|History & Civics|
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, where there twenty brothers betwixt us. I have as much of my father in me as you, albeit I confess your coming before me in nearer to this reverence.
Oliver: [Striking him] What, boy!
Orlando : [Putting a wrestler's grip on him] Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
Oliver : Wilt thou lay hands on me villain?
Orlando : I am no villian. I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys : he was my father, and he is thrice a villain that say such a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat till this other hand pulled out thy tongue for saying so. Thou hast railed in thyself.
When Orlando faces Oliver boldly and shows his extreme anger against his rude and tyrannical attitude, Oliver cannot endure this and asks Orlando if he knows to whom he is talking. At this Orlando replies that he knows that the custom of the civilized world gives Oliver the opportunity to enjoy a better position than his own, because he is the eldest brother.
Orlando tells Oliver that the custom of the civilized world gives Oliver preference over Orlando, but it also makes provision for his being treated with justice and kindness as being a younger brother.
Orlando tells Oliver that he has the same qualities of his father in him as Oliver has, although it is also correct that his (Oliver's) being elder makes him worthy of the respect due to a father. He reminds Oliver his duty as an elder brother. Oliver should not forget that after their father's death all the responsibility of his younger brothers comes on his shoulders. Hence, as a father, it is his duty to look after his brothers in the proper way, but he is not behaving as the father of the family.
It is true that plain-speaking always pinches. When Oliver cannot endure Orlando speaking so boldly and plainly, he (Oliver) becomes violent against him and rushes upon him (Orlando) to suppress his boldness by using his physical strength. On seeing the violent and cruel attitude of his elder brother, Oliver, Orlando also puts a tight grip on his elder brother as a skilled wrestler and challenges him to physical strength upon him because he (Oliver) is not superior to him (Orlando) in physical strength.
Oliver calls Orlando a rogue. Orlando thinks the use of this word the greatest abuse for his noble and honourable father and he cannot endure the address with this word. He tells him (Oliver) that he is not at all a rogue. He is in fact the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys and he (Oliver) knows well that he who says that such a gentleman as his father is capable of begetting rogues is himself a confirmed rogue. He tells Oliver that by calling him rogue he (Oliver) has cast a slur on him own birth.
Orlando : I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good.
Oliver : Get you with him, you old dog.
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.
Oliver : Is it even so? Begin you to grow upon me? I will physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither. Holla Dennis !
In the orchard of the place, Orlando meets Oliver. Both become violent and furious. Orlando faces Oliver boldly against the injustice inflicted upon him. When Oliver, in great irritation, tries to push him away from his eyes and applies his physical strength upon him, Orlando also grapples with him and because of being physically strong, he makes his tight grip on his (Oliver's) throat. Oliver tries his best to make himself free from his grip, but he does not allow him until he gives him his due share as inscribed in his father's will. Anyhow Oliver agrees to give him his share and asks him not to trouble him again. At this Orlando promises him not to offend him (Oliver) any more even if his all money is spent.
Oliver shows his great hatred for Adam because he, instead of inclining to Oliver, shows his great dedication and loyalty for Orlando and follows him (Orlando) wherever he goes. Adam sees the same nobility, morality and virtues in him as his late father possessed, so he (Adam) always praises him and he is determined not to leave his company until he is alive. He always remains prepared to help Orlando as much as he can do with his own capacity. But this attitude of Adam is very unendurable and pain giving for Oliver, so when he sees him in his company in a very furious moment, he is full of great hatred and in a great anger calls him "Old dog".
When Adam hears Oliver's address Old dog for him,he is greatly shocked. This word "Old dog" is unendurable and pain giving for him. Under the feelings of great sorrow and pain, he says that he deserved something better than being so badly treated. He says that Oliver has given him reward of dedication and loyalty by calling him old dog. Further he says that he has staked his whole life in the service of his family without caring the pleasures of his own, but indeed it is regrettable that he has been honoured with the title of old dog.
This is the bitter saying of Adam who has felt the ungratefulness implied in the words of Oliver who addressed him as a dog. So Adam retorts by continuing the metaphor. He says that he has spent all his energy and time in fulfilling dutifully the obligation of a true servant. He says that he has literally lost his teeth in serving his master's household. Comparing his present condition with a hound, he says that he is well worn out and like a toothless hound,no longer capable of active work. He says that it rends his heart to find that after his life-long faithful service he is no better than a dog who is cared for as long as he is useful but kicked away when it grows old and toothless and so unable to seize the prey.
When Oliver's address to Adam as Old dog becomes unendurable of him and makes his heart weep he recalls his old beloved, noble and honourable master Sir Rowland, now dead, who would not have used such abusive language towards him. He prays God to grant peace to his soul.
Oliver thinks that the matter has gone very far. He is for once shocked and surprised at the boldness of his brother's behaviour which was so far very uncomplaining and patient. He decides to teach him a lesson. He thinks that he shall cure his presumptuous terms. He compares Orlando to a plant which, like a parasite, has been growing upon him, that is, usurping his place. So he says that he will use means which will stop this "growth" of Orlando's presumptuous behaviour.