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known in England as early as about the middle of the sixteenth century. If Shakespeare had followed Rich we should probably have discovered some verbal trace of his obligation, as in the cases where he followed Painter's “ Palace of Pleasure,” or, still more strikingly, where he availed himself of the works of Greene and Lodge. In Gľ Ingannati we find nothing but incident in common with “TwelfthNight." The vast inferiority of the former to the latter in language and sentiment may
be seen in
line. The mistake of the brother for the sister, by Isabella, is the same in both, and it terminates in a somewhat similar manner, for the female attendant of the lady, meeting Fabricio (who is dressed, like his sister Lelia, in white) in the street, conducts him to her mistress, who receives him with open arms.
Flamininio and Lelia are of course united at the end of the comedy.
The likeness between GI' Ingannati and "Twelfth-Night" is certainly, in some points of the story, stronger than that between Gľ Inganni and Shakespeare's drama; but to neither can we say, with any degree of certainty, that our great dramatist resorted, although he had perhaps read both, when he was considering the best mode of adapting to the stage the incidents of Bandello's novel. There is no hint, in any source yet discovered, for the smallest portion of the comic business of "Twelfth-Night." In both the Italian dramas it is of the most homely and vulgar materials, by the intervention of empirics, braggarts, pedants, and servants, who deal in the coarsest jokes, and are guilty of the grossest buffoonery. Shakespeare shows his infinite superiority in each department: in the more serious portion of his drama he employed the incidents furnished by predecessors as the mere scaffolding for the erection of his own beautiful edifice; and for the comic scenes, combining so admirably with, and assisting so importantly in the progress of the main plot, he seems, as usual, to have drawn merely upon his own interminable resources.
It was an opinion, confidently stated by Coleridge in his lectures in 1818, that the passage in Act. ii. sc. 4, beginning
“ Too old, by heaven: let still the woman take
An elder than herself,” &c. had a direct application to the circumstances of his own marriage with Anne Hathaway, who was so much senior to the poet. Some of Shakespeare's biographers had previously enforced this notion, and others have since followed it up; but Coleridge took the opportunity of enlarging eloquently on the manner in which young poets have frequently connected themselves with women of very
ordinary personal and mental attractions, the imagination supplying all deficiencies, clothing the object of affection with grace and beauty, and furnishing her with every accomplishment.
ORSINO, Duke of Illyria.
Gentlemen attending on the Duke.
Servants to Olivia.
OLIVIA, a rich Countess.
Lords, Priests, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, and other Attendants.
SCENE, a City in Illyria ; and the Sea-coast near it.
1 First given by Rowe in his edition.
WHAT YOU WILL.
ACT I. SCENE I.
An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter DUKE, CURIO, Lords; Musicians attending.
Duke. If music be the food of love, play on:
like the sweet south, That breathes upon a bank of violets,] The old copies read “the sweet sound.” Pope substituted south, to the manifest improvement of the passage ; and as sound for south was an easy misprint, we have continued the alteration, being of opinion, that it is much more likely that the printer should have made an error, than that Shakespeare should have missed so obvious a beauty. As Steevens remarked, there is great similarity of expression in the following passage from Sir P. Sidney's “ Arcadia,” 4to, 1390 :-“ her breath is more sweet than a gentle south-west wind, which comes creeping over flowery fields and shadowed waters." There is no doubt that Shakespeare saw this passage. See p. 325, note 4. No “sweet sound” “ breathes upon a bank of violets,” but “the sweet south” may very properly be said to breathe upon it.
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
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
Enter VALENTINE. 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
2 Of what validity-] i. e. ralue. See “ All's Well that Ends Well,” A. v. Sc. 3. 3 And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E’er since pursue me.] Malone quoted the whole of the fifth sonnet of Samuel Daniel, to show that this thought was not new in Shakespeare. Daniel's “ Delia,” in which it is contained, was twice printed in 1592, 4to, and when coincidences of the kind occur, dates are important: Malone used an edition of 1594. The following are the only applicable lines, as they stand in the first impression : the poet is complaining of the disdain of his mistress,
“ Which turn'd my sport into a hart's dispaire,
Which still is chac'd, whilst I have any breath,
My thoughts, like hounds, pursue me to my death.” While Malone was insisting that Shakespeare undoubtedly had Daniel's sonnet in his mind, he himself produced several instances, which prove that various other writers had fallen upon the same thought, in nearly the same words, including Adlington, in his translation of “ The Golden Asse (not Ages, as misprinted in Malone's Shakespeare by Boswell) of Apuleius,” which came from the press as early as 1566, and of which there were various subsequent impressions.
With eye-offending brine : all this, to season
Duke. O! she that hath a heart of that fine frame,
Enter VIOLA, Captain, and Sailors.
This is Illyria, lady.
4 Hath kill'd the Flock of all affections else] Sir P. Sidney, in his “Arcadia,” 1590, as Steevens observes, has a similar expression," the flock of unspeakable virtues," meaning, of course, the assemblage of them. It deserves remark, that this passage occurs in the “ Arcadia,” just below one already quoted, respecting “ the sweet south,”—a confirmation of that reading.
5 (Her sweet perfections)] The passage would run better for the sense, and equally well for the verse, if we were to read,
“ when liver, brain, and heart,
Are all supplied and fill'd with one self king." In the folio, 1623, there are no marks of parenthesis before or after“ her sweet perfections,” but they seem necessary to cure the defective collocation in the old text. “Liver, brain, and heart,” says Steevens, “ qre admitted in poetry as the residence of passions, judgment, and sentiments. These are what Shakespeare calls “ her sweet perfections.'” If we could read “perfections” in the singular, the meaning might be that “one self king,” viz. “her sweet perfection,” would fill the three sovereign thrones of " liver, brain, and heart."
6 -- with one self king.) The second folio reads “ with one self same king," as if the metre were defective; but “perfections” being read as four syllables, as is constantly the case with words ending in tion and sion, the line is complete.