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Fab. I would exult, man ; you know, he brought me out of favor with my lady, about a bear-baiting here.
Sir To. To anger him, we'll have the bear again ; and we will fool him black and blue :Shall we not, Sir Andrew ? Sir And. An we do not, it is pity of our lives.
Enter MARIA. Sir To. Here comes the little villain :—How now, my nettle of India ? 1
Mar. Get ye all three into the box-tree: Malvolio's coming down this walk; he has been yonder i’ the sun, practising behavior to his own shadow, this half hour: observe him, for the love of mockery; for I know, this letter will make a contemplative idiot of him. Close, in the name of jesting! [The men hide themselves.] Lie thou there ; [throws down a letter ;] for here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling
[Exit MARIA. Enter Malvolio. Mal. 'Tis but fortune ; all is fortune. Maria once told me, she did affect me: and I have heard herself come thus near, that, should she fancy, it should be one of my complexion. Besides, she uses me with a more exalted respect, than any one else that follows her. What should I think on't?
Sir To. Here's an overweening rogue !
Fab. O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him; how he jets under his advanced plumes !
1 The first folio reads " mettle of India.” By the nettle of India is meant a zoophite, called Urtica Marina, abounding in the Indian seas. “ Quæ tacta totius corporis pruritum quendam ercitat, unde nomen Urticæ est sortita.”—Franzii Hist. Animal. 1665, p. 620. In Holland's translation of Pliny, Book ix.—“As for those nettles, &c., their qualities is to raise an itching smart." So Green, in his “ Card of Fancie," _“ T'he flower of India, pleasant to be seen, but whoso smelleth to it feeleth present smart." He refers to it again in his Mamilia, 1593. Maria has certainly excited a congenial sensation in Sir Toby. Mettle of India would signify my girl of gold, my precious girl.
To jet was to strut.
Sir And. Slight, I could so beat the rogue :
Mal. There is example for't; the lady of the Strachy' married the yeoman of the wardrobe.
Sir And. Fie on him, Jezebel !
Fab. O, peace! now he's deeply in; look how imagination blows him.
Mal. Having been three months married to her, sitting in my state,
Sir To. O, for a stone bow, to hit him in the eye!
Mal. Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet gown; having come from a day bed, where I lett Olivia sleeping,
Sir To. Fire and brimstone!
Mal. And then to have the humor of state: and after a demure travel of regard, -telling them I know my place, as I would they should do theirs—to ask for my kinsman Toby :
Sir To. Bolts and shackles !
Mal. Seven of my people, with an obedient start, make out for him: I frown the while ; and, perchance, wind up my watch, or play with my some rich jewel. Toby approaches; court'sies there to me:
Sir To. Shall this fellow live?
Fab. Though our silence be drawn from us with cars, yet peace.
Mai. l'extend my hand to him thus, quenching my familiar smile with an austere regard of control :
1 Mr. R. P. Knight conjectures that this is a corruption of Stratici, a title anciently given to the Governors of Messina, and Illyria is not far from Messina. If so, it will mean the Governor's lady. The word Strachy is printed with a capital and in Italics in the first folio.
2 Puffs him up.
3 Thus in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, the clown says—“Who that is, a team of horses shall not pluck from me."
Sir To. And does not Toby take you a blow o' the lips then ?
Mal. Saying, Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on your niece, give me this prerogative of speech :
Sir To. What, what?
Fab. Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot.
Mal. Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with a foolish knight
Sir And. That's me, I warrant you.
[Taking up the letter. Fab. Now is the woodcock near the gin.
Sir To. O, peace! and the spirit of humors intimate reading aloud to him?
Mal. By my life, this is my lady's hand : these be her very C's, her U's, and her T's; and thus makes she her great P's. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.
Sir And. Her C's, her U's, and her T's: Why that?
Mal. [Reads.] To the unknown beloved, this, and my good wishes : her very phrases !—By your leave, wax. -Soft!—and the impressure her Lucrece, with which she uses to seal: 'tis my lady: To whom should this be?
Fab. This wins him, liver and all.
No man must know.
Sir To. Marry, hang thee, brock !1
1 i. e. badger, a term of contempt.
Mal. I may command where I adore :
But silence, like a Lucrece knife,
M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.
Fab. What a dish of poison has she dressed him!
Sir To. And with what wing the stannyel checks at it!
Mal. I may command where I adore. Why, she may command me; I serve her; she is my lady. Why, this is evident to any formal capacity. There is no obstruction in this :- And the end,- What should that alphabetical position portend? If I could make that resemble something in me!-Softly !-M, 0, A, I.
Sir To. O, ay! make up that:-he is now at a cold scent.
Fab. Sowter? will cry upon't, for all this, though it be as rank as a fox.
Mal. M,—Malvolio ;-M,—why, that begins my name.
Fab. Did not I say, he would work it out? the cur is excellent at faults.
Mal. M.-But then there is no consonancy in the sequel; that suffers under probation : A should follow, but O does.
Fab. And O shall end, I hope.
Mal. And then I comes behind.
Fab. Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you might see more detraction at your heels, than fortunes be
1 The common stone-hawk, which inhabits old buildings and rocks. To check, says Latham in his book of Falconry, is, “when crows, rooks, pies, or other birds, coming in view of the hawk, she forsaketh her natural flight to fly at them."
* Sowter is here used as the name of a hound.
Mal. M, O, A, I;—This simulation is not as the former :—and yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to me, for every one of these letters are in my name. Soft; here follows prose.—If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness : Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Thy fules open their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them. And, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, cast thy humble slough, and appear fresh. Be opposite ? with a kinsman, surly with servants : let thy tongue tang arguments of state ; put thyself into the trick of singularity: She thus advises thee, that sighs for thee. Remember who commended thy yellow stockings; and wished to see thee ever cross-gartered :? I say, remember. Go to; thou art made, if thou desirest to be so; if not, let me see thee a steward still, the fellow of servants, and not worthy to touch fortune's fingers. Farewell. She that would alter services with thee, — The fortunateunhappy
Day-light and champain 3 discovers not more: this is open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors, I will bastle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross acquaintance, I will be point-de-vice, the very man.
I do not now fool myself, to let imagination jade me; for every reason excites to this, that my lady loves me. She did commend my yellow stockings of late, she did praise my leg being cross-gartered; and in this she manifests herself to my love, and, with a kind of injunction, drives me to these habits of her liking. I thank my stars, I am happy. I will be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and cross-gartered, even with the swiftness of putting on. Jove and my stars be praised !—Here is
1 i. e. adverse, hostile.
2 A fashion once prevailed for some time of wearing the garters crossed on the leg. It should be remembered that rich and expensive garters worn below the knee were then in use.
3 Open country:
4 i. e. exactly the same in every particular. The etymology of this phrase is very uncertain. The most probable seems the French a point devise.