« PreviousContinue »
'Would they were blanks, rather than fill'd with me! Vio. Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts On his behalf:
Oli. O, by your leave, I pray you; I bade you never speak again of him: But would you undertake another fuit, I had rather hear you to folicit that Than mufic from the spheres.
Vio. Dear lady,
Oli. Give me leave, I beseech you: I did fend,
Have you not fet mine honour at the stake,
Enough is fhewn; a cyprus, not a bofom,
Oli. That's a degree to love.
After the laft enchantment, (you did hear.)]
Nonfenfe. Read and point it thus,
After the laft enchantment you did here,
i. e. after the enchantment your prefence worked in my affections. WARBURTON.
The prefent reading is no more nonfenfe than the emendation. JOHNSON.
7 to one of your receiving]
i. e. to one of your ready apprehenfion. She confiders him as an arch page. WARBURTON.
a cyprus,] Is a transparent ftuff. JOHNSON.
Vio. No, not a grice; for 'tis a vulgar proof, That very oft we pity enemies.
Oli. Why then, methinks, 'tis time to fmile again: O world, how apt the poor are to be proud! If one should be a prey, how much the better To fall before the lion, than the wolf! [Clock ftrikes. The clock upbraids me with the waste of time. Be not afraid, good youth, I will not have And yet when wit and youth are come to harveft, Your wife is like to reap a proper man: There lies your way, due weft.
Vio. Then weftward hoe :
Grace, and good difpofition attend your ladyship! You'll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?
Oli. Stay I pr'ythee tell me, what thou think'ft of me?
Vio. That you do think, you are not what you are. Oli. If I think fo, I think the fame of you.
Vio. Then think you right, I am not what I am. Oli. I would you were, as I would have you be! Vio. Would it be better, madam, than I am? I wish it might; for now I am your fool.
Oli. O, what a deal of fcorn looks beautiful
A murd'rous guilt fhews not itfelf more foon,
By maid-hood, honour, truth, and every thing,
Love fought is good; but given unfought, is better.
9a grice;] Is a fep, fometimes written greefe from degres, French. JOHNSON.
Vio. By innocence I swear, and by my youth,
And fo adieu, good madam; never more
Oli. Yet come again; for thou, perhaps, may'st
That heart, which now abhors to like his love.
Changes to an apartment in Olivia's houfe. Enter Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian. Sir And. No, faith, I'll not stay a jot longer. Sir To. Thy reafon, dear venom, give thy reason. Fab. You must needs yield your reason, Sir Andrew. Sir And. Marry, I faw your niece do more favours to the Duke's ferving-man, than ever fhe bestow'd on me. I faw't, i'the orchard.
Sir To. Did fhe fee thee the while, old boy, tell me that?
Sir And. As plain as I fee you now.
Fab. This was a great argument of love in her towards you.
Sir And. 'Slight! will you make an afs o' me? Fab. I will prove it legitimate, fir, upon the oaths of judgment and reafon.
Sir To. And they have been grand jury-men, fince before Noah was a failor.
Fab. She did fhew favour to the youth in your fight,
1 And that no woman has;· -]
And that heart and bosom I have never yielded to any woman.
These three words Sir Thomas Hanmer gives to Olivia probably
only to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valour, to put fire in your heart, and brimftone in your liver. You should then have accofted her; and with fome excellent jefts, fire-new from the mint, you fhould have bang'd the youth into dumbnefs. This was look'd for at your hand, and this was baulk'd. The double gilt of this opportunity you let time wash off, and you are now fail'd into the north of my lady's opinion; where you will hang like an ificle on a Dutchman's beard, unless you do redeem it by fome laudable attempt, either of valour, or policy.
Sir And. And't be any, way, it must be with valour, for policy I hate : I had as lief be a Brownist 3, as a politician.
Sir To. Why then, build me thy fortunes upon the bafis of valour. Challenge me the Duke's youth to fight with him; hurt him in eleven places; my niece fhall take note of it and affure thyfelf, there is no
3-as lief by a Brownist,] The fect of the Brownifts, of which the poet makes mention, was derived from one Robert Brown, in the year 1581. The tenets of this fect were of so abfurd a nature, and fo totally repugnant to the modes of the eftablishment at that time, that they drew upon themfelves the public cenfure, the confequence of which was, that they were foon obliged to feek an afylum in the Netherlands. Some time afterwards, the author returned and took orders in the church of England, but (nefas diu) he turned out to be a very profligate and unworthy paltor.
It is remarkable, that a part of this fect, tranfplanting themfelves into America, laid the foundation of the colony of New England. HUMPHREYS.
The Brownifts feem, in the time of our author, to have been the conftant objects of popular fatire. In the old comedy of Ramalley, 1611, is the following ftroke at them:
-"of a new feet, and the good profeffors, will, like the "Brownift, frequent gravel-pits fhortly, for they use woods and "obfcure holes already." STEEVENS.
4 Challenge me the Duke's youth to fight with him,] This is nonfenfe. We fhould read, I believe" Challenge me the Duke's "youth; go, fight with him; hurt him, &c."T. T.
love-broker in the world can more prevail in man's commendation with woman, than report of valour. Fab. There is no way but this, Sir Andrew.
Sir And. Will either of you bear me a challenge to him?
Sir To. Go, write it in a martial hand; be curft and brief it is no matter how witty, fo it be eloquent, and full of invention: taunt him with the licence of ink if thou thou'ft him fome thrice, it fhall not be amifs; and as many lies as will lie in thy fheet of paper, although the sheet were big enough for the bed of Ware in England, fet 'em down, go about it. Let there be gall enough in thy ink; tho' thou write with a goofe-pen, no matter: About it.
Sir And. Where fhall I find you?
Sir To. We'll call thee at the Cubiculo: go.
[Exit Sir Andrew.
5 in a martial hand;] Martial band, feems to be a careless fcrawl, fuch as fhewed the writer to neglect ceremony. Curfi, is petolant, crabbed- -a curft cur, is a dog that with little provo
cation fnarls and bites. JOHNSON.
-taunt him with the licence of ink: if thou thou'ft him fone thrice,] There is no doubt, I think, but this paffage is one of those, in which our author intended to fhew his refpect for Sir Walter Raleigh, and a deteftation of the virulence of his profecutors. The words, quoted, feem to me directly levelled at the attorney-general Coke, who, in the trial of Sir Walter, attacked him with all the following indecent expreffions:-"All that he did was by thy "inftigation, thou viper; for I thou thee, thou traytor!" (Here, by the way, are the poet's three thou's.) "You are an odious man.' "Is he bafe? I return it into thy throat, on his behalf.”"O damnable atheist !"—" Thou art a monster; thou hast an English face, but a Spanish heart.”. "Thou haft a Spanish heart, and thyfelf art a spider of hell.”. "Go to, I will lay thee on thy "back for the confident'ft traitor that ever came at a bar, &c." Is not here all the licence of tongue, which the poet fatyrically prefcribes to Sir Andrew's ink? And how mean an opinion Shakefpeare had of these petulant invectives, is pretty evident from his clofe of this fpeech; Let there be gall enough in thy ink, tho' thou write it with a goofe pen no matter.-- A keener lafh at the attorney for a fool, than all the contumelies the attorney threw at the prifoner, as a fuppos'd traitor! THEOBALD.