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AS YOU LIKE IT Shakespeare, William CONTENTS: INTRODUCTION PAGE 0 THE READER AS YOU IT COPY FOR THE TEXT OF 1623 MOTES THE STAGE HISTORY GLOSSARY INTRODUCTION "I herde a carpyng of a clerk, Al at yone wodes ende, Of gpde Robyn and Gandeleynj Was ther non other thynge Robynn lyth in grene wode bowndyru Upon this artless balladry Lodge stitched and em broidered, in his own manner and Lylys, a story of court love. We are not concerned to seek whether he derived this from another story or simply invented itand it is a pretty story anyhow. We concern ourselves only with the fact that Shakespeare took it to convert it to his own use, and note with an antiquarian interest certain names that persistRosalind, who becomes Ganymede as in the story, Aliena Celia who in the novel changes her name from Alinda, and the faithful old retainer Adam, whose name persists down from The Tale ofGamelyn where he is Adam the Spencerand is the name of the character which tradition says Shakespeare as an actor performed in his own play. The name of the young champion and Rosalinds lover in the novel is Rosader. Shakespeare perhaps invented Orlando as opponent to his bad brother Olivera Roland for his Oliver We observe that he wears the Christian name of his father Sir Rowland de Boys with a difference, as becomes a younger son Let us here remark that all the fugitives reach this Forest of Arden legweary and almost deadbeat. Sighs Rosalind, O Jupiter how weary are my spirits invoking Jupiter as a Ganymede should. Touchstone retorts, 4I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary and Celia entreats, I pray you, bear with me, I cannot go no further: as, later on, old Adam echoes, Dear master, I can go no further and again, we remember, Oliver arrives footsore, in rags, and stretches himself to sleep, so dogtired that even a snake, coiling about his throat, fails to awaken him. It is only the young athlete Orlando who bears the journey well. x AS YOU LIKE IT III But a word or two must be said on the change which overtakes all the travellers as soon as they cross the frontier of this forest into Arden, so entirely different from Lodges forest of Ardennes. To begin with, we can never understand the happiest in Shakespeare, without a sense of his native wood magic. It may be too fanciful to say that he had some thing of the Faun in him: but certain it is that in play after play he gets his people into a woodland, or a wooded isle, where all are ringed around with enchant ment, and escape the better for it. It is so in A Mid summerNights Dream, in A Winters Tale, in The Tempest. Men and women are lost to the world for a time, to indulge their own happy proclivities and go back somehow regenerated. We are not surprised by anything that happens within this magic fence. Within Arden we have snakes and lionesses, as within the im possible seacoast of Bohemia, we find the stage direction, Exit pursued by a bear. Titania fondles a clown and kisses the asss head with which Puck has decorated him. Strange hounds pursue Stephano and Trinculo. Caliban is as credible as Audrey. Above all presides the tolerant magician who, in this play, assem bles Dukes and courtierscalling fools into a circle providing them with healthy criticism of their folly. But this is not all, or by any means all. This Arden, on the south bank of Avon, endeared to him by its very name name of his mother, had been the haunt where he caught his first native woodnotes wild, as the path by the stream had been his, known to this day as the Lovers Walk. Time has softened down StoneleighinArden to a stately park, with Avon streaming through but the deer are there yet, and the ford that Makes sweet music with the enamelled stones over which the deer.........