Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 5

OLIVIA.
O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with a
distemper'd appetite. To be generous, guiltless, and of free
disposition, is to take those things for bird-bolts that you deem
cannon bullets. There is no slander in an allow'd fool, though he
do nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet man,
though he do nothing but reprove.

CLOWN.
Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speak'st well of
fools!

[Re-enter MARIA.]

MARIA.
Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much desires to
speak with you.

OLIVIA.
From the Count Orsino, is it?

MARIA.
I know not, madam; 't is a fair young man, and well attended.

OLIVIA.
Who of my people hold him in delay?

MARIA.
Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.

OLIVIA.
Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but madman: fie on
him! [Exit MARIA.] Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the
count, I am sick, or not at home; what you will, to dismiss it.
[Exit MALVOLIO.] Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old,
and people dislike it.

CLOWN.
Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest son should be a
fool; whose skull Jove cram with brains! for — here he comes —

[Enter SIR TOBY.]

one of thy kin has a most weak pia mater.

OLIVIA.
By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin?

SIR TOBY.
A gentleman.

OLIVIA.
A gentleman! what gentleman?

SIR TOBY.
'T is a gentleman here — a plague o' these pickle-herring! How
now, sot!

CLOWN.
Good Sir Toby!

OLIVIA.
Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?

SIR TOBY.
Lechery! I defy lechery. There's one at the gate.

OLIVIA.
Ay, marry, what is he?

SIR TOBY.
Let him be the devil, and he will, I care not; give me faith, say
I. Well, it's all one.

[Exit.]

OLIVIA.
What's a drunken man like, fool?

CLOWN.
Like a drown'd man, a fool, and a madman: one draught above heat
makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns him.

OLIVIA.
Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o' my coz; for he's
in the third degree of drink, he's drown'd: go look after him.

CLOWN.
He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look to the
madman.

[Exit.]

[Re-enter MALVOLIO.]

MALVOLIO.
Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with you. I told
him you were sick; he takes on him to understand so much, and
therefore comes to speak with you. I told him you were asleep; he
seems to have a foreknowledge of that too, and therefore comes to
speak with you. What is to be said to him, lady? he's fortified
against any denial.

OLIVIA.
Tell him he shall not speak with me.

MALVOLIO.
Has been told so; and he says, he'll stand at your door like a
sheriff's post, and be the supporter to a bench, but he'll speak
with you.

OLIVIA.
What kind o' man is he?

MALVOLIO.
Why, of mankind.

OLIVIA.
What manner of man?

MALVOLIO.
Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you or no.

OLIVIA.
Of what personage and years is he?

MALVOLIO.
Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a
squash is before 't is a peascod, or a codling when 't is almost
an apple: 't is with him in standing water, between boy and man.
He is very well-favour'd, and he speaks very shrewishly; one
would think his mother's milk were scarce out of him.

OLIVIA.
Let him approach. Call in my gentlewoman.

MALVOLIO.
Gentlewoman, my lady calls.

[Exit.]

[Re-enter MARIA.]

OLIVIA.
Give me my veil; come, throw it o'er my face;
We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.

[Enter VIOLA, and ATTENDANTS.]

VIOLA.
The honourable lady of the house, which is she?

OLIVIA.
Speak to me; I shall answer for her. Your will?

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