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SCENE IV. A Room in the Duke's Palace. Enter VALENTINE, and Viola in man's attire.
Val. If the Duke continue these favours towards you, Cesario, you are like to be much advanced; he hath known you but three days, and already you are no stranger.
Vio. You either fear his humour, or my negligence, that you call in question the continuance of his love: Is he inconstant, sir, in his favours ? Val. No, believe me.
Enter DUKE, Curio, and Attendants.
Duke. Stand you awhile aloof.–Cesario,
Sure, my noble lord,
Duke. Be clamorous, and leap all civil bounds,
I Go thy way.
Vio. I think not so, my lord.
Dear lad, believe it;
I'll do my best To woo your lady: yet [Aside), a barful? strife! Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife. [Exeunt. SCENE V. A Room in Olivia's House.
Enter Maria and Clown?. Mar. 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.
Clo. Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this world needs to fear no colours.
Mar. Make that good. 2 A contest full of impediments.
1 The clown in this play is a domestic fool in the service of Olivia. He is specifically termed an allowed fool, and · Feste the jester that the lady Olivia's father took much delight in. Malvolio speaks of him as a set fool.' The dress of the domestic fool was of two sorts, described by Mr. Douce in bis Essay on the Clowns and Fools of Shakspeare, to which we must refer the reader for full information. The dress sometimes appropriated to the character is thus described in Tarleton's Newes out of Purgatory: • I saw one attired in russet, with a button'd cap upon his head, a bag by his side, and a strong bat in his hand; so artificially attired for a clowne as 1 began to call Tarleton's woonted shape to remembrance.'
Clo. He shall see none to fear.
Mar. A good lenten? answer: I can tell thee where that saying was born, of, I fear no colours.
Clo. Where, good mistress Mary? .
Mar. In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.
Clo. Well, God give them wisdom, that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
Mar. 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?
Clo. Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and, for turning away, let summer bear it out.
Mar. You are resolute then ?
Clo. Not so neither; but I am resolved on two points.
Mar. That, if one break }, the other will hold; or, if both break, your gaskins fall. • Clo. 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.
Mar. Peace, you rogue, no more o' that; here comes my lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best.
[Exit. Enter Olivia and MalvoliO. Clo. 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 thee, lady!
2 Short and spare. "Sparing, niggardly, insufficient, like the fare of old times in Lent. "Metaphorically, short, laconic.' Says Steevens. I rather incline to Johnson's explanation, “ a good dry answer.' Steevens does not seem to have been aware that a dry fig was called a lenten fig. In fact lenten fare was dry fare.
3 Points were laces which fastened the hose or breeches.
Oli. Take the fool away.
Oli. Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you: besides you grow dishonest.
Clo. Two faults, madonna 4, 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: Any thing 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.
Oli. Sir, I bade them take away you.
Clo. Misprision in the highest degree!-Lady, Cucullus non facit monachum; that's as much as to. say, I wear not motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.
Oli. Can you do it?
Clo. Dexterously, good madonna. · Oli. Make your proof.
Clo. I must catechize you for it, madonna: Good my mouse of virtue, answer me.
Oli. Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll 'bide your proof.
Clo. Good madonna, why mourn'st thou ?
Clo. The more fool you, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven.—Take away the fool, gentlemen.
4 Italian, mistress, dame.
Oli. What think you of this fool, Malvolio ? doth he not mend ?
Mal. Yes; and shall do, till the pangs of death shake him: Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool.
Clo. God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the better encreasing 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.
Oli. How say you to that, Malvolio.
Mal. 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”.
Oli. 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 6, that you deem cannon-bullets : There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove.
Clo. Now Mercury endue thee with leasing?, for thou speakest well of fools!
Re-enter MARIA. Mar. Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman, much desires to speak with you.
5 Fools' baubles.
6 Bird-bolts were short thick arrows with obtuse ends, used for W 42 shooting young rooks and other birds, of which these are some of A A A the varieties.