ePub 版


OF this play the fable is wild and pleasing. I know not how the ladies will approve the facility with which both Rosalind and Celia give away their hearts. To Celia much may be for. given for the heroism of her friendship. The character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comic dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays ; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of his work, Shakspeare suppressed the dialogue between the usurper and the hermit, and lost an opportunity of exhibiting a moral lesson in which he might have found matter worthy of his highest powers.

JOHNSON. 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 too insignificant in general to merit transcription.


[blocks in formation]


Duke, living in exile.
FREDERICK, brother to the duke, and usurper of his

AMIENS, } lords attending upon the duke in his ban-
JAQUES, Sishment.
LE BEAU, a courtier attending upon Frederick.
CHARLES, his wrestler.
JAQUES, 80n8 of sir Rowland de Bois.

to Oliver. TOUCHSTONE, a clown. Sir OLIVER MAR-TEXT, a vicar.


, }servants


, 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 shepherde88.
AUDREY, a country wench.

Lords belonging to the two Dukes ; Pages, Foresters

and other Attendants.

The SCENE lies, first, near Oliver's house ; after

wards, partly in the usurper's court, and partly in the forest of Arden.



SCENE I.-An Orchard near OLIVER'S House. Era


Orlando, 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 hool, 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 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.

Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother.
Orla. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he
will shake me up.

Oli. Now, sir ! hat ake you here?
Orlu. 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 a while.

Orla. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury ?

Oli. Know you where you are, sir?
Orla. O, sir, very well : here in your orchard.
Oli. Know you before whom, sir?

Orla. Ay, better than he I am before knows me. I know, you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle condition of blood, you should so know me : The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the firstborn ; but the same tradition takes not away my blood, were there twenty brothers betwixt us: I have as much of my father in me, as you; albeit, I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence. Oli. What, boy !

Orla. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.

Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain ?

Orla. I am no villain :' I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Bois ; he was my father ; and he is thrice a villain, that says, such a father begot villains : Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat, till this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying so ; thou hast railed on thyself.

Adam. Sweet masters, be patient; for your father's remembrance, be at accord.

Oli. Let me go, I say.

Orla. I will not, till I please : you shall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities : the spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it : therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.

Oli. And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent ?

[1] The word villain is used by the elder brother, in its present meaning for a worthless, wicked, or bloody man; by Orlando in its original significi tion, for a fellow of base extraction. JOHNSON

Well, sir, get you in : I will not long be troubled with you : you shall have some part of your will : I pray you, leave me.

Orla. I will po further offend you than becomes me for my good.

Oli. Get you with him, you old dog.

Adam. Is old dog my reward ? Most true, I have lost my teeth in your service. God be with my old master ! he would not have spoke such a word.

[Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM. Oli. Is it even so ? begin you to grow upon me! Iwill physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither.-Hola, Dennis !

Enter DENNIS. 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 you.

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.

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?

Cha. O, no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so Joves 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 a many merry men with him ; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England : they say, many young


[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »