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AS YOU LIKE IT,] 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 afterward: when in truth the old bard, who was no hunter of MSS. contented himself solely with Lodge's Rosalynd, or Euphues' 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:
"As you like it, 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 1600. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II.
Duke, living in Exile.
Frederick, Brother to the Duke, and Usurper of his Dominions.
Lords attending upon the Duke in his
Le Beau, a Courtier attending upon Frederick.
William, a Country Fellow, in love with Audrey. A Person representing Hymen.
Rosalind, Daughter to the banished Duke.
Celia, Daughter to Frederick.
Phebe, a Shepherdess.
Audrey, a Country Wench..
Lords belonging to the two Dukes; Pages, Foresters, and other Attendants.
The SCENE lies, first, near Oliver's House; afterwards, 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.
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:1 and there
1 As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed By will, but α poor thousand crowns ; &c.] The grammar, as well as sense, suffers cruelly by this reading. There are two nominatives to the verb bequeathed, and not so much as one to the verb charged and yet, to the nominative there wanted, [his blessing,] refers. So that the whole sentence is confused and obscure. A very small alteration in the reading and pointing sets all right.-As I remember, Adam, it was upon this my father bequeathed me, &c. The grammar is now rectified, and the sense also; which is this. Orlando and Adam were discoursing together on the cause why the younger brother had but a thousand crowns left him. They agree upon it; and Orlando opens the scene in this manner-As I remember, it was upon this, i. e. for the reason we have been talking of, that my father left me but a thousand crowns; however, to make amends for this scanty provision, he charged my brother on his blessing to breed me well. WARBURTON.
There is, in my opinion, nothing but a point misplaced, and
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:
an omission of a word which every hearer can supply, and which therefore an abrupt and eager dialogue naturally excludes.
I read thus: As I remember, Adam, it was on this fashion bequeathed me. By will, but a poor thousand crowns; and, as thou sayest, charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well. What is there in this difficult or obscure? The nominative my father is certainly left out, but so left out that the auditor inserts it, in spite of himself. JOHNSON.
it was on this fashion bequeathed me, as Dr. Johnson reads, is but aukward English. I would read: As I remember, Adam, it was on this fashion.-He bequeathed me by will, &c. Orlando and Adam enter abruptly in the midst of a conversation on this topick; and Orlando is correcting some misapprehension of the other. As I remember (says he) it was thus. He left me a thousand crowns; and, as thou sayest, charged my brother, &c. BLACKSTONE.
Omission being of all the errors of the press the most common, I have adopted the emendation proposed by Sir W. Blackstone. MALONE.
Being satisfied with Dr. Johnson's explanation of the passage as it stands in the old copy, I have followed it. STEEVENS.
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? confirms 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.
So, in Noah's Flood, by Drayton:
"And sty themselves up in a little room."