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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 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 12, be gone; if you have reason, be brief: ’tis not that time of moon with me, to make one in so skipping 13 a dialogue. Mar. Will you hoist sail, sir ? here lies your way.

Vio. No, good swabber: I am to hull 14 here a little longer.—Some mollification for your giant 15, sweet lady.

Oli. Tell me your mind.
Vio. I am a messenger.

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 appear'd 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, profanation.

12 The sense seems to require that we should read~"if you be mad, begone. For the words be mad in the first part of the sentence are opposed to reason in the second.

13 i.e. wild, frolick, mad.

14 To hull means to drive to and fro upon the water without sails or rudder.

15 Ladies in romance are guarded by giants. Viola seeing the waiting-maid so eager to oppose her message entreats Olivia to pacify her giant. There is also a pleasant allusion to the diminutive size of Maria, who is subsequently called little villain, youngest wren of nine, &c. It should be recollected that the female parts were played by boys.

Oli. Give us the place alone; we will hear this divinity. [Exit Maria.] Now, sir, what is your text?

Vio. Most sweet lady,

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

Vio. In Orsino's bosom?
Oli. In his bosom? In what chapter of his bosom?

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

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

Vio. Good madam, let me see your 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 shew you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one as I was, this presents 16:-Is't not well done? [Unveiling.

Vio. Excellently done, if God did all.

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

Vio. 'Tis beauty truly blent 17, 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 18.

16 The old copy reads, 'Look you, sir, such a one as I was this present. M. Mason proposed to read “Look you, sir, such as once I was, this presents. The simple emendation in the text, which I have ventured upon, makes it intelligible. We may by the slight transposition of a word make it explain itself: Look you, sir, such a one I was, as this presents.'

17 Blended, mixed together.

18 Shakspeare has a similar thought repeated in his third, ninth, eleventh, and thinteenth sonnets.

Oli. 0, 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 gray eyes, with lids to them; item, one neck, one chin, and so. forth. Were you sent hither to ?praise 19 me?

. Vio. 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; 0, such love Could be but recompens’d, though you were crown'd The nonpareil of beauty! Oli.

How does he love me? Vio. With adorations, with fertile tears, With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire. Oli. 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 divulg'd 20, 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.

Vio. 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.

Why, what would you?
Vio. Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;
Write loyal cantons 21 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 22
*19 i. e. appraise. 20 Well spoken of by the world.
21 Cantos, verses. 22 A most beautiful expression for an echo.
Cry out, Olivia! 0, you should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me.

Oli. You might do much: What is your parentage?

Vio. 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.

Vio. I am no fee'd post 23, lady; keep your purse;
My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
Love make his heart of fint, that you shall love;
And let your fervour, like my master's, be
Plac'd in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty. [Exit.

Oli. 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 24 ;-—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!

Re-enter MALVOLIO.

Here, madam, at your service. Oli. Run after that same peevish messenger, The county's 25 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,

23 Messenger. 24 Proclamation of gentility. 25 Count.

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.
Mal. Madam, I will.

[Exit. Oli. I do I know not what: and fear to find Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind 26.

Fate, show thy force: ourselves we do not owe 27 ; • What is decreed, must be; and be this so! [Exit.


SCENE I. The Sea Coast.

Enter ANTONIO and SEBASTIAN. Ant. Will you stay no longer ? nor will you not, that I go with you?

Seb. By your patience, no: my stars shine darkly over me; the malignancy of my fate might, perhaps, distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your leave, that I may bear my evils alone: It were a bad recompense for your love, to lay any of them on you.

Ant. Let me yet know of you, whither you are bound.

Seb. No, 'sooth, sir; my determinate voyage is mere extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent a touch of modesty, that you will not extort from me what I am willing to keep in; therefore it

26 i. e. she fears that her eyes had formed so flattering an idea of the supposed youth Cesario, that she should not have strength of mind sufficient to resist the impression.

27 i. e. we are not our own masters, we cannot govern ourselves, owe for own, possess.

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