FOOL Will you make me believe that I am not sent for
SEBASTIAN Go to, go to, thou art a foolish fellow. Let
me be clear of thee.
FOOL 5Well held out, i’ faith. No, I do not know you, nor
I am not sent to you by my lady to bid you come
speak with her, nor your name is not Master
Cesario, nor this is not my nose neither. Nothing
that is so is so.
SEBASTIAN 10I prithee, vent thy folly somewhere else.
Thou know’st not me.
FOOL Vent my folly? He has heard that word of some
great man and now applies it to a Fool. Vent my
folly? I am afraid this great lubber the world will
15 prove a cockney. I prithee now, ungird thy strangeness
and tell me what I shall vent to my lady. Shall I
vent to her that thou art coming?
SEBASTIAN I prithee, foolish Greek, depart from me.
There’s money for thee. Giving money. If you
20 tarry longer, I shall give worse payment.
FOOL By my troth, thou hast an open hand. These wise
men that give Fools money get themselves a good
report—after fourteen years’ purchase.
ANDREW , to Sebastian Now, sir, have I met you again?
25 There’s for you. He strikes Sebastian.
SEBASTIAN , returning the blow Why, there’s for thee,
and there, and there.—Are all the people mad?
TOBY Hold, sir, or I’ll throw your dagger o’er the
FOOL , aside 30This will I tell my lady straight. I would
not be in some of your coats for twopence.
TOBY , seizing Sebastian Come on, sir, hold!
ANDREW Nay, let him alone. I’ll go another way to
work with him. I’ll have an action of battery against
35 him, if there be any law in Illyria. Though I struck
him first, yet it’s no matter for that.
SEBASTIAN , to Toby Let go thy hand!
TOBY Come, sir, I will not let you go. Come, my young
soldier, put up your iron. You are well fleshed.
40 Come on.
I will be free from thee.
He pulls free and draws his sword.
What wouldst thou now?
If thou dar’st tempt me further, draw thy sword.
TOBY What, what? Nay, then, I must have an ounce or
45 two of this malapert blood from you.
He draws his sword.
50 Where manners ne’er were preached! Out of my
Be not offended, dear Cesario.—
Rudesby, begone! Toby, Andrew, and Fabian exit.
I prithee, gentle friend,
55 Let thy fair wisdom, not thy passion, sway
In this uncivil and unjust extent
Against thy peace. Go with me to my house,
And hear thou there how many fruitless pranks
This ruffian hath botched up, that thou thereby
60 Mayst smile at this. Thou shalt not choose but go.
Do not deny. Beshrew his soul for me!
He started one poor heart of mine, in thee.
SEBASTIAN , aside
What relish is in this? How runs the stream?
Or I am mad, or else this is a dream.
65 Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep;
If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!
Nay, come, I prithee. Would thou ’dst be ruled by
Madam, I will.
OLIVIA 70 O, say so, and so be!
MARIA Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard;
make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate. Do
it quickly. I’ll call Sir Toby the whilst. She exits.
FOOL Well, I’ll put it on and I will dissemble myself in
5 ’t, and I would I were the first that ever dissembled
in such a gown. He puts on gown and beard. I am
not tall enough to become the function well, nor
lean enough to be thought a good student, but to be
said an honest man and a good housekeeper goes as
10 fairly as to say a careful man and a great scholar.
The competitors enter.
TOBY Jove bless thee, Master Parson.
FOOL Bonos dies, Sir Toby; for, as the old hermit of
Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said
15 to a niece of King Gorboduc “That that is, is,” so I,
being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for what is
“that” but “that” and “is” but “is”?
TOBY To him, Sir Topas.
FOOL , disguising his voice What ho, I say! Peace in this
TOBY The knave counterfeits well. A good knave.
MALVOLIO Who calls there?
FOOL Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio
MALVOLIO 25Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to
FOOL Out, hyperbolical fiend! How vexest thou this
man! Talkest thou nothing but of ladies?
TOBY , aside Well said, Master Parson.
MALVOLIO 30Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged.
Good Sir Topas, do not think I am mad. They have
laid me here in hideous darkness—
FOOL Fie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee by the most
modest terms, for I am one of those gentle ones
35 that will use the devil himself with courtesy. Sayst
thou that house is dark?
MALVOLIO As hell, Sir Topas.
FOOL Why, it hath bay windows transparent as barricadoes,
and the clerestories toward the south-north
40 are as lustrous as ebony; and yet complainest
thou of obstruction?
MALVOLIO I am not mad, Sir Topas. I say to you this
house is dark.
FOOL Madman, thou errest. I say there is no darkness
45 but ignorance, in which thou art more puzzled than
the Egyptians in their fog.
MALVOLIO I say this house is as dark as ignorance,
though ignorance were as dark as hell. And I say
there was never man thus abused. I am no more
50 mad than you are. Make the trial of it in any
FOOL What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning
MALVOLIO That the soul of our grandam might haply
55 inhabit a bird.
FOOL What thinkst thou of his opinion?
MALVOLIO I think nobly of the soul, and no way
approve his opinion.
FOOL Fare thee well. Remain thou still in darkness.
60 Thou shalt hold th’ opinion of Pythagoras ere I will
allow of thy wits, and fear to kill a woodcock lest
thou dispossess the soul of thy grandam. Fare thee
MALVOLIO Sir Topas, Sir Topas!
TOBY 65My most exquisite Sir Topas!
FOOL Nay, I am for all waters.
MARIA Thou mightst have done this without thy beard
and gown. He sees thee not.
TOBY To him in thine own voice, and bring me word
70 how thou find’st him. I would we were well rid
of this knavery. If he may be conveniently delivered,
I would he were, for I am now so far in
offense with my niece that I cannot pursue with
any safety this sport the upshot. Come by and by
75 to my chamber.
Toby and Maria exit.
FOOL sings, in his own voice
Hey, Robin, jolly Robin,
Tell me how thy lady does.
My lady is unkind, perdy.
Alas, why is she so?
MALVOLIO Fool, I say!
She loves another—
Who calls, ha?
MALVOLIO 85Good fool, as ever thou wilt deserve well at
my hand, help me to a candle, and pen, ink, and
paper. As I am a gentleman, I will live to be thankful
to thee for ’t.
FOOL Master Malvolio?
MALVOLIO 90Ay, good Fool.
FOOL Alas, sir, how fell you besides your five wits?
MALVOLIO Fool, there was never man so notoriously
abused. I am as well in my wits, Fool, as thou art.
FOOL But as well? Then you are mad indeed, if you be
95 no better in your wits than a Fool.
MALVOLIO They have here propertied me, keep me in
darkness, send ministers to me—asses!—and do
all they can to face me out of my wits.
FOOL Advise you what you say. The minister is here.
100 In the voice of Sir Topas. Malvolio, Malvolio, thy
wits the heavens restore. Endeavor thyself to sleep
and leave thy vain bibble-babble.
MALVOLIO Sir Topas!
FOOL , as Sir Topas Maintain no words with him, good
105 fellow. As Fool. Who, I, sir? Not I, sir! God buy
you, good Sir Topas. As Sir Topas. Marry, amen.
As Fool. I will, sir, I will.
MALVOLIO Fool! Fool! Fool, I say!
FOOL Alas, sir, be patient. What say you, sir? I am
110 shent for speaking to you.
MALVOLIO Good Fool, help me to some light and some
paper. I tell thee, I am as well in my wits as any
man in Illyria.
FOOL Welladay that you were, sir!
MALVOLIO 115By this hand, I am. Good Fool, some ink,
paper, and light; and convey what I will set down to
my lady. It shall advantage thee more than ever the
bearing of letter did.
FOOL I will help you to ’t. But tell me true, are you not
120 mad indeed, or do you but counterfeit?
MALVOLIO Believe me, I am not. I tell thee true.
FOOL Nay, I’ll ne’er believe a madman till I see his
brains. I will fetch you light and paper and ink.
MALVOLIO Fool, I’ll requite it in the highest degree. I
125 prithee, begone.
I am gone, sir, and anon, sir,
I’ll be with you again,
In a trice, like to the old Vice,
Your need to sustain.
130 Who with dagger of lath, in his rage and his wrath,
Cries “aha!” to the devil;
Like a mad lad, “Pare thy nails, dad!
Adieu, goodman devil.”
This is the air; that is the glorious sun.
This pearl she gave me, I do feel ’t and see ’t.
And though ’tis wonder that enwraps me thus,
Yet ’tis not madness. Where’s Antonio, then?
5 I could not find him at the Elephant.
Yet there he was; and there I found this credit,
That he did range the town to seek me out.
His counsel now might do me golden service.
For though my soul disputes well with my sense
10 That this may be some error, but no madness,
Yet doth this accident and flood of fortune
So far exceed all instance, all discourse,
That I am ready to distrust mine eyes
And wrangle with my reason that persuades me
15 To any other trust but that I am mad—
Or else the lady’s mad. Yet if ’twere so,
She could not sway her house, command her
Take and give back affairs and their dispatch
20 With such a smooth, discreet, and stable bearing
As I perceive she does. There’s something in ’t
That is deceivable. But here the lady comes.
OLIVIA , to Sebastian
Blame not this haste of mine. If you mean well,
Now go with me and with this holy man
25 Into the chantry by. There, before him
And underneath that consecrated roof,
Plight me the full assurance of your faith,
That my most jealous and too doubtful soul
May live at peace. He shall conceal it
30 Whiles you are willing it shall come to note,
What time we will our celebration keep
According to my birth. What do you say?
I’ll follow this good man and go with you,
And, having sworn truth, ever will be true.
35 Then lead the way, good father, and heavens so
That they may fairly note this act of mine.