« AnteriorContinuar »
Por. Then, you shall be his surety. Give him this,
Ant. Here, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this ring.
Por. I had it of him : pardon me, Bassanio,
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano,
Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways
Por. Speak not so grossly.—You are all amazed :
I am dumb.
Ner. Ay; but the clerk that never means to do it,
Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow :
Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and living,
How now, Lorenzo ?
Ner. Ay, and I'll give them him without a fee. — There do I give to you and Jessica,
• In summer, when the ways are fair enough.] So the corr. fo. 1632: the old copies and all modern editions (excepting that of Mr. Singer, who adopts the emen. dation without acknowledgment) misprint " when ” where.
From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift,
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
It is almost morning,
Gra. Let it be so: the first inter’gatory,
1 Till I were couching with the doctor's clerk.) So the 4to. by Heyes, and the folio. Roberts's 4to. has, “ That I were couching with the clerk.” Some modern editors, who, perhaps, have not themselves examined the old copies, but have taken, and mistaken, the statements of others as to their contents, assert that Roberts's 4to. has Till and Heyes's 4to. That. This is the reverse of the fact.
“ As You Like It ” was first printed in the folio of 1623, where it occupies twenty-three pages, viz. from p. 185 to p. 207 in. clusive, in the division of “ Comedies.” It preserved its place in the three subsequent impressions of that volume in 1632, 1661, and 1685.
“ As You LIKE IT" is not only founded upon, but in some points very closely copied from, a novel by Thomas Lodge, under the title of“ Rosalynde : Euphues Golden Legacie,” which was originally printed in 4to, 1590, a second time in 1592, and a third time in 1598. We have no intelligence of any re-impression of it between 1592 and 1598. This third edition perhaps appeared early in 1598; and we are disposed to think, that the re-publication of so popular a work directed Shakespeare's attention to it. If so, “ As You Like It" may have been written in the summer of 1598, and first acted in the winter of the same, or in the spring of the following year'.
The only entry in the registers of the Stationers' Company relating to “As You Like It," is confirmatory of this supposition. It has been already referred to in the “ Introduction ” to “ Much Ado about Nothing” (p. 3); and it will be well to insert it here, precisely in the same nianner in which it stands in the original record :
“4 August. “As you like yt, a book. Henry the ffift, a book. Every man
in his humor, a book. The Commedie of Much adoo about
nothinge, a book.” Opposite this memorandum are added the words “To be staied.” It will be remarked, that there is an important deficiency in the entry, as regards the purpose to which we wish to apply it:—the date of the year is not given; but Malone conjectured, and in that conjecture we have expressed concurrence, that the clerk who wrote the titles of the four plays, with the date of “4 August," did not think it necessary there to repeat the year 1600, as it was found in the memorandum immediately preceding that we have above quoted. Shakespeare's “ Henry the Fifth,” and “Much Ado about Nothing,” were both printed in 1600, and Ben Jonson's “ Every Man in his Humour” in the year following; though Gifford, in his edition of that poet's works (vol. i. p. 2), by a strange error, states, that the first impression was in 1603. The “stay,” as regards “ Henry the Fifth,” “Every Man in his Humour," and
1 If we suppose that the third edition of Lodge's “Rosalynde" was occasioned by the popularity of Shakespeare's comedy, founded upon one of the earlier impressions in 1590 or 1592, it would show that if “ As You Like It” were acted in 1598, it might have been written in 1597, or earlier.