Act I, Scene 5

A Room in OLIVIA'S House.

Enter MARIA and FESTE.

MARIA
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.

FESTE
Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this world needs
to fear no colours.						5

MARIA
Make that good.

FESTE
He shall see none to fear.

MARIA
A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that saying was
born, of, I fear no colours.

FESTE
Where, good Mistress Mary?						10

MARIA
In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.

FESTE
Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are
fools, let them use their talents.

MARIA
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?			15

FESTE
Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and for turning
away, let summer bear it out.

MARIA
You are resolute, then?

FESTE
Not so, neither: but I am resolved on two points.

MARIA
That if one break, the other will hold; or if both break,		20
your gaskins fall.

FESTE
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.

MARIA
Peace, you rogue; no more o' that; here comes my lady: make		25
your excuse wisely; you were best.

Exit.

Enter OLIVIA and MALVOLIO.

FESTE
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		30
thee, lady!

OLIVIA
Take the fool away.

FESTE
Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.

OLIVIA
Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you: besides, you
grow dishonest.							35

FESTE
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. Anything
that's mended is but patched; virtue that transgresses is but		40
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.						45

OLIVIA
Sir, I bade them take away you.

FESTE
Misprision in the highest degree!--Lady, Cucullus non facit
monachum; that's as much to say, I wear not motley in my
brain. Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.

OLIVIA
Can you do it?							50

FESTE
Dexteriously (sic), good madonna.

OLIVIA
Make your proof.

FESTE
I must catechize you for it, madonna.
Good my mouse of virtue, answer me.

OLIVIA
Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll 'bide your proof.		55

FESTE
Good madonna, why mourn'st thou?

OLIVIA
Good fool, for my brother's death.

FESTE
I think his soul is in hell, madonna.

OLIVIA
I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
FESTE
The more fool you, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul		60
being in heaven.--Take away the fool, gentlemen.

OLIVIA
What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend?

MALVOLIO
Yes; and shall do, till the pangs of death shake him.
Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool.

FESTE
God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the better			65
increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be sworn that I am no fox;
but he will not pass his word for twopence that you are no fool.

OLIVIA
How say you to that, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO
I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren
rascal; I saw him put down the other day with an ordinary fool		70
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.

OLIVIA
O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with a		75
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 known discreet man, though
he do nothing but reprove.						80

FESTE
Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of fools!

Re-enter MARIA.

MARIA
Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much desires
to speak with you.

OLIVIA
From the Count Orsino, is it?

MARIA
I know not, madam; 'tis a fair young man, and well attended.		85

OLIVIA
Who of my people hold him in delay?

MARIA
Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.

OLIVIA
Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but madman.
Fie on him!

Exit MARIA

Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the count, I am sick, or		90
not at home; what you will to dismiss it.

Exit MALVOLIO.

Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and people dislike it.

FESTE
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.				95

Enter SIR TOBY BELCH.

OLIVIA
By mine honour, half drunk!--What is he at the gate, cousin?

SIR TOBY
A gentleman.

OLIVIA
A gentleman? What gentleman?

SIR TOBY
'Tis a gentleman here.--A plague o' these pickle-herrings!
--How now, sot?							100

FESTE
Good Sir Toby,--

OLIVIA
Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?

SIR TOBY
Lechery! I defy lechery. There's one at the gate.

OLIVIA
Ay, marry; what is he?

SIR TOBY
Let him be the devil an he will, I care not: give me			105
faith, say I. Well, it's all one.

Exit.

OLIVIA
What's a drunken man like, fool?

FESTE
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.

OLIVIA
Go thou and seek the coroner, and let him sit o' my coz;		110
for he's in the third degree of drink; he's drowned: go, look
after him.

FESTE
He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look to the madman.

Exit FESTE

Re-enter MALVOLIO.

MALVOLIO
Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with you. I
told him you were sick; he takes on him to understand so much,		115
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.

OLIVIA
Tell him, he shall not speak with me.				120

MALVOLIO
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.

OLIVIA
What kind of man is he?

MALVOLIO
Why, of mankind.							125

OLIVIA
What manner of man?

MALVOLIO
Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you or no.

OLIVIA
Of what personage and years is he?

MALVOLIO
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		130
almost an apple: 'tis with him e'en 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.

OLIVIA
Let him approach. Call in my gentlewoman.

MALVOLIO
Gentlewoman, my lady calls.						135

Exit.

Re-enter MARIA.

OLIVIA
Give me my veil; come, throw it o'er my face;
We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.

Enter VIOLA.

VIOLA
The honourable lady of the house, which is she?

OLIVIA
Speak to me; I shall answer for her. Your will?

VIOLA
Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty,--I pray you,		140
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.						145

OLIVIA
Whence came you, sir?

VIOLA
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.							150

OLIVIA
Are you a comedian?

VIOLA
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?

OLIVIA
If I do not usurp myself, I am.

VIOLA
Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp yourself; for		155
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
show you the heart of my message.

OLIVIA
Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.

VIOLA
Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.		160

OLIVIA
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.			165

MARIA
Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.

VIOLA
No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little longer.--
Some mollification for your giant, sweet lady.

OLIVIA
Tell me your mind.

VIOLA
I am a messenger.							170

OLIVIA
Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the
courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.

VIOLA
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.						175

OLIVIA
Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you?

VIOLA
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.

OLIVIA
Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.			180

Exit MARIA.

Now, sir, what is your text?

VIOLA
Most sweet lady,--

OLIVIA
A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
Where lies your text?

VIOLA
In Orsino's bosom.							185

OLIVIA
In his bosom? In what chapter of his bosom?

VIOLA
To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.

OLIVIA
O, I have read it; it is heresy. Have you no more to say?

VIOLA
Good madam, let me see your face.

OLIVIA
Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate with my		190
face? you are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain
and show you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one I was this
present. Is't not well done?

Unveiling.

VIOLA
Excellently done, if God did all.

OLIVIA
'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.			195

VIOLA
'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruelest she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.					200

OLIVIA
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 labeled 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?	205

VIOLA
I see you 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 recompensed though you were crowned
The nonpareil of beauty!						210

OLIVIA
How does he love me?

VIOLA
With adorations, fertile tears,
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.

OLIVIA
Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him:
Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,				215
Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
In voices well divulged, free, learn'd, and valiant,
And, in dimension and the shape of nature,
A gracious person: but yet I cannot love him;
He might have took his answer long ago.				220

VIOLA
If I did love you in my master's flame,
With such a suffering, such a deadly life,
In your denial I would find no sense,
I would not understand it.

OLIVIA
Why, what would you?						225

VIOLA
Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;
Write loyal cantons of contemned love,
And sing them loud, even in the dead of night;
Halloo your name to the reverberate hills,				230
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out Olivia! O, you should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me.

OLIVIA
You might do much. What is your parentage?				235

VIOLA
Above my fortunes, yet my state is well: I am a gentleman.

OLIVIA
Get you to your lord;
I cannot love him: let him send no more;
Unless, perchance, you come to me again,
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well:				240
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.

VIOLA
I am no fee'd post, lady; keep your purse;
My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
Love make his heart of flint that you shall love;
And let your fervour, like my master's, be				245
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.

Exit.

OLIVIA
What is your parentage?
'Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
I am a gentleman.'--I'll be sworn thou art;
Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit,			250
Do give thee five-fold blazon. Not too fast:--soft, soft!
Unless the master were the man.--How now?
Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
Methinks I feel this youth's perfections
With an invisible and subtle stealth					255
To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.--
What, ho, Malvolio!--

Re-enter MALVOLIO.

MALVOLIO
Here, madam, at your service.

OLIVIA
Run after that same peevish messenger,
The county's man: he left this ring behind him,			260
Would I or not; tell him I'll none of it.
Desire him not to flatter with his lord,
Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him:
If that the youth will come this way to-morrow,
I'll give him reasons for't. Hie thee, Malvolio.			265

MALVOLIO
Madam, I will.

Exit.

OLIVIA
I do I know not what: and fear to find
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.
Fate, show thy force. Ourselves we do not owe:
What is decreed must be; and be this so!				270

Exit.

Twelfth Night I.iv : Twelfth Night II.i

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