Folger Shakespeare Library. Twelfth Night from Folger Digital Texts. Ed. Barbara Mowat, Paul Werstine, Michael Poston, and Rebecca Niles. Folger Shakespeare Library, 21 January, 2018.

To download the entire play as a PDF file, click here.



Act I

Act II


Act IV

Act V





Scene 1

Enter Orsino, Duke of Illyria, Curio, and other Lords,
with Musicians playing.



If music be the food of love, play on.

Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,

The appetite may sicken and so die.

That strain again! It had a dying fall.

O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound                               5

That breathes upon a bank of violets,

Stealing and giving odor. Enough; no more.

’Tis not so sweet now as it was before.

O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou,

That, notwithstanding thy capacity                                         10

Receiveth as the sea, naught enters there,

Of what validity and pitch soe’er,

But falls into abatement and low price

Even in a minute. So full of shapes is fancy

That it alone is high fantastical.                                              15


Will you go hunt, my lord?

ORSINO What, Curio?

CURIO The hart.


Why, so I do, the noblest that I have.

O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,                                    20

Methought she purged the air of pestilence.

That instant was I turned into a hart,

And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,

E’er since pursue me.


Enter Valentine.


How now, what news from her?                                           25


So please my lord, I might not be admitted,

But from her handmaid do return this answer:

The element itself, till seven years’ heat,

Shall not behold her face at ample view,

But like a cloistress she will veilèd walk,                                 30

And water once a day her chamber round

With eye-offending brine—all this to season

A brother’s dead love, which she would keep fresh

And lasting in her sad remembrance.


O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame                                  35

To pay this debt of love but to a brother,

How will she love when the rich golden shaft

Hath killed the flock of all affections else

That live in her; when liver, brain, and heart,

These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and filled                   40

Her sweet perfections with one self king!

Away before me to sweet beds of flowers!

Love thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.

They exit.


Scene 2

Enter Viola, a Captain, and Sailors.


VIOLA What country, friends, is this?

CAPTAIN This is Illyria, lady.


And what should I do in Illyria?

My brother he is in Elysium.

Perchance he is not drowned.—What think you,                         5



It is perchance that you yourself were saved.


O, my poor brother! And so perchance may he be.


True, madam. And to comfort you with chance,

Assure yourself, after our ship did split,                                   10

When you and those poor number saved with you

Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,

Most provident in peril, bind himself

(Courage and hope both teaching him the practice)

To a strong mast that lived upon the sea,                                 15

Where, like Arion on the dolphin’s back,

I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves

So long as I could see.

VIOLA, giving him money For saying so, there’s gold.

Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,                                   20

Whereto thy speech serves for authority,

The like of him. Know’st thou this country?


Ay, madam, well, for I was bred and born

Not three hours’ travel from this very place.

VIOLA Who governs here?                                                      25


A noble duke, in nature as in name.

VIOLA What is his name?



Orsino. I have heard my father name him.

He was a bachelor then.                                                         30


And so is now, or was so very late;

For but a month ago I went from hence,

And then ’twas fresh in murmur (as, you know,

What great ones do the less will prattle of)

That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.                                    35

VIOLA What’s she?


A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count

That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her

In the protection of his son, her brother,

Who shortly also died, for whose dear love,                              40

They say, she hath abjured the sight

And company of men.

VIOLA O, that I served that lady,

And might not be delivered to the world

Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,                             45

What my estate is.

CAPTAIN That were hard to compass

Because she will admit no kind of suit,

No, not the Duke’s.


There is a fair behavior in thee, captain,                                   50

And though that nature with a beauteous wall

Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee

I will believe thou hast a mind that suits

With this thy fair and outward character.

I prithee—and I’ll pay thee bounteously—                               55

Conceal me what I am, and be my aid

For such disguise as haply shall become

The form of my intent. I’ll serve this duke.

Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him.

It may be worth thy pains, for I can sing                                  60

And speak to him in many sorts of music

That will allow me very worth his service.

What else may hap, to time I will commit.

Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.


Be you his eunuch, and your mute I’ll be.                                65

When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.

VIOLA I thank thee. Lead me on.

They exit.


Scene 3

Enter Sir Toby and Maria.


TOBY What a plague means my niece to take the death

of her brother thus? I am sure care’s an enemy to


MARIA By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier

o’ nights. Your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions             5

to your ill hours.

TOBY Why, let her except before excepted!

MARIA Ay, but you must confine yourself within the

modest limits of order.

TOBY Confine? I’ll confine myself no finer than I am.                 10

These clothes are good enough to drink in, and so

be these boots too. An they be not, let them hang

themselves in their own straps!

MARIA That quaffing and drinking will undo you. I

heard my lady talk of it yesterday, and of a foolish                   15

knight that you brought in one night here to be her


TOBY Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

MARIA Ay, he.

TOBY He’s as tall a man as any ’s in Illyria.                             20

MARIA What’s that to th’ purpose?

TOBY Why, he has three thousand ducats a year!

MARIA Ay, but he’ll have but a year in all these ducats.

He’s a very fool and a prodigal.

TOBY Fie that you’ll say so! He plays o’ th’ viol-de-gamboys     25

and speaks three or four languages word

for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of


MARIA He hath indeed, almost natural, for, besides

that he’s a fool, he’s a great quarreler, and, but that                 30

he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath

in quarreling, ’tis thought among the prudent he

would quickly have the gift of a grave.

TOBY By this hand, they are scoundrels and substractors

that say so of him. Who are they?                                        35

MARIA They that add, moreover, he’s drunk nightly in

your company.

TOBY With drinking healths to my niece. I’ll drink to

her as long as there is a passage in my throat and

drink in Illyria. He’s a coward and a coistrel that                     40

will not drink to my niece till his brains turn o’ th’

toe like a parish top. What, wench! Castiliano vulgo,

for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.


Enter Sir Andrew.


ANDREW Sir Toby Belch! How now, Sir Toby Belch?

TOBY Sweet Sir Andrew!                                                       45

ANDREW, to Maria Bless you, fair shrew.

MARIA And you too, sir.

TOBY Accost, Sir Andrew, accost!

ANDREW What’s that?

TOBY My niece’s chambermaid.                                              50

ANDREW Good Mistress Accost, I desire better


MARIA My name is Mary, sir.

ANDREW Good Mistress Mary Accost—

TOBY You mistake, knight. “Accost” is front her, board              55

her, woo her, assail her.

ANDREW By my troth, I would not undertake her in

this company. Is that the meaning of “accost”?

MARIA Fare you well, gentlemen.                      She begins to exit.

TOBY An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou                    60

mightst never draw sword again.

ANDREW An you part so, mistress, I would I might

never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you

have fools in hand?

MARIA Sir, I have not you by th’ hand.                                    65

ANDREW Marry, but you shall have, and here’s my

hand.                                                        He offers his hand.

MARIA, taking his hand Now sir, thought is free. I

pray you, bring your hand to th’ butt’ry bar and let

it drink.                                                                           70

ANDREW Wherefore, sweetheart? What’s your


MARIA It’s dry, sir.

ANDREW Why, I think so. I am not such an ass but I

can keep my hand dry. But what’s your jest?                         75

MARIA A dry jest, sir.

ANDREW Are you full of them?

MARIA Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers’ ends. Marry,

now I let go your hand, I am barren.                        Maria exits.

TOBY O knight, thou lack’st a cup of canary! When did              80

I see thee so put down?

ANDREW Never in your life, I think, unless you see

canary put me down. Methinks sometimes I have

no more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man

has. But I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that                 85

does harm to my wit.

TOBY No question.

ANDREW An I thought that, I’d forswear it. I’ll ride

home tomorrow, Sir Toby.

TOBY Pourquoi, my dear knight?                                            90

ANDREW What is “pourquoi”? Do, or not do? I would I

had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in

fencing, dancing, and bearbaiting. O, had I but

followed the arts!

TOBY Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.                   95

ANDREW Why, would that have mended my hair?

TOBY Past question, for thou seest it will not curl by


ANDREW But it becomes me well enough, does ’t not?

TOBY Excellent! It hangs like flax on a distaff, and I                  100

hope to see a huswife take thee between her legs

and spin it off.

ANDREW Faith, I’ll home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your

niece will not be seen, or if she be, it’s four to one

she’ll none of me. The Count himself here hard by                105

woos her.

TOBY She’ll none o’ th’ Count. She’ll not match above

her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit. I have

heard her swear ’t. Tut, there’s life in ’t, man.

ANDREW I’ll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o’ th’             110

strangest mind i’ th’ world. I delight in masques

and revels sometimes altogether.

TOBY Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?

ANDREW As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be,

under the degree of my betters, and yet I will not                   115

compare with an old man.

TOBY What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?

ANDREW Faith, I can cut a caper.

TOBY And I can cut the mutton to ’t.

ANDREW And I think I have the back-trick simply as                120

strong as any man in Illyria.

TOBY Wherefore are these things hid? Wherefore have

these gifts a curtain before ’em? Are they like to

take dust, like Mistress Mall’s picture? Why dost

thou not go to church in a galliard and come home                125

in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig. I would

not so much as make water but in a sink-a-pace.

What dost thou mean? Is it a world to hide virtues

in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy

leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.                        130

ANDREW Ay, ’tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a

dun-colored stock. Shall we set about some


TOBY What shall we do else? Were we not born under

Taurus?                                                                         135

ANDREW Taurus? That’s sides and heart.

TOBY No, sir, it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee

caper. Sir Andrew dances. Ha, higher! Ha, ha,


They exit.


Scene 4

Enter Valentine, and Viola in man’s attire as Cesario.


VALENTINE If the Duke continue these favors towards

you, Cesario, you are like to be much advanced. He

hath known you but three days, and already you

are no stranger.

VIOLA You either fear his humor or my negligence, that                5

you call in question the continuance of his love. Is

he inconstant, sir, in his favors?

VALENTINE No, believe me.

VIOLA I thank you.


Enter Orsino, Curio, and Attendants.


Here comes the Count.                                                          10

ORSINO Who saw Cesario, ho?

VIOLA On your attendance, my lord, here.

ORSINO, to Curio and Attendants

Stand you awhile aloof.—Cesario,

Thou know’st no less but all. I have unclasped

To thee the book even of my secret soul.                                  15

Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her.

Be not denied access. Stand at her doors

And tell them, there thy fixèd foot shall grow

Till thou have audience.

VIOLA Sure, my noble lord,                                                    20

If she be so abandoned to her sorrow

As it is spoke, she never will admit me.


Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds

Rather than make unprofited return.


Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?                           25


O, then unfold the passion of my love.

Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith.

It shall become thee well to act my woes.

She will attend it better in thy youth

Than in a nuncio’s of more grave aspect.                                  30


I think not so, my lord.

ORSINO Dear lad, believe it;

For they shall yet belie thy happy years

That say thou art a man. Diana’s lip

Is not more smooth and rubious, thy small pipe                        35

Is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound,

And all is semblative a womans part.

I know thy constellation is right apt

For this affair.—Some four or five attend him,

All, if you will, for I myself am best                                        40

When least in company.—Prosper well in this

And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,

To call his fortunes thine.

VIOLA I’ll do my best

To woo your lady. Aside. Yet a barful strife!                             45

Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.

They exit.


Scene 5

Enter Maria and Feste, the Fool.


MARIA Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, or I

will not open my lips so wide as a bristle may enter

in way of thy excuse. My lady will hang thee for thy


FOOL Let her hang me. He that is well hanged in this                   5

world needs to fear no colors.

MARIA Make that good.

FOOL He shall see none to fear.

MARIA A good Lenten answer. I can tell thee where

that saying was born, of “I fear no colors.”                             10

FOOL Where, good Mistress Mary?

MARIA In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in

your foolery.

FOOL Well, God give them wisdom that have it, and

those that are Fools, let them use their talents.                        15

MARIA Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent.

Or to be turned away, is not that as good as a

hanging to you?

FOOL Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage,

and, for turning away, let summer bear it out.                         20

MARIA You are resolute, then?

FOOL Not so, neither, but I am resolved on two points.

MARIA That if one break, the other will hold, or if both

break, your gaskins fall.

FOOL Apt, in good faith, very apt. Well, go thy way. If Sir          25

Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a

piece of Eve’s flesh as any in Illyria.

MARIA Peace, you rogue. No more o’ that. Here comes

my lady. Make your excuse wisely, you were best.

She exits.


Enter Lady Olivia with Malvolio and Attendants.


FOOL, aside Wit, an ’t be thy will, put me into good                 30

fooling! Those wits that think they have thee do very

oft prove fools, and I that am sure I lack thee may

pass for a wise man. For what says Quinapalus?

“Better a witty Fool than a foolish wit.”—God bless

thee, lady!                                                                        35

OLIVIA Take the Fool away.

FOOL Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the Lady.

OLIVIA Go to, you’re a dry Fool. I’ll no more of you.

Besides, you grow dishonest.

FOOL Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel             40

will amend. For give the dry Fool drink, then is

the Fool not dry. Bid the dishonest man mend

himself; if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if he

cannot, let the botcher mend him. Anything that’s

mended is but patched; virtue that transgresses is                    45

but patched with sin, and sin that amends is but

patched with virtue. If that this simple syllogism

will serve, so; if it will not, what remedy? As there is

no true cuckold but calamity, so beauty’s a flower.

The Lady bade take away the Fool. Therefore, I say                 50

again, take her away.

OLIVIA Sir, I bade them take away you.

FOOL Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, cucullus

non facit monachum. That’s as much to say as, I

wear not motley in my brain. Good madonna, give                  55

me leave to prove you a fool.

OLIVIA Can you do it?

FOOL Dexteriously, good madonna.

OLIVIA Make your proof.

FOOL I must catechize you for it, madonna. Good my                  60

mouse of virtue, answer me.

OLIVIA Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I’ll bide

your proof.

FOOL Good madonna, why mourn’st thou?

OLIVIA Good Fool, for my brother’s death.                               65

FOOL I think his soul is in hell, madonna.

OLIVIA I know his soul is in heaven, Fool.

FOOL The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your

brother’s soul, being in heaven. Take away the fool,

gentlemen.                                                                       70

OLIVIA What think you of this Fool, Malvolio? Doth he

not mend?

MALVOLIO Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death

shake him. Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth

ever make the better Fool.                                                   75

FOOL God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the

better increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be sworn

that I am no fox, but he will not pass his word for

twopence that you are no fool.

OLIVIA How say you to that, Malvolio?                                   80

MALVOLIO I marvel your Ladyship takes delight in

such a barren rascal. I saw him put down the other

day with an ordinary fool that has no more brain

than a stone. Look you now, he’s out of his guard

already. Unless you laugh and minister occasion to                  85

him, he is gagged. I protest I take these wise men

that crow so at these set kind of Fools no better than

the Fools’ zanies.

OLIVIA O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste

with a distempered appetite. To be generous, guiltless,            90

and of free disposition is to take those things

for bird-bolts that you deem cannon bullets. There

is no slander in an allowed Fool, though he do

nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet

man, though he do nothing but reprove.                                95

FOOL Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou

speak’st well of Fools!


Enter Maria.


MARIA Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman

much desires to speak with you.

OLIVIA From the Count Orsino, is it?                                    100

MARIA I know not, madam. ’Tis a fair young man, and

well attended.

OLIVIA Who of my people hold him in delay?

MARIA Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.

OLIVIA Fetch him off, I pray you. He speaks nothing                 105

but madman. Fie on him! Maria exits. Go you,

Malvolio. If it be a suit from the Count, I am sick,

or not at home; what you will, to dismiss it. (Malvolio

exits.) Now you see, sir, how your fooling

grows old, and people dislike it.                                         110

FOOL Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest

son should be a Fool, whose skull Jove cram with

brains, for—here he comes—one of thy kin has a

most weak pia mater.


Enter Sir Toby.


OLIVIA By mine honor, half drunk!—What is he at the              115

gate, cousin?

TOBY A gentleman.

OLIVIA A gentleman? What gentleman?

TOBY ’Tis a gentleman here—a plague o’ these pickle

herring!—How now, sot?                                                  120

FOOL Good Sir Toby.

OLIVIA Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by

this lethargy?

TOBY Lechery? I defy lechery. There’s one at the gate.

OLIVIA Ay, marry, what is he?                                              125

TOBY Let him be the devil an he will, I care not. Give

me faith, say I. Well, it’s all one.                                He exits.

OLIVIA What’s a drunken man like, Fool?

FOOL Like a drowned man, a fool, and a madman. One

draught above heat makes him a fool, the second                   130

mads him, and a third drowns him.

OLIVIA Go thou and seek the crowner and let him sit o’

my coz, for he’s in the third degree of drink: he’s

drowned. Go look after him.

FOOL He is but mad yet, madonna, and the Fool shall               135

look to the madman.                                                  He exits.


Enter Malvolio.


MALVOLIO Madam, yond young fellow swears he will

speak with you. I told him you were sick; he takes

on him to understand so much, and therefore

comes to speak with you. I told him you were                      140

asleep; he seems to have a foreknowledge of that

too, and therefore comes to speak with you. What is

to be said to him, lady? He’s fortified against any


OLIVIA Tell him he shall not speak with me.                           145

MALVOLIO Has been told so, and he says he’ll stand at

your door like a sheriff’s post and be the supporter

to a bench, but he’ll speak with you.

OLIVIA What kind o’ man is he?

MALVOLIO Why, of mankind.                                              150

OLIVIA What manner of man?

MALVOLIO Of very ill manner. He’ll speak with you,

will you or no.

OLIVIA Of what personage and years is he?

MALVOLIO Not yet old enough for a man, nor young                155

enough for a boy—as a squash is before ’tis a

peascod, or a codling when ’tis almost an apple. ’Tis

with him in standing water, between boy and man.

He is very well-favored, and he speaks very shrewishly.

One would think his mother’s milk were                             160

scarce out of him.


Let him approach. Call in my gentlewoman.

MALVOLIO Gentlewoman, my lady calls.                         He exits.


Enter Maria.



Give me my veil. Come, throw it o’er my face.

Olivia veils.

We’ll once more hear Orsino’s embassy.                                165


Enter Viola.


VIOLA The honorable lady of the house, which is she?

OLIVIA Speak to me. I shall answer for her. Your will?

VIOLA Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable

beauty—I pray you, tell me if this be the lady of the

house, for I never saw her. I would be loath to cast                 170

away my speech, for, besides that it is excellently

well penned, I have taken great pains to con it. Good

beauties, let me sustain no scorn. I am very comptible

even to the least sinister usage.

OLIVIA Whence came you, sir?                                              175

VIOLA I can say little more than I have studied, and

that question’s out of my part. Good gentle one,

give me modest assurance if you be the lady of the

house, that I may proceed in my speech.

OLIVIA Are you a comedian?                                                 180

VIOLA No, my profound heart. And yet by the very

fangs of malice I swear I am not that I play. Are

you the lady of the house?

OLIVIA If I do not usurp myself, I am.

VIOLA Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp                      185

yourself, for what is yours to bestow is not yours to

reserve. But this is from my commission. I will on

with my speech in your praise and then show you

the heart of my message.

OLIVIA Come to what is important in ’t. I forgive you               190

the praise.

VIOLA Alas, I took great pains to study it, and ’tis


OLIVIA It is the more like to be feigned. I pray you,

keep it in. I heard you were saucy at my gates, and                195

allowed your approach rather to wonder at you than

to hear you. If you be not mad, begone; if you have

reason, be brief. ’Tis not that time of moon with me

to make one in so skipping a dialogue.

MARIA Will you hoist sail, sir? Here lies your way.                 200

VIOLA No, good swabber, I am to hull here a little

longer.—Some mollification for your giant, sweet


OLIVIA Tell me your mind.

VIOLA I am a messenger.                                                      205

OLIVIA Sure you have some hideous matter to deliver

when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your


VIOLA It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture

of war, no taxation of homage. I hold the olive in                  210

my hand. My words are as full of peace as matter.

OLIVIA Yet you began rudely. What are you? What

would you?

VIOLA The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I

learned from my entertainment. What I am and                      215

what I would are as secret as maidenhead: to your

ears, divinity; to any other’s, profanation.

OLIVIA Give us the place alone. We will hear this

divinity. Maria and Attendants exit. Now, sir, what

is your text?                                                                   220

VIOLA Most sweet lady—

OLIVIA A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said

of it. Where lies your text?

VIOLA In Orsino’s bosom.

OLIVIA In his bosom? In what chapter of his bosom?                225

VIOLA To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.

OLIVIA O, I have read it; it is heresy. Have you no more

to say?

VIOLA Good madam, let me see your face.

OLIVIA Have you any commission from your lord to                 230

negotiate with my face? You are now out of your

text. But we will draw the curtain and show you the

picture. She removes her veil. Look you, sir, such a

one I was this present. Is ’t not well done?

VIOLA Excellently done, if God did all.                                   235

OLIVIA ’Tis in grain, sir; ’twill endure wind and



’Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white

Nature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on.

Lady, you are the cruel’st she alive                                        240

If you will lead these graces to the grave

And leave the world no copy.

OLIVIA O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted! I will give

out divers schedules of my beauty. It shall be

inventoried and every particle and utensil labeled                   245

to my will: as, item, two lips indifferent red; item,

two gray eyes with lids to them; item, one neck, one

chin, and so forth. Were you sent hither to praise



I see you what you are. You are too proud.                             250

But if you were the devil you are fair.

My lord and master loves you. O, such love

Could be but recompensed though you were


The nonpareil of beauty.                                                      255

OLIVIA How does he love me?

VIOLA With adorations, fertile tears,

With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.


Your lord does know my mind. I cannot love him.

Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,                         260

Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;

In voices well divulged, free, learned, and valiant,

And in dimension and the shape of nature

A gracious person. But yet I cannot love him.

He might have took his answer long ago.                               265


If I did love you in my master’s flame,

With such a suff’ring, such a deadly life,

In your denial I would find no sense.

I would not understand it.

OLIVIA Why, what would you?                                             270


Make me a willow cabin at your gate

And call upon my soul within the house,

Write loyal cantons of contemnèd love

And sing them loud even in the dead of night,

Hallow your name to the reverberate hills                               275

And make the babbling gossip of the air

Cry out “Olivia!” O, you should not rest

Between the elements of air and earth

But you should pity me.

OLIVIA You might do much.                                                 280

What is your parentage?


Above my fortunes, yet my state is well.

I am a gentleman.

OLIVIA Get you to your lord.

I cannot love him. Let him send no more—                            285

Unless perchance you come to me again

To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well.

I thank you for your pains. Spend this for me.

She offers money.



I am no fee’d post, lady. Keep your purse.

My master, not myself, lacks recompense.                              290

Love make his heart of flint that you shall love,

And let your fervor, like my master’s, be

Placed in contempt. Farewell, fair cruelty.                       She exits.

OLIVIA “What is your parentage?”

“Above my fortunes, yet my state is well.                              295

I am a gentleman.” I’ll be sworn thou art.

Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit

Do give thee fivefold blazon. Not too fast! Soft,


Unless the master were the man. How now?                            300

Even so quickly may one catch the plague?

Methinks I feel this youth’s perfections

With an invisible and subtle stealth

To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.—

What ho, Malvolio!                                                            305


Enter Malvolio.


MALVOLIO Here, madam, at your service.


Run after that same peevish messenger,

The County’s man. He left this ring behind him,

Would I or not. Tell him I’ll none of it.

She hands him a ring.

Desire him not to flatter with his lord,                                   310

Nor hold him up with hopes. I am not for him.

If that the youth will come this way tomorrow,

I’ll give him reasons for ’t. Hie thee, Malvolio.

MALVOLIO Madam, I will.                                            He exits.


I do I know not what, and fear to find                                     315

Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.

Fate, show thy force. Ourselves we do not owe.

What is decreed must be, and be this so.

She exits.









Scene 1

Enter Antonio and Sebastian.


ANTONIO Will you stay no longer? Nor will you not that

I go with you?

SEBASTIAN By your patience, no. My stars shine darkly

over me. The malignancy of my fate might perhaps

distemper yours. Therefore I shall crave of you your                   5

leave that I may bear my evils alone. It were a bad

recompense for your love to lay any of them on you.

ANTONIO Let me yet know of you whither you are


SEBASTIAN No, sooth, sir. My determinate voyage is                10

mere extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent

a touch of modesty that you will not extort

from me what I am willing to keep in. Therefore it

charges me in manners the rather to express myself.

You must know of me, then, Antonio, my name                     15

is Sebastian, which I called Roderigo. My father was

that Sebastian of Messaline whom I know you have

heard of. He left behind him myself and a sister,

both born in an hour. If the heavens had been

pleased, would we had so ended! But you, sir,                        20

altered that, for some hour before you took me

from the breach of the sea was my sister drowned.

ANTONIO Alas the day!

SEBASTIAN A lady, sir, though it was said she much

resembled me, was yet of many accounted beautiful.                 25

But though I could not with such estimable

wonder overfar believe that, yet thus far I will boldly

publish her: she bore a mind that envy could not but

call fair. She is drowned already, sir, with salt water,

though I seem to drown her remembrance again                       30

with more.

ANTONIO Pardon me, sir, your bad entertainment.

SEBASTIAN O good Antonio, forgive me your trouble.

ANTONIO If you will not murder me for my love, let me

be your servant.                                                                 35

SEBASTIAN If you will not undo what you have done—

that is, kill him whom you have recovered—desire

it not. Fare you well at once. My bosom is full of

kindness, and I am yet so near the manners of my

mother that, upon the least occasion more, mine                     40

eyes will tell tales of me. I am bound to the Count

Orsino’s court. Farewell.                                            He exits.


The gentleness of all the gods go with thee!

I have many enemies in Orsino’s court,

Else would I very shortly see thee there.                                   45

But come what may, I do adore thee so

That danger shall seem sport, and I will go.

He exits.


Scene 2

Enter Viola and Malvolio, at several doors.


MALVOLIO Were not you even now with the Countess


VIOLA Even now, sir. On a moderate pace I have since

arrived but hither.

MALVOLIO She returns this ring to you, sir. You might               5

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 thing more, that you be never so

hardy to come again in his affairs unless it be to                      10

report your lord’s taking of this. Receive it so.

VIOLA She took the ring of me. I’ll none of it.

MALVOLIO Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her, and

her will is it should be so returned. He throws

down the ring. If it be worth stooping for, there it                   15

lies in your eye; if not, be it his that finds it.

He exits.


I left no ring with her. What means this lady?

She picks up the ring.

Fortune forbid my outside have not charmed her!

She made good view of me, indeed so much

That methought her eyes had lost her tongue,                           20

For she did speak in starts distractedly.

She loves me, sure! The cunning of her passion

Invites me in this churlish messenger.

None of my lord’s ring? Why, he sent her none!

I am the man. If it be so, as ’tis,                                             25

Poor lady, she were better love a dream.

Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness

Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.

How easy is it for the proper false

In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!                              30

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,

And I, poor monster, fond as much on him,

And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.                                 35

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!),

What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!

O Time, thou must untangle this, not I.                                  40

It is too hard a knot for me t’ untie.

She exits.


Scene 3

Enter Sir Toby and Sir Andrew.


TOBY Approach, Sir Andrew. Not to be abed after

midnight is to be up betimes, and “diluculo surgere,

thou know’st—

ANDREW Nay, by my troth, I know not. But I know to

be up late is to be up late.                                                     5

TOBY A false conclusion. I hate it as an unfilled can. To

be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is early,

so that to go to bed after midnight is to go to bed

betimes. Does not our lives consist of the four

elements?                                                                         10

ANDREW Faith, so they say, but I think it rather consists

of eating and drinking.

TOBY Thou ’rt a scholar. Let us therefore eat and

drink. Marian, I say, a stoup of wine!


Enter Feste, the Fool.


ANDREW Here comes the Fool, i’ faith.                                   15

FOOL How now, my hearts? Did you never see the

picture of “We Three”?

TOBY Welcome, ass! Now let’s have a catch.

ANDREW By my troth, the Fool has an excellent breast.

I had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg,                      20

and so sweet a breath to sing, as the Fool has.—In

sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night

when thou spok’st of Pigrogromitus of the Vapians

passing the equinoctial of Queubus. ’Twas very

good, i’ faith. I sent thee sixpence for thy leman.                     25

Hadst it?

FOOL I did impeticos thy gratillity, for Malvolio’s nose

is no whipstock, my lady has a white hand, and the

Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.

ANDREW Excellent! Why, this is the best fooling when              30

all is done. Now, a song!

TOBY, giving money to the Fool Come on, there is

sixpence for you. Let’s have a song.

ANDREW, giving money to the Fool There’s a testril of

me, too. If one knight give a—                                            35

FOOL Would you have a love song or a song of good


TOBY A love song, a love song.

ANDREW Ay, ay, I care not for good life.

FOOL sings

         O mistress mine, where are you roaming?                       40

         O, stay and hear! Your truelove’s coming,

            That can sing both high and low.

         Trip no further, pretty sweeting.

         Journeys end in lovers meeting,

            Every wise man’s son doth know.                                45

ANDREW Excellent good, i’ faith!

TOBY Good, good.

FOOL sings

         What is love? ’Tis not hereafter.

         Present mirth hath present laughter.

            What’s to come is still unsure.                                   50

         In delay there lies no plenty,

         Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty.

            Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

ANDREW A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.

TOBY A contagious breath.                                                     55

ANDREW Very sweet and contagious, i’ faith.

TOBY To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion.

But shall we make the welkin dance indeed? Shall

we rouse the night owl in a catch that will draw

three souls out of one weaver? Shall we do that?                     60

ANDREW An you love me, let’s do ’t. I am dog at a


FOOL By ’r Lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.

ANDREW Most certain. Let our catch be “Thou

Knave.”                                                                           65

FOOL “Hold thy peace, thou knave,” knight? I shall be

constrained in ’t to call thee “knave,” knight.

ANDREW ’Tis not the first time I have constrained one

to call me “knave.” Begin, Fool. It begins “Hold

thy peace.”                                                                       70

FOOL I shall never begin if I hold my peace.

ANDREW Good, i’ faith. Come, begin.                       Catch sung.


Enter Maria.


MARIA What a caterwauling do you keep here! If my

lady have not called up her steward Malvolio and

bid him turn you out of doors, never trust me.                        75

TOBY My lady’s a Cataian, we are politicians, Malvolio’s

a Peg-a-Ramsey, and Sings. Three merry men be

  1. Am not I consanguineous? Am I not of her

blood? Tillyvally! “Lady”! Sings. There dwelt a man

in Babylon, lady, lady.                                                       80

FOOL Beshrew me, the knight’s in admirable fooling.

ANDREW Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed,

and so do I, too. He does it with a better grace, but

I do it more natural.

TOBY sings O’ the twelfth day of December—                           85

MARIA For the love o’ God, peace!


Enter Malvolio.


MALVOLIO My masters, are you mad? Or what are you?

Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty but to

gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do you

make an ale-house of my lady’s house, that you                      90

squeak out your coziers’ catches without any mitigation

or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of

place, persons, nor time in you?

TOBY We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!

MALVOLIO Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady          95

bade me tell you that, though she harbors you as her

kinsman, she’s nothing allied to your disorders. If

you can separate yourself and your misdemeanors,

you are welcome to the house; if not, an it would

please you to take leave of her, she is very willing to              100

bid you farewell.

TOBY sings

Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.

MARIA Nay, good Sir Toby.

FOOL sings

His eyes do show his days are almost done.

MALVOLIO Is ’t even so?                                                    105

TOBY sings

But I will never die.

FOOL sings

Sir Toby, there you lie.

MALVOLIO This is much credit to you.

TOBY sings

Shall I bid him go?

FOOL sings

What an if you do?                                                          110

TOBY sings

Shall I bid him go, and spare not?

FOOL sings

O no, no, no, no, you dare not.

TOBY Out o’ tune, sir? You lie. Art any more than a

steward? Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous,

there shall be no more cakes and ale?                                   115

FOOL Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i’ th’

mouth, too.

TOBY Thou ’rt i’ th’ right.—Go, sir, rub your chain

with crumbs.—A stoup of wine, Maria!

MALVOLIO Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady’s favor           120

at anything more than contempt, you would not give

means for this uncivil rule. She shall know of it, by

this hand.                                                                He exits.

MARIA Go shake your ears!

ANDREW ’Twere as good a deed as to drink when a                 125

man’s a-hungry, to challenge him the field and

then to break promise with him and make a fool of


TOBY Do ’t, knight. I’ll write thee a challenge. Or I’ll

deliver thy indignation to him by word of mouth.                  130

MARIA Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight. Since the

youth of the Count’s was today with my lady, she is

much out of quiet. For Monsieur Malvolio, let me

alone with him. If I do not gull him into a nayword

and make him a common recreation, do not think I                135

have wit enough to lie straight in my bed. I know I

can do it.

TOBY Possess us, possess us, tell us something of him.

MARIA Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.

ANDREW O, if I thought that, I’d beat him like a dog!              140

TOBY What, for being a puritan? Thy exquisite reason,

dear knight?

ANDREW I have no exquisite reason for ’t, but I have

reason good enough.

MARIA The devil a puritan that he is, or anything                     145

constantly but a time-pleaser; an affectioned ass

that cons state without book and utters it by great

swaths; the best persuaded of himself, so crammed,

as he thinks, with excellencies, that it is his grounds

of faith that all that look on him love him. And on                150

that vice in him will my revenge find notable cause

to work.

TOBY What wilt thou do?

MARIA I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of

love, wherein by the color of his beard, the shape of               155

his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure of his

eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find himself

most feelingly personated. I can write very like my

lady your niece; on a forgotten matter, we can

hardly make distinction of our hands.                                  160

TOBY Excellent! I smell a device.

ANDREW I have ’t in my nose, too.

TOBY He shall think, by the letters that thou wilt drop,

that they come from my niece, and that she’s in

love with him.                                                                165

MARIA My purpose is indeed a horse of that color.

ANDREW And your horse now would make him an ass.

MARIA Ass, I doubt not.

ANDREW O, ’twill be admirable!

MARIA Sport royal, I warrant you. I know my physic                170

will work with him. I will plant you two, and let the

Fool make a third, where he shall find the letter.

Observe his construction of it. For this night, to bed,

and dream on the event. Farewell.

TOBY Good night, Penthesilea.                               She exits. 175

ANDREW Before me, she’s a good wench.

TOBY She’s a beagle true bred, and one that adores

  1. What o’ that?

ANDREW I was adored once, too.

TOBY Let’s to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for                180

more money.

ANDREW If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way


TOBY Send for money, knight. If thou hast her not i’

th’ end, call me “Cut.”                                                     185

ANDREW If I do not, never trust me, take it how you


TOBY Come, come, I’ll go burn some sack. ’Tis too

late to go to bed now. Come, knight; come, knight.

They exit.


Scene 4

Enter Orsino, Viola, Curio, and others.



Give me some music. Music plays. Now, good

morrow, friends.—

Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,

That old and antique song we heard last night.

Methought it did relieve my passion much,                                5

More than light airs and recollected terms

Of these most brisk and giddy-pacèd times.

Come, but one verse.

CURIO He is not here, so please your Lordship, that

should sing it.                                                                  10

ORSINO Who was it?

CURIO Feste the jester, my lord, a Fool that the Lady

Olivia’s father took much delight in. He is about

the house.


Seek him out Curio exits, and play the tune the                        15

while.                                                                Music plays.

To Viola. Come hither, boy. If ever thou shalt love,

In the sweet pangs of it remember me,

For such as I am, all true lovers are,

Unstaid and skittish in all motions else                                   20

Save in the constant image of the creature

That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?


It gives a very echo to the seat

Where love is throned.

ORSINO Thou dost speak masterly.                                          25

My life upon ’t, young though thou art, thine eye

Hath stayed upon some favor that it loves.

Hath it not, boy?

VIOLA A little, by your favor.


What kind of woman is ’t?                                                    30

VIOLA Of your complexion.


She is not worth thee, then. What years, i’ faith?

VIOLA About your years, my lord.


Too old, by heaven. Let still the woman take

An elder than herself. So wears she to him;                               35

So sways she level in her husband’s heart.

For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,

Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,

More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,

Than women’s are.                                                              40

VIOLA I think it well, my lord.


Then let thy love be younger than thyself,

Or thy affection cannot hold the bent.

For women are as roses, whose fair flower,

Being once displayed, doth fall that very hour.                          45


And so they are. Alas, that they are so,

To die even when they to perfection grow!


Enter Curio and Feste, the Fool.



O, fellow, come, the song we had last night.—

Mark it, Cesario. It is old and plain;

The spinsters and the knitters in the sun                                  50

And the free maids that weave their thread with


Do use to chant it. It is silly sooth,

And dallies with the innocence of love

Like the old age.                                                                  55

FOOL Are you ready, sir?

ORSINO Ay, prithee, sing.                                                Music.

The Song.


         Come away, come away, death,

            And in sad cypress let me be laid.

         Fly away, fly away, breath,                                          60

            I am slain by a fair cruel maid.

         My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,

            O, prepare it!

         My part of death, no one so true

            Did share it.                                                           65


         Not a flower, not a flower sweet

            On my black coffin let there be strown;

         Not a friend, not a friend greet

            My poor corpse where my bones shall be thrown.

         A thousand thousand sighs to save,                                70

            Lay me, O, where

         Sad true lover never find my grave

            To weep there.

ORSINO, giving money There’s for thy pains.

FOOL No pains, sir. I take pleasure in singing, sir.                      75

ORSINO I’ll pay thy pleasure, then.

FOOL Truly sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or


ORSINO Give me now leave to leave thee.

FOOL Now the melancholy god protect thee and the                    80

tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy

mind is a very opal. I would have men of such

constancy put to sea, that their business might be

everything and their intent everywhere, for that’s it

that always makes a good voyage of nothing.                          85

Farewell.                                                                 He exits.


Let all the rest give place.

All but Orsino and Viola exit.

Once more, Cesario,

Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty.

Tell her my love, more noble than the world,                           90

Prizes not quantity of dirty lands.

The parts that Fortune hath bestowed upon her,

Tell her, I hold as giddily as Fortune.

But ’tis that miracle and queen of gems

That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.                               95

VIOLA But if she cannot love you, sir—


I cannot be so answered.

VIOLA Sooth, but you must.

Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,

Hath for your love as great a pang of heart                               100

As you have for Olivia. You cannot love her;

You tell her so. Must she not then be answered?

ORSINO There is no woman’s sides

Can bide the beating of so strong a passion

As love doth give my heart; no woman’s heart                        105

So big, to hold so much; they lack retention.

Alas, their love may be called appetite,

No motion of the liver but the palate,

That suffer surfeit, cloyment, and revolt;

But mine is all as hungry as the sea,                                      110

And can digest as much. Make no compare

Between that love a woman can bear me

And that I owe Olivia.

VIOLA Ay, but I know—

ORSINO What dost thou know?                                             115


Too well what love women to men may owe.

In faith, they are as true of heart as we.

My father had a daughter loved a man

As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,

I should your Lordship.                                                       120

ORSINO And what’s her history?


A blank, my lord. She never told her love,

But let concealment, like a worm i’ th’ bud,

Feed on her damask cheek. She pined in thought,

And with a green and yellow melancholy                                125

She sat like Patience on a monument,

Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?

We men may say more, swear more, but indeed

Our shows are more than will; for still we prove

Much in our vows but little in our love.                                 130


But died thy sister of her love, my boy?


I am all the daughters of my father’s house,

And all the brothers, too—and yet I know not.

Sir, shall I to this lady?

ORSINO Ay, that’s the theme.                                               135

To her in haste. Give her this jewel. Say

My love can give no place, bide no denay.

He hands her a jewel and they exit.


Scene 5

Enter Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian.


TOBY Come thy ways, Signior Fabian.

FABIAN Nay, I’ll come. If I lose a scruple of this sport,

let me be boiled to death with melancholy.

TOBY Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly

rascally sheep-biter come by some notable shame?                    5

FABIAN I would exult, man. You know he brought me

out o’ favor with my lady about a bearbaiting here.

TOBY To anger him, we’ll have the bear again, and we

will fool him black and blue, shall we not, Sir

Andrew?                                                                          10

ANDREW An we do not, it is pity of our lives.


Enter Maria.


TOBY Here comes the little villain.—How now, my

metal of India?

MARIA Get you all three into the boxtree. Malvolio’s

coming down this walk. He has been yonder i’ the                  15

sun practicing behavior to his own shadow this half

hour. Observe him, for the love of mockery, for I

know this letter will make a contemplative idiot of

him. Close, in the name of jesting! They hide. Lie

thou there putting down the letter, for here comes                    20

the trout that must be caught with tickling.

She exits.


Enter Malvolio.


MALVOLIO ’Tis but fortune, all is fortune. Maria once

told me she did affect me, and I have heard herself

come thus near, that should she fancy, it should be

one of my complexion. Besides, she uses me with a                25

more exalted respect than anyone else that follows

her. What should I think on ’t?

TOBY, aside Here’s an overweening rogue.

FABIAN, aside O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare

turkeycock of him. How he jets under his advanced                  30


ANDREW, aside ’Slight, I could so beat the rogue!

TOBY, aside Peace, I say.

MALVOLIO To be Count Malvolio.

TOBY, aside Ah, rogue!                                                         35

ANDREW, aside Pistol him, pistol him!

TOBY, aside Peace, peace!

MALVOLIO There is example for ’t. The lady of the

Strachy married the yeoman of the wardrobe.

ANDREW, aside Fie on him, Jezebel!                                       40

FABIAN, aside O, peace, now he’s deeply in. Look how

imagination blows him.

MALVOLIO Having been three months married to her,

sitting in my state—

TOBY, aside O, for a stone-bow, to hit him in the eye!                45

MALVOLIO Calling my officers about me, in my

branched velvet gown, having come from a daybed

where I have left Olivia sleeping—

TOBY, aside Fire and brimstone!

FABIAN, aside O, peace, peace!                                               50

MALVOLIO And then to have the humor of state; and

after a demure travel of regard, telling them I

know my place, as I would they should do theirs, to

ask for my kinsman Toby—

TOBY, aside Bolts and shackles!                                             55

FABIAN, aside O, peace, peace, peace! Now, now.

MALVOLIO Seven of my people, with an obedient start,

make out for him. I frown the while, and perchance

wind up my watch, or play with my—some

rich jewel. Toby approaches; curtsies there to me—                 60

TOBY, aside Shall this fellow live?

FABIAN, aside Though our silence be drawn from us

with cars, yet peace!

MALVOLIO I extend my hand to him thus, quenching

my familiar smile with an austere regard of                             65


TOBY, aside And does not Toby take you a blow o’ the

lips then?

MALVOLIO Saying, “Cousin Toby, my fortunes, having

cast me on your niece, give me this prerogative of                   70


TOBY, aside What, what?

MALVOLIO “You must amend your drunkenness.”

TOBY, aside Out, scab!

FABIAN, aside Nay, patience, or we break the sinews                  75

of our plot!

MALVOLIO “Besides, you waste the treasure of your

time with a foolish knight—”

ANDREW, aside That’s me, I warrant you.

MALVOLIO “One Sir Andrew.”                                              80

ANDREW, aside I knew ’twas I, for many do call me


MALVOLIO, seeing the letter What employment have

we here?

FABIAN, aside Now is the woodcock near the gin.                      85

TOBY, aside O, peace, and the spirit of humors intimate

reading aloud to him.

MALVOLIO, taking up the letter By my life, this is my

lady’s hand! These be her very c’s, her u’s, and her

t’s, and thus she makes her great P’s. It is in                         90

contempt of question her hand.

ANDREW, aside Her c’s, her u’s, and her t’s. Why that?

MALVOLIO reads To the unknown beloved, this, and my

good wishes—Her very phrases! By your leave, wax.

Soft. And the impressure her Lucrece, with which                    95

she uses to seal—’tis my lady! He opens the letter.

To whom should this be?

FABIAN, aside This wins him, liver and all.


         Jove knows I love,

            But who?                                                              100

         Lips, do not move;

            No man must know.

“No man must know.” What follows? The numbers

altered. “No man must know.” If this should be

thee, Malvolio!                                                                105

TOBY, aside Marry, hang thee, brock!


         I may command where I adore,

            But silence, like a Lucrece knife,

         With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore;

            M.O.A.I. doth sway my life.                                     110

FABIAN, aside A fustian riddle!

TOBY, aside Excellent wench, say I.

MALVOLIO “M.O.A.I. doth sway my life.” Nay, but first

let me see, let me see, let me see.

FABIAN, aside What dish o’ poison has she dressed                 115


TOBY, aside And with what wing the staniel checks

at it!

MALVOLIO “I may command where I adore.” Why, she

may command me; I serve her; she is my lady. Why,             120

this is evident to any formal capacity. There is no

obstruction in this. And the end—what should that

alphabetical position portend? If I could make that

resemble something in me! Softly! “M.O.A.I.”—

TOBY, aside O, ay, make up that.—He is now at a cold             125


FABIAN, aside Sowter will cry upon ’t for all this,

though it be as rank as a fox.

MALVOLIO “M”—Malvolio. “M”—why, that begins

my name!                                                                       130

FABIAN, aside Did not I say he would work it out? The

cur is excellent at faults.

MALVOLIO “M.” But then there is no consonancy in

the sequel that suffers under probation. “A” should

follow, but “O” does.                                                       135

FABIAN, aside And “O” shall end, I hope.

TOBY, aside Ay, or I’ll cudgel him and make him cry


MALVOLIO And then “I” comes behind.

FABIAN, aside Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you            140

might see more detraction at your heels than fortunes

before you.

MALVOLIO “M.O.A.I.” This simulation is not as the

former, and yet to crush this a little, it would bow

to me, for every one of these letters are in my name.               145

Soft, here follows prose.

He reads. If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my

stars I am above thee, but be not afraid of greatness.

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and

some have greatness thrust upon ’em. Thy fates open             150

their hands. Let thy blood and spirit embrace them.

And, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, cast

thy humble slough and appear fresh. Be opposite with

a kinsman, surly with servants. Let thy tongue tang

arguments of state. Put thyself into the trick of singularity.    155

She thus advises thee that sighs for thee.

Remember who commended thy yellow stockings and

wished to see thee ever cross-gartered. I say, remember.

Go to, thou art made, if thou desir’st to be so. If

not, let me see thee a steward still, the fellow of                   160

servants, and not worthy to touch Fortune’s fingers.

Farewell. She that would alter services with thee,

The Fortunate-Unhappy.

Daylight and champian discovers not more! This is

open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors, I                 165

will baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross acquaintance,

I will be point-devise the very man. I do not

now fool myself, to let imagination jade me; for

every reason excites to this, that my lady loves me.

She did commend my yellow stockings of late, she                170

did praise my leg being cross-gartered, and in this

she manifests herself to my love and, with a kind of

injunction, drives me to these habits of her liking. I

thank my stars, I am happy. I will be strange, stout,

in yellow stockings, and cross-gartered, even with                 175

the swiftness of putting on. Jove and my stars be

praised! Here is yet a postscript.

He reads. Thou canst not choose but know who I

  1. If thou entertain’st my love, let it appear in thy

smiling; thy smiles become thee well. Therefore in my            180

presence still smile, dear my sweet, I prithee.

Jove, I thank thee! I will smile. I will do everything

that thou wilt have me.                                              He exits.

FABIAN I will not give my part of this sport for a

pension of thousands to be paid from the Sophy.                   185

TOBY I could marry this wench for this device.

ANDREW So could I too.

TOBY And ask no other dowry with her but such

another jest.

ANDREW Nor I neither.                                                       190


Enter Maria.


FABIAN Here comes my noble gull-catcher.

TOBY Wilt thou set thy foot o’ my neck?

ANDREW Or o’ mine either?

TOBY Shall I play my freedom at tray-trip and become

thy bondslave?                                                                195

ANDREW I’ faith, or I either?

TOBY Why, thou hast put him in such a dream that

when the image of it leaves him he must run mad.

MARIA Nay, but say true, does it work upon him?

TOBY Like aqua vitae with a midwife.                                    200

MARIA If you will then see the fruits of the sport,

mark his first approach before my lady. He will

come to her in yellow stockings, and ’tis a color

she abhors, and cross-gartered, a fashion she detests;

and he will smile upon her, which will now                         205

be so unsuitable to her disposition, being addicted

to a melancholy as she is, that it cannot

but turn him into a notable contempt. If you will

see it, follow me.

TOBY To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil              210

of wit!

ANDREW I’ll make one, too.

They exit.









Scene 1

Enter Viola and Feste, the Fool, playing a tabor.


VIOLA Save thee, friend, and thy music. Dost thou live

by thy tabor?

FOOL No, sir, I live by the church.

VIOLA Art thou a churchman?

FOOL No such matter, sir. I do live by the church, for I                 5

do live at my house, and my house doth stand by the


VIOLA 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.                                    10

FOOL You have said, sir. To see this age! A sentence is

but a chev’ril glove to a good wit. How quickly the

wrong side may be turned outward!

VIOLA Nay, that’s certain. They that dally nicely with

words may quickly make them wanton.                                 15

FOOL I would therefore my sister had had no name,


VIOLA Why, man?

FOOL Why, sir, her name’s a word, and to dally with

that word might make my sister wanton. But,                        20

indeed, words are very rascals since bonds disgraced


VIOLA Thy reason, man?

FOOL Troth, sir, I can yield you none without words,

and words are grown so false I am loath to prove                     25

reason with them.

VIOLA I warrant thou art a merry fellow and car’st for


FOOL Not so, sir. I do care for something. But in my

conscience, sir, I do not care for you. If that be to                    30

care for nothing, sir, I would it would make you


VIOLA Art not thou the Lady Olivia’s Fool?

FOOL No, indeed, sir. The Lady Olivia has no folly. She

will keep no Fool, sir, till she be married, and Fools               35

are as like husbands as pilchers are to herrings: the

husband’s the bigger. I am indeed not her Fool but

her corrupter of words.

VIOLA I saw thee late at the Count Orsino’s.

FOOL Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the                    40

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.

VIOLA Nay, an thou pass upon me, I’ll no more with

thee. Hold, there’s expenses for thee. Giving a                        45


FOOL Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send

thee a beard!

VIOLA By my troth I’ll tell thee, I am almost sick for

one, aside though I would not have it grow on my

chin.—Is thy lady within?                                                  50

FOOL Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?

VIOLA Yes, being kept together and put to use.

FOOL I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to

bring a Cressida to this Troilus.

VIOLA I understand you, sir. ’Tis well begged. Giving                55

another coin.

FOOL 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 “element,” but the word is overworn.                     60

He exits.


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,

And, like the haggard, check at every feather                             65

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.


Enter Sir Toby and Andrew.


TOBY Save you, gentleman.                                                   70

VIOLA And you, sir.

ANDREW Dieu vous garde, monsieur.

VIOLA Et vous aussi. Votre serviteur!

ANDREW I hope, sir, you are, and I am yours.

TOBY Will you encounter the house? My niece is                      75

desirous you should enter, if your trade be to her.

VIOLA I am bound to your niece, sir; I mean, she is the

list of my voyage.

TOBY Taste your legs, sir; put them to motion.

VIOLA My legs do better understand me, sir, than I                     80

understand what you mean by bidding me taste my


TOBY I mean, to go, sir, to enter.

VIOLA I will answer you with gait and entrance—but

we are prevented.                                                               85


Enter Olivia, and Maria, her Gentlewoman.


Most excellent accomplished lady, the heavens rain

odors on you!

ANDREW, aside That youth’s a rare courtier. “Rain

odors,” well.

VIOLA My matter hath no voice, lady, but to your own               90

most pregnant and vouchsafed ear.

ANDREW, aside “Odors,” “pregnant,” and “vouchsafed.”

I’ll get ’em all three all ready.

OLIVIA Let the garden door be shut, and leave me to

my hearing.                Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria exit. 95

Give me your hand, sir.


My duty, madam, and most humble service.

OLIVIA What is your name?


Cesario is your servant’s name, fair princess.


My servant, sir? ’Twas never merry world                              100

Since lowly feigning was called compliment.

You’re 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,                       105

Would they were blanks rather than filled with me.


Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts

On his behalf.

OLIVIA O, by your leave, I pray you.

I bade you never speak again of him.                                      110

But would you undertake another suit,

I had rather hear you to solicit that

Than music from the spheres.

VIOLA Dear lady—


Give me leave, beseech you. I did send,                                 115

After 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                             120

Which you knew none of yours. What might you


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                       125


Enough is shown. A cypress, not a bosom,

Hides my heart. So, let me hear you speak.


I pity you.

OLIVIA That’s a degree to love.                                             130


No, not a grize, 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                           135

To fall before the lion than the wolf.                         Clock strikes.

The 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.                                   140

There lies your way, due west.

VIOLA Then westward ho!

Grace and good disposition attend your Ladyship.

You’ll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?


Stay. I prithee, tell me what thou think’st of me.                     145


That you do think you are not what you are.


If I think so, I think the same of you.


Then think you right. I am not what I am.


I would you were as I would have you be.


Would it be better, madam, than I am?                                  150

I wish it might, for now I am your fool.

OLIVIA, aside

O, 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                      155


Cesario, by the roses of the spring,

By maidhood, honor, truth, and everything,

I love thee so, that, maugre all thy pride,

Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.                                160

Do not extort thy reasons from this clause,

For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause;

But rather reason thus with reason fetter:

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.


By innocence I swear, and by my youth,                                165

I have one heart, one bosom, and one truth,

And that no woman has, nor never none

Shall mistress be of it, save I alone.

And so adieu, good madam. Nevermore

Will I my master’s tears to you deplore.                                170


Yet come again, for thou perhaps mayst move

That heart, which now abhors, to like his love.

They exit in different directions.


Scene 2

Enter Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian.


ANDREW No, faith, I’ll not stay a jot longer.

TOBY Thy reason, dear venom, give thy reason.

FABIAN You must needs yield your reason, Sir Andrew.

ANDREW Marry, I saw your niece do more favors to the

Count’s servingman than ever she bestowed upon                     5

  1. I saw ’t i’ th’ orchard.

TOBY Did she see thee the while, old boy? Tell me


ANDREW As plain as I see you now.

FABIAN This was a great argument of love in her toward             10


ANDREW ’Slight, will you make an ass o’ me?

FABIAN I will prove it legitimate, sir, upon the oaths of

judgment and reason.

TOBY And they have been grand-jurymen since before                 15

Noah was a sailor.

FABIAN She did show favor to the youth in your sight

only to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse

valor, to put fire in your heart and brimstone in

your liver. You should then have accosted her, and                  20

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 opportunity you let

time wash off, and you are now sailed into the north                25

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


ANDREW An ’t be any way, it must be with valor, for                30

policy I hate. I had as lief be a Brownist as a


TOBY Why, then, build me thy fortunes upon the basis

of valor. Challenge me the Count’s youth to fight

with him. Hurt him in eleven places. My niece shall                35

take note of it, and assure thyself there is no

love-broker in the world can more prevail in man’s

commendation with woman than report of valor.

FABIAN There is no way but this, Sir Andrew.

ANDREW Will either of you bear me a challenge to him?            40

TOBY Go, write it in a martial hand. Be curst 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”-est him some thrice, it shall not

be amiss, and as many lies as will lie in thy sheet of                45

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.

ANDREW Where shall I find you?                                           50

TOBY We’ll call thee at the cubiculo. Go.

Sir Andrew exits.

FABIAN This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby.

TOBY I have been dear to him, lad, some two thousand

strong or so.

FABIAN We shall have a rare letter from him. But you’ll             55

not deliver ’t?

TOBY Never trust me, then. And by all means stir on

the youth to an answer. I think oxen and wainropes

cannot hale them together. For Andrew, if he were

opened and you find so much blood in his liver as                   60

will clog the foot of a flea, I’ll eat the rest of th’


FABIAN And his opposite, the youth, bears in his visage

no great presage of cruelty.


Enter Maria.


TOBY Look where the youngest wren of mine comes.                  65

MARIA If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourselves

into stitches, follow me. Yond gull Malvolio is

turned heathen, a very renegado; for there is no

Christian that means to be saved by believing rightly

can ever believe such impossible passages of grossness.            70

He’s in yellow stockings.

TOBY And cross-gartered?

MARIA Most villainously, like a pedant that keeps a

school i’ th’ church. I have dogged him like his

murderer. He does obey every point of the letter                      75

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 hardly forbear hurling things at

him. I know my lady will strike him. If she do, he’ll               80

smile and take ’t for a great favor.

TOBY Come, bring us, bring us where he is.

They all exit.


Scene 3

Enter Sebastian and Antonio.



I would not by my will have troubled you,

But, since you make your pleasure of your pains,

I will no further chide you.


I could not stay behind you. My desire,

More sharp than filèd steel, did spur me forth;                             5

And not all love to see you, though so much

As might have drawn one to a longer voyage,

But jealousy what might befall your travel,

Being skill-less in these parts, which to a stranger,

Unguided and unfriended, often prove                                      10

Rough and unhospitable. My willing love,

The rather by these arguments of fear,

Set forth in your pursuit.

SEBASTIAN My kind Antonio,

I can no other answer make but thanks,                                    15

And thanks, and ever thanks; and oft good turns

Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay.

But were my worth, as is my conscience, firm,

You should find better dealing. What’s to do?

Shall we go see the relics of this town?                                    20


Tomorrow, sir. Best first go see your lodging.


I am not weary, and ’tis long to night.

I pray you, let us satisfy our eyes

With the memorials and the things of fame

That do renown this city.                                                      25

ANTONIO Would you’d pardon me.

I do not without danger walk these streets.

Once in a sea fight ’gainst the Count his galleys

I did some service, of such note indeed

That were I ta’en here it would scarce be answered.                    30


Belike you slew great number of his people?


Th’ offense is not of such a bloody nature,

Albeit the quality of the time and quarrel

Might well have given us bloody argument.

It might have since been answered in repaying                           35

What we took from them, which, for traffic’s sake,

Most of our city did. Only myself stood out,

For which, if I be lapsèd in this place,

I shall pay dear.

SEBASTIAN Do not then walk too open.                                  40


It doth not fit me. Hold, sir, here’s my purse.

Giving him money.

In the south suburbs, at the Elephant,

Is best to lodge. I will bespeak our diet

Whiles you beguile the time and feed your

knowledge                                                                        45

With viewing of the town. There shall you have me.

SEBASTIAN Why I your purse?


Haply your eye shall light upon some toy

You have desire to purchase, and your store,

I think, is not for idle markets, sir.                                          50


I’ll be your purse-bearer and leave you

For an hour.

ANTONIO To th’ Elephant.

SEBASTIAN I do remember.

They exit in different directions.


Scene 4

Enter Olivia and Maria.


OLIVIA, aside

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


I speak too loud.—                                                                5

Where’s Malvolio? He is sad and civil

And suits well for a servant with my fortunes.

Where is Malvolio?

MARIA He’s coming, madam, but in very strange manner.

He is sure possessed, madam.                                              10

OLIVIA Why, what’s the matter? Does he rave?

MARIA 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 exits. I am as mad as he,                   15

If sad and merry madness equal be.


Enter Maria with Malvolio.


How now, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO Sweet lady, ho, ho!

OLIVIA Smil’st thou? I sent for thee upon a sad

occasion.                                                                          20

MALVOLIO 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 sonnet is: “Please one, and

please all.”                                                                       25

OLIVIA Why, how dost thou, man? What is the matter

with thee?

MALVOLIO Not black in my mind, though yellow in my

legs. It did come to his hands, and commands shall

be executed. I think we do know the sweet Roman                  30


OLIVIA Wilt thou go to bed, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO To bed? “Ay, sweetheart, and I’ll come to


OLIVIA God comfort thee! Why dost thou smile so, and              35

kiss thy hand so oft?

MARIA How do you, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO At your request? Yes, nightingales answer


MARIA Why appear you with this ridiculous boldness                 40

before my lady?

MALVOLIO “Be not afraid of greatness.” ’Twas well


OLIVIA What mean’st thou by that, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO “Some are born great—”                                       45


MALVOLIO “Some achieve greatness—”

OLIVIA What sayst thou?

MALVOLIO “And some have greatness thrust upon

them.”                                                                             50

OLIVIA Heaven restore thee!

MALVOLIO “Remember who commended thy yellow


OLIVIA Thy yellow stockings?

MALVOLIO “And wished to see thee cross-gartered.”                  55

OLIVIA Cross-gartered?

MALVOLIO “Go to, thou art made, if thou desir’st to be


OLIVIA Am I made?

MALVOLIO “If not, let me see thee a servant still.”                    60

OLIVIA Why, this is very midsummer madness!


Enter Servant.


SERVANT Madam, the young gentleman of the Count

Orsino’s is returned. I could hardly entreat him

back. He attends your Ladyship’s pleasure.

OLIVIA I’ll come to him. Servant exits. Good Maria, let              65

this fellow be looked to. Where’s my Cousin Toby?

Let some of my people have a special care of him. I

would not have him miscarry for the half of my


Olivia and Maria exit in different directions.

MALVOLIO O ho, do you come near me now? No worse             70

man than Sir Toby to look to me. This concurs

directly with the letter. She sends him on purpose

that I may appear 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                  75

servants; let thy tongue tang with arguments of

state; put thyself into the trick of singularity,” and

consequently sets down the manner 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,                  80

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

degree, but “fellow.” Why, everything adheres together,

that no dram of a scruple, no scruple of a                                85

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, is the doer of this, and

he is to be thanked.                                                            90


Enter Toby, Fabian, and Maria.


TOBY 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.

FABIAN Here he is, here he is.—How is ’t with you, sir?

How is ’t with you, man?                                                   95

MALVOLIO Go off, I discard you. Let me enjoy my

private. Go off.

MARIA, to Toby Lo, how hollow the fiend speaks

within him! Did not I tell you? Sir Toby, my lady

prays you to have a care of him.                                          100

MALVOLIO Aha, does she so?

TOBY, to Fabian and Maria Go to, go to! Peace, peace.

We must deal gently with him. Let me alone.—How

do you, Malvolio? How is ’t with you? What, man,

defy the devil! Consider, he’s an enemy to mankind.              105

MALVOLIO Do you know what you say?

MARIA, to Toby La you, an you speak ill of the devil,

how he takes it at heart! Pray God he be not


FABIAN Carry his water to th’ wisewoman.                             110

MARIA Marry, and it shall be done tomorrow morning

if I live. My lady would not lose him for more than

I’ll say.

MALVOLIO How now, mistress?

MARIA O Lord!                                                                  115

TOBY Prithee, hold thy peace. This is not the way. Do

you not see you move him? Let me alone with


FABIAN No way but gentleness, gently, gently. The

fiend is rough and will not be roughly used.                         120

TOBY, to Malvolio Why, how now, my bawcock? How

dost thou, chuck?


TOBY Ay, biddy, come with me.—What, man, ’tis not

for gravity to play at cherry-pit with Satan. Hang                   125

him, foul collier!

MARIA Get him to say his prayers, good Sir Toby; get

him to pray.

MALVOLIO My prayers, minx?

MARIA, to Toby No, I warrant you, he will not hear of               130


MALVOLIO Go hang yourselves all! You are idle, shallow

things. I am not of your element. You shall

know more hereafter.                                                  He exits.

TOBY Is ’t possible?                                                           135

FABIAN If this were played upon a stage now, I could

condemn it as an improbable fiction.

TOBY His very genius hath taken the infection of the

device, man.

MARIA Nay, pursue him now, lest the device take air                140

and taint.

FABIAN Why, we shall make him mad indeed.

MARIA The house will be the quieter.

TOBY Come, we’ll have him in a dark room and

bound. My niece is already in the belief that he’s                   145

mad. We may carry it thus, for our pleasure and his

penance, till our very 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. But see, but see!                                     150


Enter Sir Andrew.


FABIAN More matter for a May morning.

ANDREW, presenting a paper Here’s the challenge.

Read it. I warrant there’s vinegar and pepper in ’t.

FABIAN Is ’t so saucy?

ANDREW Ay, is ’t. I warrant him. Do but read.                       155

TOBY Give me. He reads. Youth, whatsoever thou art,

thou art but a scurvy fellow.

FABIAN Good, and valiant.

TOBY reads Wonder not nor admire not in thy mind

why I do call thee so, for I will show thee no reason             160

for ’t.

FABIAN A good note, that keeps you from the blow of

the law.

TOBY reads Thou com’st to the Lady Olivia, and in my

sight she uses thee kindly. But thou liest in thy throat;           165

that is not the matter I challenge thee for.

FABIAN Very brief, and to exceeding good sense—less.

TOBY reads I will waylay thee going home, where if it be

thy chance to kill me—

FABIAN Good.                                                                   170

TOBY reads Thou kill’st me like a rogue and a villain.

FABIAN Still you keep o’ th’ windy side of the law.


TOBY reads Fare thee well, and God have mercy upon

one of our souls. He may have mercy upon mine, but             175

my hope is better, and so look to thyself. Thy friend, as

thou usest him, and thy sworn enemy,

Andrew Aguecheek.

If this letter move him not, his legs cannot. I’ll

give ’t him.                                                                    180

MARIA You may have very fit occasion for ’t. He is now

in some commerce with my lady and will by and

by depart.

TOBY Go, Sir Andrew. Scout me for him at the corner

of the orchard like a bum-baily. So soon as ever                    185

thou seest 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!                                           190

ANDREW Nay, let me alone for swearing.                         He exits.

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,                 195

this letter, 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                 200

his youth will aptly receive it) into 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.


FABIAN Here he comes with your niece. Give them                   205

way till he take leave, and presently after him.

TOBY I will meditate the while upon some horrid

message for a challenge.

Toby, Fabian, and Maria exit.


I have said too much unto a heart of stone

And laid mine honor too unchary on ’t.                                 210

There’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.                                                 215


Here, wear this jewel for me. ’Tis my picture.

Refuse it not. 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?                             220


Nothing but this: your true love for my master.


How with mine honor may I give him that

Which I have given to you?

VIOLA I will acquit you.


Well, come again tomorrow. Fare thee well.                           225

A fiend like thee might bear my soul to hell.

She exits.


Enter Toby and Fabian.


TOBY Gentleman, God save thee.

VIOLA And you, sir.

TOBY That defense thou hast, betake thee to ’t. Of what

nature the wrongs are thou hast done him, I know                  230

not, but thy intercepter, 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, skillful, and deadly.

VIOLA You mistake, sir. I am sure no man hath any                  235

quarrel to me. My remembrance is very free and

clear from any image of offense done to any man.

TOBY You’ll find it otherwise, I assure you. Therefore,

if you hold your life at any price, betake you to your

guard, for your opposite hath in him what youth,                   240

strength, skill, and wrath can furnish man withal.

VIOLA I pray you, sir, what is he?

TOBY He is knight dubbed with unhatched rapier and

on carpet consideration, but he is a devil in private

brawl. Souls and bodies hath he divorced three, and               245

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; “give ’t or

take ’t.”

VIOLA I will return again into the house and desire                    250

some 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.

TOBY Sir, no. His indignation derives itself out of a very           255

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                     260

must, that’s certain, or forswear to wear iron about


VIOLA This is as uncivil as strange. I beseech you, do

me this courteous office, as to know of the knight

what my offense to him is. It is something of my                   265

negligence, nothing of my purpose.

TOBY I will do so.—Signior Fabian, stay you by this

gentleman till my return.                                         Toby exits.

VIOLA Pray you, sir, do you know of this matter?

FABIAN I know the knight is incensed against you even             270

to a mortal arbitrament, but nothing of the circumstance


VIOLA I beseech you, what manner of man is he?

FABIAN Nothing of that wonderful promise, to read

him by his form, as you are like to find him in the                 275

proof of his valor. He is indeed, sir, the most skillful,

bloody, and fatal opposite that you could possibly

have found in any part of Illyria. Will you walk

towards him? I will make your peace with him if I

can. 280

VIOLA I shall be much bound to you for ’t. I am one

that had rather go with Sir Priest than Sir Knight, I

care not who knows so much of my mettle.

They exit.


Enter Toby and Andrew.


TOBY Why, man, he’s a very devil. I have not seen such

a firago. I had a pass with him, rapier, scabbard,                    285

and all, and he gives me the stuck-in with such

a mortal motion that 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.                                                                  290

ANDREW Pox on ’t! I’ll not meddle with him.

TOBY Ay, but he will not now be pacified. Fabian can

scarce hold him yonder.

ANDREW Plague on ’t! An I thought he had been

valiant, and so cunning in fence, I’d have seen him                295

damned ere I’d have challenged him. Let him let

the matter slip, and I’ll give him my horse, gray


TOBY I’ll make the motion. Stand here, make a good

show on ’t. This shall end without the perdition of                300

souls. Aside. Marry, I’ll ride your horse as well as I

ride you.


Enter Fabian and Viola.


Toby crosses to meet them.

Aside to Fabian. I have his horse to take up the

quarrel. I have persuaded him the youth’s a devil.

FABIAN, aside to Toby He is as horribly conceited of                305

him, and pants and looks pale as if a bear were at his


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 quarrel, and he finds that now                310

scarce to be worth talking of. Therefore, draw for

the supportance of his vow. He protests he will not

hurt you.

VIOLA Pray God defend me! Aside. A little thing

would make me tell them how much I lack of a                     315


FABIAN Give ground if you see him furious.

Toby crosses to Andrew.

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                320

has promised me, as he is a gentleman and a soldier,

he will not hurt you. Come on, to ’t.

ANDREW, drawing his sword Pray God he keep his


VIOLA, drawing her sword

I do assure you ’tis against my will.                                      325


Enter Antonio.


ANTONIO, to Andrew

Put up your sword. If this young gentleman

Have done offense, I take the fault on me.

If you offend him, I for him defy you.

TOBY You, sir? Why, what are you?

ANTONIO, drawing his sword

One, sir, that for his love dares yet do more                            330

Than you have heard him brag to you he will.

TOBY, drawing his sword

Nay, if you be an undertaker, I am for you.


Enter Officers.


FABIAN O, good Sir Toby, hold! Here come the officers.

TOBY, to Antonio I’ll be with you anon.

VIOLA, to Andrew Pray, sir, put your sword up, if                    335

you please.

ANDREW Marry, will I, sir. And for that I promised

you, I’ll be as good as my word. He will bear you

easily, and reins well.

FIRST OFFICER This is the man. Do thy office.                      340

SECOND OFFICER Antonio, I arrest thee at the suit of

Count Orsino.

ANTONIO You do mistake me, sir.


No, sir, no jot. I know your favor well,

Though now you have no sea-cap on your head.—                   345

Take him away. He knows I know him well.


I must obey. To Viola. This comes with seeking


But there’s no remedy. I shall answer it.

What will you do, now my necessity                                     350

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,

But be of comfort.

SECOND OFFICER Come, sir, away.                                     355

ANTONIO, to Viola

I must entreat of you some of that money.

VIOLA What money, sir?

For the fair kindness you have showed me here,

And part being prompted by your present trouble,

Out of my lean and low ability                                             360

I’ll lend you something. My having is not much.

I’ll make division of my present with you.

Hold, there’s half my coffer.                           Offering him money.

ANTONIO Will you deny me now?

Is ’t possible that my deserts to you                                      365

Can lack persuasion? Do not tempt my misery,

Lest that it make me so unsound a man

As to upbraid you with those kindnesses

That I have done for you.

VIOLA I know of none,                                                         370

Nor know I you by voice or any feature.

I hate ingratitude more in a man

Than lying, vainness, babbling drunkenness,

Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption

Inhabits our frail blood—                                                     375

ANTONIO O heavens themselves!

SECOND OFFICER Come, sir, I pray you go.


Let me speak a little. This youth that you see here

I snatched one half out of the jaws of death,

Relieved him with such sanctity of love,                                380

And to his image, which methought did promise

Most venerable worth, did I devotion.


What’s that to us? The time goes by. Away!


But O, how vile an idol proves this god!

Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame.                       385

In nature there’s no blemish but the mind;

None can be called deformed but the unkind.

Virtue is beauty, but the beauteous evil

Are empty trunks o’erflourished by the devil.


The man grows mad. Away with him.—Come,                       390

come, sir.

ANTONIO Lead me on.

Antonio and Officers exit.

VIOLA, aside

Methinks his words do from such passion fly

That he believes himself; so do not I.

Prove true, imagination, O, prove true,                                  395

That I, dear brother, be now ta’en for you!

TOBY Come hither, knight; come hither, Fabian. We’ll

whisper o’er a couplet or two of most sage saws.

Toby, Fabian, and Andrew move aside.

VIOLA, aside

He named Sebastian. I my brother know

Yet living in my glass. Even such and so                               400

In favor was my brother, and he went

Still in this fashion, color, ornament,

For him I imitate. O, if it prove,

Tempests are kind, and salt waves fresh in love!

She exits.

TOBY A very dishonest, paltry boy, and more a coward             405

than a hare. His dishonesty appears in leaving his

friend here in necessity and denying him; and for

his cowardship, ask Fabian.

FABIAN A coward, a most devout coward, religious

in it.                                                                              410

ANDREW ’Slid, I’ll after him again and beat him.

TOBY Do, cuff him soundly, but never draw thy


ANDREW An I do not—

FABIAN Come, let’s see the event.                                         415

TOBY I dare lay any money ’twill be nothing yet.

They exit.









Scene 1

Enter Sebastian and Feste, the Fool.


FOOL Will you make me believe that I am not sent for


SEBASTIAN Go to, go to, thou art a foolish fellow. Let

me be clear of thee.

FOOL Well held out, i’ faith. No, I do not know you, nor              5

I am not sent to you by my lady to bid you come

speak with her, nor your name is not Master

Cesario, nor this is not my nose neither. Nothing

that is so is so.

SEBASTIAN I prithee, vent thy folly somewhere else.                 10

Thou know’st not me.

FOOL Vent my folly? He has heard that word of some

great man and now applies it to a Fool. Vent my

folly? I am afraid this great lubber the world will

prove a cockney. I prithee now, ungird thy strangeness             15

and tell me what I shall vent to my lady. Shall I

vent to her that thou art coming?

SEBASTIAN I prithee, foolish Greek, depart from me.

There’s money for thee. Giving money. If you

tarry longer, I shall give worse payment.                                20

FOOL By my troth, thou hast an open hand. These wise

men that give Fools money get themselves a good

report—after fourteen years’ purchase.


Enter Andrew, Toby, and Fabian.


ANDREW, to Sebastian Now, sir, have I met you again?

There’s for you.                                  He strikes Sebastian. 25

SEBASTIAN, returning the blow Why, there’s for thee,

and there, and there.—Are all the people mad?

TOBY Hold, sir, or I’ll throw your dagger o’er the


FOOL, aside This will I tell my lady straight. I would                 30

not be in some of your coats for twopence.

He exits.

TOBY, seizing Sebastian Come on, sir, hold!

ANDREW Nay, let him alone. I’ll go another way to

work with him. I’ll have an action of battery against

him, if there be any law in Illyria. Though I struck                  35

him first, yet it’s no matter for that.

SEBASTIAN, to Toby Let go thy hand!

TOBY Come, sir, I will not let you go. Come, my young

soldier, put up your iron. You are well fleshed.

Come on.                                                                         40


I will be free from thee.

He pulls free and draws his sword.

What wouldst thou now?

If thou dar’st tempt me further, draw thy sword.

TOBY What, what? Nay, then, I must have an ounce or

two of this malapert blood from you.                                     45

He draws his sword.


Enter Olivia.



Hold, Toby! On thy life I charge thee, hold!

TOBY Madam.


Will it be ever thus? Ungracious wretch,

Fit for the mountains and the barbarous caves,

Where manners ne’er were preached! Out of my                         50


Be not offended, dear Cesario.—

Rudesby, begone!                        Toby, Andrew, and Fabian exit.

I prithee, gentle friend,

Let thy fair wisdom, not thy passion, sway                               55

In this uncivil and unjust extent

Against thy peace. Go with me to my house,

And hear thou there how many fruitless pranks

This ruffian hath botched up, that thou thereby

Mayst smile at this. Thou shalt not choose but go.                    60

Do not deny. Beshrew his soul for me!

He started one poor heart of mine, in thee.


What relish is in this? How runs the stream?

Or I am mad, or else this is a dream.

Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep;                                    65

If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!


Nay, come, I prithee. Would thou ’dst be ruled by



Madam, I will.

OLIVIA O, say so, and so be!                                                  70

They exit.


Scene 2

Enter Maria and Feste, the Fool.


MARIA Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard;

make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate. Do

it quickly. I’ll call Sir Toby the whilst.                       She exits.

FOOL Well, I’ll put it on and I will dissemble myself in

’t, and I would I were the first that ever dissembled                   5

in such a gown. He puts on gown and beard. I am

not tall enough to become the function well, nor

lean enough to be thought a good student, but to be

said an honest man and a good housekeeper goes as

fairly as to say a careful man and a great scholar.                      10

The competitors enter.


Enter Toby and Maria.


TOBY Jove bless thee, Master Parson.

FOOL Bonos dies, Sir Toby; for, as the old hermit of

Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said

to a niece of King Gorboduc “That that is, is,” so I,                15

being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for what is

“that” but “that” and “is” but “is”?

TOBY To him, Sir Topas.

FOOL, disguising his voice What ho, I say! Peace in this

prison!                                                                             20

TOBY The knave counterfeits well. A good knave.


Malvolio within.


MALVOLIO Who calls there?

FOOL Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio

the lunatic.

MALVOLIO Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to            25

my lady—

FOOL Out, hyperbolical fiend! How vexest thou this

man! Talkest thou nothing but of ladies?

TOBY, aside Well said, Master Parson.

MALVOLIO Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged.                 30

Good Sir Topas, do not think I am mad. They have

laid me here in hideous darkness—

FOOL Fie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee by the most

modest terms, for I am one of those gentle ones

that will use the devil himself with courtesy. Sayst                  35

thou that house is dark?

MALVOLIO As hell, Sir Topas.

FOOL Why, it hath bay windows transparent as barricadoes,

and the clerestories toward the south-north

are as lustrous as ebony; and yet complainest                          40

thou of obstruction?

MALVOLIO I am not mad, Sir Topas. I say to you this

house is dark.

FOOL Madman, thou errest. I say there is no darkness

but ignorance, in which thou art more puzzled than                  45

the Egyptians in their fog.

MALVOLIO I say this house is as dark as ignorance,

though ignorance were as dark as hell. And I say

there was never man thus abused. I am no more

mad than you are. Make the trial of it in any                           50

constant question.

FOOL What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning


MALVOLIO That the soul of our grandam might haply

inhabit a bird.                                                                   55

FOOL What thinkst thou of his opinion?

MALVOLIO I think nobly of the soul, and no way

approve his opinion.

FOOL Fare thee well. Remain thou still in darkness.

Thou shalt hold th’ opinion of Pythagoras ere I will                60

allow of thy wits, and fear to kill a woodcock lest

thou dispossess the soul of thy grandam. Fare thee


MALVOLIO Sir Topas, Sir Topas!

TOBY My most exquisite Sir Topas!                                        65

FOOL Nay, I am for all waters.

MARIA Thou mightst have done this without thy beard

and gown. He sees thee not.

TOBY To him in thine own voice, and bring me word

how thou find’st him. I would we were well rid                      70

of this knavery. If he may be conveniently delivered,

I would he were, for I am now so far in

offense with my niece that I cannot pursue with

any safety this sport the upshot. Come by and by

to my chamber.                                                                 75

Toby and Maria exit.

FOOL sings, in his own voice

Hey, Robin, jolly Robin,

Tell me how thy lady does.


FOOL sings

My lady is unkind, perdy.

MALVOLIO Fool!                                                                 80

FOOL sings

Alas, why is she so?

MALVOLIO Fool, I say!

FOOL sings

She loves another—

Who calls, ha?

MALVOLIO Good fool, as ever thou wilt deserve well at              85

my hand, help me to a candle, and pen, ink, and

paper. As I am a gentleman, I will live to be thankful

to thee for ’t.

FOOL Master Malvolio?

MALVOLIO Ay, good Fool.                                                   90

FOOL Alas, sir, how fell you besides your five wits?

MALVOLIO Fool, there was never man so notoriously

abused. I am as well in my wits, Fool, as thou art.

FOOL But as well? Then you are mad indeed, if you be

no better in your wits than a Fool.                                        95

MALVOLIO They have here propertied me, keep me in

darkness, send ministers to me—asses!—and do

all they can to face me out of my wits.

FOOL Advise you what you say. The minister is here.

In the voice of Sir Topas. Malvolio, Malvolio, thy                100

wits the heavens restore. Endeavor thyself to sleep

and leave thy vain bibble-babble.


FOOL, as Sir Topas Maintain no words with him, good

fellow. As Fool. Who, I, sir? Not I, sir! God buy                  105

you, good Sir Topas. As Sir Topas. Marry, amen.

As Fool. I will, sir, I will.

MALVOLIO Fool! Fool! Fool, I say!

FOOL Alas, sir, be patient. What say you, sir? I am

shent for speaking to you.                                                  110

MALVOLIO Good Fool, help me to some light and some

paper. I tell thee, I am as well in my wits as any

man in Illyria.

FOOL Welladay that you were, sir!

MALVOLIO By this hand, I am. Good Fool, some ink,             115

paper, and light; and convey what I will set down to

my lady. It shall advantage thee more than ever the

bearing of letter did.

FOOL I will help you to ’t. But tell me true, are you not

mad indeed, or do you but counterfeit?                                120

MALVOLIO Believe me, I am not. I tell thee true.

FOOL Nay, I’ll ne’er believe a madman till I see his

brains. I will fetch you light and paper and ink.

MALVOLIO Fool, I’ll requite it in the highest degree. I

prithee, begone.                                                               125

FOOL sings

         I am gone, sir, and anon, sir,

            I’ll be with you again,

         In a trice, like to the old Vice,

            Your need to sustain.

         Who with dagger of lath, in his rage and his wrath,       130

            Cries “aha!” to the devil;

         Like a mad lad, “Pare thy nails, dad!

            Adieu, goodman devil.”

He exits.


Scene 3

Enter Sebastian.



This is the air; that is the glorious sun.

This pearl she gave me, I do feel ’t and see ’t.

And though ’tis wonder that enwraps me thus,

Yet ’tis not madness. Where’s Antonio, then?

I could not find him at the Elephant.                                         5

Yet there he was; and there I found this credit,

That he did range the town to seek me out.

His counsel now might do me golden service.

For though my soul disputes well with my sense

That this may be some error, but no madness,                          10

Yet doth this accident and flood of fortune

So far exceed all instance, all discourse,

That I am ready to distrust mine eyes

And wrangle with my reason that persuades me

To any other trust but that I am mad—                                    15

Or else the lady’s mad. Yet if ’twere so,

She could not sway her house, command her


Take and give back affairs and their dispatch

With such a smooth, discreet, and stable bearing                       20

As I perceive she does. There’s something in ’t

That is deceivable. But here the lady comes.


Enter Olivia, and a Priest.


OLIVIA, to Sebastian

Blame not this haste of mine. If you mean well,

Now go with me and with this holy man

Into the chantry by. There, before him                                     25

And underneath that consecrated roof,

Plight me the full assurance of your faith,

That my most jealous and too doubtful soul

May live at peace. He shall conceal it

Whiles you are willing it shall come to note,                            30

What time we will our celebration keep

According to my birth. What do you say?


I’ll follow this good man and go with you,

And, having sworn truth, ever will be true.


Then lead the way, good father, and heavens so                         35


That they may fairly note this act of mine.

They exit.









Scene 1

Enter Feste, the Fool and Fabian.


FABIAN Now, as thou lov’st me, let me see his letter.

FOOL Good Master Fabian, grant me another request.

FABIAN Anything.

FOOL Do not desire to see this letter.

FABIAN This is to give a dog and in recompense desire                5

my dog again.


Enter Orsino, Viola, Curio, and Lords.



Belong you to the Lady Olivia, friends?

FOOL Ay, sir, we are some of her trappings.


I know thee well. How dost thou, my good fellow?

FOOL Truly, sir, the better for my foes and the worse                   10

for my friends.


Just the contrary: the better for thy friends.

FOOL No, sir, the worse.

ORSINO How can that be?

FOOL Marry, sir, they praise me and make an ass of me.              15

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 then the worse for my friends and                  20

the better for my foes.

ORSINO Why, this is excellent.

FOOL By my troth, sir, no—though it please you to be

one of my friends.

ORSINO, giving a coin

Thou shalt not be the worse for me; there’s gold.                      25

FOOL But that it would be double-dealing, sir, I would

you could make it another.

ORSINO O, you give me ill counsel.

FOOL Put your grace in your pocket, sir, for this once,

and let your flesh and blood obey it.                                     30

ORSINO Well, I will be so much a sinner to be a

double-dealer: there’s another.                           He gives a coin.

FOOL 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,                35

sir, may put you 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.                                             40

FOOL 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.                                               He exits. 45


Enter Antonio and Officers.



Here comes the man, sir, that did rescue me.


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.

A baubling vessel was he captain of,                                        50

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

Cried fame and honor on him.—What’s the matter?                   55


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.

Here in the streets, desperate of shame and state,                        60

In private brabble did we apprehend him.


He did me kindness, sir, drew on my side,

But in conclusion put strange speech upon me.

I know not what ’twas but distraction.


Notable pirate, thou saltwater thief,                                         65

What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies

Whom thou, in terms so bloody and so dear,

Hast made thine enemies?

ANTONIO Orsino, noble sir,

Be pleased that I shake off these names you give                        70


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                              75

From 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                                          80

Did 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)                              85

Taught 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.                                                         90

VIOLA How can this be?

ORSINO, to Antonio When came he to this town?


Today, my lord; and for three months before,

No int’rim, not a minute’s vacancy,

Both day and night did we keep company.                               95


Enter Olivia and Attendants.



Here comes the Countess. Now heaven walks on


But for thee, fellow: fellow, thy words are madness.

Three months this youth hath tended upon me—

But more of that anon. To an Officer. Take him                      100



What would my lord, but that he may not have,

Wherein Olivia may seem serviceable?—

Cesario, you do not keep promise with me.

VIOLA Madam?                                                                  105

ORSINO Gracious Olivia—


What do you say, Cesario?—Good my lord—


My lord would speak; my duty hushes me.


If it be aught to the old tune, my lord,

It is as fat and fulsome to mine ear                                         110

As howling after music.


Still so cruel?

OLIVIA Still so constant, lord.


What, to perverseness? You, uncivil lady,

To whose ingrate and unauspicious altars                               115

My soul the faithful’st off’rings have breathed out

That e’er devotion tendered—what shall I do?


Even what it please my lord that shall become him.


Why should I not, had I the heart to do it,

Like to th’ Egyptian thief at point of death,                             120

Kill what I love?—a savage jealousy

That sometime savors nobly. But hear me this:

Since you to nonregardance cast my faith,

And that I partly know the instrument

That screws me from my true place in your favor,                     125

Live you the marble-breasted tyrant still.

But 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.—                        130

Come, boy, with me. My thoughts are ripe in


I’ll sacrifice the lamb that I do love

To spite a raven’s heart within a dove.


And I, most jocund, apt, and willingly,                                 135

To do you rest a thousand deaths would die.


Where goes Cesario?

VIOLA 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.                          140

If I do feign, you witnesses above,

Punish my life for tainting of my love.


Ay me, detested! How am I beguiled!


Who does beguile you? Who does do you wrong?


Hast thou forgot thyself? Is it so long?—                               145

Call forth the holy father.                                An Attendant exits.

ORSINO, to Viola Come, away!


Whither, my lord?—Cesario, husband, stay.



OLIVIA Ay, husband. Can he that deny?                                  150


Her husband, sirrah?

VIOLA No, my lord, not I.


Alas, it is the baseness of thy fear

That makes thee strangle thy propriety.

Fear not, Cesario. Take thy fortunes up.                                 155

Be that thou know’st thou art, and then thou art

As 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                               160

To keep in darkness what occasion now

Reveals before ’tis ripe) what thou dost know

Hath newly passed between this youth and me.


A contract of eternal bond of love,

Confirmed by mutual joinder of your hands,                            165

Attested 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                      170


I have traveled 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                               175

That thine own trip shall be thine overthrow?

Farewell, and take her, but direct thy feet

Where thou and I henceforth may never meet.


My lord, I do protest—

OLIVIA O, do not swear.                                                       180

Hold little faith, though thou hast too much fear.


Enter Sir Andrew.


ANDREW For the love of God, a surgeon! Send one

presently to Sir Toby.

OLIVIA What’s the matter?

ANDREW Has broke my head across, and has given Sir             185

Toby a bloody coxcomb too. For the love of God,

your help! I had rather than forty pound I were at


OLIVIA Who has done this, Sir Andrew?

ANDREW The Count’s gentleman, one Cesario. We took          190

him for a coward, but he’s the very devil


ORSINO My gentleman Cesario?

ANDREW ’Od’s lifelings, here he is!—You broke my

head for nothing, and that that I did, I was set on to               195

do ’t by Sir Toby.


Why do you speak to me? I never hurt you.

You drew your sword upon me without cause,

But I bespake you fair and hurt you not.

ANDREW If a bloody coxcomb be a hurt, you have hurt             200

  1. I think you set nothing by a bloody coxcomb.


Enter Toby and Feste, the Fool.


Here 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?                 205

TOBY That’s all one. Has hurt me, and there’s th’ end

on ’t. To Fool. Sot, didst see Dick Surgeon, sot?

FOOL O, he’s drunk, Sir Toby, an hour agone; his eyes

were set at eight i’ th’ morning.

TOBY Then he’s a rogue and a passy-measures pavin. I              210

hate a drunken rogue.

OLIVIA Away with him! Who hath made this havoc

with them?

ANDREW I’ll help you, Sir Toby, because we’ll be

dressed together.                                                              215

TOBY Will you help?—an ass-head, and a coxcomb,

and a knave, a thin-faced knave, a gull?


Get him to bed, and let his hurt be looked to.

Toby, Andrew, Fool, and Fabian exit.


Enter Sebastian.



I am sorry, madam, I have hurt your kinsman,

But, had it been the brother of my blood,                               220

I 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.                                      225


One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons!

A natural perspective, that is and is not!


Antonio, O, my dear Antonio!

How have the hours racked and tortured me

Since I have lost thee!                                                         230


Sebastian are you?

SEBASTIAN Fear’st thou that, Antonio?


How have you made division of yourself?

An apple cleft in two is not more twin

Than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian?                        235

OLIVIA Most wonderful!

SEBASTIAN, looking at 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.                   240

Of charity, what kin are you to me?

What countryman? What name? What parentage?


Of Messaline. Sebastian was my father.

Such a Sebastian was my brother too.

So went he suited to his watery tomb.                                   245

If spirits can assume both form and suit,

You come to fright us.

SEBASTIAN A spirit I am indeed,

But am in that dimension grossly clad

Which from the womb I did participate.                                 250

Were you a woman, as the rest goes even,

I should my tears let fall upon your cheek

And say “Thrice welcome, drownèd Viola.”


My father had a mole upon his brow.

SEBASTIAN And so had mine.                                             255


And died that day when Viola from her birth

Had numbered thirteen years.


O, that record is lively in my soul!

He finishèd indeed his mortal act

That day that made my sister thirteen years.                            260


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,                                       265

I’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.                              270

SEBASTIAN, 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.                             275

ORSINO, 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.—

Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand times

Thou never shouldst love woman like to me.                          280


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.

ORSINO Give me thy hand,                                                   285

And let me see thee in thy woman’s weeds.


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.                                 290


He shall enlarge him.


Enter Feste, the Fool with a letter, and Fabian.


Fetch Malvolio hither.

And yet, alas, now I remember me,

They say, poor gentleman, he’s much distract.

A most extracting frenzy of mine own                                    295

From my remembrance clearly banished his.

To the Fool. How does he, sirrah?

FOOL Truly, madam, he holds Beelzebub at the stave’s

end as well as a man in his case may do. Has here

writ a letter to you. I should have given ’t you today             300

morning. But as a madman’s epistles are no gospels,

so it skills not much when they are delivered.

OLIVIA Open ’t and read it.

FOOL Look then to be well edified, when the Fool

delivers the madman. He reads. By the Lord,                        305


OLIVIA How now, art thou mad?

FOOL No, madam, I do but read madness. An your

Ladyship will have it as it ought to be, you must

allow vox.                                                                       310

OLIVIA Prithee, read i’ thy right wits.

FOOL So I do, madonna. But to read his right wits is to

read thus. Therefore, perpend, my princess, and

give ear.

OLIVIA, giving letter to Fabian Read it you, sirrah.                 315

FABIAN (reads) By the Lord, madam, you wrong me, and

the 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              320

the semblance I put on, with the which I doubt not but

to do 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. 325

OLIVIA Did he write this?

FOOL Ay, madam.


This savors not much of distraction.


See him delivered, Fabian. Bring him hither.

Fabian exits.

To Orsino. My lord, so please you, these things                      330

further thought on,

To think me as well a sister as a wife,

One day shall crown th’ alliance on ’t, so please


Here at my house, and at my proper cost.                               335


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,                           340

And since you called me “master” for so long,

Here is my hand. You shall from this time be

Your master’s mistress.

OLIVIA, to Viola A sister! You are she.


Enter Malvolio and Fabian.



Is this the madman?                                                           345

OLIVIA Ay, my lord, this same.—

How now, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO Madam, you have done me


Notorious wrong.                                                               350

OLIVIA Have I, Malvolio? No.

MALVOLIO, handing her a paper

Lady, you have. Pray you peruse that 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.                          355

You can say none of this. Well, grant it then,

And 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                               360

Upon Sir Toby and the lighter people?

And, 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                            365

That e’er invention played on? Tell me why.


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                                     370

First told me thou wast mad; then cam’st in smiling,

And in such forms which here were presupposed

Upon thee in the letter. Prithee, be content.

This practice hath most shrewdly passed upon thee.

But when we know the grounds and authors of it,                    375

Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge

Of thine own cause.

FABIAN Good madam, hear me speak,

And let no quarrel nor no brawl to come

Taint the condition of this present hour,                                 380

Which I have wondered at. In hope it shall not,

Most 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                              385

The letter at Sir Toby’s great importance,

In 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                                      390

That have on both sides passed.

OLIVIA, to Malvolio

Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled thee!

FOOL Why, “some are born great, some achieve greatness,

and some have greatness thrown upon them.”

I was one, sir, in this interlude, one Sir Topas, sir,                395

but that’s all one. “By the Lord, Fool, I am not

mad”—but, do you remember “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.                                                                   400


I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you!                       He exits.


He hath been most notoriously abused.


Pursue him and entreat him to a peace.                          Some exit.

He hath not told us of the Captain yet.

When that is known, and golden time convents,                      405

A solemn combination shall be made

Of our dear souls.—Meantime, sweet sister,

We will not part from hence.—Cesario, come,

For so you shall be while you are a man.

But when in other habits you are seen,                                   410

Orsino’s mistress, and his fancy’s queen.

All but the Fool exit.

FOOL 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.                              415


         But when I came to man’s estate,

            With 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,                                   420

            With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,

         By 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,                         425

         With tosspots still had drunken heads,

            For 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,                             430

            And we’ll strive to please you every day.

He exits.