Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • 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)

    Enter Sir Toby and Sir Andrew.
    700Sir Toby Approach, Sir Andrew. Not to be abed after midnight, is to be up betimes; and diluculo surgere, thou know'st.
    Sir Andrew Nay, by my troth, I know not; but I know to be up late is to be up late.
    705Sir Toby 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?
    710Sir Andrew Faith, so they say, but I think it rather consists of eating and drinking.
    Sir Toby Th'art a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink. [Calling] Marian, I say, a stoup of wine!
    Enter Clown.
    715Sir Andrew Here comes the fool, i'faith.
    Clown How now, my hearts! Did you never see the picture of "We Three"?
    Sir Toby Welcome, ass. Now let's have a catch.
    Sir Andrew By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast. I 720had 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 spok'st of Pigrogromitus, of the Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus. 'Twas very good, i'faith. I sent thee sixpence 725for thy leman--hadst it?
    Clown 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 Excellent! Why, this is the best fooling, when 730all is done. Now a song!
    Sir Toby [To Clown, giving money] Come on, there is sixpence for you. Let's have a song.
    Sir Andrew [Giving sixpence] There's a testril of me too. If one knight give a--
    Clown Would you have a love song, or a song of good 735life?
    Sir Toby A love song, a love song.
    Sir Andrew Ay, ay. I care not for good life.
    Clown sings.
    O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
    740O 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.
    745Sir Andrew Excellent good, i'faith.
    Sir Toby Good, good.
    What is love? 'Tis not hereafter,
    Present mirth hath present laughter;
    What's to come is still unsure.
    750In delay there lies no plenty,
    Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty;
    Youth's a stuff will not endure.
    Sir Andrew A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.
    Sir Toby A contagious breath.
    755Sir Andrew Very sweet and contagious, i'faith.
    Sir Toby 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?
    760Sir Andrew An you love me, let's do't! I am dog at a catch.
    Clown By'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.
    Sir Andrew Most certain. Let our catch be "Thou Knave."
    Clown "Hold thy peace, thou knave," knight? I shall be 765constrained in't to call thee knave, knight.
    Sir Andrew 'Tis not the first time I have constrained one to call me knave. Begin, fool. It begins, [Singing] "Hold thy peace."
    Clown I shall never begin if I hold my peace.
    Sir Andrew Good, i'faith! Come, begin.
    Catch sung.
    770Enter Maria [interrupting the song].
    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 My lady's a Cathayan, we are politicians, Malvolio's 775a Peg-a-Ramsay, and [Singing] "Three merry men be we"! Am not I consanguineous? Am I not of her blood? Tilly-vally, lady! [Singing] "There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady"!
    Clown Beshrew me, the knight's in admirable fooling.
    Sir Andrew Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed, and so 780do I too. He does it with a better grace, but I do it more natural.
    Sir Toby [Singing] "O'the twelfth day of December--"
    Maria For the love o'god, peace!
    Enter Malvolio.
    785Malvolio My masters, are you mad! Or what are you? Have you 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? 790Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?
    Sir Toby 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 harbors you as her kinsman, she's nothing allied to your disorders. If you can 795separate 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 [Singing] [To Maria] "Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone."
    Maria Nay, good Sir Toby.
    800Clown [Singing] [Indicating Sir Toby] "His eyes do show his days are almost done."
    Malvolio Is't even so?
    Sir Toby [Singing] "But I will never die."
    Clown [Singing] Sir Toby, there you lie.
    Malvolio This is much credit to you.
    805Sir Toby [Singing] [Indicating Malvolio] "Shall I bid him go?"
    Clown [Singing] "What an if you do?"
    Sir Toby [Singing] "Shall I bid him go, and spare not?"
    Clown [Singing] "O no, no, no, no, you dare not!"
    Sir Toby [To Malvolio] Out o'tune, sir? Ye lie! Art any more than a 810steward? Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale?
    Clown Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i'th'mouth too.
    Sir Toby Th'art i'th'right. [To Malvolio] Go, sir, rub your chain with 815crumbs. A stoup of wine, Maria!
    Malvolio Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady's favor at anything more than contempt, you would not give means for this uncivil rule. She shall know of it, by this hand.
    820Maria Go shake your ears!
    Sir Andrew '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 Do't, knight. I'll write thee a challenge; or I'll 825deliver 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 my 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 830him a common recreation, do not think I have wit enough to lie straight in my bed. I know I can do it.
    Sir Toby Possess us, possess us, tell us something of him.
    Maria Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.
    Sir Andrew Oh, if I thought that, I'd beat him like a dog!
    835Sir Toby What, for being a puritan? Thy exquisite reason, dear knight?
    Sir Andrew I have no exquisite reason for't, but I have reason good enough.
    Maria The devil a puritan that he is, or anything 840constantly but a time-pleaser, an affectioned ass, that cons state without book, and utters it by great swaths. 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 845my revenge find notable cause to work.
    Sir Toby What wilt thou do?
    Maria I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of love, wherein by the color of his beard, the shape of his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure of his eye, 850forehead, 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 Excellent, I smell a device.
    855Sir Andrew I have't in my nose too.
    Sir Toby 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 color.
    860Sir Andrew And your horse now would make him an ass.
    Maria Ass, I doubt not.
    Sir Andrew Oh, 'twill be admirable!
    Maria Sport royal, I warrant you. I know my physic will work with him. I will plant you two, and let 865the 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 Good night, Penthesilea!
    Sir Andrew Before me, she's a good wench.
    870Sir Toby She's a beagle true bred, and one that adores me. What o'that?
    Sir Andrew I was adored once, too.
    Sir Toby Let's to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for more money.
    875Sir Andrew If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way out.
    Sir Toby Send for money, knight. If thou hast her not i'th'end, call me cut.
    Sir Andrew If I do not, never trust me, take it how you will.
    880Sir Toby Come, come, I'll go burn some sack; 'tis too late to go to bed now. Come, knight, come, knight.