As You Like It

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Orlando and Adam from opposite sides


Who's there?


What, my young master? O my gentle master,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

O my sweet master, O you memory
make (v.) 1 do, have to do
memory (n.) 1 memorial, remembrance

Of old Sir Rowland, why, what make you here?

Why are you virtuous? Why do people love you?
virtuous (adj.) 2 showing fine qualities, praiseworthy

And wherefore are you gentle, strong, and valiant?
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind

Why would you be so fond to overcome
fond (adj.) 1 foolish, stupid, mad

The bonny prizer of the humorous Duke?
bonny (adj.) 1 strong, stalwart, strapping
humorous (adj.) 1 capricious, moody, temperamental
prizer (n.) prize-fighter, champion

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,
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count

Are sanctified and holy traitors to you.
sanctified (adj.) 2 sanctimonious, hypocritical, deceiving

O, what a world is this, when what is comely
comely (adj.) graceful, becoming, decent

Envenoms him that bears it!
envenom (v.) poison, taint, destroy


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,
use (v.) 1 be accustomed, make a habit [of]

And you within it. If he fail of that,

He will have other means to cut you off.

I overheard him, and his practices.
practice (n.) 1 scheme, plot, stratagem, intrigue

This is no place, this house is but a butchery;
butchery (n.) slaughter-house
place (n.) 4 proper place, safe place

Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.


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


No matter whither, so you come not here.
so (conj.) 1 provided that


What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food,

Or with a base and boisterous sword enforce
base (adj.) 1 dishonourable, low, unworthy See Topics: Frequency count
boisterous (adj.) 1 violent, fierce, savage
enforce (v.) 4 gain by force, exact

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.
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship
diverted (adj.) turned from its natural course, deviant


But do not so. I have five hundred crowns,

The thrifty hire I saved under your father,
hire (n.) wages, payment, earnings

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;

All this I give you. Let me be your servant.

Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty,
lusty (adj.) 1 vigorous, strong, robust, eager

For in my youth I never did apply

Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood,
liquor (n.) 1 [alcoholic] drink
rebellious (adj.) not obeying, disobedient, mutinous

Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo

The means of weakness and debility;

Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
lusty (adj.) 2 merry, cheerful, lively

Frosty, but kindly. Let me go with you,
kindly (adv.) 1 in accordance with human nature, expressing normal humanity

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,
antic, antick(e), antique (adj.) 2 ancient, olden, former

When service sweat for duty, not for meed!
meed (n.) 1 reward, prize, recompense

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
yield (v.) 5 bring forth, produce

In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
lieu of, in (prep.) in return for, in recompense for

But come thy ways, we'll go along together,

And ere we have thy youthful wages spent

We'll light upon some settled low content.
content (n.) 1 pleasure, satisfaction, happiness
low (adj.) 1 humble, lowly, inferior


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.


  Previous scene     Next scene