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 [from different ways] Viola [as Cesario] and Clown [playing on tabor and pipe].
    Save thee, friend, and thy music. Dost thou live 1215by thy tabor?
    No, sir, I live by the church.
    Art thou a churchman?
    No such matter, sir. I do live by the church, for I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by the 1220church.
    So thou mayst say the king lies by a beggar, if a beggar dwell near him; or the church stands by thy tabor, if thy tabor stand by the church.
    You have said, sir. [To the audience as well as Viola] To see this age! A sentence is 1225but a cheverel glove to a good wit: how quickly the wrong side may be turned outward!
    Nay, that's certain: they that dally nicely with words may quickly make them wanton.
    I would therefore my sister had had no name, sir.
    Why, man?
    Why, sir, her name's a word, and to dally with that word might make my sister wanton. But indeed, words are very rascals since bonds disgraced them.
    Thy reason, man?
    Troth, sir, I can yield you none without words, and words are grown so false I am loath to prove reason with them.
    I warrant thou art a merry fellow and car'st for nothing.
    Not so, sir, I do care for something; but in my conscience, sir, I do not care for you: if that be to care for nothing, sir, I would it would make you invisible.
    Art not thou the Lady Olivia's fool?
    No indeed, sir! The Lady Olivia has no folly. She 1245will keep no fool, sir, till she be married; and fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to herrings: the husband's the bigger. I am indeed not her fool, but her corrupter of words.
    I saw thee late at the Count Orsino's.
    Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, it shines everywhere. I would be sorry, sir, but the fool should be as oft with your master as with my mistress: I think I saw your wisdom there.
    Nay, an thou pass upon me, I'll no more with 1255thee. Hold, [Giving him a coin] there's expenses for thee.
    Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send thee a beard.
    By my troth, I'll tell thee, I am almost sick for one, [To the audience] though I would not have it grow on my chin. [To the Clown.] Is 1260thy lady within?
    [Indicating the coin] Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?
    Yes, being kept together, and put to use.
    I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to bring a Cressida to [Displaying the coin] this Troilus.
    I understand you, sir, 'tis well begged. [Gives another coin.]
    The matter, I hope, is not great, sir, begging but a beggar: Cressida was a beggar. My lady is within, sir. I will conster to them whence you come; who you are, and what you would, are out of my welkin--I might say 1270element, but the word is overworn.
    [To the audience] This fellow is wise enough to play the fool,
    And to do that well craves a kind of wit.
    He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
    The quality of persons, and the time;
    1275And like the haggard, check at every feather
    That comes before his eye. This is a practice
    As full of labor as a wise man's art:
    For folly that he wisely shows, is fit;
    But wise men, folly-fall'n, quite taint their wit.
    1280Enter Sir Toby and Sir Andrew.
    Sir Toby
    Save you, gentleman.
    And you, sir.
    Sir Andrew
    Dieu vous garde, monsieur.
    Et vous aussi; votre serviteur.
    1285Sir Andrew
    I hope, sir, you are, and I am yours.
    Sir Toby
    Will you encounter the house? My niece is desirous you should enter, if your trade be to her.
    I am bound to your niece, sir; I mean, she is the list of my voyage.
    1290Sir Toby
    Taste your legs, sir, put them to motion.
    My legs do better understand me, sir, than I understand what you mean by bidding me taste my legs.
    Sir Toby
    I mean to go, sir, to enter.
    I will answer you with gait and entrance--
    Enter Olivia and [Maria].
    But we 1295are prevented. [To Olivia] Most excellent accomplished lady, the heavens rain odors on you.
    Sir Andrew
    [To the audience] That youth's a rare courtier: "rain odors"--well.
    My matter hath no voice, lady, but to your own most pregnant and vouchsafed ear.
    Sir Andrew
    [Writing] "Odors," "pregnant," and "vouchsafed": I'll get 'em all three all ready.
    Let the garden door be shut, and leave me to 1305my hearing.
    [Exeunt Maria and Sir Toby, followed by Sir Andrew] [observing Olivia.]
    Give me your hand, sir.
    [Viola kneels instead to kiss Olivia's hand.]
    My duty, madam, and most humble service.
    What is your name?
    Cesario is your servant's name, fair princess.
    My servant, sir? 'Twas never merry world
    1310Since lowly feigning was called compliment.
    Y'are servant to the Count Orsino, youth.
    And he is yours, and his must needs be yours:
    Your servant's servant is your servant, madam.
    For him, I think not on him; for his thoughts,
    1315Would they were blanks, rather than filled with me.
    Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts
    On his behalf.
    Oh, by your leave, I pray you!
    I bade you never speak again of him;
    1320But would you undertake another suit,
    I had rather hear you to solicit that
    Than music from the spheres.
    Dear lady--
    Give me leave, beseech you. I did send,
    1325After the last enchantment you did here,
    A ring in chase of you. So did I abuse
    Myself, my servant, and I fear me, you.
    Under your hard construction must I sit,
    To force that on you in a shameful cunning
    1330Which you knew none of yours. What might you think?
    Have you not set mine honor at the stake,
    And baited it with all th'unmuzzled thoughts
    That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving
    Enough is shown; a cypress, not a bosom,
    1335Hides my heart. So, let me hear you speak.
    I pity you.
    That's a degree to love.
    No, not a grece: for 'tis a vulgar proof
    That very oft we pity enemies.
    Why then, methinks 'tis time to smile again.
    O world, how apt the poor are to be proud!
    If one should be a prey, how much the better
    To fall before the lion than the wolf!
    Clock strikes.
    1345The clock upbraids me with the waste of time.
    Be not afraid, good youth, I will not have you;
    And yet when wit and youth is come to harvest,
    Your wife is like to reap a proper man.
    There lies your way, due west.
    Then westward ho!
    Grace and good disposition attend your ladyship.
    You'll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?
    I prithee tell me what thou think'st of me?
    That you do think you are not what you are.
    If I think so, I think the same of you.
    Then think you right: [Including the audience] I am not what I am.
    I would you were as I would have you be.
    Would it be better, madam, than I am?
    I wish it might, for now I am your fool!
    [To the audience] Oh, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful
    In the contempt and anger of his lip!
    A murd'rous guilt shows not itself more soon,
    Than love that would seem hid. Love's night is noon.
    [To Viola] Cesario, by the roses of the spring,
    1365By maidhood, honor, truth, and everything,
    I love thee so, that maugre all thy pride,
    Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.
    Do not extort thy reasons from this clause,
    For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause;
    1370But rather reason thus with reason fetter:
    Love sought is good, but giv'n unsought is better.
    By innocence I swear, and by my youth,
    I have one heart, one bosom, and one truth,
    And that no woman has; nor never none
    1375Shall mistress be of it, save I alone.
    And so adieu, good madam; never more
    Will I my master's tears to you deplore.
    Yet come again--for thou perhaps mayst move
    That heart, which now abhors, to like his love.
    Exeunt [different ways].