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AS YOU LIKE IT.
SCENE I. An Orchard, near Oliver's House.
Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.
Orl. 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
stays me here at home unkept:] We should read stys, i. e. keeps me like a brute. The following words-for call you that keeping-that differs not from the stalling of an ox? confirms this emendation. So, Caliban says—
"And here you sty me
"In this hard rock." WARBURTON.
Sties is better than stays, and more likely to be Shakspeare's.
which his animals on his dunghills 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?2
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 God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.
Oli. Marry, sir, be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.3
what make you here?] i. e. what do you here?
be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.] i. e. It is better to do mischief, than to do nothing. JOHNSON.
I believe that the words be naught awhile, mean no more than this: "Be content to be a cypher, till I shall think fit to elevate you into consequence." STEEVENS.
Naught and nought are frequently confounded in old English books. I once thought that the latter was here intended, in the sense affixed to it by Mr. Steevens: "Be content to be a cypher, till I shall elevate you into consequence." But the following passage in Swetnam, a comedy, 1620, induces me to think that the reading of the old copy (naught) and Dr. Johnson's explanation are right:
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.
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 so 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.
get you both in, and be naught a while." The speaker is a chamber-maid, and she addresses herself to her mistress and her lover. MALONE.
albeit, I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.] This, I apprehend, refers to the courtesy of distinguishing the eldest son of a knight, by the title of esquire.
I am no villain:] The word villain is used by the elder brother in its present meaning, for a worthless, wicked, or bloody man; by Orlando, in its original signification, for a fellow of base extraction. JOHNSON.
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 teeth in your service.-God 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 physick your rankness, and yet give no thousand crowns neither. Hola, Dennis!
Den. Calls your worship?
Oli. Was not Charles, the Duke's wrestler, here to speak with me?
Den. So please you, he is here at the door, and importunes access to you.
Oli. Call him in. [Exit DENNIS.]-Twill be a good way; and to-morrow the wrestling is.
Cha. Good morrow to your worship. Oli. Good monsieur Charles!-what's the new news at the new court?
Cha. There's no news at the court, sir, but the old news: that is, the old duke is banished by his younger brother the new duke; and three or four loving lords have put themselves into voluntary exile with him, whose lands and revenues enrich the new duke; therefore he gives them good leave to wan
Oli. Can you tell, if Rosalind, the duke's daughter, be banished with her father?
Cha. C, no; for the duke's daughter, her cousin, so loves her,―being ever from their cradles bred together,—that she would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no less beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they
Oli. Where will the old duke live?
Cha. They say, he is already in the forest of Arden, and a many merry men with him; and there they live like the old Robin Hood of England: they say many young gentlemen flock to him every day; and fleet the time carelessly, as they did in the golden world.
good leave-] As often as this phrase occurs, it means a ready assent.
7for the duke's daughter,] i. e. the usurping duke's daughter, Sir T. Hanmer reads-the new duke's; and in the preceding speech-the old duke's daughter; but in my opinion unnecessarily. The ambiguous use of the word duke in these passages is much in our author's manner. MALONE.
in the forest of Arden,] Ardenne is a forest of considerable extent in French Flanders, lying near the Meuse, and between Charlemont and Rocroy.