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As You Like It

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ORLANDO and ADAM enter.

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 Jaques 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.
I remember, Adam, that’s


The actual reason is never made clear; the audience has happened upon a conversation already in progress.

why my father only left me a thousand crowns in his will. And as you know, my father commanded my brother, Oliver, to make sure that I was brought up well—and that’s where my sadness begins. Oliver keeps my brother Jaques away at school, and everyone says he’s doing extremely well there. But he keeps me at home in the country—to be precise, he keeps me stuck at home but doesn’t support me. I ask you, is this any way to treat a gentleman as nobly born as I am, to pen me in like an ox? His horses get treated better than I do—at least he feeds them and trains them properly, and spends a lot of money on trainers for them. All I’ve gained from his care is weight, which makes me as indebted to him as his animals on the manure pile are. He gives me plenty of nothing, and takes away everything else, letting me eat with his servants, refusing me what’s owed me as his brother, and ruining my good birth with a poor education. This is what angers me, Adam. My father’s temper and spirit, which I think I share, makes me want to mutiny against my brother’s tyranny. I won’t stand for it any longer, though I haven’t yet figured out how to revolt.
OLIVER enters.

Yonder comes my master, your brother.
Here comes my master, your brother.

Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up.
Go hide, Adam, and you’ll hear how he abuses me.

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