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That say, thou art a man: Diana's lip
Is not more smooth, and rubious; thy small pipe
I know, thy constellation is right apt
For this affair :-Some four, or five, attend him
I'll do my best,
To woo your lady: yet, [Aside.] a barful strife!
A Room in Olivia's House.
Enter MARIA, and Clown."
Mar. 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
Clo. Let her hang me: he, that is well hanged in this world, needs to fear no colours.
Mar. Make that good.
Clo. He shall see none to fear.
Mar. A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that saying was born, of, I fear no colours.
Clo. Where, good mistress Mary?
Mar. In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.
ta barful strife!] i. e. A contest full of impediments.
"Clown.] As this is the first clown who has come under consideration, it may not be amiss, from a passage in Tarleton's News out of Purgatory, to point out one of the ancient dresses appropriated to that character." I saw one attired in russet, with a buttoned cap on his head, a bag by his side, and a strong bat in his hand; so artificially attired for a clowne, as I began to call Tarleton's wonted shape to remembrance."-STEEVENS. The Tarleton here mentioned was a very popular comedian; and, says Mr. Gifford, "his memory was cherished with fond delight by the vulgar to the period of the revolution."Notes to Bartholomew Fair, Ben Jonson, vol. iv. 364.
lenten answer:] A short and spare one. -fear no colours.] i. e. Fear no enemy.
Clo. Well, God give them wisdom, that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
Mar. 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?
Clo. Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and, for turning away, let summer bear it out."
Mar. You are resolute then?
Clo. Not so neither; but I am resolved on two points. Mar. That, if one break, the other will hold; or, if both break, your gaskins fall.
Clo. 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.
Mar. Peace, you rogue, no more o'that; here comes my lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best. [Exit.
Enter OLIVIA, and MALVOLIO.
Clo. Wit, and '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.God bless thee, lady!
Oli. Take the fool away.
Clo. Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady. Oli. Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you: besides, you grow dishonest.
Clo. 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 :
let summer bear it out.] When he will find employment in every field, and lodging under every hedge.-STEEVENS.
if one (point) break,] Points were metal hooks, fastened to the hose or breeches (which had then no opening or buttons), and going into straps or eyes fixed to the doublet, and thereby keeping the hose from falling down.BLACKSTONE.
- b gaskins-] The same as Gally-gasking—or Gallo-gascoins. A kind of trowsers first worn by the Gallic-Gascons, i. e. the inhabitants of Gascony: probably the sea-faring people in the ports of that country.-NARES.
Quinapalus?] An imaginary name invented to sound like something
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.
Oli. Sir, I bade them take away you.
Clo. Misprision in the highest degree !—Lady, Cucullus non facit monachum; that's as much as to say, I wear not motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.
Oli. Can you do it?
Clo. Dexteriously, good madonna.
Oli. Make your proof.
Clo. I must catechise you for it, madonna; Good my mouse of virtue, answer me.
Oli. Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll bide your proof.
Clo. Good madonna, why mourn'st thou?
Clo. The more fool you, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven.-Take away the fool, gentlemen.
Oli. What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend?
Mal. Yes; and shall do, till the pangs of death shake him: Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool.
Clo. 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.
Oli. How say you to that, Malvolio?
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.d
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 birdbolts, 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 endow thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of fools!
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?
Mar. Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.
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, 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.f
Enter Sir TOBY BELCH.
Oli. By mine honour, half drunk.-What is he at the gate, cousin?
Sir To. A gentleman.
Oli. A gentleman? What gentleman ?
no better than the fools' zanies.] i. e. Fools' baubles, which had upon the top of them the head of a fool.-DOUCE.
a most weak pia mater.] The pia mater is the membrane that immediately covers the substance of the brain.-STEEVENS.
Sir To. 'Tis a gentleman here-A plague o'these pickleherrings!-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.
Oli. What's a drunken man like, fool?
Clo. Like a drown'd man, a fool, and a madman: one draught above heats makes him a fool; the second mads him; and the 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.
Clo. He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look to the madman. [Exit Clown.
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 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.
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?
above heat-] i. e. Above a certain heat.
stand at your door like a sheriff's post,] It was the custom for that officer to have large posts set up at his door, as an indication of his office; the original of which was, that the king's proclamation, and other public acts might be affixed thereon, by way of publication.-STEEVENS.