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  • Title: Twelfth Night (Modern)
  • Editors: David Carnegie, Mark Houlahan
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-372-4

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: David Carnegie, Mark Houlahan
    Peer Reviewed

    Twelfth Night (Modern)

    1.3
    Enter Sir Toby [booted], and Maria [with a light].
    Sir Toby
    What a plague means my niece to take the 120death of her brother thus! I am sure care's an enemy to life.
    Maria
    By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier a-nights. Your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
    125Sir Toby
    Why let her except, before excepted.
    Maria
    Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
    Sir Toby
    Confine? I'll confine myself no finer than I am! These clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be 130these 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.
    135Sir Toby
    Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?
    Maria
    Ay, he.
    Sir Toby
    He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
    Maria
    What's that to th'purpose?
    Sir Toby
    Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.
    140Maria
    Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats. He's a very fool, and a prodigal.
    Sir Toby
    Fie that you'll say so! He plays o'th'viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages word for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.
    145Maria
    He hath indeed, all most natural. For besides that he's a fool, he's a great quarreler; and but that he hath the gift of a coward, to allay the gust he hath in quarreling, 'tis thought among the prudent he would quickly have the gift of a grave.
    150Sir Toby
    By this hand, they are scoundrels and substractors that say so of him. Who are they?
    Maria
    They that add, moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.
    Sir Toby
    With drinking healths to my niece! I'll drink 155to her as long as there is a passage in my throat, and drink in Illyria. He's a coward and a coistrel that will not drink to my niece till his brains turn o'th'toe, like a parish top.
    160Enter Sir Andrew.
    158.1What, wench! Castiliano vulgo; for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.
    Sir Andrew
    Sir Toby Belch! How now, Sir Toby Belch!
    Sir Toby
    Sweet Sir Andrew!
    Sir Andrew
    Bless you, fair shrew.
    Maria
    And you too, sir.
    165Sir Toby
    Accost, Sir Andrew, accost!
    Sir Andrew
    What's that?
    Sir Toby
    My niece's chambermaid.
    Sir Andrew
    Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.
    Maria
    My name is Mary, sir.
    170Sir Andrew
    Good Mistress Mary Accost--
    Sir Toby
    [Aside to Sir Andrew] You mistake, knight. "Accost" is front her, board her, woo her, assail her.
    Sir Andrew
    [Aside to Sir Toby, indicating audience] By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of "accost"?
    175Maria
    Fare you well, gentlemen.
    Sir Toby
    [Aside to Sir Andrew] An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou might'st never draw sword again.
    Sir Andrew
    An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again! Fair lady, do you think you have 180fools in hand?
    Maria
    Sir, I have not you by th'hand.
    Sir Andrew
    Marry, but you shall have, and here's my hand.
    Maria
    [Taking his hand] Now sir, thought is free. I pray you, bring your hand to th'buttery bar, and let it drink.
    185Sir Andrew
    Wherefore, sweetheart? What's your metaphor?
    Maria
    It's dry, sir.
    Sir Andrew
    Why, I think so. I am not such an ass but I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest?
    190Maria
    A dry jest, sir.
    Sir Andrew
    Are you full of them?
    Maria
    Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers' ends. [Letting go his hand] Marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.
    Exit Maria.
    Sir Toby
    O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary. [Pouring wine] When did 195I see thee so put down?
    Sir Andrew
    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 200to my wit.
    Sir Toby
    No question.
    Sir Andrew
    An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride home tomorrow, Sir Toby.
    Sir Toby
    Pourquoi, my dear knight?
    205Sir Andrew
    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
    Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
    210Sir Andrew
    Why, would that have mended my hair?
    Sir Toby
    Past question, for thou see'st it will not curl by nature.
    Sir Andrew
    But it becomes me well enough, dost not?
    Sir Toby
    Excellent! It hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs, and spin it off.
    215Sir Andrew
    Faith, I'll home tomorrow, 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
    She'll none o'th'count. She'll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her 220swear't. Tut, there's life in't, man.
    Sir Andrew
    I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o'th' strangest mind i'th'world. I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether.
    Sir Toby
    Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?
    225Sir Andrew
    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
    What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
    Sir Andrew
    Faith, I can cut a caper.
    [He dances.]
    230Sir Toby
    And I can cut the mutton to it.
    Sir Andrew
    And I think I have the back-trick simply as strong as any man in Illyria.
    [He demonstrates.]
    Sir Toby
    Wherefore are these things hid? Wherefore have these gifts a curtain before 'em? Are they like to take 235dust, like Mistress Moll'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 cinquepace! What dost thou mean! Is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think by 240the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.
    Sir Andrew
    Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a flame-colored stock. Shall we set about some revels?
    Sir Toby
    What shall we do else? Were we not born under 245Taurus!
    Sir Andrew
    Taurus? That's sides and heart.
    Sir Toby
    No, sir, it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee caper.
    [Sir Andrew dances.]
    Ha, higher! Ha, ha, excellent!
    Exeunt.