Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


As You Like It: Act 2, Scene 3



Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, [meeting]: —The point of adding "meeting" to the stage direction is to remind us that Orlando and Adam do not enter together. Because he has no place else to go, Orlando has come home to his brother's house, and the first person he encounters is Adam, his brother's servant.
          Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, [meeting].

      
ORLANDO
  1   Who's there?

      ADAM
  2   What, my young master? O, my gentle master!
3. memory: reminder.
  3   O my sweet master! O you memory
4. old Sir Rowland: —Sir Rowland de Boys (deceased) was Orlando's father and Adam's first master.  what make you here?: what are you doing here? 5. virtuous: full of good qualities. 6. gentle: gentlemanly; well-mannered and refined. 7. fond to: foolish as to. 8. bonny priser: sturdy prize-fighter.  humorous: moody, capricious.
  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. graces: virtues.
 11   Their graces serve them but as enemies?
12. no more do yours: i.e., no better do your graces serve you. —Adam has just said that often a person's "graces" (good qualities) only serve to make enemies of others, and now he is saying that this is true of Orlando. 15. Envenoms: poisons.
 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. where you use to lie: where you usually dwell.
 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. practises: treacherous plots.
 26   I overheard him and his practises.
27. place: dwelling place.  butchery: slaughterhouse.
 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. boist'rous: savagely violent.  enforce: take by force.
 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. do how I can: whatever happens to me.
 35   Yet this I will not do, do how I can;
 36   I rather will subject me to the malice
37. diverted blood: perverted kinship. —The word "blood" is used to stand for kinship, the natural, loving feelings of family members for each other. The phrase "diverted blood" means that such feelings have been diverted from their natural course into envy . . . 39. thrifty hire I sav'd under your father: money I thriftily saved from my wages when working for your father. 41. When . . . lame: i.e., when my ability to serve my master and earn my wages should lie lame in my old limbs. 42. unregarded age in corners thrown: disrespected old age is thrown into corners. 43-44. Take that: i.e., take my five hundred crowns.  He that doth the ravens feed, / Yea, providently caters for the sparrow: —See Job, in which God reminds Job . . . 46. lusty: vigorous.
 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. apply / Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood: i.e., drink blood-curdling liquor.
 48   For in my youth I never did apply
 49   Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
50-51. did not with unbashful forehead woo / The means of weakness and debility: i.e., did not shamelessly make love to a carrier of a sexually transmitted disease.
 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. kindly: (1) natural; (2) pleasant.
 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. constant: faithful.
 57   The constant service of the antique world,
58. sweat: sweated.  meed: reward.
 58   When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
 59   Thou art not for the fashion of these times,
60. promotion: rewards.
 60   Where none will sweat but for promotion,
61-62. do choke their service up / Even with the having: i.e., stop working the minute they get their reward.
 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: in return for.
 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. low content: lowly contented way of life. —Perhaps Orlando is thinking about purchasing a small farm, as Celia does later in the play.
 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. fourscore: eighty.  too late a week: i.e., much too late. —To me, this sounds like a proverb, but I haven't been able to find it anywhere else. 76. to die well and not my master's debtor: —If Adam had become unable to work, he probably . . .
 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.