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truth, however, is, that love is wilfully blind; and now terest is preserved by characters more than incidents. that my eyes are opened, I shut them against the fault. But what a tablet of characters ! the witty and impasAway with your best-proved improbabilities, when the sioned Rosalind, the love-devoted Orlando, the friend. heart has been touched and the fancy fascinated! When ship-devoted Celia, the duty-devoted old Adam, the huI think of the lovely Mrs. Jordan in this part, I have mourous Clown, and the melancholy Jaques: all these, no more desire for proofs of probability on this subject, together with the dignified and banished Duke, make (though. proofs pellucid as the morning dews,') than for the forest of Arden an Elysium to our imagination; and the cogent logic of a bailiff's writ.'

our hearts are so stricken by those benevolent beings, " In fact, though there is no rule without exceptions, that we easily forgive the other once culpable but at and no general truth without limitation, it may be pro- last repentant characters."-CAMPBELL. nounced, that if you delight us in fiction, you may make our sense of probability slumber as deeply as you please.

“ But it may be asked whether nature and truth are "For pure comedy, rich in variety, interest, poetry, to be sacrificed at the altar of fiction ? No! in the main and a happy view of human life, As You Like It is the effect of fiction on the fancy, they never are nor can be world's master-piece. It has been termed a pastoral sacrificed. The improbabilities of fiction are only its comedy, but that implies an unreal description of shepexceptions, while the truth of nature is its general law; herds and shepherdesses ; here we have persons of and unless the trath of nature were in the main observed, every degree, true to nature as the trees under which the fictionist could not lull our vigilance as to particular they walk and talk. There is a frankness and freedom improbabilities.

in the dialogue, belonging equally to the various characApply this maxim to Shakespeare's As You LIKE IT, ters, that seem to partake of the open air in which they and our Poet will be found to make us forget what is breathe. Never is the scene within doors, except when eccentric from nature in a limited view, by showing it something discordant is introduced to heighten, as it more beautifully probable in a larger contemplation. were, the harmony-when the usurper banishes RosaIn this drama he snatches us out of the busy world into lind, and twice more, for a short while, just to give him a woodland solitude; he makes us breathe its fresh air, time to threaten. These changes serve, without dispartake its pastoral peace, feast on its venison, admire turbing our calmer feelings, to increase our happiness its bounding wild-deer, and sympathize with its ban- among the pleasant exiles in the forest. ished men and simple rustics. But he contrives to "At one time I thought a lioness was out of her break its monotony by the intrusion of courtly manners sphere in the forest of Arden, notwithstanding the and characters. He has a fool and a philosopher, who authority of the original novel for her appearance there. might have hated each other at court, but who like each But the forest of Arden is a privileged place, once faother in the forest. He has a shepherdess and her woo- mous for Merlin's magic fountains, Angelica, and the ing shepherd, as natural as Arcadians; yet when the knights of Charlemagne, surrounded by enchantments, banished court come to the country and beats it in wit, according to Boiardo and Ariosto. Shakespeare avoids the courtiers seem as much naturalized to the forest as following the novel in specifying a certain king of France ; its natives, and the general truth of nature is equally he mentions no country; and therefore he has a right preserved.

to bring a lioness into this poetical forest, placed we “The events of the play are not numerous, and its in- | know not where.”—CH. A. Brown.


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