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AU richU }eserved



Set up, electrotyped, and published September, 1902. Reprinted
February, 1904; September, 1905; July, 1906; August, 1907 ; May,
1908; January, September, 1909 ; August, 1910 ; January, October,
1911 ; February, 1913.



It is liard to reconcile the editorial and educational
attitude which aims to stimulate a high school pupil
to enter into the soul of a great drama, grasj) its in-
forming spirit, and "inhale its choral atmosphere,"
with the attitude which would urge the student to
grub into details and learn the exact meaning, etjmo-
logically, of every word. An attempt is made in the
present edition to avoid the two extremes. It would
be deplorable for the pupil to miss the charm of As
You Like It ; and it would be unpardonable for him
to miss the significance of many Shakespearian words
found in the play. In the attempt to encourage both
sides of the study, reference has been freely made to
the elements of dramatic charm, and suggestions have
been offered for the detailed study of meanings. The
editor agrees with Dr. Furnival that "while every
boy can look out hard words in a lexicon for himself,
not one in a score can, unhelped, catch points of and
realize character." In the notes to each scene, there-
fore, will be found grouped together words which
should be studied from the dictionaries. The habit


thus inculcated will, it is thought, prove invaluable.
On the other hand, notes and suggestions regarding
points of character and plot and comments concerning
the play as a drama now enjoyed on the stage have
been made with somewhat lavish hand. In the Intro-
duction the section on the stage in Shakespeare's time
has also been inserted for the purpose of emphasizing
this side of the study — of the play as a play. With
the putting of due emphasis by the teacher on both
the form and the spirit of As You Like It, the class-
room work on this play will doubtless be of unusual
benefit to the pupil.

In the Bibliography will be found mention of the
books that have been of especial use in the prepara-
tion of this edition. The text has been studied with
care and will be found to agree in the main with that
of the Temple Shakespeare. For convenience in
using this edition with others, the line numbering of
the best editions has been adopted.

The mark ° after a word in the text of the play in-
dicates that an explanation will be found under the
proper line, scene, and act in the Notes. The title,
As You Like It, is in the notes abbreviated, A. Y. L.
The references to Furness are to his monumentaj
Variorum edition of the play.



Prefatory Note V

Introduction :

William Shakespeare ..••••• be

Shakespeare's Writings xxi

The Stage in Shakespeare's Time .... xxix

Lodge's Bosalynde xxxvii

Verse Structure in As You Like It , • . . xlvi

Subjects for Composition liii

Questions on the Play Iviii

Bibliography . • . . » • • . . Ixiv


Notes 123




The life of William Shakespeare began in the beau-
tiful country town of Stratford-on-Avon and ended
fifty-two years later on the same day at the same
place. During the interval, however, it must not be
supposed that the dramatist had a tranquil pastoral
existence all these years at his birthplace. He struck
out for himself in the largest city of the country, Lon-
don, and spent there twenty -five years as an actor and
writer of plays, gathering fame and accumulating suf-
ficient property to enable him to pass the last years of
his life in uninterrupted calm at his beloved Stratford.

Shakespeare was born in 1564, on the twenty-third
of April. The town of Stratford was then a place of
about fifteen hundred inhabitants. Since then it has
grown but little ; it now boasts a population of not
more than ten thousand. The change in shaping of
streets, in sanitary arrangements, and in appearance
of buildings has, however, been great since the poet's


time. The house in Henley Street where Shakespeare
was born has now been joined with another which
originally stood somewhat to the west of it, and the
two thus made one have been preserved as The Birth-
place. The visitor to Stratford finds here a most in-
teresting collection of Shakespeare mementoes. Our
own Washington Irving in one of his Sketchbook
papers gives a delightful picture of the house as it
was in his time. Though there has been considerable
change since Irving's day, his account is still to be
recommended as a bit of pleasant reading. Nowadays
the impression brought away from a visit to The Birth-
place is likely to be particularly vivid because of the
shilling for this and shilling for that and shilling
for all attitude of the caretakers. The first home of
Shakespeare will, nevertheless, always be a favorite
resort for travellers.

Shakespeare's father was a dealer in wool, malt,
skins, meat, leather, corn, and all kinds of farm prod-
uce. Thus in some biographies he is called a butcher,
in others a glover, in others a drover. By his wide
field of trading activity he might be called one or all
of these. He became, before the birth of his son, a
man of prominence in the village. He had no educa-
tion, but in this respect did not differ from the other
villagers. He was elected by his townsmen to various
positions, such as alderman, July 4, 1565, and three


years later bailiff, the highest position to which he
could be chosen. His wife was Mary Arden, the
daughter of a prosperous farmer who lived not far
from Stratford. Two daughters preceded the boy
\Villiam, both of whom died in infancy. William
was christened on the twenty-sixth of April, 1564.
From this, it is conjectured that according to the bap-
tismal custom of the time he must have been born on
the twenty-third or possibly the twenty-second of the
same month and year. By way of poking fun at the
Shakespearian scholars who assert positively that
Shakespeare was born on the twenty-third, Mr. Sid-
ney Lee remarks slyly that such scholars make their
dogmatic statements apparently on the sole basis that
William Shakespeare undoubtedly died on the twenty-
third and hence was probably born on the same day.

Little is definitely known about the life of young
Shakespeare from his birth to his twenty-second year.
By most authorities it is inferred that, because there
was a grammar school in Stratford and because Shake-
speare's father was in fair circumstances, the boy Will-
iam probably attended the school. It is thought that
he was a pupil till 1577 or 1578, when he was obliged
to leave school on account of his father's financial diffi-
culties. His father continued for eight or nine years
after the birth of William to be successful in business,
but then was forced to mortgage his property piece by


piece till at last, because of the danger of arrest for
debt, he feared even to attend the G-uildhall as bailiff.
While at school, William Shakespeare learned some-
thing of Latin, and perhaps a little French and Greek.
That he learned at school any language besides Eng-
lish is assumed solely from the fact that in his plays
he shows familiarity with Latin and French, and from
the additional fact that schoolboys of his time usually
studied Latin. Aubrey, quoted by Mr. Lee in his
recent paper, " Shakespeare in Oral Tradition,'' says
that the boy very early betrayed signs of poetic

Greater probably than the educative influence of the
Grammar School on the boy Shakespeare was the
influence upon him of the plays presented in
Stratford during these years. In the course of ten
years or so at this period, more than two dozen theat-
ric companies were hospitably entertained at Stratford.
Shakespeare's father, the bailiff, officially welcomed
to the town of Stratford the Queen's company and the
Earl of Worcester's company of actors. The talk of
the villagers regarding these companies and perhaps
the conversation of the actors themselves gave Shake-
speare his first conception of a play. The influence
upon William Shakespeare of these early years of ac-
quaintance with the drama can hardly be over-esti*


Another educative influence of this period before he
went to London was the surpassingly beautiful coun-
try round about Stratford, which he came to love with
all his soul. Appreciating the influence of nature
upon the great dramatist, Milton wrote in L^ Allegro : —

" Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child.
Warble his native wood -notes wild."

Through all his works there runs a tone of intimate
acquaintance with the things of nature, as for instance
in the soothingly descriptive phrase of As You Like
It, III, 2, 42, "The beetle with his drowsy hums."
It is known that he was fond of outdoor life, and it
may be surmised that in these impressionable years
he laid the foundations for the true and accurate
knowledge of nature which he later showed in his

Five years after the time when he was forced to
discontinue his schooling, Shakespeare was married,
though then only a youth of eighteen, to Anne Hath-
away. A daughter, Susanna, was born in May, 1583,
and twins, Hamnet and Judith, were born in Febru-
ary, 1585. Anne Hathaway was the daughter of a
farmer who lived about a mile from Stratford. No
record of the marriage appears in the parish register
at Stratford, but an interesting marriage bond has
been discovered, dated 1583, so that there is no doubt


that this was the year in which Shakespeare was mar-
ried. AVhat the young man did for a living during
these years is not positively known. There is a tra-
dition that he worked with his father. On the strength
of this supposition, he has been dubbed " butcher boy '^
by some of his biographers, for his father appears by
this time to have limited his unsuccessful activities to
dealing in meats. What Shakespeare really did, mat-
ters little; the important thing is that he was wide
awake to the life going on about him and was becom-
ing insensibly steeped in the natural scenery of the
place. His powers of observation were becoming keen
and accurate. His knowledge of human nature and
the physical world of beauty was becoming thorough,
extensive, and vital. He appears to have had great
fondness for outdoor sport, so that the tradition that
he was forced to leave the country because of his
share in a poaching exploit on the property of Sir
Thomas Lucy seems not preposterous. At any rate,
he did leave Stratford, in 1586, on foot, to take up a
new phase of his life, in London.

During his London life, which may be said to ex-
tend from 1586 (1587 according to Dowden) to 1611,
Shakespeare was busy at various occupations, all,
however, intimately connected with the stage. It is
said, and some of the latest and most authoritative
critics are inclined to accept the tradition, that Shake-


speare first gained his living in London by holding
horses for men of fashion, who always rode out in the
country to the theatre on afternoons when plays were
presented. One of the most scholarly writers of recent
3^ears, Mr. Lee, cautiously ventures the remark that
there is no " inherent improbability in the tale." Mr.
Dowden, on the other hand, is the most emphatic
among the critics who scout this tradition. If Shake-
speare did commence in this humble way, he did not
long remain at so menial an occupation. He soon
began to take minor parts in the theatre, and before
long was writing plays himself. Eegarding the parts
which he played, little has corpe down to us. There
is some reason for believing, on the authority of the
poet's brother, that Shakespeare played the part of
Adam in As You Like It. He certainly played many
other parts, with fair success. He became associated
with a company of actors who enjoyed the patronage
of Lord Leicester and of Queen Elizabeth. With this
company he acted for some time at The Theatre, then
he went with them to the Rose Theatre. He is said
to have appeared twice- with E-ichard Burbage, the
greatest tragic actor of the period, before Queen Eliza-
beth — one of these occasions being at Christmas time
in 1593.

As an actor Shakespeare will always be best known
by reason of his connection with the famous Globe


Theatre, a short description of which appears in another
section of this Introduction. At the Globe Theatre,
which was built on the site of The Theatre, demolished
to make way for it, Shakespeare acted for many years.
He became one of the managers of the theatre, and
made considerable profit out of his managerial connec-
tion with the stage. During the most productive pe-
riod of his life, too, he appears to have written two
plays a year, so that by means of acting and managing
and writing he earned a good income. That the peo-
ple of his native town well understood his growing
prosperity is plain from the fact that in 1598 Abra-
ham Sturley wrote to Eichard Quiney saying that by
aid of Shakespeare certain favors, greatly desired,
might probably be gained from Lord Burleigh, and
from the further fact that in this same year Richard
Quiney wrote to Shakespeare asking for a loan of £30.
When the greater purchasing power of money in the
dramatist's time is considered, it will be seen that Quiney
asked for no insignificant loan. To get an adequate
idea of sums of money mentioned regarding the end
of the sixteenth century, the reader must remember
that the ratio is about one to eight. One pound in
Shakespeare's day would buy nearly as much as eight
pounds now. Obviously, therefore, the prosperity of
the Globe playwright was becoming well known in
little Stratford.


A brief summary, such as this, of Shakespeare's life
ill London, must not lead the student to suppose that
the poet and dramatist lived continuously and unin-
terruptedly in London all these twenty-five years. He
went back and forth often between Stratford and London.
It is thought that during part of the time he had his
family with him in the city. Yet during most of the
years Shakespeare probably left his family at Stratford,
while he was earning a comfortable fortune. He lived
for some time at South wark, which was near the
theatres. Some authorities believe that in 1592 or
1593 he made a visit to Italy. This, however, is not
probable. The company of actors with which he was
connected made many trips to smaller towns through
England. In this way Shakespeare was more than
once at Oxford, Faversham, Shrewsbury, Folkestone,
Coventry, Dover, Bristol, Bath, and Rye.

In 1611 Shakespeare moved to Stratford to live with
all of his remaining family, i.e. his wife and his two
daughters, Susanna and Judith. His son Hamnet had
died in 1596, his father in 1601, and his mother in
1608. At Stratford Shakespeare lived in the house on
his estate, New Place, which he had bought in 1597
for £60, and which is one of the most interesting build-
ings that have come drnvn to us from the poet's time.
It was a substantial timber and brick house of consid-
erable size, built in the preceding century. It stood


at the corner of Chapel Street and Chapel Lane, oppo-
site the Guild chapel. Shakespeare lived here com-
fortably, even luxuriously, from the profits of his
plays. His later years appear to have been altogether
pleasant, offering a remarkable contrast to the last
days of one of his dramatic rivals, Christopher Mar-
lowe, who was stabbed in a tavern brawl, June 1,
1593. Yet even before Shakespeare's death, the Puri-
tan reaction against the stage had begun. In 1612
the town council of Stratford passed a resolution in
which the countenancing of plays was declared to be
" against the example of other well-governed cities
and boroughs," and in which a penalty was laid on

Shakespeare signed his will in March, 1616, and
died April 23, of the same year. He was buried
April 25, inside the chancel of Holy Trinity church,
near the northern wall. By the terms of his will
his wife received his second-best bed with the fur-
nishings, while his daughter Susanna received the
greater part of the estate, including ISTew Place, the
properties in the neighborhood of Stratford, and
the house in Blackfriars, London; and his daughter
Judith received a small property in Chapel Lane, a
sum of money, and certain pieces of plate. Besides,
various smaller bequests were made to his sister, his
nephews, his old London friends John Heminge, Eich-


ard Burbage, and Henry Condell, and his godson
William Walker. Money, too, was left to the poor of

The actors Heminge and Condell deserve the grati-
tude of lovers of Shakespeare, because they collected
the plays in 1623 and printed them in what is known
as the First Folio edition of the dramatist's works.
In Dr. Furness's Variorum Shakespeare will be found
exact reproductions of the First Folio texts of the dif-
ferent plays. Considering the inaccurate modes of
typesetting of the time, the text of the plays in this
edition is fairly good.

These two fellow actors of Shakespeare make in this
First Folio edition three important statements about
their friend : —

1. That to Shakespeare and his plays in his life-
time was invariably extended the fullest favor of the
court and its leading officers.

2. That death deprived him of the opportunity he
had long contemplated of preparing his literary work
for the press.

3. That he wrote with so rapidly flowing a pen
that his manuscript was never defaced by alteration
or erasure.

To this last observation, Ben Jonson, another con-
temporary player, adds that Heminge and Condell
would often mention to him Shakespeare's rapidity of


composition. Jonson was in the habit of arguing that
Shakesj^eare's work would have been better had he
devoted more time to its correction. He says that
Shakespeare "was indeed honest and of an open and
free nature, had an excellent phantasy, brave notions
and gentle expressions, wherein he flowed ivith that
facility that sometimes it ivas necessary he should he
stopped. ^^

Regarding Shakespeare's estate, the remark is made
by one of the recent investigators that the dramatist
harvested his resources with a steady hand. The
money that he earned in London he invested for the
building up of the fortunes of his family in Stratford.
He was generous always, yet never prodigal. While
other men of his profession were wasting their re-

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