Open Source Shakespeare

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will

Act II

Scene 1. The sea-coast.

Scene 2. A street.

Scene 3. OLIVIA’s house.

Scene 4. DUKE ORSINO’s palace.

Scene 5. OLIVIA’s garden.

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Act II, Scene 1

The sea-coast.



  • 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 615
    leave that I may bear my evils alone: it were a bad
    recompense for your love, to lay any of them on you.
  • Sebastian. No, sooth, sir: my determinate voyage is mere
    extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent a 620
    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 is Sebastian,
    which I called Roderigo. My father was that 625
    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, altered that;
    for some hour before you took me from the breach of 630
    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: but,
    though I could not with such estimable wonder 635
    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 with more.
  • Antonio. Pardon me, sir, your bad entertainment. 640
  • Sebastian. O good Antonio, forgive me your trouble.
  • Antonio. If you will not murder me for my love, let me be
    your servant.
  • Sebastian. If you will not undo what you have done, that is,
    kill him whom you have recovered, desire it not. 645
    Fare ye 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 eyes will tell
    tales of me. I am bound to the Count Orsino's court: farewell.


  • Antonio. 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.
    But, come what may, I do adore thee so,
    That danger shall seem sport, and I will go. 655



Act II, Scene 2

A street.


[Enter VIOLA, MALVOLIO following]

  • Malvolio. Were not you even now with the Countess Olivia?
  • Viola. Even now, sir; on a moderate pace I have since
    arrived but hither. 660
  • Malvolio. She returns this ring to you, sir: you might have
    saved me my pains, to have taken it away yourself.
    She adds, moreover, that you should put your lord
    into a desperate assurance she will none of him:
    and one thing more, that you be never so hardy to 665
    come again in his affairs, unless it be to 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: if it be worth 670
    stooping for, there it lies in your eye; if not, be
    it his that finds it.


  • Viola. I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
    Fortune forbid my outside have not charm'd her! 675
    She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
    That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
    For she did speak in starts distractedly.
    She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
    Invites me in this churlish messenger. 680
    None of my lord's ring! why, he sent her none.
    I am the man: if it be so, as 'tis,
    Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
    Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness,
    Wherein the pregnant enemy does much. 685
    How easy is it for the proper-false
    In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!
    Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!
    For such as we are made of, such we be.
    How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly; 690
    And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
    And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
    What will become of this? As I am man,
    My state is desperate for my master's love;
    As I am woman,—now alas the day!— 695
    What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
    O time! thou must untangle this, not I;
    It is too hard a knot for me to untie!



Act II, Scene 3

OLIVIA’s house.



  • Sir Toby Belch. Approach, Sir Andrew: not to be abed after
    midnight is to be up betimes; and 'diluculo
    surgere,' thou know'st,—
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Nay, my troth, I know not: but I know, to be up
    late is to be up late. 705
  • Sir Toby Belch. 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 life consist of the
    four elements? 710
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Faith, so they say; but I think it rather consists
    of eating and drinking.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Thou'rt a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink.
    Marian, I say! a stoup of wine!

[Enter Clown]

  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Here comes the fool, i' faith.
  • Feste. How now, my hearts! did you never see the picture
    of 'we three'?
  • Sir Toby Belch. Welcome, ass. Now let's have a catch.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast. I 720
    had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg,
    and so sweet a breath to sing, as the fool has. In
    sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last
    night, when thou spokest of Pigrogromitus, of the
    Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus: 'twas 725
    very good, i' faith. I sent thee sixpence for thy
    leman: hadst it?
  • Feste. 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. 730
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Excellent! why, this is the best fooling, when all
    is done. Now, a song.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Come on; there is sixpence for you: let's have a song.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. There's a testril of me too: if one knight give a—
  • Feste. Would you have a love-song, or a song of good life? 735
  • Sir Toby Belch. A love-song, a love-song.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Ay, ay: I care not for good life.
  • Feste. [Sings]
    O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
    O, stay and hear; your true love's coming, 740
    That can sing both high and low:
    Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
    Journeys end in lovers meeting,
    Every wise man's son doth know.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Excellent good, i' faith. 745
  • Sir Toby Belch. Good, good.
  • Feste. [Sings]
    What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
    Present mirth hath present laughter;
    What's to come is still unsure: 750
    In delay there lies no plenty;
    Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
    Youth's a stuff will not endure.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.
  • Sir Toby Belch. A contagious breath. 755
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Very sweet and contagious, i' faith.
  • Sir Toby Belch. 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? 760
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. An you love me, let's do't: I am dog at a catch.
  • Feste. By'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Most certain. Let our catch be, 'Thou knave.'
  • Feste. 'Hold thy peace, thou knave,' knight? I shall be
    constrained in't to call thee knave, knight. 765
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. 'Tis not the first time I have constrained one to
    call me knave. Begin, fool: it begins 'Hold thy peace.'
  • Feste. I shall never begin if I hold my peace.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. 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.
  • Sir Toby Belch. My lady's a Cataian, we are politicians, Malvolio's 775
    a Peg-a-Ramsey, and 'Three merry men be we.' Am not
    I consanguineous? am I not of her blood?
    Tillyvally. Lady!
    'There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!' 780
  • Feste. Beshrew me, the knight's in admirable fooling.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. 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.
  • Sir Toby Belch. [Sings] 'O, the twelfth day of December,'— 785
  • Maria. For the love o' God, peace!


  • Malvolio. My masters, are you mad? or what are you? Have ye
    no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like
    tinkers at this time of night? Do ye make an 790
    alehouse of my lady's house, that ye squeak out your
    coziers' catches without any mitigation or remorse
    of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor
    time in you?
  • Sir Toby Belch. We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up! 795
  • Malvolio. Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady bade me
    tell you, that, though she harbours 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 800
    you to take leave of her, she is very willing to bid
    you farewell.
  • Sir Toby Belch. 'Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.'
  • Maria. Nay, good Sir Toby.
  • Feste. 'His eyes do show his days are almost done.' 805
  • Malvolio. Is't even so?
  • Sir Toby Belch. 'But I will never die.'
  • Feste. Sir Toby, there you lie.
  • Malvolio. This is much credit to you.
  • Sir Toby Belch. 'Shall I bid him go?' 810
  • Feste. 'What an if you do?'
  • Sir Toby Belch. 'Shall I bid him go, and spare not?'
  • Feste. 'O no, no, no, no, you dare not.'
  • Sir Toby Belch. Out o' tune, sir: ye lie. Art any more than a
    steward? Dost thou think, because thou art 815
    virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?
  • Feste. Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i' the
    mouth too.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Thou'rt i' the right. Go, sir, rub your chain with
    crumbs. A stoup of wine, Maria! 820
  • Malvolio. Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady's favour at any
    thing more than contempt, you would not give means
    for this uncivil rule: she shall know of it, by this hand.


  • Maria. Go shake your ears. 825
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. 'Twere as good a deed as to drink when a man's
    a-hungry, to challenge him the field, and then to
    break promise with him and make a fool of him.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Do't, knight: I'll write thee a challenge: or I'll
    deliver thy indignation to him by word of mouth. 830
  • Maria. Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight: since the
    youth of the count's was today with thy 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 835
    think I have wit enough to lie straight in my bed:
    I know I can do it.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Possess us, possess us; tell us something of him.
  • Maria. Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. O, if I thought that I'ld beat him like a dog! 840
  • Sir Toby Belch. What, for being a puritan? thy exquisite reason,
    dear knight?
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I have no exquisite reason for't, but I have reason
    good enough.
  • Maria. The devil a puritan that he is, or any thing 845
    constantly, but a time-pleaser; an affectioned ass,
    that cons state without book and utters it by great
    swarths: 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 850
    him; and on that vice in him will my revenge find
    notable cause to work.
  • Sir Toby Belch. What wilt thou do?
  • Maria. I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of
    love; wherein, by the colour of his beard, the shape 855
    of 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. 860
  • Sir Toby Belch. Excellent! I smell a device.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I have't in my nose too.
  • Sir Toby Belch. He shall think, by the letters that thou wilt drop,
    that they come from my niece, and that she's in
    love with him. 865
  • Maria. My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that colour.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. And your horse now would make him an ass.
  • Maria. Ass, I doubt not.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. O, 'twill be admirable!
  • Maria. Sport royal, I warrant you: I know my physic will 870
    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.


  • Sir Toby Belch. Good night, Penthesilea.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Before me, she's a good wench.
  • Sir Toby Belch. She's a beagle, true-bred, and one that adores me:
    what o' that?
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I was adored once too. 880
  • Sir Toby Belch. Let's to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for
    more money.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way out.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Send for money, knight: if thou hast her not i'
    the end, call me cut. 885
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. If I do not, never trust me, take it how you will.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Come, come, I'll go burn some sack; 'tis too late
    to go to bed now: come, knight; come, knight.



Act II, Scene 4

DUKE ORSINO’s palace.


[Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others]

  • Orsino. Give me some music. 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,
    More than light airs and recollected terms 895
    Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times:
    Come, but one verse.
  • Curio. He is not here, so please your lordship that should sing it.
  • Orsino. Who was it?
  • Curio. Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady 900
    Olivia's father took much delight in. He is about the house.
  • Orsino. Seek him out, and play the tune the while.
    [Exit CURIO. Music plays]
    Come hither, boy: if ever thou shalt love,
    In the sweet pangs of it remember me; 905
    For such as I am all true lovers are,
    Unstaid and skittish in all motions else,
    Save in the constant image of the creature
    That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?
  • Viola. It gives a very echo to the seat 910
    Where Love is throned.
  • Orsino. Thou dost speak masterly:
    My life upon't, young though thou art, thine eye
    Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves:
    Hath it not, boy? 915
  • Viola. A little, by your favour.
  • Orsino. What kind of woman is't?
  • Viola. Of your complexion.
  • Orsino. She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?
  • Viola. About your years, my lord. 920
  • Orsino. Too old by heaven: let still the woman take
    An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
    So sways she level in her husband's heart:
    For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
    Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, 925
    More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
    Than women's are.
  • Viola. I think it well, my lord.
  • Orsino. Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
    Or thy affection cannot hold the bent; 930
    For women are as roses, whose fair flower
    Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.
  • Viola. And so they are: alas, that they are so;
    To die, even when they to perfection grow!

[Re-enter CURIO and Clown]

  • Orsino. 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
    And the free maids that weave their thread with bones
    Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth, 940
    And dallies with the innocence of love,
    Like the old age.
  • Feste. Are you ready, sir?
  • Orsino. Ay; prithee, sing.
    [Music] 945
  • Feste. Come away, come away, death,
    And in sad cypress let me be laid;
    Fly away, fly away breath;
    I am slain by a fair cruel maid. 950
    My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
    O, prepare it!
    My part of death, no one so true
    Did share it.
    Not a flower, not a flower sweet 955
    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,
    Lay me, O, where 960
    Sad true lover never find my grave,
    To weep there!
  • Orsino. There's for thy pains.
  • Feste. No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.
  • Orsino. I'll pay thy pleasure then. 965
  • Feste. Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.
  • Orsino. Give me now leave to leave thee.
  • Feste. Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the
    tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for
    thy mind is a very opal. I would have men of such 970
    constancy put to sea, that their business might be
    every thing and their intent every where; for that's
    it that always makes a good voyage of nothing. Farewell.


  • Orsino. Let all the rest give place. 975
    [CURIO and Attendants retire]
    Once more, Cesario,
    Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty:
    Tell her, my love, more noble than the world,
    Prizes not quantity of dirty lands; 980
    The parts that fortune hath bestow'd 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.
  • Viola. But if she cannot love you, sir? 985
  • Orsino. I cannot be so answer'd.
  • Viola. Sooth, but you must.
    Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
    Hath for your love a great a pang of heart
    As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her; 990
    You tell her so; must she not then be answer'd?
  • 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
    So big, to hold so much; they lack retention 995
    Alas, their love may be call'd appetite,
    No motion of the liver, but the palate,
    That suffer surfeit, cloyment and revolt;
    But mine is all as hungry as the sea,
    And can digest as much: make no compare 1000
    Between that love a woman can bear me
    And that I owe Olivia.
  • Viola. Ay, but I know—
  • Orsino. What dost thou know?
  • Viola. Too well what love women to men may owe: 1005
    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.
  • Orsino. And what's her history? 1010
  • Viola. A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
    But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
    Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
    And with a green and yellow melancholy
    She sat like patience on a monument, 1015
    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.
  • Orsino. But died thy sister of her love, my boy? 1020
  • Viola. 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.
    To her in haste; give her this jewel; say, 1025
    My love can give no place, bide no denay.



Act II, Scene 5

OLIVIA’s garden.



  • Sir Toby Belch. Come thy ways, Signior Fabian.
  • Fabian. Nay, I'll come: if I lose a scruple of this sport, 1030
    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. 1035
  • 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 Andrew Aguecheek. An we do not, it is pity of our lives.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Here comes the little villain.
    [Enter MARIA] 1040
    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 1045
    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 1055
    exalted respect than any one else that follows her.
    What should I think on't?
  • Sir Toby Belch. Here's an overweening rogue!
  • Fabian. O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock
    of him: how he jets under his advanced plumes! 1060
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. 'Slight, I could so beat the rogue!
  • Sir Toby Belch. Peace, I say.
  • Malvolio. To be Count Malvolio!
  • Sir Toby Belch. Ah, rogue!
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Pistol him, pistol him. 1065
  • Sir Toby Belch. Peace, peace!
  • Malvolio. There is example for't; the lady of the Strachy
    married the yeoman of the wardrobe.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Fie on him, Jezebel!
  • Fabian. O, peace! now he's deeply in: look how 1070
    imagination blows him.
  • Malvolio. Having been three months married to her, sitting in
    my state,—
  • Sir Toby Belch. O, for a stone-bow, to hit him in the eye!
  • Malvolio. Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet 1075
    gown; having come from a day-bed, where I have left
    Olivia sleeping,—
  • Sir Toby Belch. Fire and brimstone!
  • Fabian. O, peace, peace!
  • Malvolio. And then to have the humour of state; and after a 1080
    demure travel of regard, telling them I know my
    place as I would they should do theirs, to for my
    kinsman Toby,—
  • Sir Toby Belch. Bolts and shackles!
  • Fabian. O peace, peace, peace! now, now. 1085
  • 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,—
  • Sir Toby Belch. Shall this fellow live? 1090
  • 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,—
  • Sir Toby Belch. And does not Toby take you a blow o' the lips then?
  • Malvolio. Saying, 'Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on 1095
    your niece give me this prerogative of speech,'—
  • Sir Toby Belch. What, what?
  • Malvolio. 'You must amend your drunkenness.'
  • Sir Toby Belch. Out, scab!
  • Fabian. Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot. 1100
  • Malvolio. 'Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with
    a foolish knight,'—
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. That's me, I warrant you.
  • Malvolio. 'One Sir Andrew,'—
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I knew 'twas I; for many do call me fool. 1105
  • Malvolio. What employment have we here?

[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! 1110
  • 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.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Her C's, her U's and her T's: why that?
  • Malvolio. [Reads] 'To the unknown beloved, this, and my good 1115
    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] 1120
    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 1125
    thee, Malvolio?
  • Sir Toby Belch. Marry, hang thee, brock!
  • Malvolio. [Reads]
    I may command where I adore;
    But silence, like a Lucrece knife, 1130
    With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore:
    M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.
  • Fabian. A fustian riddle!
  • Sir Toby Belch. Excellent wench, say I.
  • Malvolio. 'M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.' Nay, but first, let 1135
    me see, let me see, let me see.
  • Fabian. What dish o' poison has she dressed him!
  • Sir Toby Belch. And with what wing the staniel cheques at it!
  • Malvolio. 'I may command where I adore.' Why, she may command
    me: I serve her; she is my lady. Why, this is 1140
    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,— 1145
  • Sir Toby Belch. O, ay, make up that: he is now at a cold scent.
  • 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 1150
    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.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Ay, or I'll cudgel him, and make him cry O! 1155
  • Malvolio. And then I comes behind.
  • 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 1160
    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 1165
    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, 1170
    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 1175
    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. 1180
    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 1185
    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; 1190
    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 1195
    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; 1200
    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. I could marry this wench for this device.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. So could I too.
  • Sir Toby Belch. And ask no other dowry with her but such another jest. 1210
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Nor I neither.
  • Fabian. Here comes my noble gull-catcher.

[Re-enter MARIA]

  • Sir Toby Belch. Wilt thou set thy foot o' my neck?
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Or o' mine either? 1215
  • Sir Toby Belch. Shall I play my freedom at traytrip, and become thy
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I' faith, or I either?
  • Sir Toby Belch. Why, thou hast put him in such a dream, that when
    the image of it leaves him he must run mad. 1220
  • Maria. Nay, but say true; does it work upon him?
  • Sir Toby Belch. Like aqua-vitae with a midwife.
  • 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 1225
    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 1230
  • Sir Toby Belch. To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil of wit!
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I'll make one too.