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Oli. What kind of man is he?
Mal. Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you, or no.
Oli. Of what personage, and years, 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 when 'tis almost an apple: 'tis with him e'en standing water, between boy and man. well-favoured, and he speaks very shrewishly; one would think, his mother's milk were scarce out of him.
Oli. Let him approach : Call in my gentlewoman.
He is very
Oli. Give me my veil: come, throw it o'er my face; We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.
Enter VIOLA. Vio. The honourable lady of the house, which is she? Oli. Speak to me, I shall answer for her: Your will ? Vio. 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 penn'd, 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.
Oli. Whence came you, sir ?
Vio. I can say little more than I have studied, and that question'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.
or a codling when 'tis almost an apple :) A codling anciently meant an immature apple.
• I am very comptible,] Comptible for submissive.
Oli. Are you a comedian ?
Vio. No, my profound heart : and yet, by the very fangs of malice, I swear I am not that I play. Are you the lady of the house?
Oli. If I do not usurp myself, I am.
Vio. 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.
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, be gone; if you have reason, be brief: 'tis not that time of moon with
to make one in so skipping a dialogue.
Mar. Will you hoist sail, sir ? here lies your way.
Vio. No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little longer. – Some mollification for your giant', 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.
I am to hull here - ] To hull means to drive to and fro upon the water, without sails or rudder.
Some mollification for your giant,] Ladies, in romance, are guarded by giants, who repel all improper or troublesome advances. Viola may likewise allude to the diminutive size of Maria, who is called on subsequent occasions little villain, youngest wren of nine, &c.
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.
Oli. Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity. (Exit Maria.] Now, sir, what is your text?
l'io. Most sweet lady,--
Oli. A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it. Where lies your text?
V'io. In Orsino's 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 show you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one as I was this present : Is't not well done 8 ?
[Unveiling. Vio. Excellently done, if God did all.
Oli. 'Tis in grain, sir: 'twill endure wind and weather.
Vio. '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.
Oli. 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
sir, such a one as I was this present : Is't not well done?] The line should perhaps run thus :
“Look you, sir, such as once I was, this presents." 9 'Tis beauty truly blent,] i. e. blended, mixed together.
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 ?
Vio. I see what you are: you are too proud;
How does he love me?
Vio. If I did love you in my master's flame,
Why, what would you ?
your name to the reverberate hills,
† Though your beauty were unparalleled, it would not be more than a just recompense for such love as my master's. Malone.
' In voices well divulg'd,] Well spoken by the world. ? Write loyal cantons — ] for cantos.
Oli. You might do much : What is your parentage ?
Vio. Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
Get you to your lord ;
Vio. I am no fee'd post, lady ; keep your purse ;
Oli. What is your parentage?
Re-enter MALVOLIO. Mal.
Here, madam, at your service. Oli. 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. Mal. Madam, I will.
3 The county's man:] County for count.