As You Like It: Act 2, Scene 3



  *        Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, [meeting].

      ORLANDO
  1   Who's there?

      ADAM
  2   What, my young master? O, my gentle master!
  3   O my sweet master! O you memory
  4   Of old Sir Rowland! why, what make you here?
  5   Why are you virtuous? why do people love you?
  6   And wherefore are you gentle, strong and valiant?
  7   Why would you be so fond to overcome
  8   The bonny priser of the humorous duke?
  9   Your praise is come too swiftly home before you.
 10   Know you not, master, to some kind of men
 11   Their graces serve them but as enemies?
 12   No more do yours: your virtues, gentle master,
 13   Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
 14   O, what a world is this, when what is comely
 15   Envenoms him that bears it!

      ORLANDO
 16   Why, what's the matter?

      ADAM
 16                                              O unhappy youth!
 17   Come not within these doors; within this roof
 18   The enemy of all your graces lives:
 19   Your brother—no, no brother; yet the son—
 20   Yet not the son, I will not call him son
 21   Of him I was about to call his father—
 22   Hath heard your praises, and this night he means
 23   To burn the lodging where you use to lie
 24   And you within it: if he fail of that,
 25   He will have other means to cut you off.
 26   I overheard him and his practises.
 27   This is no place; this house is but a butchery:
 28   Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.

      ORLANDO
 29   Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?

      ADAM
 30   No matter whither, so you come not here.

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

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

      ORLANDO
 56   O good old man, how well in thee appears
 57   The constant service of the antique world,
 58   When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
 59   Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
 60   Where none will sweat but for promotion,
 61   And having that, do choke their service up
 62   Even with the having: it is not so with thee.
 63   But, poor old man, thou prunest a rotten tree,
 64   That cannot so much as a blossom yield
 65   In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
 66   But come thy ways; we'll go along together,
 67   And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,
 68   We'll light upon some settled low content.

      ADAM
 69   Master, go on, and I will follow thee,
 70   To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty.
 71   From seventeen years till now almost fourscore
 72   Here lived I, but now live here no more.
 73   At seventeen years many their fortunes seek;
 74   But at fourscore it is too late a week:
 75   Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
 76   Than to die well and not my master's debtor.

           Exeunt.