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him who originally discovered it, for it requires not much of either wit or judgment; its success must be derived almost wholly from the player, but its power in a skilful mouth even he that despises it is unable to resist.
The conduct of this drama is deficient; the action begins and ends often, before the conclusion, and the different parts might change places without inconvenience; but its general power, that power by which all works of genins shall finally be tried, is such, that perhaps it never yet had reader or spectator who did not think it too soon at the end.
THE PASTORAL BY CH. MARLOWE,
Referred to Act iii. Sc. 1, of the foregoing Play.
Cone, live with me, and be my love,
TWELFTH NI G H T;
WHAT YOU WILL.
PRELIMINARY REMARKS. 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 1583. It is probably borrowed from Les Histoires Tragiques de Belleforest, vol. iv. Hist. viine. Belleforest, as usual, copied Bandello. In the fifth eclog 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. Bui Rich's narration is the mere 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.
The comic scenes appear to have been entirely the creation of the poet, and they are worthy of his transcendent genius. It is indeed one of the most delightful of Shakspeare's comedies. Dr. Johnson thought the natural fatuity of Agric-cheek hardly fair game, but the good-nature with which his folly and his pretensions are brought forward for our amusement, by humouring his whims, are almost without a spice of satire. It is rather an attempt to give pleasure by exhibiting an exaggerated picture of his foibles, ihan a wish to give pain 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 mahe water in a cinque-a pacc. 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, over their cups ; how they 'rouse the night-owl in a catch able to draw threc souls out of one weaver! - What can be better than Sir Toby's unanswerable answer to Malvolio : “Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale ? -We have a friendship for Sir Toby; we patronize Sir Andrew; we have an understanding with the clown, a sneaking kindness for Maria and her rogueries; we feel a regard for Malvolio, and sympathize with his gravity, his smiles, his cross-garters, his yellow stockings, and imprisonment in the stocks. But there is something that excites in us a stronger feeling than all this, it is Viola's confcssion of her love.