Open Source Shakespeare

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will

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Act III, Scene 2

OLIVIA’s house.



  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. No, faith, I'll not stay a jot longer.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Thy reason, dear venom, give thy reason.
  • Fabian. You must needs yield your reason, Sir Andrew.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Marry, I saw your niece do more favours to the
    count's serving-man than ever she bestowed upon me; 1410
    I saw't i' the orchard.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Did she see thee the while, old boy? tell me that.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. As plain as I see you now.
  • Fabian. This was a great argument of love in her toward you.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. 'Slight, will you make an ass o' me? 1415
  • Fabian. I will prove it legitimate, sir, upon the oaths of
    judgment and reason.
  • Sir Toby Belch. And they have been grand-jury-men since before Noah
    was a sailor.
  • Fabian. She did show favour to the youth in your sight only 1420
    to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valour, to
    put fire in your heart and brimstone in your liver.
    You should then have accosted her; and with some
    excellent jests, fire-new from the mint, you should
    have banged the youth into dumbness. This was 1425
    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 of my
    lady's opinion; where you will hang like an icicle
    on a Dutchman's beard, unless you do redeem it by 1430
    some laudable attempt either of valour or policy.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. An't be any way, it must be with valour; for policy
    I hate: I had as lief be a Brownist as a
  • Sir Toby Belch. Why, then, build me thy fortunes upon the basis of 1435
    valour. Challenge me the count's youth to fight
    with him; hurt him in eleven places: my niece shall
    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 valour. 1440
  • Fabian. There is no way but this, Sir Andrew.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Will either of you bear me a challenge to him?
  • Sir Toby Belch. Go, write it in a martial hand; be curst and brief;
    it is no matter how witty, so it be eloquent and fun
    of invention: taunt him with the licence of ink: 1445
    if thou thou'st him some thrice, it shall not be
    amiss; and as many lies as will lie in thy sheet of
    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 1450
    write with a goose-pen, no matter: about it.
  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Where shall I find you?
  • Sir Toby Belch. We'll call thee at the cubiculo: go.


  • Fabian. This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby. 1455
  • Sir Toby Belch. 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
    not deliver't?
  • Sir Toby Belch. Never trust me, then; and by all means stir on the 1460
    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
    will clog the foot of a flea, I'll eat the rest of
    the anatomy. 1465
  • Fabian. And his opposite, the youth, bears in his visage no
    great presage of cruelty.

[Enter MARIA]

  • Sir Toby Belch. Look, where the youngest wren of nine comes.
  • Maria. If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourself 1470
    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. He's in yellow stockings. 1475
  • Sir Toby Belch. And cross-gartered?
  • Maria. Most villanously; like a pedant that keeps a school
    i' the church. I have dogged him, like his
    murderer. He does obey every point of the letter
    that I dropped to betray him: he does smile his 1480
    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 smile and take't for a great favour. 1485
  • Sir Toby Belch. Come, bring us, bring us where he is.