A line-by-line translation

As You Like It

As You Like It Translation Act 1, Scene 1

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Enter ORLANDO and ADAM

ORLANDO

As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou sayest, charged my brother on his blessing to breed me well. And there begins my sadness. My brother Jacques he keeps at school, and report speaks goldenly of his profit. For my part, he keeps me rustically at home or, to speak more properly, stays me here at home unkept; for call you that “keeping” for a gentleman of my birth that differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horses are bred better, for, besides that they are fair with their feeding, they are taught their manage and, to that end, riders dearly hired. But I, his brother, gain nothing under him but growth, for the which his animals on his dunghills are as much bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the something that nature gave me his countenance seems to take from me. He lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place of a brother, and, as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me, and the spirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this servitude. I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.

ORLANDO

As I remember it, Adam, in my father's will I was left only a thousand crowns. And, as you say, my father gave my older brother Oliver the responsibility of taking care of me. And that is the source of my sadness. My other brother Jacques is away at school, and they say that he is profiting greatly from his education. But for my part, my brother insists that I stay here at home like a peasant. He is supposed to maintain me like a gentleman, but instead he treats me like an ox in a stall. My brother's horses are treated better than I am—at least they get training and riders along with their food. But I, his brother, get nothing from him but food and shelter. So the only thing I owe him like his livestock on their manure piles—is my physical growth. Besides this "nothing" that he so plentifully gives me, his constant frowning at me also takes from me those  things that nature gave to me. He makes me eat with his servants, refuses to call me his brother, and denies me the education that I deserve. Adam, this is what grieves me. And lately I have felt my father's independent spirit—which I think is a part of me—beginning to rebel against this servitude. I will no longer endure it, though I don't know how to improve my situation.

Enter OLIVER

ADAM

Yonder comes my master, your brother.

ADAM

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ORLANDO

Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up.

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

Now, sir, what make you here?

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

Nothing. I am not taught to make anything.

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

What mar you then, sir?

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent that I should come to suchpenury?

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

Know you where you are, sir?

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

O sir, very well: here in your orchard.

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

Know you before whom, sir?

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

Ay, better than him I am before knows me. I know you are my eldest brother, and in the gentle condition of blood you should so know me. The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first-born, but the same tradition takes not away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us. I have as much of my father in me as you, albeit, I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

What, boy! [strikes him]

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this. [seizes him]

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

I am no villain. I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys. He was my father, and he is thrice a villain that says such a father begot villains. Wert thou not mybrother, I would not take this hand from thy throat till this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying so.Thou hast railed on thyself.

ORLANDO

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ADAM

Sweet masters, be patient. For your father’s remembrance, be at accord.

ADAM

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OLIVER

Let me go, I say.

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

I will not till I please. You shall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education. You have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentlemanlike qualities. The spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it. Therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament. With that I will go buy my fortunes.

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

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 have some part of your will. I pray you leave me.

OLIVER

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ORLANDO

I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good.

ORLANDO

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OLIVER

Get you with him, you old dog.

OLIVER

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ADAM

Is “old dog” my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in your service. God be with my old master. He would not have spoke such a word.

ADAM

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Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM

OLIVER

Is it even so? Begin you to grow upon me? I will physicyour rankness and yet give no thousand crowns neither.—Holla, Dennis!

OLIVER

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Enter DENNIS

DENNIS

Calls your Worship?

DENNIS

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OLIVER

Was not Charles, the duke’s wrestler, here to speak with me?

OLIVER

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DENNIS

So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access to you.

DENNIS

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OLIVER

Call him in.

OLIVER

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Exit DENNIS

'Twill be a good way, and tomorrow the wrestling is.

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Enter CHARLES

CHARLES

Good morrow to your Worship.

CHARLES

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OLIVER

Good Monsieur Charles, what’s the new news at the new court?

OLIVER

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CHARLES

There’s no news at the court, sir, but the old news. That is, the old duke is banished by his younger brotherthe new duke, and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke. Therefore he gives them good leave to wander.

CHARLES

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OLIVER

Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke’s daughter, be banished with her father?

OLIVER

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CHARLES

Oh, no, for the duke’s daughter her cousin so loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter, and never two ladies loved as they do.

CHARLES

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OLIVER

Where will the old duke live?

OLIVER

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CHARLES

They say he is already in the Forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England. They say many young gentlemenflock to him every day and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.

CHARLES

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OLIVER

What, you wrestle tomorrow before the new duke?

OLIVER

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CHARLES

Marry, do I, sir, and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger brother Orlando hath a disposition to come in disguised against me to try a fall. Tomorrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit, and he that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him well. Your brother is but young and tender, and, for your love I would be loath to foil him, as I must for my own honor if he comein. Therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal, that either you might stay him fromhis intendment or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is a thing of his own search and altogether against my will.

CHARLES

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OLIVER

Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my brother’s purpose herein and have by underhand means labored to dissuade him from it; but he is resolute. I’ll tell thee, Charles: it is the stubbornest young fellow of France, full of ambition, anenvious emulator of every man’s good parts, a secret and villainous contriver against me his natural brother. Therefore use thy discretion. I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to’t, for if thou dost him any slight disgrace or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practice against thee by poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other. For I assure thee—and almost with tears I speak it—there is not one so young and so villainous this day living. I speak but brotherlyof him, but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.

OLIVER

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CHARLES

I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come tomorrow, I’ll give him his payment. If ever he go aloneagain, I’ll never wrestle for prize more. And so God keep your Worship.

CHARLES

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OLIVER

Farewell, good Charles.

OLIVER

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Exit CHARLES

Now will I stir this gamester. I hope I shall see an end of him, for my soul—yet I know not why—hates nothingmore than he. Yet he’s gentle, never schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of all sorts enchantinglybeloved, and indeed so much in the heart of the world and especially of my own people, who best know him, thatI am altogether misprized. But it shall not be so long;this wrestler shall clear all. Nothing remains but thatI kindle the boy thither, which now I’ll go about.

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Exit

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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.