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Excerpt from As You Like It
AS you like IT was first printed in the collected edition of Shakespeare's plays known as the First Folio, 1623. NO Quarto exists, or in all likelihood ever existed, for the play is mentioned by the printers of the First Folio among those that are not for merly entred to other men. Various points in the text, especially the form Of the stage directions, make it probable that the play was originally printed from an acting copy.
Though it was probably put on the boards as early as 1600, no actual performance is recorded during Shakespeare's lifetime, or until long after his death. But Oldys has preserved a tradition that Shakespeare himself acted in the play, in the part of Adam. A younger brother of Shakespeare's, according to Oldys, was alive after the Restoration. In his youth he had Often gone up to Lon don to see Shakespeare act, and in his Old age was naturally much questioned for reminiscences of his brother, especially in his dramatic character. Lbut allthat could be recollected from him of his brother Will in that station as an actor] was the faint, general, and almost lost ideas he had of having once seen him act a part in one Of his own comedies, wherein, being to personate a decrepit Old man, he wore a long beard, and appeared so weak and drooping and unable to walk, that he was forced to be supported and carried by another person to a table, at which he was seated among some company, who were eating, and one of them sung a song. This description applies accurately to the entrance of Orlando with Adam at the end Of the second act.
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