Obrázky stránek

Ford. Now, sir, who's a cuckold now ?-Master Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldy knave; here are his horns, master Brook: And, master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buckbasket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money, which must be paid to master Brook; his horses are arrested for it, master Brook.

Mrs. Ford. Sir John, we have had ill luck, we could never meet. I will never take you for my love again, but I will always count you my deer."

Fal. I do begin to perceive that I am made an ass. Ford. Ay, and an ox too; both the proofs are


Fal. And these are not fairies? I was three or four times in the thought, they were not farries: and yet the guiltiness of my mind, the sudden surprise of my powers, drove the grossness of the foppery into a received belief, in despite of the teeth of all rhyme and reason, that they were fairies. See now, how wit may be made a Jack-a-lent, when 'tis upon ill employment!

Eva. Sir John Falstaff, serve Got, and leave desires, and fairies will not pinse you.

Ford. Well said, fairy Hugh.


Eva. And leave you your jealousies too, I pray


Ford. I will never mistrust my wife again, till thou art able to woo her in good English.

Fal. Have I laid my brain in the sun, and dried it, that it wants matter to prevent so gross o'erreaching as this? Am I ridden with a Welsh goat too? Shall I have a coxcomb of frize? 'tis time I were choked with a piece of toasted cheese.

Eva. Seese is not good to give putter; your pelly is all putter.

Fal. Seese and putter! Have I lived to stand at the taunt of one that makes fritters of English?

Enter SLENder.

Slen. Whoo! ho! ho! father Page. Page. Son! how now? how now, son? have you despatched?

Slen. Despatched!—I'll make the best in Gloucestershire know on't; would I were hanged, la, else.

Page. Of what, son?

Slen. I came yonder at Eton to marry mistress Anne Page, and she's a great lubberly boy. If it had not been i' the church, I would have swinged him, or he should have swinged me. If I did not think it had been Anne Page, would I might never stir, and 'tis a post-master's boy.

Page. Upon my life then you took the wrong. Slen. What need you tell me that? I think so, when I took a boy for a girl: If I had been married to him, for all he was in woman's apparel, I would not have had him.

Page. Why this is your own folly. Did not I tell you, how you should know my daughter by her garments?

Slen. I went to her in white, and cry'd mum, and and yet it was not Anne, but a post-master's boy. she cry'd budget, as Anne and I had appointed; Eva. Jeshu! Master Slender, cannot you see but marry boys?

Page. O, I am vexed at heart: What shall I do? Mrs. Page. Good George, be not angry: I knew of your purpose; turned my daughter into green; and, indeed, she is now with the doctor at the deanery, and there married.

Enter CAIUS.

cozened: I ha' married un garcon, a boy; un paCaius. Vere is mistress Page? By gar, I am This is enough to be the decay of lust and late walk-san, by gar, a boy; it is not Anne Page: by gar, ing through the realm.

Mrs. Page. Why, Sir John, do you think, though we would have thrust virtue out of our hearts by the head and shoulders, and have given ourselves without scruple to hell, that ever the devil could have made you our delight?

Ford. What, a hodge-pudding? a bag of flax?
Mrs. Page. A puffed man?

Page. Old, cold, withered, and of intolerable entrails?

Ford. And one that is as slanderous as Satan? Page. And as poor as Job?

Ford. And as wicked as his wife?

Eva. And given to fornifications and to taverns, and sack and wine, and metheglins, and to drinkings, and swearings and starings, pribbles and prabbles?

Fal. Well, I am your theme; you have the start of me; I am dejected; I am not able to answer the Welsh flannel; ignorance itself is a plummet o'er me: use me as you will.

Ford. Marry, sir, we'll bring you to Windsor, to one master Brook, that you have cozened of money, to whom you should have been a pander: over and above that you have suffered, I think, to repay that money will be a biting affliction.

Mrs. Ford. Nay, husband, let that go to make amends;

Forgive that sum, and so we'll all be friends.

Ford. Well, here's my hand; all's forgiven at last. Page. Yet be cheerful, knight: thou shalt eat a posset to-night at my house; where I will desire thee to laugh at my wife, that now laughs at thee:4 Tell her, master Slender hath married her daughter. Mrs. Page. Doctors doubt that: If Anne Page be my daughter, she is, by this, doctor Caius' wife. [Aside.

gum; a thing made with forkes, like a gallowes, a frame whereon vines are joyned.'

1 i. e. a fool's cap made out of Welsh materials. Wales was famous for this cloth.

2 The very word flannel is derived from a Welsh one, and it is almost unnecessary to add that it was original. ly the manufacture of Wales.

I am cozened.

Mrs. Page. Why, did you take her in green? Caius. Ay, be gar, and 'tis a boy; be gar, I'll raise all Windsor. [Exit CAIUS. Ford. This is strange! Who hath got the right

Anne? Page. My heart misgives me : Here comes master Fenton.

Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE. How now, master Fenton?

Anne. Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!

Page. Now, mistress? how chance you went not with master Slender?

Mrs. Page. Why went you not with master doc. tor, maid?

Fent. You do amazes her: Hear the truth of it. You would have married her most shamefully, Where there was no proportion held in love. The truth is, she and I, long since contracted, Are now so sure that nothing can dissolve us. The offence is holy that she hath committed: And this deceit loses the name of craft, Of disobedience, or undutious title; Since therein she doth evitate and shun A thousand irreligious cursed hours, Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.

Ford. Stand not amaz'd: here is no remedy :In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state; Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.

Fal. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced. Page. Well, what remedy? Fenton, heaven give thee joy! What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd.

3 Ignorance itself weighs me down, and oppresses me 4 Dr. Johnson remarks, that the two plots are excel lently connected, and the transition very artfully made in this speech.

5 Confound her by your questions. 6 Avoid.

Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are | culous characters can confer praise only on him who chas'd. originally discovered it, for it requires not much of either

Eva. I will dance and eat plums at your wed-wit or judgment; its success must be derived almost wholly from the player, but its power in a skilful mouth even he that dispises it is unable to resist.


Mrs. Page. Well, I will muse no further :-mas-
ter Fenton,

Heaven give you many, many merry days!
Good husband, let us every one go home,
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Sir John and all.
To master Brook you yet shall hold your word;
For he to-night shall lie with mistress Ford.

Let it be so :-Sir John,


[Of this play there is a tradition preserved by Mr. Rowe, that it was written at the command of Queen Elizabeth, who was so delighted with the character of Falstaff, that she wished it to be diffused through more plays; but suspecting that it might pall by continued uniformity, directed the poet to diversify his manner, by showing him in love. No task is harder than that of writing to the ideas of another. Shakspeare knew what the queen, if the story be true, seems not to have known, that by any real passion of tenderness, the selfish craft, the careless jollity, and the lazy luxury of Falstaff must have suffered so much abatement, that little of his former cast would have remained. Falstaff could not love, but by ceasing to be Falstaff. He could only counterfeit love, and his professions could be prompted, not by the hope of pleasure, but of money. Thus the poet approached as near as he could to the work enjoined him; yet, having perhaps in the former plays completed his own idea, seems not to have been able to give Falstaff all his former power of entertainment.

This comedy is remarkable for the variety and number of the personages, who exhibit more characters, appropriated and discriminated, than perhaps can be found in any other play.

Whether Shakspeare was the first that produced upon the English stage the effect of language distorted and depraved by provincial or foreign pronunciation, I cannot certainly decide. This mode of forming ridi

1 Young and old, does as well as bucks. He alludes to Fenton's having run down Anne Page.

2 In The Three Ladies of London, 1584, is the character of an Italian Merchant very strongly marked by foreign pronunciation. Dr. Dodypoll, in the comedy of that name, is, like Caius, a French physician. This piece appeared at least a year before The Merry Wives

The conduct of this drama is deficient; the action begins and ends often, before the conclusion, and the dif ferent parts might change places without inconvenience; but its general power, that power by which all works of genius shall finally be tried, is such, that perhaps it never yet had reader or spectator who did not think it JOHNSON.]

too soon at the end.

Referred to Act iii. Sc. 1, of the foregoing Play
Come, live with me, and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That hills and valleys, dales and field,
And all the craggy mountains yield.
There will we sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow rivers, by whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals:
There will I make thee beds of roses
With a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from the pretty lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw, and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come, live with me, and be my love.
Thy silver dishes for thy meat,
As precious as the gods do eat,
Shall on thy ivory table be
Prepared each day for thee and me.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight, each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

of Windsor. The hero of it speaks such another jargon
as the antagonist of Sir Hugh, and like him is cheated
of his mistress. In several other pieces, more ancient
than the earliest of Shakspeare's, provincial characters
are introduced. In the old play of Henry V. French
soldiers are introduced speaking broken English.



THE plot of this admirable Comedy appears to have been taken from the second tale in a collection by Barnabe Riche, entitled, "Rich his Farewell to the Militarie Profession," which was first printed in 1593. It is probably borrowed from Les Histoires Tragiques de Belleforest, vol. iv. Hist. viime. Belleforest, as usual, copied Bandello. In the fifth eglog of Barnaby Googe, published with his poems in 1563, an incident somewhat similar to that of the duke sending his page to plead his cause with the lady, and the lady falling in love with the page, may be found. But Rich's narration is the more probable source, and resembles the plot more completely. It is too long for insertion here, but may be found in the late edition of Malone's Shakspeare, by Mr. Boswell.

by exposing their absurdity. "How are his weaknesses nursed and dandled by Sir Toby into something high fantastical' when, on Sir Andrew's commendation of himself for dancing and fencing, Sir Toby answers

Wherefore are these things hid? Wherefore have these gifts a curtain before them? Are they like to take dust like Mistress Mall's picture? Why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig! I would not so much as make water in a cinque-s pace. What dost thou mean? Is this a world to hide virtues in? I did think by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was framed under the star of a galliard! How Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and the clown chirp ever their cups; how they rouse the night-owl in a catch able to draw three souls out of one The comic scenes appear to have been entirely the weaver!-What can be better than Sir Toby's unancreation of the poet, and they are worthy of his tran- swerable answer to Malvolio: Dost thou think, bescendent genius. It is indeed one of the most delightful cause thox art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes of Shakspeare's comedies. Dr. Johnson thought the and ale.-We have a friendship for Sir Toby; we panatural fatuity of Ague-cheek hardly fair game, but the tronize Sir Andrew; we have an understanding with good-nature with which his folly and his pretensions the clown, a sneaking kindness for Maria and her roare brought forward for our amusement, by humouring gueries; we feel a regard for Malvolio, and sympa. his whims, are almost without a spice of satire. It is mize with his gravity, his smiles, his cross-garters, rather an attempt to give pleasure by exhibiting an ex- his yellow stockings, and imprisonment in the stocks. aggerated picture of his foibles, than a wish to give pain) But there is something that excites in us a stronger

[ocr errors]

feeling than all this, it is Viola's confession of her love.

Duke. What's her history?

Viola. A blank, my lord: She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pin'd in thought;
And, with a green and yellow melancholy,
She sat like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love, indeed?
We men may say more, swear more; but, indeed,
Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
Much in our vows, but little in our love.

Duke. But died thy sister of her love, my boy?
Viola. I am all the daughters of my father's house,
And all the brothers too ;-and yet I know not.

"Shakspeare alone could describe the effect of his own poetry:

"O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south, That breathes upon a bank of violets, Stealing, and giving odour."

"What we so much admire here is not the image of Patience on a monument, which has been so generally quoted, but the lines before and after it, "They give a very echo to the seat where love is throned." How long ago it is since we first learnt to repeat them; and still they vibrate on the heart like the sounds which the pas

sing wind draws from the trembling strings of a harp left on some desert shore! There are other passages of not less impassioned sweetness. Such is Olivia's address to Sebastian, whom she supposed to have already deceived her in a promise of marriage.

Blame not this haste of mine:

Plight me the full assurance of your faith,
That my most jealous and too doubtful soul
May live at peace.'

"One of the most beautiful of Shakspeare's Songs occurs in this play with a preface of his own to it.

'Duke. O fellow, come, the song we had last night:Mark it, Cesario; it is old, and plain;

The spinsters and the knitters in the sun,
And the free maids that weave their thread with bones
Do use to chaunt it; it is silly sooth,
And dallies with the innocence of love,
Like the old age."

"After reading other parts of this play, and particularly the garden scene where Malvolio picks up the letter, if we were to say that Shakspeare's genius fr comedy was less than his genius for tragedy, it would perhaps only prove that our own taste in such matters is more saturnine than mercurial."*

Hazlitt's Characters of Shakspeare's Plays, p. 256.

[blocks in formation]

no more;

Ir music 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 hath 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.2-Enough;
"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.4

1 The old copies read sound, the emendation is
Pope's. Rowe had changed it to wind. In Sidney's Ar-
cadia, 1590, we have- more sweet than a gentle south-
west wind which comes creeping over flowery fields.'
2 Milton has very successfully introduced the same
image in Paradise Lost:

-Now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native prefumes, and whisper whence they stole
Those balmy spoils."

Shakspeare, in the Ninty-ninth Sonnet, has made the violet the thief.

The forward violet thus did I chide :

FABIAN, Servants to Olivia.

OLIVIA, a rich Countess.

VIOLA, in love with the Duke.
MARIA, Olivia's Woman.

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


SCENE, a City in Illyria; and the Sea Coast near it.

Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord?


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?


Val. So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
But from her handmaid 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,

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 of 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

Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that may have been suggested by Daniel's Fifth Sonnet, in smells,

If not from my love's breath.'

his Delia; or by Whitney's Emblems, 1586, p. 15; and a passage in the Dedication to Aldington's transPope, in his Ode on St. Cecilia's Day; and Thomson,lation of The Golden Ass of Apuleius,' 1566, may have in his Spring have availed themselves of the epithet suggested these. a dying fall.

6 Heat for heated.

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 supplied, and fill'd
(Her sweet perfections) with one self king!-
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers;
Love-thoughts lie rich, when canopied with bowers.
SCENE II. The Sea Coast. Enter VIOLA, Cap-
tain, and Sailors.

Vio. What country, friends, is this?

Vio. And what should I do in Illyria?
My brother he is in Elysium.

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
Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him,
The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke
It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing,
And speak to him in many sorts of music,
Illyria, lady. That will allow me very worth his service.
What else may hap, to time I will commit;
Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.

Perchance he is not drown'd:-What think you, 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

Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
When you, and that poor number saved with you,
Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
Most provident in peril, bind himself

(Courage and hope both teaching him the practice)
To a strong mast, that lived upon the sea.
Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,
I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves,
So long as I could see.
For saying so, there's gold:
Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
The like of him. Know'st thou this country?
Cap. Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
Not three hours travel from this very place.
Vio. Who governs here?

As in his name?


A noble duke, in nature,

What is his name?


Vio. Orsino! I have heard my father name him: He was a bachelor then.

[blocks in formation]

Cap. A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
That died some twelvemonth since; then leaving her
In the protection of his son, her brother,
Who shortly also died: for whose dear love
They say she hath abjur'd the company
And sight of men.

O, that I serv'd that lady:
And might not be delivered to the world,
I had made mine own occasion mellow,
What my estate is.4
That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the duke's.

1 So, in Sidney's Arcadia-" the flock of unspeakabie virtues."9

2 The lirer, 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.

3 Self king signifies self same king, i. e. one and the rame king.

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.

SCENE III. A Room in Olivia's House, Enter

Sir To. What a plague means my niece, to take
enemy to life.
the death of her brother thus? I'm sure, care's an

Mar. By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in exceptions to your ill hours. earlier o'nights; your cousin, my lady, takes great

Sir To. Why, let her except before excepted." 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, he.

Sir To. He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
Mar. What's that to the purpose?

Sir To. Why, he has three thousand ducats a


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.

Mar. He hath, indeed,-almost natural: for, besides that he's a fool, he's a great quarreller; and, but that he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarrelling, 'tis thought among the prudent, he would quickly have the gift of a grave.

Sir To. By this hand they are scoundrels, and substracters, that say so of him. Who are they? Mar. They that add moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.

Sir To. With drinking healths to my niece; I'll drink to her, as long as there is a passage in my throat, and drink in Illyria: He's a coward, and a coystril, that will not drink to my niece, till his brains turn o' the toe like a parish-top.10 What,

with the Duke, but it would have been inconsistent with her delicacy to have made an open confession of it to the Captain.

5 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. 6 Approve.

4 i. e. I wish I might not be made public to the world, with regard to the state of my birth and fortune, fill 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 riven upon the isle of Cyprus, by a tempest, Silla, the 9 A coystril is a low, mean, or worthless fellow. daughter of the governor, falls in love with him, and on 10 A large top was formerly kept in every village, to his departure goes in pursuit of him. All this Shak-he whipped in frosty weather, that the peasants might speare knew, and probably intended to tell in some fu- be kept warm by exercise, and out of mischief when fare scene, but afterwards forgot it. Viola, in Act ii: Sc. they could not work. To sleep like a Town-top' is a 4, plainly alludes to her having been secretly in love proverbial expression.

7 A ludicrous use of a formal law phrase.

8 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.

wench? Castiliano volto; for here comes Sir Andrew Ague-face.


Sir And. Sir Toby Belch! how now, Sir Toby Belch.

Sir To. Sweet Sir Andrew!

Sir And. Bless you, fair shrew.

Mar. And you too, sir.

Sir To. Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

Sir And. What's that?

Sir To. My niece's chamber-maid.

Sir To. Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin it off.

Sir And. 'Faith, I'll home to-morrow, Sir Toby: your niece will not be scen; or, if she be, it's four to one she'll none of me: the count himself, here hard by, woos her.

Sir To. She'll none o' the count; she'll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wil↑ I have heard her swear it. Tut, there's life in't, man. Sir And. I'll stay a month longer. I am a fel

Sir And. Good mistress Accost, I desire better low o' the strangest mind i' the world; I delight in acquaintance.

Mar. My name is Mary, sir.

Sir And. Good mistress Mary Accost,

Sir To. You mistake, knight: accost, is, front her, board her, woo her, assail her.

Sir And. By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of accost? Mar. Fare you well, gentlemen.

Sir To. An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, 'would thou might'st never draw sword again.

Sir And. An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?

Mar. Sir, I have not you by the hand. Sir And. Marry, but you shall have; and here's my hand.

Mar. Now, sir, thought is free: I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar, and let it drink. Sir And. Wherefore, sweetheart? what's your metaphor?

Mar. It's dry, sir.

Sir And. Why, I think so; I am not such an ass, but I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest? Mar. A dry jest, sir.

Sir And. Are you full of them?

Mar. Ay, sir; I have them at my fingers' ends: marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren. [Exit MARIA. Sir To. O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary: When did I see thee so put down?

Sir And. Never in your life, I think; unless you see canary put me down: Methinks, sometimes I have no more wit than a christian, or an ordinary man has: but I am a great eater of beef, and, I believe, that does harm to my wit.

Sir To. No question.

masques and revels sometimes altogether.

Sir To. Art thou good at these kickshaws, knight? Sir And. As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare with an old man.

Sir To. What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?

Sir And. 'Faith, I can cut a caper.

Sir To. And I can cut the mutton to't. Sir And. And, I think I have the back-trick, simply as strong as any man in Illyria.

Sir To. Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have these gifts a curtain before them? are they like to take dust, like mistress Mall's picture ?? why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig; I would not so much as make water, but in a sink-a-pace. What dost thou mean? is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.

Sir And. Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a flame-coloured stock. Shall we set about

some revels?

Sir To. What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?

Sir And. Taurus? that's sides and heart. Sir To. No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee caper: ha! higher: ha, ha!-excellent! [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. A Room in the Duke's palace Enter VALENTINE, and VIOLA in man's attire. Val. If the Duke continues these favours towards you, Cesario, you are like to be much advanced; he hath known you but three days, and already you

Sir And. An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll are no stranger. ride home to-morrow, Sir Toby.

Sir To. Pourquoy, my dear knight?

Sir And. What is pourquoy? do or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues, that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting: 0, had I but followed the arts!

Sir To. Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.

Sir And. Why, would that have mended my hair? Sir To. Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by nature.

Sir And. But it becomes me well enough, does't


[ocr errors]

Vio. You either fear his humour, or my negl gence, that you call in question the continuance of his love: Is he inconstant, sir, in his favours? Val. No, believe me.

Enter DUKE, CURIO, and Attendants.
Vio. I thank you. Here comes the count.
Duke. Who saw Cesario, ho?

Vio. On your attendance, my lord; here.
Duke. Stand you awhile aloof.-Cesario,
To thee the book even of my secret soul:
Thou knowest no less but all; I have unclasp'd

1 The old copy reads Castiliano vulgo. Warburton 2 i. e. Mall Cutpurse, whose real name was Mary proposed reading Castiliano volto. In English, put on Frith. She was at once an hermaphrodite, a bawd, a your Castilian countenance, i. e. grave serious looks." prostitute, a bully, a thief, and a receiver of stolen goods I have no doubt that Warburton was right, for that read-A book called The Madde Prankes of Merry Mall of ing is required by the context, and Castiliano vulgo has no meaning. But I have met with a passage in Hall's Satires, B. iv. S. 2, which I think places it beyond a


he can kiss hand in gree,
And with good grace bow it below the knee,
Or make a Spanish face with fawning cheer,
With th' Iland conge like a cavalier,

the Bankside, with her Walks in Man's Apparel, and to what purpose, by John Day,' was entered on the StaComedy, of which she is the heroine, and a lite of her tioners' books in 1610. Middleton and Decker wrote a was published in 1662, with her portrait in male attire. As this extraordinary personage partook of both sexes, the curtain which Sir Toby mentions would not have been unnecessarily drawn before such a picture of her too much delicacy nor too much decency was the cha as might have been exhibited in an age of which neither racteristic.

3 Cinque-pace, the name of a dance, the measure whereof are regulated by the number 5, also called a Galliard.

And shake his head, and cringe his neck and side,' &c. The Spaniards were in high estimation for courtesy, though the natural gravity of the national countenance was thought to be a cloak for villany. The Castiliano collo was in direct opposition to the viso sciolto which the noble Roman told Sir Henry Wootton would go safe over the world. Castiliano vulgo, besides its want of 5 Alluding to the medical astrology of the almanacks connexion or meaning in this place, could hardly have Both the knights are wrong, but their ignorance is per been a proverbial phrase, when we remember that Cas-haps intentional. Taurus is made to govern the neck tile is the noblest part of Spain.

4 Stocking.

and throat

« PředchozíPokračovat »