« ZurückWeiter »
that one cannot neglect his own character to watch the actions of the others."
99 -quaint in green,] Quaint is used here in its primitive and still genuine signification, graceful, elegant (equivalent to the Latin comtus, from which it seems to have been derived). In the same way it occurs in the Tempest, in Prospero's speech to Ariel, when the latter enters in the habit of a water-nymph:
“ Fine apparition ! My quaint Ariel
Act. I. Sc. 2. -a bribe-buck,] i. e, a buck sent for a bribe. The old copies, mistakingly, a brib'd buck.
THEOBALD. --my shoulders for the fellow of this walk,] Who the fellow is, or why he keeps his shoulders for him, I do not understand.
JOHNSON. To the keeper the shoulders and humbles belong as a perquisite.
102 You ORPHAN-heirs of fixed destiny,] Dr. Warburton reads, You OUPHEN heirs of fixed destiny, i. e. you elves, who minister, and succeed in some of the works of destiny; and not without plausibility, as the word ouphes occurs both before and afterward. Farmer says, The address in this line is to a part of the troop, as mortals by birth, but adopted by the fairies: orphans in respect to their real parents, and now only dependant on Destiny herself.
--for their charactery.) For the matter with which they make letters.
JOHNSON. 104 Lust is but a bloody fire,] A bloody fire means a
fire in the blood. In The Second Part of Henry IV. Act 4. the same expression occurs :
“ Led on by bloody youth,” &c. i. e. sanguine youth. Jack-a-lent,] See the Annotation
upon (68). 106 -- to laugh at my wise,] The two plots are excellently connected, and the transition very artfully made in this speech.
THE PLOT, THE FABLE, AND CONSTRUCTION
TWELFTH-NIGHT; OR, WHAT YOU WILL.
« This play,” says Dr. Johnson, « is in the
graver part elegant and easy, and in some of the lighter scenes exquisitely humourous. 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.” One can hardly entertain a doubt that the plot of this play is derived from the thirty-sixth novel of Bandello, in which are related the adventures of the twin children of Ambrogio, a rich merchant of Esi. Mr. Steevens is proba