« PreviousContinue »
AS YOU LIKE IT.
Printed Complete from the TEXT of
SAM. JOHNSON and GEO. STEEVENS,
And revised from the last Editions.
When Learning's triumph o'er her barb'rous foes
DR, SAMUEL JOHNSON.
ON The fable AND Composition of
As You Like It was certainly borrowed, if we believe Dr. Gray, and Mr. Upton, from the Coke's Tale of Gamelyn; which by the way was not printed 'till century afterward: when in truth the old bard, who was no hunter of MSS. contented himself solely with Lodge's Rosalynd, or, Eupbues' Golden Legacye. 4to. 1590. FARMER.
Shakspere has followed Lodge's novel more exactly than is his general custom when he is indebted to such worthless ori. ginals; and has sketched some of his principal characters, and borrowed a few expressions from it. His imitations, &c. however, are in general too insignificant to merit transcription.
It should be observed that the characters of Jaques, 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 least 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:
to be staied."
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 approve the facility with which both Rosalind
escapes me without some broken limb, shall acquit him well. Your brother is but young, and tender ; and, for your love, I would be loth to foil him, as I must, for mine 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.
134 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 villainous contriver against me his natural brother ; therefore use thy discretion; I had as lief thon 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 him. self on thee, he will practise against thee by poison; entrap thee by some 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 villainous 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 alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize more. And so, God keep your worship !
[Exit. Oli. Farewel, 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 school'd, 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 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. 170
An open Walk before the Duke's Palace.
LIND, and Celia.
Cel. I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry.
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 banish'd father, you must not learn me how to remember any extraordinary pleasure.
Cel. Herein, I see, thou lov'st me not with the full weight that I love thee : if my uncle, thy ba