图书图片
PDF
ePub

horrible 5 for it comes to pass oft, that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him. Away.

Sir And. Nay, let me alone for swearing. [Exit. Sir To. Now will not I deliver his letter: for the behaviour of the young gentleman gives him out to be of good capacity and breeding; his employment between his lord and my niece confirms no less; therefore this letter, being so excellently ignorant, will breed no terror in the youth, he will find it comes from a clodpole. But, sir, I will deliver his challenge by word of mouth; set upon Ague-cheek a notable report of valour; and drive the gentleman, (as, I know, his youth will aptly receive it,) into a most hideous opinion of his rage, skill, fury, and impetuosity. This will so fright them both, that they will kill one another by the look, like cockatrices.

Enter OLIVIA and VIOLA.

Fab. Here he comes with your niece: give them way, till he take leave, and presently after him.

Sir To. I will meditate the while upon some horrid message for a challenge.

[Exeunt Sir TOBY, FABIAN, and MARIA. Oli. I have said too much unto a heart of stone,

And laid mine honour too unchary out :

There's something in me, that reproves my fault;
But such a headstrong potent fault it is,

That it but mocks reproof.

Vio. With the same 'haviour that your passion bears, Go on my master's griefs.

Oli. Here, wear this jewel for me, 'tis my picture ; Refuse it not, it hath no tongue to vex you:

And, I beseech you, come again to-morrow.
What shall you ask of me, that I'll deny;

That honour, sav'd, may upon asking give?

Vio. Nothing but this, your true love for my master. Oli. How with mine honour may I give him that Which I have given to you?

Vio. I will acquit you.

Oli. Well, come again to-morrow: Fare thee well A fiend, like thee, might bear my soul to hell. [Exit.

[5] Adjectives are often used by our author and his contemporaries, adverbially. MAL.

Re-enter Sir TOBY BELCH, and FABIAN.

Sir To. Gentleman, God save thee.

Vio. And you, sir.

Sir To. That defence thou hast, betake thee to't of what nature the wrongs are thou hast done him, I know not; but thy intercepter, full of despight, bloody as the hunter, attends thee at the orchard end: dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly.

Vio. You mistake, sir; I am sure, no man hath any quarrel to me; my remembrance is very free and clear from any image of offence done to any man.

Sir To. You'll find it otherwise, I assure you therefore, if you hold your life at any price, betake you to your guard; for your opposite hath in him what youth, strength, skill, and wrath, can furnish man withal. Vio. I pray you, sir, what is he?

6

Sir To. He is knight, dubbed with unhacked rapier, and on carpet consideration ; but he is a devil in private brawl: souls and bodies hath he divorced three ; and his incensement at this moment is so implacable, that satisfaction can be none but by pangs of death and sepulchre hob, nob,7 is his word; give't, or take't.

Vio. I will return again into the house, and desire some conduct of the lady. I am no fighter. I have heard of some kind of men, that put quarrels purposely on others, to taste their valour: belike, this is a man of that quirk.

Sir To. Sir, no; his indignation derives itself out of a very competent injury; therefore, get you on, and give him his desire. Back you shall not to the house, unless you undertake that with me, which with as much safety you might answer him: therefore, on, or strip your sword stark naked; for meddle you must, that's certain, or forswear to wear iron about you.

Vio. This is as uncivil, as strange. I beseech you, do me this courteous office, as to know of the knight what my offence to him is; it is something of my negligence,

[6] That is, he is no soldier by profession, not a Knight Banneret, dubbed in the field of battle, but, on carpet consideration, at a festivity or on some peaceable occasion, when knights receive their dignity kneeling, not on the ground as in war, but on a carpet. This is, I believe, the original of the contemptuous term a carpet-knight, w ho was naturally held in scorn by the men of war. JOHNS.

[7] Hob nob.-This adverb is corrupted from hap, ne hap; as would ne would, will ne will; that is, let it happen or not; and signifies at random, at the mercy of chance. STEEV.

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

Sir Andrew. Plague on't, an I thought he had been valiant, and so cunning in fence, I'd have seen him damn'd ere I'd have challenged him.

nothing of my purpose.

Sir To. I will do so. Signior Fabian, stay you by this gentleman till my return. [Exit Sir TOBY. Vio. Pray you, sir, do you know of this matter?

Fab. I know, the knight is incensed against you, even to a mortal arbitrement; but nothing of the circumstance more.

Vio. I beseech you, what manner of man is he?

Fab. Nothing of that wonderful promise, to read him by his form, as you are like to find him in the proof of his valour. He is, indeed, sir, the most skilful, bloody, and fatal opposite that you could possibly have found in any part of Illyria: Will you walk towards him? I will make your peace with him, if I can.

Vio. I shall be much bound to you for't: I am one, that would rather go with sir priest, than sir knight: I care not who knows so much of my mettle. [Exeunt.

Re-enter Sir TOBY, with Sir ANDREW.

Sir To. Why, man, he's a very devil; I have not seen such a virago. I had a pass with him, rapier, scabbard, and all, and he gives me the stuck-in, with such a mortal motion, that it is inevitable; and on the answer, he pays you as surely as your feet hit the ground they step on They say, he has been fencer to the Sophy.

Sir And. Pox on't, I'll not meddle with him.

Sir To. Ay, but he will not now be pacified: Fabian can scarce hold him yonder.

Sir And. Plague on't; an I thought he had been valiant, and so cunning in fence, I'd have seen him damned ere I'd have challenged him. Let him let the matter slip, and I'll give him my horse, grey Capilet.

Sir To. I'll make the motion: Stand here, make a good show on't; this shall end without the perdition of souls: Marry, I'll ride your horse as well as I ride you. [Aside.

Re-enter FABIAN and VIOLA.

I have his horse, [To FAB.] to take up the quarrel; have per-suaded him, the youth's a devil.

Fab. He is as horribly conceited of him; and pants, and looks pale, as if a bear were at his heels.

[8] The stuck is a corrupted abbreviation of the stoccata, an Italian term in fencing. STEEV. [9] i. e. hits you, does for you. STEEV. [1] That is, he has as horrid an idea or conception of him. MAL.

[blocks in formation]
« 上一页继续 »