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 III. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—OLIVIA'S Garden.


Oli. I have sent after him: he says he'll
How shall I feast him? what bestow of him?
For youth is bought more oft than begg'd or
I speak too loud.
Where is Malvolio? he is sad, and civil,
And suits well for a servant with my fortunes:
Where is Malvolio?
Mar. He's coming, madam; but in very
strange manner. He is sure possess'd, madam.
Oli. Why, what's the matter? does he rave?
Mar. No, madam; he does nothing but smile:
your ladyship were best to have some guard
about you if he come, for sure the man is
tainted in's wits.
Oli. Go call him hither. [Exit MARIA.
I am as mad as he,
If sad and merry madness equal be.

Re-enter MARIA, with MALVOLIO.
How now, Malvolio!
Mal. Sweet lady, ho, ho.
Oli. Smil'st thou?
I sent for thee upon a sad occasion.
Mal. Sad, lady! I could be sad: this does
make some obstruction in the blood, this cross-
gartering; but what of that? if it please the eye
of one, it is with me as the very true sonnet is,
'Please one and please all.'
Oli. Why, how dost thou, man? what is the
matter with thee?
Mal. Not black in my mind, though yellow in
my legs. It did come to his hands, and com-
mands shall be executed: I think we do know
the sweet Roman hand.
Oli. Wilt thou go to bed, Malvolio?
Mal. To bed! ay, sweetheart; and I'll come
to thee.
Oli. God comfort thee! Why dost thou smile
so and kiss thy hand so oft?
Mar. How do you, Malvolio?
Mal. At your request? Yes; nightingales
answer daws.
Mar. Why appear you with this ridiculous
boldness before my lady?
Mal. 'Be not afraid of greatness:' 'Twas
well writ.
Oli. What meanest thou by that, Malvolio?
Mal. 'Some are born great,'—
Oli. Ha!
Mal. 'Some achieve greatness,'—
Oli. What sayst thou?
Mal. 'And some have greatness thrust upon
Oli. Heaven restore thee!
Mal. 'Remember who commended thy yellow
Oli. Thy yellow stockings!
Mal. 'And wished to see thee cross-gartered.'
Oli. Cross-gartered!
Mal. 'Go to, thou art made, if thou desirest
to be so,'—
Oli. Am I made?
Mal. ' If not, let me see thee a servant still.'
Oli. Why, this is very midsummer madness.

Enter Servant.
Ser. Madam, the young gentleman of the
Count Orsino's is returned. I could hardly
entreat him back: he attends your ladyship's
Oli. I'll come to him. [Exit Servant.]
Good Maria, let this fellow be looked to.
Where's my cousin Toby? Let some of my
people have a special care of him: I would not
have him miscarry for the half of my dowry.
[Exeunt OLIVIA and MARIA.
Mal. Oh, ho! do you come near me now?
no worse man than Sir Toby to look to me!
This concurs directly with the letter: she sends
him on purpose, that I may appear stubborn to
him; for she incites me to that in the letter.
'Cast thy humble slough,' says she; 'be opposite
with a kinsman, surly with servants; let thy
tongue tang with arguments of state; put
thyself into the trick of singularity;' and con-
sequently sets down the manner how; as, a sad
face, a reverend carriage, a slow tongue, in the
habit of some sir of note, and so forth. I have
limed her; but it is Jove's doing, and Jove make
me thankful! And when she went away now,
'Let this fellow be looked to;' fellow! not
Malvolio, nor after my degree, but fellow. Why,
everything adheres together, that no dram of
a scruple, no scruple of a scruple, no obstacle,
no incredulous or unsafe circumstance—What
can be said? Nothing that can be can come
between me and the full prospect of my hopes.
Well, Jove, not I, is the doer of this, and he is to
be thanked.

Sir To. Which way is he, in the name of
sanctity? If all the devils in hell be drawn in
little, and Legion himself possess'd him, yet I'll
speak to him.
Fab. Here he is, here he is. How is't with
you, sir? how is't with you, man?
Mal. Go off; I discard you: let me enjoy my
private; go off.
Mar. Lo, how hollow the fiend speaks within
him! did not I tell you? Sir Toby, my lady
prays you to have care of him.
Mal. Ah, ha! does she so?
Sir To. Go to, go to: peace! peace! we must
deal gently with him; let me alone. How do
you, Malvolio? how is't with you? What, man!
defy the devil: consider, he's an enemy to man-
Mal. Do you know what you say?
Mar. La you! an you speak ill of the devil,
how he takes it at heart. Pray God, he be not
bewitched S
Fab. Carry his water to the wise-woman.
Mar. Marry, and it shall be done to-morrow
morning, if I live. My lady would not lose him
for more than I'll say.
Mal. How now, mistress?
Mar. O Lord!
Sir To. Prithee, hold thy peace; this is not
the way: do you not see you move him? let me
alone with him.
Fab. No way but gentleness; gently, gently:
the fiend is rough, and will not be roughly used.
Sir To. Why, how now, my bawcock! how
dost thou, chuck?
Mal. Sir!
Sir To. Ay, Biddy come with me. What,
man! 'tis not for gravity to play at cherry-pit
with Satan: hang him, foul collier!
Mar. Get him to say his prayers, good Sir
Toby, get him to pray.
Mal. My prayers, minx!
Mar. No, I warrant you, he will not hear of
Mal. Go, hang yourselves all! you are idle
shallow things: I am not of your element. You
shall know more hereafter. [Exit.
Sir To. Is't possible?
Fab. If this were played upon a stage now, I
could condemn it as an improbable fiction.
Sir To. His very genius hath taken the infec-
tion of the device, man.
Mar. Nay, pursue him now, lest the device
take air, and taint.
Fab. Why, we shall make him mad indeed.
Mar. The house will be the quieter.
Sir To. Come, we'll have him in a dark room,
and bound. My niece is already in the belief
that he's mad: we may carry it thus, for our
pleasure and his penance, till our very pastime,
tired out of breath, prompt us to have mercy on
him; at which time we will bring the device to
the bar, and crown thee for a finder of madmen.
But see, but see.

Fab. More matter for a May morning.
Sir And. Here's the challenge; read it: I
warrant there's vinegar and pepper in't.
Fab. Is't so saucy?
Sir And. Ay, is't, I warrant him: do but
Sir To. Give me. Youth, whatsoever thou
art, thou art but a scurvy fellow.
Fab. Good, and valiant.
Sir To. Wonder not, nor admire not in thy
mind, why I do call thee so, for I will show thee
no reason for't.
Fab. A good note, that keeps you from the
blow of the law.
Sir To. Thou comest to the Lady Olivia, and
in my sight she uses thee kindly: but thou liest
in thy throat; that is not the matter I challenge
thee for.
Fab. Very brief, and to exceeding good sense—
Sir To. I will waylay thee going home;
where, if it be thy chance to kill me,—
Fab. Good.
Sir To. Thou killest me like a rogue and a
Fab. Still you keep o' the windy side of the
law: good,
Sir To. Fare thee well; and God have mercy
upon one of our souls! He may have mercy upon
mine, but my hope is better; and so look to
thyself. Thy friend, as thou usest him, and
thy sworn enemy,
If this letter move him not, his legs cannot. I'll give't him.
Mar. May you have very fit occasion for't:
he is now in some commerce with my lady, and
will by and by depart.
Sir To. Go, Sir Andrew; scout me for him at
the corner of the orchard like a bum-baily: so
soon as ever thou seest him, draw; and, as thou
drawest, swear horrible; for it comes to pass oft
that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent
sharply twanged off, gives manhood more appro-
bation than ever proof itself would have earned
him. Away!
Sir And. Nay, let me alone for swearing.
Sir To. Now will I not deliver his letter: for
the behaviour of the young gentleman gives him
out to be of good capacity and breeding; his
employment between his lord and my niece
confirms no less: therefore this letter, being so
excellently ignorant, will breed no terror in the
youth: he will find it comes from a clodpole.
But, sir, I will deliver his challenge by word of
mouth; set upon Aguecheek a notable report of
valour; and drive the gentleman,—as I know
his youth will aptly receive it,—into a most
hideous opinion of his rage, skill, fury, and
impetuosity. This will so frighten them both
that they will kill one another by the look, like
Fab. Here he comes with your niece: give
them way till he take leave,and presently after him.
Sir To. I will meditate the while upon some
horrid message for a challenge.

Re-enter OLIVIA, with VIOLA.
Oli. I have said too much unto a heart of
And laid mine honour too unchary out:
There's something in me that reproves my fault,
But such a headstrong potent fault it is
That it but mocks reproof.
Vio. With the same haviour that your pas-
sion bears
Goes on my master's griefs.
Oli. Here; wear this jewel for me, 'tis my
Refuse it not; it hath no tongue to vex you;
And I beseech you come again to-morrow.
What shall you ask of me that I'll deny,
That honour sav'd may upon asking give?
Vio. Nothing but this; your true love for my
Oli. How with mine honour may I give him
Which I have given to you?
Vio. l will acquit you.
Oli. Well, come again to-morrow: fare thee
A fiend like thee might bear my soul to hell.

Sir To. Gentleman, God save thee.
Vio. And you, sir.
Sir To. That defence thou hast, betake thee
to't: of what nature the wrongs are thou
hast done him, I know not; but thy intercepter,
full of despite, bloody as the hunter, attends
thee at the orchard-end. Dismount thy tuck, be
yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick,
skilful, and deadly.
Vio. You mistake, sir: I am sure no man
hath any quarrel to me: my remembrance is
very free and clear from any image of offence
done to any man.
Sir To. You'll find it otherwise, I assure you:
therefore, if you hold your life at any price, be-
take you to your guard; for your opposite hath
in him what youth, strength, skill, and wrath,
can furnish withal.
Vio. I pray you, sir, what is he?
Sir To. He is knight dubbed with unhatched
rapier, and on carpet consideration; but he is a
devil in private brawl: souls and bodies hath he
divorced three, and his incensement at this mo-
ment is so implacable that satisfaction can be
none but by pangs of death and sepulchre. Hob,
nob, is his word: give't or take 't.
Vio. I will return again into the house and
desire some conduct of the lady: I am no
fighter. I have heard of some kind of men
that put quarrels purposely on others to taste
their valour; belike this is a man of that quirk.
Sir To. Sir, no; his indignation derives itself
out of a very competent injury: therefore get
you on and give him his desire. Back you shall
not to the house, unless you undertake that with
me which with as much safety you might answer
him: therefore, on, or strip your sword stark
naked; for meddle you must, that's certain, or
forswear to wear iron about you.
Vio. This is as uncivil as strange. I beseech
you, do me this courteous office, as to know of
the knight what my offence to him is: it is some-
thing of my negligence, nothing of my purpose.
Sir To. I will do so. Signior Fabian, stay you
by this gentleman till my return. [Exit.
Vio. Pray you, sir, do you know of this
Fab. I know the knight is incensed against
you, even to a mortal arbitrement, but nothing
of the circumstance more.
Vio. I beseech you, what manner of man
is he?
Fab. Nothing of that wonderful promise, to
read him by his form, as you are like to find him
in the proof of his valour. He is, indeed, sir, the
most skilful, bloody, and fatal opposite that you
could possibly have found in any part of Illyria.
Will you walk towards him? I will make your
peace with him if I can.
Vio. I shall be much bound to you for't: I
am one that would rather go with sir priest than
sir knight; I care not who knows so much of my
mettle. [Exeunt.

Re-enter SIR TOBY, with SIR ANDREW.
Sir To. Why, man, he's a very devil; I have
not seen such a firago. I had a pass with him
rapier, scabbard and all, and he gives me the
stuck-in with such a mortal motion that it is
inevitable; and on the answer, he pays you as
surely as your feet hit the ground they step on.
They say he has been fencer to the Sophy.
Sir And. Pox on't, I'll not meddle with him.
Sir To. Ay, but he will not now be pacified:
Fabian can scarce hold him yonder.
Sir And. Plague on't; and I thought he had
been so valiant and so cunning in fence I'd have
seen him damned ere I'd have challenged him.
Let him let the matter slip, and I'll give him my
horse, grey Capilet.
Sir To. I'll make the motion. Stand here;
make a good show on't: this shall end without
the perdition of souls.—[Aside.] Marry, I'll ride
your horse as well as I ride you.

Re-enter FABIAN and VIOLA.
[To FABIAN.] I have his horse to take up the
quarrel. I have persuaded him the youth's a
Fab. He is as horribly conceited of him; and
pants and looks pale, as if a bear were at his
Sir To. There's no remedy, sir: he will fight
with you for his oath's sake. Marry, he hath
better bethought him of his quarrel, and he finds
that now scarce to be worth talking of: therefore
draw for the supportance of his vow: he protests
he will not hurt you.
Vio. [Aside.] Pray God defend me! A little
thing would make me tell them how much I lack
of a man.
Fab. Give ground, if you see him furious.
Sir To. Come, Sir Andrew, there's no remedy:
the gentleman will, for his honour's sake, have
one bout with you; he cannot by the duello
avoid it: but he has promised me, as he is a
gentleman and a soldier, he will not hurt you.
Come on; to't.
Sir And. Pray God. he keep his oath!
Vio. I do assure you, 'tis against my will.

Ant. Put up your sword. If this young
Have done offence, I take the fault on me:
If you offend him, I for him defy you.
Sir To. You, sir! why, what are you?
Ant. One, sir, that for his love dares yet do
Than you have heard him brag to you he will
Sir To. Nay, if you be an undertaker, I am
for you. [Draws.
Fab. O, good sir Toby, hold! here come the
Sir To. I'll be with you anon.
Vio. [To SIR ANDREW.] Pray, sir, put your
sword up, if you please.
Sir And. Marry, will I, sir; and, for that I
promised you, I'll be as good as my word. He
will bear you easily and reins well.

Enter two Officers.
First Off. This is the man; do thy office.
Sec. Off. Antonio, I arrest thee at the suit
Of Count Orsino.
Ant. You do mistake me, sir.
First Off. No, sir, no jot: I know your favour
Though now you have no sea-cap on your head.
Take him away: he knows I know him well.
Ant. I must obey.—[To VIOLA.] This comes
with seeking you:
But there's no remedy: I shall answer it.
What will you do, now my necessity
Makes me to ask you for my purse? It grieves me
Much more for what I cannot do for you
Than what befalls myself. You stand amaz'd:
But be of comfort
Sec. Off. Come, sir, away,
Ant. I must entreat of you some of that money.
Vio. What money, sir.
For the fair kindness you have show'd me here,
And part, being prompted by your present
Out of my lean and low ability
I'll lend you something: my having is not much:
I'll make division of my present with you.
Hold, there is half my coffer.
Ant. Will you deny me now?
Is't possible that my deserts to you
Can lack persuasion? Do not tempt my misery,
Lest that it make me so unsound a man
As to upbraid you with those kindnesses
That I have done for you.
Vio. I know of none;
Nor know I you by voice or any feature.
I hate ingratitude more in a man
Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
Inhabits our frail blood.
Ant. O heavens themselves!
Sec. Off. Come, sir: I pray you, go.
Ant. Let me speak a little. This youth that
you see here
I snatch'd one-half out of the jaws of death,
Reliev'd him with such sanctity of love,
And to his image, which methought did promise
Most venerable worth, did I devotion.
First Off. What's that to us? The time goes
by: away!
Ant. But O! how vile an idol proves this
Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame,
In nature there's no blemish but the mind;
None can be call'd deform'd but the unkind:
Virtue is beauty, but the beauteous evil
Are empty trunks o'erflourish'd by the devil.
First Off. The man grows mad: away with
him! Come, come, sir.
Ant. Lead me on.
[Exeunt Officers with ANTONIO.
Vio. Methinks his words do from such passion
That he believes himself; so do not I.
Prove true, imagination, O, prove true,
That I, dear brother, be now ta'en for you!
Sir To. Come hither, knight; come hither,
Fabian: we'll whisper o'er a couplet or two of
most sage saws.
Vio. He nam'd Sebastian: I my brother know
Yet living in my glass; even such and so
In favour was my brother; and he went
Still in this fashion, colour, ornament,
For him I imitate. O! if it prove,
Tempests are kind, and salt waves fresh in love'
Sir To. A very dishonest paltry boy, and more
a coward than a hare. His dishonesty appears
in leaving his friend here in necessity, and deny-
ing him; and for his cowardship, ask Fabian.
Fab. A coward, a most devout coward, religi-
ous in it.
Sir And. 'Slid, I'll after him again and beat
Sir To. Do; cuff him soundly, but never draw
thy sword.
Sir And. An I do not,— [Exit.
Fab. Come, let's see the event.
Sir To. I dare lay any money 'twill be nothing
yet [Exeunt.
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