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R. GREY and Mr. Upton asserted that this Play was certainly borrowed from the Coke's Tale of Gamelyn, printed in Urry's Chaucer, but it is hardly likely that Shakespeare saw that in manuscript, and there is a more obvious source from whence he derived his plot, viz. the pastoral romance of Rosalynde, or Euphues' Golden Legacy, by Thomas Lodge, first printed in 1590. From this he has sketched his principal characters, and constructed his plot; but those admirable beings, the melancholy Jaques, the witty Touchstone, and his Audrey, are of the poet's own creation. Lodge's novel is one of those tiresome (I had almost said unnatural) pastoral romances, of which the Euphues of Lyly and the Arcadia of Sidney were also popular examples: it has, however, the redeeming merit of some very beautiful verses interspersed *, and the circumstance of its having led to the formation of this exquisite pastoral drama, is enough to make us withhold our assent to Steevens's splenetic censure of it as "worthless."
Touched by the magic wand of the enchanter, the dull and endless prosing of the novelist is transformed into an interesting and lively drama; the forest of Arden converted into a real Arcadia of the golden age. "The highly sketched figures pass along in the most diversified succession; we see always the shady darkgreen landscape in the back ground, and breathe in imagination the fresh air of the forest. The hours are here measured by no clocks, no regulated recurrence of duty or toil; they flow on unnumbered in voluntary occupation or fanciful idleness.-One throws himself down under the shade of melancholy boughs' and indulges in reflections on the changes of fortune, the falsehood of the world, and the self-created torments of social life: others make the woods resound with social and festive songs, to the accompaniment of their horns. Selfishness, envy, and ambi
* The following beautiful Stanzas are part of what is called