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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

You're a smart man. Let us eat and drink then. Maria, I say! Bring us a big mug of wine!

Enter FOOL

SIR ANDREW

Here comes the fool, i' faith.

SIR ANDREW

Here comes the fool, actually.

FOOL

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

FOOL

How's it going, my sweethearts! We are like that picture "We Three"—three fools together.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Welcome, ass. Now let’s have a catch.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Welcome, you jackass. Now sing us a song.

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

I swear, the fool has an excellent voice. I would give forty shillings to have legs like his and his beautiful singing voice. [To the FOOL] Truly, that was some elegant fooling last night when you spoke that astrological nonsense about Pigrogromitus, and the Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus. It was very funny, really. I sent you some money to spend on your sweetheart. Did you get it?

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

I put your little gift in my pocket, for Malvolio can't keep his nose out of anything. My lady has lovely white hands, and ancient warriors aren't low class taverns, you know.

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

Excellent! Why, this nonsense talk is the best kind of fooling when all's said and done. Now sing us a song.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

[Giving money to the FOOL] Come on. Here's sixpence for you. Let's have a song.

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

[Giving money to the FOOL] There's money from me too. If one knight gives a—

FOOL

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

FOOL

Do you want a love song or a drinking song?

SIR TOBY BELCH

A love song, a love song.

SIR TOBY BELCH

A love song, a love song.

SIR ANDREW

Ay, ay. I care not for good life.

SIR ANDREW

Yes, yes. I don't care about virtuous living.

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

[Singing]
Oh my mistress, where are you roaming?
Oh, stay and listen! Your true love's coming:
He can sing both high and low.
Travel no more, my pretty sweetheart.
Journeys end when lovers meet,
As every wise man's son should know.

SIR ANDREW

Excellent good, i' faith.

SIR ANDREW

That was excellent, truly.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Good, good.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Good, good.

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

[Singing]
What is love? It's not the future.
Joy in the present means present laughter.
What's to come is still unsure.
There's no reward for wasting time.
So come kiss me while you're sweet and twenty.
Youthful beauty will not endure.

SIR ANDREW

A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.

SIR ANDREW

A sweet voice if I ever heard one.

SIR TOBY BELCH

A contagious breath.

SIR TOBY BELCH

A catchy song.

SIR ANDREW

Very sweet and contagious, i' faith.

SIR ANDREW

Yes, both sweet and catchy, truly.

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

If we could hear with our noses, his plague-breath would be sweet indeed. But will we make the sky dance with our antics? Will we wake up the night owl and sing loud enough to make people pray? Will we?

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

If we're friends, let's do it. I am dog at singing catches.

FOOL

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

FOOL

We'll do it then—some dogs are good at playing catch.

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

Certainly. Let our catch be "You Villain."

FOOL

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

FOOL

You mean "Shut your mouth, you villain," right? If we sing that then I'll have to call you a villain, knight.

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

It won't be the first time someone has had to call me "villain." You begin, Fool. It begins, "Shut your mouth."

FOOL

I shall never begin if I hold my peace.

FOOL

I won't ever begin if I shut my mouth.

SIR ANDREW

Good, i' faith. Come, begin.

SIR ANDREW

That's a good one. But come on, begin.

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

What a racket you're making out here! My lady Olivia called up her steward Malvolio and told him to kick you out of the house—it's true.

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

My lady Olivia's a trickster, we are clever plotters, Malvolio's a loose woman, and [singing] We are three merry men. Aren't we related? I'm Olivia's uncle, right? Well la-dee-da! "Lady!" [singing]There lived a man in Babylon, lady, lady!

FOOL

Beshrew me, the knight’s in admirable fooling.

FOOL

My my, the knight's very good at playing the fool.

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

Yes, he's good enough when he feels like it, and I am too. He has more experience, but it comes to me naturally.

SIR TOBY BELCH

(sings) O' the twelfth day of December—

SIR TOBY BELCH

[Singing] On the twelfth day of December

MARIA

For the love o' God, peace!

MARIA

For the love of God, be quiet!

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

Masters, are you crazy? What's wrong with you? Have you no wit, manners, or honesty, that you're making such a racket at this time of night? Are you trying to turn my lady's house into a noisy tavern by singing these rowdy songs without bothering to lower your voices at all? Do you have no respect for people, this place, or this time of night?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

We did respect the time, sir, in the beat of our songs. So go hang yourself!

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

Sir Toby, I must be plain with you. My lady told me to tell you that she lets you stay here because you're her relative, but she doesn't approve of your disorderly behavior. If you can start cleaning yourself up, you are welcome to stay in the house, but if not, and you would prefer to leave, then my lady would be glad to bid you farewell.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

[Singing] Farewell, sweetheart, since I have to go now.

MARIA

Nay, good Sir Toby.

MARIA

No, good Sir Toby.

FOOL

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

FOOL

[Singing] His eyes do show that his life is almost over.

MALVOLIO

Is ’t even so?

MALVOLIO

Is this really happening?

SIR TOBY BELCH

( sings ) But I will never die.

SIR TOBY BELCH

[Singing] But I will never die.

FOOL

( sings ) Sir Toby, there you lie.

FOOL

[Singing] Sir Toby, that's a lie.

MALVOLIO

This is much credit to you.

MALVOLIO

This isn't helping your case.

SIR TOBY BELCH

(sings) Shall I bid him go?

SIR TOBY BELCH

[Singing] Should I tell him to go?

FOOL

(sings) What an if you do?

FOOL

[Singing] And what if you do?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

[Singing] Should I tell him to go, and not spare his feelings?

FOOL

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

FOOL

[Singing] Oh no, no, no, no, don't you dare.

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

You're out of tune, sir. You lie.

[To MALVOLIO]
 You're nothing more than a steward. Do you think that just because you are boring and virtuous, food and wine will disappear?

FOOL

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

FOOL

By Saint Anne, we'll have spiced ale too.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

You've got the right idea.

[To MALVOLIO]
 Go rub your steward's chain in some crumbs, sir. Maria, bring us more wine!

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

Miss Maria, if you care at all about Lady Olivia's approval, then you won't bring more wine and contribute to this boorish behavior. She'll hear about this—I'll tell her.

Exit

MARIA

Go shake your ears!

MARIA

Go wiggle your donkey's ears.

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

Making a fool out of that man would be as virtuous a deed as giving wine to the thirsty. I could challenge him to a duel and then not show up—that might work.

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

Do it, knight. I'll write a letter challenging him on your behalf. Or I'll tell him your insults myself.

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

Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight. Ever since the Duke's young messenger visited Lady Olivia, she's been in a strange mood. And as for Mister Malvolio, let me take care of him. If I can't trick him into making a fool of himself and turn him into a big joke, then I'm not even smart enough to lie straight in my bed. I know I can do it.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

Give us the facts, give us the facts—tell us something about him.

MARIA

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

MARIA

Well, sir, sometimes he acts like a Puritan—opposed to anything fun.

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

Oh, I'd beat him like a dog for that!

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

What, for being a Puritan? And what's your far-fetched reason for that, dear knight?

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

I don't have a far-fetched reason for it, but my reason is good enough.

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

He's not always a Puritan, though. He doesn't remain anything for long, except for a flatterer and a yes-man, an affected jackass who tries to talk like the nobility. He has such a high opinion of himself and thinks he's so crammed full of excellent qualities that he's sure everyone loves him. And that's the weakness that I'll use to get my revenge on him.

SIR TOBY BELCH

What wilt thou do?

SIR TOBY BELCH

What will you do?

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

I'll drop some mysterious love letters in his path. They'll describe the color of his beard, the shape of his legs, the way he walks, and the expression of his eyes, forehead, and complexion—so he'll be sure that they're addressed to him. I can make my handwriting look just like your niece Lady Olivia's. Sometimes we can't tell our writing apart.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Excellent! I smell a device.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Excellent! I can smell the trick.

SIR ANDREW

I have ’t in my nose too.

SIR ANDREW

I smell it too.

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

He'll think, based on the letters you drop, that they come from my niece, and assume that she's in love with him.

MARIA

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

MARIA

My purpose is indeed a horse of that color, so to speak.

SIR ANDREW

And your horse now would make him an ass.

SIR ANDREW

And your horse would now make him into a jackass.

MARIA

Ass, I doubt not.

MARIA

Yes, you jackass.

SIR ANDREW

Oh, ’twill be admirable!

SIR ANDREW

Oh, it's going to be great!

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

It will be royal fun, I promise you. I know my medicine will work on him. You two will hide, along with the Fool, in the place where I'll leave the letter. Then you can observe how he interprets it. But for tonight, it's time to go to bed and dream about this plan. Farewell.

Exit

SIR TOBY BELCH

Good night, Penthesilea.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Good night, queen of the Amazons.

SIR ANDREW

Before me, she’s a good wench.

SIR ANDREW

She's a good wench—I swear.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

She's a little purebred hunting hound, and she adores me. What of it?

SIR ANDREW

I was adored once too.

SIR ANDREW

Someone once adored me, too.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

Let's go to bed, knight. You need to send for some more money.

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

If I don't marry your niece, then I'm going to be in horrible financial trouble.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

Send for more money, knight. If you don't end up with her in the end, then I'm a fool.

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

If I don't, never trust me again—interpret that how you want to.

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

Come, come, I'll go warm up some sherry for us. It's too late to go to bed now. Come, knight. Come, knight.

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.