Page images

of ink : if thou thou' A him thrice, it shall not be amiss; and as many lies as will lye on thy sheet of paper, although the sheet was big enough for the bed of Ware in England, set 'em down ; go, about it. Let there be gall enough in thy ink; though thou write with a goose pen, no matter : about it.

Scene IV. Bullying, its Advantages.

Go, Sir Andrew, scout me for him at the corner of the orchard, like a bum-bailiff: fo soon as ever thou fee'st him, draw; and, as thou draw'st, swear hor ribly ; for it coines to pass oft, that a terrible oath, with a fwaggering accent sharply twang'd off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself · would have earn'd him.

[ocr errors]

Ant. Is 't possible, that my deserts to you
Can lack persuafion? Do not tempt my misery,
Leit that it make me so unfound a man,
As to upbraid you with those kindnesses
That I have done for


I know of none,
Nor know I you by voice, or any feature :
I hate ingratitude more in a man,
Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
Or any taint of vice, whose strong corruption
Inhabits our frail blood.


Deformity thou write it with a goose pen, no matter. A keener lash at the attorney for a fool, than all the contumelies the attorney threw at the prisoner, as a supposed traitor. These baid.

Deformity in the Mind.
Ant. But, O, how vile an idol proves this god!
Thou haft, (23) Sebastion, done good feature shame.
In nature there's no blemish but the mind :
None can be call’d deformed, but the unkind:
Virtue is beauty ; but the beauteous evil
Are empty trunks, o'er fleürith'd by the devil.


[ocr errors]

Money purchajes the Praise of Fools. These wise men, that give fools money, get themselves a good report, after fourteen years (24) purchase.

Scene II. Dissimulation in a religious Habit.

Well, I'll put it on, and I will disemble myself in 't; and I would I were the first that ever diffembled in such a gown.

I am not tall enough to become the function well; nor lean enough to be thought a good


(23) Thou kajt, &c.] Similar to this, is a passage from a modern dramatic poem, called Socrates.

" Beauty and virtue are the same,
They differ only in the name.
What to the soul is pure and bright
Is beauty in a moral light;
And what to sense does charms convey,
Is beauty in the natural way.
Each from one source its essence draws,

And both conform to nature's laws.”
(24) After fourteen years, &c.] This seems to carry a
piece of satire on the monopolies, the crying grievance of
that time. The grants generally were for fourteen years.
The petition being referred to a committee, it was suspected
that money gained favourable reports from thence. War-

fudent; but to be said, an honeft man, and a good housekeeper, goes as fairly as to say, a graceful man (25) and a great scholar.

Satire on Time-serving Worldlings. Fie, thou dishonest Sathan! I call thee by the most modelt terms: for I am one of those gentle ones, that will use the devil himself with courtesy.



Advantage to be gained by Foes. Clo. Truly, Sir, the better for my foes, the worse for my

friends. Duke. Just the contrary; the better for thy friends. Clo. No, Sir, the worse. Duke. How can that be?

Clo.. Marry, Sir, they praise me, and make an ass of me; now my foes tell me plainly, I am an ass ; so that by my foes, Sir, I profit in the knowledge of myself; and by my friends I am abused : so that, conclusions to be (26) as kiffes if your four negatives make your two affirmatives, why, then the worse for my friends, and the better for




Ignorance (25) Graceful man.] This is commonly read careful

But St. obferves, that it refers to what went before, I am not tall enough to become the funétion well, nor kan enough to be thought a good student; it is plain then that S. wrote as to say a GRACEFUL man, i. e. comely.

(26) Conclusions to be, &c.] W. would read this, so that conclusion to be ask'd but 7. is for retaining the present reading, the meaning of which, says he, is, “ the conclufion follows by the conjunction of two negatives, which, by kifing and embracing, coalesce into one, and make an affirmative. · What the four negatives are I do not know. I read, Solthat conclufions be as kiljes. One cannot but

E 3


Ignorance of ourselves :- One Drunkard's Reflection

on another,

Then he's a rogue, and a past-measure pavin ;(27) I hate a drunken rogue.

wonder, says Farmer, that this passage should have perplexed the commentators. In Marloe's Luft's Dominion, the Queen says to the Moor,

" Come let's kifle," Moor, Away,' away."

Queen. “ No, no, says I; and twice away, says say." Sir Philip Sedley has enlarged upon this thought in the fixe ty-third Itanza of Ajirophel and Stella.

(27) Paft-measure pavin.] This is the reading of the old copy; and probably right, being an allusion to the quick measure of the pavin, a dance in S's time.

A pofly measure pavin may perhaps mean a pavin danced out of time. Sir Toby might call him by this title, because he was drunk at a time when he should bave been Sober, and in a condition to attend on the wounded knight. Such however is the reading of the old copy, though the v in pavin being reversed, the modern editors have been con• tent to read,

-And a poft measure painim. It is a fine stroke of nature to make the drunken Sir Toby rail at drunkenness.

Occasional Observations. One of BELLFOREST's novels is thus entitled :si Comme une fille Romaine se vestant en page servift long temps un ficn amy fans efire cogneue, at depius l'eut a mary avec autres divers discours : Histoires tragiques ; Tom. 4. Hift. 7." This novel, which is itself taken from one of BANDELLO's (v. Tom. 2. Nov. 36), is, to all appearance the foundation of the serious part of Twelfth Night, and must be fo accounted; till some English novel appears, built (perhaps) upon that French one, but approaching nearer to s's comedy, Says Capell.

This play is in the graver part elegant and easy, and in some of the lighter scenes exquisitely humorous. AgueCheek is drawn with much propriety, but his character is, in a great measure, that of natural fatuity, and is therefore not the proper prey of a satirist. The soliloquy of Malvolio* is truly comic; he is betrayed to ridicule merely by his pride. The marriage of Olivia, and the succeeding perplexity, though well enough contrived to divert on the stage, wants credibility, and fails to produce the proper instruction required in the drama, as it exhibits no just picture of life



[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »