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It is almost morning,
Of the Merchant of Venice the style is even and easy, with few peculiarities of diction, or anomalies of construction. The comic part raises laughter, and the serious fixes expectation. The probability of either one or the other story cannot be maintained. The union of two actions in one event is in this drama eminently happy. Dryden was much pleased with his own address in connecting the two plots of his Spanish Friar, which yet, I believe, the critic will find excelled by this play.
Duke, living in exile.
Frederick, brother to the Duke, and usurper of his dominions.
William, a country fellow, in love with Audrey.
A person representing Hymen.
Rosalind, daughter to the banished Duke.
Celia, daughter to Frederick.
Phebe, a shepherdess.
Audrey, a country wench.
Lords belonging to the two Dukes; pages, foresters, and other attendants.
The Scene lies, first, near Oliver's house; after. wards, partly in the usurper's court, and partly in the forest of Arden.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
SCENE I. An orchard, near Oliver's house.
Enter Orlando and Adam.
S I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me: By will, but a poor thousand crowns; and, as thou say'st, 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, 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 ma nage, and to that end riders dearly hired: but I, his brother, gain nothing under him but growth; for the which his animals on his dung-hills are as much bound to him as I. Besides this nothing that he so plentifully gives me, the something that na