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Frederick, brother to the Duke, and ufurper.
Amiens, Lords attending upon the Duke in kis banish-
Le Beu, a courtier attending upon Frederick.
Adam, an old fervant of Sir Rowland de Boys.
William, in love with Audrey.
Sir Oliver Mar-text, a country curate.
Rofalind, daughter to the Duke.
Lords belonging to the two Dukes: with pages, forefters, 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.
The first Edition of this play is in the Folio of 1623.
*The lift of the perfons, being omitted in the old Editions, was added by Mr. Rowe.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Enter Orlando and Adam.
SI remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeath'd me. By will, but a poor thoufand crowns'; and, as thou fay'it, charged my brother on his Bleffing to breed me well. And there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at fchool, and report fpeaks goldenly of his profit.
'As I remember, Adam, it was upon this FASHION bequeathed me by Will, but a poor thousand crowns, &c.] The Grammar, as well as fenfe, suffers cruelly by this reading. There are two nominatives to the verb bequeathed, and not fo much as one to the verb charged: and yet, to the nominative there wanted, [his bleffing] refers. So that the whole fentence is confufed and obfcure. A very small alteration in the reading and pointing fets all right..
As I remember, Adam, it was upon this MY FATHER bequeathed me, &c.] The Grammar is now rectified, and the fenfe alfo ; which is this, Orlando and Adam were difcourfing together on the caufe why the younger brother had but a thoufand crowns left him. They agree upon it; and Orlando opens the scene in this manner, As I remember, it was upon this, i. e. for the reason we have been talking of, that my father left me but a thousand crowns; however, to make aB 2 mends
For my part, he keeps me ruftically at home; or to fpeak more properly, ftays me here at home, unkept 2; for call you that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that differs not from the ftalling of an ox? His horses are bred better; for befides 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. Befides this nothing that he fo plentifully gives me, the Something that nature gave me 3, his countenance feems 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 Spirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this fervitude. this fervitude. I will no longer endure it, tho' yet I know no wife remedy how to avoid it.
mends for this fcanty provifion,
I read thus: As I remember, Adam, it was on this fashion bequeathed me. By will but a poor thoufand crowns; and, as thou fayft, charged my brother on his bleffing to breed me well. What
is there in this difficult or obfcure? the nominative my father is certainly left out, but fo left out that the auditor inferts it, in fpite of himself.
Adam. Yonder comes my mafter, your brother. Orla. Go apart, Adam, and thou fhalt hear how he will shake me up.
Oli. Now, Sir, what make ye here?
Orla. Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.
Oli. What mar ye then, Sir?
Orla. Marry, Sir, I am helping you to mar That which God made; a poor unworthy brother of with idleness.
Oli. Marry, Sir, be better employ'd, and be nought a while 4.
4 Be better employ'd and be nought a while.] Mr. Theobald has here a very critical note; which, though his modefty fuffered him to withdraw it from his fecond edition, deferves to be perpetuated, i. e. (fays he) be better employed, in my opinion, in being and doing nothing. Your idleness as you call it may be an exercife, by which you may make a figure, and endear yourself to the world: and I had rather you were a contemptible Cypher. The poet Seems to me to have that trite proverbial fentiment in his eye quoted, from Attilius, by the younger Pliny and others; fatius eft otiofum esse quàm nihil agere. But Oliver in the perverfeness of his difpofition would reverfe the doctrine of the proverb. Does the Read
er know what all this means? But 'tis no matter. I will affure him- ----be nought a while is only a north-country proverbial curfe, equivalent to a mischief on you. So the old poet Skelton, Correct firft thy felfe, walke and
Deeme what thou lift, thou
knoweft not my thought. But what the Oxford Editor could not explain, he would amend, and reads,
and do aught a while. WARBURTON.
If be nought a while has the fignification here given it, the reading may certainly ftand; but till I learned its meaning from this note, I read,
Orla. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? what Prodigal's portion have I spent, that I fhould come to fuch penury?
Oli. Know you where you are, Sir?
Orla. O, Sir, very well; here in your Orchard.
Orla. Ay, better than he, I am before, knows me. I know, you are my eldeft brother; and in the gentle condition of blood, you should fo know me. courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first born: but the fame 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 confefs, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence 5.
Oli. What, boy! [menacing with his hand. Orla. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this. [collaring him.
Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain? Orla. I am no villain: I am the youngest fon of Sir Rowland de Boys; he was my father, and he is
be better employed, and be naught intended a fatirical reflection on $ a while. his brother, who, by letting him feed with his binds, treated him as one not fo nearly related to old Sir Rowland as himself was. I imagine therefore Shakespeare might write, albeit your coming before me is nearer to his REVENUE, i. e. though you are no nearer in blood, yet it must be owned, indeed, you are nearer in estate. WARBURTON.
In the fame fenfe as we fay it is better to do mifchief than to do nothing.
Albeit, I confefs your coming before me is nearer to his REVE RENCE.] This is fenfe indeed, and may be thus understood, The reverence due to my father is, in fome degree, derived to you, as the first born-But I am perfuaded that Orlando did not here mean to compliment his brother, or condemn himself, fomething of both which there is in that fenfe. I rather think he
I am no villain.] The word villain is ufed by the elder brother, in its prefent meaning, for a wicked or bloody man; by Orlando, in its original fignification, for a fellow of base extraction.