[Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, SIR ANDREW, and FABIAN]
- Fabian. Nay, I'll come: if I lose a scruple of this sport,
let me be boiled to death with melancholy.
- Sir Toby Belch. Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly
rascally sheep-biter come by some notable shame?
- Fabian. I would exult, man: you know, he brought me out o'
favour with my lady about a bear-baiting here.
- Sir Toby Belch. To anger him we'll have the bear again; and we will
fool him black and blue: shall we not, Sir Andrew?
- Sir Toby Belch. Here comes the little villain.
How now, my metal of India!
- Maria. Get ye all three into the box-tree: Malvolio's
coming down this walk: he has been yonder i' the
sun practising 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! Lie thou there,
[Throws down a letter]
for here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling.
- 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 more
exalted respect than any one else that follows her.
What should I think on't?
- Fabian. O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock
of him: how he jets under his advanced plumes!
- Malvolio. There is example for't; the lady of the Strachy
married the yeoman of the wardrobe.
- Fabian. O, peace! now he's deeply in: look how
imagination blows him.
- Malvolio. Having been three months married to her, sitting in
- Malvolio. Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet
gown; having come from a day-bed, where I have left
- Malvolio. And then to have the humour of state; and after a
demure travel of regard, telling them I know my
place as I would they should do theirs, to for my
- Fabian. 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 watch, or play with my—some rich jewel. Toby
approaches; courtesies there to me,—
- Fabian. 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 control,—
- Malvolio. Saying, 'Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on
your niece give me this prerogative of speech,'—
- Malvolio. 'You must amend your drunkenness.'
- Fabian. Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot.
- Malvolio. 'Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with
a foolish knight,'—
[Taking up the letter]
- Fabian. Now is the woodcock near the gin.
- Sir Toby Belch. O, peace! and the spirit of humour intimate reading
aloud to him!
- Malvolio. By my life, this is my lady's hand these be her
very C's, her U's and her T's and thus makes she her
great P's. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.
- 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 she
uses to seal: 'tis my lady. To whom should this be?
- Fabian. This wins him, liver and all.
- Malvolio. [Reads]
Jove knows I love: But who?
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
- Malvolio. [Reads]
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.
- Malvolio. 'M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.' Nay, but first, let
me see, let me see, let me see.
- Fabian. What dish o' poison has she dressed him!
- Malvolio. 'I may command where I adore.' Why, she may command
me: I serve her; she is my lady. Why, 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,
- Fabian. 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.
- Fabian. 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.
- Fabian. And O shall end, I hope.
- Fabian. Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you might see
more detraction at your heels than fortunes before
- 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. Soft!
here follows prose.
'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
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: 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 desirest to be so; if not, let me see
thee a steward still, the fellow of servants, and
not worthy to touch Fortune's fingers. Farewell.
She that would alter services with thee,
Daylight and champaign discovers not more: this is
open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors,
I 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 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 the swiftness of putting
on. Jove and my stars be praised! Here is yet a
'Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou
entertainest my love, let it appear in thy smiling;
thy smiles become thee well; therefore in my
presence still smile, dear my sweet, I prithee.'
Jove, I thank thee: I will smile; I will do
everything that thou wilt have me.
- Fabian. I will not give my part of this sport for a pension
of thousands to be paid from the Sophy.
- Sir Toby Belch. And ask no other dowry with her but such another jest.
- Fabian. Here comes my noble gull-catcher.
- Sir Toby Belch. Shall I play my freedom at traytrip, and become thy
- Sir Toby Belch. 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?
- 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 colour she
abhors, and cross-gartered, a fashion she detests;
and he will smile upon her, which will now 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
- Sir Toby Belch. To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil of wit!