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Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Translation Act 1, Scene 3

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Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA

SIR TOBY BELCH

What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her brother thus? I am sure care’s an enemy to life.

SIR TOBY BELCH

What is ailing my niece, that she reacts so strongly to her brother's death? I'm now sure that caring too much is bad for one's health.

MARIA

By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o' nights. Your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.

MARIA

By God, Sir Toby, you must come home earlier at night. Your niece, my lady, strongly disapproves of the late hours you keep.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Why, let her except, before excepted.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Well, let her disapprove of me—I disapprove of her.

MARIA

Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.

MARIA

Yes, but you must at least confine yourself within the limits of order and decency.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Confine? I’ll confine myself no finer than I am. These clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too. An they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Confine myself? I'll only confine myself to these clothes I'm wearing. They're good enough to drink in, and these boots are too. And if they aren't, then let them hang themselves by their own straps.

MARIA

That quaffing and drinking will undo you: I heard my lady talk of it yesterday, and of a foolish knight that you brought in one night here to be her wooer.

MARIA

All this drinking will be your ruin: I heard my lady Olivia talking about it yesterday. She also spoke of some foolish knight you brought here one night to woo her.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

MARIA

Ay, he.

MARIA

Yes, him.

SIR TOBY BELCH

He’s as tall a man as any’s in Illyria.

SIR TOBY BELCH

He's as tall and brave as any man in Illyria.

MARIA

What’s that to the purpose?

MARIA

What does that have to do with anything?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Well, he has an income of three thousand ducats a year.

MARIA

Ay, but he’ll have but a year in all these ducats. He’sa very fool and a prodigal.

MARIA

Yes, but he'll only make all those ducats last for one year. He's foolish, wasteful, and reckless.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Fie, that you’ll say so! He plays o' the viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages wordfor word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.

SIR TOBY BELCH

How dare you say so! He plays the violin, and speaks three or four languages word for word from memory. He has all of nature's good gifts.

MARIA

He hath indeed, almost natural, for besides that he’s afool, he’s a great quarreler, and but that he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarreling, ’tis thought among the prudent he would quickly have the gift of a grave.

MARIA

He does indeed seem like a natural-born fool—and besides being a fool, he's argumentative. If he didn't have the coward's gift of stepping away from a fight, they say he would've been long dead by now.

SIR TOBY BELCH

By this hand, they are scoundrels and substractors thatsay so of him. Who are they?

SIR TOBY BELCH

By God, anyone who says that about him is a villain and a naysayer. Who said that?

MARIA

They that add, moreover, he’s drunk nightly in your company.

MARIA

They also say that he gets drunk with you every night.

SIR TOBY BELCH

With drinking healths to my niece. I’ll drink to her aslong as there is a passage in my throat and drink in Illyria. He’s a coward and a coistrel that will not drink to my niece till his brains turn o' th' toe like aparish top. What, wench! Castiliano vulgo , for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.

SIR TOBY BELCH

We are only toasting my niece when we drink. I'll drink to her as long as there's a hole in my throat and alcohol in Illyria. Only cowards and scum wouldn't drink to my niece until their brains spin round like a top. What do you have to say to that! But hush, we must be polite. Here comes Sir Andrew Agueface himself.

Enter SIR ANDREW

SIR ANDREW

Sir Toby Belch! How now, Sir Toby Belch!

SIR ANDREW

Sir Toby Belch! How are you, Sir Toby Belch?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Sweet Sir Andrew!

SIR TOBY BELCH

Sweet Sir Andrew.

SIR ANDREW

[To MARIA] Bless you, fair shrew.

SIR ANDREW

[To MARIA] And hello to you, pretty wench.

MARIA

And you too, sir.

MARIA

Hello to you, sir.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Accost her, Sir Andrew, accost her.

SIR ANDREW

What’s that?

SIR ANDREW

What's that?

SIR TOBY BELCH

My niece’s chambermaid.

SIR TOBY BELCH

This is my niece's chambermaid.

SIR ANDREW

Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

SIR ANDREW

Good Miss Accost-her, I look forward to knowing you better.

MARIA

My name is Mary, sir.

MARIA

My name is Mary, sir.

SIR ANDREW

Good Mistress Mary Accost—

SIR ANDREW

Good Miss Mary Accost-her—

SIR TOBY BELCH

You mistake, knight. “Accost” is front her, board her, woo her, assail her.

SIR TOBY BELCH

You're mistaken, knight. "Accost her" isn't her name—I meant that you should face her, greet her, woo her, and conquer her.

SIR ANDREW

By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company.Is that the meaning of “accost”?

SIR ANDREW

I say, I wouldn't do that in this company. Is that really what you meant by "accost her?"

MARIA

Fare you well, gentlemen. [she starts to exit]

MARIA

Goodbye, gentlemen. [She starts to exit]

SIR TOBY BELCH

An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst never draw sword again.

SIR TOBY BELCH

If you let her leave like that, Sir Andrew, you don't deserve to ever draw your sword again.

SIR ANDREW

An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?

SIR ANDREW

If you leave like this, miss, I swear I won't ever draw my sword again. Why are you leaving, fair lady—do you think you have fools on your hands here?

MARIA

Sir, I have not you by the hand.

MARIA

Sir, I'm not holding your hand.

SIR ANDREW

Marry, but you shall have, and here’s my hand. [he offers her his hand]

SIR ANDREW

Indeed, but you will be, and here's my hand. [He offers her his hand]

MARIA

[taking his hand] Now, sir, thought is free. I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar and let it drink.

MARIA

[Taking his hand] Now, sir, everyone has a right to their opinions. Please, take your hand to the dairy and let it drink.

SIR ANDREW

Wherefore, sweetheart? What’s your metaphor?

SIR ANDREW

What do you mean, sweetheart? Is this a metaphor?

MARIA

It’s dry, sir.

MARIA

dry one, sir.

SIR ANDREW

Why, I think so. I am not such an ass, but I can keep my hand dry. But what’s your jest?

SIR ANDREW

Well, I should hope so. I'm not such a fool that I can't keep my hand dry. But what's the joke?

MARIA

A dry jest, sir.

MARIA

Just some dry humor, sir.

SIR ANDREW

Are you full of them?

SIR ANDREW

Are you full of such jokes?

MARIA

Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers' ends. Marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.

MARIA

Yes, sir, I have a handful of them. Although now that I've let go of your hand, I've lost the biggest joke I had.

Exit

SIR TOBY BELCH

O knight, thou lackest a cup of canary. When did I see thee so put down?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Oh knight, you need some wine. Have you ever been put down like that before?

SIR ANDREW

Never in your life, I think, unless you see canary putme down. Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man has. But I am a great eaterof beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.

SIR ANDREW

Never, I think, except when I've been put down by too much wine. Sometimes I think I'm no smarter than a humble, ordinary man. But I eat a lot of beef, and maybe that hurts my intelligence.

SIR TOBY BELCH

No question.

SIR TOBY BELCH

There's no question about that.

SIR ANDREW

An I thought that, I’d forswear it. I’ll ride home tomorrow,Sir Toby.

SIR ANDREW

If I really thought that, I'd give up beef altogether. I think I'll ride home tomorrow, Sir Toby.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Pourquoi, my dear knight?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Pourquoi, my dear knight?

SIR ANDREW

What is “pourquoi”? Do, or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting. O, had I but followed the arts!

SIR ANDREW

What does "pourquoi" mean? Does it mean to do or not do? I wish I had spent more time learning languages instead of fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting. Oh, if I'd only studied more!

SIR TOBY BELCH

Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Then you would have an excellent head of hair.

SIR ANDREW

Why, would that have mended my hair?

SIR ANDREW

Why, would that have improved my hair?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Past question, for thou seest it will not curl by nature.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Certainly, for you can see that it won't curl naturally.

SIR ANDREW

But it becomes me well enough, does ’t not?

SIR ANDREW

But my hair still suits me well enough, doesn't it?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Excellent. It hangs like flax on a distaff. And I hopeto see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin it off.

SIR TOBY BELCH

It looks excellent. It hangs like flax waiting to be spun. And I hope to see some hussy take it between her legs and spin it off with a venereal disease.

SIR ANDREW

Faith, I’ll home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your niece will not be seen. Or if she be, it’s four to one she’ll none of me. The count himself here hard by woos her.

SIR ANDREW

Truly, I'm going home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your niece refuses to see anyone. Even if she did see me, chances are she'd reject me. The duke himself is courting her as hard as he can.

SIR TOBY BELCH

She’ll none o' the count. She’ll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit. I have heard her swear ’t . Tut, there’s life in ’t, man.

SIR TOBY BELCH

She'll reject the duke. She won't marry anyone who's above her social rank, her wealth, her age, or her intelligence—I've heard her swear this. So cheer up, you're still in the running, man.

SIR ANDREW

I’ll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o' th' strangest mind i' th' world. I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether.

SIR ANDREW

I'll stay a month longer then. I must be the strangest fellow on earth. Sometimes my greatest pleasures are masquerades, plays, and dancing.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Are you good at such trifles, knight?

SIR ANDREW

As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the degree of my betters. And yet I will not compare with anold man.

SIR ANDREW

As good as any man in Illyria, as long as he isn't better than I am. And yet I'm not as good as an experienced dancer.

SIR TOBY BELCH

What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?

SIR TOBY BELCH

How good are you at the fast dances, knight?

SIR ANDREW

Faith, I can cut a caper.

SIR ANDREW

Well, I can cut a caper.

SIR TOBY BELCH

And I can cut the mutton to ’t.

SIR TOBY BELCH

And I can cut the meat to go with your capers.

SIR ANDREW

And I think I have the back-trick simply as strong as any man in Illyria.

SIR ANDREW

And I think I can do that tricky backward step as well as any man in Illyria.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Wherefore are these things hid? Wherefore have these gifts a curtain before 'em? Are they like to take dust, like Mistress Mall’s picture? Why dost thou not go to church in a galliard and come home in a coranto? My verywalk should be a jig. I would not so much as make waterbut in a sink-a-pace. What dost thou mean? Is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the star ofa galliard.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Why do you keep these things hidden? Why do you keep your gifts behind a curtain? Are you afraid they'll get dusty, like some woman's portrait? Why don't you show off your skill by going to church dancing a galliard and coming home dancing a coranto? If I were you, even my walk would be a dance. I wouldn't even pee unless I was dancing at the same time. What do you mean by this? Is this a world where we should hide our virtues? I could always tell from your excellent legs that you were born under a dancing star.

SIR ANDREW

Ay, ’tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a dun-colored stock. Shall we set about some revels?

SIR ANDREW

Yes, my legs are strong, and they don't look bad in brown stockings. Should we have a little dance?

SIR TOBY BELCH

What shall we do else? Were we not born under Taurus?

SIR TOBY BELCH

What else are we going to do? Weren't we born under the sign of Taurus?

SIR ANDREW

Taurus! That’s sides and heart.

SIR ANDREW

Taurus! But that governs the torso and the heart.

SIR TOBY BELCH

No, sir, it is legs and thighs. Let me see the caper. [SIRANDREW dances] Ha, higher! Ha, ha, excellent!

SIR TOBY BELCH

No, sir, it governs the legs and the thighs. Let me see you dance. Ha, higher! Ha ha, excellent!

Sir Andrew dances.

Exeunt

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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.