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bars me the place of a brother, and, as much as in him lies, mines my gentility with my education. This is it, Adam, that grieves me; and the fpirit of my father, which I think is within me, begins to mutiny against this fervitude: I will no longer endure it, though yet I know no wife remedy how to avoid it.


ADAM. Yonder comes my mafter, your brother. ORL. Go apart, Adam, and thou fhalt hear how he will shake me up.

OLI. Now, fir! what make you here?"

ORL. Nothing: I am not taught to make any thing.

OLI. What mar you then, fir?

ORL. Marry, fir, I am helping you to mar that which God made, a poor unworthy brother of yours, with idleness.

OLI. Marry, fir, be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.

S what make you here?] i. e. what do you here? So, in Hamlet:

"What make you at Elfinour?" STEEVENS.


be better employ'd, and be naught a while.] Mr. Theobald has here a very critical note; which, though his modesty suffered 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 idleness, as you call it, may be an exercife by which you make a figure, and endear yourself to the world: and I had rather you were a contemptible cypher. The poet feems to me to have that trite proverbial fentiment in his eye, quoted from Attilius, by the younger Pliny and others; fatius eft otiofum effe quàm nihil agere. But Oliver, in the perverfeness of his difpofition, would reverfe the doctrine of the proverb. Does the reader know what all this means? But 'tis no matter. I will affure him-be nought a

ORL. Shall I keep your hogs, and eat husks with them? What prodigal portion have I spent, that I fhould come to fuch penury?

while is only a north-country proverbial curfe equivalent to, a mifchief on you. So, the old poet Skelton:

"Correct first thy felfe, walk and be nought,

"Deeme what thou lift, thou knoweft not my thought." But what the Oxford editor could not explain, he would amend, and reads:

and do aught a while. WARBURTON.

If be nought awhile has the fignification here given it, the reading may certainly ftand; but till I learned its meaning from this note, I read:

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Be better employed, and be naught a while,

In the fame sense as we say,—It is better to do mischief, than to do nothing. JOHNSON.

Notwithstanding Dr. Warburton's far-fetched explanation, I believe that the words be naught awhile, mean no more than this: "Be content to be a cypher, till I shall think fit to elevate you into confequence."

This was certainly a proverbial faying, I find it in The Storie of King Darius, an interlude, 1565:

"Come away, and be nought a whyle,
"Or furely I will you both defyle."


Again, in King Henry IV. P. II. Falstaff says to Piftol: " if he do nothing but speak nothing, he shall be nothing here."


Naught and nought are frequently confounded in old English books. I once thought that the latter was here intended, in the fenfe affixed to it by Mr. Steevens: "Be content to be a cypher, till I fhall elevate you into confequence." But the following paffage in Swetnam, a comedy, 1620, induces me to think that the reading of the old copy (naught) and Dr. Johnson's explanation are right:

get you both in, and be naught a while.” The fpeaker is a chamber-maid, and the addreffes herself to her miftrefs and her lover. MALONE.


Malone fays that nought (meaning nothing) was formerly spelled with an a, naught; which is clearly the manner in which it ought ftill to be fpelled, as the word aught (any thing) from whence it is derived, is fpelled fo.


A fimilar expreffion occurs in Bartholomew Fair, where Urfula fays to Mooncalf: Leave the bottle behind you, and be curs'd awhile;" which feems to confirm Warburton's explanation. M. MASON.

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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.* 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 firft folio reads better than him. But, little refpect is due to the anomalies of the play-house editors; and of this comedy there is no quarto edition. STEEVENS.

Mr. Pope and the fubfequent editors more correctly, but without authority. 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.

8-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; something of both which there is in that sense. I rather think he intended a satirical 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.

read-be I am before; Our author is equally

This, I apprehend, refers to the courtesy of diftinguishing 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 please: you shall 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 strong in me, and I will no longer endure it: therefore allow me fuch exercifes 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 mafter! he would not have spoke fuch a word. [Exeunt ORLANDO and ADAM.

9 I am no villain:] The word villain is used 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.


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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 speak 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 phrase 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.

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