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
Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.
Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you: besides, you
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
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.
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.
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 known discreet man, though
he do nothing but reprove.
Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of
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.
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-favoured, and he speaks very shrewishly;
one would think his mother's milk were scarce out of him.
The honourable lady of the house, which is she?
Speak to me; I shall answer for her. Your will?
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.
Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp yourself; for
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.
Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.
Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.
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.
Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.
No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little longer.--
Some mollification for your giant, sweet lady.
Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate with my
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?
'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.
'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruel'st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.
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 labelled 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?
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 recompens'd though you were crown'd
The nonpareil of beauty!
With adorations, fertile tears,
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.
Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him:
Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,
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.
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.
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;
Holla your name to the reverberate hills,
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.
Above my fortunes, yet my state is well: I am a gentleman.
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:
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.
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
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.
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,
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
To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.--
What, ho, Malvolio!--
Run after that same peevish messenger,
The county's man: he left this ring behind him,
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.