William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, the famous gender-bending comedy, tells the story of Viola, a young woman who loses her brother at sea.
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Twelfth Night

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Act II. Scene III.

Scene III.—A Room in OLIVIA'S House.


Sir To. Approach, Sir Andrew: not to be
a-bed after midnight is to be up betimes; and
diluculo surgere, thou knowest,—
Sir And. Nay, by my troth, I know not; but
I know, to be up late is to be up late.
Sir To. 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?
Sir And. Faith, so they say; but, I think, it
rather consists of eating and drinking.
Sir To. Thou art a scholar; let us therefore
eat and drink. Marian, I say! a stoup of wine!

Enter Clown.
Sir And. Here comes the fool, i' faith.
Clo. How now, my hearts! Did you never see
the picture of' we three?'
Sir To. Welcome, ass. Now let's have a
Sir And. By .my troth, the fool has an ex-
cellent breast. I 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 equi-
noctial of Queubus: 'twas very good, i' faith. I
sent thee sixpence for thy leman: hadst it?
Clo. I did impeticos thy gratillity; for Mal-
volio's nose is no whipstock: my lady has a
white hand, and the Myrmidons are no bottle-
ale houses.
Sir And. Excellent! Why, this is the best
fooling, when all is done. Now, a song.
Sir To. Come on; there is sixpence for you:
let's have a song.
Sir And. There's a testril of me too: if one
knight give a—
Clo. Would you have a love-song, or a song of
good life?
Sir To. A love-song, a love-song.
Sir And. Ay, ay; I care not for good life.
Clo. O mistress mine! where are you roaming?
O! stay and hear; your true love's coming.
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 And. Excellent good, i' faith.
Sir To. Good, good.
Clo. What is love? 'tis not hereafter;
Present mirth hath present laughter;
What's to come is still unsure:
In delay there lies no plenty;
Then come kiss me, sweet-and-twenty,
Youth's a stuff will not endure.
Sir And. A mellifluous voice, as I am true
Sir To. A contagious breath.
Sir And. Very sweet and contagious, i' faith.
Sir To. 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?
Sir And. An you love me, let's do't: I am
dog at a catch.
Clo. By'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch
Sir And. Most certain. Let our catch be,
'Thou knave,'
Clo. 'Hold thy peace, thou knave,' knight?
I shall be constrain'd in't to call thee knave,
Sir And. 'Tis not the first time I have con-
strain'd one to call me knave. Begin, fool: it
begins, 'Hold thy peace.'
Clo. I shall never begin if I hold my peace.
Sir And. Good, i' faith. Come, begin.
[They sing a catch.

Enter MARIA.
Mar. What a caterwauling do you keep here!
If my lady have not called up her steward Mal-
volio and bid him turn you out of doors, never
trust me.
Sir To. My lady's a Catalan; we are politi-
cians; Malvolio's a Peg-a-Ramsey, and 'Three
merry men be we.' Am not I consanguineous?
am I not of her blood? Tilly vally, lady!
There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!
Clo. Beshrew me, the knight's in admirable
Sir And. 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 To. O! the twelfth day of December,—
Mar. For the love o' God, peace!

Mal. My masters, are you mad? or what are
you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty,
but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night?
Do ye make an alehouse of my lady's house, that
ye squeak out your coziers' catches without any
mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no re-
spect of place, persons, nor time, in you?
Sir To. We did keep time, sir, in our catches.
Sneck up!
Mal. 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 misdemeanours, you are wel-
come to the house; if not, an it would please
you to take leave of her, she is very willing to
bid you farewell.
Sir To. Farewell, dear heart, since I must
needs be gone.
Mar. Nay, good Sir Toby.
Clo. His eyes do show his days are almost
Mal. Is't even so?
Sir To. But 1 will never die.
Clo. Sir Toby, there you lie.
Mal. This is much credit to you.
Sir To. Shall I bid him go?
Clo. What an if you do?
Sir To. Shall I bid Mm go, and spare not?
Clo. O! no, no, no, no, you dare not.
Sir To. 'Out o' time!' Sir, ye lie. Art any
more than a steward? Dost thou think, because
thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes
and ale?
Clo. Yes, by Saint Anne; and ginger shall be
hot i' the mouth too.
Sir To. Thou'rt i' the right. Go, sir, rub your
chain with crumbs. A stoup of wine, Maria!
Mal. Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady's
favour at anything more than contempt, you
would not give means for this uncivil rule: she
shall know of it, by this hand. [Exit.
Mar. Go shake your ears.
Sir And. '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 To. Do't, knight: I'll write thee a chal-
lenge; or I'll deliver thy indignation to him by
word of mouth.
Mar. Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for to-night:
since the youth of the count's was to-day with
my lady, she is much out of quiet. For Mon-
sieur Malvolio, let me alone with him: if I do
not gull him into a nayword, and make him a
common recreation, do not think I have wit
enough to lie straight in my bed. I know I can
do it.
Sir To. Possess us, possess us; tell us some-
thing of him.
Mar. Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of
Sir And. O! if I thought that, I'd beat him
like a dog.
Sir To. What, for being a puritan? thy ex-
quisite reason, dear knight?
Sir And. I have no exquisite reason for't, but
I have reason good enough.
Mar. The devil a puritan that he is, or any-
thing constantly but a time-pleaser; an affec-
tioned ass, that cons state without book, and
utters it by great swarths: the best persuaded
of himself; so crammed, as he thinks, with
excellences, that it is his ground of faith that
all that look on him love him; and on that
vice in him will my revenge find notable cause
to work.
Sir To. What wilt thou do?
Mar. I will drop in his way some obscure
epistles of love; wherein, by the colour of his
beard, the shape 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.
Sir To. Excellent! I smell a device.
Sir And. I have't in my nose too.
Sir To. He shall think, by the letters that
thou wilt drop, that they come from my niece,
and that she is in love with him.
Mar. My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that
Sir And. And your horse now would make
him an ass.
Mar. ASS, I doubt not.
Sir And. O! 'twill be admirable.
Mar. Sport royal, I warrant you: I know my
physic will 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. [Exit.
Sir To. Good night, Penthesilea.
Sir And. Before me, she's a good wench.
Sir To. She's a beagle, true-bred, and one that
adores me: what o' that?
Sir And. I was adored once too.
Sir To. Let's to bed, knight. Thou hadst
need send for more money.
Sir And. If I cannot recover your niece, I
am a foul way out.
Sir To. Send for money, knight: if thou hast
her not i' the end, call me cut.
Sir And. If I do not, never trust me, take it
how you will.
Sir To. Come, come: I'll go burn some sack;
'tis too late to go to bed now. Come, knight;
come knight. [Exeunt.
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