liege:
I cannot live out of her company.
You are a fool. You, niece, provide yourself:
If you outstay the time, upon mine honour,
And in the greatness of my word, you die.
Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK and Lords
O my poor Rosalind, whither wilt thou go?
Wilt thou change fathers? I will give thee mine.
I charge thee, be not thou more grieved than I am.
I have more cause.
Thou hast not, cousin;
Prithee be cheerful: know’st thou not, the duke
Hath banish’d me, his daughter?
That he hath not.
No, hath not? Rosalind lacks then the love
Which teacheth thee that thou and I am one:
Shall we be sunder’d? shall we part, sweet girl?
No: let my father seek another heir.
Therefore devise with me how we may fly,
Whither to go and what to bear with us;
And do not seek to take your change upon you,
To bear your griefs yourself and leave me out;
For, by this heaven, now at our sorrows pale,
Say what thou canst, I’ll go along with thee.
Why, whither shall we go?
To seek my uncle in the forest of Arden.
Alas, what danger will it be to us,
Maids as we are, to travel forth so far!
Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold.
I’ll put myself in poor and mean attire
And with a kind of umber smirch my face;
The like do you: so shall we pass along
And never stir assailants.
Were it not better,
Because that I am more than common tall,
That I did suit me all points like a man?
A gallant curtle-axe upon my thigh,
A boar-spear in my hand; and–in my heart
Lie there what hidden woman’s fear there will–
We’ll have a swashing and a martial outside,
As many other mannish cowards have
That do outface it with their semblances.
What shall I call thee when thou art a man?
I’ll have no worse a name than Jove’s own page;
And therefore look you call me Ganymede.
But what will you be call’d?
Something that hath a reference to my state
No longer Celia, but Aliena.
But, cousin, what if we assay’d to steal
The clownish fool out of your father’s court?
Would he not be a comfort to our travel?
He’ll go along o’er the wide world with me;
Leave me alone to woo him. Let’s away,
And get our jewels and our wealth together,
Devise the fittest time and safest way
To hide us from pursuit that will be made
After my flight. Now go we in content
To liberty and not to banishment.