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ACT I. SCENE III. 


OLIVIA'S house

Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA

 SIR TOBY.

What a plague means my niece to take the death of her
brother thus? I am sure care's an enemy to life.

 MARIA.

By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o' nights;
your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.

 SIR TOBY.

Why, let her except before excepted.

 MARIA.

Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits
of order.

 SIR TOBY.

Confine! I'll confine myself no finer than I am. These
clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too;
an they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.

 MARIA.

That quaffing and drinking will undo you; I heard my lady
talk of it yesterday, and of a foolish knight that you brought in
one night here to be her wooer.

 SIR TOBY.

Who? Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

 MARIA.

Ay, he.

 SIR TOBY.

He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.

 MARIA.

What's that to th' purpose?

 SIR TOBY.

Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.

 MARIA.

Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats; he's a
very fool and a prodigal.

 SIR TOBY.

Fie that you'll say so! He plays o' th' viol-de-gamboys,
and speaks three or four languages word for word without book,
and hath all the good gifts of nature.

 MARIA.

He hath indeed, almost natural; for, besides that he's a
fool, he's a great quarreller; and but that he hath the gift of a
coward to allay the gust he hath in quarrelling, 'tis thought
among the prudent he would quickly have the gift of a grave.

 SIR TOBY.

By this hand, they are scoundrels and subtractors that
say so of him. Who are they?

 MARIA.

They that add, moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.

 SIR TOBY.

With drinking healths to my niece; I'll drink to her as
long as there is a passage in my throat and drink in Illyria.
He's a coward and a coystrill that will not drink to my niece
till his brains turn o' th' toe like a parish-top. What, wench!
Castiliano vulgo! for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.

Enter SIR ANDREW AGUECHEEK

 AGUECHEEK.

Sir Toby Belch! How now, Sir Toby Belch!

 SIR TOBY.

Sweet Sir Andrew!

 AGUECHEEK.

Bless you, fair shrew.

 MARIA.

And you too, sir.

 SIR TOBY.

Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

 AGUECHEEK.

What's that?

 SIR TOBY.

My niece's chambermaid.

 AGUECHEEK.

Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

 MARIA.

My name is Mary, sir.

 AGUECHEEK.

Good Mistress Mary Accost-

 SIR TOBY.

You mistake, knight. 'Accost' is front her, board her,
woo her, assail her.

 AGUECHEEK.

By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company.
Is that the meaning of 'accost'?

 MARIA.

Fare you well, gentlemen.

 SIR TOBY.

An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst never
draw sword again!

 AGUECHEEK.

An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw
sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?

 MARIA.

Sir, I have not you by th' hand.

 AGUECHEEK.

Marry, but you shall have; and here's my hand.

 MARIA.

Now, sir, thought is free. I pray you, bring your hand to
th' buttry-bar and let it drink.

 AGUECHEEK.

Wherefore, sweetheart? What's your metaphor?

 MARIA.

It's dry, sir.

 AGUECHEEK.

Why, I think so; I am not such an ass but I can keep my
hand dry. But what's your jest?

 MARIA.

A dry jest, sir.

 AGUECHEEK.

Are you full of them?

 MARIA.

Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers' ends; marry, now I let
go your hand, I am barren

Exit MARIA

 SIR TOBY.

O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary! When did I see
thee so put down?

 AGUECHEEK.

Never in your life, I think; unless you see canary put
me down. Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian
or an ordinary man has; but I am great eater of beef, and I
believe that does harm to my wit.

 SIR TOBY.

No question.

 AGUECHEEK.

An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride home
to-morrow, Sir Toby.

 SIR TOBY.

Pourquoi, my dear knight?

 AGUECHEEK.

What is 'pourquoi'- do or not do? I would I had bestowed
that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing, and
bear-baiting. Oh, had I but followed the arts!

 SIR TOBY.

Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.

 AGUECHEEK.

Why, would that have mended my hair?

 SIR TOBY.

Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by nature.

 AGUECHEEK.

But it becomes me well enough, does't not?

 SIR TOBY.

Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff, and I hope to
see a huswife take thee between her legs and spin it off.

 AGUECHEEK.

Faith, I'll home to-morrow, Sir Toby. Your niece will
not be seen, or if she be, it's four to one she'll none of me;
the Count himself here hard by woos her.

 SIR TOBY.

She'll none o' th' Count; she'll not match above her
degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her
swear't. Tut, there's life in't, man.

 AGUECHEEK.

I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o' th' strangest
mind i' th' world; I delight in masques and revels sometimes
altogether.

 SIR TOBY.

Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?

 AGUECHEEK.

As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the
degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare with an old man.

 SIR TOBY.

What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?

 AGUECHEEK.

Faith, I can cut a caper.

 SIR TOBY.

And I can cut the mutton to't.

 AGUECHEEK.

And I think I have the back-trick simply as strong as
any man in Illyria.

 SIR TOBY.

Wherefore are these things hid? Wherefore have these
gifts a curtain before 'em? Are they like to take dust, like
Mistress Mall's picture? Why dost thou not go to church in a
galliard and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a
jig; I would not so much as make water but in a sink-a-pace. What
dost thou mean? Is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think, by
the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was form'd under the
star of a galliard.

 AGUECHEEK.

Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in
flame-colour'd stock. Shall we set about some revels?

 SIR TOBY.

What shall we do else? Were we not born under Taurus?

 AGUECHEEK.

Taurus? That's sides and heart.

 SIR TOBY.

No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see the caper. Ha,
higher! Ha, ha, excellent! Exeunt

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