Изображения страниц

OLI. Know you where you are, fir?

ORL. O, fir, very well: here in your orchard. OLI. Know you before whom, fir?

ORL. Ay, better than he I am before knows me.1 I know, you are my eldest brother; and, in the gentle condition of blood, you should fo know me: The 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.8

OLI. What, boy!

ORL. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this.

Ay, better than he I am before knows me.] The first folio reads better than him. But, little refpect is due to the anomalies of the play-houfe editors; and of this comedy there is no quarto edition. STEEVENS.

Mr. Pope and the fubfequent editors read-be I am before; more correctly, but without authority. Our author is equally irregular in The Winter's Tale:

"I am appointed him to murder you." MALONE. Of The Winter's Tale alfo there is none but the play-house copy. STEEVENS.

albeit, I confefs, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.] 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 intended a fatirical reflection on his brother, who by letting him feed with his hinds, treated him as one not fo nearly related to old Sir Rowland as himself was. I imagine therefore Shakspeare might write,--Albeit your coming before me is nearer his revenue, i. e. though you are no nearer in blood, yet it must be owned, indeed, you are nearer in eftate. WARBURTON.

This, I apprehend, refers to the courtesy of distinguishing the eldeft fon of a knight, by the title of efquire. HENLEY.

OLI. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?

ORL. I am no villain: I am the youngest fon of fir Rowland de Bois; he was my father; and he is thrice a villain, that fays, fuch 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 faying fo; thou haft railed on thyfelf.

ADAM. Sweet mafters, be patient; for your father's remembrance, be at accord.

OLI. Let me go, I say.

ORL. I will not, till I pleafe: you fhall hear me. My father charged you in his will to give me good education: you have trained me like a peasant, obfcuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities: the fpirit of my father grows ftrong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me fuch exercises as may become a gentleman, or give me the poor allottery my father left me by teftament; with that I will go buy my fortunes.

OLI. And what wilt thou do? beg, when that is fpent? Well, fir, get you in: I will not long be troubled with you: you fhall have fome 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? Moft true, I have loft my teeth in your fervice.-God be with my old master! he would not have spoke such a word.

[Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM.

9 I am no villain:] The word villain is ufed by the elder brother, in its prefent meaning, for a worthless, wicked, or bloody man; by Orlando in its original fignification, for a fellow of bafe extraction.


OLI. Is it even fo? begin you to grow upon me? I will phyfick your ranknefs, and yet give no thoufand crowns neither. Hola, Dennis!


DEN. Calls your worship?

OLI. Was not Charles, the duke's wrestler, here to fpeak 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 monfieur Charles !-what's the new news at the new court?

CHA. There's no news at the court, fir, 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, whofe lands and revenues enrich the new duke; therefore he gives them good leave to wander.


OLI. Can you tell, if Rofalind, the duke's daughter,' be banished with her father.


good leave-] As often as this phrafe occurs, it means

a ready affent. So, in King John:


Baft. James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave awhile? "Gur. Good leave, good Philip." STEEVENS.

the duke's daughter,] The words old and new [inferted by Sir T. Hanmer] feem neceffary to the perfpicuity of the dialogue. JOHNSON.

[ocr errors]

CHA. O, no; for the duke's daughter,' her coufin, fo loves her,-being ever from their cradles bred together, that fhe would have followed her exile, or have died to stay behind her. She is at the court, and no lefs beloved of her uncle than his own daughter; and never two ladies loved as they do.

OLI. Where will the old duke live?

CHA. They fay, 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 fay, many young gentlemen flock to him every day; and fleet the time carelefsly, as they did in the golden world.

OLI. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new duke?

CHA. Marry, do I, fir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, fir, fecretly to un

-the duke's daughter,] i. e. the banished duke's daughter.

MALONE. The author of The Revifal is of opinion, that the fubfequent words, her coufin, fufficiently diftinguish the perfon intended.


3 - for the duke's daughter,] i. e. the ufurping duke's daughter. Sir T. Hanmer reads here-the new duke's; and in the preceding fpeech the old duke's daughter; but in my opinion unneceffarily. The ambiguous ufe of the word duke in these paffages is much in our author's manner. MALONE.


in the foreft of Arden,] Ardenne is a forest of confiderable extent in French Flanders, lying near the Meufe, and between Charlemont and Rocroy. It is mentioned by Spenfer, in his Colin Clout's come home again, 1595:

"Into a foreft wide and wafte he came,

"Where ftore he heard to be of favage prey;
"So wide a foreft, and fo wafte as this,

"Not famous Ardeyn, nor foul Arlo is."

But our author was furnished with the fcene of his play by Lodge's Novel. MALONE,

derstand, that your younger brother, Orlando, hath a difpofition to come in difguis'd against me to try a fall: To-morrow, fir, I wrestle for my credit; and he that escapes me without fome broken limb, young, fhall acquit him well. Your brother is but and tender; and, for your love, I would be loth to foil him, as I muft, for my 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 fuch difgrace well as he shall run into; in that it is a thing of his owr. fearch, and altogether against my will.

OLI. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou shalt find I will moft kindly requite. I had myself notice of my brother's purpose herein, and have by underhand means laboured to diffuade him from it; but he is refolute. I'll tell thee, Charles, -it is the stubborneft young fellow of France; full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a fecret and villainous contriver against me his natural brother; therefore use thy difcretion; I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger: And thou wert beft look to't; for if thou doft him any flight difgrace, or if he do not mightily grace himself on thee, he will practife against thee by poison, entrap thee by fome treacherous device, and never leave thee till he hath ta'en thy life by fome indirect means or other: for, I affure thee, and almoft with tears I fpeak it, there is not one fo young and fo villainous this day living. I fpeak but brotherly of him; but fhould 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:

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »