Act I, scene v

2K 39 9

[OLIVIA'S house.]

Enter MARIA and Clown

MARIA

Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, or I will
not open my lips so wide as a bristle may enter in
way of thy excuse: my lady will hang thee for thy absence.

Clown

Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this
world needs to fear no colours.

MARIA

Make that good.

Clown

He shall see none to fear.

MARIA

A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that
saying was born, of 'I fear no colours.'

Clown

Where, good Mistress Mary?

MARIA

In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.

Clown

Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those
that are fools, let them use their talents.

MARIA

Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent; or,
to be turned away, is not that as good as a hanging to you?

Clown

Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and,
for turning away, let summer bear it out.

MARIA

You are resolute, then?

Clown

Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two points.

MARIA

That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both
break, your gaskins fall.

Clown

Apt, in good faith; very apt. Well, go thy way; if
Sir Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a
piece of Eve's flesh as any in Illyria.

MARIA

Peace, you rogue, no more o' that. Here comes my
lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best.

Exit

Clown

Wit, an't be thy will, put me into good fooling!
Those wits, that think they have thee, do very oft
prove fools; and I, that am sure I lack thee, may
pass for a wise man: for what says Quinapalus?
'Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.'

Enter OLIVIA with MALVOLIO

God bless thee, lady!

OLIVIA

Take the fool away.

Clown

Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.

OLIVIA

Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you:
besides, you grow dishonest.

Clown

Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel
will amend: for give the dry fool drink, then is
the fool not dry: bid the dishonest man mend
himself; if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if
he cannot, let the botcher mend him. Any thing
that's mended is but patched: virtue that
transgresses is but patched with sin; and sin that
amends is but patched with virtue. If that this
simple syllogism will serve, so; if it will not,
what remedy? As there is no true cuckold but
calamity, so beauty's a flower. The lady bade take
away the fool; therefore, I say again, take her away.

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