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AS YOU LIKE IT.
(WRITTEN ABOUT 1599.)
4. You Like It was entered on the Stationers' register together with Henry V., Much Ado About Not), ing, and Jonson's Every Van in His Humour, " to be staied,” i.e. not printed; the date is August 4, but the year is not mentioned. The previous entry is dated May 27, 1600, and as the other plays were printed in 1600 and 1601, we infer that the August was that of the year 1600. The comedy is not mentioned by Meres. A line, " Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?" is quoted (Act III., Se, v., L 82) from Marlowe's Hero and Leander, which was published in 1598. We may set down the following year, 1599, as the probable date of the creation of this charming comedy. The story is taken from Thomas Lodge's prose tale, Rosalynde, Euphues Golden Legacie, tirst printed in 1520, and a passage in Logo's dedication probably suggested to Shakespeare the name of his play. Lodge, who wrote this tale on his voyage to the Canaries, founded it in part on the Cook's Tale of Gameiro, wrongly ascribed to Chaucer, and inserted in some editions as one of the Canterbury Tales. In parts of his work the dramatist follows the story-teller closely, but there are some important differences. The heroic names Orlando, Oliver, and Sir Rowland are due to Shakespeare. It was a thought of Shakospeare to make the rightful and usurping dukes, as in The Tempest, brothers. In Lodge's novel the girl-friends pass in the forest for lady and page, in Shakespeare for brother and sister. Shakespeare omits the incident of Aliena's rescue from robbers by her future husband ; love at first sight was natural in Arilen, but a band of robbers would have marred the tranquillity of the scene. To Shakespeare we owe the creation of the characters of Jacques, Touchstone, and Audrey. Written perhaps immediately after Henry !'., the play presents a striking contrast with that high-pitched historical drama. It is as if Shakespeare's imagination craved repose and refreshment after the life of courts and camps. We are still on French soil, but instead of the sound of the shock of battle at Agincourt, we, hear the waving for st boughs, and the forest streams of Arden, where “they fleet the time carelessly as they did in the Golden World." There is an open-air feeling about this play, as there is about The Merry Wives of Windsor; but in The Merry Ilires all the surroundings are English and real, here they belong to a land of romance. For the Renaiesance, that age of vast energy, national enterprise, religious strife, and court intrigue, pastoral or idyllic poetry possessed a peculiar charm; the quiet and innocence of a poetical Arcadia was a solace to a life of highly-wrought ambition and as piration. “Sweet are the uses of adversity,” moralizes the banished Duke, and external, material adversity has come to him, to Rosalind, and to Orlando; but if fortune is harsh, nature-both external nature and human character-is sound and sweet, and of real suffering there is none in the play. All that is evil remains in the society which the denizens of the forest have left behind; and both seriously, in the characters of the usurping Duke and Oliver, and playfully, through Touchstone's mockery of court follies, a criticism on what is evil and artificial in society is suggested in contrast with the woodland life. Yet Shakespeare never falls into the conventional, pastoral manner. Orlando is an ideal of youthful strength, beauty, and noble innocence of heart ; and Rose. lind's brighi, tender womanhood seems but to grow more exquisitely feminine in the male attire which she has assumed in self-defence. Her feelings are almost as quick and fine as those of Imogen (she has not, like Imogen, known fear and sorrow), and she uses her wit and bright play of intellect as a protection against her own eager and vivid emotions. Possessed of a delighted consciousness of power to confer happiness, she can dally with disguises, and make what is most serious to her at the same time possess the charm of an exquisite frolic. The melancholy Jacques is a sentimentalist and in some degree a superficial cynic, but he is not a bad-hearted egoist, like Don Jobn; he is a perfectly idle seeker for new sensations and an observer of his own feelings ; he is weary, of all he has found, and especially professes to despise the artificial society, which yet he never really escapes from as the others do. His wisdom is half foolery, as Touchstone's foolery is half wisdom. Touchstone Is the daintiest fool of the comedies, and in comparing him with the clowns of The Comedy of Errors or The Two Gentlemen oj Verona, we perceive how Shakespeare's humor has grown in refinement.
DUKE, living in banishment.
LE BEAU, a courtier attending upon Frederick. FREDERICK, his brother, an usurper of his CHARLES, wrestler to Frederick. dominions.
OLIVER, AMIENS, ( lords attending on the banished | JAQUES, sons of Sir Rowland de Boys. JAQUES, duke.
Oli. Know you before whom, sir ?
Orl. Ay, better than him I am before knowe SCENE I. Orchard of OLIVER's house. me. I know you are my eldest brother; and, Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.
in the gentle condition of blood, you should so
know me. The courtesy of nations allows you Orl, As I remember, Adam, it was upon my better, in that you are the first-born ; but this fashion bequeathed me by will but poor a the same tradition takes not away my blood, thousand crowns, and, as thou sayest, charged were there twenty brothers betwixt us : I have my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well: as much of my father in me as you ; albeit, I and there begins my sadness. My brother confess, your coming before me is nearer to Jaques he keeps at school, and report speaks his reverence. goldenly of his profit: for my part, he keeps me Oli. What, boy ! rustically at home, or, to speak more properly, Ori. Come, come, elder brother, you are stays me here at home unkept ; for call you too young in this. that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain ? differs not from the stalling of an ox?' His Orl. I am no villain ; I am the youngest son horses are bred better ; for, besides that they of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, are fair with their feeding, they are taught and he is thrice a villain that says such a their manage, and to that end riders dearly father begot villains. Wert thou not my hired : but I, his brother, gain nothing under brother, I would not take this hand from thy him bat growth ; for the which his animals on throat till this other had pulled out thy tongue his dunghills are as much bound to him as I. for saying so : thou hast railed on thyself. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully Adam. Sweet masters, be patient : for your gives me, the something that nature gave me father's remembrance, be at accord. his countenance seems to take from me: he Oli. Let me go, I say. lets me feed with his hinds, bars me the place Orl. I will not, till I please : you shall hear of a brother, and, as much as in him lies, me. My father charged you in his will to give mines my gentility with my education. This is me good education : you have trained me like it, Adam, that grieves me ; and the spirit of my a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all father, which I think is within me, begins to gentleman-like qualities, The spirit of my mutiny against this servitude: I will no longer father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy endure it : therefore allow me such exercises bow to avoid it.
as may become a gentleman, or give me the Adam. Yonder comes my master, your poor allottery my father left me by testament; brother.
with that I will go buy my fortunes. Orl. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear Oli. And what wilt thou do ? beg, when how he will shake me up.
30 that is spent ? Well, sir, get you in : I will Enter OLIVER.
not long be troubled with you ; you shall have Oli. Now, sir! what make you here?
some part of your will : I pray you, leave me.
Orl. I will no further offend you than beOrl. Nothing: I am not taught to make any
comes me for my good. thing.
Oli. Get you with him, you old dog. Oh. What mar you then, sir ?
Adam. Is 'old dog' my reward ? Most Orl. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar
true, I have lost my teeth in your service. God that which God made, a poor unworthy brother
be with my old master! he would not have of yours, with idleness.
spoke such a word. Oli. Marry, sir, be better employed, and
[Exeunt Orlando and Adam. be naught awhile.
Oli. Is it even so ? begin you to grow upon Ori. Shall I keep your hogs and eat husks
me? I will physic your rankuess, and yet with them? What prodigal portion have I
give n thousand crowns neither. lolla, spent, that I should come to such pepury ? Dennis ! Oli. Know you where your are, sir ?
Enter DENNIS. Orl. O, sir, very well : here in your orcliard
Den Calls your worship
Oli. Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here to speak with me ?
Den. So please you, he is here at the door and importunes access to yon.
Oli. Call him in. [Exit Dennis.] 'Twill be a good way ; and to-morrow the wrestling is.
Enter CHARLES. Cha. Good morrow to your worship. 100
Oli. Good Monsieur Charles, what's the new news at the new court ?
Cha. There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news : that is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke ; and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke ; therefore he gives them good leave to wander.
Oli. Can you tell if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished with her father ? 111
Cha. 0, no ; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter ; and never two ladies loved as they do.
Oli. Where will the old duke live ?
Cha. They say he is already in the forest of Arden, and à many merry men with him ; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England : they say many young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden yorld.
Oli." What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?
Cha. Marry, do I, sir ; and I came to acquaint you with a inatter. I am given, sir, secretly to understand that your younger brother Orlando bath a disposition to come in disguised against me to try a fall. To-morrow, sir, I wrestle for my credit ; and he that escapes me without some broken limb shall acquit him wel. Your brother is but young and tender ; and, for your love, I would be loath to foil him, as I must, for my own honor, if he come in : therefore, out of my love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal, that either you might stay him from his intendment or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into, in that it is a thing of his own search and altogether against my will.
Ol. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt find I will most kindly requite. I had myself notice of my brother's purpose herein and have by underhand means labored to dissuade him froin it, but he is resolute. I'll tell thee, Charles : it is the stubbornest young fellow of France, full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a secret and villanous contriver against me his natural brother : therefore use thy discretion ; I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger. And thou wert best look to't ; for if thou dost him any slight disgrace or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he
will practice against thee by poison, entrap thee by some treacherous device and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy life by some indirect means or other ; for, I assure thee, and almost with tears I speak it, there is not one so young and so villanous this day living. I speak but brotherly of him ; but should I anatomize him to thee as he is, I must blush and weep and thou must look pale and wonder.
Cha. I am heartily glad I came hither to you. If he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment: if ever he go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more : and so God keep your worship
Oli. Farewell, good Charles. [Exit Charles.) Now will I stir this gamester : I hope I shall see an end of him ; for my soul, yet I know not why, hates nothing more than he. Yet he's gentle, never schooled and yet learned, full of noble device, of all sorts enchantingly beloved, and indeed so much in the heart of the world, and especially of my own people, who best know him, that I am altogether misprised : but it shall not be so long ; this wrestler shall clear all : nothing remains but that I kindle the boy thither ; which now I'll
[Erit. 180 SCENE II. Lawn before the Duke's palace.
Enter CELIA and ROSALIND. Cel. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry:
Ros. Dear Celia, I show more mirth than I am mistress of ; and would you yet I were merrier ? Unless you could teach me to forget a banished father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Cel. Herein I see thou lovest me not with the full weight that I love thee. If my uncle, thy banished fatlıer, had banished thy uncle, the duke my father, so thou hadst been still with me, I could have taught my love to take thy father for mine : so wouldst thou, if the truth of thy love to me were so righteously tempered as mine is to thee.
Ros. Well, I will forget the condition of my estate, to rejoice in yours,
Cel. You know my father hath no child but I, nor none is like to have: and, truly, when he dies, thou shalt be his heir, for what he hath taken away from thy father perforce, I will render thee again in affection ; by mine honor, I will ; and when I break that oath, let me turn monster : therefore, my sweet Rose, my dear Rose, be merry.
Ros. From henceforth I will, coz, and de vise sports. Let me see ; what think you ct falling in love ?
Cel. Marry, I prithee, do, to make sport withal : but love no man in good earnest ; nor no further in sport neither than with safety of a pure blush thou mayst in honor come off again.
Ros. What shall be our sport, theu !