A line-by-line translation

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Translation Act 2, Scene 3

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Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and SIR ANDREW

SIR TOBY BELCH

Approach, Sir Andrew. Not to be abed after midnight is to be up betimes, and diluculo surgere, thou know’st,—

SIR TOBY BELCH

Come, Sir Andrew. To be still awake after midnight is to be up early in the morning, and you surely know that waking up at dawn is supposed to be healthy—

SIR ANDREW

Nay, my troth, I know not. But I know to be up late is to be up late.

SIR ANDREW

No, truly, I don't know. But I do know that to be up late is to be up late.

SIR TOBY BELCH

A false conclusion. I hate it as an unfilled can. To be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is early, sothat to go to bed after midnight is to go to bed betimes. Does not our life consist of the four elements?

SIR TOBY BELCH

A false conclusion. I hate your logic like I hate an empty wine goblet. To stay up past midnight means going to bed in the early morning, so therefore to stay up past midnight is to go to bed early. Doesn't life consist of the four elements—fire, water, earth, and air?

SIR ANDREW

Faith, so they say, but I think it rather consists of eating and drinking.

SIR ANDREW

Well, that's what they say, but I think life consists of eating and drinking.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Thou'rt a scholar. Let us therefore eat and drink. Marian,I say! A stoup of wine!

SIR TOBY BELCH

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Enter FOOL

SIR ANDREW

Here comes the fool, i' faith.

SIR ANDREW

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FOOL

How now, my hearts! Did you never see the picture of “WeThree”?

FOOL

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Welcome, ass. Now let’s have a catch.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast. I had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg, and so sweet a breath to sing, as the fool has.— [To th e FOOL ] In sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night when thou spokest of Pigrogromitus, of the Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus. 'Twas very good, i' faith. I sent thee sixpence for thy leman. Hadst it?

SIR ANDREW

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FOOL

I did impeticos thy gratillity, for Malvolio’s nose is no whipstock. My lady has a white hand, and the Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.

FOOL

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SIR ANDREW

Excellent! Why, this is the best fooling when all is done.Now, a song.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[giving money to th e FOOL ] Come on. There is sixpence for you. Let’s have a song.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

[giving money to the FOOL ] There’s a testril of me too. If one knight give a—

SIR ANDREW

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FOOL

Would you have a love song or a song of good life?

FOOL

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SIR TOBY BELCH

A love song, a love song.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

Ay, ay. I care not for good life.

SIR ANDREW

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FOOL

[sings] 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.

FOOL

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SIR ANDREW

Excellent good, i' faith.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Good, good.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FOOL

[sings] 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.

FOOL

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SIR ANDREW

A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

A contagious breath.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

Very sweet and contagious, i' faith.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

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 TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

An you love me, let’s do ’t. I am dog at a catch.

SIR ANDREW

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FOOL

By 'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.

FOOL

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SIR ANDREW

Most certain. Let our catch be “Thou Knave.”

SIR ANDREW

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FOOL

“Hold thy peace, thou knave,” knight? I shall be constrained in ’t to call thee knave, knight.

FOOL

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SIR ANDREW

'Tis not the first time I have constrained one to call me“knave.” Begin, Fool. It begins “Hold thy peace.”

SIR ANDREW

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FOOL

I shall never begin if I hold my peace.

FOOL

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SIR ANDREW

Good, i' faith. Come, begin.

SIR ANDREW

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They sing the catch

Enter MARIA

MARIA

What a caterwauling do you keep here! If my lady have not called up her steward Malvolio and bid him turn you out of doors, never trust me.

MARIA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

My lady’s a Cataian. We are politicians, Malvolio’s a Peg- a-Ramsey, and (sings) Three merry men be we. —Am notI consanguineous? Am I not of her blood? Tillyvally! “Lady”! ( sings) There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FOOL

Beshrew me, the knight’s in admirable fooling.

FOOL

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SIR ANDREW

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 ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

(sings) O' the twelfth day of December—

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

For the love o' God, peace!

MARIA

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Enter MALVOLIO

MALVOLIO

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 you make an alehouse of my lady’shouse, that you squeak out your coziers' catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?

MALVOLIO

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SIR TOBY BELCH

We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MALVOLIO

Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady bade me tell you, that, though she harbors you as her kinsman, she’s nothing allied to your disorders. If you can separate yourself and your misdemeanors, you are welcometo the house. If not, an it would please you to take leave of her, she is very willing to bid you farewell.

MALVOLIO

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SIR TOBY BELCH

(sings) Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

Nay, good Sir Toby.

MARIA

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FOOL

( sings ) His eyes do show his days are almost done.

FOOL

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MALVOLIO

Is ’t even so?

MALVOLIO

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SIR TOBY BELCH

( sings ) But I will never die.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FOOL

( sings ) Sir Toby, there you lie.

FOOL

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MALVOLIO

This is much credit to you.

MALVOLIO

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SIR TOBY BELCH

(sings) Shall I bid him go?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FOOL

(sings) What an if you do?

FOOL

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SIR TOBY BELCH

(sings) Shall I bid him go, and spare not?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FOOL

(sings) O no, no, no, no, you dare not.

FOOL

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Out o' tune, sir. You lie. Art any more than a steward? Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shallbe no more cakes and ale?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FOOL

Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i' the mouth too.

FOOL

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Thou'rt i' the right. Go, sir, rub your chain with crumbs. A stoup of wine, Maria!

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MALVOLIO

Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady’s favor at anything more than contempt, you would not give means for this uncivil rule. She shall know of it, by this hand.

MALVOLIO

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Exit

MARIA

Go shake your ears!

MARIA

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SIR ANDREW

'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 ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Do ’t, knight. I’ll write thee a challenge. Or I’ll deliver thy indignation to him by word of mouth.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight. Since the youthof the count’s was today with thy lady, she is much outof quiet. For Monsieur 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 liestraight in my bed. I know I can do it.

MARIA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Possess us, possess us, tell us something of him.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.

MARIA

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SIR ANDREW

O, if I thought that, I’d beat him like a dog!

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

What, for being a puritan? Thy exquisite reason, dear knight?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

I have no exquisite reason for ’t, but I have reason good enough.

SIR ANDREW

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MARIA

The devil a puritan that he is, or anything constantly,but a time-pleaser; an affectioned ass that cons state without book and utters it by great swarths; the best persuaded of himself, so crammed, as he thinks, with excellencies, that it is his grounds of faith that all that look on him love him. And on that vice in him will my revenge find notable cause to work.

MARIA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

What wilt thou do?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of love, wherein by the color 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 yourniece: on a forgotten matter we can hardly make distinction of our hands.

MARIA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Excellent! I smell a device.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

I have ’t in my nose too.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

He shall think, by the letters that thou wilt drop, that they come from my niece, and that she’s in love with him.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that color.

MARIA

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SIR ANDREW

And your horse now would make him an ass.

SIR ANDREW

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MARIA

Ass, I doubt not.

MARIA

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SIR ANDREW

Oh, ’twill be admirable!

SIR ANDREW

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MARIA

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 onthe event. Farewell.

MARIA

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Exit

SIR TOBY BELCH

Good night, Penthesilea.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

Before me, she’s a good wench.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

She’s a beagle, true-bred, and one that adores me. Whato' that?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

I was adored once too.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Let’s to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for more money.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way out.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Send for money, knight. If thou hast her not i' the end, call me “Cut.”

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

If I do not, never trust me, take it how you will.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Come, come, I’ll go burn some sack. 'Tis too late to goto bed now. Come, knight. Come, knight.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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Exeunt

Twelfth night
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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.