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Farmer appears to be sufficiently borne out. Lodge's “Rosalynde" has been recently printed as part of "Shakespeare's Library," and it will be easy, therefore, for the reader to trace the particular resemblances between it and “ As You Like It."
In his Lectures in 1818, Coleridge eloquently and justly praised the pastoral beauty and simplicity of “As You Like It;" but he did not attempt to compare it with Lodge's “Rosalynde,” where the descriptions of persons and of scenery are comparatively forced and artificial :—“Shakespeare,” said Coleridge,“ never gives a description of rustic scenery merely for its own sake, or to show how well he can paint natural objects : he is never tedious or elaborate, but while he now and then displays marvellous accuracy and minuteness of knowledge, he usually only touches upon the larger features and broader characteristics, leaving the fillings up to the imagination. Thus in `As You Like It' he describes an oak of many centuries growth in a single line :
• Under an oak whose antique root peeps out.' Other and inferior writers would have dwelt on this description, and worked it out with all the pettiness and impertinence of detail. In Shakespeare the 'antique root' furnishes the whole picture.”
These expressions are copied from notes made at the time; and they partially, though imperfectly, supply an obvious deficiency of general criticism in vol. ii. p. 115. of Coleridge's “Literary Remains.”
Adam Spencer is a character in “ The Coke's Tale of Gamelyn,” and in Lodge's “ Rosalynde ;” and a great additional interest attaches to it, because it is supposed, with some appearance of truth, that the part was originally sustained by Shakespeare himself. We have this statement on the authority of Oldys's MSS. : he is said to have derived it, intermediately of course, from Gilbert Shakespeare, who survived the Restoration, and who had a faint recollection of having seen his brother William “in one of his own comedies, wherein, being to personate a decrepit old man, he wore a long beard, and appeared so weak and drooping, and unable to walk, that he was forced to be supported and carried by another person to a table, at which he was seated among some company, who were eating, and one of them sung a song." This description very exactly tallies with “As You Like It," A. ii. sc. 7.
Shakespeare found no prototypes in Lodge, nor in any other work yet discovered, for the characters of Jaques, Touchstone, and Audrey. On the admirable manner in which he has made them part of the staple of his story, and on the importance of these additions, it is needless to enlarge. It is rather singular, that Shakespeare should have introduced two characters of the name of Jaques into the same play; but in the old impressions, Jaques de Bois, in the prefixes to his speeches, is merely called the “ Second Brother."
DUKE, Senior, living in exile.
Lords attending upon the exiled Duke.
Servants to Oliver.
ROSALIND, Daughter to the exiled Duke.
Lords; Pages, Foresters, and Attendants.
The SCENE lies, first, near Oliver's House ; afterwards, in the Usurper's Court, and in the Forest of Arden.
1 The list of the persons omitted in the old editions, was added by Rowe.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
ACT I. SCENE I.
An Orchard, near OLIVER's House.
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.
Orl. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will', but a poor thousand crowns ; and, as thou say'st, 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
it was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will,] Orlando and Adam are in the midst of a conversation, on the contents of the will of the father of the former, when they enter. It has been objected, that the sense is incomplete ; and Malone, at the suggestion of Blackstone, placed a period after “ fashion,” and inserted “He” for the commencement of a new sentence. However, as Johnson observed, there was no necessity for the alteration of the text, which is quite intelligible without any change, excepting in the old punctuation. The words are therefore left as in the original folios of 1623 and 1632; excepting that “poor a thousand crowns,” of the first folio, is properly printed a poor thousand crowns," in the second.
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.
Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother.
Orl. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up.
Oli. Now, sir! what make you here?
Orl. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idle
Oli. Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.
Orl. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury?
Oli. Know you where you are, sir?
Ori. Ay, better than he I am before knows me. I know, you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle
and be naught awhile.] A proverbial north-country expression, equivalent (says Warburton) to “a mischief on you,” and Gifford agrees with him. See Ben Jonson's Works, vol. iv. 421. and vol. vi. 160. Dr. Johnson was of opinion, that “ be better employed, and be naught awhile,” was to be taken in the same sense as saying, “ It is better to do mischief than to do nothing."
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.
Oli. What, boy!
Orl. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
Orl. I am no villain : I am the youngest son of sir Rowland de Bois; he was my father, and he is thrice a villain, that says, such a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, 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.
Adam. [Coming forward.] Sweet masters, be patient : for
your father's remembrance, be at accord. Oli. Let me go, I say.
Orl. 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 gentleman-like 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.
Oli. 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.
Orl. I will no further offend you, than becomes me for my good.
Oli. Get you with him, you old dog.