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 IV. Scene II.

Scene II.—A Room in OLIVIA'S House.

Enter MARIA and Clown; MALVOLIO in a
dark chamber adjoining.

Mar. 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. [Exit.
Clo. Well, I'll put it on and I will dissemble
myself in't: and I would I were the first that
ever dissembled in such a gown. 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 fairly as to say a careful man and a great
scholar. The competitors enter.

Sir To. God bless thee. Master parson.
Clo. Bonos dies, Sir Toby: for, as the old
hermit of Prague, that never saw pen and ink,
very wittily said 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?'
Sir To. To him, Sir Topas.
Clo. What ho! I say. Peace in this prison!
Sir To. The knave counterfeits well; a good
Mal. [Within]. Who calls there?
Clo. Sir Topas, the curate, who comes to visit
Malvolio the lunatic.
Mal. Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go
to my lady.
Clo. Out, hyperbolical fiend! how vexest thou
this man! Talkest thou nothing but of ladies?
Sir To. Well said, Master Parson.
Mal. [Within.] Sir Topas, never was man
thus wronged. Good Sir Topas, do not think I
am mad: they have laid me here in hideous
Clo. Fie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee
by the most modest terms; for I am one of those
gentle ones that will use the devil himself with
courtesy. Sayst thou that house is dark?
Mal. As hell, Sir Topas.
Clo. Why, it hath bay-windows transparent as
barricadoes, and the clerestories toward the
south-north are as lustrous as ebony; and yet
complainest thou of obstruction?
Mal. I am not mad, Sir Topas. I say to you,
this house is dark.
Clo. Madman, thou errest: I say, there is no
darkness but ignorance, in which thou art more
puzzled than the Egyptians in their fog.
Mal. I say this house is as dark as ignor-
ance, though ignorance were as dark as hell;
and I say, there was never man thus abused.
I am no more mad than you are: make the trial
of it in any constant question.
Clo. What is the opinion of Pythagoras con-
cerning wild fowl?
Mal. That the soul of our grandam might
happily inhabit a bird.
Clo. What thinkest thou of his opinion?
Mal. I think nobly of the soul, and no way
approve his opinion.
Clo. Fare thee well: remain thou still in dark-
ness: thou shalt hold the 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 well.
Mal. Sir Topas! Sir Topas!
Sir To. My most exquisite Sir Topas!
Clo. Nay, I am for all waters.
Mar. Thou mightst have done this without
thy beard and gown: he sees thee not.
Sir To. To him in thine own voice, and bring
me word how thou findest him: I would we were
well rid of this knavery. If lie may be con-
veniently delivered, I would he were; for I am
now so far in offence with my niece that I cannot
pursue with any safety this sport to the upshot.
Come by and by to my chamber.
[Exeunt SIR TOBY and MARIA.
Clo. Hey Robin, jolly Robin,
Tell me how thy lady does.
Mal. Fool!
Clo. My lady is unkind, perdy!
Mal. Fool!
Clo. Alas, why is she so?
Mal. Fool, I say!
Clo. She loves another.
Who calls, ha?
Mal. Good 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.
Clo. Master Malvolio!
Mal. Ay, good fool.'
Clo. Alas, sir, how fell you beside your five
Mal. Fool, there was never man so notori-
ously abused: I am as well in my wits, fool, as
thou art.
Clo. But as well? then you are mad indeed,
if you be no better in your wits than a fool.
Mal. 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.
Clo. Advise you what you say: the minister is
here. Malvolio, Malvolio, thy wits the heavens
restore! endeavour thyself to sleep, and leave
thy vain bibble-babble.
Mal. Sir Topas!
Clo. Maintain no words with him, good
fellow.—Who, I, sir? not I, sir. God be wi'
you, good Sir Topas. Marry, amen. I will, sir, I
Mal. Fool, fool, fool, I say!
Clo. Alas, sir, be patient. What say you, sir?
I am shent for speaking to you.
Mal. 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.
Clo. Well-a-day, that you were, sir!
Mal. By 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.
Clo. I will help you to't. But tell me true,
are you not mad indeed? or do you but counter-
Mal. Believe me, I am not: I tell thee
Clo. Nay, I'll ne'er believe a madman till I
see his brains. I will fetch you light and paper
and ink.
Mal. Fool, I'll requite it in the highest
degree: I prithee, be gone.
Clo. 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;
Who with dagger of lath,
In his rage and his wrath,
Cries, Ah, ah! to the devil:
Like a mad lad,
Pare thy nails, dad;
Adieu, goodman drivel. [Exit.
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