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the region of comedy altogether. In a household so richly furnished with comic types as Olivia's, the professed humorist plays a minor part. Feste, the clown, is distinguished among Shakespeare's fools by his comparative realism ; he is not sublimated and poetised like Touchstone, but renders, literally enough, the regulation buffooneries of the typical court jester. In one point he stands alone, as the singer of the songs scattered through the play, which so finely touch its various moods-languishing sentiment, rollicking gaiety, and mischief. It contributes something to its harmonious unity that the mocking reminiscence of the 'old Vice with his dagger of lath' springs from the same excellent breast which had recalled for the solace of the sentimental duke antique memories of another order—the old plain song:

That dallies with the innocence of love
Like the old age.

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Enter DUKE, CURIO, and other Lords ; Musicians

Duke. If music be the food of love, play on;
Give, me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again ! it had a dying fall :
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love ! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,

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4. fall, cadence.

to convey the intoxicating rich5. 6. the sweet sound That ness of the music by comparing breathes, etc. Pope altered sound it to that which appeals to two to south, and Dyce and Singer senses at once-to the melodious followed him. But the duke's breeze charged with the perfume description is subtler. He tries of violets.

Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute : so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord ?

What, Curio ?
Cur. The hart.

Duke. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have :
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged 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 her? Val. So please my lord, I might not be ad

mitted ; 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 With eye-offending brine: all this to season A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh And lasting in her sad remembrance.

Duke. O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame To pay this debt of love but to a brother, How will she love, when the rich golden shaft Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else


26. The element, the air.
ib. till seven years' heat, for

seven summers.

12. validity, value.
ib. pitch, high worth.
14. fancy, love.

21. turn'd into a hart. A reference to the classic story of Artemis and Actæon.

32. remembrance ; four syl. lables.

35. shaft, i.e. of Cupid.

That live in her; when liver, brain and heart,
These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and fillid
Her sweet perfections with one self king!
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers :
Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.



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Enter Viola, a Captain, and Sailors.
Vio. What country, friends, is this?
Cap. This is Illyria, lady.

Vio. And what should I do in Illyria ?
My brother he is in Elysium.
Perchance he is not drown'd: what think you,

sailors ?
Cap. It is perchance that you yourself were

saved. Vio. O my poor brother ! and so perchance may

he be. Cap. True, madam : and, to comfort you with

chance, Assure yourself, after our ship did split, When you and those poor number saved with you 10 Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother, Most provident in peril, bind himself, Courage and hope both teaching him the practice, To a strong mast that lived upon the sea ; Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back, I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves So long as I could see.

Vio. For saying so, there's gold: 37. liver; this was regarded 39. one self king, one self-same as a special seat of the passions, king, i.e. Love. especially of courage and love.


Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
The like of him. Know'st thou this country?

Cap. Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
Not three hours' travel from this very place.

Vio. Who governs here?
Cap. A noble duke, in nature as in name.
Vio. What is his name?
Cap. Orsino.
Vio. Orsino! I have heard my father name

him :


He was a bachelor then.

Cap. And so is now, or was so very late;
For but a month ago I went from hence,
And then 'twas fresh in murmur,—as, you know,
What great ones do the less will prattle of,
That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.

Vio. What's she?

Cap. A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her
In the protection of his son, her brother,
Who shortly also died : for whose dear love,
They say, she hath abjured the company
And sight of men.

O that I served that lady,
And might not be delivered to the world
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow
What my estate is !

That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the duke's.

Vio. There is a fair behaviour in thee, captain;


21. The like of him, a similar own occasion mellow What my escape in his case.

estate is, till I had made use of my 42. delivered, made known. opportunities to better my pre43, 44. Till I had made mine sent condition.

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