« PreviousContinue »
Clo. Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel will amend: for give the dry fool drink, then is the fool not dry; bid the dishonest man mend himself; if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if he cannot, let the botcher mend him : Any thing that's mended, is but patched: virtue, that transgresses, is but patched with sin: and sin, that amends, is but patched with virtue: If that this simple syllogism will serve, so: if it will not, what remedy? As there is no true cuckold but calamity, so beauty's a flower:- the lady bade take away the fool; therefore, I say again, take her away.
Oli. Sir, I bade them take away you.
Clo. Misprision in the highest degree !-- Lady, Cucullus non facit monachum; that's as much as to say, I wear not motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to prove
you a fool.
Oli. Can you do it?
Clo. I must catechize you for it, madonna: Good my mouse of virtue, answer me.
Oli. Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll 'bide your proof.
Clo. Good madonna, why mourn'st thou ?
Clo. The more fool you, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven.—Take away the fool, gentlemen.
Oli. What think you of this fool, Malvolio ? doth he not mend ?
Mal. Yes; and shall do, till the pangs of death shake him: Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool.
Clo. God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the better increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be sworn that I am no fox; but he will not pass his word for twopence that you are no fool.
Oli. How say you to that, Malvolio?
Mal. I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal; I saw him put down the other day with an ordinary fool that has no more brain than a stone. now, he's out of his guard already : unless you laugh and minister occasion to him, he is gagged. I protest I take these wise men, that crow so at these set of kind fools, no better than the fools' zanies.
Oli. O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with
a distempered appetite. To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition, is to take those things for bird-bolts, that you deem cannon-bullets : There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove.
Clo. Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of fools!
Re-enter MARIA. Mar. Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman, much desires to speak with you.
Oli. From the Count Orsino, is it?
Mar. I know not, madam; 'tis a fair young man, and well attended.
Oli. Who of my people hold him in delay?
Oli. Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but madman: Fie on him! (Exit Maria.] Go you, Malvolio; if it be a suit from the count, I am sick, or not at home; what you will to dismiss it. [Exit Malvolio.] Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and people dislike it.
Clo. Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest son should be a fool: whose skull Jove cram with brains; for here he comes, one of thy kin, has a most weak pia mater.
Enter SIR TOBY Belch.
Sir To. A gentleman.
Sir To. "Tis a gentleman here—A plague o' these pickleherrings ! - How now, sot?
Clo. Good Sir Toby,
Oli. Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?
Sir To. Lechery! I defy lechery: There's one at the gate.
Sir To. Let him be the devil, an he will, I care not: give me faith, say I. Well, it's all one.
[Erit. Oli. What's a drunken man like, fool ?
Clo. Like a drowned man, a fool, and a madman: one draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns him.
Oli. Go thou and seek the coroner, and let him sit o' my coz; for he's in the third degree of drink; he's drowned; go, look after him.
Clo. He is but mad yet, madonna ; and the fool shall look to the madman.
[Exit Clown. Re-enter MALVOLIO. Mal. Madam, yond' young fellow swears he will speak to you. I told him you were sick; he takes on him to understand so much, and therefore comes to speak with you: I told him you were asleep; he seems to have a foreknowledge of that too, and therefore comes to speak with you. What is to be said to him, lady? he's fortified against any denial.
Oli. Tell him, he shall not speak with me.
Mal. He has been told so: and he says, he'll stand at your door like a sheriff's post, and be the supporter of a bench, but he'll speak with you.
Oli. What kind of man is he?
you or no.
Oli. Of what personage and years is he? Mal. Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or a codling when 'tis almost an apple: 'tis with him e'en standing water, between boy and man. He is very well favored, and he speaks very shrewishly; one would think, his mother's milk were scarce out of him.
Oli. Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.
Enter VIOLA. Vio. The honorable lady of the house, which is she? Oli. Speak to me; I shall answer for her: Your will ?
Vio. Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty, - I pray you, tell me, if this be the lady of the house, for I never saw her: I would be loath to cast away my speech; for, besides that it is excellently well penned, I have taken great pains to con it. Good beauties, let me sustain no scorn; I am very comptible, even to the least sinister usage. Oli. Whence come you, sir?
Vio. I can say little more than I have studied, and that question's out of my part. Good gentle one, give me modest
if you be the lady of the house, that I may proceed in my speech.
Oli. Are you a comedian ?
Vio. No, my profound heart: and yet, by the very fangs of malice, I swear, I am not that I play. Are you the lady of the house?
Oli. If I do not usurp myself, I am.
Vio. Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp yourself; for what is yours to bestow, is not yours to reserve. But this is from my commission: I will on with my speech in your praise, and then show you the heart of my message.
Oli. Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.
Vio. Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.
Oli. It is the more like to be feigned; I pray you, keep it in. I heard you were saucy at my gates; and allowed your approach, rather to wonder at you than to hear you. If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief: '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.
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 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 appeared in me, have I learned from my entertainment. What I am, and what I would, are as secret as maidenhead: to your ears, divinity; to any other's, profanation.
Oli. Give us the place alone; we will hear this divinity. [Exit Maria.] 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.
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 negotiate with my face?
you are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain, and show you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one as I was, this presents: — Is't not well done?
[Unveiling. Vio. Excellently done, if God did all. Oli. 'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.
Vio. 'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
will lead these graces to the grave, And leave the world no copy.
Oli. 0, 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 gray 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?
Oli. Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him :
great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
Vio. If I did love you in my master's flame,
Why, what would you ?
VOL. 1. - 14