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Was certainly borrowed, if we believe Dr. Grey and Mr. Upton, from the Coke's Tale of Gamelyn : which by the way was not printed till a century afterwards : when in truth the old bard, who was no hunter of MSS., contented himself solely with Lodge's Rosalynd, or Euphue's Golden Legacye, 4to. 1590. FARMER.
Shakspeare has followed Lodge's novel more exactly than is his general custom when he is indebted to such worthless originals : and has sketched some of his principal characters, and borrowed a few expressions from it. His imitations, &c. however, are in general too insignificant to merit transcription.
It should be observed, that the characters of Jaques, the Clown, and Audrey, are entirely of the poet's own formation.
Although I have never met with any edition of this comedy before the year 1623, it is evident, that such a publication was at least designed. At the beginning of the second volume of the entries at Stationers' Hall, are placed two leaves of irregular prohibitions, notes, &c. Among these are the following:
Aug. 4. i “ As you like it, a book ...........) “ Henry the Fift, a book .......... to be staid.” “ The Comedy of Much Ado, a book ...) The dates scattered over these plays are from 1596 to 1615. STEEVENS.
This comedy, I believe, was written in 1599. Malone.
PERSONS REPRESENTED *.
Duke, living in Exile.
William, a Country Fellow in love with Audrey.
Lords belonging to the two Dukes; Pages, Foresters, and
The SCENE lies, first, near Oliver's House; after
wards, partly in the Usurper's Court, and partly in the Forest of Arden.
* The list of the persons being omitted in the old editions, was added by Mr. Rowe. Johnson.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
SCENE I.-An Orchard, near Oliver's House.
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.
As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me: By will, but a poor thousand crowns t : 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
+ Mr. Malone reads, “ As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion. He bequeathed me by will but a poor thousand crowns," &c.
I- stays me here at home unkept :) We should read stys, i. e. keeps me like a brute. The following words—for call you that keeping — that differs not from the stalling of an ox? codfirms this emendation. So Caliban says
“ And here you sty me
“In this hard rock.” WARBURTON. Sties is better than stays, and more likely to be Shakspeare's. JOHNSON.
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.
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 idleness.
Oli. Marry, sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile 3.
Orl. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury ?
:— what make you here] i. e. what do you here ?
3 — be better employed, and be naught awhile.] i. e. it is better to do mischief, than to do nothing. JOHNSON.
I believe that the words be naught awhile, mean no more than this : "Be content to be a cypher, till I shall think fit to elevate you into consequence.” STEEVENS.
Naught and nought are frequently confounded in old English books. I once thought that the latter was here intended, in the sense affixed to it by Mr. Steevens : “ Be content to be a cypher, &c.” But the following passage in Swetnan, a comedy, 1620, induces me to think that the reading of the old copy (naught) and Dr. Johnson's explanation are right :
Oli. Know you where you are, sir ?
Orl. Ay, better than het 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, 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 pull'd out thy tongue for saying so; thou hast railed on thyself.
Adam. 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
" — get you both in, and be naught awhile.” The speaker is a chamber-maid, and she addresses herself to her mistress and her lover. MALONE.
+ “him I am", MALONE.
4- albeit, I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.] This, probably, refers to the courtesy of distinguishing the eldest son of a knight, by the title of esquire.
5 I am no villain :) The word villain is used by the elder brother in its present meaning, for a worthless, wicked, or bloody man ; by Orlando, in its original signification, for a fellow of base extraction. Johnson. !