[blocks in formation]

S I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeath'd me by will, poor

thousand crowns; and, as thou say'st, charged my bro. ther on his blefing to breed me well ; and there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and report fpeaks goldenly of his profit: for my part, he keeps me rustically at home; or, (to speak more properly) kays 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

(1) As you like it.] Neither Mr. Langbeine nor Mr. Gildon acquaint us, to whom Sbakespeare was indebted for any part of the fable of this play. But the characters of Oliver, Jaques, Orlando, and Adam, and the episodes of the Wrefller and the banifbd Tram seem to me plainly to be borrow'd from CHAUCER'S Legend of Gamelyn in the Cook's tale. Tho' this Legend be found in many of the old MSS. of that poet, it was never printed till the last edition of his works, prepar'a by Mr. Urrey, came outo

M 2

feeding 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 fomething, 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, tho' yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.

Enter Oliver.
Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother.

Orla, Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up.

Oli. Now, Sir, what make you here?
Orla. Nothing : I am not taught to make any thing.
Oli. What mar you then, Sir?

Orla. Marry, Sir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with icleners.

Oli. Marry, Sir, be better employ'd, and be naught awhile. (2)

Orla. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat hufks with them what prodigal's portion have I spent, that I Thould come to such penury ?

Oli. Know you where you are, Sir?
Orla. O, Sir, very well ; here in your



be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.] i. e. be better employ'd in my opinion, in being, and doing, nothing. Your idleness, as you call it, may be an exercise, by which you may make a figure, and endear yourself to the world: and I had rather, you were a contemptible «ypher. The poet leems to me to have that trite proverbial sentiment in his eye, quoted from Axilius by the younger Pliny and others;

Statius eff otiofum «lle quam nihil agere: But Oliver, in ihe perverleness of his disposition, would reverse the doctrine of the proverb.

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 fo know me ; the courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first born ; bat 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 Boys ; he was my father, and he is thrice a villain, that says, fuch a father begot villains. Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat, 'till this other had pulld out thy tongue for saying fo ; thou hast rail'd 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 fall hear me. My father charg'd you in his will to give me good education: you have train'd me up like a peasant, obfeuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities; the spirit of my father grows itrong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me fuch exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by teftament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.

Oli. And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent ? well, Sir, get you in. I wil not long be troubled with you : you shall have some pait of

your will. I pray you, leave me.

Orla. I will no further offend you, than becomes me for my good.

ok. Get you with him, you old dog. Adam. Is old dog my reward ? molt trae, I have lost my teeth in your service. God be with my old maffers he would not have spoke such a word.

[Exit Orlando and Adam. Qli. Is it even for begin you to grow, upon me! I will phyfick your rankness, and yet

give no thousand crowns neither. Holla, Dennis !

Enter Dennis.

Den. Calls your worship?

Oli. Was not Charles, the Duke's wrestler, here ta speak with me?

Den. So please you, he is here at the door, and importunes access to you.

Oli. Call him in; - 'twill be a good way; and to. morrow the wrestling is.

Enter Charles.

Char. Good-morrow to your worship.

Ol. Good Monsieur Charles, what's the new news. at the new court?

Char. There's no news at the court, Sir, but the old news ; that is, the old Duke is banish'd 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, thoref. re he gives them good leave to wander.

Oli. Can you tell, if Rosalind, the Duke's daughter, be banish'd with her father ?

Char. O, no; for the. Duke's daughter her cousin fo loves her, being ever from their cradles bred together, that she would have followed her -exile, or have died to say behind her. She is at the court, and no lefs beloved of her uncle than his own daughter ; and ne. ver two Ladies loved, as they do.

Oli. Where will the old Duke live ?

Char. They fay, 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


my will.

young gentlemen flock to him every day, and fleet the time carelesly, as they did in the golden world.

Oli. What, yon wrestle to-morrow before the new Duke

Cha. Marry, do I, Sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter.

I am given, Sir, fecretly to understand, that your younger brother Orlando hath a disposition to come in ifguis'd 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 well. Your brother is but young and tender, and for your love I would be loth to foil him; as I must for mine own honour, if he come in; therefore out of my

love to you, I came hither to acquaint you withal ; that either you might fay him from his intendment, or brook such disgrace well as he shall run into; in that it is a thing of his own fearch and altogether against

Oli. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which . thou shalt find, I will most kindly requite. I had myfelf notice of my brother's purpose herein, and have by under-hand means labour'd to dissuade him from it ; but he is resolute. I tell thee, Charles, he is the ftubborneft young fellow of France ; full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a fecret and villanous contriver: against me his natural brother; therefore use thy discretion ; I had as lief thou didft break his neck, as his finger. And thou wert best look to't; for if thou doft him any sight disgrace, or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practise against thee by poison ; entrap thee by some treacherous device; and never leave thee 'till he has 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 fo 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

« 上一页继续 »