Imatges de pÓgina

claimed a power over winds and tempests. “I know a song of such virtue,” says Odin, “that were I caught in a storm, I can hush the winds, and render the air perfectly calm.” The Lapland witches pretended to send winds to sailors, and the Finlanders sold cords, tied with three magical knots : the loosening of the first produced a favourable gale, of the second a brisker, but when the third was untied, a terrific hurricane was the consequence. There are penal statutes in the Capitularies of Charlemagne, in the canons of several councils, and in the ancient laws of Norway, against those who raised storms and tempests. Shakspeare has followed the common superstitions.

“ 2. Witch. I'll give thee a wind.

1. Witch. Thou art kind.
3. Witch. And I another.
1. Witch. I myself have all the other."

And he makes Macbeth confess the power of the witches to “untie the winds, and let them fight against the churches."




The thirty-sixth novel of the second part of Bandello's novels bears a very striking general resemblance to the plot of this comedy.

Ambrogio was the father of a son and a daughter, Paolo and Nicuola, remarkable for their extraordinary beauty and perfect resemblance to each other. Their age was about fifteen years, when Rome was sacked by the united arms of Spain and Germany. Paolo, the boy, was made prisoner, and carried by a person of consideration to Naples. The distressed Ambrogio retired with his daughter to Aix, where she became enamoured of the wealthy and accomplished Lattantio. She was happy in the return of her passion, till the charms of a rival seduced her lover from his faith.

Every expedient to recall his affections was resorted to in vain, and the unhappy Nicuola resolved, in de

spair, to disguise herself as a boy, and enter the service of Lattantio, in the capacity of his page. Her father quitted Aix for a time, and by the aid of her nurse she effected her scheme. The attention and graceful assiduity of Nicuola quickly engaged the confidence of her master. Alas! this happiness proved but a prelude to the bitterest mortification. In the hope that the beautiful person and insinuating address of his page might propitiate the affections of-Catella, his new mistress, Lattantio despatched Nicuola as a messenger of love to her.

The beauty of the emissary proved dangerous to the lady, who yielded her heart a willing captive, and openly avowed her weakness. The sudden return of Ambrogio compelled the reluctant Nicuola to fly from the service of Lattantio. At this cria tical juncture the long lost brother, Paolo, re-appeared. His master died at Naples, and bequeathed to him his wealth, and Paolo immediately set out in search of his parent and his sister. Arriving at Aix, he accidentally passed the house of Catella, who mistook Paolo for the page of whom she was enamoured, and ordered her maid to inyite him in. He entered with a mind full of doubts regarding the quality of the lady.

In the mean time Lattantio was much distressed

by the unaccountable disappearance of his page, for whom he felt the greatest regard: he instituted the most anxious inquiries, and Nicuola was at length traced to the house of her nurse Philippa. The good woman vehemently denied that either man or boy had taken refuge there; and then contrived so skilfully to avail herself of her knowledge of Lattantio's affairs as gradually to excite his attention. She enlarged on the pangs of unrequited love, she assured him of the hopelessness of his passion for Catella, who doated on another; and then, reverting to his former attachment, obtained the important confession, that if the beautiful Nicuola retained her regard for him, she was doubly entitled to his affection. “She loves you yet,” exclaimed Philippa, « loves


with unabated ardour ; and often has she declared to me that she shall never cease to do so but with life.”—“Alas!” interrupted Lattantio, do notendeavour to deceive me?"-"I do not deceive you,” replied Philippa ; “I can convince

you of the truth of what I say: Nicuola loves you; for youshedeserted her father's house; for you she discarded the timidity of her sex, the wealth she was heir to, and the rank she filled in life; and entered your service as a menial

as a page. Behold !” she continued, presenting her in the dress of a boy to Lattantio, "behold your Nicuola,

behold your much regretted page; she who disregarded the whole world for your sake, and at the risk of her life and reputation waited on you day and night.” Lattantio was lost in wonder: but presently recovering, vowed eternal fidelity ; and Nicuola, whose fondest wishes were realised, could scarce restrain the swelling transports of her soul.

It is almost needless to add, that a second interview between Paolo and Catella proved equally satisfactory to both, and that they were married on the same day that witnessed the union of Lattantio and Nicuola.

It was long supposed that from this tale Shakspeare formed the plot of Twelfth Night, having either read it in Belleforest's Histoires Tra. giques, of which it is the seventh history of the fourth volume, or in an old translation of that work. But the discordances between the play and the novel are so numerous, that the supposition of the drama emanating from the latter is open to many objections; and the much nearer affinity of Shakspeare's plot to the Historie of Apolonius and Silla, in a collection entitled, Rich, his Farewell to Militarie Profession, 1583, appears to demonstrate its incorrectness.

It was the misfortune of Duke Apolonius to be wrecked on the isle of Cyprus on his return

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