« PreviousContinue »
* 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 liimself 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 be. fore 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:
“ The Comedy of Much Ado, a book. )
STEEVENS. This comedy, I believe, was written in 1600. MALONE.
PERSONS REPRESENI ED.*
Duke, living in Exile.
Jaques, ļ Sons of Sir Rowland de Bois.
William, a Country Fellow, in love with Audrey. A Person representing Hymen.
Rosalind, Daughter to the banished Duke.
Lords belonging to the two Dukes; Pages, Foresters,
and other Attendants.
The SCENE lies, first, near Oliver's House; afierwards, partly in the Usurper's Courts and partly in the Forest of Arden.
* The list of the persons being omitted in the old editions, was added by VIr. Rowe. Jullyson.
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 the
I stays me here at home unkept:) We should read stys, i. e. keeps me like a brute. The following words for call you thut keeping that differs not from the stalling of an or? 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.
JOHNSON, VOL. III.
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. Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.
Oli. What mar you then, sir?
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 employ'd, and be naught awhile.3
2 ---- what make you here?'] i. e. what do you here?
3 ---- he better employ'd, and be naught awhile.] i. e. It is better to do mischiet, than to do nothing. Jounsov.
I believe that the words be mught 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, till I shall elevate you into consequence.” But the following passage in Swetniai, a comedy, 1620, induces me to think that the reading of the old copy (naught) and Dr. Johnson's explanation are right: