A line-by-line translation

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Translation Act 3, Scene 4

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Enter OLIVIA and MARIA

OLIVIA

I have sent after him. He says he’ll come. How shall I feast him? What bestow of him? For youth is bought more oft than begged or borrow’d. I speak too loud. (to MARIA) Where’s Malvolio? He is sad and civil And suits well for a servant with my fortunes. Where is Malvolio?

OLIVIA

[To herself] I've sent for him. He says he'll come. What food should I give him? What gifts? For it's better to buy something than beg for it or borrow it—and it's the same with youth and love. But I'm speaking too loud.

[To MARIA] 
Where's Malvolio? He is very serious and solemn, which is appropriate for someone in mourning like I am. Where is Malvolio?

MARIA

He’s coming, madam; but in very strange manner. He is sure possessed, madam.

MARIA

He's coming, madam, but in a very strange manner. He seems crazy, madam.

OLIVIA

Why, what’s the matter? Does he rave?

OLIVIA

Why, what's the matter? Is he talking nonsense?

MARIA

No, madam, he does nothing but smile. Your ladyship were best to have some guard about you if he come, for sure the man is tainted in ’s wits.

MARIA

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OLIVIA

Go call him hither.

OLIVIA

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Exit MARIA

I am as mad as he, If sad and merry madness equal be.

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Enter MARIA, with MALVOLIO

How now, Malvolio?

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MALVOLIO

Sweet lady, ho, ho.

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Smilest thou? I sent for thee upon a sad occasion.

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

Sad, lady! I could be sad. This does make some obstruction in the blood, this cross-gartering, but whatof that? If it please the eye of one, it is with me as the very true sonnet is, “Please one, and please all.”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Why, how dost thou, man? What is the matter with thee?

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

Not black in my mind, though yellow in my legs. It did come to his hands, and commands shall be executed. I think we do know the sweet Roman hand.

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Wilt thou go to bed, Malvolio?

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

To bed? “Ay, sweetheart, and I’ll come to thee.”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

God comfort thee! Why dost thou smile so, and kiss thyhand so oft?

OLIVIA

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MARIA

How do you, Malvolio?

MARIA

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MALVOLIO

At your request! Yes, nightingales answer daws!

MALVOLIO

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MARIA

Why appear you with this ridiculous boldness before my lady?

MARIA

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MALVOLIO

“Be not afraid of greatness.” 'Twas well writ.

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

What meanest thou by that, Malvolio?

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

“Some are born great—”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Ha?

OLIVIA

Lorem

MALVOLIO

“Some achieve greatness—”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

What sayest thou?

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

“And some have greatness thrust upon them.”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Heaven restore thee!

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

“Remember who commended thy yellow stockings—”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Thy yellow stockings?

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

“And wished to see thee cross-gartered.”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Cross-gartered?

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

“Go to, thou art made, if thou desirest to be so—”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Am I made?

OLIVIA

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MALVOLIO

“If not, let me see thee a servant still.”

MALVOLIO

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OLIVIA

Why, this is very midsummer madness.

OLIVIA

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Enter SERVANT

SERVANT

Madam, the young gentleman of the Count Orsino’s is returned. I could hardly entreat him back. He attends your ladyship’s pleasure.

SERVANT

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OLIVIA

I’ll come to him.

OLIVIA

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Exit SERVANT

Good Maria, let this fellow be looked to. Where’s my cousin Toby? Let some of my people have a special care of him. I would not have him miscarry for the half of mydowry.

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Exeunt OLIVIA and MARIA

MALVOLIO

Oh, ho! Do you come near me now? No worse man than SirToby to look to me. This concurs directly with the letter. She sends him on purpose that I may appear stubborn to him, for she incites me to that in the letter. “Cast thy humble slough,” says she. “Be oppositewith a kinsman, surly with servants. Let thy tongue tang with arguments of state. Put thyself into the trickof singularity,” and consequently sets down the manner how: as, a sad face, a reverend carriage, a slow tongue,in the habit of some sir of note, and so forth. I have limed her, but it is Jove’s doing, and Jove make me thankful! And when she went away now, “Let this fellow be looked to.” “Fellow!” Not “Malvolio,” nor after my degree, but “fellow.” Why, everything adheres together, that no dram of a scruple, no scruple of a scruple, no obstacle, no incredulous or unsafe circumstance—what canbe said? Nothing that can be can come between me and the full prospect of my hopes. Well, Jove, not I, is thedoer of this, and he is to be thanked.

MALVOLIO

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Enter MARIA, with SIR TOBY BELCH and FABIAN

SIR TOBY BELCH

Which way is he, in the name of sanctity? If all the devils of hell be drawn in little, and Legion himself possessed him, yet I’ll speak to him.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

Here he is, here he is. How is’t with you, sir? How is’t with you, man?

FABIAN

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MALVOLIO

Go off, I discard you. Let me enjoy my private. Go off.

MALVOLIO

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MARIA

[t o SIR TOBY BELCH ] Lo, how hollow the fiend speaks within him! Did not I tell you? Sir Toby, my lady prays you to have a care of him.

MARIA

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MALVOLIO

Aha! Does she so?

MALVOLIO

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[t o FABIAN and MARIA ] Go to, go to! Peace, peace. We must deal gently with him. Let me alone. —How do you, Malvolio? How is ’t with you? What, man, defy the devil!Consider, he’s an enemy to mankind.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MALVOLIO

Do you know what you say?

MALVOLIO

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MARIA

[t o SIR TOBY BELCH ] La you, an you speak ill of the devil, how he takes it at heart! Pray God, he be not bewitched!

MARIA

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FABIAN

Carry his water to the wisewoman.

FABIAN

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MARIA

Marry, and it shall be done tomorrow morning if I live. My lady would not lose him for more than I’ll say.

MARIA

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MALVOLIO

How now, mistress?

MALVOLIO

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MARIA

O Lord!

MARIA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[t o MARIA ] Prithee, hold thy peace. This is not the way. Do you not see you move him? Let me alone with him.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

No way but gentleness, gently, gently. The fiend is rough and will not be roughly used.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[t o MALVOLIO ] Why, how now, my bawcock! How dost thou, chuck?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MALVOLIO

Sir!

MALVOLIO

Lore

SIR TOBY BELCH

Ay, Biddy, come with me. —What, man! 'Tis not for gravity to play at cherry-pit with Satan. Hang him, foulcollier!

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

Get him to say his prayers, good Sir Toby, get him to pray.

MARIA

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MALVOLIO

My prayers, minx?

MALVOLIO

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MARIA

[To SIR TOBY BELCH] No, I warrant you, he will not hear of godliness.

MARIA

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MALVOLIO

Go, hang yourselves all! You are idle, shallow things. I am not of your element. You shall know more hereafter.

MALVOLIO

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Exit

SIR TOBY BELCH

Is ’t possible?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

His very genius hath taken the infection of the device,man.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

Nay, pursue him now, lest the device take air and taint.

MARIA

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FABIAN

Why, we shall make him mad indeed.

FABIAN

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MARIA

The house will be the quieter.

MARIA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Come, we’ll have him in a dark room and bound. My nieceis already in the belief that he’s mad. We may carry itthus, for our pleasure and his penance, till our very pastime, tired out of breath, prompt us to have mercy onhim, at which time we will bring the device to the bar and crown thee for a finder of madmen. But see, but see!

SIR TOBY BELCH

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Enter SIR ANDREW

FABIAN

More matter for a May morning.

FABIAN

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SIR ANDREW

[presenting a paper] Here’s the challenge, read it. Warrant there’s vinegar and pepper in ’t.

SIR ANDREW

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FABIAN

Is ’t so saucy?

FABIAN

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SIR ANDREW

Ay, is ’t, I warrant him. Do but read.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Give me. [reads] “Youth, whatsoever thou art, thou art but a scurvy fellow.”

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

Good, and valiant.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[reads] “Wonder not, nor admire not in thy mind, why I do call thee so, for I will show thee no reason for ’t.”

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

A good note, that keeps you from the blow of the law.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

(reads) “Thou comest to the lady Olivia, and in my sight she uses thee kindly. But thou liest in thy throat. That is not the matter I challenge thee for.”

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

Very brief, and to exceeding good sense—less.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[reads] “I will waylay thee going home, where if it be thy chance to kill me—”

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

Good.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[reads] “Thou killest me like a rogue and a villain.”

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

Still you keep o' the windy side of the law. Good.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[reads] “Fare thee well, and God have mercy upon one of our souls. He may have mercy upon mine, but my hope is better, and so look to thyself. Thy friend, as thou usest him, and thy sworn enemy, Andrew Aguecheek” If this letter move him not, his legs cannot. I’ll give’t him.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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MARIA

You may have very fit occasion for ’t. He is now in some commerce with my lady and will by and by depart.

MARIA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Go, Sir Andrew. Scout me for him at the corner the orchard like a bum-baily. So soon as ever thou seest him, draw, and as thou drawest, swear horrible, for it comes to pass oft that a terrible oath, with a swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood more approbation than ever proof itself would have earned him. Away!

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

Nay, let me alone for swearing.

SIR ANDREW

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Exit

SIR TOBY BELCH

Now will not I deliver his letter, for the behavior of the young gentleman gives him out to be of good capacityand breeding. His employment between his lord and my niece confirms no less. Therefore this letter, being so excellently ignorant, will breed no terror in the youth. He will find it comes from a clodpole. But, sir, I willdeliver his challenge by word of mouth, set upon Aguecheek a notable report of valor, and drive the gentleman (as I know his youth will aptly receive it) into a most hideous opinion of his rage, skill, fury, and impetuosity. This will so fright them both that theywill kill one another by the look, like cockatrices.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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Enter OLIVIA, with VIOLA

FABIAN

Here he comes with your niece. Give them way till he take leave, and presently after him.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

I will meditate the while upon some horrid message for a challenge.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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Exeunt SIR TOBY BELCH, FABIAN, and MARIA

OLIVIA

I have said too much unto a heart of stone And laid mine honor too unchary on ’t. There’s something in me that reproves my fault, But such a headstrong potent fault it is That it but mocks reproof.

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

With the same 'havior that your passion bearsGoes on my master’s grief.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

Here, wear this jewel for me. 'Tis my picture. Refuse it not. It hath no tongue to vex you. And I beseech you come again tomorrow. What shall you ask of me that I’ll deny, That honor, saved, may upon asking give?

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

Nothing but this: your true love for my master.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

How with mine honor may I give him thatWhich I have given to you?

OLIVIA

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VIOLA

I will acquit you.

VIOLA

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OLIVIA

Well, come again tomorrow. Fare thee well.A fiend like thee might bear my soul to hell.

OLIVIA

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Exit

Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and FABIAN

SIR TOBY BELCH

Gentleman, God save thee.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

And you, sir.

VIOLA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

That defense thou hast, betake thee to ’t . Of what nature the wrongs are thou hast done him, I know not, but thy intercepter, full of despite, bloody as the hunter, attends thee at the orchard end. Dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skillful and deadly.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

You mistake, sir. I am sure no man hath any quarrel to me. My remembrance is very free and clear from any imageof offense done to any man.

VIOLA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

You’ll find it otherwise, I assure you. Therefore, if you hold your life at any price, betake you to your guard, for your opposite hath in him what youth, strength, skill, and wrath can furnish man withal.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

I pray you, sir, what is he?

VIOLA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

He is knight, dubbed with unhatched rapier and on carpet consideration, but he is a devil in private brawl. Souls and bodies hath he divorced three, and his incensement at this moment is so implacable that satisfaction can be none but by pangs of death and sepulchre. Hob, nob, is his word. “Give ’t or take ’t.”

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

I will return again into the house and desire some conduct of the lady. I am no fighter. I have heard of some kind of men that put quarrels purposely on others, to taste their valor. Belike this is a man of that quirk.

VIOLA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Sir, no. His indignation derives itself out of a very competent injury. Therefore get you on and give him his desire. Back you shall not to the house, unless you undertake that with me which with as much safety you might answer him. Therefore on, or strip your sword stark naked, for meddle you must, that’s certain, or forswear to wear iron about you.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

This is as uncivil as strange. I beseech you, do me this courteous office, as to know of the knight what my offense to him is. It is something of my negligence, nothing of my purpose.

VIOLA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

I will do so. Signior Fabian, stay you by this gentleman till my return.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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Exit

VIOLA

Pray you, sir, do you know of this matter?

VIOLA

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FABIAN

I know the knight is incensed against you, even to a mortal arbitrament, but nothing of the circumstance more.

FABIAN

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VIOLA

I beseech you, what manner of man is he?

VIOLA

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FABIAN

Nothing of that wonderful promise, to read him by his form, as you are like to find him in the proof of his valor. He is, indeed, sir, the most skillful, bloody, and fatal opposite that you could possibly have found inany part of Illyria. Will you walk towards him? I will make your peace with him if I can.

FABIAN

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VIOLA

I shall be much bound to you for ’t. I am one that hadrather go with sir priest than sir knight. I care not who knows so much of my mettle.

VIOLA

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Exeunt

Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, with SIR ANDREW

SIR TOBY BELCH

Why, man, he’s a very devil. I have not seen such a firago. I had a pass with him, rapier, scabbard, and all, and he gives me the stuck-in with such a mortal motion, that it is inevitable. And on the answer, he pays you as surely as your feet hit the ground they stepon. They say he has been fencer to the Sophy.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

Pox on ’t! I’ll not meddle with him.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Ay, but he will not now be pacified. Fabian can scarcehold him yonder.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

Plague on ’t, an I thought he had been valiant and so cunning in fence, I’d have seen him damned ere I’d have challenged him. Let him let the matter slip, and I’ll give him my horse, gray Capilet.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

I’ll make the motion. Stand here, make a good show on ’t. This shall end without the perdition of souls. [aside] Marry, I’ll ride your horse as well as I ride you.

SIR TOBY BELCH  

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Lorem ipsum
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Enter FABIAN and VIOLA

[To FABIAN ] I have his horse to take up the quarrel. Ihave persuaded him the youth’s a devil.

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FABIAN

He is as horribly conceited of him, and pants and lookspale, as if a bear were at his heels.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

(t o VIOLA ) There’s no remedy, sir; he will fight with you for ’s oath sake. Marry, he hath better bethought him of his quarrel, and he finds that now scarce to be worth talking of. Therefore, draw for the supportance ofhis vow. He protests he will not hurt you.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

[aside] Pray God defend me! A little thing would make me tell them how much I lack of a man.

VIOLA

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FABIAN

Give ground, if you see him furious.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Come, Sir Andrew, there’s no remedy. The gentleman will, for his honor’s sake, have one bout with you. He cannot by the duello avoid it. But he has promised me, as he is a gentleman and a soldier, he will not hurt you. Come on, to ’t.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

Pray God, he keep his oath!

SIR ANDREW

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VIOLA

I do assure you, ’tis against my will.

VIOLA

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They draw swords Enter ANTONIO

ANTONIO

Put up your sword. If this young gentleman Have done offence, I take the fault on me. If you offend him, I for him defy you.

ANTONIO

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SIR TOBY BELCH

You, sir? Why, what are you?

SIR TOBY BELCH

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ANTONIO

One, sir, that for his love dares yet do moreThan you have heard him brag to you he will.

ANTONIO

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Nay, if you be an undertaker, I am for you.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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They draw swords Enter OFFICERS

FABIAN

O good Sir Toby, hold! Here come the officers.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

[t o ANTONIO ] I’ll be with you anon.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

[t o ANDREW ] Pray, sir, put your sword up, if you please.

VIOLA

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SIR ANDREW

Marry, will I, sir. And for that I promised you, I’ll be as good as my word. He will bear you easily and reinswell.

SIR ANDREW

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FIRST OFFICER

This is the man. Do thy office.

FIRST OFFICER

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SECOND OFFICER

Antonio, I arrest thee at the suit of Count Orsino.

SECOND OFFICER

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ANTONIO

You do mistake me, sir.

ANTONIO

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FIRST OFFICER

No, sir, no jot. I know your favor well,Though now you have no sea-cap on your head.—Take him away. He knows I know him well.

FIRST OFFICER

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ANTONIO

I must obey. (t o VIOLA ) This comes with seeking you: But there’s no remedy. I shall answer it . What will you do, now my necessity Makes me to ask you for my purse? It grieves me Much more for what I cannot do for you Than what befalls myself. You stand amazed, But be of comfort.

ANTONIO

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SECOND OFFICER

Come, sir, away.

SECOND OFFICER

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ANTONIO

[t o VIOLA ] I must entreat of you some of that money.

ANTONIO

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VIOLA

What money, sir? For the fair kindness you have showed me here, And part being prompted by your present trouble, Out of my lean and low ability I’ll lend you something. My having is not much. I’ll make division of my present with you. Hold, there’s half my coffer. (offering him money)

VIOLA

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ANTONIO

Will you deny me now? Is ’t possible that my deserts to you Can lack persuasion? Do not tempt my misery, Lest that it make me so unsound a man As to upbraid you with those kindnesses That I have done for you.

ANTONIO

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VIOLA

I know of none, Nor know I you by voice or any feature. I hate ingratitude more in a man Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness, Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption Inhabits our frail blood—

VIOLA

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ANTONIO

O heavens themselves!

ANTONIO

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SECOND OFFICER

Come, sir, I pray you, go.

SECOND OFFICER

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ANTONIO

Let me speak a little. This youth that you see here I snatched one half out of the jaws of death, Relieved him with such sanctity of love, And to his image, which methought did promise Most venerable worth, did I devotion.

ANTONIO

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FIRST OFFICER

What’s that to us? The time goes by. Away!

FIRST OFFICER

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ANTONIO

But oh, how vile an idol proves this god! Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame. In nature there’s no blemish but the mind. None can be called deformed but the unkind. Virtue is beauty, but the beauteous evil Are empty trunks o'erflourished by the devil.

ANTONIO

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FIRST OFFICER

The man grows mad. Away with him. Come, come, sir.

FIRST OFFICER

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ANTONIO

Lead me on.

ANTONIO

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Exit with OFFICERS

VIOLA

Methinks his words do from such passion fly, That he believes himself. So do not I. Prove true, imagination, oh, prove true, That I, dear brother, be now ta'en for you!

VIOLA

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Come hither, knight. Come hither, Fabian. We’ll whispero'er a couplet or two of most sage saws.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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VIOLA

He named Sebastian. I my brother know Yet living in my glass. Even such and so In favor was my brother, and he went Still in this fashion, color, ornament, For him I imitate. Oh, if it prove, Tempests are kind and salt waves fresh in love!

VIOLA

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Exit

SIR TOBY BELCH

A very dishonest paltry boy, and more a coward than a hare. His dishonesty appears in leaving his friend here in necessity and denying him. And for his cowardship, ask Fabian.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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FABIAN

A coward, a most devout coward, religious in it.

FABIAN

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SIR ANDREW

'Slid, I’ll after him again and beat him.

SIR ANDREW

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SIR TOBY BELCH

Do, cuff him soundly, but never draw thy sword.

SIR TOBY BELCH

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SIR ANDREW

An I do not—

SIR ANDREW

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FABIAN

Come, let’s see the event.

FABIAN

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SIR TOBY BELCH

I dare lay any money ’twill be nothing yet.

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.