« ZurückWeiter »
bly right in supposing that our poet is indebted for his story to the Histoires Tragiques of Belleforest, rather than to the Italian original. A comparison, drawn by the ingenious Mrs. Lenox, between the production of Shakspeare and that of Bandello, will satisfy the reader as to the identity of the history. “ Sebastian and Viola in the play, are the same with Paolo and Nicuola in the novel; both are twins, and both remarkably like each other.
“ Viola is parted from her brother by a shipwreck, and supposes him to be drowned; Nicuola loses her brother at the sacking of Rome, and for a long time is ignorant whether he is alive or dead.
“ Viola serves the duke, with whom she is in love, in the habit of a page; Nicuola, in the same disguise, attends Lattantio, who had forsaken her for Catella.
« The duke sends Viola to solicit his mistress in his favour; Lattantio commissions Nicuola to plead for him with Catella.
“ The duke's mistress falls in love with Viola, supposing her to be a man; and Catella by the like mistake is enamoured of Nicuola : and lastly, the two ladies in the play, as well as in the novel, marry their lovers whom they had waited on in disguise, and their brothers wed the ladies who had been enamoured of them.”
ORSINO, duke of Illyria.
Gentlemen attending on the Duke.
Servants to Olivia.
OLIVIA, a rich Countess.
Lords, Priests, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, and other
SCENE, a city in Illyria ; and the sea-coast near it.
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: 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 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 ?
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
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 supply'd, and fillid, (Her sweet perfections,) with one self king!Away before me to sweet beds of flowers; Love-thoughts lie rich, when canopy'd with bowers.