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 Clown [with a letter] and Fabian.
    Fabian Now as thou lov'st me, let me see his letter.
    2155Clown Good Master Fabian, grant me another request.
    Fabian Anything.
    Clown Do not desire to see this letter.
    Fabian This is to give a dog, and in recompense desire my dog again.
    Enter Orsino, Viola [as Cesario], Curio, and Lords.
    Orsino Belong you to the Lady Olivia, friends?
    Clown Ay, sir, we are some of her trappings.
    Orsino I know thee well. How dost thou, my good fellow?
    2165Clown Truly, sir, the better for my foes, and the worse for my friends.
    Orsino Just the contrary; the better for thy friends.
    Clown No, sir, the worse.
    Orsino How can that be?
    2170Clown Marry, sir, they praise me, and make an ass of me. Now, my foes tell me plainly I am an ass, so that by my foes, sir, I profit in the knowledge of myself, and by my friends I am abused. So that, conclusions to be as kisses, if your four negatives make your two affirmatives, why 2175then, the worse for my friends and the better for my foes.
    Orsino Why, this is excellent.
    Clown By my troth, sir, no; though it please you to be one of my friends.
    Orsino Thou shalt not be the worse for me; there's gold.
    [Orsino gives him a gold coin.]
    2180Clown But that it would be double-dealing, sir, I would you could make it another.
    Orsino O you give me ill counsel.
    Clown Put your grace in your pocket, sir, for this once, and let your flesh and blood obey it.
    2185Orsino Well, I will be so much a sinner to be a double-dealer; there's another. [Orsino gives him another gold coin.]
    Clown Primo, secundo, tertio is a good play; and the old saying is, "the third pays for all"; the triplex, sir, is a good tripping measure; or the bells of Saint Bennet, sir, may put 2190you in mind: one, two, three.
    Orsino You can fool no more money out of me at this throw. If you will let your lady know I am here to speak with her, and bring her along with you, it may awake my bounty further.
    2195Clown Marry, sir, lullaby to your bounty till I come again. I go, sir, but I would not have you to think that my desire of having is the sin of covetousness--but as you say, sir, let your bounty take a nap; I will awake it anon.
    Enter Antonio and Officers [guarding him].
    Viola Here comes the man, sir, that did rescue me.
    Orsino That face of his I do remember well;
    Yet when I saw it last, it was besmeared
    As black as Vulcan in the smoke of war.
    2205A baubling vessel was he captain of,
    For shallow draught and bulk, unprizable;
    With which such scatheful grapple did he make
    With the most noble bottom of our fleet,
    That very envy, and the tongue of loss,
    2210Cried fame and honor on him. What's the matter?
    First Officer Orsino, this is that Antonio
    That took the Phoenix, and her fraught from Candy,
    And this is he that did the Tiger board
    When your young nephew Titus lost his leg.
    2215Here in the streets, desperate of shame and state,
    In private brabble did we apprehend him.
    Viola He did me kindness, sir, drew on my side,
    But in conclusion put strange speech upon me;
    I know not what 'twas, but distraction.
    2220Orsino Notable pirate, thou saltwater thief,
    What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies
    Whom thou, in terms so bloody and so dear,
    Hast made thine enemies?
    Orsino, noble sir,
    2225Be pleased that I shake off these names you give me.
    Antonio never yet was thief, or pirate,
    Though I confess, on base and ground enough,
    Orsino's enemy. A witchcraft drew me hither:
    That most ingrateful boy there by your side
    2230From the rude sea's enraged and foamy mouth
    Did I redeem. A wrack past hope he was.
    His life I gave him, and did thereto add
    My love without retention or restraint,
    All his in dedication. For his sake
    2235Did I expose myself, pure for his love,
    Into the danger of this adverse town;
    Drew to defend him, when he was beset;
    Where being apprehended, his false cunning,
    Not meaning to partake with me in danger,
    2240Taught him to face me out of his acquaintance,
    And grew a twenty years' removèd thing
    While one would wink; denied me mine own purse,
    Which I had recommended to his use
    Not half an hour before.
    How can this be?
    Orsino When came he to this town?
    Antonio Today, my lord; and for three months before,
    No int'rim, not a minute's vacancy,
    Both day and night did we keep company.
    Enter Olivia and Attendants.
    Orsino Here comes the countess, now heaven walks on earth.
    [To Antonio] But for thee, fellow--fellow, thy words are madness.
    Three months this youth hath tended upon me;
    2255But more of that anon. [To Officers] Take him aside.
    Olivia What would my lord, but that he may not have,
    Wherein Olivia may seem serviceable?
    [To Viola] Cesario, you do not keep promise with me.
    [Viola and Orsino speak at the same time.]
    Viola Madam--
    2260Orsino Gracious Olivia--
    Olivia What do you say, Cesario? [Silencing Orsino] Good my lord.
    Viola My lord would speak, my duty hushes me.
    Olivia If it be aught to the old tune, my lord,
    It is as fat and fulsome to mine ear
    2265As howling after music.
    Still so cruel?
    Still so constant, lord.
    Orsino What, to perverseness? You uncivil lady,
    To whose ingrate and unauspicious altars
    2270My soul the faithfull'st off'rings have breathed out
    That e'er devotion tendered! What shall I do?
    Olivia Even what it please my lord, that shall become him
    Orsino Why should I not, had I the heart to do it,
    Like to th'Egyptian thief at point of death,
    2275Kill what I love?--a savage jealousy,
    That sometime savors nobly. But hear me this:
    Since you to non-regardance cast my faith,
    And that I partly know the instrument
    That screws me from my true place in your favor,
    2280Live you the marble-breasted tyrant still.
    But [Seizing Viola] this your minion, whom I know you love,
    And whom, by heaven, I swear I tender dearly,
    Him will I tear out of that cruel eye
    Where he sits crownèd in his master's spite.
    2285Come, boy, with me; my thoughts are ripe in mischief.
    I'll sacrifice the lamb that I do love,
    To spite a raven's heart within a dove.
    [He moves to exit with Viola.]
    Viola And I most jocund, apt, and willingly,
    To do you rest, a thousand deaths would die.
    Where goes Cesario?
    After him I love
    More than I love these eyes, more than my life,
    More, by all mores, than e'er I shall love wife.
    If I do feign, you witnesses above
    2295Punish my life, for tainting of my love.
    Olivia Ay me, detested! How am I beguiled!
    Viola Who does beguile you? Who does do you wrong?
    Olivia Hast thou forgot thyself? Is it so long?
    Call forth the holy father.
    [Exit an Attendant.]
    [To Cesario] Come, away.
    Olivia Whither, my lord? Cesario, husband, stay!
    Ay, husband. Can he that deny?
    Her husband, sirrah?
    No, my lord, not I.
    Olivia Alas, it is the baseness of thy fear
    That makes thee strangle thy propriety.
    Fear not, Cesario, take thy fortunes up,
    Be that thou know'st thou art, and then thou art
    2310As great as that thou fear'st.
    Enter Priest.
    O welcome, father!
    Father, I charge thee by thy reverence
    Here to unfold (though lately we intended
    2315To keep in darkness what occasion now
    Reveals before 'tis ripe) what thou dost know
    Hath newly passed between this youth and me.
    Priest A contract of eternal bond of love,
    Confirmed by mutual joinder of your hands,
    2320Attested by the holy close of lips,
    Strengthened by interchangement of your rings,
    And all the ceremony of this compact
    Sealed in my function, by my testimony;
    Since when, my watch hath told me, toward my grave
    2325I have travelled but two hours.
    Orsino [To Viola] O thou dissembling cub! What wilt thou be
    When time hath sowed a grizzle on thy case?
    Or will not else thy craft so quickly grow
    That thine own trip shall be thine overthrow?
    2330Farewell, and take her, but direct thy feet
    Where thou and I henceforth may never meet.
    My lord, I do protest--
    O, do not swear,
    Hold little faith, though thou hast too much fear.
    Enter Sir Andrew [with his head bloody].
    Sir Andrew For the love of God, a surgeon! Send one presently to Sir Toby.
    Olivia What's the matter?
    Sir Andrew He's broke my head across, and has given Sir 2340Toby a bloody coxcomb too. For the love of God, your help! I had rather than forty pound I were at home.
    Olivia Who has done this, Sir Andrew?
    Sir Andrew The count's gentleman, one Cesario. We took him for a coward, but he's the very devil incardinate.
    2345Orsino My gentleman Cesario?
    Sir Andrew [Seeing Viola] [and recoiling in fear]. 'Od's lifelings, here he is! [To her] You broke my head for nothing; and that that I did, I was set on to do't by Sir Toby.
    Viola Why do you speak to me? I never hurt you.
    2350You drew your sword upon me without cause,
    But I bespake you fair, and hurt you not.
    Enter Sir Toby [limping, his head bloody,] and [supported by] Clown.
    Sir Andrew If a bloody coxcomb be a hurt, you have hurt me; I think you set nothing by a bloody coxcomb. 2355Here comes Sir Toby halting; you shall hear more. But if he had not been in drink, he would have tickled you othergates than he did.
    Orsino How now, gentleman? How is't with you?
    Sir Toby That's all one, he's hurt me, and there's th'end on't. 2360[To Clown] Sot, didst see Dick Surgeon, sot?
    Clown Oh, he's drunk, Sir Toby, an hour agone; his eyes were set at eight i'th'morning.
    Sir Toby Then he's a rogue, and a passy-measures pavan. I hate a drunken rogue.
    2365Olivia Away with him! Who hath made this havocwith them?
    Sir Andrew I'll help you, Sir Toby, because we'll be dressed together.
    Sir Toby Will you help? An ass-head, and a coxcomb, and 2370a knave? A thin-faced knave, a gull!
    Olivia Get him to bed, and let his hurt be looked to.
    [Exeunt Sir Toby and Sir Andrew led off by Clown and Fabian.]
    Enter Sebastian. [Everyone else observes the identically dressed Sebastian and Viola.]
    Sebastian I am sorry, madam, I have hurt your kinsman;
    But had it been the brother of my blood,
    2375I must have done no less with wit and safety.
    You throw a strange regard upon me, and by that
    I do perceive it hath offended you.
    Pardon me, sweet one, even for the vows
    We made each other but so late ago.
    2380Orsino One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons:
    A natural perspective, that is, and is not!
    Sebastian Antonio! Oh, my dear Antonio,
    How have the hours racked and tortured me
    Since I have lost thee!
    Sebastian, are you?
    Fear'st thou that, Antonio?
    Antonio How have you made division of yourself?
    An apple cleft in two is not more twin
    Than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian?
    2390Olivia Most wonderful.
    Sebastian [Seeing Viola] Do I stand there? I never had a brother;
    Nor can there be that deity in my nature
    Of here and everywhere. I had a sister,
    Whom the blind waves and surges have devoured.
    2395Of charity, what kin are you to me?
    What countryman? What name? What parentage?
    Viola Of Messaline. Sebastian was my father.
    Such a Sebastian was my brother too;
    So went he suited to his watery tomb.
    2400If spirits can assume both form and suit,
    You come to fright us.
    A spirit I am indeed,
    But am in that dimension grossly clad
    Which from the womb I did participate.
    2405Were you a woman, as the rest goes even,
    I should my tears let fall upon your cheek,
    And say, "Thrice welcome, drownèd Viola."
    Viola My father had a mole upon his brow.
    Sebastian And so had mine.
    2410Viola And died that day when Viola from her birth
    Had numbered thirteen years.
    Sebastian Oh, that record is lively in my soul.
    He finishèd indeed his mortal act
    That day that made my sister thirteen years.
    2415Viola If nothing lets to make us happy both,
    But this my masculine usurped attire,
    Do not embrace me, till each circumstance
    Of place, time, fortune, do cohere and jump
    That I am Viola; which to confirm,
    2420I'll bring you to a captain in this town,
    Where lie my maiden weeds, by whose gentle help
    I was preserved to serve this noble count.
    All the occurrence of my fortune since
    Hath been between this lady and this lord.
    2425Sebastian [To Olivia] So comes it, lady, you have been mistook.
    But nature to her bias drew in that.
    You would have been contracted to a maid;
    Nor are you therein, by my life, deceived:
    You are betrothed both to a maid and man.
    2430Orsino [To Olivia] Be not amazed, right noble is his blood.
    If this be so--as yet the glass seems true--
    I shall have share in this most happy wrack.
    [To Viola] Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand times
    Thou never shouldst love woman like to me.
    2435Viola And all those sayings will I overswear,
    And all those swearings keep as true in soul
    As doth that orbèd continent the fire
    That severs day from night.
    Give me thy hand,
    2440And let me see thee in thy woman's weeds.
    Viola The captain that did bring me first on shore
    Hath my maid's garments; he upon some action
    Is now in durance, at Malvolio's suit,
    A gentleman and follower of my lady's.
    2445Olivia He shall enlarge him. Fetch Malvolio hither--
    And yet, alas, now I remember me,
    They say, poor gentleman, he's much distract.
    Enter Clown with a letter, and Fabian.
    A most extracting frenzy of mine own
    2450From my remembrance clearly banished his.
    [To Clown] How does he, sirrah?
    Clown Truly, madam, he holds Beelzebub at the stave's end as well as a man in his case may do. He's here writ a letter to you. I should have given't you today morning, but as a 2455madman's epistles are no gospels, so it skills not much when they are delivered.
    Olivia Open't, and read it.
    Clown Look then to be well edified, when the fool delivers the madman. [Reading madly]
    "By the Lord, madam--"
    2460Olivia How now, art thou mad?
    Clown No, madam, I do but read madness. An your ladyship will have it as it ought to be, you must allow vox.
    Olivia Prithee, read i'thy right wits.
    2465Clown So I do, madonna. But to read his right wits is to read thus. Therefore perpend, my princess, and give ear.
    [Clown prepares to read madly again; Olivia seizes the letter and gives it to Fabian.]
    Olivia [To Fabian] Read it you, sirrah.
    Fabian (Reads.)
    "By the Lord, madam, you wrong me, and 2470the world shall know it. Though you have put me into darkness, and given your drunken cousin rule over me, yet have I the benefit of my senses as well as your ladyship. I have your own letter, that induced me to the semblance I put on; with the which I doubt not but to 2475do myself much right, or you much shame. Think of me as you please. I leave my duty a little unthought of, and speak out of my injury. The madly-used Malvolio."
    Olivia Did he write this?
    Clown Ay, madam.
    2480Orsino This savors not much of distraction.
    Olivia See him delivered, Fabian, bring him hither.
    [Exit Fabian.]
    [To Orsino] My Lord, so please you, these things further thought on,
    To think me as well a sister as a wife,
    One day shall crown th'alliance on't, so please you,
    2485Here at my house, and at my proper cost.
    Orsino Madam, I am most apt t'embrace your offer.
    [To Viola] Your master quits you; and for your service done him,
    So much against the mettle of your sex,
    So far beneath your soft and tender breeding,
    2490And since you called me master for so long,
    Here is my hand; you shall from this time be
    Your master's mistress.
    A sister, you are she!
    Enter [Fabian and] Malvolio [with Maria's letter].
    Is this the madman?
    Ay, my lord, this same.
    [To Malvolio] How now, Malvolio?
    Madam, you have done me wrong,
    Notorious wrong.
    Have I, Malvolio? No.
    2500Malvolio Lady, you have. Pray you peruse that letter.
    [Giving her the letter] You must not now deny it is your hand.
    Write from it if you can, in hand, or phrase,
    Or say 'tis not your seal, not your invention.
    You can say none of this. Well, grant it then,
    2505And tell me, in the modesty of honor,
    Why you have given me such clear lights of favor,
    Bade me come smiling and cross-gartered to you,
    To put on yellow stockings, and to frown
    Upon Sir Toby, and the lighter people;
    2510And acting this in an obedient hope,
    Why have you suffered me to be imprisoned,
    Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,
    And made the most notorious geck and gull
    That ere invention played on? Tell me, why?
    2515Olivia Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing,
    Though I confess much like the character;
    But out of question, 'tis Maria's hand.
    And now I do bethink me, it was she
    First told me thou wast mad; then cam'st in smiling,
    2520And in such forms which here were presupposed
    Upon thee in the letter. Prithee, be content.
    This practice hath most shrewdly past upon thee;
    But when we know the grounds and authors of it,
    Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge
    2525Of thine own cause.
    Good madam, hear me speak,
    And let no quarrel, nor no brawl to come,
    Taint the condition of this present hour,
    Which I have wondered at. In hope it shall not,
    2530Most freely I confess myself and Toby
    Set this device against Malvolio here,
    Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts
    We had conceived against him. Maria writ
    The letter, at Sir Toby's great importance,
    2535In recompense whereof he hath married her.
    How with a sportful malice it was followed
    May rather pluck on laughter than revenge,
    If that the injuries be justly weighed
    That have on both sides passed.
    2540Olivia [To Malvolio] Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled thee!
    Clown [To Malvolio] Why, "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon them." I was one, sir, in this interlude, one Sir Topaz, sir; but that's all one. "By the Lord, fool, I am not mad!" But do you 2545remember: "Madam, why laugh you at such a barren rascal? An you smile not, he's gagged." And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.
    Malvolio I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you!
    Olivia He hath been most notoriously abused.
    2550Orsino [To Fabian] Pursue him, and entreat him to a peace. [Exit Fabian.]
    He hath not told us of the captain yet.
    When that is known, and golden time convents,
    A solemn combination shall be made
    Of our dear souls. [To Olivia] Meantime, sweet sister,
    2555We will not part from hence. [To Viola] Cesario, come--
    For so you shall be while you are a man;
    But when in other habits you are seen,
    Orsino's mistress, and his fancy's queen.
    Exeunt [all except Clown].
    2560Clown (Sings)
    When that I was and a little tiny boy,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    A foolish thing was but a toy,
    For the rain it raineth every day.
    But when I came to man's estate,
    2565With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
    For the rain it raineth every day.
    But when I came, alas, to wive,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    2570By swaggering could I never thrive,
    For the rain it raineth every day.
    But when I came unto my beds,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    With tosspots still 'had drunken heads,
    2575For the rain it raineth every day.
    A great while ago the world begun,
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    But that's all one, our play is done,
    And we'll strive to please you every day.