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    Act 1, Scene V

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    Chapter 5
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    SCENE V. OLIVIA'S house.

    Enter MARIA and Clown
    MARIA
    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.

    Clown
    Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this
    world needs to fear no colours.

    MARIA
    Make that good.

    Clown
    He shall see none to fear.

    MARIA
    A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that
    saying was born, of 'I fear no colours.'

    Clown
    Where, good Mistress Mary?

    MARIA
    In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.

    Clown
    Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those
    that are fools, let them use their talents.

    MARIA
    Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent; or,
    to be turned away, is not that as good as a hanging to you?

    Clown
    Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and,
    for turning away, let summer bear it out.

    MARIA
    You are resolute, then?

    Clown
    Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two points.

    MARIA
    That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both
    break, your gaskins fall.

    Clown
    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 any in Illyria.

    MARIA
    Peace, you rogue, no more o' that. Here comes my
    lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best.

    Exit

    Clown
    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 OLIVIA with MALVOLIO

    God bless thee, lady!

    OLIVIA
    Take the fool away.

    Clown
    Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.

    OLIVIA
    Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you:
    besides, you grow dishonest.

    Clown
    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.

    OLIVIA
    Sir, I bade them take away you.

    Clown
    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 fool.

    OLIVIA
    Can you do it?

    Clown
    Dexterously, good madonna.

    OLIVIA
    Make your proof.

    Clown
    I must catechise you for it, madonna: good my mouse
    of virtue, answer me.

    OLIVIA
    Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll bide your proof.

    Clown
    Good madonna, why mournest thou?

    OLIVIA
    Good fool, for my brother's death.

    Clown
    I think his soul is in hell, madonna.

    OLIVIA
    I know his soul is in heaven, fool.

    Clown
    The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother's
    soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.

    OLIVIA
    What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend?

    MALVOLIO
    Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death shake him:
    infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the
    better fool.

    Clown
    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.

    OLIVIA
    How say you to that, Malvolio?

    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.

    OLIVIA
    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.

    Clown
    Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou
    speakest well of fools!

    Re-enter MARIA

    MARIA
    Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much
    desires to speak with you.

    OLIVIA
    From the Count Orsino, is it?

    MARIA
    I know not, madam: 'tis a fair young man, and well attended.

    OLIVIA
    Who of my people hold him in delay?

    MARIA
    Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.

    OLIVIA
    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.

    Clown
    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

    OLIVIA
    By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin?

    SIR TOBY BELCH
    A gentleman.

    OLIVIA
    A gentleman! what gentleman?

    SIR TOBY BELCH
    'Tis a gentle man here--a plague o' these
    pickle-herring! How now, sot!

    Clown
    Good Sir Toby!

    OLIVIA
    Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?

    SIR TOBY BELCH
    Lechery! I defy lechery. There's one at the gate.

    OLIVIA
    Ay, marry, what is he?

    SIR TOBY BELCH
    Let him be the devil, an he will, I care not: give
    me faith, say I. Well, it's all one.

    Exit

    OLIVIA
    What's a drunken man like, fool?

    Clown
    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 drowns him.

    OLIVIA
    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 him.

    Clown
    He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look
    to the madman.

    Exit

    Re-enter MALVOLIO

    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.

    OLIVIA
    Tell him he shall not speak with me.

    MALVOLIO
    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.

    OLIVIA
    What kind o' man is he?

    MALVOLIO
    Why, of mankind.

    OLIVIA
    What manner of man?

    MALVOLIO
    Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you or no.

    OLIVIA
    Of what personage and years is he?

    MALVOLIO
    Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for
    a boy; as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or a
    cooling when 'tis almost an apple: 'tis with him
    in standing water, between boy and man. He is very
    well-favoured and he speaks very shrewishly; one
    would think his mother's milk were scarce out of him.

    OLIVIA
    Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.

    MALVOLIO
    Gentlewoman, my lady calls.

    Exit

    Re-enter MARIA

    OLIVIA
    Give me my veil: come, throw it o'er my face.
    We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.

    Enter VIOLA, and Attendants

    VIOLA
    The honourable lady of the house, which is she?

    OLIVIA
    Speak to me; I shall answer for her.
    Your will?

    VIOLA
    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.

    OLIVIA
    Whence came you, sir?

    VIOLA
    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.

    OLIVIA
    Are you a comedian?

    VIOLA
    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?

    OLIVIA
    If I do not usurp myself, I am.

    VIOLA
    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.

    OLIVIA
    Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.

    VIOLA
    Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.

    OLIVIA
    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.

    MARIA
    Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.

    VIOLA
    No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little
    longer. Some mollification for your giant, sweet
    lady. Tell me your mind: I am a messenger.

    OLIVIA
    Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when
    the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.

    VIOLA
    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 fun of peace as matter.

    OLIVIA
    Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you?

    VIOLA
    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.

    OLIVIA
    Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.

    Exeunt MARIA and Attendants

    Now, sir, what is your text?

    VIOLA
    Most sweet lady,--

    OLIVIA
    A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
    Where lies your text?

    VIOLA
    In Orsino's bosom.

    OLIVIA
    In his bosom! In what chapter of his bosom?

    VIOLA
    To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.

    OLIVIA
    O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have you no more to say?

    VIOLA
    Good madam, let me see your face.

    OLIVIA
    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

    VIOLA
    Excellently done, if God did all.

    OLIVIA
    'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.

    VIOLA
    '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,
    If you will lead these graces to the grave
    And leave the world no copy.

    OLIVIA
    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?

    VIOLA
    I see you what you are, you are too proud;
    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!

    OLIVIA
    How does he love me?

    VIOLA
    With adorations, fertile tears,
    With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.

    OLIVIA
    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;
    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.

    VIOLA
    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.

    OLIVIA
    Why, what would you?

    VIOLA
    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;
    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!

    OLIVIA
    You might do much.
    What is your parentage?

    VIOLA
    Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
    I am a gentleman.

    OLIVIA
    Get you to your lord;
    I cannot love him: let him send no more;
    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.

    VIOLA
    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

    OLIVIA
    'What is your parentage?'
    'Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
    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

    MALVOLIO
    Here, madam, at your service.

    OLIVIA
    Run after that same peevish messenger,
    The county's man: he left this ring behind him,
    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.

    MALVOLIO
    Madam, I will.

    Exit

    OLIVIA
    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
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