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 Andrew, [followed by] Sir Toby and Fabian.
    Sir Andrew No, faith, I'll not stay a jot longer!
    Sir Toby Thy reason, dear venom, give thy reason.
    Fabian You must needs yield your reason, Sir 1385Andrew!
    Sir Andrew Marry, I saw your niece do more favors to the count's serving-man than ever she bestowed upon me. I saw't i'th'orchard.
    Sir Toby Did she see thee the while, old boy, tell me that?
    1390Sir Andrew As plain as I see you now.
    Fabian This was a great argument of love in her toward you.
    Sir Andrew 'Slight, will you make an ass o'me?
    Fabian I will prove it legitimate, sir, upon the oaths of 1395judgment and reason.
    Sir Toby And they have been grand-jurymen since before Noah was a sailor.
    Fabian She did show favor to the youth in your sight only to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valor, 1400to put fire in your heart, and brimstone in your liver. You should then have accosted her, and with some excellent jests, fire-new from the mint, you should have banged the youth into dumbness. This was looked for at your hand, and this was balked. The double gilt of this 1405opportunity you let time wash off, and you are now sailed into the north of my lady's opinion, where you will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman's beard, unless you do redeem it by some laudable attempt, either of valor or policy.
    1410Sir Andrew An't be any way, it must be with valor, for policy I hate.[To the audience] I had as lief be a Brownist, as a politician.
    Sir Toby Why then, build me thy fortunes upon the basis of valor. Challenge me the count's youth to fight with him, 1415hurt him in eleven places. My niece shall take note of it; and assure thyself, there is no love-broker in the world can more prevail in man's commendation with women than report of valor.
    Fabian There is no way but this, Sir Andrew.
    1420Sir Andrew Will either of you bear me a challenge to him?
    Sir Toby Go, write it in a martial hand. Be cursed and brief. It is no matter how witty, so it be eloquent, and full of invention. Taunt him with the license of ink. If thou "thou'st" him some thrice, it shall not be amiss; and as 1425many lies as will lie in thy sheet of paper, although the sheet were big enough for the bed of Ware in England, set 'em down. Go, about it! Let there be gall enough in thy ink; though thou write with a goose-pen, no matter. About it!
    1430Sir Andrew Where shall I find you?
    Sir Toby We'll call thee at thy cubiculo. Go!
    Exit Sir Andrew.
    Fabian This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby.
    Sir Toby I have been dear to him, lad, some two thousand 1435strong, or so.
    Fabian We shall have a rare letter from him--but you'll not deliver't?
    Sir Toby Never trust me then; and by all means stir on the youth to an answer. I think oxen and wainropes 1440cannot hale them together. For Andrew, if he were opened and you find so much blood in his liver as will clog the foot of a flea, I'll eat the rest of th'anatomy.
    Fabian And his opposite, the youth, bears in his visage no great presage of cruelty.
    Enter Maria.
    Sir Toby Look where the youngest wren of nine comes.
    Maria If you desire the spleen, and will laugh your selves into stitches, follow me. Yond gull Malvolio is turned heathen, a very renegado; for there is no Christian 1450that means to be saved by believing rightly can ever believe such impossible passages of grossness. He's in yellow stockings!
    Sir Toby And cross-gartered?
    Maria Most villainously, like a pedant that keeps a 1455school i'th'church. I have dogged him like his murderer. He does obey every point of the letter that I dropped to betray him. He does smile his face into more lines than is in the new map with the augmentation of the Indies; you have not seen such a thing as 'tis. I can 1460hardly forbear hurling things at him; I know my lady will strike him. If she do, he'll smile, and take't for a great favor.
    Sir Toby Come, bring us, bring us where he is!
    Exeunt omnes.