Here comes the little villain:--How now, my nettle of India?
Get ye all three into the box-tree: Malvolio's coming down
this walk; he has been yonder i' the sun practising behaviour to
his own shadow this half hour: observe him, for the love of
mockery; for I know this letter will make a contemplative idiot
of him. Close, in the name of jesting! [The men hide themselves.]
Lie thou there; [Throws down a letter] for here comes the trout
that must be caught with tickling.
'Tis but fortune; all is fortune. Maria once told me she
did affect me: and I have heard herself come thus near, that,
should she fancy, it should be one of my complexion. Besides, she
uses me with a more exalted respect than any one else that
follows her. What should I think on't?
O, peace! And the spirit of humours intimate reading aloud to
By my life, this is my lady's hand: these be her very
C's, her U's, and her T's; and thus makes she her great P's. It
is in contempt of question, her hand.
Her C's, her U's, and her T's. Why that?
MALVOLIO [Reads] 'To the unknown beloved, this, and my good
wishes.' Her very phrases!--By your leave, wax.--Soft!--and the
impressure her Lucrece, with which she uses to seal: 'tis my
lady. To whom should this be?
And with what wing the stannyel checks at it!
'I may command where I adore.' Why, she may command me: I
serve her, she is my lady. Why, this is evident to any formal
capacity; there is no obstruction in this;--And the end,--What
should that alphabetical position portend? If I could make that
resemble something in me.--Softly!--M, O, A, I.--
O, ay, make up that:--he is now at a cold scent.
Sowter will cry upon't for all this, though it be as rank as a
M,--Malvolio; M,--why, that begins my name.
Did not I say he would work it out?
The cur is excellent at faults.
M,--But then there is no consonancy in the sequel; that
suffers under probation: A should follow, but O does.
Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you might see more
detraction at your heels than fortunes before you.
M, O, A, I;--This simulation is not as the former:--and
yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to me, for every one of
these letters are in my name. Soft; here follows prose.--
'If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above
thee; but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some
achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Thy
fates open their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them.
And, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, cast thy
humble slough and appear fresh. Be opposite with a kinsman, surly
with servants: let thy tongue tang arguments of state; put
thyself into the trick of singularity: She thus advises thee that
sighs for thee. Remember who commended thy yellow stockings, and
wished to see thee ever cross-gartered. I say, remember. Go to;
thou art made, if thou desirest to be so; if not, let me see thee
a steward still, the fellow of servants, and not worthy to touch
fortune's fingers. Farewell. She that would alter services with
Daylight and champian discovers not more: this is open. I will be
proud, I will read politic authors, I will baffle Sir Toby, I
will wash off gross acquaintance, I will be point-device, the
very man. I do not now fool myself to let imagination jade me;
for every reason excites to this, that my lady loves me. She did
commend my yellow stockings of late, she did praise my leg being
cross-gartered; and in this she manifests herself to my love, and
with a kind of injunction, drives me to these habits of her
liking. I thank my stars I am happy. I will be strange, stout, in
yellow stockings, and cross-gartered, even with the swiftness of
putting on. Jove and my stars be praised!--Here is yet a
postscript. 'Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou
entertainest my love, let it appear in thy smiling; thy smiles
become thee well: therefore in my presence still smile, dear my
sweet, I pr'ythee.' Jove, I thank thee. I will smile; I will do
everything that thou wilt have me.
If you will then see the fruits of the sport, mark his
first approach before my lady: he will come to her in yellow
stockings, and 'tis a colour she abhors, and cross-gartered, a
fashion she detests; and he will smile upon her, which will now
be so unsuitable to her disposition, being addicted to a
melancholy as she is, that it cannot but turn him into a notable
contempt; if you will see it, follow me.
To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil of wit!