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AS YOU LIKE IT.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE.
MALONE ascertains the date of this play by the following singular coincidence of an allusion made by Rosalind with a circumstance recorded by Stowe. "I will weep for nothing, (says Rosalind) like Diana in the Fountain.” In 1593, at the east side of the cross in Cheapside, was set up (says the latter in his survey of London,) “*a curious wrought tabernacle of grey marble, and, in the same, an alabaster image of Diana, and water, conveyed from the Thames, prilling from her naked breast." A trifling novel or pastoral romance, by Dr. Thomas Lodge, called Euphues's Golden Legacy, is the foundation of As you Like it. In addition to the fable, which is pretty exactly followed, the outlines of certain principal personages may be traced in the novel; but the characters of Jaques, Touchstone, and Audrey, originated entirely with the poet. Few plays contain so much instructive sentiment, poignant satire, luxuriant fancy, and amusing incident, as this: it is altogether "wild and pleasing." The philosophic reader will be no less diverted by the sententious shrewdness of Touchstone, than instructed by the elegant and amiable lessons of the moralizing Jaques.---Shakspeare is said to have played the part of Adam în As you like it.
The SCENE lies, first, near Oliver's House; afterwards, partly in the Usurper's Court, and partly in the Forest of Arden.
SCENE I.-An Orchard, near OLIVER'S
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.
seems to take from me: he lets me feed with
Adam. Yonder comes my master, your bro ther.
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 your's, with idleness.
Oli. Marry, Sir, be better employed, and be naught awhile.
• What do you here,
her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.
Orl. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks | her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury? Oli. Know you where you are, Sir? Orl. O Sir, very well: here in your orchard. Oli. Know you before whom, Sir?
Orl. 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 first-born; 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
Oli. What, boy!
Orl. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
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 gentlemen flock to him every day; and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
Oli. What, you 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, sere-cretly to understand, that 'your younger brother Orlando, hath a disposition to come in disguis'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 loath to foil him, as I must for my own honour, 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.
Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain ? Orl. 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 band 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.
Orl. I will not, till 1 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 genileman-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. 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 laboured to dissuade him from 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, be will prac
Oli. And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent? Well, Sir, get you in: I will not long be troubled with you: you shall have some part|tise against thee by poison, entrap thee by some of your will: I pray you, leave me.
Orl. I will no 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. Gli. Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? I will physic your rankness, and yet give Do thousand crowns neither. Holla, 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.
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. Oh! 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
• Villain is used in a double sense by Oliver for a worthless fellow, and by Orlando for a man of base extraction.
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! [Exit.
Oli. Farewell, good 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 go about. [Exit.
SCENE II-A Lawn before the DUKE'S
Enter ROSALIND and CELIA.
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,
• Ardenne, a large forest in French Flanders. t Frolicksome fellow. Of all ranks.
thy banish'd father, had banished thy uncle, the duke my tather, so thou hadst been still with me, I could have taught my love to take thy father for mine; so would'st 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 your's.
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 honour, 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 devise sports: let me see; What think you of falling in love?
Cel. Marry, I pr'ythee, 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 may'st in honour come off again.
Ros. What shall be our sport then?
Cel. Shall we sit and mock the good housewife, Fortune, from her wheel, that her gifts may henceforth be bestowed equally.
Ros. I would, we could do so; for her benefits are mightily misplaced: and the bountiful blind woman doth most mistake in her gifts to
Cel. 'Tis true; for those that she makes fair, she scarce makes honest; and those that she makes honest, she makes very ill-favouredly.
Kos. Nay, now thou goest from fortune's office to nature's: fortune reigns in gifts of the world, not in the lineaments of nature.
Cel. No? When nature hath made a fair creature, may she not by fortune fall into the Are -Though nature hath given us wit to flout at fortune, hath not fortune sent in this fool to cut off the argument?
Ros. Indeed, there is fortune too hard for nature; when fortune makes nature's natural the cutter off of nature's wit.
Cel. My father's love is enough to honour him. Enough! speak no more of him: you'll be whipp'd for taxation, one of these days. Touch. The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely, what wise men do foolishly.
Cel. By my troth, thou say'st true: for since the little wit that fools have was silenced, the little foolery that wise men bave makes a great show. Here comes Monsieur Le Beau.
Enter LE BEAU.
Ros. With his mouth full of news.
Cel. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.
Ros. Then shall we be news-cramm'd.
Le Beau. Fair princess, you have lost much good sport.
Cel. Sport? of what colour?
Le Beau. What colour, madam? how shall I answer you?
Ros. As wit and fortune will.
Cel. Well said; that was laid on with a trowel.
Touch. Nay, if I keep not my rank,—
Ros. Thou losest thy old smell.
Le Beau. You amaze me, ladies; I would have told you of good wrestling, which you have lost the sight of.
Ros. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.
Le Beau. I will tell you the beginning, and if it please your ladyships, you may see the end; for the best is yet to do; and here, where you are, they are coming to perform it.
Cel. Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.
Le Beau. There comes an old man, and his three sons,-
Cel. I could match this beginning with an old tale.
Le Beau. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and presence ;-
Ros. With bills on their necks,-Be it known unto all men by these presents.
Le Beau. The eldest of the three wrestled
with Charles, the duke's wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him, and broke Cel. Peradventure, this is not fortune's work three of his ribs, that there is little hope of life neither, but nature's; who perceiving our na-in him; so he served the second, and so the tural wits too dull to reason of such goddesses, third: Yonder they lie; the poor old man, bath sent this natural for our whetstone: for their father, making such pitiful dole over always the dulness of a fool is the whetstone them, that all the beholders take his part with of his wits.-How now, wit? whither wander weeping. you? Ros. Alas!
Touch. Mistress, you must come away to your father.
Cel. Were you made the messenger? Touch. No, by mine honour; but I was bid to come for you.
Ros. Where learned you that oath, fool? Touch. Of a certain knight, that swore by his honour they were good pancakes, and swore by his honour the mustard was naught now, I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught, and the mustard was good; and yet was not the knight forsworn.
Cel. How prove you that, in the great heap of your knowledge?
Ros. Ay, marry; now unmuzzle your wisdom. Touch. Stand you both forth now: stroke your chins, and swear by your beards that I am a knave.
Cel. By our beards, if we had them, thou art. Touch. By my knavery if I had it, then I were: but if you swear by that that is not, you are not forsworn: no more was the knight, swearing by his honour, for he never had any: or if he had, he had sworn it away, before ever he saw those pancakes or that mustard.
Cel. Pr'ythee, who is't thon mean'st? Touch. One that old Frederick, your father, loves.
Touch. But what is the sport, monsieur, that the ladies have lost?
Le Beau. Why, this that you speak of. Touch. Thus men may grow wiser every day! it is the first time that ever i heard, breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.
Cel. Or I, I promise thee.
Ros. But is there any else longs to see this broken music in his sides? is there yet another dotes upon rib-breaking ?-Shall we see this wrestling, cousin?
Le Beau. You must, if you stay here; for here is the place appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.
Cel. Yonder, sure, they are coming: Let us now stay and see it.
Flourish. Enter DUKE FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants. Duke F. Come on; since the youth will not be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness. Ros. Is yonder the man?
Le Beau. Even he, madam.
Cel. Alas! he is too young: yet he looks successfully.