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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. Look you 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 kind of fools, no better than the fools' zanies.5
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: Fye on him! [Exit Maria.] Go you, Malvolio; if it be a suit from the count, I am sick,
5 Fools' baubles.
6 Short arrows.
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. 8
Enter Sir Toby Bełch. Oli. By mine honour, half drunk.- What is he at the gate, cousin ?
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 the gate. '
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. [Exit.
Oli. What's a drunken man like, fool ?
Clo. Like a drown'd 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 drown'd: go, look after him.
The cover of the brain.
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 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 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 of a bench, but he'll speak with you.
Oli., What kind of man is he? • Mal. Why, of man kind.
Oli. What manner of man?
Mal. Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you; 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: 'tis with him e'en standing water, between boy and man. He is very well-favoured, and he speaks very shrewishly; one would think, his mother's milk were scarcé out of him.
Oli. Let him approach: Call in my gentlewoman.
,' 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 loath 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,9 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 poetica).
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.
Vio. No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little longer.-Some mollification for your giant,' sweet lady.
Oli. Tell me your mind.
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 my 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 appear'd in me, have I learn'd from my entertainment. What I am, and
It appears from several parts of this play that the original actress of Maria was very short.