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Duke, living in exile.
Frederick, brother to the Duke, and usurper of his domi-

Jaques, S

lords attending upon the Duke in his banishment. Le Beau, a courtier attending upon Frederick. Charles, his wrestler. Oliver, Jaques, sons of sir Rowland de Bois. Orlando,

servants to Oliver.

Touchstone, a clown.
Sir Oliver Mar-text, a vicar.



, } shepherds.

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.



An Orchard, near Oliver's House.


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 begins my sadness. My

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 bor. rowed 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 Faques, 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.
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. 1 As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me: By will, but a poor thousand crowns ; &c.] The grammar as well as sense, suffers cruelly by this reading. There are two nomi. natives 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 ob.

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 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:2 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 which his animals on his dunghills are as much bound


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 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 keepingthat 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.

Fohnson. So, in Noah's Flood, by Drayton:

“ And sty themselves up in a little room.” Steevens.



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:3 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. 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 idle


Oli. Marry, sir, be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.5



his countenance seems to take from me:

2:] We should certainly read-his discountenance. Warburton.

There is no need of change; a countenance is either good or bad. Johnson.

- what make you here?] i. e. what do you here? So, in Hamlet :

What make you at Elsinour?” Steevens.

- be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.] Mr. Theobald has here a very critical note; which, though his modesty suffered him to withdraw it from his second edition, deserves to be perpetuated, i. e. (says he) be better employed, in my opinion, in being and doing nothing. Your idleness, as you call it, may be an exercise by which you make a figure, and endear yourself to the world: and I had rather you were a contemptible cypher. The poet seems to me to have that trite proverbial sentiment in his eye, quoted from Attilius, by the younger Pliny and others : satius est otiosum esse quàm nihil agere. But Oliver, in the perverseness of his disposition, would reverse the doctrine of the proverb. Does the reader know what all this means ? But 'tis no matter. I will assure him-be nought a while is only a north-country proverbial curse equivalent to, a mischief on you. So, the old poet Skelton:

“ Correct first thy selfe, walk and be nought,
“Deeme what thou list, thou knowest not my thought.?!

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