SCENE VOLIVIA'S house.
Enter MARIA and CLOWN.
Nay, either tell me where thou hast
been, or I will not open my lips so wide as a
bristle may enter in way of thy excuse: my
lady will hang thee for thy absence.
Let her hang me: he that is well
hanged in this world needs to fear no colors.
Make that good.
He shall see none to fear.
A good lenten answer: I can tell
thee where that saying was born, of 'I fear no (10)
Where, good Mistress Mary?
In the wars; and that may you be
bold to say in your foolery.
Well, God give them wisdom that
have it; and those that are fools, let them use
Yet you will be hanged for being so
long absent; or to be turned away, is not that (19)
as good as a hanging to you?
Many a good hanging prevents a bad
marriage; and, for turning away, let summer
bear it out.
You are resolute, then?
Not so, neither; but I am resolved on
That if one break, the other will
hold; or, if both break, your gaskins fall.
Apt, in good faith; very apt. Well,
go thy way; if Sir Toby would leave drinking,
thou wert as witty a piece of Eve's flesh as (31)
any in Illyria.
Peace, you rogue, no more o' that.
Here comes my lady: make your excuse
wisely, you were best. [Exit.
Wit, an't be thy will, put me into
good fooling! Those wits, that think they have
thee, do very oft prove fools; and I, that am
sure I lack thee, may pass for a wise man: for
what says Quinapalus? 'Better a witty fool,
than a foolish wit.' Enter Lady OLIVIA with MALVOLIO.
God bless thee, lady!
Take the fool away.
Do you not hear, fellows? Take away
Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more
of you: besides, you grow dishonest.
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. (60)
Sir, I bade them take away you.
Misprision in the highest degree!
Lady, cucullus non facit monachum; that's as
much to say as I wear not motley in my brain.
Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a
Can you do it?
Dexteriously, good madonna.
Make your proof.
I must catechize you for it, madonna:
good my mouse of virtue, answer me.
Well, sir, for want of other idleness, (71)
I'll bide your proof.
Good madonna, why mournest thou?
Good fool, for my brother's death.
I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
The more fool, madonna, to mourn
for your brother's soul being in heaven. Take
away the fool, gentlemen.
What think you of this fool,Malvolio? (80)
doth he not mend?
Yes, and shall do till the pangs of
death shake him: infirmity, that decays the
wise, doth ever make the better fool.
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
How say you to that, Malvolio?
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.
Oh, 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.
Now Mercury endue thee with leasing,
for thou speakest well of fools! Re-enter MARIA.
Madam, there is at the gate a young
gentleman much desires to speak with you.
From the Count Orsino, is it?
I know not, madam: 'tis a fair (111)
young man, and well attended.
Who of my people hold him in delay?
Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.
Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks
nothng 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.
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.
By mine honor, half drunk. What is
he at the gate, cousin?
A gentleman! what gentleman?
'Tis a gentleman here—a plague o'
these pickle-herring! How now, sot! (130)
Good Sir Toby!
Cousin, cousin, how have you come
so early by this lethargy?
Lechery! I defy lechery. There's
one at the gate.
Ay, marry, what is he?
Let him be the devil, an he will, I
care not: give me faith, say I. Well, it's all
What's a drunken man like, fool?
Like a drowned man, a fool and a
mad man: one draught above heat makes him
a fool; the second mads him; and a third
Go thou and seek the crowner, and
let him sit o' my coz; for he's in the third degree
of drink, he's drowned: go, look after
He is but mad yet, madonna; and the
fool shall look to the madman. [Exit. Re-enter MALVOLIO.
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 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.
Tell him he shall not speak with me.
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
What kind o' man is he? (160)
Why, of mankind.
What manner of man?
Of very ill manner; he'll speak with
you, will you or no.
Of what personage and years is he?
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 in 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 (171)
Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.
Gentlewoman, my lady calls. [Exit.
Give me my veil: come, throw it o'er my face.
We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy. Enter VIOLA, and Attendants.
The honorable lady of the house,
which is she?
Speak to me; I shall answer for her. (180)
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. (189)
Whence came you, sir?
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.
Are you a comedian?
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?
If I do not usurp myself, I am.
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
Come to what is important in't: I forgive
you the praise.
Alas, I took great pains to study it,
and 'tis poetical.
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.
Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies
No, good swabber; I am to hull here
a little longer. Some mollification for your
giant, sweet lady. Tell me your mind: I am (220)
Sure, you have some hideous matter
to deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful.
Speak your office.
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.
Yet you began rudely. What are you?
what would you?
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
Give us the place alone; we will hear
this divinity. [Exeunt Maria and Attendants.]
Now, sir, what is your text?
Most sweet lady,—
A comfortable doctrine, and much (240)
may be said of it. Where liest your text?
In Orsino's bosom.
In his bosom! In what chapter of his
To answer by the method, in the first
of his heart.
O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have
you no more to say?
Good madam, let me see your face.
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 I was this present: is't not well done? [Unveiling.
Excellently done, if God did all.
'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind
'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive, (260)
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave the world no copy.
O, 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 grey eyes, with lids
to them; item, one neck, one chin, and so
forth. Were you sent hither to praise me?
I see you what you are, you are too proud; (270)
But, if you were the devil, you are fair.
My lord and master loves you: O, such love
Could be but recompensed, though you were crown'd
The nonpareil of beauty!
How does he love me?
With adorations, fertile tears,
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.
Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him:
Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,
Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
In voices well divulged, free, learn'd and valiant; (280)
And in dimension and the shape of nature
A gracious person: but yet I cannot love him;
He might have took his answer long ago.
If I did love you in my master's flame,
With such a suffering, such a deadly life,
In your denial I would find no sense;
I would not understand it.
Why, what would you? <
Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;
Write loyal cantons of contemned love
And sing them loud even in the dead of night; (291)
Halloo your name to the reverberate hills
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out 'Olivia!' O, you should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me!
You might do much.
What is your parentage?
Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
I am a gentleman.
Get you to your lord;
I cannot love him: let him send no more; (300)
Unless, perchance, you come to me again,
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well:
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.
I am no fee'd post, lady; keep your purse:
My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
Love make his heart of flint that you shall love;
And let your fervor, like my master's, be
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty. [Exit.
'What is your parentage?
'Above my fortunes, yet my state is well: (310)
I am a gentleman.' I'll be sworn thou art;
Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions and spirit,
Do give thee five-fold blazon: not too fast: soft, soft!
Unless the master were the man. How now!
Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
Methinks I feel this youth's perfections
With an invisible and subtle stealth
To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.
What ho, Malvolio! Re-enter MALVOLIO.
Here, madam, at your service.
Run after that same peevish messenger,
The county's man: he left this ring behind him, (321)
Would I or not: tell him I'll none of it.
Desire him not to flatter with his lord,
Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him:
If that the youth will come this way to-morrow,
I'll give him reasons for't: hie thee, Malvolio.
Madam, I will. [Exit.
I do I know not what, and fear to find
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.
Fate, show thy force: ourselves we do not owe;
What is decreed must be, and be this so. [Exit,