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Now you see, fir, how your fooling grows old, and people dilike it.
Clo. Thou hart spoke for us, Madonna, as if thy eldest son should be a fool : whose scull jove cram with brains, for here he comes, one of thy kin, has a most weak pia mater.
Enter Sir Toby Belch. Oli. By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin ?
Sir To. A gentleman.
Sir To. Tis a gentleman heres--A plague o’these pickleherrings !-How now, sot?
Clo. Good Sir Toby,
Oli. Confin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?
Sir To. Lechery! I defy lechery : There's one at the gate.
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 drown'd man, a fool, and a madman: one draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns him.
5 He had before said it was a gentleman. He was asked, what gentleman? and he makes this reply; which, it is plain, is corrupt, and should be read thus :
'Tis a gentleman-heir. i. e. fome lady's eldest son just come out of the nursery; for this was the appearance Viola made in men's clothes. See the character Malvolio draws of him presently after. WARBURTON.
Can any thing be plainer than that Sir Toby was going to describe the gentleman, but was interrupted by the effects of his pickle-herring? I would print it as an imperfect sentence. Mr. Edwards has the same obfervation.
STEEVENS. Mr. Steevens's interpretation may be right : yet Dr. Warburton's reading is not so strange, as it hath been represented. In Broome's Jovial Crew, Scentwell says to the gypsies: “We mutt find a young gentle
oman-beir among you.” FARMER. 6 l. 2. above the fate of being warin in a proper degree. STEEVENS
Oli. Go thou and seek the coroner, and let him fit o' my coz; for he's in the third degree of drink, he's drown'd: go, look after him.
Clo. He is but mad yet, Madonna ; and the fool Mall look to the madman,
[Exit CLOWN, Re-enter MALVOLIO, Mal. Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with you. I told him you were fick; 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 fore-knowledge of that too, and therefore comes to speak with you. What is to be faid to him, lady? he's fortified against any denial.
Oli. Tell him, he shall not speak with me.
Mal. He has been told fo; and he fays, he'll stand at your door like a sheriff's poft, and be the supporter to a bench, but he'll speak with you.
Oli. What kind of man 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
7 It was the custom for that officer to have large pots set up at his door, as an indication of his office. The original of which was, that the king's proclamations, and other public acts, might be affixed thereon, by way of publication. So, Jonson's Every Man out of bis Humour :
" To the lord Chancellor's tomb, or the Shrives posts." So again, in the old play called Lingua :
« Knows he how to become a scarlet gown ? hath he a pair of fresh pofs at his door? WARBURTON.
Dr. Letherland was of opinion, that " by this post is meant a poft to mount a horse from, a horfeblock, which, by the custom of the city, is ftill placed at the theriff's door.” Thus, in A Woman never vex'd, Com. by Rowley, 1632 :
“ If e'er I live to see thee sheriff of London,
when 'tis almost an apple : 8 'tis with him e'en ftanding water, between boy and man. He is very well-favour'd, and he speaks very Threwishly; one would think, his mother's milk were scarce out of him.
Oli. Let him approach : Call in my gentlewoman.
Vio. Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty, I pray you,
tell if this be the lady of the house, for I never saw her: I would be loth to cast away my speech ; for, befides that it is excellently well penn'd, I have taken great pains to con it. Good beauties, let me fustain no scorn; I am very comptible, 9 even to the least finifter usage.
Oli. Whence came you, sir?
Vio. I can say little more than I have studied, and that queftion'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. Qli
. Are you a comedian? Vio. No, my profound heart : and yet, by the very fangs of malice, 1 swear, I am not that I play. Are you the lady of the house? Oli. If I do not usurp myself, I am.
Viola, 8 A codling anciendly meant an immature apple. So, in Ben Jonson's Alchemist :
" What is it, Dol?
" A fine young quodling." The fruit at present ftyled a codling, was unknown to our gardens in the time of Shakspeare. STEEVENS.
9 Comprible for ready to call to account. WARBURTON. Viola seems to mean just the contrary. She begs she may not be treated with fcorn, because she is very submissive, even to lighter marks of reprehenfion, STEEYENS.
Comptible for acco
Viol. 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 shew 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 poetical.
Oli. It is the more like to be feign'd; I pray you, keep it in. I heard, you were faucy at my gates ; and allow'd your approach, rather to wonder at you than to hear you. If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief:2 'tis not that time of moon with me, to make one in fo skipping 3 a dialogue.
Mar. Will you hoist fail, fir? here lies your way;
Vio. No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little longer Some mollification for your giant, s 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, 2 The sense evidently requires that we should read,
If you be mad, be gone, &c. For the words be mad, in the first part of the sentence, are opposed to reason in the second. M. MASON.
-skipping-} Wild, frolick, mad. JOHNSON. 4. To bull means to drive to and fro upon the water, without fails or sudder STEEVENS.
5 Ladies, in romance, are guarded by giants, who repel all improper or troublesome advances. Viola, seeing the waiting. maid so eager to oppose her message, intreats Olivia to pacify her giant. JOHNSON.
Viola likewise alludes to the diminutive lize of Maria, who is called on subsequent occafions, little villain, youngest wren of nine,
STEEVEXS. 6 These words (which in the old copy are part of Viola's last speecb) must be divided between the two speakers.
Viola growing troublesome, Olivia would dismiss her, and therefore cuts her Mort with this command, Tell me your mind. The other, taking advan'age of the ambiguity of the word mind, which signifies either business or inclination, replies as if she had used it in the latter seộse, I am a messenger. WARBURTON.
As a messenger, she was not to speak her own mind, but that of her em: ployes. M. Mason.
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 appeard in me, have I learn'd from my entertainment, What I am, and what I would, are as secret as maidenhead : to your ears, divinity; to any other's, prophanation.
Oli. Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity. [Exit Maria.] Now, sir, what is your text?
Vio. Moit sweet lady,
Oli. A comfortable doctrine, and inuch may be faid of it. Where lies your text ?
Vio. In Orsino's bosom.
Oli. O, I have read it; it is heresy. Have you no more to say? Vio. Good madam, let me fee
face. Oli. 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 thew you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one I was this present: Is't not well done ??
7 This is nonsense. The change of was to wear, I think, clears all up, and gives the expresion an air of gallantry. Viola presses to fee Olivia's face: The other at length pulls off her veil, and says: We will draw the curtain, and shew you the picture. I wear this complexion to-day, I may wear another to-morrow; jocularly intimating, that the painted. The other, vext at the jeft, says, “ Excellently done, if God did all.' 'Perhaps, it may be true, what you say in jeft; otherwise 'tis an excellent face, 'Tis in grain, &c. replies Olivia, WARBURTON.
I am not satisfied with this emendation. We may read, « Such a one I was.
This pref nce, is't not well done ?" i. e. this mien, is it not happily represented ? Similar phraseology occurs in Othello :-". This fortification, shall we see it?" STEEVENS.
This passage is nonsense as it stands, and necessarily requires some amendment. That proposed by Warburton would make sense of it; but then the allusion to a pidure would be dropped, which began in the preceding part of the speech, and is carried on through those that follow, If we read presents, instead of present, this allusion will be preserved, and the