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 Olivia and Maria [following].
    [To the audience] I have sent after him; he says he'll come.
    How shall I feast him? What bestow of him?
    For youth is bought more oft than begged or borrowed.
    1525I speak too loud--
    [To Maria] Where's Malvolio? He is sad and civil,
    And suits well for a servant with my fortunes.
    Where is Malvolio?
    He's coming, madam, but in very strange manner. He is sure possessed, madam.
    Why, what's the matter? Does he rave?
    No, madam, he does nothing but smile. Your ladyship were best to have some guard about you if he come, for sure the man is tainted in's wits.
    Go call him hither.
    [Maria starts to exit.]
    [To the audience] I am as mad as he,
    If sad and merry madness equal be.
    1535Enter Malvolio [smiling, in yellow stockings, and cross-gartered].
    How now, Malvolio!
    Sweet lady, ho, ho!
    Smil'st thou? I sent for thee upon a sad occasion.
    Sad, lady? I could be sad. This does make some obstruction in the blood, this cross-gartering; but what of that? If it please the eye of one, it is with me as the very true 1545sonnet is, [Singing] "Please one, and please all."
    [He kisses his hand to her repeatedly.]
    Why, how dost thou, man? What is the matter with thee?
    Not black in my mind, though yellow in my legs. [Holding up letter] It did come to his hands, and commands shall 1550be executed. I think we do know the sweet roman hand.
    Wilt thou go to bed, Malvolio?
    To bed! [Singing] "Ay, sweetheart, and I'll come to thee."
    God comfort thee! Why dost thou smile so, and 1555kiss thy hand so oft?
    How do you, Malvolio?
    [To Maria, scornfully] At your request? Yes, nightingales answer daws!
    Why appear you with this ridiculous 1560boldness before my lady?
    [To Olivia] "Be not afraid of greatness": 'twas well writ.
    What mean'st thou by that, Malvolio?
    "Some are born great--"
    "--some achieve greatness--"
    What say'st thou?
    "--and some have greatness thrust upon them."
    Heaven restore thee!
    "Remember who commended thy yellow 1570stockings--"
    Thy yellow stockings?
    "--and wished to see thee cross-gartered."
    "Go to, thou art made, if thou desir'st to be so--"
    Am I made?
    "--if not, let me see thee a servant still."
    [To the audience] Why, this is very midsummer madness.
    Enter Servant.
    Madam, the young gentleman of the Count 1580Orsino's is returned; I could hardly entreat him back. He attends your ladyship's pleasure.
    I'll come to him. [Exit Servant.] Good Maria, let this fellow be looked to. Where's my cousin Toby? Let some of my people have a special care 1585of him; I would not have him miscarry for the half of my dowry.
    Exit [following Servant, Maria a different way].
    Oh ho, do you come near me now? [To the audience] No worse man than Sir Toby to look to me! This concurs directly with the letter. She sends him on purpose, that I may 1590appear stubborn to him; for she incites me to that in the letter. "Cast thy humble slough," says she, "be opposite with a kinsman, surly with servants, let thy tongue tang with arguments of state, put thyself into the trick of singularity"; and consequently sets down the 1595manner how: as, a sad face, a reverend carriage, a slow tongue, in the habit of some sir of note, and so forth. I have limed her, but it is Jove's doing, and Jove make me thankful. And when she went away now, "Let this fellow be looked to." "Fellow!" Not Malvolio, nor after my 1600degree, but "fellow." Why, everything adheres together, that no dram of a scruple, no scruple of a scruple, no obstacle, no incredulous or unsafe circumstance--what can be said? Nothing that can be can come between me and the full prospect of my hopes. Well Jove, not I, 1605is the doer of this, and he is to be thanked.
    Enter Sir Toby, Fabian, and Maria.
    Sir Toby
    [Pretending not to see Malvolio] Which way is he, in the name of sanctity? If all the devils of hell be drawn in little, and Legion himself possessed him, yet I'll speak to him.
    Here he is, here he is. [To Malvolio] How is't with you, sir? How is't with you, man?
    Go off, I discard you. Let me enjoy my private. Go off!
    [To Sir Toby and Fabian, aloud, to be overheard] Lo, how hollow the fiend speaks within him! 1615Did not I tell you? Sir Toby, my lady prays you to have a care of him.
    [Aside]Ah ha! Does she so?
    Sir Toby
    [To them, aloud] Go to, go to. Peace, peace, we must deal gently with him. Let me alone. [Approaching Malvolio] How do you, Malvolio? 1620How is't with you? What, man, defy the devil; consider, he's an enemy to mankind.
    Do you know what you say?
    [To them, aloud] La you, an you speak ill of the devil, how he takes it at heart! Pray God he be not bewitched!
    [To them, aloud] Carry his water to th'wise woman.
    [To them, aloud] Marry, and it shall be done tomorrow morning if I live. My lady would not lose him for more than I'll say.
    How now, mistress?
    [To them, aloud] Oh Lord!
    Sir Toby
    [To them, aloud] Prithee hold thy peace, this is not the way. Do you not see you move him? Let me alone with him.
    [To them, aloud] No way but gentleness; gently, gently. The fiend is rough, and will not be roughly used.
    1635Sir Toby
    [Approaching Malvolio]Why, how now, my bawcock? How dost thou, chuck?
    Sir Toby
    Ay, biddy, come with me. What, man, 'tis not for gravity to play at cherry-pit with Satan. Hang him, foul collier!
    [To them, aloud] Get him to say his prayers, good Sir Toby, get him to pray.
    My prayers, minx!
    [To them, aloud] No, I warrant you, he will not hear of godliness.
    Go hang yourselves all! You are idle, shallow things; I am not of your element. You shall know more hereafter.
    Sir Toby
    [Laughing] Is't possible?
    [Including the audience] If this were played upon a stage now, I could 1650condemn it as an improbable fiction!
    Sir Toby
    His very genius hath taken the infection of the device, man.
    Nay, pursue him now, lest the device take air, and taint.
    Why, we shall make him mad indeed.
    The house will be the quieter.
    Sir Toby
    Come, we'll have him in a dark room and bound. My niece is already in the belief that he's mad. We may carry it thus for our pleasure, and his penance, till our 1660very pastime, tired out of breath, prompt us to have mercy on him; at which time we will bring the device to the bar and crown thee for a finder of madmen.
    Enter Sir Andrew [with a challenge].
    But see, but see!
    More matter for a May morning!
    1665Sir Andrew
    Here's the challenge, read it. I warrant there's vinegar and pepper in't.
    [Taking the challenge] Is't so saucy?
    Sir Andrew
    Ay, is't, I warrant him! Do but read.
    Sir Toby
    Give me. [Taking the challenge and reading] 1670
    "Youth, whatsoever thou art, thou art but a scurvy fellow."
    [To Sir Andrew] Good, and valiant.
    Sir Toby
    "Wonder not, nor admire not in thy mind, why I do call thee so, for I will show thee no reason for't."
    [To Sir Andrew] A good note: that keeps you from the blow of the law.
    1675Sir Toby
    "Thou com'st to the Lady Olivia, and in my sight she uses thee kindly. But thou liest in thy throat; that is not the matter I challenge thee for."
    Very brief, and to exceeding good sense--[Aside] less.
    Sir Toby
    "I will waylay thee going home, where if it be thy chance 1680to kill me--"
    Sir Toby
    "--thou kill'st me like a rogue and a villain."
    [To Sir Andrew] Still you keep o'th'windy side of the law. Good.
    Sir Toby
    "Fare thee well, and God have mercy upon one of our 1685souls. He may have mercy upon mine, but my hope is better, and so look to thyself. Thy friend, as thou usest him, and thy sworn enemy,
    Andrew Aguecheek."
    Sir Toby
    If this letter move him not, his legs cannot. I'll giv't him.
    You may have very fit occasion for't; he is now in some commerce with my lady, and will by and by depart.
    Sir Toby
    Go, Sir Andrew; scout me for him at the corner of the orchard like a bum-baily. So soon as ever thou 1695see'st him, draw. And as thou draw'st, swear horrible; for it comes to pass oft that a terrible oath with a swaggering accent, sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him. Away!
    1700Sir Andrew
    Nay, let me alone for swearing.
    Sir Toby
    Now will not I deliver his letter; for the behavior of the young gentleman gives him out to be of good capacity and breeding. His employment between his lord and my niece confirms no less. Therefore this 1705letter, being so excellently ignorant, will breed no terror in the youth; he will find it comes from a clodpoll. But, sir, I will deliver his challenge by word of mouth, set upon Aguecheek a notable report of valor, and drive the gentleman (as I know his youth will aptly receive it) 1710into a most hideous opinion of his rage, skill, fury, and impetuosity. This will so fright them both that they will kill one another by the look, like cockatrices.
    Enter Olivia and Viola [as Cesario].
    Here he comes with your niece; give them way 1715till he take leave, and presently after him.
    Sir Toby
    I will meditate the while upon some horrid message for a challenge.
    [Exeunt Sir Toby, Fabian and Maria.]
    I have said too much unto a heart of stone,
    And laid mine honor too unchary on't;
    1720There's something in me that reproves my fault,
    But such a headstrong potent fault it is,
    That it but mocks reproof.
    With the same havior that your passion bears
    Goes on my master's griefs.
    Here, wear this jewel for me, 'tis my picture--
    Refuse it not, [Giving the jewel] it hath no tongue to vex you--
    And I beseech you come again tomorrow.
    What shall you ask of me that I'll deny,
    That, honor saved, may upon asking give?
    Nothing but this: your true love for my master.
    How with mine honor may I give him that
    Which I have giv'n to you?
    I will acquit you.
    Well, come again tomorrow. Fare thee well,
    1735A fiend like thee might bear my soul to hell.
    [Exit Olivia.]
    Enter Sir Toby and Fabian.
    Sir Toby
    Gentleman, god save thee.
    And you, sir.
    Sir Toby
    That defense thou hast, betake thee to't. Of what 1740nature the wrongs are thou hast done him, I know not; but thy interceptor, full of despite, bloody as the hunter, attends thee at the orchard-end. Dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly.
    You mistake, sir; I am sure no man hath any quarrel to me. My remembrance is very free and clear from any image of offence done to any man.
    Sir Toby
    You'll find it otherwise, I assure you. Therefore, if you hold your life at any price, betake you to your guard; 1750for your opposite hath in him what youth, strength, skill, and wrath can furnish man withal.
    I pray you, sir, what is he?
    Sir Toby
    He is knight, dubbed with unhatched rapier and on carpet consideration, but he is a devil in private brawl. 1755Souls and bodies hath he divorced three, and his incensement at this moment is so implacable that satisfaction can be none but by pangs of death and sepulcher. "Hob, nob" is his word: giv't or take't.
    I will return again into the house, and desire 1760some conduct of the lady. I am no fighter. I have heard of some kind of men that put quarrels purposely on others to taste their valor; belike this is a man of that quirk.
    [As Viola starts to exit, Sir Toby blocks her way.]
    Sir Toby
    Sir, no. His indignation derives itself out of a 1765very competent injury; therefore get you on, and give him his desire. Back you shall not to the house, unless you undertake that with me which with as much safety you might answer him. Therefore on, or strip your sword stark naked; for meddle you must, that's certain, or 1770forswear to wear iron about you.
    [To the audience] This is as uncivil as strange. [To Sir Toby] I beseech you, do me this courteous office, as to know of the knight what my offence to him is. It is something of my negligence, nothing of my purpose.
    1775Sir Toby
    I will do so. [To Fabian] Signor Fabian, stay you by this gentleman till my return.
    Exit [Sir] Toby.
    Pray you, sir, do you know of this matter?
    I know the knight is incensed against you, even to a mortal arbitrament, but nothing of the circumstance 1780more.
    I beseech you, what manner of man is he?
    Nothing of that wonderful promise, to read him by his form, as you are like to find him in the proof of his valor. He is indeed, sir, the most skilful, bloody, and 1785fatal opposite that you could possibly have found in any part of Illyria. Will you walk towards him? [Viola hesitates.] I will make your peace with him, if I can.
    I shall be much bound to you for't. I am one that had rather go with sir priest than sir knight; I care 1790not who knows so much of my mettle.
    Exeunt.[or withdraw.]
    Enter [Sir] Toby and [Sir] Andrew.
    Sir Toby
    Why, man, he's a very devil, I have not seen such a virago. I had a pass with him, rapier, scabbard, and all, and he gives me the stuck in with such a mortal motion 1795that it is inevitable; and on the answer, he pays you as surely as your feet hits the ground they step on. They say he has been fencer to the Sophy.
    Sir Andrew
    Pox on't, I'll not meddle with him!
    Sir Toby
    Ay, but he will not now be pacified; [Pointing towards Viola and Fabian] 1800Fabian can scarce hold him yonder.
    Sir Andrew
    Plague on't, an I thought he had been valiant, and so cunning in fence, I'd have seen him damned ere I'd have challenged him. Let him let the matter slip, and I'll give him my horse, gray Capilet.
    1805Sir Toby
    I'll make the motion. Stand here, make a good show on't; this shall end without the perdition of souls. [Aside] Marry, I'll ride your horse as well as I ride you.
    Enter Fabian and Viola.[or they come forward.]
    [To Fabian] I have his horse to take up the quarrel. I have persuaded 1810him the youth's a devil.
    [Indicating Viola] He is as horribly conceited of him; and pants and looks pale, as if a bear were at his heels.
    Sir Toby
    [To Viola] There's no remedy, sir; he will fight with you for's oath sake. Marry, he hath better bethought him of his 1815quarrel, and he finds that now scarce to be worth talking of. Therefore draw, for the supportance of his vow; he protests he will not hurt you.
    [To the audience] Pray God defend me! A little thing would make me tell them how much I lack of a man.
    [To Viola] Give ground if you see him furious.
    Sir Toby
    Come, Sir Andrew, there's no remedy, the gentleman will for his honor's sake have one bout with you. He cannot by the duello avoid it. But he has promised me, as he is a gentleman and a soldier, he will not hurt 1825you. [To them both] Come on, to't.
    Sir Andrew
    Pray God he keep his oath!
    Enter Antonio [observing Sir Andrew and Viola drawn].
    [To Sir Andrew] I do assure you, 'tis against my will.
    [To Sir Andrew, drawing] Put up your sword! If this young gentleman
    1830Have done offence, I take the fault on me;
    If you offend him, I for him defy you.
    Sir Toby
    You, sir? Why, what are you?
    One, sir, that for his love dares yet do more
    Than you have heard him brag to you he will.
    1835Sir Toby
    [Drawing ] Nay, if you be an undertaker, I am for you.
    Enter Officers.
    O good Sir Toby, hold! Here come the officers.
    Sir Toby
    [To Antonio] I'll be with you anon.
    [They sheathe their swords.]
    [To Sir Andrew] Pray sir, put your sword up, if you please.
    1840Sir Andrew
    Marry, will I, sir; [Sheathing his sword] and for that I promised you, I'll be as good as my word. He will bear you easily, and reins well.
    First Officer
    [To Second Officer] This is the man; do thy office.
    Second Officer
    Antonio, I arrest thee at the suit
    Of Count Orsino.
    You do mistake me, sir.
    First Officer
    No, sir, no jot. I know your favor well,
    Though now you have no sea-cap on your head.
    Take him away; he knows I know him well.
    I must obey. [To Viola] This comes with seeking you;
    1850But there's no remedy, I shall answer it.
    What will you do, now my necessity
    Makes me to ask you for my purse? It grieves me
    Much more for what I cannot do for you
    Than what befalls myself. You stand amazed,
    1855But be of comfort.
    Second Officer
    Come, sir, away.
    I must entreat of you some of that money.
    What money, sir?
    For the fair kindness you have showed me here,
    1860And part being prompted by your present trouble,
    Out of my lean and low ability
    I'll lend you something. My having is not much;
    I'll make division of my present with you.
    Hold, [Offering a few coins] there's half my coffer.
    [Rejecting them] Will you deny me now?
    Is't possible that my deserts to you
    Can lack persuasion? Do not tempt my misery,
    Lest that it make me so unsound a man
    As to upbraid you with those kindnesses
    1870That I have done for you.
    I know of none,
    Nor know I you by voice or any feature.
    I hate ingratitude more in a man
    Than lying, vainness, babbling drunkenness,
    1875Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
    Inhabits our frail blood.
    O heavens themselves!
    Second Officer
    Come, sir, I pray you go.
    Let me speak a little. This youth that you see here
    1880I snatched one half out of the jaws of death,
    Relieved him with such sanctity of love,
    And to his image, which methought did promise
    Most venerable worth, did I devotion.
    First Officer
    What's that to us? The time goes by. Away!
    But O, how vile an idol proves this god!
    [To Viola] Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame.
    In nature, there's no blemish but the mind;
    None can be called deformed but the unkind.
    Virtue is beauty, but the beauteous evil
    1890Are empty trunks, o'er-flourished by the devil!
    First Officer
    The man grows mad; away with him. [To Antonio] Come, come, sir!
    Lead me on.
    Exit [Antonio guarded by Officers].
    [To the audience] Methinks his words do from such passion fly
    1895That he believes himself; so do not I.
    Prove true, imagination, O prove true,
    That I, dear brother, be now ta'en for you!
    Sir Toby
    Come hither, knight, come hither, Fabian. We'll whisper o'er a couplet or two of most sage saws.
    [They stand apart.]
    [To the audience] He named Sebastian! I my brother know
    Yet living in my glass. Even such and so
    In favor was my brother, and he went
    Still in this fashion, color, ornament,
    For him I imitate. O, if it prove,
    1905Tempests are kind, and salt waves fresh in love.
    Sir Toby
    A very dishonest paltry boy, and more a coward than a hare. His dishonesty appears in leaving his friend here in necessity, and denying him; and for his cowardship, ask Fabian.
    A coward, a most devout coward, religious in it.
    Sir Andrew
    'Slid, I'll after him again, and beat him.
    Sir Toby
    Do, cuff him soundly, but never draw thy sword.
    Sir Andrew
    An I do not--
    [Exit following Viola.]
    Come, let's see the event.
    Sir Toby
    I dare lay any money 'twill be nothing yet.
    Exit [Sir Toby and Fabian] [following Sir Andrew].