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AS YOU LIKE IT.
Shakspeare took the plot of this delightful comedy from a novel called, "Rosalynde, or Euphues' Golden Legacy," written by Lodge, who borrowed his materials from an old English poem, of the age of Chaucer.
Our Poet has improved upon his model, and has constructed one of the most exquisitely finished Pastoral Poems extant in our language.
The Plot and leading incidents of the Comedy, will be clearly illustrated in the selected scenes we have given.
DUKE, living in exile.
FREDERICK, brother to the Duke, and usurper of his dominions.
CHARLES, his wrestler.
OLIVER, JAQUES, ORLANDO, sons of Sir Rowland de Bois.
ADAM, DENNIS, servants to Oliver.
TOUCHSTONE, a clown.
Sir OLIVER MARTEXT, a vicar.
CORIN, SILVIUS, shepherds.
WILLIAM, a country fellow, in love with Audrey.
A Person representing Hymen.
ROSALIND, daughter to the banished Duke.
CELIA, daughter to Frederick.
PHEBE, a shepherdess.
AUDREY, a country girl.
Lords belonging to the two Dukes; Pages, Foresters, and other
The SCENE lies, first, near OLIVER'S House; afterwards partly in the Usurper's Court and partly in the Forest of ARDEN.
SCENE I.-An Orchard, near Oliver's House.
Enter ORLANDO, and ADAM.
Orlando. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me: By will, but a poor thousand crowns: and, as thou say'st, charged my brother, on his blessing, to breed me well: and there begins my sadness. My brother Jaques he keeps at school, and report speaks goldenly of his profit: for my part, he keeps me rustically at home, or, to speak more properly, stays 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 horses are bred better; for, besides 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 are as much bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the something that nature gave me, his countenance seems 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 servitude: I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wise remedy how to avoid it.
Adam. Yonder comes my master, your brother.
Orl. Go apart, Adam, and thou shalt hear how he will shake me up. Oli. Now, sir! what make you here?
Orl. Nothing; I am not taught to make any thing.
Oli. What mar you then, sir?
Orl. Marry, sir, I am helping you to mar that which Heaven made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.
Oli. Marry, sir, be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.
Orl. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I should come to such penury? Oli. Know you where you are, sir?
Orl. O, sir, very well: here in your orchard.
Oli. Know you before whom, sir?
Orl. Ay, better than he I am before knows me. I know, you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle condition of blood, you should know me: The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first-born; but the same 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 confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.
Oli. What, boy!
Orl. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.
Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
Orl. I am no villain; I am the youngest son of sir Rowland de Bois: he was my father; and he is thrice a villain, that says, such a father begot villains: Wert thou not my brother, I would not take this hand from thy throat, till this other had pulled out thy tongue for saying so thou hast railed on thyself.
Adam. Sweet masters, be patient; for your father's remembrance, be at accord.
Oli. Let me go, I say.
Orl. I will not, till I please: you shall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obscuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities: the spirit of my father grows strong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me such exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by testament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.
Oli. And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is spent? Well, sir, get you in: I will not long be troubled with you: you shall have some part of your will: I pray you, leave me.
Orl. I will no further offend you than becomes me for my good. Oli. Get you with him, you old dog.
Adam. Is old dog my reward? Most true, I have lost my teeth in your service. Heaven be with my old master! he would not have spoke such a word. [Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM. Oli. Is it even so? begin you to grow upon me? I will physic your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither.
Oliver, desirous of ridding himself of Orlando, seeks the aid of " Charles, the wrestler," who is engaged to exhibit in a wrestling match, that is to take place before the usurping Duke and his court. Charles, instigated by Oliver, agrees to challenge Orlando to try "a fall with him," when by superior skill he hopes to overcome and kill him. In this he is frustrated by the agility and strength of Orlando, who obtains the victory.
Rosalind the daughter of the exiled Duke, is at her Uncle's court, and accompanied by Celia her cousin, they witness the wrestling match. Rosalind is struck by the grace and courage exhibited by Orlando-and learning that he is the son of one of her Father's oldest friends, her interest in the young man is increased; she rewards Orlando, with a gold chain, and a mutual feeling of regard is excited in both their hearts.
Celia watches the growing love of Rosalind, and sportively accuses her with falling in love "on such a sudden:" their conversation is interrupted by Duke Frederick, who has become jealous of Rosalind, and banishes her from his court.
Enter CELIA, and ROSALIND.
Cel. Why, cousin; why, Rosalind ;-Cupid have mercy ;-Not a word?
Ros. Not one to throw at a dog.
Cel. No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs, throw some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.
Ros. Then there were two cousins laid up; when the one should be lamed with reasons, and the other mad without any. Cel. But is all this for your father?
Ros. No, some of it for my child's father: O, how full of briers is this working-day world!
Cel. They are but burs, cousin, thrown upon thee in holiday foolery; if we walk not in the trodden paths, our very coats will catch them.
Ros. I could shake them off my coat; these burs are in my heart. Cel. Hem them away.
Ros. I would try; if I could cry hem, and have him.
Cel. Come, come, wrestle with thy affections.
Ros. O, they take the part of a better wrestler than myself.
Cel. Is it possible, on such a sudden, you should fall into so strong a liking with old sir Rowland's youngest son?
Ros. The duke my father lov'd his father dearly.
Cel. Doth it therefore ensue, that you should love his son dearly? By this kind of chase, I should hate him, for my father hated his father dearly; yet I hate not Orlando.
Ros. No 'faith, hate him not, for my sake.
Cel. Why should I not? doth he not deserve well?
Ros. Let me love him for that; and do you love him, because I
do: Look, here comes the duke.
Cel. With his eyes full of anger.
Enter DUKE FREDERICK, with Lords.
Duke F. Mistress, dispatch you with your safest haste,
And get you from our court.
Within these ten days if thou be'st found
I do beseech your grace,
Or have acquaintance with mine own desires;
If that I do not dream, or be not frantic,
(As I do trust I am not,) then, dear uncle, Never so much as in a thought unborn, Did I offend your highness.
Thus do all traitors:
Ros. Yet your mistrust cannot make me a traitor :
Tell me, whereon the likelihood depends.
Duke F. Thou art thy father's daughter, there's enough.
So was I, when your highness þanish'd him:
Treason is not inherited, my lord:
Or, if we did derive it from our friends,
What's that to me? my father was no traitor:
Cel. Dear sovereign, hear me speak.
Duke F. Ay, Celia; we stay'd her for your sake.
Cel. I did not then entreat to have her stay,
Still we went coupled, and inseparable.
Duke F. She is too subtle for thee; and her smoothness, Her very silence, and her patience,
Speak to the people, and they pity her.
Thou art a fool: she robs thee of thy name;
And thou wilt show more bright, and seem more virtuous,
Firm and irrevocable is my doom
Which I have pass'd upon her; she is banish'd.
Cel. Pronounce that sentence then on me, my liege;
I cannot live out of her company.
Duke F. You are a fool :-You, niece, provide yourself; If you out-stay the time, upon mine honor,
And in the greatness of my word, you die.
[Exeunt DUKE FREDERICK, and Lords.
That he hath not.
Cel. No? hath not? Rosalind lacks then the love
Shall we be sunder'd? shall we part, sweet girl?