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Sir To. Confine? I'll confine myself no finer than I am : these clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too; an they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.
Mar. That quaffing and drinking will undo you: I heard my lady talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish knight, that you brought in one night here, to be her
Sir To. Who? Sir Andrew Ague-cheek?
Mar. Ay, he.
Sir To. He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
Sir To. Why, he has three thousand ducats a year. Mar. Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats; he's a very fool, and a prodigal.
Sir To. Fye, that you'll say so! he plays o'the viol-degambo, and speaks three or four languages word for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.
Mar. He hath indeed,-almost natural: for, besides that he's a fool, he's a great quarreller; and, but that he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarrelling, 'tis thought among the prudent, he would quickly have the gift of a grave.
Sir To. By this hand, they are scoundrels, and substractors, that say so of him. Who are they?
Mar. They that add moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.
Sir To. With drinking healths to my niece; I'll drink to her, as long as there is a passage in my throat, and drink in Illyria: He's a coward, and a coystril,* that will not drink to my niece, till his brains turns o'the toe like
as tall a man-] Tall means stout, courageous.
viol-de-gambo,] It appears, from numerous passages in our old plays, that a viol-de-gambo (a bass-viol) was an indispensable piece of furniture in every fashionable house, where it hung up in the best chamber, much as the guitar does in Spain, and the violin in Italy, to be played on at will, and to fill up the void of conversation. Whoever pretended to fashion, affected an acquaintance with this instrument; Sir Andrew Ague-cheek could play upon it, as he spoke the languages, "word for word, without book."-GIFFORD'S Ben Jonson, vol. ii. 126.
k coystril,]"An inferior groom, or lad employed by the esquire to carry the knight's arms and other necessaries; probably taken from coustillier, old French of the same signification."-This explanation is from that invaluable book, ARCHDEACON NARES's Glossary.
a parish-top. What, wench? Castiliano voltom for here comes sir Andrew Ague-face.
Enter Sir ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK.
Sir And. Sir Toby Belch! how now, sir Toby Belch? Sir To. Sweet sir Andrew?
Sir And. Bless you, fair shrew.
Mar. And you too, sir.
Sir To. Accost, sir Andrew, accost.
Sir And. What's that?
Sir To. My niece's chamber-maid.
Sir And. Good mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.
Mar. My name is Mary, sir.
Sir And. Good mistress Mary Accost,
Sir To. You mistake, knight: accost, is, front her, board" her, woo her, assail her.
Sir And. By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of accost?
Mar. Fare you well, gentlemen.
Sir To. An thou let part so, sir Andrew, 'would thou might'st never draw sword again.
Sir And. An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?
Mar. Sir, I have not you by the hand.
Sir And. Marry, but you shall have; and here's my hand. Mar. Now, sir, thought is free: I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar, and let it drink.
like a parish-top.] A large top was formerly kept in every village, to be whipped in frosty weather, that the peasants might be kept warm by exercise, and out of mischief, while they could not work. STEEVENS.
Castiliano volto ;] The old reading is Castiliano vulgo, which is nonsense. -The emendation is that of Warburton, and is approved by Nares.Maria is desired to assume the Castilian or grave and solemn countenance, because Sir Andrew, whom she has been ridiculing, is approaching.
board-] Approach.-Mr. Steevens objects to this reading, and proposes to read bourd with her. The following words, from Mr. Gifford's Ben Jonson, vol. iv. 222, are à propos to the question of his proposed alteration: "There are three different expressions which occur in our old writers, and which the commentators perpetually perplex and confound, with their ridiculous annotations: these are, to board, to bourd, and to boud or boude, from the French. The first is to approach or accost; the second, to jest, or toy with; and the third to pout, or appear sullen.”
Sir And. Wherefore, sweet heart? what's your metaphor?
Mar. It's dry, sir."
Sir And. Why, I think so; I am not such an ass, but I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest? Mar. A dry jest, sir.
Sir And. Are you full of them?
Mar. Ay, sir; I have them at my fingers' ends; marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.
[Exit MARIA. Sir To. O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary: When did I see thee so put down?
Sir And. Never in your life, I think; unless you see canary put me down: Methinks, sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian, or an ordinary man has; but I am a great eater of beef, and, I believe, that does harm to my wit.
Sir To. No question.
Sir And. An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride home to-morrow, sir Toby.
Sir To. Pourquoy, my dear knight?
Sir And. What is pourquoy? do or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues, that I have in fencing, dancing, and bearbaiting: O, had I but followed the arts!
Sir To. Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair. Sir And. Why, would that have mended my hair? Sir To. Past question; for thou seest, it will not curl by nature.
Sir And. But it becomes me well enough, does't not? Sir To. Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs, and spin it off.
Sir And. 'Faith, I'll home to-morrow, sir Toby: your niece will not be seen; or, if she be, it's four to one she'll none of me: the count himself, here hard by, wooes her.
Sir To. She'll none o'the count; she'll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her swear it. Tut, there's life in't, man.
• It's dry, sir.] A dry hand was vulgarly considered as a reproach, and mark of a cold temperament,
Sir And. I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o'the strangest mind i'the world; I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether.
Sir To. Art thou good at these kick-shaws, knight? Sir And. As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare with an old man.
Sir To. What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight? Sir And. 'Faith, I can cut a caper.
Sir To. And I can cut the mutton to't.
Sir And. And, I think, I have the back-trick, simply as strong as any man in Illyria.
Sir To. Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have these gifts a curtain before them? are they like to take dust, like mistress Mall's picture? why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig; I would not so much as make water, but in a sink-a-pace. What dost thou mean? is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.
Sir And. Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a flame-coloured stock. Shall we set about some
Sir To. What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?
Sir And. Taurus? that's sides and heart."
Sir To. No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee caper: ha! higher: ha, ha!—excellent!
p mistress Mall's picture?] The real name of the woman whom I suppose to have been meant by Sir Toby, was Mary Frith. The appellation by which she was generally known, was Mall Cut-purse. She had a practice of going about in men's clothes, and was infamous in every respect. She is reputed to have partaken of both sexes, and hence the curtain which it might have been necessary to place before the picture.-STEEVENS.
qa sink-a-pace.] i. e. A cinque-pace; the name of a dance, the measures whereof are regulated by the number five.-SIR J. HAWKINS.
galliard,] A brisk, lively fellow, from the Italian galliardo.
Taurus? that's sides and heart.] Alluding to the medical astrology still preserved in almanacks, which refers the affections of particular parts of the body to the predominance of particular constellations.-JOHNSON.
A Room in the Duke's Palace.
Enter VALENTINE, and VIOLA in man's attire.
Val. If the duke continue these favours towards you, Cesario, you are like to be much advanced; he hath known you but three days, and already you are no stranger.
Vio. You either fear his humour, or my negligence, that you call in question the continuance of his love: Is he inconstant, sir, in his favours?
Val. No, believe me.
Enter DUKE, CURIO, and Attendants.
Here comes the count.
Vio. I thank you.
Sure, my noble lord,
Duke. Be clamorous, and leap all civil bounds,
Rather than make unprofited return.
Vio. Say, I do speak with her, my lord: What then? Duke. O, then unfold the passion of my love, Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith: It shall become thee well to act my woes; She will attend it better in thy youth, Than in a nuncio of more grave aspect.
Vio. I think not so, my lord. Duke. Dear lad, believe it; For they shall yet belie thy happy years,