William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, the famous gender-bending comedy, tells the story of Viola, a young woman who loses her brother at sea.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > Twelfth-Night > Act V. Scene I.


Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

Act V. Scene I.

Act V. Scene I.—The Street before OLIVIA'S House.

Enter Clown and FABIAN.

Fab. Now, as thou lovest me, let me see his
Clo. Good Master Fabian, grant me another
Fab. Anything.
Clo. Do not desire to see this letter.
Fab. This is, to give a dog, and, in recom-
pense desire my dog again.

Enter DUKE, VIOLA, CURIO, and Attendants.
Duke. Belong you to the Lady Olivia, friends?
Clo. Ay, sir; we are some of her trappings.
Duke. I know thee well: how dost thou, my
good fellow?
Clo. Truly, sir, the better for my foes and the
worse for my friends.
Duke. Just the contrary; the better for thy
Clo. No, sir, the worse.
Duke. How can that be?
Clo. Marry, sir, they praise me and make an
ass of me; now my foes tell me plainly I am an
ass: so that by my foes, sir, I profit in the know-
ledge of myself, and by my friends I am abused:
so that, conclusions to be as kisses, if your four
negatives make your two affirmatives, why then,
the worse for my friends and the better for my
Duke. Why, this is excellent.
Clo. By my troth, sir, no; though it please
you to be one of my friends.
Duke. Thou shall not be the worse for me:
there's gold.
Clo. But that it would be double-dealing, sir,
I would you could make it another.
Duke. O, you give me ill counsel.
Clo. Put your grace in your pocket, sir, for
this once, and let your flesh and blood obey it.
Duke. Well, I will be so much a sinner to be
a double-dealer: there's another.
Clo. Prime, secundo, tertio, is a good play;
and the old saying is, 'the third pays for all:' the
triplex, sir, is a good tripping measure; or the
bells of Saint Bennet, sir, may put you in mind;
one, two, three.
Duke. You can fool no more money out of
me at this throw: if you will let your lady know
I am here to speak with her, and bring her along
with you, it may awake my bounty further.
Clo. Marry, sir, lullaby to your bounty till I
come again. I go, sir; but I would not have you
to think that my desire of having is the sin of
covetousness; but as you say, sir, let your bounty
take a nap, I will awake it anon. [Exit.
Vio. Here comes the man, sir, that did rescue

Enter ANTONIO and Officers.
Duke. That face of his I do remember well;
Yet when I saw it last, it was besmear'd
As black as Vulcan in the smoke of war.
A bawbling vessel was he captain of,
For shallow draught and hulk unprizable;
With which such scathful grapple did he make
With the most noble bottom of our fleet,
That very envy and the tongue of loss
Cried fame and honour on him. What's the
First Off. Orsino, this is that Antonio
That took the Phoenix and her fraught from
And this is he that did the Tiger board,
When your young nephew Titus lost his leg.
Here in the streets, desperate of shame and
In private brabble did we apprehend him.
Vio. He did me kindness, sir, drew on my
But in conclusion put strange speech upon
I know not what 'twas but distraction.
Duke. Notable pirate! thou salt-water thief!
What foolish boldness brought thee to their
Whom thou, in terms so bloody and so dear,
Hast made thine enemies?
Ant. Orsino, noble sir,
Be pleas'd that I shake off these names you give
Antonio never yet was thief or pirate,
Though I confess, on base and ground enough,
Orsino's enemy. A witchcraft drew me hither:
That most ingrateful boy there by your side,
From the rude sea's enrag'd and foamy mouth
Did I redeem; a wrack past hope he was:
His life I gave him, and did thereto add
My love, without retention or restraint,
All his in dedication; for his sake
Did I expose myself, pure for his love,
Into the danger of this adverse town;
Drew to defend him when he was beset:
Where being apprehended, bis false cunning,
Not meaning to partake with me in danger,
Taught him to face me out of his acquaint-
And grew a twenty years removed thing
While one would wink, denied me mine own
Which I had recommended to his use
Not half an hour before.
Vio. How can this be?
Duke. When came he to this town?
Ant. To-day, my lord; and for three months
No interim, not a minute's vacancy,—
Both day and night did we keep company.

Enter OLIVIA and Attendants.
Duke. Here comes the countess: now heaven
walks on earth!
But for thee, fellow; fellow, thy words are mad-
Three months this youth hath tended upon me;
But more of that anon. Take him aside.
Oli. What would my lord, but that he may
not have,
Wherein Olivia may seem serviceable?
Cesario, you do not keep promise with me.
Vio. Madam!
Duke. Gracious Olivia.—
Oli. What do you say, Cesario? Good, my
Vio. My lord would speak; my duty hushes
Oli. If it be aught to the old tune, my lord,
It is as fat and fulsome to mine ear
As howling after music.
Duke. Still so cruel?
Oli. Still so constant, lord.
Duke. What, to perverseness? you uncivil
To whose ingrate and unauspicious altars
My soul the faithfull'st offerings hath breath'd
That e'er devotion tender'd! What shall I
Oli. Even what it please my lord, that shall
become him.
Duke. Why should I not, had I the heart to
Like to the Egyptian thief at point of death,
Kill what I love? a savage jealousy
That sometimes savours nobly. But hear me
Since you to non-regardance cast my faith,
And that I partly know the instrument
That screws me from my true place in your
Live you, the marble-breasted tyrant still;
But this your minion, whom I know you love,
And whom, by heaven I swear, I tender dearly,
Him will I tear out of that cruel eye,
Where he sits crowned in his master's spite.
Come, boy, with me; my thoughts are ripe in
I'll sacrifice the lamb that I do love,
To spite a raven's heart within a dove. [Going.
Vio. And I, most jocund, apt, and willingly,
To do you rest, a thousand deaths would die.
Oli. Where goes Cesario?
Vio. After him I love
More than I love these eyes, more than my
More, by all mores, than e'er I shall love wife.
If I do feign, you witnesses above
Punish my life for tainting of my love!
Oli. Ah me, detested! how am I beguil'd!
Vio. Who does beguile you? who does do you
Oli. Hast thou forgot thyself? Is it so
Call forth the holy father. [Exit an Attendant.
Duke. [To VIOLA.] Come away.
Oli. Whither, my lord? Cesario, husband,
Duke. Husband?
Oli. Ay, husband: can he that deny?
Duke. Her husband, sirrah?
Vio. No, my lord, not I.
Oli. Alas! it is the baseness of thy fear
That makes thee strangle thy propriety.
Fear not, Cesario; take thy fortunes up;
Be that thou know'st thou art, and then thou
As great as that thou fear'st.

Enter Priest.
O, welcome, father!
Father, I charge thee, by thy reverence,
Here to unfold,—though lately we intended
To keep in darkness what occasion now
Reveals before 'tis ripe,—what thou dost know
Hath newly passed between this youth and
Priest. A contract of eternal bond of love,
Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands,
Attested by the holy close of lips,
Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings;
And all the ceremony of this compact
Seal'd in my function, by my testimony:
Since when, my watch hath told me, toward my
I have travell'd but two hours.
Duke. O, thou dissembling cub! what wilt
thou be
When time hath sow'd a grizzle on thy case?
Or will not else thy craft so quickly grow
That thine own trip shall be thine overthrow?
Farewell, and take her; but direct thy feet
Where thou and I henceforth may never meet.
Vio. My lord, I do protest,
Oli. O! do not swear:
Hold little faith, though thou hast too much

Enter SIR ANDREW AQUECHEEK, with his head
Sir And. For the love of God, a surgeon!
send one presently to Sir Toby.
Oli. What's the matter.
Sir And. He has broke my head across, and
has given Sir Toby a bloody coxcomb too. For
the love of God, your help! I had rather than
forty pound I were at home.
Oli. Who has done this. Sir Andrew?
Sir And. The count's gentleman, one Cesario:
we took him for a coward, but he's the very devil
Duke. My gentleman, Cesario?
Sir And. Od's lifelings! here he is. You broke
my head for nothing! and that that I did, I was
set on to do't by Sir Toby.
Vio. Why do you speak to me? I never hurt
You drew your sword upon me without cause;
But I bespake you fair, and hurt you not.
Sir And. If a bloody coxcomb be a hurt, you
have hurt me: I think you set nothing by a
bloody coxcomb. Here comes Sir Toby halt-

Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, drunk, led by the Clown.
you shall hear more: but if he had not been in
drink he would have tickled you othergates than
he did.
Duke. How now, gentleman! how is't with
Sir To. That's all one: he has hurt me, and
there's the end on't. Sot, didst see Dick sur-
geon, sot?
Clo. O! he's drunk. Sir Toby, an hour agone:
his eyes were set at eight i' the morning.
Sir To. Then he's a rogue, and a passy-
measures pavin. I hate a drunken rogue.
Oli. Away with him! Who hath made this
havoc with them?
Sir And. I'll help you, Sir Toby, because
we'll be dressed together.
Sir To. Will you help? an ass-head and a
coxcomb and a knave, a thin-faced knave, a
Oli. Get him to bed, and let his hurt be
look'd to. [Exeunt Clown, FABIAN, SIR TOBY,

Seb. I am sorry, madam, I have hurt your
But, had it been the brother of my blood,
I must have done no less with wit and safety.
You throw a strange regard upon me, and by
I do perceive it hath offended you:
Pardon me, sweet one, even for the vows
We made each other but so late ago.
Duke. One face, one voice, one habit, and two
A natural perspective, that is, and is not!
Seb. Antonio! O my dear Antonio!
How have the hours rack'd and tortur'd me
Since I have lost thee!
Ant. Sebastian are you?
Seb. Fear'st thou that, Antonio?
Ant. How have you made division of your-
An apple cleft in two is not more twin
Than these two creatures. Which is Sebas-
Oli. Most wonderful!
Seb. Do I stand there? I never had a bro-
Nor can there be that deity in my nature,
Of here and every where. I had a sister,
Whom the blind waves and surges have de-
Of charity, what kin are you to me?
What countryman? what name? what parent-
Vio. Of Messaline: Sebastian was my fa-
Such a Sebastian was my brother too,
So went he suited to his watery tomb.
If spirits can assume but form and suit
You come to fright us.
Seb. A spirit I am indeed;
But am in that dimension grossly clad
Which from the womb I did participate.
Were you a woman as the rest goes even,
I should my tears let fall upon your cheek,
And say, 'Thrice welcome, drowned Viola!'
Vio. My father had a mole upon his brow.
Seb. And so had mine.
Vio. And died that day when Viola from her
Had number'd thirteen years.
Seb. O! that record is lively in my soul.
He finished indeed his mortal act
That day that made my sister thirteen years.
Vio. If nothing lets to make us happy both
But this my masculine usurp'd attire,
Do not embrace me till each circumstance
Of place, time, fortune, do cohere and jump
That I am Viola: which to confirm,
I'll bring you to a captain in this town,
Where lie my maiden weeds: by whose gentle
I was preserv'd to serve this noble count.
All the occurrence of my fortune since
Hath been between this lady and this lord.
Seb. [To OLIVIA.] So comes it, lady, you have
been mistook:
But nature to her bias drew in that.
You would have been contracted to a maid;
Now are you therein, by my life, deceiv'd,
You are betroth'd both to a maid and man.
Duke. Be not amaz'd; right noble is his blood.
If this be so, as yet the glass seems true,
I shall have share in this most happy wrack.
[To VIOLA.] Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand
Thou never shouldst love woman like to me.
Vio. And all those sayings will I over-swear,
And all those swearings keep as true in soul
As doth that orbed continent the fire
That severs day from night.
Duke. Give me thy hand;
And let me see thee in thy woman's weeds.
Vio. The captain that did bring me first on
Hath my maid's garments: he upon some ac-
Is now in durance at Malvolio's suit,
A gentleman and follower of my lady's.
Oli. He shall enlarge him. Fetch Malvolio
And yet, alas, now I remember me,
They say, poor gentleman, he's much distract.
A most extracting frenzy of mine own
From my remembrance clearly banish'd his.

Re-enter Clown with a letter, and FABIAN.
How does he, sirrah?
Clo. Truly, madam, he holds Belzebub at the
stave's end as well as a man in his case may do.
He has here writ a letter to you: I should have
given it to you to-day morning; but as a mad-
man's epistles are no gospels, so it skills not
much when they are delivered.
Oli. Open it, and read it.
Clo. Look then to be well edified, when the
fool delivers the madman.
By the Lord, madam—
Oli. How now! art thou mad?
Clo. No, madam, I do but read madness: an
your ladyship will have it as it ought to be, you
must allow vox.
Oli. Prithee, read i' thy right wits.
Clo. So I do, madonna; but to read his right
wits is to read thus: therefore perpend, my
princess, and give ear.
Oli. [To FABIAN.] Read it you, sirrah.
Fab. By the Lord, madam, you wrong me,
and the world shall know it: though you
have put me into darkness, and given your
drunken cousin rule over me, yet have I the
benefit of my senses as well as your ladyship.
I have your own letter that induced me to the
semblance I put on; with the which I doubt not
but to do myself much right, or you much shame.
Think of me as you please. I leave my duty a
little unthought of, and speak out of my injury.
Oli. Did he write this?
Clo. Ay, madam.
Duke. Tills savours not much of distraction.
Oli. Sec him deliver'd, Fabian; bring him
hither. [Exit FABIAN.
My lord, so please you, these tilings further
thought on,
To think me as well a sister as a wife,
One day shall crown the alliance on 't, so please
Here at my house and at my proper cost.
Duke. Madam, I am most apt to embrace
your offer.
[To VIOLA.] Your master quits you; and, for your
service done him,
So much against the mettle of your sex,
So far beneath your soft and tender breeding;
And since you call'd me master for so long,
Here is my hand: you shall from this time be
Your master's mistress.
Oli. A sister! you are she.

Re-enter FABIAN, with MALVOLIO.
Duke. Is this the madman?
Oli. Ay, my lord, this same.
How now, Malvolio!
Mal. Madam, you have done me wrong,
Notorious wrong.
Oli. Have I, Malvolio? no.
Mal. Lady, you have. Pray you peruse that
You must not now deny it is your hand:
Write from it, if you can, in hand or phrase,
Or say 'tis not your seal nor your invention:
You can say none of this. Well, grant it then,
And tell me, in the modesty of honour,
Why you have given me such clear lights of
Bade me come smiling and cross-garter'd to you,
To put on yellow stockings, and to frown
Upon Sir Toby and the lighter people;
And, acting this in an obedient hope,
Why have you suffer'd me to be imprison'd,
Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,
And made the most notorious geek and gull
That e'er invention play'd on? tell me why.
Oli. Alas' Malvolio, this is not my writing,
Though, I confess, much like the character;
But, out of question, 'tis Maria's hand:
And now I do bethink me, it was she
First told me thou wast mad; then cam'st in
And in such forms which here were presup-
Upon thee in the letter. Prithee, be content:
This practice hath most shrewdly pass'd upon
But when we know the grounds and authors of
Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge
Of thine own cause.
Fab. Good madam, hear me speak,
And let no quarrel nor no brawl to come
Taint the condition of this present hour,
Which I have wonder'd at. In hope it shall
Most freely I confess, myself and Toby
Set this device against Malvolio here,
Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts
We had conceiv'd against him. Maria writ
The letter at Sir Toby's great importance;
In recompense whereof he hath married her.
How with a sportful malice it was follow'd,
May rather pluck on laughter than revenge,
If that the injuries be justly weigh'd
That have on both sides past.
Oli. Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled
Clo. Why, 'some are born great, some achieve
greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon
them.' I was one, sir, in this interlude; one Sir
Topas, sir; but that's all one. 'By the Lord,
fool, I am not mad:' But do you remember?
'Madam, why laugh you at such a barren rascal?
an you smile not, he's gagg'd:' and thus the
whirligig of time brings in his revenges.
Mal. I'll be reveng'd on the whole pack of
you. [Exit.
Oli. He hath been most notoriously abus'd.
Duke. Pursue him, and entreat him to a
He hath not told us of the captain yet:
When that is known and golden time con-
A solemn combination shall be made
Of our dear souls. Meantime, sweet sister,
We will not part from hence. Cesario, come;
For so you shall be, while you are a man;
But when in other habits you are seen,
Orsino's mistress, and his fancy's queen.
[Exeunt all except Clown.
Clo. When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the ram;
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the lain it raineth every day.
But when I came to man's estate,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain;
'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their
For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came, alas! to wive,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain;
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, the wind and the lain;
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain it raineth every day
A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain;
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards