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'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord ?
What, Curio ?
The hart, · Duke. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have: 0, 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?
Enter VALENTINE. Val. So please my lord, I might not be admitted, But from her handmaid do return this answer: The element itself, till seven years heato, Shall not behold her face at ample view; 3 Value.
4 Fantastical to the height. 5 Shakspeare seems to think men cautioned against too great familiarity with forbidden beauty by the fable of Acteon, who saw Diana naked, and was torn to pieces by his hounds; as a man indulging his eyes or his imagination with a view of a woman he cannot gain, has his heart torn with incessant longing. An interpretation far more elegant and natural than Lord Bacon's, who, in his Wisdom of the Ancients, supposes this story to warn us against inquiring into the secrets of princes, by showing that those who know that which for reasons of state ought to be concealed will be detected and destroyed by their own servants. The thought may have been suggested by Daniel's Fifth Sonnet, in his Delia ; or by Whitney's Emblems, 1586, p. 15; and a passage in the Dedication to Aldington's translation of The Golden Ass of Apuleius, 1566, may have suggested these.
6 Heat for heated.
But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk,
Duke. 0, she, that hath a heart of that fine frame,
[Exeunt. SCENE II. The Sea Coast.
Enter Viola, Captain, and Sailors.
sailors ? Cap. It is perchance that you yourself were saved. Vio. 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,
7 So, in Sidney's Arcadia—the flock of unspeakable virtues.'
8 The liver, brain, and heart were then considered the seats of passion, judgment, and sentiments. These are what Shakspeare calls her sweet perfections, though he has not very clearly expressed it.
9 Self king signifies self same king, i.e. one and the same king.
When you, and that poor number saved with you,
For saying so, there's gold:
Cap. Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born Not three hours travel from this very place. Vio. Who governs here?
A noble duke, in nature, As in his name. Vio. What is his name?
And so is now,
O, that I serv'd that lady: And might not be delivered to the world,
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
That were hard to compass;
Vio. 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 pray thee, and I'll pay thee bounteously, Conceal me what I am; and be my aid For such disguise as, haply, shall become The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke; Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him?, It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing, And speak to him in many sorts of musick, That will allow 3 me very worth his service. What else may hap, to time I will commit; Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.
Cap. Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be: When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see!
Vio. I thank thee: Lead me on. [Exeunt.
1 i.e. “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. Johnson remarks that · Viola seems to have formed a deep design with very little premeditation.' In the novel upon which the play is founded, the Duke being driven upon the isle of Cyprus, by a tempest, Silla, the daughter of the governor, falls in love with him, and on his departure goes in pursuit of him. All this Shakspeare knew, and probably intended to tell in some future scene, but afterwards forgot it. Viola, in Act ii. Sc. 4, plainly alludes to her having been secretly in love with the Duke, but it would have been inconsistent with her delicacy to have made an open confession of it to the Captain.
2 This plan of Viola's was not pursued, as it would have been inconsistent with the plot of the play. She was presented as a page not as an eunuch.
3 Approve. VOL. I.
SCENE III. A Room in Olivia's House.
Enter Sir Toby Belch and Maria. Sir To. What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her brother thus? I am sure, care's an enemy to life.
Mar. By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o’nights; your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
Sir To. Why, let her except before excepted 1.
Mar. Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
Sir To. Confine? I'll confine myself no finer than I am: these clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too; an they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.
Mar. That quaffing and drinking will undo you: I heard my lady talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish knight, that you brought in one night here, to be her wooer.
Sir To. Who? Sir Andrew Ague-cheek?
Mar. Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats; he's a very fool and a prodigal.
Sir To. Fye, that you'll say so! he plays o' the viol-de-gambo, and speaks three or four languages word for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature. 1 A ludicrous use of a formal law phrase.
2 That is as valiant a man, as tall a man, is used here by Sir Toby with more than the usual licence of the word; he was pleased with the equivoque, and banters upon the diminutive stature of poor Sir Andrew, and his utter want of courage.