A line-by-line translation

As You Like It

As You Like It Translation Act 2, Scene 3

Line Map Clear Line Map Add

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM, meeting

ORLANDO

Who’s there?

ORLANDO

Who's there?

ADAM

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 prizer 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. Oh, what a world is this when what is comely Envenoms him that bears it!

ADAM

My young master; oh, my gentle master; oh, my sweet master; oh, you living memory of old Sir Rowland! Why, what are you doing here? Why are you virtuous? Why do people love you? And why are you noble, strong, and brave? Why would you be so foolish as to beat the moody duke's prized wrestler? Praise of your victory has reached home before you did. Don't you know, master, that to some men their good qualities serve them only as enemies? Yours are like this. Noble master, your virtues are both blessed and holy traitors to you. Oh, what a world this is, when what is good in a man poisons him!

ORLANDO

Why, what’s the matter?

ORLANDO

Why, what's the matter?

ADAM

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 practices. This is no place, this house is but a butchery. Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it.

ADAM

Oh, unlucky young man: don't walk through these doors. Under this roof lives a man who is the enemy of all your good qualities. Your brother—no, no brother of yours—yet the son, but not the son, I will not call him son—of the man I was about to call his father. He has heard of your success, and tonight he plans to burn down the hut where you usually sleep, with you inside it. And if he fails at that, he will find other ways to kill you. I overheard him and his plans. This is no place for you. This house in now a slaughterhouse. Hate it, fear it, do not enter it.

ORLANDO

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

ORLANDO

Well, where would you suggest I go then, Adam?

ADAM

No matter whither, so you come not here.

ADAM

It doesn't matter where, as long as it isn't here.

ORLANDO

What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my food, Or with a base and boist'rous 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.

ORLANDO

What, would you have me go and beg for my food, or use a lowly, rough sword to lead a life of thievery on the common road? That's what I'll have to do, because I don't know what else I could do. And yet that is something I won't do, no matter what. I would rather give myself up to the hatred of an estranged, violent brother.

ADAM

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. 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.

ADAM

But don't do that. I have five hundred gold coins, which I carefully saved while working under your father. I kept it so it would be a retirement fund for when my old body grew lame with service and lay forgotten in some corner. Take this money, and God—who feeds the ravens and provides for the sparrows—will comfort me as well in my old age. Here is the gold. All this I give to you. Let me be your servant. Though I look old, I'm still strong and healthy, since in my youth I never drank alcohol, or lived dangerously in a way that would court weakness and injury through foolishness. Therefore my old age is like a strong, vigorous winter: frosty, but kindly. Let me go with you. I'll do everything a younger man could do for you regarding your business and needs.

ORLANDO

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 prun’st a rotten tree That cannot so much as a blossom yield In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry. 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.

ORLANDO

Oh, good old man, you are a prime example of the work ethic of the old days, when people worked for duty, not just for money. You are not made for these present times, where no one will work except for a promotion, and when they have that, they stop working. But, poor old man, with me you are pruning a rotten tree that cannot yield even a single blossom, no matter how hard and well you work. But come. We'll go along together, and we'll find some way to make a modest living before we've spent all the money you saved in your youth.

ADAM

Master, go on, and I will follow thee To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty. From seventeen years till now almost fourscore Here livèd 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.

ADAM

Master, go on, and I will follow you to the last gasp, with truth and loyalty. I have lived in this house from age seventeen to now, almost eighty, but now I will live here no more. Many seek their fortunes at age seventeen, but eighty is a bit late for that. Yet fortune cannot reward me better than to die well, without owing my master anything.

Exeunt

As you like it
Join LitCharts A+ and get the entire As You Like It Translation as a printable PDF.
LitCharts A+ members also get exclusive access to:
  • Downloadable translations of every Shakespeare play and sonnet
  • Downloads of 672 LitCharts Lit Guides
  • Explanations and citation info for 16,605 quotes covering 672 books
  • Teacher Editions for every Lit Guide
  • PDFs defining 136 key Lit Terms
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.