图书图片
PDF
ePub
[graphic][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The plot of this admirable comedy appears to have been taken from the second tale in a collection by Barnabe Riche, entitled, “Rich his Farewell to the Militarie Profession,” which was first printed in 1583. It is probably borrowed from Les Histoires Tragiques de Belleforest, vol. iv. Hist. viime. Belleforest, as usual, copied Bandello. In the fifth eglog of Barnaby Googe, published with his poems in 1563, an incident somewhat similar to that of the duke sending his page to plead his cause with the lady, and the lady falling in love with the page, may be found. But Rich's narration is the more probable source, and resembles the plot more completely. It is too long for insertion here, but may be found in the late edition of Malone's Shakspeare, by Mr. Boswell.

The comic scenes appear to have been entirely the creation of the poet, and they are worthy of his transcendent genius. It is indeed one of the most delightful of Shakspeare's comedies. Dr. Johnson thought the natural fatuity of Ague-cheek hardly fair game; but the good-nature with which his folly and his pretensions are brought forward for our amusement, by humoring his whims, are almost without a spice of satire. It is rather an attempt to give pleasure by exhibiting an exaggerated picture of his foibles, than a wish to give pain by exposing their absurdity.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

ORSINO, Duke of Illyria.
SEBASTIAN, a young Gentleman, Brother to Viola.
ANTONIO, a Sea Captain, Friend to Sebastian.
A Sea Captain, Friend to Viola.
VALENTINE, Gentlemen attending on the Duke.

}
Sir Toby Belch, Uncle of Olivia.
SIR ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK.
Malvolio, Steward to Olivia.

ENDWAN, } Servants to Olivia.

Clown,

OLIVIA, a rich Countess.
Viola, in love with the Duke.
MARIA, Olivia's Woman.

Lords, Priests, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, and other Attendants.

SCENE. A City in Illyria, and the Sea-coast near it.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Enter Duke, Curio, Lords; Musicians attending.

Duke. If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again ;—it had a dying fall :
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing, and giving odor.—Enough; no more;
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou !
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soever,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute! so full of shapes is fancy,
That it alone is high-fantastical.3
Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord ?

.
Duke.

What, Curio?

1 The old copies read sound: the emendation is Pope's. Rowe had changed it to wind. In Sidney's Arcadia, 1590, we have—“ more sweet than a gentle south-west wind, which comes creeping over flowery fields.”

2 Value.

3 Fantastical to the height. This is the usual reading; but may it not have been originally written, “ hight (i. e. called) fantastical”? VOL. I.

32

« 上一页继续 »