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Mr. Malone, were unacquainted with this Collection of Googe's Poetry.

August 6, 1607, a Comedy called What you will, (which is the second title of this play,) was entered at Stationers' Hall by Tho. Thorpe. I believe, however, it was Marston's play with that name. Ben Jonson, who takes every opportunity to find fault with Shakspeare, seems to ridicule the conduct of Twelfth Night in his Every Man out of his Humour, at the end of Act III. sc. vi. where he makes Mitis say, "That the argument of his comedy might have been of some other nature, as of a duke to be in love with a countess, and that countess to be in love with the duke's son, and the son in love with the lady's waiting maid: some such cross wooing, with a clown to their serving man, better than be thus near and familiarly allied to the time."

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STEEVENS.

suppose this comedy to have been written in 1614. If however the foregoing passage was levelled at Twelfth-Night, my speculation falls to the ground. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. MALONE.

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,

Curio,

gentlemen attending on the duke.

[blocks in formation]

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

SCENE, a city in Illyria; and the sea-coast near it.

TWELFTH-NIGHT:

OR,

WHAT YOU WILL.

ACT I. SCENE I.

An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.

Enter DUKE, CURIO, Lords; Musicians attending.

DUKE. If musick 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:"

1 Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting, &c.] So, in The Two

Gentlemen of Verona:

"And now excess of it will make me surfeit."

• 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,

STEEVENS.

Stealing, and giving odour.] Milton, in his Paradise Lost, B. IV. has very successfully introduced the same image:

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now gentle gales,

"Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense

"Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
"Those balmy spoils." STEEVEns.

That strain again; it had a dying fall:] Hence Pope, in his Ode on Saint Cecilia's Day:

O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,3
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
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soever,
But falls into abatement and low price,

"The strains decay,

"And melt away,

"In a dying, dying fall."

Again, Thomson, in his Spring, v. 722, speaking of the nightingale :

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Still at every dying fall

"Takes up the lamentable strain." HOLT WHite.

the sweet south,] The old copy reads-sweet sound, which Mr. Rowe changed into wind, and Mr. Pope into south. The thought might have been borrowed from Sidney's Arcadia, Lib. I: " more sweet than a gentle South-west wind, which comes creeping over flowery fields," &c. This work was published in 1590. STEEVENS.

I see no reason for disturbing the text of the old copy, which reads-Sound. The wind, from whatever quarter, would produce a sound in breathing on the violets, or else the simile is false. Besides, sound is a better relative to the antecedent, strain. Douce.

That breathes upon a bank of violets,] Here Shakspeare makes the south steal odour from the violet. In his 99th Sonnet, the violet is made the thief:

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"The forward violet thus did I chide:

"Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells,

"If not from my love's breath?" MALONE.

Of what validity and pitch soever,] Validity is here used for value. MALONE.

So, in King Lear:

"No less in space, validity, and pleasure." STEEVENS.

Even in a minute! so full of shapes is fancy,
That it alone is high-fantastical.

CUR. Will you go hunt, my lord?

DUKE.

CUR.

What, Curio?

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;

And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, E'er since pursue me.'-How now? what news from her?

6 That it alone is high-fantastical.] High-fantastical, means fantastical to the height.

So, in All's well that ends well:

"My high-repented blames

"Dear sovereign, pardon me." STEEVENS.

7 That instant was I turn'd into a hart; And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,

E'er since pursue me.] This image evidently alludes to the story of Acteon, by which Shakspeare seems to think men cautioned against too great familiarity with forbidden 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 he cannot gain, has his heart torn with incessant longing. An interpretation far more elegant and natural than that of Sir Francis Bacon, who, in his Wisdom of the Ancients, supposes this story to warn us against enquiring into the secrets of princes, by shewing, that those who know that which for reasons of state is to be concealed, will be detected and destroyed by their own servants.

JOHNSON.

This thought, (as I learn from an anonymous writer in the Gentleman's Magazine,) is borrowed from the fifth sonnet of Daniel:

"Whilst youth and error led my wand'ring mind,

"And sette my thoughts in heedles waies to range,

"All unawares, a goddesse chaste I finde,

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'(Diana like) to worke my suddaine change.

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