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Oli. It is the more like to be feigned; I pray you, keep it in. I heard you were saucy at my gates; and allow'd your approach, rather to wonder at you than to hear you. If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief:8 'tis not that time of moon with me, to make one in so skipping' a dialogue.
Mar. Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.
Vio. No, good swabber; I am to hull here? a little longer.Some mollification for your giant, sweet lady.
Oli. Tell me your mind.
- If you be not mad, be gone ; if you have reason, be brief:] The sense evidently requires that we should read :
“ If you be mad, be gone,” &c. For the words be mad, in the first part of the sentence, are opposed to reason in the second. M. Mason.
skipping - ] Wild, frolick, mad. Johnson. So, in K. Henry IV, P. I: “The skipping king, he ambled up and down," &c. Steevens. Again in The Merchant of Venice:
· I am to hull here -) To hull means to drive to and fro upon the water, without sails or rudder. So, in Philemon Holland's translation of the 9th Book of Pliny's Natural His. tory, 1601, p. 239: “ – fell to be drowsie and sleepie, and hulled to and fro with the waves, as if it had beene half dead.” Again, in The Noble Soldier, 1634: “ That all these mischiefs hull with flagging sail." Steevens.
some mollification for your giant,] Ladies, in romance, are guarded by giants, who repel ali improper or troublesome advances. Viola, seeing the waiting-maid so eager to oppose her message, intreats Olivia to pacify her giant. Fohnson.
Viola likewise alludes to the diminutive size of Maria, who is called on subsequent occasions, little villain, youngest wren of nine, &c. Steevens.
So, Falstaff to his page: “Sirrah, you giant," &c., K. Henry IV, P. II, Act I. Malone. 3 Oli. Tell me your mind.
Vio. I am a messenger.] These words (which in the old copy are part of Viola's last speech) must be divided between the two speakers.
Viola growing troublesome, Olivia would dismiss her, and therefore
cuts her short with this command, Tell me your minch
Oli. Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
Vio. It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of war, no taxation of homage; I hold the olive in my hand: my words are as full of peace as matter.
Oli. Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you?
Vio. The rudeness that hath appeard in me, have I learn’d from my entertainment. What I am, and what I would, are as secret as maiden-head: to your ears, divi. nity; to any other's, prophanation.
Oli. Give us the place alone: we will hear this divi. nity. (Exit Mar.) Now, sir, what is your text?
Vio. Most sweet lady,Oli. A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it. Where lies your text?
Vio. In Orsino's bosom.
Vio. To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.
Oli, 0, I have read it; it is heresy. Have you no more to say?
Vio. Good madam, let me see your face.
Oli. Have you any commission from your lord to ne. gociate with my face? you are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain, and shew you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one I was this present: Is 't not well done?"
The other, taking advantage of the ambiguity of the word mind, which signifies either business or inclination, replies as if she had used it in the latter sense, I am a messenger. Warburton.
As a messenger, she was not to speak her own mind, but that of her employer. M. Mason.
· Look you, sir, such a one I was this present: Is 't not well done?] This is nonsense. The change of was to evear, I think, clears all up, and gives the espression an air of gallan. try: Viola presses to see Olivia's face: The other at length pulls off her veil, and says: We will draw the curtain, and shew you the picture. I wear this complexion to-day, I may wear another to-morrow; jocularly intimating, that she painted. The other, vext at the jest, says, "“ Excellently done, if God did all.” Perhaps, it may be true, what you say in jest; otherwise 'tis an sxcellent face.' 'Tis in grain, &c. replies Olivia. Warburton.
Vio. Excellently done, if God did all.
Oli. 'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather. f
Vio. 'Tis beauty truly blent, 5 whose red and white
I am not satisfied with this emendation. We may read, “ Such a one I was. This presence, is 't not well done?” i. e. this mien, is it not happily represented ? Similar phraseology occurs in Othello: “This fortification, shall we see it?" Steevens.
This passage is nonsense as it stands, and necessarily requires some amendment. That proposed by Warburton would make sense of it; but then the allusion to a picture would be dropped, which began in the preceding part of the speech, and is carried on through those that follow. If we read presents, instead of present, this allusion will be preserved, and the meaning will be clear. I have no doubt but the line should run thus:
“ Look you, sir, such as once I was, this presents." Presents means represents. So Hamlet calls the pictures he shew's his mother:
“ The counterfeit presentment of two brothers.” She had said before_“ But we will draw the curtain, and shew you the picture ;' and concludes with asking him, if it was well done. The same idea occurs in Troilus and Cressila, where Pandarus, taking off her veil, says: “ Come draw this curtain, and let us see your picture.”
M. Mason. I suspect, the author intended that Olivia should again cover her face with her veil, before she speaks these words. Malone.
5 'Tis beauty truly blent,} i. e. blended, mixed together. Blent is the ancient participle of the verb to blend. So, in A Looking Glass for London and England, 1617:
the beautiful encrease “ Is wholly blent." Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I, c. 6:
- for having blent “My name with guile, and traiterous intent.” Steevens. 6 If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.] How much more elegantly is this thought expressed by Shakspeare, than by Beaumont and Fletcher in their Philaster:
“I grieve such virtue should be laid in earth,
“ Without an heir."
- She tarv'd thee for her seal, and meant thereby
Oli. O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted; I will give out divers schedules of my beauty: It shall be inventoried; and every particle, and utensil, labelled to my will: as, item, two lips indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to them; item, one neck, one chin, and so forth. Were you sent hither to 'praise me??
Vio. I see you what you are: you are too proud;
How does he love me?
Again, in the 3d Sonnet:
“ Die single, and thine image dies with thee.” Steevena. Again, in his 9th Sonnet:
“ Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
" That thou no form of thee hast left behind." Again, in the 13th Sonnet:
“O that you were yourself! but, love, you are
Against this coming end you should prepare,
to 'praise me?] i. e. to appraise, or appretiate me. The foregoing words, schedules, and inventoried, shew, I think, that this is the meaning. So again, in Cymbeline : “I could then have looked on him without the help of admiration ; though the catalogue of his endowments had been tabled by his side, and I to peruse him by items." Malone.
Malone's conjecture is ingenious, and I should have thought it the true reading, if the foregoing words, schedule and inventoried, had been used by Viola: but as it is Olivia herself who makes use of them, I believe the old reading is right, though Steevens has adopted that of Malone. Viola has extolled her beauty so highly, that Olivia asks, whether she was sent there on purpose to praise her. M. Muson.
with fertile tears,] With, which is not in the old copy, was added by Mr. Pope to supply the metre. Tears is here used as a dissyllable, like fire, hour, swear, &c. “With adoration's fertile tears," i. e. with the copious tears that unbounded and adoring love pours forth. Muline.
9 With groans that thunder lure, with sighs of fire.] This line is worthy of Dryden's 1manzor, and, if not said in mockery
Li make 5 out, OE tween the arou sho
in Abov endleman.
A. anot love
Oli. Your lord does know my mind, I cannot love
Vio. If I did love you in my master's flame,
Why, what would you?
of amorous hyperboles, might be regarded as a ridicule on a passage in Chapman's translation of the first book of Homer, 1598:
“ Jove thunder'd out a sigh;." or, on another in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592:
“ The winds of my deepe sighes
“That thunder still for naughts,” &c. Steevens. So, in our author's Lover's Complaint:
“O, that forc'd thunder from his heart did fly!" Malone. i In voices well divulg'd,] Well spoken of by the world.
Malone So, in Timon:
“ Is this the Athenian minior, whom the world
$Voic'd so regardfully?" Steevens. 2 Write loyal cantons of contemned love,] The old copy has can: tons ; which Mr. Capell, who appears to have been entirely unac. quainted with our ancient language, has changed into canzons. There is no need of alteration. Canton was used for canto in our author's time. So, in The London Prodigal, a comedy, 1605: " What-do-you-call-hiin has it there in bis third canton."
Again, in Heywood's Preface to Britaynes Troy, 1609: " - in the judi. cial perusal of these few cantons," &c. Malone.
3 Holla your name to the reverberate hills,] t have corrected, reverberant. Theobald.
Mr. Upton well observes, that Shakspeare frequently adjective passive, actively. Theobald's emendation is therefore