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Orsino, Duke of Illyria.
fervants to Olivia.
} Gentlemen attending on the Dukeo
Olivia, a rich countess.
SCENE, a city in Illyria; and the fea-coaf near it.
WHAT YOU WILL'.
A C Τ Ι.
A Room in the Duke's Palacı.
Duke. If musick be the food of love, play on,
1 There is great reason to believe, that the serious part of this comedy is founded on some old tranNation of the seventh history in the fourth volume of Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques. It appears from the books of the Stationers' Company, July 15, 1596, that there was a version of “ Epitomes des cen: Histoires Tragiques, partie extraictes des actes des Romains, et autres, &c:" Belleforest took the ftory, as usual, from Bandello. The comick scenes appear to have been entirely the production of Shakspeare. Ben Jonson, who takes every opportunity to find fault with Shakspeare, seems to ridicule che conduct of Twelfıb-Nigbe in his Every Man out of bis Humour, at the end of AA II. 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 counters, and that countess to be in love with the duke's fon, and the fon in love with the lady's waiting-maid : fome fucb cross wooing, with a clown to their serving-man, better than be thus near and familiarly allied to the time.” STEEVENS.
I suppose this comedy to have been written in 1614. If however the foregoing pafsage was levelled at Twelfıb-Nigkr, my speculation falls to the ground. See An Attempt to ascertain ibe order of Sbakspeare's plays, Vol. I, MALONI.
0, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord ?
Duke. Why, so I do, the nobleft that I have :
And 2 0, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing, and giving odour.] Milton, in his Paradise Loft, b. iv. bas very fuccessfully introduced the same image:
now gentle gales,
“ Those balmy spoils." The old copy reads--sweet found, which Mr. Rowe changed into wind, and Mr. Pope into fourb. STEEVENS.
Here Shakspeare makes the south steal odour from the violet. In his 99th Sonnet, the violet is made the thief :
“ The forward violet thus did I chide :
“ If not from my love's breath?” MALONE. 3 of what valii ity and pircb foever,] Validity is here used for value. See Vol. III. p. 471, n. 3.
MALONE. 4 That it alone is high-fantastical.] High-fariaftical, means no more than fantastical ro the begbt. So, in All's Well that ends Welli
“My bigh-repented blames
« Dear füvereign, pardon me." STEEVENS. 5 Tbat instant was I turn'd into a bart;] This image evidently alludes to the story of Acteon, by which Shakspeare seems to think men caus tioned against too great familiarity with forbidden beauty. Adeon,