Imatges de pÓgina


ORSINO, duke of Illyria.

SEBASTIAN, a young gentleman, brother to Viola.
ANTONIO, a sea captain, friend to Sebastian.
A Sea Captain, friend to Viola.



gentlemen, attending on the duke.

Sir TOBY BELCH, uncle of Olivia.

MALVOLIO, steward to Olivia.

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


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



SCENE I.—An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. Enter Duke, CURIO, Lords; Musicians attending.


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 odour. 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

[1] Amongst the beauties of this charming similitude, its exact propriety is not the least. For, as a south wind, while blowing over a violet bank, wafts away the odour of the flowers, it at the same time communicates its own sweetness to it; so the soft affecting music, here described, though it takes away the natural sweet tranquillity of the mind, yet, at the same time, it communicates a new pleasure to it. Or, it may allude to another property of music, where the same strains have a power to excite pain or pleasure, as the state is, in which it finds the hearer. Hence Milton makes the self-same strains of Orpheus proper to excite both the affections of mirth and melancholy, just as the mind is then disposed. If to mirth, he calls for such music, "That Orpheus' self may heave his head

From golden slumbers on a bed

Of heap'd Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear

Of Pluto, to have quite set free

His half-regain'd Eurydice." L'Allegro.

If to melancholy,

"Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing

Such notes as warbled to the string,

Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,

And made hell grant what love did seek." Il Penseroso. WARB.

[2] Milton, in his Paradise Lost, B. IV. has very successfully introduced the same image:

-now gentle gales,

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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.

Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord?
Duke. What, Curio?

Cur. The hart.

Duke. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have: O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first, Methought, she purg'd the air of pestilence; That instant was I turn'd into a hart;3

And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,

E'er since pursue me.-How now? what news from her? Enter VALENTINE.

Val. So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
But from her hand-maid do return this answer:

The element itself, till seven years heat,
Shall not behold her face at ample view;
But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk,
And water once a day her chamber round
With eye-offending brine: all this, to season
A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh,
And lasting, in her sad remembrance.

Duke. O, she, that hath a heart of that fine frame,
To pay this debt of love but to a brother,
How will she love, when the rich golden shaft,
Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
That live in her! when liver, brain, and heart,
These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and fill'd
(Her sweet perfections,) with one self king!-
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers;
Love-thoughts lie rich, when canopied with bowers.



The Sea-coast. Enter VIOLA, Captain, and Sailors, Vio. What country, friends, is this?

Cap. Illyria, lady.

Vio. And what should I do in Illyria ?

[3] This image evidently alludes to the story of Acteon. by which Shakespeare seems to think men cautioned against too great familiarity with for bidden beauty. Acteon, who saw Diana naked and was torn to pieces by his hounds, represents a man, who indulging his eyes, or his imagination. with the view of a woman that be cannot gain, has his heart torn with incessart longing. An interpretation far more elegant and natural than that of Sir Francis

My brother he is in Elysium.

Perchance, he is not drown'd:-What think you, sailors? Cap. It is perchance, that you yourself were saved. Vio. O my poor brother! and so, perchance, may he be. Cap. True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance, Assure yourself, after our ship did split,



number saved with you, and that you, Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,

Most provident in peril, bind himself

(Courage and hope both teaching him the practice)
To a strong mast, that lived upon the sea;
Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,

I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves,
So long as I could see.

Vio. For saying so, there's gold :

Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,

Whereto thy speech serves for authority,

The like of him. Know'st thou this country?

Cap. Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born,

Not three hours' travel from this very place.

Vio. Who governs here?

Cap. A noble duke, in nature,

As in his name.

Vio. What is his name?

Cap. Orsino.

Vio. Orsino! I have heard my father name him: He was a bachelor then.

Cap. And so is now,

Or was so very late for but a month

Ago I went from hence; and then 'twas fresh

In murmur (as, you know, what great ones do,

The less will prattle of,) that he did seek
The love of fair Olivia.

Vio. What's she?

Cap. A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count

That dy'd some twelve-month since; then leaving her In the protection of his son, her brother,

Who shortly also died for whose dear love,

They say, she hath abjur'd the company
And sight of men.

Vio. O, that I served that lady :

Bacon, who, in his Wisdom of the Ancients, supposes this story to inquiring into the secrets of princes by shewing that those who kno reasons of state is to be concealed, will be detected and destroy servants. JOHNSON.


And might not be delivered to the world,

Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
What my estate is.

Cup. That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,

No, not the duke's.

Vio. There is a fair behaviour in thee, captain;
And though that nature with a beauteous wall
Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee

I will believe, thou hast a mind that suits
With this thy fair and outward character.
I pray thee, and I'll pay thee bounteously,
Conceal me what I am; and be my aid
For such disguise as, haply, shall become
The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke;
Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him,
It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing,
And speak to him in many sorts of music,
That will allow me very worth his service.
What else may hap, to time I will commit;
Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.

Cap. Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be:
When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see!
Vio. I thank thee: Lead me on.



A Room in OLIVIA's House. Enter Sir TOBY BELCH, and


Sir To. What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her brother thus? I am sure, care's an enemy to life.

Mar. By my troth, sir Toby, you must come in earlier o'nights; your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.

Sir To. Why, let her except before excepted.

Mar. Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.

Sir To. Confine? I'll confine myself no finer than I am these clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too, an they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.

Mar. That quaffing and drinking will undo you: I heard my lady talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish knight, that you brought in one night here, to be her wooer.

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