Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Take thou thy Silvia; for thou hast deserv'd her.

Val. I thank your grace: the gift hath made me happy. I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake, To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.

Duke. I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it be.

Val. These banish'd men, that I have kept withal, Are men endued with worthy qualities. Forgive them what they have committed here, And let them be recall'd from their exile : They are reformed, civil, full of good, And fit for great employment, worthy lord.

Duke. Thou hast prevail’d: I pardon them, and thee; Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts. Come, let us go; we will include all jars? With triumphs, 8 mirth, and rare solemnity.

Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold With our discourse to make your grace to smile: What think you of this page, my lord?

Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he blushes. Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than boy. Duke. What mean you by that saying?

Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along, That you will wonder what hath fortuned.Come, Proteus; 'tis your penance, but to hear The story of your loves discovered: That done, our day of marriage shall be yours; One feast, one house, one mutual happiness. [Exeunt.'

7

include all jars – ] To include is to shut up, to conclude. So, in Macbeth:

and shut up “ In measureless content," Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV, ch. ix:

“ And for to shut up all in friendly love." Steevens. 8 With triumphs,] Triumphs, in this and many other passages of Shakspeare, signify Masques and Revels, &c. So, in King Henry VI, P. III:

ós With stately triumphs, mirt comic shows." Ste ns. 9 In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge, and ignorance, of care and neligence. The versification is often excellent, the allusions are learned and just; but the author conveys his heroes by sea from one inland town to another in the same country; he places the Emperor at Milan, and sends his young men to attend him, but never mentions him more; he makes Proteus, after an interview with Silvia, say he has only seen her

picture; and, if we may credit the old copies, he has, by mistaking places, left his scenery inextricable. The reason of all this confusion seems to be, that he took his story from a novel, which he sometimes followed, and sometimes forsook, sometimes remembered, and sometimes forgot.

That this play is rightly attributed to Shakspeare, I have little doubt. If it be taken from him, to whom shall it be given? This question may be asked of all the disputed plays, except Titus Andronicus ; and it will be found more credible, that Shakspeare might sometimes sink below his highest flights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest. Johnson.

Johnson's general remarks on this play are just, except that part in which he arraigns the conduct of the poet, for making Proteus say, that he had only seen the picture of Silvia, when it appears that he had had a personal interview with her. This, however, is not a blunder of Shakspeare's, but a mistake of Johnson's, who considers the passage alluded to in a more literal sense than the author intended it. Sir Proteus, it is true, had seen Silvia for a few moments; but though he could form from thence some idea of her person, he was still unacquainted with her temper, manners, and the qualities of her mind. He therefore con. siders himself as having seen her picture only.--The thought is just, and elegantly expressed.-So, in The Scornful Lady, the elder Loveless says to her:

“ I was mad once, when I loved pictures ;
“ For what are shape and colours else, but pictures ?

M. Mason

MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

PERSONS REPRESENTED.

Demetritis

, }

Theseus, Duke of Athens.
Egeus, Father to Hermia.

in love with Hermia.
Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus.
Quince, the Carpenter.
Snug, the Joiner.
Bottom, the Weaver.
Flute, the Bellows-mender.
Snout, the Tinker.
Starveling, the Tailor.

Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus. Hermia, Daughter to Egeus, in love with Lysander. Helena, in love with Demetrius.

Oberon, King of the Fairies.
Titania, Queen of the Fairico.
Puck, or Robin-goodfellow, a Fairy.
Peas-blossom,
Cobweb,

Fairies.
Moth,
Mustard-seed,
Pyramus,
Thisbe,

Characters in the Interlude performed by Wall,

the Clowns. Moonshine, Lion,

Other Fairies attending their King and Queen.

Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta.

SCENE,
Athens, and a Wood not far from it.

« AnteriorContinuar »