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As You Like It: Act 2 Scene 3
Scene III Before OLIVER'S house.
- [Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting]
- Who's there?
- 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?
- 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 practises.
- 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.
- What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food?
- Or with a base and boisterous 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.
- But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,
- The thrifty hire I saved 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;
- And 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.
- 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 prunest a rotten tree,
- That cannot so much as a blossom yield
- In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry
- But come thy ways; well go along together,
- And ere we have thy youthful wages spent,
- We'll light upon some settled low content.
- 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.