There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news; that
is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the 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.
Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished
with her father?
O, 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.
Where will the old duke live?
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 gentlemen flock to him every day,
and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?
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 disguis'd against me to
try a fall. To-morrow, 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 honour, if he
come in: therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to
acquaint you withal; that either you might stay him from his
intendment, or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into; in
that it is thing of his own search, and altogether against my
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 laboured 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, an envious 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 practise 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 brotherly
of him; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must
blush and weep, and thou must look pale and wonder.
I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come
to-morrow I'll give him his payment. If ever he go alone again
I'll never wrestle for prize more: and so, God keep your worship!
Farewell, good 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 nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle; never schooled
and yet learned; full of noble device; of all sorts enchantingly
beloved; and, indeed, so much in the heart of the world, and
especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am
altogether misprised: but it shall not be so long; this
wrestler shall clear all: nothing remains but that I kindle the
boy thither, which now I'll go about.