Open Source Shakespeare

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will

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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!