Page images
PDF
EPUB

Fab. [Reads.] By the Lord, madam, you wrong me, and the world shall know it: though you have put me into darkness, and given your drunken cousin rule over me, yet have I the benefit of my senses as well as your ladyship. I have your own letter that induced me to the semblance I put on; with the which I doubt not but to do myself much right, or you much shame. Think of me as you please. I leave my duty a little unthought

. of , and speak out of my injury.

The madly-used Malvolio. Oli. Did he write this? Clo. Ay, madam. Duke. This savors not much of distraction. Oli. See him delivered, Fabian ; bring him hither.

[Exit FABIAN. My lord, so please you, these things further thought on, To think me as well a sister as a wife, One day shall crown the alliance on’t, so please you, Here at my house, and at my proper cost. Duke. Madam, I am most apt to embrace your

offer. Your master quits you [To Viola); and, for your ser

vice done him,
So much against the mettle of your sex,

,
So far beneath your soft and tender breeding,
And since you called me master for so long,
Here is my hand; you shall from this time be

l
Your master's mistress.
Oli.

A sister?_You are she.

a

Re-enter Fabian, with Malvolio.
Duke. Is this the madman?
Oli.

Ay, my lord, this same:
How now, Malvolio?
Mal.

Madam, you have done me wrong,

Notorious wrong.

Oli.

Have I, Malvolio ? No. Mal. Lady, you have. Pray you, peruse that

letter: You must not now deny it is your

hand:

2

[ocr errors]

Write from it, if you can, in hand, or phrase ;
Or say 'tis not your seal, nor your invention :
You can say none of this: well, grant it then,
And tell me, in the modesty of honor,
Why you have given me such clear lights of favor ;
Bade me come smiling, and cross-gartered to you,
To put on yellow stockings, and to frown
Upon Sir Toby, and the lighter people ;

1
And, acting this in an obedient hope,
Why have you suffered me to be imprisoned,
Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,
And made the most notorious geck, and gull,
That e’er invention played on? Tell me why.

Oli. Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing,
Though, I confess, much like the character:
But, out of question, 'tis Maria's hand.
And now I do bethink me, it was she
First told me thou wast mad: then cam'st in smiling,
And in such forms which here were presupposed
Upon thee in the letter. Pr’ythee, be content:

, This practice 3 hath most shrewdly passed upon thee; But, when we know the grounds and authors of it, Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge Of thine own cause. Fab.

Good madam, hear me speak; And let no quarrel, nor no brawl to come, Taint the condition of this present hour, Which I have wondered at. In hope it shall not, Most freely I confess, myself and Toby Set this device against Malvolio here, Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts We had conceived against him: Maria writ The letter, at Sir Toby's great importance; In recompense whereof, he hath married her. How with a sportful malice it was followed, May rather pluck on laughter than revenge ; If that the injuries be justly weighed, That have on both sides passed. 1 Inferior.

2 Fool 3 Practice is a deceit, an insidious stratagem. 4 Importunacy.

3

Oli. Alas, poor fool! how have they baffled" thee!

? Clo. Why, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon them. 1 was one, sir, in this interlude; one Sir Topas, sir; but that's all one :-By the Lord, fool, I am not mad.But do you remember? Madam, why laugh you at such a barren rascal ? An you smile not, he's gagged: : And thus the whirligig of Time brings in his revenges. Mal. I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you.

[Exit. Oli. He hath been most notoriously abused.

Duke. Pursue him, and entreat him to a peace : He hath not told us of the captain yet ; When that is known, and golden time convents, A solemn combination shall be made Of our dear souls.—Mean time, sweet sister, We will not part from hence.—Cesario, come, For so you shall be, while you are a man; But, when in other habits you are seen, Orsino's mistress, and his fancy's queen. [Exeunt.

.

SONG.

Clo. When that I was and a little tiny boy,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,

For the rain it raineth every day

But when I came to man's estate,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,

For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came, alas! to wive,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By_swaggering could I never thrive,

For the rain it raineth every day.

1 Cheated. 2 i. e. Shall serve, agree, be convenient.

But when I came unto my bed,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken head,

For the rain it raineth every day.

A great while ago the world begun,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain ;
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.

[Ezut

.

a

This play is in the graver part elegant and easy, and in some of the lighter scenes exquisitely humorous. Ague-cheek is drawn with great 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.

JOHNSON.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

PRELIMINARY REMARKS.

SHAKSPEARE took the fable of this play from the Promos and Cassandra of George Whetstone, published in 1578, of which this is "The Argument."

" In the city of Julio (sometimes under the dominion of Corvinus, king of Hungary and Bohemia), there was a law, that what man soever committed adultery should lose his head, and the woman offender should wear some disguised apparel, during her life, to make her infamously noted. This severe law, by the favor of some merciful magistrate, became little regarded, until the time of Lord Promos's authority; who, convicting a young gentleman named Andrugio of incontinency, condemned both him and his minion to the execution of this statute. Andrugio had a very virtuous and beautiful gentlewoman to his sister, named Cassandra. Cassandra, to enlarge her brother's life, submitted a humble petition to the Lord Promos. Promos, regarding her good behavior, and fantasying her great beauty, was much delighted with the sweet order of her talk; and doing good, that evil might come thereof, for a time he reprieved her brother; but, wicked man, turning his liking into unlawful lust, he set down the spoil of her honor, ransom for her brother's life: chaste Cassandra, abhorring both him and his suit, by no persuasion would yield to this ransom. But in fine, won by the importunity of her brother (pleading for life), upon these conditions she agreed to Promos: First, that he should pardon her brother, and after marry her. Promos, as fearless in promise as careless in performance, with solemn vow, signed her conditions; but, worse than any infidel, his will satisfied, he performed neither the one nor VOL. I.

42

« PreviousContinue »