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in every human breast, and the cry of pain is sure to follow a wound. We are all of us like BARHAM's Catherine of Cleves, who
didn't mind death, but she couldn't stand pinching ;'
it makes no difference whether the unshunnable outcry is in French, or German, or English, the key-note is the same in all. But in Comedy it is far different. We may all cry, but we do not all laugh; and when we laugh, we are by no means all tickled by the same straw. And it is just here wherein the difference of nationality or race consists. THÉOPHILE GAUTIER, in the short but good Preface to his translation of Münchhausen, has admirably explained the cause of this difference: 'Le génie des peuples,' he says, 'se révèle surtout dans la plaisanterie. Comme les œuvres sérieuses chez toutes les nations ont pour but la recherche du beau qui est un de sa nature, elles se ressemblent nécessairement davantage, et portent moins nettement imprimé le cachet de l'individualité ethnographique. Le comique, au cortraire, consistant dans une déviation plus ou moins accentuée du modèle idéal, offre une multiplicité singulière de ressources ; car il y a mille façons de ne pas se conformer à l'archétype.'
The 'beaded bubbles winking at the brim' of English wit may, therefore, be to German eyes merely insipid froth to be lightly blown aside.
Hence it is that such a sparkling comedy as this of As You Like It may be made to yield the test I have spoken of. It is through and through an English comedy, on English soil, in English air, beneath English oaks; and it will be loved and admired, cherished and appreciated, by English men as long as an English word is uttered by an English tongue. Nowhere else on the habitable globe could its scene have been laid but in England, nowhere else but in Sherwood Forest has the golden age, in popular belief, revisited the earth, and there alone of all the earth a merry band could, and did, fleet the time carelessly. England is the home of As You Like It, with all its visions of the Forest of Arden and heavenly ROSALIND; but let it remain there; never let it cross ‘the narrow seas.' No Forest of Arden, 'rocking on its towery top, all throats that gurgle sweet,' is to be found in the length and breadth of Germany or France, and without a Forest of Arden there can be no ROSALIND. No glimpses of a golden age do German legends afford, and time, of old in Germany, was fleeted carelessly only by 'bands of gypsies.' Such a life as ROSALIND led in the Forest, which all English-speaking folk accept without a
thought of incongruity, is to the German mind wellnigh incomprehensible, and refuge is taken, by some of the most eminent Germans, in explanations of the Pastoral drama,' with its sentimental unrealities' and 'contrasts,' or of SHAKESPEARE'S intentional 'disregard of dramatic use and wont,' &c. &c. ROSALIND ceases to be the one central figure of the play, her wit and jests lose all prosperity in German ears, and Germans consequently turn to JAQUES and to TOUCHSTONE as the final causes of the comedy and as the leading characters of the play. The consequence is that this almost flawless chrysolite of a comedy, glittering with ROSALIND's brightness and reflecting sermons from stones and glowing with the good in everything, becomes, as seen through some German eyes, the almost sombre background for SHAKESPEARE's display of folly ; nay, one distinguished German critic goes so far as to consider the professional Fool as the most rational character of all the Dramatis Personæ. Indeed, it is to be feared that of some of the German criticisms on this comedy it may be truthfully said, that were the names of the characters omitted to which these critics refer, it would be almost impossible to discover or to recognise which one of all SHAKESPEARE'S plays is just then subjected to analysis ; so difficult is it for an alien mind to appreciate this comedy of As You Like It.
Stress has been laid in these later days on the Chronological Order in which SHAKESPEARE wrote his plays, and attempts have been made to connect their tragic or their comic tone with the outward circumstances of SHAKESPEARE's own life; it has been assumed that, in general, he wrote tragedies when clouds and darkness overshadowed him, and comedies when his outer life was full of sunshine.
For my part, I believe that SHAKESPEARE wrote his plays, like the conscientious playwright that he was, to fill the theatre and make money for his fellow-actors and for himself; and I confess to absolute scepticism in reference to the belief that in these dramas SHAKESPEARE's self can be discovered (except on the broadest lines), or that either his outer or his inner life is to any discoverable degree reflected in his plays: it is because SHAKESPEARE is not there that the characters are so perfect,—the smallest dash of the author's self would mar to that extent the truth of the character, and make of it a mask.
But assuming, for the nonce, that this belief of recent days is well grounded, and that from the tone of his dramas we may infer the experiences of his life, I cannot but think that it is an error to infer from his tragedies that his life was certainly sad, or that because his life was sad we have his tragedies. Surely, it was not then, when his daily life was overcast with gloom, and he was 'troubling deaf Heaven with his bootless cries,' that he would turn from real to write fictitious tragedies. Do we assuage real tears with feigned ones ? From an outer world of bitter sorrow SHAKESPEARE would surely retreat to an inner, unreal world of his own creation where all was fair and serene; behind that veil the stormy misery of life could be transmuted into joyous calm. If, therefore, this belief of recent days be true, it was, possibly, from a life over which sorrow and depression brooded that there sprang this jocund comedy of As You Like It.
The extracts from KREYSSIG, who, of all German commentators, seems to have best caught the spirit of this play, have been translated for me by my Father, the Rev. DR FURNESS, to whom it is again my high privilege and unspeakable pleasure to record my deep and abiding thanks.
H. H. F. February, 1890.
DUKE of Burgundy,
Dramatis Personæ] First given by Rowe (ed. i) and substantially followed by all Editors. In Rowe (ed. ii), after the names Corin and Sylvius, there is added 'A Clown, in love with Audrey,' and `William, another Clown, in love with Audrey.' Pope, Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton followed Rowe (ed. ii). Capell added 'a Person presenting Hymen.'
5. Jaques] The pronunciation of this name has never been decisively determined. A discussion in regard to it arose in the pages of The Athenæum for the 31st of July, the 14th and 21st of August, and the 4th of September, 1880; by some of the participants it was held to be a monosyllable, and by the others a disyllable. The discussion ended, as literary journalistic discussions generally end, in leaving the disputants, as far as the public can judge, more firmly convinced than ever of the soundness of the views with which they started. For the monosyllabic pronunciation no authority was cited, merely personal preference was alleged. For the disyllabic pronunciation the requirements of metre were urged when the occurrence of the name in the middle of a verse shows that pronunciation to be indispensable, as in II, i, 29: “ The mel | ancho 1 ly Ja / ques grieves | at that,' and possibly in V, iv, 199: “Stay, Ja I ques, stay.' I have discussed in a note on II, i, 29, all the instances where the name occurs metrically in Shakespeare, and beg to refer the student to that note, which supplements the present. In The Atheneum for the 20th of May, 1882, H. BARTON BAKER gives of this disyllabic pronunciation four examples from Greene's Friar Bacon, five from his James IV, one from Kyd's Spanish Tragedy, another from his Soliman and Perseda, and two from Beaumont and Fletcher's Noble Gentleman. The value of this list, for our present purpose, is impaired by the fact that none of these characters is supposed to be English, and in each case, therefore, 'Jaques' may possibly have received a foreign pronunciation.
On the other hand, HALLIWELL says the name of this character was pronounced jakes.' And FRENCH (p. 317) tells us that the name of the melancholy Lord Jaques belongs to Warwickshire, where it is pronounced as one syllable; “ Thomas Jakes of Wonersh," was on the List of Gentry of the Shire, 12 Henry VI, 1433. At the surrender of the Abbey of Kenilworth, 26 Henry VIII, 1535, the Abbot was Simon Jakes, who had the large pension of rool. per annum granted to him. There are still some respectable families of the name in the neighborhood of Stratford; John Jaques and Joseph Jaques reside at Alderminster; Mrs Sarah Jaques at Newbold-onStour;
and families of the name are living at Pillerton and Eatington (1867). The