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ON THE FABLE AND COMPOSITION OF
AS YOU LIKE IT.
As You Like It was certainly borsoswed, 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 hun. ter of MSS. contented himself solely with Lodge's Rosalynd, or, Euphues' Golden Legacye, 4to. 1590. FARMER,
Shakespeare has followed Lodge's novel more exact. ly 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 in general too infignificant to merit transcription.
It should be observed that the characters of Jacques, the Clown and Audrey, are entirely of the poet's own formation.
Although I'have never met with any edition of this comedy before the year 1623, it is evident, that such a publication was at laft designed. At the beginning of the second volume of the entries at Stationers' Hall, are placed two leaves of irregular prohibitions, notes, &c. Among these are the following:
« A: You Like It, a book · “ Henry the Fift, a book
to be ftaied.” Comedy of Much Ado, a book The dates scattered over these pages are from 1596 to 1615. STEEVENS. Of this play the fable is wild and pleasing. I know not how the ladies will approye the facility with which
both Rofalind and Celia give away their hearts. To Celia much may be forgiven for the heroism of her friendship. The character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comick dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in fome other plays; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of his work, Shakespeare supprel. fed the dialogue between the usurper and the hermit, and loft an opportunity of exhibiting a moral lesson in which he might have found matter worthy of his higheft powers. JOHNSON.
MEN. Duke, FREDERICK, Brother to the Duke, and Usurper. Amiens, | Lords attending upon the Duke in his b. JACQUES,
nishment. LE Beau, a Courtier attending upon Frederick. OLIVER, eldest Son to Sir Rowland de Boys.
ORLANDO, } sounger Brothers to Oliver.
ADAM, an old Servant of Sir Rowland de Boys.
Lords belonging to the two Dukes; with Pages, Foresters,
and other Attendants.
The Scene lies, first, near Oliver's house; and, afterwards, partly in the Duke's court, and partly in
the foreft of Arden.
Enter ORLANDO, and ADAM.
bequeathed me: By will, but a poor thoufand crowns; and, as thou fay'st, charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my fadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, 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 Italling 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