Twelfth Night; or, What You Will (1601)

(Complete Text)
Intro
Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.b.
Date variant: 1599
Shakespeare Network - https://shakespearenetwork.net/

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Act I, Scene 1

DUKE ORSINO's palace.

Orsino
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.

Curio
Will you go hunt, my lord?

Orsino
What, Curio?

Curio
The hart.

Orsino
Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
That instant was I turn'd into a hart;
And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E'er since pursue me.
[Enter VALENTINE]
How now! what news from her?

Valentine
So please my lord, I might not be admitted;
But from her handmaid do return this answer:
The element itself, till seven years' heat,
Shall not behold her face at ample view;
But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk
And water once a day her chamber round
With eye-offending brine: all this to season
A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh
And lasting in her sad remembrance.

Orsino
O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
To pay this debt of love but to a brother,
How will she love, when the rich golden shaft
Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
That live in her; when liver, brain and heart,
These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and fill'd
Her sweet perfections with one self king!
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.

Act I, Scene 2

The sea-coast.

Viola
What country, friends, is this?

Captain
This is Illyria, lady.

Viola
And what should I do in Illyria?
My brother he is in Elysium.
Perchance he is not drown'd: what think you, sailors?

Captain
It is perchance that you yourself were saved.

Viola
O my poor brother! and so perchance may he be.

Captain
True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance,
Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
When you and those poor number saved with you
Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
Most provident in peril, bind himself,
Courage and hope both teaching him the practise,
To a strong mast that lived upon the sea;
Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,
I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves
So long as I could see.

Viola
For saying so, there's gold:
Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
The like of him. Know'st thou this country?

Captain
Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
Not three hours' travel from this very place.

Viola
Who governs here?

Captain
A noble duke, in nature as in name.

Viola
What is the name?

Captain
Orsino.

Viola
Orsino! I have heard my father name him:
He was a bachelor then.

Captain
And so is now, or was so very late;
For but a month ago I went from hence,
And then 'twas fresh in murmur,--as, you know,
What great ones do the less will prattle of,--
That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.

Viola
What's she?

Captain
A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her
In the protection of his son, her brother,
Who shortly also died: for whose dear love,
They say, she hath abjured the company
And sight of men.

Viola
O that I served that lady
And might not be delivered to the world,
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
What my estate is!

Captain
That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the duke's.

Viola
There is a fair behavior in thee, captain;
And though that nature with a beauteous wall
Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee
I will believe thou hast a mind that suits
With this thy fair and outward character.
I prithee, and I'll pay thee bounteously,
Conceal me what I am, and be my aid
For such disguise as haply shall become
The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke:
Thou shall present me as an eunuch to him:
It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing
And speak to him in many sorts of music
That will allow me very worth his service.
What else may hap to time I will commit;
Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.

Captain
Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be:
When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.

Viola
I thank thee: lead me on.

Act I, Scene 3

OLIVIA'S house.

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.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Sir Toby Belch! how now, Sir Toby Belch!

Sir Toby Belch
Sweet Sir Andrew!

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Bless you, fair shrew.

Maria
And you too, sir.

Sir Toby Belch
Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

Sir Toby Belch
My niece's chambermaid.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

Maria
My name is Mary, sir.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Good Mistress Mary Accost,--

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

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
Wherefore, sweet-heart? what's your metaphor?

Maria
It's dry, sir.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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.

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

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
Why, would that have mended my hair?

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

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
Faith, I can cut a caper.

Sir Toby Belch
And I can cut the mutton to't.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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 Aguecheek
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!

Act I, Scene 4

DUKE ORSINO's palace.

Valentine
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.

Viola
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?

Valentine
No, believe me.

Viola
I thank you. Here comes the count.

Orsino
Who saw Cesario, ho?

Viola
On your attendance, my lord; here.

Orsino
Stand you a while aloof, Cesario,
Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasp'd
To thee the book even of my secret soul:
Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her;
Be not denied access, stand at her doors,
And tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow
Till thou have audience.

Viola
Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow
As it is spoke, she never will admit me.

Orsino
Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds
Rather than make unprofited return.

Viola
Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?

Orsino
O, then unfold the passion of my love,
Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith:
It shall become thee well to act my woes;
She will attend it better in thy youth
Than in a nuncio's of more grave aspect.

Viola
I think not so, my lord.

Orsino
Dear lad, believe it;
For they shall yet belie thy happy years,
That say thou art a man: Diana's lip
Is not more smooth and rubious; thy small pipe
Is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound,
And all is semblative a woman's part.
I know thy constellation is right apt
For this affair. Some four or five attend him;
All, if you will; for I myself am best
When least in company. Prosper well in this,
And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,
To call his fortunes thine.

Viola
I'll do my best
To woo your lady:
[Aside]
yet, a barful strife!
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.

Act I, Scene 5

OLIVIA'S house.

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.

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

Maria
Make that good.

Feste
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.'

Feste
Where, good Mistress Mary?

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

Feste
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?

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

Maria
You are resolute, then?

Feste
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.

Feste
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.

Feste
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.

Feste
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.

Feste
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.

Olivia
Sir, I bade them take away you.

Feste
Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, cucullus non
facit monachum; that's as much to say as I wear not
motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to
prove you a fool.

Olivia
Can you do it?

Feste
Dexterously, good madonna.

Olivia
Make your proof.

Feste
I must catechise you for it, madonna: good my mouse
of virtue, answer me.

Olivia
Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll bide your proof.

Feste
Good madonna, why mournest thou?

Olivia
Good fool, for my brother's death.

Feste
I think his soul is in hell, madonna.

Olivia
I know his soul is in heaven, fool.

Feste
The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother's
soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.

Olivia
What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend?

Malvolio
Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death shake him:
infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the
better fool.

Feste
God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the
better increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be
sworn that I am no fox; but he will not pass his
word for two pence that you are no fool.

Olivia
How say you to that, Malvolio?

Malvolio
I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a
barren rascal: I saw him put down the other day
with an ordinary fool that has no more brain
than a stone. Look you now, he's out of his guard
already; unless you laugh and minister occasion to
him, he is gagged. I protest, I take these wise men,
that crow so at these set kind of fools, no better
than the fools' zanies.

Olivia
Oh, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste
with a distempered appetite. To be generous,
guiltless and of free disposition, is to take those
things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets:
there is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do
nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet
man, though he do nothing but reprove.

Feste
Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou
speakest well of fools!

Maria
Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much
desires to speak with you.

Olivia
From the Count Orsino, is it?

Maria
I know not, madam: 'tis a fair young man, and well attended.

Olivia
Who of my people hold him in delay?

Maria
Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.

Olivia
Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but
madman: fie on him!
[Exit MARIA]
Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the count, I
am sick, or not at home; what you will, to dismiss it.
[Exit MALVOLIO]
Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and
people dislike it.

Feste
Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest
son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with
brains! for,--here he comes,--one of thy kin has a
most weak pia mater.

Olivia
By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin?

Sir Toby Belch
A gentleman.

Olivia
A gentleman! what gentleman?

Sir Toby Belch
'Tis a gentle man here--a plague o' these
pickle-herring! How now, sot!

Feste
Good Sir Toby!

Olivia
Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?

Sir Toby Belch
Lechery! I defy lechery. There's one at the gate.

Olivia
Ay, marry, what is he?

Sir Toby Belch
Let him be the devil, an he will, I care not: give
me faith, say I. Well, it's all one.

Olivia
What's a drunken man like, fool?

Feste
Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man: one
draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads
him; and a third drowns him.

Olivia
Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o' my
coz; for he's in the third degree of drink, he's
drowned: go, look after him.

Feste
He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look
to the madman.

Malvolio
Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with
you. I told him you were sick; he takes on him to
understand so much, and therefore comes to speak
with you. I told him you were asleep; he seems to
have a foreknowledge of that too, and therefore
comes to speak with you. What is to be said to him,
lady? he's fortified against any denial.

Olivia
Tell him he shall not speak with me.

Malvolio
Has been told so; and he says, he'll stand at your
door like a sheriff's post, and be the supporter to
a bench, but he'll speak with you.

Olivia
What kind o' man is he?

Malvolio
Why, of mankind.

Olivia
What manner of man?

Malvolio
Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you or no.

Olivia
Of what personage and years is he?

Malvolio
Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for
a boy; as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or a
cooling when 'tis almost an apple: 'tis with him
in standing water, between boy and man. He is very
well-favoured and he speaks very shrewishly; one
would think his mother's milk were scarce out of him.

Olivia
Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.

Malvolio
Gentlewoman, my lady calls.

Olivia
Give me my veil: come, throw it o'er my face.
We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.

Viola
The honourable lady of the house, which is she?

Olivia
Speak to me; I shall answer for her.
Your will?

Viola
Most radiant, exquisite and unmatchable beauty,--I
pray you, tell me if this be the lady of the house,
for I never saw her: I would be loath to cast away
my speech, for besides that it is excellently well
penned, I have taken great pains to con it. Good
beauties, let me sustain no scorn; I am very
comptible, even to the least sinister usage.

Olivia
Whence came you, sir?

Viola
I can say little more than I have studied, and that
question's out of my part. Good gentle one, give me
modest assurance if you be the lady of the house,
that I may proceed in my speech.

Olivia
Are you a comedian?

Viola
No, my profound heart: and yet, by the very fangs
of malice I swear, I am not that I play. Are you
the lady of the house?

Olivia
If I do not usurp myself, I am.

Viola
Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp
yourself; for what is yours to bestow is not yours
to reserve. But this is from my commission: I will
on with my speech in your praise, and then show you
the heart of my message.

Olivia
Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.

Viola
Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.

Olivia
It is the more like to be feigned: I pray you,
keep it in. I heard you were saucy at my gates,
and allowed your approach rather to wonder at you
than to hear you. If you be not mad, be gone; if
you have reason, be brief: 'tis not that time of
moon with me to make one in so skipping a dialogue.

Maria
Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.

Viola
No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little
longer. Some mollification for your giant, sweet
lady. Tell me your mind: I am a messenger.

Olivia
Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when
the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.

Viola
It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of
war, no taxation of homage: I hold the olive in my
hand; my words are as fun of peace as matter.

Olivia
Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you?

Viola
The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I
learned from my entertainment. What I am, and what I
would, are as secret as maidenhead; to your ears,
divinity, to any other's, profanation.

Olivia
Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.
[Exeunt MARIA and Attendants]
Now, sir, what is your text?

Viola
Most sweet lady,--

Olivia
A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
Where lies your text?

Viola
In Orsino's bosom.

Olivia
In his bosom! In what chapter_id of his bosom?

Viola
To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.

Olivia
O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have you no more to say?

Viola
Good madam, let me see your face.

Olivia
Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate
with my face? You are now out of your text: but
we will draw the curtain and show you the picture.
Look you, sir, such a one I was this present: is't
not well done?

Viola
Excellently done, if God did all.

Olivia
'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.

Viola
'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave the world no copy.

Olivia
O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted; I will give
out divers schedules of my beauty: it shall be
inventoried, and every particle and utensil
labelled to my will: as, item, two lips,
indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to
them; item, one neck, one chin, and so forth. Were
you sent hither to praise me?

Viola
I see you what you are, you are too proud;
But, if you were the devil, you are fair.
My lord and master loves you: O, such love
Could be but recompensed, though you were crown'd
The nonpareil of beauty!

Olivia
How does he love me?

Viola
With adorations, fertile tears,
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.

Olivia
Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him:
Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,
Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
In voices well divulged, free, learn'd and valiant;
And in dimension and the shape of nature
A gracious person: but yet I cannot love him;
He might have took his answer long ago.

Viola
If I did love you in my master's flame,
With such a suffering, such a deadly life,
In your denial I would find no sense;
I would not understand it.

Olivia
Why, what would you?

Viola
Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;
Write loyal cantons of contemned love
And sing them loud even in the dead of night;
Halloo your name to the reverberate hills
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out 'Olivia!' O, You should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me!

Olivia
You might do much.
What is your parentage?

Viola
Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
I am a gentleman.

Olivia
Get you to your lord;
I cannot love him: let him send no more;
Unless, perchance, you come to me again,
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well:
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.

Viola
I am no fee'd post, lady; keep your purse:
My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
Love make his heart of flint that you shall love;
And let your fervor, like my master's, be
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.

Olivia
'What is your parentage?'
'Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
I am a gentleman.' I'll be sworn thou art;
Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions and spirit,
Do give thee five-fold blazon: not too fast:
soft, soft!
Unless the master were the man. How now!
Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
Methinks I feel this youth's perfections
With an invisible and subtle stealth
To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.
What ho, Malvolio!

Malvolio
Here, madam, at your service.

Olivia
Run after that same peevish messenger,
The county's man: he left this ring behind him,
Would I or not: tell him I'll none of it.
Desire him not to flatter with his lord,
Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him:
If that the youth will come this way to-morrow,
I'll give him reasons for't: hie thee, Malvolio.

Malvolio
Madam, I will.

Olivia
I do I know not what, and fear to find
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.
Fate, show thy force: ourselves we do not owe;
What is decreed must be, and be this so.

Act II, Scene 1

The sea-coast.

Antonio
Will you stay no longer? nor will you not that I go with you?

Sebastian
By your patience, no. My stars shine darkly over
me: the malignancy of my fate might perhaps
distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your
leave that I may bear my evils alone: it were a bad
recompense for your love, to lay any of them on you.

Sebastian
No, sooth, sir: my determinate voyage is mere
extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent a
touch of modesty, that you will not extort from me
what I am willing to keep in; therefore it charges
me in manners the rather to express myself. You
must know of me then, Antonio, my name is Sebastian,
which I called Roderigo. My father was that
Sebastian of Messaline, whom I know you have heard
of. He left behind him myself and a sister, both
born in an hour: if the heavens had been pleased,
would we had so ended! but you, sir, altered that;
for some hour before you took me from the breach of
the sea was my sister drowned.

Antonio
Alas the day!

Sebastian
A lady, sir, though it was said she much resembled
me, was yet of many accounted beautiful: but,
though I could not with such estimable wonder
overfar believe that, yet thus far I will boldly
publish her; she bore a mind that envy could not but
call fair. She is drowned already, sir, with salt
water, though I seem to drown her remembrance again with more.

Antonio
Pardon me, sir, your bad entertainment.

Sebastian
O good Antonio, forgive me your trouble.

Antonio
If you will not murder me for my love, let me be
your servant.

Sebastian
If you will not undo what you have done, that is,
kill him whom you have recovered, desire it not.
Fare ye well at once: my bosom is full of kindness,
and I am yet so near the manners of my mother, that
upon the least occasion more mine eyes will tell
tales of me. I am bound to the Count Orsino's court: farewell.

Antonio
The gentleness of all the gods go with thee!
I have many enemies in Orsino's court,
Else would I very shortly see thee there.
But, come what may, I do adore thee so,
That danger shall seem sport, and I will go.

Act II, Scene 2

A street.

Malvolio
Were not you even now with the Countess Olivia?

Viola
Even now, sir; on a moderate pace I have since
arrived but hither.

Malvolio
She returns this ring to you, sir: you might have
saved me my pains, to have taken it away yourself.
She adds, moreover, that you should put your lord
into a desperate assurance she will none of him:
and one thing more, that you be never so hardy to
come again in his affairs, unless it be to report
your lord's taking of this. Receive it so.

Viola
She took the ring of me: I'll none of it.

Malvolio
Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and her
will is, it should be so returned: if it be worth
stooping for, there it lies in your eye; if not, be
it his that finds it.

Viola
I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside have not charm'd her!
She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.
None of my lord's ring! why, he sent her none.
I am the man: if it be so, as 'tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it for the proper-false
In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly;
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master's love;
As I am woman,--now alas the day!--
What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
O time! thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me to untie!

Act II, Scene 3

OLIVIA's house.

Sir Toby Belch
Approach, Sir Andrew: not to be abed after
midnight is to be up betimes; and 'diluculo
surgere,' thou know'st,--

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Nay, my troth, I know not: but I know, to be up
late is to be up late.

Sir Toby Belch
A false conclusion: I hate it as an unfilled can.
To be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is
early: so that to go to bed after midnight is to go
to bed betimes. Does not our life consist of the
four elements?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Faith, so they say; but I think it rather consists
of eating and drinking.

Sir Toby Belch
Thou'rt a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink.
Marian, I say! a stoup of wine!

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Here comes the fool, i' faith.

Feste
How now, my hearts! did you never see the picture
of 'we three'?

Sir Toby Belch
Welcome, ass. Now let's have a catch.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast. I
had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg,
and so sweet a breath to sing, as the fool has. In
sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last
night, when thou spokest of Pigrogromitus, of the
Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus: 'twas
very good, i' faith. I sent thee sixpence for thy
leman: hadst it?

Feste
I did impeticos thy gratillity; for Malvolio's nose
is no whipstock: my lady has a white hand, and the
Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Excellent! why, this is the best fooling, when all
is done. Now, a song.

Sir Toby Belch
Come on; there is sixpence for you: let's have a song.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
There's a testril of me too: if one knight give a--

Feste
Would you have a love-song, or a song of good life?

Sir Toby Belch
A love-song, a love-song.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Ay, ay: I care not for good life.

Feste
[Sings]
O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
O, stay and hear; your true love's coming,
That can sing both high and low:
Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man's son doth know.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Excellent good, i' faith.

Sir Toby Belch
Good, good.

Feste
[Sings]
What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.

Sir Toby Belch
A contagious breath.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Very sweet and contagious, i' faith.

Sir Toby Belch
To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion.
But shall we make the welkin dance indeed? shall we
rouse the night-owl in a catch that will draw three
souls out of one weaver? shall we do that?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
An you love me, let's do't: I am dog at a catch.

Feste
By'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Most certain. Let our catch be, 'Thou knave.'

Feste
'Hold thy peace, thou knave,' knight? I shall be
constrained in't to call thee knave, knight.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
'Tis not the first time I have constrained one to
call me knave. Begin, fool: it begins 'Hold thy peace.'

Feste
I shall never begin if I hold my peace.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Good, i' faith. Come, begin.

Maria
What a caterwauling do you keep here! If my lady
have not called up her steward Malvolio and bid him
turn you out of doors, never trust me.

Sir Toby Belch
My lady's a Cataian, we are politicians, Malvolio's
a Peg-a-Ramsey, and 'Three merry men be we.' Am not
I consanguineous? am I not of her blood?
Tillyvally. Lady!
[Sings]
'There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!'

Feste
Beshrew me, the knight's in admirable fooling.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed, and so do
I too: he does it with a better grace, but I do it
more natural.

Sir Toby Belch
[Sings] 'O, the twelfth day of December,'--

Maria
For the love o' God, peace!

Malvolio
My masters, are you mad? or what are you? Have ye
no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like
tinkers at this time of night? Do ye make an
alehouse of my lady's house, that ye squeak out your
coziers' catches without any mitigation or remorse
of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor
time in you?

Sir Toby Belch
We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!

Malvolio
Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady bade me
tell you, that, though she harbours you as her
kinsman, she's nothing allied to your disorders. If
you can separate yourself and your misdemeanors, you
are welcome to the house; if not, an it would please
you to take leave of her, she is very willing to bid
you farewell.

Sir Toby Belch
'Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.'

Maria
Nay, good Sir Toby.

Feste
'His eyes do show his days are almost done.'

Malvolio
Is't even so?

Sir Toby Belch
'But I will never die.'

Feste
Sir Toby, there you lie.

Malvolio
This is much credit to you.

Sir Toby Belch
'Shall I bid him go?'

Feste
'What an if you do?'

Sir Toby Belch
'Shall I bid him go, and spare not?'

Feste
'O no, no, no, no, you dare not.'

Sir Toby Belch
Out o' tune, sir: ye lie. Art any more than a
steward? Dost thou think, because thou art
virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

Feste
Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i' the
mouth too.

Sir Toby Belch
Thou'rt i' the right. Go, sir, rub your chain with
crumbs. A stoup of wine, Maria!

Malvolio
Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady's favour at any
thing more than contempt, you would not give means
for this uncivil rule: she shall know of it, by this hand.

Maria
Go shake your ears.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
'Twere as good a deed as to drink when a man's
a-hungry, to challenge him the field, and then to
break promise with him and make a fool of him.

Sir Toby Belch
Do't, knight: I'll write thee a challenge: or I'll
deliver thy indignation to him by word of mouth.

Maria
Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight: since the
youth of the count's was today with thy lady, she is
much out of quiet. For Monsieur Malvolio, let me
alone with him: if I do not gull him into a
nayword, and make him a common recreation, do not
think I have wit enough to lie straight in my bed:
I know I can do it.

Sir Toby Belch
Possess us, possess us; tell us something of him.

Maria
Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
O, if I thought that I'ld beat him like a dog!

Sir Toby Belch
What, for being a puritan? thy exquisite reason,
dear knight?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
I have no exquisite reason for't, but I have reason
good enough.

Maria
The devil a puritan that he is, or any thing
constantly, but a time-pleaser; an affectioned ass,
that cons state without book and utters it by great
swarths: the best persuaded of himself, so
crammed, as he thinks, with excellencies, that it is
his grounds of faith that all that look on him love
him; and on that vice in him will my revenge find
notable cause to work.

Sir Toby Belch
What wilt thou do?

Maria
I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of
love; wherein, by the colour of his beard, the shape
of his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure
of his eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find
himself most feelingly personated. I can write very
like my lady your niece: on a forgotten matter we
can hardly make distinction of our hands.

Sir Toby Belch
Excellent! I smell a device.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
I have't in my nose too.

Sir Toby Belch
He shall think, by the letters that thou wilt drop,
that they come from my niece, and that she's in
love with him.

Maria
My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that colour.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
And your horse now would make him an ass.

Maria
Ass, I doubt not.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
O, 'twill be admirable!

Maria
Sport royal, I warrant you: I know my physic will
work with him. I will plant you two, and let the
fool make a third, where he shall find the letter:
observe his construction of it. For this night, to
bed, and dream on the event. Farewell.

Sir Toby Belch
Good night, Penthesilea.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Before me, she's a good wench.

Sir Toby Belch
She's a beagle, true-bred, and one that adores me:
what o' that?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
I was adored once too.

Sir Toby Belch
Let's to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for
more money.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way out.

Sir Toby Belch
Send for money, knight: if thou hast her not i'
the end, call me cut.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek
If I do not, never trust me, take it how you will.

Sir Toby Belch
Come, come, I'll go burn some sack; 'tis too late
to go to bed now: come, knight; come, knight.

Act II, Scene 4

DUKE ORSINO's palace.

Orsino
Give me some music. Now, good morrow, friends.
Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song we heard last night:
Methought it did relieve my passion much,
More than light airs and recollected terms
Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times:
Come, but one verse.

Curio
He is not here, so please your lordship that should sing it.

Orsino
Who was it?

Curio
Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady
Olivia's father took much delight in. He is about the house.

Orsino
Seek him out, and play the tune the while.
[Exit CURIO. Music plays]
Come hither, boy: if ever thou shalt love,
In the sweet pangs of it remember me;
For such as I am all true lovers are,
Unstaid and skittish in all motions else,
Save in the constant image of the creature
That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?

Viola
It gives a very echo to the seat
Where Love is throned.

Orsino
Thou dost speak masterly:
My life upon't, young though thou art, thine eye
Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves:
Hath it not, boy?

Viola
A little, by your favour.

Orsino
What kind of woman is't?

Viola
Of your complexion.

Orsino
She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?

Viola
About your years, my lord.

Orsino
Too old by heaven: let still the woman take
An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
So sways she level in her husband's heart:
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women's are.

Viola
I think it well, my lord.

Orsino
Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
Or thy affection cannot hold the bent;
For women are as roses, whose fair flower
Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.

Viola
And so they are: alas, that they are so;
To die, even when they to perfection grow!

Orsino
O, fellow, come, the song we had last night.
Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
The spinsters and the knitters in the sun
And the free maids that weave their thread with bones
Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth,
And dallies with the innocence of love,
Like the old age.

Feste
Are you ready, sir?

Orsino
Ay; prithee, sing.
[Music]
SONG.

Feste
Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!

Orsino
There's for thy pains.

Feste
No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.

Orsino
I'll pay thy pleasure then.

Feste
Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.

Orsino
Give me now leave to leave thee.

Feste
Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the
tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for
thy mind is a very opal. I would have men of such
constancy put to sea, that their business might be
every thing and their intent every where; for that's
it that always makes a good voyage of nothing. Farewell.

Orsino
Let all the rest give place.
[CURIO and Attendants retire]
Once more, Cesario,
Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty:
Tell her, my love, more noble than the world,
Prizes not quantity of dirty lands;
The parts that fortune hath bestow'd upon her,
Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune;
But 'tis that miracle and queen of gems
That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.

Viola
But if she cannot love you, sir?

Orsino
I cannot be so answer'd.

Viola
Sooth, but you must.
Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
Hath for your love a great a pang of heart
As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her;
You tell her so; must she not then be answer'd?

Orsino
There is no woman's sides
Can bide the beating of so strong a passion
As love doth give my heart; no woman's heart
So big, to hold so much; they lack retention
Alas, their love may be call'd appetite,
No motion of the liver, but the palate,
That suffer surfeit, cloyment and revolt;
But mine is all as hungry as the sea,
And can digest as much: make no compare
Between that love a woman can bear me
And that I owe Olivia.

Viola
Ay, but I know--

Orsino
What dost thou know?

Viola
Too well what love women to men may owe:
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter loved a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.

Orsino
And what's her history?

Viola
A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
We men may say more, swear more: but indeed
Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
Much in our vows, but little in our love.

Orsino
But died thy sister of her love, my boy?

Viola
I am all the daughters of my father's house,
And all the brothers too: and yet I know not.
Sir, shall I to this lady?

Orsino
Ay, that's the theme.
To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,
My love can give no place, bide no denay.