Imatges de pÓgina

* AS YOU LIKE IT,] Was certainly borrowed, 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 hunter of MS. contented him, felf folely with Lodge's Rofalynd, or Euphues' Golden Legacye, 4to. 1590. FARMER.

Shakspeare has followed Lodge's novel more exactly than is his general custom when he is indebted to fuch worthlefs originals; and has sketched fome of his principal characters, and borrowed a few expreffions from it. His imitations, &c. however, are in general too infignificant to merit transcription.

It should be obferved 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 fuch a publication was at leaft defigned. At the beginning of the fecond volume of the entries at Stationers' Hall, are placed two leaves of irregular prohibitions, notes, &c. Among these are the following:

[blocks in formation]

"Comedy of Much Ado, a book.

to be staid."

The dates scattered over these pages are from 1596 to 1615,

This comedy, I believe, was written in 1600. to afcertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. I.


See An Attempt MALONE.

Duke, living in exile.

Frederick, brother to the Duke, and ufurper of his dominions.



Lords attending upon the Duke in his

Le Beau, a courtier attending upon
Charles, his wrestler.

[blocks in formation]


Sons of Sir Rowland de Bois.

Dennis,} Servants to Oliver.

Touchstone, a clown.

Sir Oliver Mar-text, a vicar.


Sylvius,} Shepherds.

William, a country fellow, in love with Audrey.

A perfon reprefenting Hymen.

Rofalind, daughter to the banished Duke.

Celia, daughter to Frederick.

Phebe, a shepherdess.

Audrey, a country wench.

Lords belonging to the two Dukes; Pages, Forefters, and other Attendants.

The SCENE lies, first, near Oliver's house; afterwards, partly in the Ufurper's court, and partly in the foreft of Arden.

The lift of the perfons being omitted in the old editions, was added by Mr. Rowe. JOHNSON.



An Orchard, near Oliver's House.


ORL. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me: By will, but a poor thoufand crowns; and, as thou fay'ft, charged my brother, on his bleffing, to breed me well: and there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps

2 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, fuffers 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 sentence is confused and obfcure. A very small alteration in the reading and pointing fets all right.-—Ás 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 cause why the younger brother had but a thousand crowns left him. They agree upon it; and Orlando opens the fcene in this manner, Ás I remember, it was upon this, i. e. for the reafon we have been talking of, that my father left me but a thousand crowns; however, to make amends for this fcanty provifion, he charged my brother on his bleffing to breed me well. WARBURTON.

There is, in my opinion, nothing but a point misplaced, and an omiffion of a word which every hearer can fupply, and which therefore an abrupt and eager dialogue naturally excludes.

I read thus: As I remember, Adam, it was on this fashion bequeathed me. By will, but a poor thousand crowns; and, as thou fayeft, 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 so left out that the auditor inferts it, in spite of himself. JOHNSON.

at school, and report fpeaks goldenly of his profit: for my part, he keeps me ruftically at home, or, to fpeak more properly, ftays me here at home unkept: For call you that keeping for a gentleman of my birth, that differs not from the stalling of an ox? His horfes 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 fomething that nature gave me, his countenance feems to take from me: he lets me feed with his hinds,

it was on this fashion bequeathed me, as Dr. Johnson reads, is but aukward English. I would read: As I remember, Adam, it was on this fashion.-He bequeathed me by will, &c. Orlando and Adam enter abruptly in the midft of a converfation on this topick; and Orlando is correcting fome mifapprehenfion of the other. As I remember (fays he) it was thus. He left me a thousand crowns; and, as thou fayeft, charged my brother, &c. BLACKSTONE. Omiffion being of all the errors of the prefs the most common, I have adopted the emendation propofed by Sir W. Blackftone. MALONE.

Being fatisfied with Dr. Johnfon's explanation of the paffage as it ftands in the old copy, I have followed it. STEEVENS.

3 Stays me here at home unkept :] We fhould read fys, i. e. keeps me like a brute. The following words-for call you that keepingthat differs not from the falling of an ox confirms this emendation. So Caliban fays,

"And here you fly me
"In this hard rock."


Sties is better than stays, and more likely to be Shakspeare's.

So, in Noah's Flood, by Drayton:



And fy themselves up in a little room." STEEVENS.

his countenance feems to take from me:] We fhould certainly read-bis discountenance. WARBURTON.

There is no need of change; a countenance is either good or bad. JOHNSON.

« AnteriorContinua »