Scene III

Olivia's house

Enter Sir Toby Belch and Maria

Sir Toby Belch

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 Belch

Why, let her except, before excepted.

Maria

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

Sir Toby Belch

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 Belch

Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

Maria

Ay, he.

Sir Toby Belch

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

Maria

What's that to the purpose?

Sir Toby Belch

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 Belch

Fie, that you'll say so! he plays o' the 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 Belch

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 Belch

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' the toe like a parish-top. What, wench! Castiliano vulgo! for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.

Enter Sir Andrew

Sir Andrew

Sir Toby Belch! how now, Sir Toby Belch!

Sir Toby Belch

Sweet Sir Andrew!

Sir Andrew

Bless you, fair shrew.

Maria

And you too, sir.

Sir Toby Belch

Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

Sir Andrew

What's that?

Sir Toby Belch

My niece's chambermaid.

Sir Andrew

Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

Maria

My name is Mary, sir.

Sir Andrew

Good Mistress Mary Accost,—

Sir Toby Belch

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

Sir Andrew

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

Maria

Fare you well, gentlemen.

Sir Toby Belch

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

Sir Andrew

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 the hand.

Sir Andrew

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

Maria

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

Sir Andrew

Wherefore, sweet-heart? what's your metaphor?

Maria

It's dry, sir.

Sir Andrew

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.

Sir Andrew

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

Sir Toby Belch

O knight thou lackest a cup of canary: when did I see thee so put down?

Sir Andrew

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 a great eater of beef and I believe that does harm to my wit.

Sir Toby Belch

No question.

Sir Andrew

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

Sir Toby Belch

Pourquoi, my dear knight?

Sir Andrew

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: O, had I but followed the arts!

Sir Toby Belch

Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.

Sir Andrew

Why, would that have mended my hair?

Sir Toby Belch

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

Sir Andrew

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

Sir Toby Belch

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

Sir Andrew

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 Belch

She'll none o' the 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.

Sir Andrew

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

Sir Toby Belch

Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?

Sir Andrew

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 Belch

What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?

Sir Andrew

Faith, I can cut a caper.

Sir Toby Belch

And I can cut the mutton to't.

Sir Andrew

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

Sir Toby Belch

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 formed under the star of a galliard.

Sir Andrew

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

Sir Toby Belch

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

Sir Andrew

Taurus! That's sides and heart.

Sir Toby Belch

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

Exeunt