Enter MARIA and Clown
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.
Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this
world needs to fear no colours.
Make that good.
He shall see none to fear.
A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that
saying was born, of 'I fear no colours.'
Where, good Mistress Mary?
In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.
Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those
that are fools, let them use their talents.
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?
Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and,
for turning away, let summer bear it out.
You are resolute, then?
Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two points.
That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both
break, your gaskins fall.
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.
Peace, you rogue, no more o' that. Here comes my
lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best.
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!
Take the fool away.
Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.
Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you:
besides, you grow dishonest.
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.
YOU ARE READING
"Twelfth Night; or, What You Will" is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written around 1601-02 as a Twelfth Night's entertainment for the close of the Christmas season. Viola is shipwrecked on the coast of Illyria and she comes...