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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 even 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.
Oli. Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.
Oli. Give me my veil: come throw it o'er my face; We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.
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, 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?
a squash-] An unripe pod of pease. A codling "is the diminutive of cod, and means an involucrum or shell, and was used by our old writers for that early state of vegetation, when a fruit after shaking off the blossom, begins to assume a globular and determinate form."- -GIFFORD'S Ben Jonson, vol. iv. 24. k I am very comptible,] Comptible for submissive.-Such is the sense given by Todd and Steevens; but the meaning here intended appears to be susceptible.
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 praise.
Vio. Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.
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.
Vio. I am a messenger.
Oli. Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office. 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.
Vio. It alone concerns your ear,
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 what I would, are as secret as maidenhead: to your ears, divinity; to any other's, profanation.
Oli. Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity. [Exit MARTA.] Now, sir, what is
swabber ;] Deck-sweeper.
I am to hull here-] To hull means to drive to and fro upon the water, without sails or rudder.-STEEVENS.
n Some mollification for your giant,] Ladies, in romance, are guarded by giants, who repel all improper or troublesome advances. Viola entreats Olivia to pacify her giant.—She may likewise allude to the diminutive size of Maria, who is called on subsequent occasions, little villain, youngest wren of nine, &c.— JOHNSON and STEEVENS.
Vio. Most sweet lady,————
Oli. A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it. Where lies your text?
Vio. In Orsino's bosom.
Oli. In his bosom? In what chapter of his bosom? Vio. To answer by the method, in the first of his heart. Oli. O, I have read it; it is heresy. Have you no more to say?
Vio. Good madam, let me see your face.
Oli. Have you any commission from your lord to negociate with my face? you are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain, and shew you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one as I was this presents; Is't not well done? [Unveiling.
Vio. Excellently done, if God did all.
Oli. 'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather. Vio. 'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on :
If you will lead these graces to the grave,
Oli. 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?
Vio. I see 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 recompens'd, though you were crown'd
Oli. Your lord does know my mind, I cannot love him: Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,
presents ;] I have adopted Mr. M. Mason's emendation. reading; Such a one as I was this present, is nonsense. P blent,] i. e. Blended.
Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
Vio. If I did love you in my master's flame,
I would not understand it.
Why, what would you?
Oli. You might do much: What is your parentage?
I am a gentleman.
Get you to your lord;
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well:
Vio. I am no fee'd post, lady; keep your purse;
Above my fortunes, yet my state is well :
I am a gentleman. -I'll be sworn thou art;
◄ In voices well divulg'd,] Well spoken of by the world.-MALONE.
Methinks, I feel this youth's perfections,
Here, madam, at your service.
Oli. Run after that same peevish messenger,
Oli. I do I know not what: and fear to find
SCENE I.-The Sea-coast.
Enter ANTONIO and SEBASTIAN.
Ant. Will you stay no longer? nor will you not, that I go with you?
Seb. By your patience, no: my stars shine darkly over me; the malignancy of my fate might, perhaps, distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your leave, that I may bear my evils alone: It were a bad recompense for your love, to lay any of them on you.
Ant. Let me yet know of you, whither you are bound. Seb. No, 'sooth, sir; my determinate voyage is mere extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent a touch of modesty, that you will not extort from me what I am
The county's man:] County for count.
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.] Her mind, here used for heart, had fixed itself on Viola, and her eye flattered her mind by discovering in the object of affection more than her true merits.
Ourselves we do not owe ;] We are not our own masters.-Owe for own.