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Oli. A gentleman! what gentleman ?
Sir To. 'Tis a gentleman here--A plague o' these pickle-herrings !-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
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.
[Exit. Oli. What's a drunken man like, fool ?
Clo. Like a drowned man, a fool, and a madman. one draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a 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 drowned; go, look after him.
Clo. He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look to the madman.
Mal. Madam, yond' young fellow swears he will speak to 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?
1 The sheriffs formerly had painted posts set up at their doors, on which proclamations, &c. were affixed.
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 e'en standing water, between boy and man. He is very well favored, 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. Mal. Gentlewoman, my lady calls.
Re-enter MARIA. Oli. Give me my veil ; come, throw it o'er my face; We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.
Enter VIOLA. Vio. The honorable 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 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.
Oli. Whence come 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,
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?
Oli. If I do not usurp myself, I am.
1 A codling is a young raw apple, fit for nothing without dressing, and is so named because it is chiefly eaten when coddled or scalded.
Vio. Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp yourself; for what is yours to bestow, is not yours to
But this is from my commission: I will on with my speech in your praise, and then show you the heart of my message.
Oli. Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.
Vio. Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis
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
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.
Oli. Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
Vio. 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 full of peace as matter.
Oli. Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you ?
Vio. 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.
Oli. Give us the place alone; we will hear this divinity. [Exit MARIA.] Now, sir, what is your text?
Vio. Most sweet lady,
1 To hull means to drive to and fro upon the water without sails or rudder.
2 Ladies in romance are guarded by giants. Viola, seeing the waitingmaid so eager to oppose her message, entreats Olivia to pacify her giant.