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Fly away, fly away, breath;
O prepare it;
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
Not a friend, not a friend greet
A thousand thousand sighs to saye,
Lay me, O! where
To weep there." Who after this will say that Shakspeare's genius was only fitted for comedy? Yet after reading other parts of this play, and particularly the garden-scene where Malvolio picks up the letter, if we were to say that his genius for comedy was less than his genius for tragedy, it would perhaps only prove that our own taste in such matters is more saturnine than mercurial.
Sir Tony. Here comes the little villain :-How now, my nettle of India ?
Marta. Get ye all three into the box-tree: Malvolio's coming down this walk : he has been yonder i' the sun, practising behavior to hus own shadow this half hour : observe him, for the love of mockery; for I know this letter will make a contemplative idiol of him. Close, in the name of jesting! Lie thou there ; for here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling (They hide themselves. Maria throts doton a letter, and Exit.)
Enter MALVOLIO MALVOLIO. 'Tu but fortune ; all is fortune. Maria once told me she did affect me ; and I have heard herself come thus near, that, should she fancy, it should be one of my complexion. Besides, she uses me with a more exalted respect than any one else that follows her. What should I think on 't?
Sir Toby. Here's an over-weening rogue !
Fanlar. O, peace ! Contemplation makes a rare turkeycock of him ; how he jets under his advanced plumes !
San Andrew. 'Slight, I could so beat the rogue
SIR TOBY. Peace, I say.
MALVOLIO. There is example for 't; the lady of the Strachy married the yeoman of the wardrobe.
SIR ANDREW. Fie on him, Jezebel!
FABIAN. O, peace! now he's deeply in; look, how imagination blows him.
MalvoLIO. Having been three months married to her, sitting in my chair of state,
Sir Toby. O for a stone-bow, to hit him in the eye !
MALVOLIO. Calling my officers about me, in my branch'd velvet gown; having come from a day-bed, where I have left Olivia sleeping.
Sir Toby. Fire and brimstone!
MALVOLIO. And then to have the humor of state ; and after a demure travel of regard, telling them, I know my place, as I would they should do theirs,-to ask for my kinsman Toby.
SIR TOBY. Bolts and shackles !
MalvoLIO. Seven of my people, with an obedient start, make out for him I frown the while; and, perchance, wind up my watch, or play with some rich jewel. Toby approaches; curtsies there to me:
SIR TOBY. Shall this fellow live?
MALVOLIO. I extend my hand to him thus, quenching my familiar smile with an austere regard of control :
SIR TOBY. And does not Toby take you a blow of the lips then?
MALvoLIO. Saying-Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on your niece, give me this prerogative of speech ;
SIR TOBY. What, what?
MALVOLIO. Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with a foolish knight
S18 ANDREW. That's me, I warrant you.
[Taking up the letter.”
The letter and his comments on it are equally good. If po Malvolio's treatment afterwards is a little hard, poetical just
is done in the uneasiness which Olivia suffers on account of her mistaken attachment to Cesario, as her insensibility to the vio. lence of the Duke's passion is atoned for by the discovery of Viola's concealed love of him.
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
This is little more than the first outlines of a comedy loosely sketched in. It is the story of a novel dramatised with very little labor or pretension; yet there are passages of high poetical spirit, and of inimitable quaintness of humor, which are undoubtedly Shakspeare's, and there is throughout the conduct of the fable, a careless grace and felicity which marks it for his. One of the editors (we believe Mr. Pope) remarks in a marginal note to the Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA—“It is observable (I know not for what cause) that the style of this comedy is less figurative, and more natural and unaffected than the greater part of this author's, though supposed to be one of the first he wrote.” Yet so little does the editor appear to have made up his mind upon this subject, that we find the following note to the very next (the second) scene. “ This whole scene, like many others in these plays (some of which I believe were written by Shakspeare, and others interpolated by the players) is composed of the lowest and most trifling conceits, to be accounted for only by the gross taste of the age he lived in: Populo ut placerent. I wish I had authority to leave them out, but I have done all I could, set a mark of reprobation upon them, throughout this edition.” It is strange that our fastidious critic should fall so soon from praising to reprobating. The style of the familiar parts of this comedy is indeed made up of conceits-low they may be for what we know, but then they are not poor, but rich ones. The scene of Launce with his dog (not that in the se. cond, but that in the fourth act) is a perfect treat in the way of farcical drollery and invention ; nor do we think Speed's man. ner of proving his master to be in love deficient in wit or sense, though the style may be criticised as not simple enough for the modern taste.
“ VALENTINE. Why, how know you that I am in love ?
SPEED. Marry, by these special marks : first, you have learned, like Sir Protheus, to wreathe your arms like a malcontent, to relish a love-song like a robin-red-breast, to walk alone like one that had the pestilence, to sigh like a school-boy that had lost his A B C, to weep like a young wench that had lost her grundam, to fast like one that takes diet, to watch like one that fears robbing, to speak puling like a beggar at Hallowmas. You were wont, when you laughed, to crow like a cock; when you walked, to walk like one of the lions; when you fasted, it was presently after dinner; when you looked sadly, it was for want of money; and now you are metamor. phosed with a mistress that when I look on you, I can hardly think you my master."
The tender scenes in this play, though not so highly wrought as in some others, have often much sweetness of sentiment and expression. There is something pretty and playful in the conversation of Julia with her maid, when she shows such a dispo sition to coquetry about receiving the letter from Protheus; and her behavior afterwards and her disappointment, when she finds him faithless to his vows, remind us at a distance of Imogen's tender constancy. Her answer to Lucetta, who advises her against following her lover in disguise, is a beautiful piece of poetry.
LUCETTA. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire, pleo But qualify the fire's extremest rage,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
JULIA. The more thou datm'st it up, the more it burns ; Ile The current that with gentle murmur glides,
to Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage;
But when his fair course is not hindered, mi He makes sweet music with th' enamell'd stones,
Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge
He overtaketh in his pilgrimage. di And so by many winding noolos he strays,
With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course and