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} Gentlemen attending on the Duke.
Clown,'} Servants to Olivia.
Olivia, a rich countess.
Lords, Prief, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, and other
SCENE, a city in Illyria; and the fea-coaf near it.
WHAT YOU WILL'.
A C T I.
A Room in the Duke's Palacı.
Duke. If musick be the food of love, play on;
1 There is great reason to believe, that the serious part of this comedy is founded on some old translation of the seventh history in the fourth volume of Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques. It appears from the books of the Stationers' Company, July 15, 1596, that there was a version of “ Epitomes des ceni Hijoires Tragiques, partie extraictes des actes des Romains, et autres, &c:” Belleforest took the story, as usual, from Bandello. The comick scenes appear to have been entirely the production of Shakspeare. Ben Jonson, who takes every opportunity to find fault with Shakspeare, feems to ridicule the conduct of Twelftb-Nigbo in his Every Man out of bis Humour, at the end of A& III. sc. vi. where he makes Mitis say, “ That the argument of his comedy might have been of some other nature, as of a duke to be in love with a countess, and that counters to be in love with the duke's fon, and the son in love with the lady's waiting-maid : fome fucb cross wosing, with a clown to their serving-man, better than be thus near and familiarly allied to the time.” STEEVENS.
I suppose this comedy to have been written in 1614. If however the foregoing passage was levelled at Twelfıb-Night, my speculation falls to the ground. See An Arrempt to ascertain ibe order of Sbakspeare's plays, Vol. I, MALONE.
0, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord ?
Duke. Why, so I do, the nobleft that I have:
And 2 0, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
That breatbes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing, and giving odour. ] Milton, in his Paradise Loft, b. iv. bas very luccessfully introduced the same image:
- now gentle gales,
" Those balmy (poils.” The old copy reads--sweet sound, which Mr. Rowe changed into wind, and Mr. Pope into foutb. STEEVENS.
Here Shakspeare makes the south steal odour from the violet. In his 99th Sonnel, the violet is made the thief :
“ The forward violet thus did I chide :
“ If not from my love's breath?” MALONE. 3 of what valicity and pitch soever,] Validity is here used for value. See Vol. III. p. 471, n. 3.
MALONE. 4 That it alone is high fantastical.] High-fantastical, means no more than fantastical roebe beight. So, in All's Well that ends Welli
“My bigh-repented blames
STEEVENS. 5 That instant was I turn'd into a bare;] This image evidently alludes to the story of Acteon, by which Shakspeare seems to think men caus tioned against too great familiarity with forbidden beauty. Adeon,