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Enter Maria.

Mar. Madam, there is at the gate a young Gentleman, much defires to speak with you.

Oli. From the Count Orfino, is it?

Mar. I know not, Madam, 'tis a fair young Man, and well attended.


Oli. Who of my people hold him in delay?

Mar. Sir Toby, Madam, your Uncle.

Oli, Fetch him off, I pray you, he speaks nothing but madman: fie on him! Go you, Malvolio; if it be a fuit from the Count, I am fick, or not at home What you will, to difmifs it. [Exit Malvolio.] Now you fee, Sir, how your fooling grows old, and people diflike it.

Clo. Thou haft fpoke for us, Madona, as if thy eldest Son fhould be a fool: whofe fcull Jove cram with brains, for here comes one of thy Kin has a most weak Pia Mater!


Enter Sir Toby.

Öli. By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, Uncle?

Sir To. A Gentleman.

Oli. A Gentleman? what Gentleman?


Sir To. "Tis a Gentleman here.A plague o' thefe pickle herring! how now, fot?

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Clo. Good Sir Toby,

Oli. Uncle, Uncle, how have you come fo early by this lethargy?

Sir To. Letchery! I defie letchery: there's one at the gate.

Oli. Ay, marry, what is he?

Sir To. Let him be the devil and he will, I care not give me faith, fay 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 fecond mads him; and a third drowns him.

Oli. Go thou and feek the Coroner, and let him fit o' my Uncle; for he's in the third degree of drink; he's drown'd; go look after him.

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Clo. He is but mad yet, Madona, and the fool shall

look to the madman.

Enter Malvolio.

[Exit Clown.

Mal. Madam, yond young Fellow fwears he will fpeak with you. I told him, you were fick; he takes on him to understand fo much, and therefore comes to speak with you. I told him you were afleep; he feems 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 fhall not fpeak with me. Mal. He has been told fo;, and he says, he'll 2 stand at your door like a Sheriff's poft, and be the supporter to a bench, but he'll speak with you.

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Oli. What kind o'man is he?

Mal. Why, of mankind.

Oli. What manner of man.

Mal. Of very ill manners; he'll speak with you, will you or no.

Oli. Of what perfonage and years is he?

Mal. Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a fquafh is before 'tis a peafcod, or a codling when it is almoft an apple: 'tis with him in standing water, between boy and man. He is very well-favour'd, and he speaks very fhrewifhly; one would think, his mother's milk were scarce out of him. Oli. Let him approach: call in my Gentlewoman. Mal. Gentlewoman, my Lady calls.


Enter Maria.


Oli. Give me my veil: come, throw it o'er my face; We'll once more hear Orfino's embaffy.

Enter Viola.

Vio. The honourable Lady of the house, which is fhe?

Oli. Speak to me, I fhall answer for her: your will?

Vio. Most radiant, exquifite, and unmatchable Beauty--I pray you, tell me, if this be the Lady of the houfe, for I never faw her. I would be loth to

large posts fet up at his door, as an indication of his office. The original of which was, that the King's proclamations, and other publick acts, might be affixed thereon by way of publication. So Johnson's Every man out of his bumour,

put off

To the Lord Chancellor's tomb, or

the Shrives posts. So again in the old play called Lingua,

Knows he how to become a fcarlet gown, hath he a pair of fresh pofts at his door?



caft away my speech; for, befides that it is excellently well penn'd, I have taken great pains to con it. Good Beauties, let me fuftain no fcorn'; I am very comptible, even to the leaft finifter ufage.

Oli. Whence came you, Sir?

Vio. I can fay little more than I have ftudied, and that Queftion's out of my Part. Good gentle One, give me modeft affurance, if you be the Lady of the house, that I may proceed in my speech.

Oli. Are you a Comedian?

Vio. No, my profound heart; and yet, by the very fangs of malice, I fwear, I am not that I play. Are you the Lady of the houfe?

Oli. If I do not ufurp myself, I am.

Vio. Moft certain, if you are fhe, you do ufurp yourself; for what is yours to bestow, is not yours to referve; but this is from my Commiffion. I will on with my speech in your praise, and then shew you the heart of my meffage.

Oli. Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.

Vio. Alas, I took great pains to ftudy it, and 'tis poetical.

Oli. It is the more like to be feign'd. I pray you, keep it in. I heard you were fawcy at my gates; and I allow'd your approach, rather to wonder at you than to hear you. you. If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reafon, be brief: 'tis not that time of the moon with me, to make one in fo* skipping a dialogue. Mar. Will you hoift fail, Sir? here lies your way. Vio. No, good fwabber, I am to hull here a little longer. Some mollification for your Giant, fweet Lady.

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I am very comptible,] Comptible for ready to call to acWARBURTON. -Skipping] Wild,


frolick, mad.




4 Ladies, in romance, guarded by giants, who repel all improper or troublesome ad


5 Oli. Tell me your mind.

Vio. I am a meffenger.

Oli. Sure you have fome hideous matter to deliver, when the courtefie of it is fo 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 fecret as maiden-head; to your ears, divinity; to any other's, prophanation.

Oli. Give us the place alone. [Exit Maria.] We will hear this divinity. Now, Sir, what is your text? Vio. Moft fweet Lady,

Oli. A comfortable Doctrine, and much may be faid of it. Where lies your text?

Vio. In Orfino's bofom.

Oli. In his bofom? in what chapter of his bofom?" Vio. To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.

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

Vio. Good Madam, let me fee your face.

Oli. Have you any commiffion from your Lord to negotiate with my face? you are now out of your text; but we will draw the curtain, and fhew you the picture.

vances. Viola, feeing the waiting-maid fo eager to oppose her meffage, intreats Olivia to pacify her giant.

5 Vio. tell me your mind, I am a messenger.] Thefe words must be divided between the two fpeakers thus,

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

Viola growing troublesome, Oli via would difmifs her, and therefore cuts her fhort with this' command, Tell me your mind. The other taking advantage of the ambiguity of the word mind, which fignifies either business or inclinations, replies, as if the had ufed it in the latter fenfe, I am a messenger. WARBURTON. Look

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