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Sir To. He's as tall a mano as any's in Illyria.
Sir To. He's a that to the purposen'd ducats a yea
Sir To. Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.
Mar. Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats; he's a very fool, and a prodigal.
Sir To. Fye, that you'll say so! he plays o' the viol-de-gambo, and speaks three or four languages word for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.
Mar. 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 To. By this hand, they are scoundrels, and substraetors, that say so of him. Who are they?
Mar. They that add moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.
Sir To. 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 coystril,” that will not drink to my niece, till his brains turn o' the toe like a parish-top. What, wench? Castiliano vulgo ;9 for here comes Sir Andrew Ague-face.
Enter Sir ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK. Sir And. Sir Toby Belch! how now, sir Toby Belch?
6- as tall a man -] Tall means stout, courageous. i- a coystril,] i.e. a coward cock.
- like a parish-top.] A large top was formerly kept in every village, to be whipped in frosty weather, that the peasants may be kept warm by exercise, and out of mischief, while they could not work.
9 - Castiliano vulgo ;] a cant term, perhaps expressive of contempt. **
Sir To. Sweet sir Andrew ?
Sir And. Good mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.
Mar. My naine is Mary, sir.
Sir To. You mistake, knight: accost, is, front her, board her, woo her, assail her.
Sir And. By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of accost?
Mar. Fare you well, gentlemen.
Sir To. An thou let part so, sir Andrew, 'would thou might'st never draw sword again.
Sir And. An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?
Mar. Sir, I have not you by the hand.
Sir And. Marry, but you shall have ; and here's my hand.
Mar. Now, sir, thought is free: I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar, and let it drink.
Sir And. Wherefore, sweet heart? what's your metaphor?
Mar. It's dry, sir.
Sir And. Why, I think so; I am not such an ass, but I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest?
Mar. A dry jest, sir..
Mar. Ay, sir; I have them at my fingers' ends : marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.
[Exit Maria. Sir To. O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary: When did I see thee so put down?
Sir And. 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 To. No question.
Sir And. An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride home to-morrow, sir Toby.
Sir To. Pourquoy, my dear knight?
Sir And. What is pourquoy? do or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues, that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting: 0., had I but followed the arts !
Sir To. Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
Sir And. Why, would that have mended my hair?
Sir To. Past question ; for thou seest, it will not curl by nature.
Sir And. But it becomes me well enough, does't not?
Sir To. 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 And. '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, wooes her.
Sir To. She'll none o'the count; she'll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her swear it. Tut, there's life in't, man.
Sir And. 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 To. Art thou good at these kick-shaws, knight?
Sir And. 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 To. What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
Sir And. 'Faith, I can cut a caper.
Sir And. And, I think, I have the back-trick, simply as strong as any man in Illyria.
Sir To. Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have these gifts a curtain before them? are they like to take dust, like mistress Mall's picture sa 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 And. Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a flame-coloured stock. Shall we set about some revels ?
Sir To. What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?
mistress Mall's picture?] The real name of the woman whom I suppose to have been meant by Sir Toby, was Mary Frith. The appellation by which she was generally known, was Mall Cut purse. She was at once a prostitute, a bawd, a bully, a thief, a receiver of stolen goods, &c. &c. On the books of the Stationers' Company, August 1610, is entered—“ A Booke called the Madde Prancks of Merry Mall of the Bankside, with her Walks in Man's Apparel, and to what Purpose. Written by John Day.” Steevens.
:- 'a sink-a-pace.] i.e. a cinque-pace; the name of a dance, the measures whereof are regulated by the number five.
3. flame-coloured stock.] i.e. stocking.
- Sir And. Taurus ? that's sides and heart.*
Sir To. No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee caper: ha! higher: ha, ha excellent !
[Exeunt. SCENE IV. A Room in the Duke's Palace.
Enter VALENTINE, and Viola in man's attire.
Val. If the duke continue these favours towards you, Cesario, you are like to be much advanced; he hath known you but three days, and already you are no stranger.
Vio. You either fear his humour, or my negligence, that you call in question the continuance of his love: Is he inconstant, sir, in his favours?
Val. No, believe me.
Enter Duke, Curio, and Attendants.
Duke. Stand you awhile aloof.–Cesario,
Sure, my noble lord, If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow
* Taurus? that's sides and heart.) Alluding to the medical astrology still preserved in almanacks, which refers the affections of particular parts of the body to the predominance of particular constellations. JOHNSON.