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Twelfth Night, Or What You Will

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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 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 Toby Belch. Thou'rt a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink.
    Marian, I say! a stoup of wine!

[Enter Clown]

  • Feste. How now, my hearts! did you never see the picture
    of 'we three'?
  • 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 Toby Belch. Come on; there is sixpence for you: let's have a song.
  • Feste. Would you have a love-song, or a song of good life? 735
  • 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.
  • 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 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
  • Feste. By'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.
  • 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.

[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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Maria. Nay, good Sir Toby.
  • Feste. 'His eyes do show his days are almost done.' 805
  • Feste. Sir Toby, there you lie.
  • Feste. 'What an if you do?'
  • 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.
  • Maria. Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.
  • Sir Toby Belch. What, for being a puritan? thy exquisite reason,
    dear knight?
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Maria. Ass, I doubt not.
  • 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. She's a beagle, true-bred, and one that adores me:
    what o' that?
  • Sir Toby Belch. Let's to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for
    more money.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Send for money, knight: if thou hast her not i'
    the end, call me cut. 885
  • Sir Toby Belch. Come, come, I'll go burn some sack; 'tis too late
    to go to bed now: come, knight; come, knight.