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Enter FENTON and ANNE PAGE. How now, master Fenton?
Anne. Pardon, good father! good my mother, pardon!
Page. Now, mistress? how chance you went not with master Slender?
Mrs. Page. Why went you not with master doctor, maid?
Fent. You do amaze her: Hear the truth
You would have married her most shamefully,
Of this play there is a tradition preserved by Mr. Rowe, that it was written at the command of queen Elizabeth, who was so delighted with the character of Falstaff, that she wished it to be diffused through more plays; but suspecting that it might pall by continued uniformity, directed the poet to diversify his manner, by shewing him in love. No task is harder than that of writing to the ideas of another. Shakspeare knew what the queen, if the story be true, seems not to have known, that by any real passion of tenderness, the selfish craft, the careless jollity, and the lazy luxury of Falstaff must have suffered so much abatement, that little of his former cast would have remained. Falstaff could not love, but by ceasing to be Falstaff. He could only counterfeit love, and his professions could be prompted, not by the hope of pleasure, but of money. Thus the poet approached as near as he could to the work enjoined him; yet having perhaps in the former plays completed his own idea, seems not to have been able to give Falstaff all his former power of entertainment.
This comedy is remarkable for the variety and number of the personages, who exhibit more characters appropriated and discriminated, than perhaps can be found in any other play." Whether Shakspeare was the first that produced upon the English stage the effect of language distorted and depraved by provincial or foreign pronunciation, I cannot certainly decide. This mode of forming ridiculous characters can confer praise only on him who originally discovered it, for it requires not much of either wit or judgment; its snccess must be derived almost wholly from the player, but its power in a skilful mouth, even he that despises it, is unable to resist.
The conduct of this drama is deficient; the action begins and ends often, before the conclusion, and the different parts might change places without inconvenience; but its ge neral power, that power by which all works of genius shall finally be tried, is such, that perhaps it never yet had reader or spectator who did not think it too soon at the end.-JOHNSON.
Lords, Priests, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, and other Attendants.
SCENE I. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter DUKE, CURIO, Lords; Musicians attending.
Duke. If musick be the food of love, play on, Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die. That strain again;-it had a dying fall: 0, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south, That breathes upon a bank of violets, [more; Stealing, and giving odour.-Enough; no Tis not so sweet now, as it was before. O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou! That notwithstanding thy capacity Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, Of what validity and pitch soever, But falls into abatement and low price, Even in a minute! so full of shapes is fancy, That it alone is high-fantastical f. Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord? Duke. What, Curio?
Duke. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have: 9, when mine eyes did see Olivia first, Methought, she purg'd the air of pestilence; That instant was I turn'd into a hart; And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds, E'er since pursue me.-How now? what news
Val. So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
But from her handmaid do return this answer:
How will she love, when the rich golden shaft, Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else That live in her! when liver, brain, and heart, These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and (Her sweet' perfections,) with one self king!— Away before me to sweet beds of flowers; Love-thoughts lie rich, when canopied with bowers. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. The Sea-coast. Enter VIOLA, Captain, and Sailors. Vio. What country, friends, is this? Cap. Illyria, lady. Vio. And what should I do in Illyria? My brother he is in Elysium. [you, sailors? Perchance, he is not drown'd:-What think Cap. It is perchance, that you yourself were [may he be. Vio. O my poor brother! and so, perchance, Cap. True, madam; and, to comfort you with
Assure yourself, after our ship did split, [you,
Not three hours' travel from this very place.
+ Fantastical to the height.
A noble duke, in nature,
What is his name?
Cap. A virtuous maid, the daughter of a
Vio. There is a fair behaviour in thee,captain;
SCENE III. A Room in Olivia's House.
Enter Sir TOBY BELCH and MARIA. Sir To. What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her brother thus? I am sure, care's an enemy to life.
Mar. By my troth, sir Toby, you must come in earlier o' nights; your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
Sir To. Why, let her except before excepted. Mar. Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
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 wooer.
Sir To. Who? Sir Andrew Ague-cheek! + Stout.
Mar. Ay, he.
Sir To. He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
Mur. What's that to the purpose?
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. Fie, that you'll say so! he plays o' the viol-de-gambo, aud 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 turn o' the toe like a parish-top. What, wench? Castiliano vulgo; for here comes Sir Andrew Ague-face.
Enter Sir ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK.
Sir To. Sweet Sir Andrew!
Sir To. Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.
Sir To. My niece's chamber maid.
Mar. My name is Mary, sir..
Sir And. Good Mistress Mary Accost,Sir To. You, mistake, kuight: 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?
Mur. Sir, I have not you by the hand. Sir And. Matry, 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.
Sir And. Wherefore, sweet-heart? what's your metaphor
Mar. It's dry, sir.
Sir And. Why, I think so; I am not such
Keystril, a bastard hawk.”
an ass, but I can keep my hand dry. But | stitution of thy leg, it was formed under the what's your jest? star of a galliard.
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 1 had bestowed that time in the tongues, that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting: 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.
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 alto. gether.
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. Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indif ferent well in a flame-coloured stockt. Shall we set about some revels?
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! [Exeunt.
Enter DUKE, CURIO, and Attendants.
Vio. On your attendance, my lord; here.
Duke. Stand you awhile aloof.-Cesario,
Be not deny'd access, stand at her doors,
Sure, my noble lord,
Rather than make unprofited return.
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. Sir And. 'Faith, I can cut a caper. Duke. Dear lad, believe it; Sir To. And I can cut the mutton to't. For they shall yet belie thy happy years Sir And. And, I think, I have the back-That say, thou art a man: Diana's lip 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 con
* Cinque-pace, the name of a dance.
Is not more smooth and rubious; thy small pipe
I'll do my best, Go thy way.
To woo your lady: yet, [Aside.] a barful strife!
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.
SCENE V. 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 absence.
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 lentent answer: I can tell thee where that saying was born, of, I fear no
Cio. Where, good mistress Mary? Mar. In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.
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, thon wert as witty a piece of Eve's flesh as any in Illyria.
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.
Clo. I must catechize yon for it, madonna:
Clo. Good madonna, why mourn'st thou? Oli. Good fool, for my brother's death. Clo. I think his soul is in hell, madonna.`` Oli. I know his soul is in heaven, fool. 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 Mar. Peace, you rogue, no more o' that; no more brain thau a stone. Look you now, here comes my lady: make your excuse wise-he's out of his guard already; unless you laugh ly, you were best. 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.
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 mau: 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 ý, 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
• Full of impediments.
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 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 inan, though he do nothing but reprove.
Clo. Now Mercury endue 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? t Short and spare. Italian, mistress, dame. ** Lying.
Points were hooks which fastened the hose or breeches.