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Even he that had held up the very life

Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady?

I was enforc'd to send it after him:

I was beset with shame and courtesy ;
My honour would not let ingratitude

So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady;
For, by these blessed candles of the night,39

Had you been there, I think you would have begg'd

The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.

Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my house:

Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd,

And that which you did swear to keep for me,
I will become as liberal" as you;

I'll not deny him anything I have:
Know him I shall, I am well sure of it:

Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth;

Which, but for him that had your husband's ring,

Had quite miscarried: I dare be bound again,
My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
Will never more break faith advisedly."

Por. Then you shall be his surety. Give him this;

And bid him keep it better than the other.

Ant. Here, Lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring.

Bass. By Heaven! it is the same I gave the doctor!

Por. I had it of him: pardon me, Bassanio; For, by this ring, the doctor lay with me.

Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano; For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk,

Lie not a night from home; watch me like In lieu of this last night did lie with me.

Argus: 41

If you do not, if I be left alone,

Now, by mine honour, which is yet mine own,
I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow.

Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well advis'd

How you do leave me to mine own protection. Gra. Well, do you so: let not me take him, then.

Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels.

Por. Sir, grieve not you; you are welcome notwithstanding.

Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong; And, in the hearing of these many friends,

I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see myself,—

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39. These blessed candles of the night. Shakespeare has more than once, elsewhere, used this epithet for the stars; and it may have been in popular use, for in some ancient Saxon poetry preserved in Hickes's "Thesaurus," the sun is called 'God's candle.' The old English writers were not afraid of a simple, homely epithet; and it sometimes has a robust force of effect that is ill substituted by a tamer, if more refined, word.. 40. Liberal. Used here for prodigal, profuse, lavish.

41. Argus. Being possessed of a hundred eyes, two only of which slept at a time, he was set by Juno to watch the nymph Io, who had been changed into a heifer by Jupiter; but Mercury, after lulling to sleep with the sound of his lyre all Argus's eyes at once, slew him; and the goddess placed his eyes in the tail of her peacocks-the birds that drew her car, and were held sacred to her.

42. Your double self. "Double" is here used punningly : in the sense of 'twofold.' and in the sense of deceitful,' full of

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Here is a letter, read it at your leisure ;

It comes from Padua, from Bellario:
There you shall find that Portia was the doctor;
Nerissa there her clerk: Lorenzo here
Shall witness I set forth as soon as you,
And even but now return'd; I have not yet
Enter'd my house.-Antonio, you are welcome;
And I have better news in store for you
Than you expect: unseal this letter soon;
There you shall find three of your argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly:
You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.

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45. In lieu of this. In exchange for this,' 'as an equivalent for this.' See Note 40, Act iv.

46. Where the ways, &c. In some editions "where" has been changed to 'when,' as the more consistent word here; and from the idea that the "where" of the Folio was a probable misprint. But considering that "there" is used for then' in a passage of the "Tempest" ("The afternoon to sleep, there thou mayst brain him," Act iii., sc. 2), and also in "Romeo and Juliet" ("This afternoon; and there she," &c., Act ii. sc. 4), we leave the text as originally given in the present passage.

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47. Living. Here used for wealth, possessions; what Shylock (Act iv, sc. 1.) calls "the means whereby I live." The word is still used in this sense, in the phrase, 'earn my living;' that is, 'earn the means whereby I may live.'

48. Road. Port, harbour, roadstead.

49. It is almost morning To the last, Shakespeare maintains the carefully systematised marking of Dramatic Time throughout this enchanting play: where the difficulties of the simultaneous Short Time and Long Time, needful for the due development of the double plot, are met with a skill equalling

After his death, of all he dies possessed of.
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
Of starved people.
It is almost morning,"

And yet I am sure you are not satisfied
Of these events at full. Let us go in ;
And charge us there upon inter'gatories,50
And we will answer all things faithfully.

Gra. Let it be so: the first inter'gatory
That my Nerissa shall be sworn on is,
Whether till the next night she had rather stay,
Or go to bed now, being two hours to day:
But were the day come, I should wish it dark,
That I were couching with the doctor's clerk.
Well, while I live I'll fear no other thing
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.


the mastery with which the whole of its composition is conducted.

50. Intergatories. An elision formerly in use for 'interrogatories.' Lord Campbell (page 52 of "Shakespeare's Legal Acquirements") has shown that "charge us there upon inter'gatories," and "answer all things faithfully," are technicalities of English legal procedure; and it is another instance of the poet's ceaseless touches of characteristic individuality, his having made Portia thus sportively keep up her lawyerly tone in this final banter with her husband.

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Orl. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion-bequeathed me by will but poor a thousand crowns, and, as thou sayest, 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,

1. The first known printed copy of "As You LIKE IT" is that in the Folio, 1623. But as there exists an entry in the Stationers' Register, " 4 Auguste, As you like yt, a book," believed to be for the year 1600, we may entertain some hope that a quarto copy of this play may hereafter be discovered. Traces of evidence point to the fact that this exquisite sylvan drama was probably written in the year 1599: and, from internal evidence, we have an impression that it may well have issued from his pen about that period. There is the same enchanting air of elastic spirits in the composition which marks another of his productions probably written about this time-"Much Ado;" and it is pleasant to believe that both these plays emanated from the cheerful mood that seems to have possessed him when he was about thirty-five years of age. The source of the plot of "As You Like It" is to be found in a novel by Thomas Lodge, called "Rosalynde, Euphues' Golden Legacye," 1590; the story of which novel bears resemblance to some points in the "Cook's Tale of Gamelyn," attributed to Chaucer. But whereas in the Euphuistic romance there is that stiffness and overstrained hyperbole which mars even a graceful story-and in the old ballad tale a hardness, roughness, and dryness which destroy our belief in its being really Chaucer's, though it possesses certain Chaucerian touches-there are, on the contrary, in Shakespeare's charming play, an ease, a freshness, a vivacity, yet withal a tenderness and truth intensely home-telling, that make the production essentially his own. While in the ballad-tale and the novel Orlando is merely brave and Herculeanly strong, in the play he is a type of manly spirit and modesty combined; while in Lodge Rosalynde is a heroine such as Euphuists loved to depict, in Shakespeare Rosalind is a piece of breathing perfection-playful, graceful, witty, wise, loving, pure-as genuine as she is vivacious. The old originals may have furnished our poet with the first sketch; but he filled his canvas with the created and consummate portraitures of Touchstone, Jaques, and Audrey; while he re-touched those figures already indicated with a skill that make them virtually his own. Compare the Adam Spencer of "The Cook's Tale of

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: 5 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. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the something that

Gamelyn" with the old Adam of Shakespeare, the Coridon of Lodge with the Corin of Shakespeare, and the poet's power of vitalising outlined characters will be strikingly apparent. It is delightful to know that we possess traditional proof that Shakespeare himself played the part of the faithful old servitor; a strong indication that it was a favourite one with him. To have heard the author utter that speech of simple, trustful devotion he had written! (Act ii., sc. 3.) Well might Coleridge exclaim-"It is worth having died two hundred years ago, to have heard Shakespeare deliver a single line."

2. Bequeathed me by will. Here we must understand 'he' before "bequeathed," as it is also understood before "charged," immediately after. Orlando is speaking of his father; and the effect of this understood nominative in the speech is excellent, as conveying the impression of a conversation already begun and now proceeding. The sentence, "As thou sayest," carries on this impression. The omission of the word 'he' here has another advantage; it allows its introduction immediately after, in the sentence, "My brother Jaques he keeps at school," as an allusion to Oliver; which else would have made a confusion of antecedents.

3. But poor a thousand crowns. This form of expressionputting the adjective before the article-is found in old writers before Shakespeare's time; and he himself has a somewhat similar one in "Ant. and Cleo.," v. 2, "What poor an instrument may do a noble deed!"

4. Stays. Some editors change this to 'stys' or 'sties;' but "stays" is only another form of "keeps," the word previously used; and Orlando uses it to express simply retaining at home, without entertaining at home, as "keeping" includes both

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