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Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Translation Act 4, Scene 2

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Enter MARIA and FOOL

MARIA

Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard. Make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate. Do it quickly. I’ll call Sir Toby the whilst.

MARIA

No, I'm telling you, put on this robe and beard. Make him believe that you're Sir Topas the priest. Do it quickly. I'll call Sir Toby while you're getting dressed.

Exit

FOOL

Well, I’ll put it on, and I will dissemble myself in ’t, and I would I were the first that ever dissembled insuch a gown.

FOOL

Well, I'll put it on, and I'll disguise myself in it. If only I was the first person to play the hypocrite while wearing a priest's robe.

FOOL puts on gown and beard

I am not tall enough to become the function well, nor lean enough to be thought a good student, but to be saidan honest man and a good housekeeper goes as fairly as to say a careful man and a great scholar. The competitors enter.

I'm not tall enough to look like a real priest, nor skinny enough to look like a good student, but if you're known as an honest man and a good neighbor, then that's just as good as being dutiful and intelligent. Now here come my associates.

Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA

SIR TOBY BELCH

Jove bless thee, master Parson.

SIR TOBY BELCH

God bless you, Mr Priest.

FOOL

Bonos dies, Sir Toby. For, as the old hermit of Prague,that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King Gorboduc, “That that is is.” So I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson. For, what is “that” but“that,” and “is” but “is”?

FOOL

Bonos dies, Sir Toby. As the old hermit of Prague, who never learned to read or write, said very wittily to a niece of King Gorboduc, "That which is, is." So if I'm Mr. Priest, then I'm Mr. Priest. For doesn't "that" just mean "that," and isn't "is" just "is?"

SIR TOBY BELCH

To him, Sir Topas.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Go to him, Sir Topas.

FOOL

( disguising his voice ) What ho, I say! Peace in this prison!

FOOL

[Disguising his voice] What's going on, I say! Quiet in this prison!

SIR TOBY BELCH

The knave counterfeits well. A good knave.

SIR TOBY BELCH

The fool is good at acting. A good fool.

MALVOLIO

( from within ) Who calls there?

MALVOLIO

[From offstage] Who's that calling?

FOOL

Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio the lunatic.

FOOL

Sir Topas the priest, who is here to visit Malvolio the lunatic.

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to my lady—

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, please go to my lady—

FOOL

Out, hyperbolical fiend! How vexest thou this man! Talkest thou nothing but of ladies?

FOOL

Out, you enormous devil!  See how you're hurting this man! Can't you talk about anything but ladies?

SIR TOBY BELCH

( aside ) Well said, Master Parson.

SIR TOBY BELCH

[To himself] Well said, Mr. Priest.

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged. Good Sir Topas,do not think I am mad. They have laid me here in hideous darkness.

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas, no man has ever been as badly treated as I have been. Good Sir Topas, don't believe that I'm mad. They've left me here in this horrible darkness.

FOOL

Fie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee by the most modest terms, for I am one of those gentle ones that will use the devil himself with courtesy. Sayest thou that house is dark?

FOOL

Shame on you, dishonorable Satan! I address you with moderate language, for I'm one of those courteous people who will be polite even to the devil himself. Did you say that this house is dark?

MALVOLIO

As hell, Sir Topas.

MALVOLIO

Dark as hell, Sir Topas.

FOOL

Why, it hath bay windows transparent as barricadoes, and the clerestories toward the south-north are as lustrous as ebony. And yet complainest thou of obstruction?

FOOL

Why, it has bay windows as transparent as walls, and the upper windows facing toward the south-north are as clear as ebony. And you're complaining about darkness and a bad view?

MALVOLIO

I am not mad, Sir Topas. I say to you this house is dark.

MALVOLIO

I'm not crazy, Sir Topas. I tell you that this house is dark.

FOOL

Madman, thou errest. I say, there is no darkness but ignorance, in which thou art more puzzled than the Egyptians in their fog.

FOOL

You madman, you're wrong. I say that there's no darkness but ignorance, and you're more ignorant than the Egyptians during Moses' plague of fog.

MALVOLIO

I say, this house is as dark as ignorance, though ignorance were as dark as hell. And I say, there was never man thus abused. I am no more mad than you are. Make the trial of it in any constant question.

MALVOLIO

And I say that this house is as dark as ignorance, and ignorance is as dark as hell. And I say that no man has ever been abused like I've been. I'm no more crazy than you are. Ask me any question and I'll prove my sanity.

FOOL

What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wildfowl?

FOOL

What did the philosopher Pythagoras believe about wild birds?

MALVOLIO

That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird.

MALVOLIO

That our grandmother's soul could end up inhabiting a bird.

FOOL

What thinkest thou of his opinion?

FOOL

What do you think of his belief?

MALVOLIO

I think nobly of the soul, and no way approve his opinion.

MALVOLIO

I think that the soul is very noble, and I disagree with his belief.

FOOL

Fare thee well. Remain thou still in darkness. Thou shalt hold the opinion of Pythagoras ere I will allow ofthy wits, and fear to kill a woodcock lest thou dispossess the soul of thy grandam. Fare thee well.

FOOL

Farewell then. Remain in the darkness. I won't declare you sane until you agree with Pythagoras, and fear to kill a pigeon because it might have the soul of your grandmother. Farewell.

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas, Sir Topas!

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas, Sir Topas!

SIR TOBY BELCH

My most exquisite Sir Topas!

SIR TOBY BELCH

Perfect, Sir Topas!

FOOL

Nay, I am for all waters.

FOOL

Yes, I can play many parts.

MARIA

Thou mightst have done this without thy beard and gown.He sees thee not.

MARIA

You might have done this without the robe and beard. He never saw you.

SIR TOBY BELCH

To him in thine own voice, and bring me word how thou findest him. I would we were well rid of this knavery. If he may be conveniently delivered, I would he were, for I am now so far in offense with my niece that I cannot pursue with any safety this sport to the upshot. Come by and by to my chamber.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Go talk to him with your own voice, and tell me how he's feeling. I want this foolishness to be over soon. If we can conveniently let him go, I want to do it, for I'm now in so much trouble with my niece that I can't safely pursue this prank to its conclusion. Come to my room in a while.

Exeunt SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA

FOOL

[sings in his own voice] Hey, Robin, jolly Robin, Tell me how thy lady does.

FOOL

[Singing in his own voice]
Hey, Robin, jolly Robin,
Tell me how your lady is.

MALVOLIO

Fool!

MALVOLIO

Fool!

FOOL

(sings) My lady is unkind, perdy.

FOOL

[Singing] My lady is unkind indeed.

MALVOLIO

Fool!

MALVOLIO

Fool!

FOOL

(sings) Alas, why is she so?

FOOL

[Singing] Alas, why is she like this?

MALVOLIO

Fool, I say!

MALVOLIO

Fool, I say!

FOOL

(sings) She loves another—Who calls, ha?

FOOL

[Singing] She loves another man—Who's that shouting?

MALVOLIO

Good fool, as ever thou wilt deserve well at my hand, help me to a candle, and pen, ink, and paper. As I am a gentleman, I will live to be thankful to thee for ’t.

MALVOLIO

Good fool, I'll certainly reward you if you'll help me get a candle, a pen, ink, and paper. I swear on my word as a gentleman that I'll always be grateful to you for it.

FOOL

Master Malvolio?

FOOL

Master Malvolio?

MALVOLIO

Ay, good fool.

MALVOLIO

Yes, good fool.

FOOL

Alas, sir, how fell you besides your five wits?

FOOL

Alas, sir, how did you lose your sanity?

MALVOLIO

Fool, there was never a man so notoriously abused: I am as well in my wits, Fool, as thou art.

MALVOLIO

Fool, no one has ever been abused like I've been. I'm just as sane as you are, Fool.

FOOL

But as well? Then you are mad indeed, if you be no better in your wits than a fool.

FOOL

Just as sane as me? You must be crazy then, if you're no saner than a fool.

MALVOLIO

They have here propertied me, keep me in darkness, sendministers to me —asses!—and do all they can to face me out of my wits.

MALVOLIO

They've treated me like their property here, kept me in the darkness, sent their minions after me—those asses!—and done all they could to drive me insane by pretending I was insane. 

FOOL

Advise you what you say. The minister is here. [in the voice of Sir Topas] Malvolio, Malvolio, thy wits the heavens restore! Endeavor thyself to sleep, and leave thy vain bibble-babble.

FOOL

Be careful what you say. The priest is here. [In the voice of Sir Topas] Malvolio, Malvolio, may God restore your sanity! Try to sleep, and stop your silly babbling.

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas!

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas!

FOOL

[as Sir Topas] Maintain no words with him, good fellow. [in his own voice] Who, I, sir? Not I, sir. God b' wi' you, good Sir Topas. [as Sir Topas] Marry, amen. [in hisown voice] I will, sir, I will.

FOOL

[As Sir Topas] Don't try to talk to him, good fellow. [In his own voice] Who, me, sir? Not me, sir. God be with you, goodbye Sir Topas. [As Sir Topas] Amen. [In his own voice] Yes, sir, yes.

MALVOLIO

Fool, fool, fool, I say!

MALVOLIO

Fool, fool, fool, I say!

FOOL

Alas, sir, be patient. What say you sir? I am shent forspeaking to you.

FOOL

Alas, sir, be patient. What do you have to say, sir? I've just been scolded for speaking to you.

MALVOLIO

Good fool, help me to some light and some paper. I tellthee, I am as well in my wits as any man in Illyria.

MALVOLIO

Good fool, please help me find a candle and some paper. I tell you, I'm as sane as any man in Illyria.

FOOL

Well-a-day that you were, sir.

FOOL

If only you were, sir.

MALVOLIO

By this hand, I am. Good fool, some ink, paper, and light, and convey what I will set down to my lady. It shall advantage thee more than ever the bearing of letter did.

MALVOLIO

I swear by my own hand, I am. Good fool, bring me some ink, paper, and light, and then deliver the letter I'll write to my lady. You'll be better rewarded for delivering this letter than you've ever been rewarded before.

FOOL

I will help you to ’t. But tell me true, are you not mad indeed? Or do you but counterfeit?

FOOL

I'll help you. But tell me the truth, are you really not crazy? Or are you just acting?

MALVOLIO

Believe me, I am not. I tell thee true.

MALVOLIO

Believe me, I'm not crazy. I'm telling you the truth.

FOOL

Nay, I’ll ne'er believe a madman till I see his brains.I will fetch you light, and paper, and ink.

FOOL

No, I'll never believe a madman until he's dead and I can see his brains. But I'll bring you a candle, and paper, and ink.

MALVOLIO

Fool, I’ll requite it in the highest degree. I prithee,be gone.

MALVOLIO

Fool, I'll repay you for this many times over. Now please, go.

FOOL

[sings] I am gone, sir, And anon, sir, I’ll be with you again, In a trice, Like to the old Vice, Your need to sustain, Who, with dagger of lath In his rage and his wrath, Cries “Aha,” to the devil, Like a mad lad, “Pare thy nails, dad, Adieu, goodman devil.”

FOOL

[Singing]
I am going, sir,
But soon, sir,
I'll be with you again,
In just a moment,
Like the old Vice,
Who helps you in your time of need,
With a wooden dagger,
And his rage and wrath,
Who shouts "Aha" to the devil,
Like a mad boy,
Yelling "Trim your nails, dad,
And farewell, you peasant devil."

Exit

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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.