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Clo. Misprision in the highest degree!-Lady, Cucullus non facit monachum; that 's as much as to say, 1 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 two-pence 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.
you now, he 's out of his guard already; unless you laugh and minister occasion to him, he is gagg’d. I
protest, I take these wise men, that crow so at these set kind of fools, no better than the fools' zanies. 8
Oli. (, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with a distemper'd appetite. To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition, is to take those things for birdbolts, that you deem cannon-bullets: There is no slander in an allow'd fool, though he do nothing but rail;
- no better than the fools' zanies,] i.e. fools' baubles, which upon the top of them the head of a fool. Douce.
nor no railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove.
Clo. Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speak'st 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: Fye on him! [Exit MAR.) 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 MAL.] Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and peo. ple dislike it.
Clo. Thou hast spoke for us, Madonna, as if thy el. dest son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with brains, for here he comes, one of thy kin, has a most weak fia mater."
Enter Sir TOBY BELCH. Oli. By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin
9 Now Mercury indue thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of fools !} This is a stupid blunder. We should read with pleasing, i. e.
with eloquence, make thee a gracious and powerful speaker, for Mercury was the god of orators as well as cheats. But the first editors, who did not understand the phrase, indue thee with pleasing, made this foolish correction; more excusable, however, than the last editor's, who, when this emendation was pointed out to him, would make one of his own; and so, in his Oxford editon, reads, with learning; without troubling himself to satisfy the reader how the first editor should blunderin a word so easy to be understood as learning, though they well might in the word pleasing, as it is used in this place. Warburton.
I think the present reading more humorous: May Mercury teach thee to lie, since thou liest in favour of fouls! Johnson.
- a most weak pia mater.] The pia mater is the mem. brane that immediately covers the substance of the brain. So, in Philemon Holland's Translation of Pliny's Natural History, Book XXIV, chap. 8: “ -- the fine pellicle called pia mater, which lappeth and enfoldeth the braine.” Edit. 1601, p. 185. Steevens,
Sir To. A gentleman.
Sir To. 'Tis a gentleman here? --A plague o' these pickle herrings!-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
Oli. Ay, marry; what is he?
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 drown'd man, a fool, and a madman: one draught above heat3 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 drown'd:
: go, look after him. Clo. He is but mad yet, Madonna; and the fool shall look to the maciman.
[Exit Clo. Re-enter Malvolio. Mal. Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with 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
? 'Tis a gentleman here- ] He had before said it was a gentleman. He was asked, what gentleman? and he makes this reply ; which, it is plain, is corrupt, and should be read thus :
'Tis a gentleman-beir. 1. e. some lady's eldest son just come out of the mursery; for this was the appearance Viola made in men's clothes. See the character Malvolio draws of him presently after. Warburton.
Can any thing be plainer than that Sir Toby was going to de. scribe the gentleman, but was interrupted by the effects of his pickle-herring? I would print it as an imperfect sentence. Mr. Edwards has the same observation. Steevens.
Mr. Šteevens's interpretation may be right: yet Dr. Warburton's reading is not so strange, as it has been represented. In Broome's Yovial Crew, Scentwell says to the gypsies: “We must find a young gentlewoman-heir among you."
Farmer. above heat --] i. e. above the state of being warm in a proper degree. Steevens.
have a fore-knowledge 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 to a bench, but he'll speak with you.
Oli. What kind of man is he?
will 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:5 'tis with him e'en standing water, 6 between boy and man. He is
stand at your door like a sheriff's post,] It was the custom for that officer
to have large posts set up at his door, as an indication of his office: the original of which was, that the king's proclamations, and other public acts, might be affixed thereon, by way of publication. So, Jonson's Every Man out of his Humoor:
“ To the Lord Chancellor's tomb, or the Shrives posts.” So again, in the old play called Lingua:
“ Knows he how to become a scarlet gown? hath he a pair of fresh posts at his door!" Warburton.
Dr. Letherland was of opinion, that “ by this post is meant a post to mount a horse from, a horse-block, which, by the custom of the city, is still placed at the sheriff's door."
In the Contention for Honour and Riches, a masque by Shirley, 1633, one of the competitors swears:
By the Shrive's post,” &c.
“ If e'er I live to see thee sheriff of London,
“I'll gild thy painted posts cum privilegio.” Steevens. 5 or a codling when 'tis almost an apple:] A codling anciently meant an immature apple. So, in Ben Jonson's Alchemist :
“ Who is it, Dol?
“ A fine young quodling:” The fruit at present styled a codling, was unknown to our gardens in the time of Shakspeare. Steevens.
-'tis with him e'en standing water,] The old copy has-in. The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. In the first folio e’en and in are very frequently confounded. Malone.
very well-favoured, 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. Mal, Gentlewoman, my lady calls.
[Exit. Re-enter MARIA. Oli. Give me my veil: come, throw it o'er my face; We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.
Enter VIOLA. Vio. The honourable 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 loth to cast away my speech; for, besides that it is excellently well penn’d, I have taken great pains to con it. Good beauties, let me sustain no scorn; I am very comptible, 7 even to the least sinister usage.
Oli. Whence came 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 assurance, 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 shew 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.
I am very comptible,] Comptible for ready to call to account. Warburton.
Viola seems to mean just the contrary. She begs she may not be treated with scorn, because she is very submissive, even to lighter marks of reprehension. Steevens,