Actus primus. Scœna Prima.
[Act 1, Scene 1]
Enter Orlando and Adam.
AS I remember
Adam, it was vpon this fashion
bequeathed me by will, but poore a thousand
Crownes, and as thou saist, charged my bro
ther on his blessing to breed mee well: and
there begins my sadnesse: My brother
Iaques he keepes
at schoole, and report speakes goldenly of his profit:
for my part, he keepes me rustically at home, or (to speak
more properly) staies me heere at home vnkept: for call
you that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that dif
fers not from the stalling of an Oxe? his horses are bred
better, for besides that they are faire with their feeding,
they are taught their mannage, and to that end Riders
deerely hir'd: but I (his brother) gaine nothing vnder
him but growth, for the which his Animals on his
dunghils are as much bound to him as I: besides this no
thing that he so plentifully giues me, the something that
nature gaue mee, his countenance seemes to take from
me: hee lets mee feede with his Hindes, barres mee the
place of a brother, and as much as in him lies, mines my
gentility with my education. This is it
grieues me, and the spirit of my Father, which I thinke
is within mee, begins to mutinie against this seruitude.
I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise
remedy how to auoid it.
Yonder comes my Master, your brother.
Adam, and thou shalt heare how
he will shake me vp.
Now Sir, what make you heere?
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 poore vnworthy brother of yours with
Marry sir be better employed, and be naught
Shall I keepe your hogs, and eat huskes with
them? What prodigall portion haue I spent, that I should
come to such penury?
Know you where you are sir?
O sir, very well: heere in your Orchard.
Know you before whom sir?
I, better then him I am before knowes mee: I
know you are my eldest brother, and in the gentle con
dition of bloud you should so know me: the courtesie of
nations allowes you my better, in that you are the first
borne, but the same tradition takes not away my bloud,
were there twenty brothers betwixt vs: I haue as much
of my father in mee, as you, albeit I confesse your com
ming before me is neerer to his reuerence.
Come, come elder brother, you are too yong in
Wilt thou lay hands on me villaine?
I am no villaine: I am the yongest sonne of Sir
Rowland de Boys, he was my father, and he is thrice a vil
laine that saies such a father begot villaines: wert thou
not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy
throat, till this other had puld out thy tongue for saying
so, thou hast raild on thy selfe.
Sweet Masters bee patient, for your Fathers
remembrance, be at accord.
Let me goe I say.
I will not till I please: you shall heare mee: my
father charg'd you in his will to giue me good educati
on: you haue train'd me like a pezant, obscuring and
hiding from me all gentleman‑like qualities: the spirit
of my father growes strong in mee, and I will no longer
endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may be
come a gentleman, or giue mee the poore allottery my
father left me by testament, with that I will goe buy my
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 haue some part of your will, I pray you
I will no further offend you, then becomes mee
for my good.
Get you with him, you olde dogge.
Is old dogge my reward: most true, I haue
lost my teeth in your seruice: God be with my olde ma
ster, he would not haue spoke such a word.
Ex. Orl. Ad.
Is it euen so, begin you to grow vpon me? I will
physicke your ranckenesse, and yet giue no thousand
crownes neyther: holla
Calls your worship
Charles the Dukes Wrastler heere to
speake with me?
So please you, he is heere at the doore, and im
portunes accesse to you.
Call him in: 'twill be a good way: and to mor
row the wrastling is.
Good morrow to your worship.
Charles: what's the new newes
at the new Court?
There's no newes at the Court Sir, but the
olde newes: that is, the old Duke is banished by his yon
ger brother the new Duke, and three or foure louing
Lords haue put themselues into voluntary exile with
him, whose lands and reuenues enrich the new Duke,
therefore he giues them good leaue to wander.
Can you tell if
Rosalind the Dukes daughter bee
banished with her Father?
O no; for the Dukes daughter her Cosen so
loues her, being euer from their Cradles bred together,
that hee would haue followed her exile, or haue died to
stay behind her; she is at the Court, and no lesse beloued
of her Vncle, then his owne daughter, and neuer two La
dies loued as they doe.
Where will the old Duke liue?
They say hee is already in the Forrest of
and a many merry men with him; and there they liue
like the old
Robin Hood of
England: they say many yong
Gentlemen flocke to him euery day, and fleet the time
carelesly as they did in the golden world.
What, you wrastle to morrow before the new
Marry doe I sir: and I came to acquaint you
with a matter: I am giuen sir secretly to vnderstand, that
your yonger brother
Orlando hath a disposition to come
in disguis'd against mee to try a fall: to morrow sir I
wrastle for my credit, and hee that escapes me without
some broken limbe, shall acquit him well: your brother
is but young and tender, and for your loue I would bee
loth to foyle him, as I must for my owne honour if hee
come in: therefore out of my loue to you, I came hither
to acquaint you withall, that either you might stay him
from his intendment, or brooke such disgrace well as he
shall runne into, in that it is a thing of his owne search,
and altogether against my will.
Charles, I thanke thee for thy loue to me, which
thou shalt finde I will most kindly requite: I had my
selfe notice of my Brothers purpose heerein, and haue by
vnder‑hand meanes laboured to disswade him from it;
but he is resolute. Ile tell thee
Charles, it is the stubbor
nest yong fellow of France, full of ambition, an enuious
emulator of euery mans good parts, a secret & villanous
contriuer against mee his naturall brother: therefore vse
thy discretion, I had as liefe thou didst breake his necke
as his finger. And thou wert best looke to't; for if thou
A large stain slightly obscures many letters on this page.
dost him any slight disgrace, or if hee doe not mightilie
grace himselfe on thee, hee will practise against thee by
poyson, entrap thee by some treacherous deuise, and ne
uer leaue thee till he h
th tane thy life by some indirect
meanes or other: for I assure thee, (and almost with
teares I speake it) there is not one so young, and so vil
lanous this day liuing. I speake but brotherly of him,
but should I anathomize him to thee, as hee is, I must
blush, and weepe, and thou must looke pale and
I am heartily glad I came hither to you: if hee
come to morrow, Ile giue him his payment: if euer hee
goe alone againe, Ile neuer wrastle for prize more: and
so God keepe your worship.
Charles. Now will I stirre this Game
ster: I hope I shall see an end of him; for my soule (yet
I know not why) hates nothing more then he: yet hee's
gentle, neuer school'd, and yet learned, full of noble
deuise, of all sorts enchantingly beloued, and indeed
so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my
owne people, who best know him, that I am altogether
misprised: but it shall not be so long, this wrastler shall
cleare all: nothing remaines, but that I kindle the boy
thither, which now Ile goe about.