« PreviousContinue »
THE PASTORAL, BY CH. MARLOWE,
Referred to Act iii. Sc. 1, of the foregoing Play.
COME, live with me, and be my love,
precious as the gods do eat,
WHAT YOU WILL.
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. viimo. Belleforest, as usual, copied Bandello. In the fifth eglog 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. But Rich's narration is the more 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 Ague-cheek hardly fair game; but the good-nature with which his folly and his pretensions are brought forward for our amusement, by humoring 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, than a wish to give pain by exposing their absurdity.
ORSINO, Duke of Illyria.
OLIVIA, a rich Countess.
Lords, Priests, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, and other Attendants.
SCENE. A City in Illyria, and the Sea-coast near it.
WHAT YOU WILL.
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;
Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord ?
1 The old copies read sound: the emendation is Pope's. Rowe had changed it to wind. In Sidney's Arcadia, 1590, we have—“ more sweet than a gentle south-west wind, which comes creeping over flowery fields."
3 Fantastical to the height. This is the usual reading; but may it not have been originally written, “ hight (i. e. called) fantastical”? VOL. I.
The hart. Duke. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have: 0, when mine eyes did see Olivia first, Methought she purged the air of pestilence; That instant was I turned into a hart; And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, E’er since pursue me.-How now? what news from
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 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 killed the flock of all affections else That live in her! when liver, brain, and heart, These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and filled (Her sweet perfections) with one self king ! Away before me to sweet beds of flowers; Love-thoughts lie rich, when canopied with bowers.
SCENE II. The Sea-coast.
Enter Viola, Captain, and Sailors.
Illyria, lady Vio. And what should I do in Illyria ?
1 This passage is obscure: perhaps the meaning is, seven summers.
So in Sidney's Arcadia_" the flock of unspeakable virtues." 3 Self king signifies self-same king.