Page images

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 o else That live in her : when liver, brain, and heart, These sovereign thrones', are all supplied, and

fili'd, (Her sweet perfections o,) with one self king 4.

9 — the flock of all affections ] So, in Sidney's Arcadia : “ — has the flock of unspeakable virtues.” Steevens. 10, 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 !) Dr. Hurd observes, that Simo, in the Andrian of Terence, reasons on his son's concern for Chrysis in the same manner :

Nonnunquam conlacrumabat: placuit tum id mihi.
Sic cogitabam : hic parvæ consuetudinis
Causâ mortem hujus tam fert familiariter :
Quid si ipse amâsset ? quid mihi hic faciet patri ?

STEEVENS. 2 These sovereign thrones,] We should read—“three sovereign thrones." This is exactly in the manner of Shakspeare. So, afterwards, in this play: “ Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit

, do give thee fivefold blazon." WARBURTON. 3 (Her sweet perfections,)] Liver, brain, and heart, are admitted in poetry as the residence of passions, judgement, and sentiments. These are what Shakspeare calls,

“ her sweet perfections,” though he has not very clearly expressed what he might design to have said. Steevens.

Away before me to sweet beds of flowers;
Love-thoughts lie rich, when canopied with bowers.



4 — with one self king !) Thus the original copy. The editor of the second folio, who in many instances appears to have been equally ignorant of our author's larguage and metre, reads-self-same king; a reading which all the subsequent editors have adopted. The verse is not defective. Perfections is here used as a quadrisyllable. So, in a subsequent scene :

“Methinks I feel this youth's perfections." Self-king means self-same king; one and the same king. So, in King Richard II. :

that self-mould that fashion'd thee, “ Made him a man.” As this has been controverted, I will support the reading of the genuine copy by one or two additional authorities. So, in King Lear, vol. x. p. 210:

“ The stars above us govern our conditions ;
“ Else one self-mate and mate could not beget

“ Such different issues."
Again, King Henry V. Act I. Sc. II. :


many fresh streams run in one self-sea.So also, in Marlowe's Hero and Leander, 1598:

At one self-instant she poor soul assaies," &c. So also, in Gascoigne's Steele Glasse, 1576 :

• A pair of twinnes at one self-burden borne.” Malone. In my opinion, the reading of the second folio ought to be adopted, as it improves both the language and the metre.

Malone has proved, that in Richard II. the word self is used to signify- same; but there it is a licentious expression. Once more he accuses the editor of the second folio as ignorant of Shakspeare's language and metre. It is surely rather hardy in a commentator, at the close of the 18th century, to pronounce that an editor in 1632, but 16 years after the death of Shakspeare, was totally ignorant of his language and metre; and it happens unfortunately, that in both the passages on which Mr. Malone has preferred this accusation, the second folio is clearly a correction of the first, which is the case with some other passages in this very play. M. MASON.

[ocr errors]



The Sea-coast.

Enter VIOLA", Captain, and Sailors.
V10. What country, friends, is this?

This is Illyria, lady.
Vio. And what should I do in Illyria ?
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. V10. 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, When you, and that poor number saved with 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.

5 Enter Viola,] Viola is the name of a lady in the fifth book of Gower de Confessione Amantis. STEEVENS.

6 Illyria, lady.) The old copy reads—This is Illyria, lady." But I have omitted the two first words, which violate the metre, without improvement of the sense. Steevens. 7 in ILLYRIA ?

My brother he is in Elysium.] There is seemingly a play upon the words-Illyria and Elysium. Douce.

and that poor number saved with you,] We should rather readthis poor number. The old copy has those. The sailors who were saved, enter with the captain. Malone.


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


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.

V10. Who governs here?

A noble duke, in nature,
As in his name 9.

What is his name?

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 died some twelvemonth since; then leaving

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.

O, that I served that lady':

9 A noble duke, in nature,

As in his name.) I know not whether the nobility of the name is comprised in duke, or in Orsino, which is, I think, the name of a great Italian family. Johnson. 1 They say, she hath abjur'd the company

And sight of men.

-0, that I served that lady :] The old


reads :
They say she hath abjur'd the sight

of "-0, that I served that lady ; ” By the change I have made in the ordo verborum, [which was


166 And


And might not be delivered to the world?,
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
What my estate is.

That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the duke's.

V10. 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 prithee, (and I'll pay thee bounteously,) Conceal me what I am; and be my aid proposed by Sir Thomas Hanmer] the metre of three lines is

regulated, and an anticlimax prevented. STEEVENS.

2 And might not be delivered to the world,] I wish I might not be made public to the world, with regard to the state of my birth and fortune, till I have gained a ripe opportunity for my design. Viola seems to have formed a very deep design with very

little premeditation : she is thrown by shipwreek on an unknown coast, hears that the prince is a bachelor, and resolves to supplant the lady whom he courts. Johnson.

In the novel on which Shakspeare founded this play (See the Preliminary Remarks) the Duke Apolonius being driven by a tempest on the isle of Cyprus, Silla, the daughter of the governor, falls in love witủ him, and on his departure goes in pursuit of him. All this Shakspeare knew, and probably intended in some future scene to tell, but afterwards forgot it. If this were not the case, the impropriety censured by Dr. Johnson must be accounted for from the poet's having here, as in other places, sometimes adhered to the fable he had in view, and sometimes departed from it. Viola, in a subsequent scene, plainly alludes to her having been secretly in love with the Duke:

My father had a daughter lov'd a man,
“ As it might be perhaps, were I a woman,
“ I should your lordship.

And what's her history?
Vio. A blank, my lord : she never told her love,” &c.

MALONE. It would have been inconsistent with Viola's delicacy to have made an open confession of her love for the Duke to the Captain.



« PreviousContinue »