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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 folely with Lodge's Rofalynd, 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 fuch worthlefs originals; and has sketched fome of his principal characters, and borrowed a few expreffions from it. His imitations, &c. however, are in general too infignificant to merit transcription.
It fhould 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 fuch a publication was at leaft defigned. 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. "As you like a
" Henry the Fift, a book, a book. }
The dates fcattered over these plays are from 1596 to 1615.
to be staid."
This comedy, I believe, was written in 1600. See An Attempt to afcertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II.
Duke, living in Exile.
Frederick, Brother to the Duke, and Ufurper of his
Lords attending upon the Duke in his
Le Beau, a Courtier attending upon Frederick,
Sons of Sir Rowland de Bois,
Sir Oliver Mar-text, a Vicar.
Servants to Oliver.
Corin, } Shepherds.
William, a Country Fellow, in love with Audrey.
Rofalind, Daughter to the banished Duke.
Lords belonging to the two Dukes; Pages, Forefters,
and other Attendants.
The SCENE lies, firft, near Oliver's House; afterwards, partly in the Ufurper's Court, and partly in the Foreft of Arden.
The lift of the perfons 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 thoufand crowns; and, as thou fay'ft, charged my brother, on his bleffing, to breed me well:1 and there
As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me: By will, but a poor thousand crowns; &c.] The grammar, as well as fenfe, fuffers cruelly by this reading. There are two nominatives to the verb bequeathed, and not fo much as one to the verb charged and yet, to the nominative there wanted, [his bleffing,] refers. So that the whole sentence is confused and obfcure. A very small alteration in the reading and pointing fets all right.-As I remember, Adam, it was upon this my father bequeathed me, &c. The grammar is now rectified, and the fenfe alfo; which is this. Orlando and Adam were difcourfing together on the cause why the younger brother had but a thousand crowns left him. They agree upon it; and Orlando opens the fcene in this manner-As I remember, it was upon this, i. e. for the reafon we have been talking of, that my father left me but a thoufand crowns; however, to make amends for this fcanty provifion, he charged my brother on his bleffing 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 ruftically at home, or, to fpeak more properly, ftays 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 horfes are bred better; for, befides that they are fair with their feeding, they are taught their manage, and to that end riders dearly hired:
an omiffion 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 fayeft, charged my brother, on his bleffing, to breed me well. What is there in this difficult or obfcure? 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 fome misapprehenfion of the other. As I remember (fays he) it was thus. He left me a thousand crowns; and, as thou fayeft, charged my brother, &c. BLACKSTONE.
Omiffion being of all the errors of the prefs the most common, I have adopted the emendation proposed by Sir W. Blackstone. MALONE.
Being fatisfied with Dr. Johnson's explanation of the paffage as it ftands in the old copy, I have followed it. STEEVENS.
stays me here at home unkept :] We should read ftys, i.e. keeps me like a brute. The following words—for call you that keeping-that differs not from the falling of an ox? confirms this emendation. So, Caliban fays
"And here you sty me
"In this hard rock." WARBURTON.
Sties is better than ftays, and more likely to be Shakspeare's.
So, in Noah's Flood, by Drayton :
"And Sty themfelves up in a little room." STEEVENS.