Page images
[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]


Mariana. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away; Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.


Enter DUKE.

cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish

You had not found me here so musical:

Let me excuse me, and believe me so,

My mirth it much displeas'd, but pleas'd my woe.

Duke. 'Tis good: though music oft hath such a charm,

To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.


pray you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me here today? Much upon this time have I promis'd here to meet.

Mariana. You have not been inquired after: I have sat here all day.


Duke. I do constantly believe you :-The time is come, even now. I shall crave your forbearance a little; may be, I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself. Mariana. I am always bound to you.




Marianne. Interromps tes chants, et hâte-toi de te retirer; voici venir un homme dont les conseils ont souvent calmé la violence de mes chagrins.

Entre LE Duc.

[Le Page sort.

Marianne (continuant.) Je vous demande pardon, mon père; j'aurais souhaité que vous m'eussiez trouvée un peu moins musicale; veuillez m'excuser, et croire que si ma douleur est gaie, en revanche, ma gaieté est chagrine.

Le Duc. Il n'y a pas de mal à cela, quoique la musique ait souvent le pouvoir de transformer le mal en bien, et de faire du bien une excitation au mal. Dites-moi, je vous prie, si quelqu'un aujourd'hui est venu me demander: voici à peu près l'heure où j'ai promis de me trouver ici. Marianne. Personne n'est venu vous demander; je suis restée ici tout le jour.


Le Duc. Je vous crois certainement.

Voici justement l'heure. (Apercevant Isabelle.) Je vous demanderai de vouloir bien nous laisser seuls un moment; peut-être vous rappellerai-je bientôt pour quelque chose qui est dans votre intérêt.

Marianne. Je vous en suis reconnaissante.

[Elle sort.


[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed]


"What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!"

IN depicting the character of OLIVIA, in the Twelfth Night, Shakspeare has drawn considerably on the ideal. She is introduced to us as rejecting the hand of the Duke of Illyria, ORSINO, and the offers of all other lovers; fixing her heart's best affections. on a young woman, VIOLA, who, in the disguise of a man, is servant to the Duke; and at last marrying SEBASTIAN, the brother of VIOLA, through mistaking him on account of his likeness to his sister.

OLIVIA is courted, chiefly on account of her riches, by SIR ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK, a friend of her uncle, SIR TOBY; and, like him, given to "ill hours," "quaffings," and "drinkings." In vain she attempts to seek retirement, whilst mourning for the loss of her brother, whom her father, at his death, made her guardian. The Duke of ILLYRIA disturbs her peace by incessant offers of love; and being rejected in person, seeks the aid of his favourite attendant, CESARIO, who is, in reality, a young lady (VIOLA) disguised in the dress of the other sex. VIOLA is sent by the Duke with fresh proffers of his love; and well does she forward, as far as possible, the object of his suit. Unfortunately for OLIVIA, she is unaware that VIOLA herself is attached to him; and being deceived by her disguise, falls deeply in love with her. VIOLA makes no attempt to undeceive her, but rejects all OLIVIA'S advances, with a coolness which drives the latter to despair.

Amidst that which seems to incline to a tragic end, the dramatist introduces a rich comic scene, wherein MALVOLIO, OLIVIA'S steward, is the chief actor. To flatter his conceit, MARIA, her waiting-maid, who is full of wit and mischief, has thrown in his way a letter. This he picks up, and, by curious logic, concludes that it has been addressed to him by OLIVIA. He accordingly appears in her presence, in dress and manner indicated by the letter, but which are exceedingly distasteful to his mistress; and, eventually, this ends in his being conveyed to a place of safety, thus relieving OLIVIA of another source of annoyance, and, as she thinks, of a lunatic.

SIR ANDREW, not willing to be foiled in his suit, sends a challenge to CESARIO (VIOLA). A sea captain, ANTONIO, a friend of SEBASTIAN, the brother of VIOLA, interferes on her behalf; and his scizure by the officer leads to a series of incidents, which ends in SEBASTIAN appearing on the scene, in search of ANTONIO. OLIVIA, mistaking him for VIOLA, again proffers her love, which he at last accepts; and, accordingly, they are married; for, although he is completely at a loss to account for her choice, he accepts it on the principle that he might do worse.

The complications are cleared up on ANTONIO being brought for trial. It is then discovered that VIOLA, although so well disguised, is the sister of SEBASTIAN; and the extraordinary resemblance to each other explains the various mistakes into which OLIVIA, ANTONIO, and the Duke, had fallen. VIOLA is married to the Duke, and MARIA is rewarded for her wit, by finding a husband in SIR TOBY, the uncle of OLIVIA.

« EelmineJätka »