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Adam. Yonder comes my mafter, your brother. Orla. Go apart, Adam, and thou fhalt hear how he will shake me up.
Oli. Now, Sir, what make ye here?
Orla. Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.
Oli. What mar ye then, Sir?
Orla. 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 nought awhile.
er know what all this means? Bat 'tis no matter. I will affure him--be nought a while is "only a north-country proverbial curfe equivalent too, a mischief So the old Poet Skelton. Correct first thy felfe, walke and
Deeme what thou lift, thou knoweft not my thought..
4 Be better employ'd and be nought a while.] Mr. Theobald has here a very critical note; which, though his modefty fuffered him to withdraw it from his fecond edition, deferves to be perpetuated, i. e. (fays he) be better employed, in my opinion, in being and doing nothing. Your idlenefs as you call it may be an exercife, by which you may make a figure, and endear yourself to the world: and I had rather you were a contemptible Cypher. The poet Jeems to me to have that trite proverbial fentiment in his eye quoted, from Attilius, by the younger Pliny and others; fatius eft otiofum effe quam nihil agere. But Oliver in the perverjeness of his difpofition would reverfe the doctrine of the proverb. Does the Read
But what the Oxford Editor could not explain, he would amend, and reads,
and do aught a while. WARBURTON.
If be nought a while has the fignification here given it, the reading may certainly stand; but till I learned its meaning from this note, I read, be
Orla. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat huks with them? what Prodigal's portion have I spent, that I fhould come to fuch penury?
Oli. Know you where you are, Sir?
Orla. O, Sir, very well; here in your Orchard.
Orla, Ay, better than he, I am before, knows me. I know, you are my eldeft brother; and in the gentle condition of blood, you should fo know me. courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that y 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 5.
Oli. What, boy!
[menacing with his hand. Orla. Come, come, elder brother, you are too young in this. [collaring him.
Oli. Wilt thou lay hands on me, villain?
be better employed, and be naught intended a satirical reflection on
In the fame fenfe as we fay it is better to do mifchief, than to do nothing.
• Albeit, I confefs your coming before me is nearer to his REVE RENCE.] 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
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 rail'd on thyself.
Adam. Sweet mafters, be patient; for your father's remembrance, be at accord. Oli. Let me go, I fay.
Orla. I will not 'till I pleafe. You fhall hear me. My father charged you in his Will to give me good education; you have train'd me up like a peafant, obfcuring and hiding from me all gentleman-like qualities. The Spirit 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, Sir, get you in.--I will not long. be troubled with you: you fhall have fome part of your will. I pray you, leave me,
21 Orla. 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 mafter, he would not have spoke such a word. [Exe. Orlando and Adam.
St & pn y án q
Oli. Is it even fo?-Begin you to grow upon me? →I will phyfick your ranknefs, and yet give no thoufand crowns neither. Holla, Dennis!
Qui. Was not Charles, the Duke's Wreftler, here to Ipeak with me?
Den. So please you, he is here at the door, and importunes accefs 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, Sir, but the old news; that is, the old Duke is banifh'd by his younger brother the new Duke, and three or four lov ing 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 old Duke's daughter, be banish'd with her father?
Cha. O, no; for the new 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 ftay 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 foreft 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 carelefly, as they did in the golden world.
Oli. What, you wrestle to-morrow before the new Duke?
The old Duke's daughter,] The words old and new, which feem neceflary to the perfpicuity
of the dialogue, are inferted from
Cha. Marry, do I, Sir; and I came to acquaint you with a matter. I am given, Sir, fecretly to underftand, that your younger brother Orlando hath a dif pofition to come in difguis'd against me to try a Fall To-morrow, Sir, I wrestle for my credit; and he, that escapes me without fomé broken limb, fhall acquit him well. Your brother is but young and tender, and for your love I would be loth to foil him; as I must for mine 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 fhall run into; in that it is a thing of his own fearch, and altogether against my will.
Oli. Charles, I thank thee for thy love to me, which thou fhalt find, I will most kindly requite. I had myfelf notice of my brother's purpose herein, and have by under-hand means laboured to diffuade him from ir; but he is refolute. I tell thee, Charles, he is the ftubbornest young fellow of France, full of ambition, an envious emulator of every man's good parts, a fecret and villanous contriver againft me his natural brother. Therefore ufe thy discretion; I had as lief thou didft 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 himfelf on thee, he will practise against thee by poifon; 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 for young and fo villanous 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 palé and wonder.
Cha. I am heartily glad, I came hither to you. If he come to-morrow, I'll give him his payment; if ever he go alone again, I'll never wrestle for prize And fo, God keep your Worship. [Exit. Oli. Fare