A line-by-line translation

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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Enter VIOLA, and the FOOL playing with a tabor

VIOLA

Save thee, friend, and thy music. Dost thou live by thytabour?

VIOLA

God bless you, friend, and your music. Do you make your living by playing your drum?

FOOL

No, sir, I live by the church.

FOOL

No, sir, I live by the church.

VIOLA

Art thou a churchman?

VIOLA

Are you a clergyman?

FOOL

No such matter, sir. I do live by the church; for I dolive at my house, and my house doth stand by the church.

FOOL

Not at all, sir. I live by the church because I live in my house, and my house is by the church.

VIOLA

So thou mayst say the king lies by a beggar if a beggardwell near him, or the church stands by thy tabor, if thy tabor stand by the church.

VIOLA

You may as well say then that the king sleeps with a beggar if a beggar lives near him, or that the church stands next to your drum if your drum stands next to the church.

FOOL

You have said, sir. To see this age! A sentence is buta cheveril glove to a good wit. How quickly the wrong side may be turned outward!

FOOL

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VIOLA

Nay, that’s certain. They that dally nicely with words may quickly make them wanton.

VIOLA

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FOOL

I would therefore my sister had no name, sir.

FOOL

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VIOLA

Why, man?

VIOLA

Lorem ips

FOOL

Why, sir, her name’s a word, and to dally with that word might make my sister wanton. But, indeed, words arevery rascals since bonds disgraced them.

FOOL

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VIOLA

Thy reason, man?

VIOLA

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FOOL

Troth, sir, I can yield you none without words, and words are grown so false, I am loath to prove reason with them.

FOOL

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VIOLA

I warrant thou art a merry fellow and carest for nothing.

VIOLA

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FOOL

Not so, sir, I do care for something. But in my conscience, sir, I do not care for you. If that be to care for nothing, sir, I would it would make you invisible.

FOOL

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VIOLA

Art not thou the Lady Olivia’s fool?

VIOLA

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FOOL

No, indeed, sir; the Lady Olivia has no folly. She willkeep no fool, sir, till she be married, and fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to herrings; the husband’s the bigger: I am indeed not her fool, but her corrupter of words.

FOOL

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VIOLA

I saw thee late at the Count Orsino’s.

VIOLA

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FOOL

Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun. It shines everywhere. I would be sorry, sir, but the fool should be as oft with your master as with my mistress: Ithink I saw your wisdom there.

FOOL

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VIOLA

Nay, an thou pass upon me, I’ll no more with thee. Hold, there’s expenses for thee.

VIOLA

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FOOL

Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send thee a beard!

FOOL

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VIOLA

By my troth, I’ll tell thee, I am almost sick for one, (aside] though I would not have it grow on my chin. [To fool] Is thy lady within?

VIOLA

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Lorem ipsum dLorem ipsum dolor sit a

FOOL

Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?

FOOL

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VIOLA

Yes, being kept together and put to use.

VIOLA

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FOOL

I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to bring aCressida to this Troilus.

FOOL

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VIOLA

[giving him money] I understand you, sir. 'Tis well begged.

VIOLA

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FOOL

The matter, I hope, is not great, sir, begging but a beggar. Cressida was a beggar. My lady is within, sir. Iwill construe to them whence you come. Who you are and what you would are out of my welkin, I might say “element,” but the word is overworn.

FOOL

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Exit

VIOLA

This fellow is wise enough to play the fool, And to do that well craves a kind of wit. He must observe their mood on whom he jests, The quality of persons, and the time, And, like the haggard, check at every feather That comes before his eye. This is a practise As full of labor as a wise man’s art, For folly that he wisely shows is fit. But wise men, folly-fall'n, quite taint their wit.

VIOLA

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Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, and SIR ANDREW

SIR TOBY BELCH

Save you, gentleman.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

And you, sir.

VIOLA

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SIR ANDREW

Dieu vous garde, monsieur.

SIR ANDREW

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VIOLA

Et vous aussi. Votre serviteur!

VIOLA

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SIR ANDREW

I hope, sir, you are, and I am yours.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Will you encounter the house? My niece is desirous you should enter, if your trade be to her.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

I am bound to your niece, sir. I mean, she is the list of my voyage.

VIOLA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Taste your legs, sir. Put them to motion.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

My legs do better understand me, sir, than I understandwhat you mean by bidding me taste my legs.

VIOLA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

I mean, to go, sir, to enter.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

I will answer you with gait and entrance. But we are prevented.

VIOLA

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Enter OLIVIA and MARIA

Most excellent accomplished lady, the heavens rain odors on you!

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SIR ANDREW

( aside ) That youth’s a rare courtier. “Rain odors.” Well.

SIR ANDREW

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VIOLA

My matter hath no voice, lady, but to your own most pregnant and vouchsafed ear.

VIOLA

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SIR ANDREW

[aside] “Odors,” “pregnant,” and “vouchsafed.” I’ll get'em all three all ready.

SIR ANDREW

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OLIVIA

Let the garden door be shut, and leave me to my hearing.

OLIVIA

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Exeunt SIR TOBY BELCH, SIR ANDREW, and MARIA

Give me your hand, sir.

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VIOLA

My duty, madam, and most humble service.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

What is your name?

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

Cesario is your servant’s name, fair princess.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

My servant, sir! 'Twas never merry world Since lowly feigning was call’d compliment. You’re servant to the Count Orsino, youth.

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

And he is yours, and his must needs be yours:Your servant’s servant is your servant, madam.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

For him, I think not on him. For his thoughts,Would they were blanks, rather than fill’d with me.

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughtsOn his behalf.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

O, by your leave, I pray you, I bade you never speak again of him. But, would you undertake another suit, I had rather hear you to solicit that Than music from the spheres.

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

Dear lady—

VIOLA

Lorem ipsu

OLIVIA

Give me leave, beseech you. I did send, After the last enchantment you did here, A ring in chase of you. So did I abuse Myself, my servant, and, I fear me, you: Under your hard construction must I sit, To force that on you, in a shameful cunning Which you knew none of yours. What might you think? Have you not set mine honor at the stake, And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving Enough is shown. A cypress, not a bosom, Hides my heart. So, let me hear you speak.

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

I pity you.

VIOLA

Lorem ipsum

OLIVIA

That’s a degree to love.

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

No, not a grize. For ’tis a vulgar proofThat very oft we pity enemies.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

Why then methinks ’tis time to smile again. O world, how apt the poor are to be proud! If one should be a prey, how much the better To fall before the lion than the wolf!

OLIVIA

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A cloud strikes.

The clock upbraids me with the waste of time. Be not afraid, good youth, I will not have you. And yet when wit and youth is come to harvest, Your wife is like to reap a proper man. There lies your way, due west.

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VIOLA

Then westward ho!Grace and good disposition attend your ladyship!You’ll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

Stay, I prithee, tell me what thou thinkest of me.

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

That you do think you are not what you are.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

If I think so, I think the same of you.

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

Then think you right: I am not what I am.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

I would you were as I would have you be!

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

Would it be better, madam, than I am? I wish it might, for now I am your fool.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

(aside] Oh, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful In the contempt and anger of his lip! A murderous guilt shows not itself more soon Than love that would seem hid. Love’s night is noon. [To VIOLA] Cesario, by the roses of the spring, By maidhood, honor, truth, and everything, I love thee so, that, maugre all thy pride, Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide. Do not extort thy reasons from this clause, For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause, But rather reason thus with reason fetter. Love sought is good, but given unsought better.

OLIVIA

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Lorem ipsu
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VIOLA

By innocence I swear, and by my youth I have one heart, one bosom, and one truth, And that no woman has, nor never none Shall mistress be of it, save I alone. And so adieu, good madam. Nevermore Will I my master’s tears to you deplore.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

Yet come again, for thou perhaps mayst move That heart, which now abhors, to like his love.

OLIVIA

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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.