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 Viola [as Cesario] and Malvolio [with the ring], at several doors.
    Were not you even now with the Countess Olivia?
    Even now, sir; on a moderate pace, I have since 660arrived but hither.
    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 665thing more: that you be never so hardy to come again in his affairs, unless it be to report your lord's taking of this. [Offering the ring] Receive it so.
    She took the ring of me; I'll none of it.
    Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and 670her will is, it should be so returned. [Throwing the ring down] If it be worth stooping for, there it lies, in your eye; if not, be it his that finds it.
    [To the audience] [Picking up the ring] I left no ring with her. What means this lady?
    Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her!
    675She made good view of me; indeed so much
    That 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.
    680None 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.
    685How 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,
    690And 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--
    695What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe?
    O time, thou must untangle this, not I,
    It is too hard a knot for me t'untie.