55 Twelfth Night: Act 2

William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night (Modern). Internet Shakespeare Editions. University of Victoria. Editors: David Carnegie and Mark Houlahan.

Scene 1

Enter Antonio[1] and Sebastian[2].

Will you stay[3] no longer? Nor will you not[4] that I go with you?

615By your patience[5], no. My stars shine darkly[6] over me. The malignancy[7] of my
fate might perhaps distemper[8] yours; therefore I shall crave of you your leave
that I may bear my evils[9] alone. It were a bad recompense for your love to
lay any of them on you.

Let me yet know of you whither you are bound.

No, sooth[10], sir. My determinate voyage is mere extravagancy[11]. But I perceive
in you so excellent a touch of modesty that you will not extort from me what
I am willing to keep in; therefore it charges me in manners the rather to
625express myself.[12] You must know of me then, Antonio, my name is Sebastian
(which I called Roderigo). My father was that Sebastian of Messaline[13][14] whom
I know you have heard of. He left behind him myself and a sister, both born
in an hour[15]. If the heavens had been pleased, would we had so ended! But
630you, sir, altered that, for some hour[16] before you took me from the breach[17] of
the sea was my sister drowned.

Alas the day!

A lady, sir, though it was said she much resembled me, was yet of many
635accounted beautiful. But though I could not with such estimable wonder[18]
overfar believe that, yet thus far I will boldly publish[19] her: she bore a mind
that envy could not but call fair. [Weeping] She is drowned already, sir, with
salt water, though I seem to drown her remembrance again with more[20].

Pardon me, sir, your bad entertainment[21].

O good Antonio, forgive me your trouble[22].

If you will not murder me for my love, let me be your servant[23].

645If you will not undo what you have done–that is, kill[24] him whom you have
recovered[25]–desire[26] it not. Fare ye well at once; my bosom is full of kindness[27],
and I am yet so near the manners of my mother[28] that upon the least occasion
more mine eyes will tell tales[29] of me. I am bound to the Count Orsino’s court;

The gentleness of all the gods go with thee!
I have many enemies in Orsino’s court,
Else would I very shortly see thee there.
But come what may, I do adore thee so
That danger shall seem sport, and I will go.
Exit [following Sebastian].

Scene 2

Enter Viola [as Cesario] and Malvolio [with the ring], at several[30] doors.

Were not you even now with the Countess Olivia?

660Even now, sir; on a moderate pace, I have since arrived but hither.

She returns this ring to you, sir. You might have saved me my pains to have
taken it away yourself. She adds, moreover, that you should put your lord
665into a desperate assurance[31] she will none of[32] him. And one thing more: that
you be never so hardy[33] to come again in his affairs, unless it be to report your
lord’s taking of this[34]. [Offering the ring] Receive it so[35].

She took the ring of me[36]; I’ll none of it.

670Come, sir, you peevishly threw it[37] to her; and her will is, it should be so
returned. [Throwing the ring down] If it be worth stooping for, there it lies,
in your eye[38]; if not, be it his that finds it.

[To the audience] [Picking up the ring] I left no ring with her. What means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside[39] have not charmed[40] her!
675She made good view of me; indeed so much
That methought[41] her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.[42]
She loves me, sure; the cunning[43] of her passion
Invites me in[44] this churlish messenger.
680None of my lord’s ring? Why, he sent her none;
I am the man[45]! If it be so, as ’tis,
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy[46] does much.
685How easy is it for the proper false[47]
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms.[48]
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we,
For such as we are made of, such we be[49].
How will this fadge[50]? My master loves her dearly,
690And I, poor monster[51], fond[52] as much on him,
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As[53] I am man,
My state is desperate[54] for my master’s love;
As[55] I am woman–now alas the day–
695What thriftless[56] sighs shall poor Olivia breathe?
O time, thou must untangle this, not I,
It is too hard a knot for me t’untie.

Scene 3

Enter Sir Toby and Sir Andrew.

700Sir Toby
Approach[57], Sir Andrew. Not to be abed after midnight, is to be up betimes[58];
and diluculo surgere[59], thou know’st.

Sir Andrew
Nay, by my troth, I know not; but I know to be up late is to be up late.

705Sir Toby
A false conclusion.[60]I hate it as an unfilled can[61]. To be up after midnight, and
to go to bed then, is early; so that to go to bed after midnight, is to go to bed
betimes. Does not our life consist of the four elements[62]?

710Sir Andrew
Faith, so they say, but I think it rather consists of eating and drinking.

Sir Toby
Th’art a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink. [Calling] Marian[63], I say, a
stoup[64] of wine!
Enter Clown.

715Sir Andrew
Here comes the fool, i’faith.

How now, my hearts! Did you never see the picture of “We Three”[65]?

Sir Toby
Welcome, ass. Now let’s have a catch[66].

Sir Andrew
720By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast[67]. I had rather than forty shillings[68]
I had such a leg[69], and so sweet a breath to sing, as the fool has. In sooth, thou
wast in very gracious fooling last night, when thou spok’st of Pigrogromitus,
of the Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus[70]. ‘Twas very good, i’faith. I
725sent thee sixpence[71] for thy leman[72]–hadst it?

I did impeticos[73] thy gratillity[74]: for Malvolio’s nose is no whipstock[75], my lady[76]
has a white hand, and the Myrmidons[77] are no bottle-ale houses[78].[79]

Sir Andrew
730Excellent! Why, this is the best fooling, when all is done. Now a song!

Sir Toby
[To Clown, giving money] Come on, there is sixpence for you. Let’s have a

Sir Andrew
[Giving sixpence] There’s a testril[80] of me too. If one knight give a–[81]

735Would you have a love song, or a song of good life[82]?

Sir Toby
A love song, a love song.

Sir Andrew
Ay, ay. I care not for good life.[83]
Clown sings.

O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
740O stay and hear, your true love’s coming,
That can sing both high and low.
Trip[84] no further, pretty sweeting,
Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Every wise man’s son[85] doth know.

745Sir Andrew
Excellent good, i’faith.

Sir Toby
Good, good.

What is love? ‘Tis not hereafter,
Present[86] mirth hath present laughter;
What’s to come is still[87] unsure.
750In delay there lies no plenty,
Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty[88];
Youth’s a stuff will not endure.[89]

Sir Andrew
A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.

Sir Toby
A contagious[90] breath.

755Sir Andrew
Very sweet and contagious, i’faith.

Sir Toby
To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion. But shall we make the welkin[91]
dance indeed? Shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch that will draw three
souls out of one weaver[92]? Shall we do that?

760Sir Andrew
An[93] you love me, let’s do’t! I am dog at[94] a catch.

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

Sir Andrew
Most certain. Let our catch be “Thou Knave.”[95]

765“Hold thy peace, thou knave,” knight? I shall be constrained[96] in’t to call thee
knave, knight.

Sir Andrew
‘Tis not the first time I have constrained one to call me knave. Begin, fool. It
begins, [Singing] “Hold thy peace.”

I shall never begin if I hold my peace.[97]

Sir Andrew
Good, i’faith! Come, begin.
Catch sung.[98]
770Enter Maria[99] [interrupting the song].

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.

Sir Toby
775My lady’s[100] a Cathayan[101], we are politicians[102], Malvolio’s a Peg-a-Ramsay[103], and
[Singing] “Three merry men[104] be we”! Am not I consanguineous[105]? Am I not of
her blood? Tilly-vally[106], lady[107]! [Singing] “There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady,

Beshrew me[109], the knight’s in admirable fooling.

Sir Andrew
780Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed, and so do I too[110]. He does it with a
better grace, but I do it more natural[111].

Sir Toby
[Singing] “O’the twelfth day[112] of December–”

For the love o’god, peace!
Enter Malvolio.[113]

My masters, are you mad! Or what are you? Have you no wit[114], manners, nor
honesty, but to gabble like tinkers[115] at this time of night? Do ye make an
alehouse of my lady’s house, that ye squeak out your coziers’ catches[116]
790without any mitigation or remorse[117] of voice? Is there no respect of place,
persons, nor time in you?

Sir Toby
We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up![118]

Sir Toby, I must be round[119] with you. My lady bade me tell you that, though
she harbors[120] you as her kinsman, she’s nothing allied[121] to your disorders. If you
795can separate yourself and your misdemeanors, you are welcome to the
house. If not, an[122] it would please you to take leave of her, she is very willing
to bid you farewell.

Sir Toby
[Singing] [To Maria] “Farewell, dear heart[123], since I must needs be gone.”

Nay, good Sir Toby.

[Singing] [Indicating Sir Toby] “His eyes do show his days are almost

Is’t even so?

Sir Toby
[Singing] “But I will never die.”

[Singing] Sir Toby, there you lie.[124]

This is much credit to you.

805Sir Toby
[Singing] [Indicating Malvolio] “Shall I bid him go?”

[Singing] “What an[125] if you do?”

Sir Toby
“Shall I bid him go, and spare not?”

“O no, no, no, no, you dare not!”

Sir Toby
810[To Malvolio] Out o’tune[126], sir? Ye lie! Art any more than a steward? Dost
thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more cakes and ale[127]?

Yes, by Saint Anne[128], and ginger[129] shall be hot i’th’mouth too.[130]

Sir Toby
815Th’art i’th’right. [To Malvolio] Go, sir, rub your chain with crumbs[131]. A stoup
of wine[132], Maria!

Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady’s favor at anything more than
contempt, you would not give means[133] for this uncivil rule[134]. She shall know of
it, by this hand.

Go shake your ears![135]

Sir Andrew
‘Twere as good a deed as to drink when a man’s a-hungry[136], to challenge him
the field, and then to break promise with him, and make a fool[137] of him.

Sir Toby
825Do’t, knight. I’ll write thee a challenge; or I’ll deliver thy indignation to him
by word of mouth.

Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight. Since the youth of the count’s was
today with my lady, she is much out of quiet. For Monsieur[138] Malvolio, let me
830alone with him. If I do not gull[139] him into a nayword[140], and make him a
common recreation[141], do not think I have wit enough to lie straight in my bed.
I know I can do it.

Sir Toby
Possess us[142], possess us, tell us something of him.

Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan[143].

Sir Andrew
Oh, if I thought that, I’d beat him like a dog!

835Sir Toby
What, for being a puritan? Thy exquisite[144] reason, dear knight?

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

840The devil a puritan that he is, or anything constantly[145] but a time-pleaser[146], an
affectioned[147] ass, that cons[148] state[149] without book, and utters it by great swaths[150].
The best persuaded[151] of himself, so crammed, as he thinks, with excellencies,
that it is his grounds[152] of faith that all that look on him love him; and on that
845vice in him will my revenge find notable cause to work.

Sir Toby
What wilt thou do?

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[153] of his
850eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find himself most feelingly
personated[154]. I can write very like my lady your niece; on a forgotten matter
we can hardly make distinction of our hands.[155]

Sir Toby
Excellent, I smell a device.[156]

855Sir Andrew
I have’t in my nose too.

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

My purpose is indeed a horse of that color.

860Sir Andrew
And your horse now would make him an ass.

Ass[157], I doubt not.

Sir Andrew
Oh, ’twill be admirable!

Sport royal, I warrant you. I know my physic[158] will work with him. I will
865plant you two, and let the fool make a third[159], where he shall find the letter.
Observe his construction[160] of it. For this night, to bed[161], and dream on the
event[162]. Farewell.

Sir Toby
Good night, Penthesilea[163]!

Sir Andrew
Before me[164], she’s a good wench.

870Sir Toby
She’s a beagle[165] true bred, and one that adores me. What o’that?

Sir Andrew
I was adored once[166], too.

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

875Sir Andrew
If I cannot recover[167] your niece, I am a foul way out[168].

Sir Toby
Send for money, knight. If thou hast her not i’th’end, call me cut[169].

Sir Andrew
If I do not, never trust me, take it how you will[170].

880Sir Toby
Come, come, I’ll go burn some sack[171]; ’tis too late to go to bed now. Come,
knight, come, knight.

Scene 4

Enter Orsino, Viola [as Cesario], Curio, and others.

[To the Musicians] Give me some music. [To the Courtiers] Now good morrow, friends;
885Now, good Cesario–but that piece of song,[173]
That old and antique[174] song we heard last night;
Methought it did relieve my passion[175] much,
More than light airs and recollected terms[176]
Of these most brisk and giddy-pacèd[177] times.
890Come, but one verse.

He is not here, so please your lordship, that
should sing it.

Who was it?

895Feste[178] the jester, my lord, a fool that the Lady Olivia’s father took much
delight in. He is about the house.

Seek him out, [To the Musicians] and play the tune the while.
[Exit Curio.]
Music plays.[179]
Come hither[180], boy. If ever thou shalt love,
900In the sweet pangs of it, remember me.
For such as I am, all true lovers are:
Unstaid and skittish[181] in all motions[182] else,
Save in the constant image of the creature
That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?

It gives a very echo[183] to the seat
Where love is throned.

Thou dost speak masterly;
My life upon’t, young though thou art, thine eye
Hath stayed upon some favor[184] that it loves.
910Hath it not, boy?

A little, by your favor[185].

What kind of woman is’t?

Of your complexion[186].

She is not worth thee then. What years, i’faith?

About your years, my lord.

Too old, by heaven! Let still the woman take
An elder than her self; so wears she[187] to him,
So sways she level[188] in her husband’s heart.
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
920Our fancies[189] are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn[190],
Than women’s are.

I think it well[191], my lord.

Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
925Or thy affection cannot hold the bent[192];
For women are as roses, whose fair flower[193]
Being[194] once displayed[195], doth fall that very hour.

And so they are. Alas, that they are so:
To die, even[196] when they to perfection grow.
930Enter Curio and Clown.

Oh, fellow, come, the song we had last night.
Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
The spinsters[197] and the knitters in the sun,
And the free[198] maids that weave their thread with bones[199],
935Do use[200] to chant it. It is silly sooth[201],
And dallies[202] with the innocence of love,
Like the old age[203].

Are you ready, sir?[204]

Ay[205], prithee sing. Music.[206]
940The Song.[207]

Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress[208] let me be laid.
Fie away[209], fie away, breath,
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
945My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O prepare it.
My part of death no one so true
Did share it.[210]
Not a flower[211], not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strewn.
Not a friend, not a friend greet
950My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand, thousand sighs to save,
Lay me O where
Sad true lover never find[212] my grave,
To weep there.

[Giving money] There’s for thy pains.

No pains, sir; I take pleasure in singing, sir.

I’ll pay thy pleasure then.

Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid[213], one time or another.

Give me now leave to leave[214] thee.

960Now the melancholy god[215] protect thee, and the tailor make thy doublet of
changeable taffeta[216], for thy mind is a very opal[217]. I would have men of such
constancy put to sea, that their business might be everything, and their intent
everywhere; for that’s it that always makes a good voyage of nothing[218].

Let all the rest give place.
[All the Courtiers except Viola stand apart.]
Once more, Cesario,
Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty.
Tell her my love, more noble than the world[219],
Prizes not quantity of dirty lands;
The parts[220] that Fortune hath bestowed upon her,
970Tell her I hold as giddily[221] as Fortune;
But ’tis that miracle and queen of gems[222]
That Nature pranks[223] her in, attracts my soul.

But if she cannot love you, sir?

I cannot[224] be so answered.

Sooth, but you must.
Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
Hath for your love as great a pang of heart
As you have for Olivia. You cannot love her.
You tell her so. Must she not then be answered?

There is no woman’s sides
Can bide[225] the beating of so strong a passion
As love doth give my heart; no woman’s heart
So big, to hold so much. They lack retention[226].
Alas, their love may be called appetite,
985No motion of the liver, but the palate,
That suffers surfeit, cloyment, and revolt[227];
But mine is all as hungry as the sea,
And can digest as much. Make no compare
Between that love a woman can bear me,
990And that I owe[228] Olivia.

Ay, but I know[229]

What dost thou know?

Too well what love women to men may owe.
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
995My father had a daughter loved a man
As it might be perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.

And what’s her history?

A blank[230], my lord. She never told[231] her love,
1000But let concealment like a worm i’th’bud
Feed on her damask[232] cheek. She pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy[233]
She sat like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief.[234] Was not this love indeed?
1005We men may say more, swear more, but indeed
Our shows are more than will[235]: for still[236] we prove
Much in our vows, but little in our love.

But died thy sister of her love, my boy?

I am all the daughters of my father’s house,
1010And all the brothers too; and yet I know not–[237]
Sir, shall I to this lady?

Ay, that’s the theme.
To her in haste; [Giving a jewel] give her this jewel[238]; say
My love can give no place[239], bide no denay[240].
Exeunt [Viola a different way].

Scene 5

Enter Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian[241].

Sir Toby
Come thy ways[242], Signor Fabian.

Nay[243], I’ll come! If I lose a scruple[244] of this sport, let me be boiled to death with

1020Sir Toby
Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly[246] rascally sheep-biter[247] come by
some notable shame?

I would exult, man! You know he brought me out o’favor with my lady,
about a bear-baiting[248] here.

Sir Toby
1025To anger him we’ll have the bear again, and we will fool him black and
blue[249]–shall we not, Sir Andrew?

Sir Andrew
An[250] we do not, it is pity of our lives[251].
Enter Maria [with a letter].

Sir Toby
1030Here comes the little villain[252]! How now, my metal of India[253]?

Get ye all three into the box-tree[254]. Malvolio’s coming down this walk; he has
been yonder i’the sun practicing behavior to his own shadow this half hour.
1035Observe him, for the love of mockery, for I know this letter will make a
contemplative idiot of him. Close[255], in the name of jesting! [The men hide.]
Lie thou there; [Placing the letter on the stage] for here comes the trout that
must be caught with tickling[256].
Enter Malvolio.

1040[To the audience] ‘Tis but fortune[257], all is fortune. Maria once told me she[258] did
affect[259] me, and I have heard herself[260] come thus near, that should she fancy[261], it
should be one of my complexion[262]. Besides, she uses me with a more exalted
respect than anyone else that follows her[263]. What should I think on’t? [He
struts about the stage.]

1045Sir Toby
[Aside to Sir Andrew and Fabian] [and the audience.] Here’s an overweening

[Aside] Oh, peace! Contemplation[265] makes a rare turkey-cock[266] of him; how he
jets[267] under his advanced[268] plumes!

Sir Andrew
[Aside] ‘Slight[269], I could so beat the rogue!

Sir Toby[270]
[Aside] Peace, I say!

To be Count Malvolio!

Sir Toby
[Aside] Ah, rogue!

Sir Andrew
[Aside] Pistol[271] him, pistol him!

Sir Toby
[Aside] Peace, peace!

1055There is example for’t: the Lady of the Strachy married the yeoman of the

Sir Andrew
[Aside] Fie on him, Jezebel[274]!

[Aside] Oh, peace, now he’s deeply in[275]. Look how imagination blows[276] him.

1060Having been three months married to her, sitting in my state–[277]

Sir Toby
[Aside] Oh, for a stone-bow[278] to hit him in the eye!

–calling my officers about me, in my branched[279] velvet gown[280], having come
from a day-bed[281], where I have left Olivia sleeping–

1065Sir Toby
[Aside] Fire and brimstone!

[Aside] Oh, peace, peace!

–and then to have the humor of state[282], and after a demure travel of regard–[283]
telling them I know my place, as I would they should do theirs–to ask for
1070my kinsman Toby[284].

Sir Toby
[Aside] Bolts[285] and shackles!

[Aside] Oh, peace, peace, peace! [Malvolio walks near the letter.] Now,

Seven of my people, with an obedient start[287], make out[288] for him. I frown the
1075while, and perchance wind up my watch[289], or play with my–[290][Realizing he is
playing with his steward’s chain] some rich jewel. Toby approaches; curtsies[291]
there to me–

Sir Toby
[Aside] Shall this fellow live!

[Aside] Though our silence be drawn from us with cars[292], yet peace!

–I extend my hand to him, thus[293]; quenching my familiar[294] smile with an
austere regard of control–[295]

Sir Toby[296]
[Aside] And does not Toby take[297] you a blow o’the lips then?

1085–saying, “Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on your niece give me
this prerogative of speech–”

Sir Toby
[Aside] What, what!

“–you must amend your drunkenness.”

Sir Toby
[Aside] Out, scab[298]!

1090[Aside] Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot!

“Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with a foolish knight–”

Sir Andrew
[Aside] That’s me, I warrant you.

“–one Sir Andrew.”

1095Sir Andrew
[Aside] I knew ’twas I, for many do call me fool.

[Seeing and then taking up the letter] What employment[299] have we here?

[Aside] Now is the woodcock[300] near the gin[301].

Sir Toby
[Aside] Oh, peace, and the spirit of humors intimate reading aloud[302] to him.

[To the audience, as he examines the outside of the letter] By my life, this is
my lady’s hand: these be her very C’s, her U’s, and her T’s[303], and thus makes
she her great P’s[304]. It is, in contempt of question[305], her hand.

Sir Andrew
[Aside] Her C’s, her U’s, and her T’s–why that?[306]

“To the unknown belovèd, this, and my good wishes.”
1105Her very phrases! [Starting to break the seal] By your leave, wax[307].
[Pausing] Soft![308] And the impressure her Lucrece[309], with which she uses to
seal[310]. ‘Tis my lady! To whom should this be?
[He breaks the seal and opens the letter.]

[Aside] This wins him, liver and all[311].

“Jove knows I love,
But who?
Lips, do not move,
1110No man must know.”
“No man must know.” What follows? The numbers[312] altered. “No man must
know.” If this should be thee, Malvolio!

Sir Toby
[Aside] Marry, hang thee, brock[313]!

“I may command, where I adore,
1115But silence, like a Lucrece knife[314],
With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore;
M.O.A.I.[315] doth sway my life.”

[Aside] A fustian[316] riddle.

Sir Toby
[Aside] Excellent wench, say I.

“M.O.A.I. doth sway my life.” Nay, but first let me see, let me see, let me see.

[Aside] What dish o’poison has she dressed[317] him!

Sir Toby
[Aside] And with what wing[318] the staniel[319] checks at[320] it!

1125“I may command, where I adore.” Why, she may command me: I serve her,
she is my lady. Why, this is evident to any formal capacity.[321] There is no
obstruction[322] in this. And the end–what should that alphabetical position[323]
portend? If I could make that resemble something in me! Softly. “M.O.A.I.”[324]

1130Sir Toby
[Aside] Oh, ay,[325] make up[326] that! He is now at a cold scent.[327]

[Aside] Sowter will cry upon’t for all this, though it be as rank as a fox.[328]

“M.” Malvolio! “M,” why that begins my name!

1135[Aside] Did not I say he would work it out? The cur is excellent at faults.[329]

“M.” But then there is no consonancy in the sequel. That suffers under
probation[330]: “A” should follow, but “O” does.

[Aside] And “O” shall end[331], I hope.

1140Sir Toby
[Aside] Ay, or I’ll cudgel him, and make him cry “O”!

And then “I” comes behind.

[Aside] Ay, an you had any eye[332] behind you, you might see more detraction[333]
at your heels than fortunes before you.

“M.O.A.I.” This simulation[334] is not as the former; and yet to crush this a little,
it would bow to me, for every one of these letters are in my name. Soft, here
follows prose.

“If this fall into thy hand, revolve[335]. In my stars[336] I am above thee, but be
1150not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrust upon ’em. Thy fates open their hands,[337]
let thy blood and spirit[338] embrace them; and to inure[339] thyself to what thou
art like to be, cast thy humble slough[340], and appear fresh. Be opposite[341]
1155with a kinsman, surly with servants; let thy tongue tang arguments of
state[342]; put thyself into the trick of singularity[343]. She thus advises thee, that
sighs for thee. Remember who commended thy yellow stockings[344], and
1160wished to see thee ever cross-gartered[345]. I say remember. Go to[346], thou art
made[347] if thou desir’st to be so. If not, let me see thee a steward still[348], the
fellow of servants, and not worthy to touch Fortune’s fingers. Farewell.
She that would alter services[349] with thee,
The Fortunate-Unhappy.”

1165Daylight and champaign[350] discovers[351] not more! This is open[352]. I will[353] be proud, I
will read politic authors[354], I will baffle[355] Sir Toby, I will wash off gross
acquaintance, I will be point-device[356] the very man. I do not now fool myself,
to let imagination jade[357] me; for every reason excites to[358] this, that my lady
1170loves me. She did commend my yellow stockings of late, she did praise my
leg being cross-gartered, and in this she manifests herself to my love, and
with a kind of injunction drives me to these habits[359] of her liking. I thank my
stars, I am happy[360]. I will be strange, stout[361], in yellow stockings, and cross-
1175gartered, even with the swiftness of putting on. Jove[362] and my stars be
praised! Here is yet a postscript. [Reading]

“Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou entertain’st[363] my
love, let it appear in thy smiling; thy smiles become thee well.
Therefore in my presence still[364] smile, dear my sweet, I prithee.”

1180Jove, I thank thee. I will smile[365], I will do everything that thou[366] wilt have me.

I will not give my part of this sport for a pension[367] of thousands to be paid
from the Sophy[368].

Sir Toby
I could marry this wench for this device–

1185Sir Andrew
So could I too.

Sir Toby
–and ask no other dowry with her, but such another jest.

Sir Andrew
Nor I neither.
Enter Maria.

Here comes my noble gull-catcher[369].

Sir Toby
[Abasing himself on the stage] Wilt thou set thy foot o’my neck?[370]

Sir Andrew
[Following suit as Sir Toby rises] Or o’mine either?

Sir Toby
Shall I play[371] my freedom at tray-trip[372], and become thy bondslave?

1195Sir Andrew
I’faith, or I either?

Sir Toby
Why, thou hast put him in such a dream that when the image of it leaves him
he must run mad.

Nay, but say true, does it work upon him?

Sir Toby
Like aqua-vitae[373] with a midwife.

If you will then see the fruits of the sport, mark his first approach before my
lady. He will come to her in yellow stockings, and ’tis a color she abhors,
and cross-gartered, a fashion she detests; and he will smile upon her, which
1205will now be so unsuitable to her disposition, being addicted to a melancholy
as she is, that it cannot but turn him into a notable contempt[374]. If you will see
it, follow me.

Sir Toby
To the gates of Tartarus[375], thou most excellent devil of wit!
[Exit following Maria.]

1210Sir Andrew
I’ll make one too.[376]
[Exit following them both.]

  1. Antonio's profession, as with the Captain who rescued Viola, will be evident from his costume, probably including the "sea-cap" he later discards. Antonio's "sea-cap" may have been in early productions a round brimless "Monmouth" cap. Some modern productions have, probably as on the Elizabethan stage, furnished him with a mariner's knife. See note to TLN 1847.
  2. Sebastian will be instantly identifiable because his clothes (and in some productions, physical appearance and hair) are identical to Viola's (see TLN 1900-1905 and note).
  3. As we learn later (TLN 2228-2249), Antonio has rescued Sebastian and looked after him. This scene, unlike 1.2, is not "as from a shipwreck."
  4. Do you not wish
  5. If you will be so indulgent
  6. Ominously.
  7. Evil influence. An astrological term linked to "stars" in the previous line, and with a sense of virulence related to "distemper" in the next.
  8. Infect.
  9. Misfortunes.
  10. (in) truth, really.
  11. Planned travel is just to wander.
  12. I observe in you so much politeness that you will not try to force from me what I wish to keep hidden; therefore good manners require me the more to reveal who I am.
  13. Evidently a personage of high standing, whose children can eventually marry a duke and a countess (see TLN 2430, "right noble is his blood"). In a recent Australian production, Antonio dropped his knife in shock.
  14. Geographically unknown. Possibly Marseilles, Messina, or Mytilene. In Plautus' comedy Menaechmi, the inhabitants of Marseilles and Illyria are mentioned together: "Massilienses, Hilurios."
  15. At the same time.
  16. About an hour.
  17. Breaking waves, surf.
  18. Admiring judgement. Sebastian modestly downplays his own good looks.
  19. Proclaim.
  20. i.e. more salt water (tears).
  21. Poor hospitality (see note to TLN 612).
  22. The inconvenience I have put you to.
  23. The social gulf between them is fully established; see note to TLN 626.
  24. Intensity of feeling becomes elaborate courtesy as each claims he will die unless he can be of service to the other.
  25. Rescued, restored to life.
  26. Request.
  27. Tenderness.
  28. Womanly readiness to cry.
  29. Betray (by crying, as at TLN 639).
  30. Separate (two different stage doors). Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century editors altered this to have Malvolio enter following Viola, which satisfies realist logic; but Shakespeare's purpose here is evidently to emphasize them meeting. There is no basis for thinking that Shakespeare intended either Malvolio or the audience to be confused by an overlap of Sebastian's and Viola's (identically costumed) exit and entry, though some productions have sought thematic resonance in this way.
  31. Certainty beyond hope.
  32. Have nothing to do with.
  33. Bold.
  34. i.e. this message.
  35. On this basis (i.e. understanding the message).
  36. Viola quick-wittedly covers for Olivia.
  37. This is embroidery; Malvolio's capacity for fancy will be his undoing.
  38. View, sight.
  39. Appearance.
  40. Enchanted (see TLN 1325).
  41. The line is one syllable short of regular meter. Some editors suggest a word has been lost after "That," such as "straight," "sure" or "as."
  42. I.e. looking at Viola distracted her from coherent speech.
  43. Craftiness.
  44. Solicits me by means of.
  45. i.e. whom she loves.
  46. Inventive quick-witted devil.
  47. Handsome deceivers (men, or in this case, Viola).
  48. To impress their (handsome) images into women's receptive affections (as a seal imprints itself in soft wax).
  49. Since women are made of weak material, it is not our fault we are weak.
  50. Turn out.
  51. Because both "man" (TLN 692) and "woman" (TLN 694).
  52. Dote.
  53. Because, insomuch as.
  54. Hopeless.
  55. Because, insomuch as.
  56. Unprofitable.
  57. Sir Toby evidently enters first. Sir Andrew may lag because, e.g., he is drunk, or until the coast is clear. Sir Toby is probably carrying a candle or lantern to signify night-time. The absence of his boots will help indicate that this is an indoor scene at home.
  58. Early (see next note).
  59. "T'arise betime in the morning" (is the most wholesome thing in the world). So William Lily's Latin grammar, known to every Elizabethan schoolboy (except Sir Andrew; see his next speech).
  60. Faulty logic. Sir Toby develops a syllogism that plays on "be up" as (a) not yet in bed, and (b) arisen from bed, in order to prove ("conclude") that going to bed after midnight is early.
  61. Empty drinking vessel. In production, Sir Toby is sometimes looking sadly at his own.
  62. i.e. fire, air, water, earth, thought to be the basic components of all matter, including the human body ("our life").
  63. A diminutive form of Mary or Maria.
  64. A large tankard, usually about a quart (approx. 1 litre).
  65. A picture or inn sign showing two fools or asses. The riddling caption can only be solved by the spectator admitting to being the third. The Clown thus identifies the knights as fools like him, and Sir Toby responds in kind with "Welcome, ass." Robert Armin, the Clown in Shakespeare's company, played Feste, a "fool natural" (i.e., someone mentally subnormal from birth; see note to TLN 296) who is a jester or "allowed fool." The traditional fool's costume is motley: parti-colored garments in contrasting colors, probably gaskins and doublet or short coat. The coat was often of extravagant cut (sometimes with four sleeves), usually with bells at the elbows. The most instantly recognizable feature was the fool's cap. This originated in the medieval cowl or hood (see TLN 347–348, 'cucullus non facit monachum'), to which were added ass's ears (often with bells at the end) or a representation of a cock's head. Sometimes both features were found together, and sometimes the cock's head was reduced to just the comb (hence "coxcomb" for a fool), or simply to a conical hat with a bell on the end. Armin may have carried a bauble, which might be a bladder on a stick (a comic club, like a child's balloon now), or a truncheon, slapstick, wooden dagger or the like, or a "marotte." The marotte was a short stick with a carved image of the fool's head, complete with fool's cap, on it, allowing a fool to carry on a mock dialogue with himself as represented by the marotte. His arrival will almost certainly be accompanied by the jingling of bells on his costume and hat. Many of these features, including a marotte, can be seen in the painting "We Three."
  66. Round, popular song with successive overlapping of parts. See TLN 769.
  67. Singing voice.
  68. Two pounds sterling.
  69. Although this could simply refer to the Clown's well-turned leg, more likely it indicates that he dances ("leg" a metonym for dancing) as well as sings, or possibly that he bows ("makes a leg") before or after his songs.
  70. Probably invented mock-astronomy; compare TLN 329. ("Queubus" is pronounced "queue-bus," possibly based on "cube.")
  71. A small silver coin worth half a shilling, and commonly used as a tip.
  72. Sweetheart, lover.
  73. A burlesque word, like much of the nonsense which follows, it suggests pocketing the money in a petticoat. Since Robert Armin as the Clown was unlikely in this play to wear the long, full-skirted coat of a "natural fool", which might suggest petticoats (see note to TLN 296), the word may be a joke on his wide "gaskins" (TLN 319). See David Wiles, Shakespeare's Clown (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), pp. 187–8.
  74. Another burlesque word, suggesting "little gratuity."
  75. Handle of a whip.
  76. Olivia (not his "leman").
  77. The personal troops of the Homeric warrior Achilles.
  78. Perhaps (a) low taverns selling mere bottled ale, or (b) establishments selling bottled ale for consumption at the theatre or elsewhere.
  79. "For" suggests a logical proof, but what follows is Pigrogromical. "All one can usefully say is that the reference to Malvolio is derogatory, the reference to Olivia is complimentary, and the reference to the Myrmidons is pure nonsense" (Arden 2). Arden 3 takes "for" not as introducing a syllogism, but as the Clown's justifying of pocketing the sixpence for himself instead of giving it to his sweetheart, "for" neither Malvolio nor Olivia gives him any money. This seems strained, since Sir Andrew gave the money to the Clown for him to spend.
  80. Sixpence. Actually a debased silver coin originally worth a shilling, a "tester" or "teston". In production, Sir Toby may obtain the money from Sir Andrew.
  81. Folio's lack of punctuation at the end of the line of type may indicate that part of the speech was accidentally omitted. Presuming interruption (as Folio 2) is the best we can do, and plays well.
  82. Probably "a drinking song," but Sir Andrew misunderstands as a moral song or hymn.
  83. Whichever meaning of "good life" Sir Andrew understands (see previous note), the comment is sadly preposterous.
  84. Tread nimbly, skip, dance (hence "go, run").
  85. i.e. fool ("a wise man commonly has foolish children"; proverbial).
  86. Immediate (in occurrence and effect).
  87. Always.
  88. Dear one, twenty times dear (or possibly "you darling twenty-year-old"; compare modern "sweet sixteen").
  89. The words of this song, which reiterate the Clown's advice to Olivia that "beauty's a flower" (TLN 343-344), are probably Shakespeare's, sung to a popular tune.
  90. Infectious, noxious. Although Sir Toby may be quibbling elaborately on "catching" (modern "catchy"), more likely he is leading Sir Andrew into his usual tendency to agree with everything, then emphasising the incongruity of the metaphor by extending the medical sense of infection ("by the nose").
  91. Sky, heavens (compare TLN 1269).
  92. Music was said to "hale souls out of men's bodies" (Ado TLN 894-896) with ecstasy, but to draw three souls from one man would be a triumph. Weavers were known for singing as they worked, but Calvinist psalms rather than catches.
  93. If.
  94. Good at (proverbial).
  95. Each of the three singers in turn tells another to be silent ("hold thy peace"), and calls him a knave.
  96. Forced.
  97. In a recent New Zealand production, the Clown remained silent until Sir Andrew finally got the joke.
  98. In performance, the singing is likely to be rowdy ("caterwauling," TLN 771), and may include much stage business. Some effort may be required from Maria to make herself noticed or heard when she enters.
  99. She probably carries a candle, and may well appear "as from bed," i.e. in her shift.
  100. he meanings of the terms in this speech are much debated. All three are generally pejorative at this time, so the intention may be to reject Maria's criticism by inflating it to a ludicrous degree ("Olivia is a foreign barbarian, we are dangerous intriguers, and Malvolio is the naughty woman of a popular song").
  101. A person from China (Cathay). The connotations of the term are not certain, but it sometimes indicated untrustworthiness (compare MWW TLN 682-683, "I will not believe such a Cathayan though the priest o'th' town commended him for a true man").
  102. Amoral intriguers.
  103. A popular tune, and probably a ribald reference to the Peggy of the title.
  104. The final phrase of what was evidently a very popular song. Sir Toby completes his refutation of Maria by restarting the singing and dancing of the three "merry men."
  105. "of her blood," kin. "It is a word that is usefully tricky for a drunk to pronounce" (Oxford).
  106. Expression of contempt; "fiddle-faddle."
  107. Probably addressed to Maria. Often put in quotation marks by editors to suggest a contemptuous repetition of Maria's formal reference to "my lady"; but more likely addressed to Maria. Sir Toby's drunken foolery may already be meandering into the associations of "lady," and the snatch of song which follows.
  108. The opening line and refrain of a popular song, here chosen by Sir Toby for the reiteration of "Lady."
  109. Curse me (a mild oath).
  110. The first of many comic/pathetic "me too"-isms.
  111. (a) naturally, (b, unintended by Sir Andrew) like a "natural" or idiot (compare TLN 145). This interchange about Sir Toby implies they are watching him (as, probably, he dances with Maria).
  112. No music has been certainly identified. Modern performances tend to use the carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
  113. He probably carries a candle (see notes to TLN 700, 770). Maria's previous line may be motivated by seeing Malvolio earlier than this. In one modern production he had a large flashlight which he shone directly in the revellers' faces, like a threatening policeman.
  114. Decency.
  115. Often vagrants, with a reputation for drunken singing.
  116. Cobblers' round songs. Compare "tinkers" (TLN 787) and "weaver" (TLN 759).
  117. Considerate lowering (of volume).
  118. Go hang (yourself).
  119. Plain-spoken, blunt.
  120. Provides lodging.
  121. In no way related, not kin.
  122. If.
  123. Sir Toby and the Clown improvise on a popular song to make its words apply to the situation with Malvolio.
  124. In some productions Sir Toby lies on the stage in mock death, in addition to telling an untruth about being immortal, but there is a danger of breaking the musical rhythm of the exchange.
  125. A metrical filler, anticipating and emphasising "if."
  126. (a) musically off pitch, (b) out of order or harmony. Given Sir Toby's earlier quibble with Malvolio (TLN 791), Theobald's emendation of "tune" to "time" may be correct; it would be an easy misreading in Secretary hand.
  127. Traditional at church festivals, disapproved of by puritans.
  128. Mother of the Virgin Mary; because she is not a biblical figure, this oath was particularly repugnant to puritans.
  129. Used to spice ale, but also regarded as an aphrodisiac.
  130. Many editors introduce an exit for the Clown here, because (a) Maria's reference at TLN 864-865 may imply that he is no longer present, and (b) he has no more lines. However, there is no reason for him to leave at this point, and Sir Toby responds to him before turning on Malvolio. He may simply sit observing; in some productions he collapses into drunken sleep (in one, revealing in the process Maria hidden under his Christmas tree fancy dress).
  131. i.e. polish your steward's insignia (which Malvolio may be wearing). He is being reminded of his subordinate position.
  132. Sir Toby not only defies Malvolio, but puts Maria on the spot; stage business sometimes makes clear her choice.
  133. i.e. wine.
  134. Disorderly conduct.
  135. A contemptuous dismissal, proverbially implying someone is an ass. The line is usually directed at Malvolio's just-departed back, since Maria wishes the others to be "patient for tonight" (TLN 826).
  136. This addition makes nonsense of the proverbial "as good a deed as to drink."
  137. By challenging Malvolio to a duel, then dishonorably failing to show up, Sir Andrew would be the "fool."
  138. A mocking use of the French form of address, here equivalent to "his high and mightiness." Compare Ralph Roister Doister 4.8, "monsieur grand captain."
  139. Trick.
  140. Byword (for foolishness).
  141. Source of general amusement.
  142. Put us in possession (of your scheme). On stage the scene usually becomes conspiratorial at this point, away from the exit Malvolio used, and with lowered voices.
  143. An extreme protestant, morally strict. Maria here ("sometimes," "a kind of") and at TLN 839-840 makes clear that Malvolio is not simply or entirely a puritan.
  144. Ingeniously devised.
  145. Consistently.
  146. Time-server.
  147. Affected.
  148. Learns by heart ("without book").
  149. Matter appropriate to high rank.
  150. The wide sweeps covered by the swing of the scythe.
  151. Having the highest opinion.
  152. Foundation (of all that he believes in).
  153. Expression.
  154. Justly or vividly described.
  155. When we no longer remember which of us wrote something, it is almost impossible to tell by the handwriting.
  156. Sense a stratagem.
  157. Maria repeats the punchline of this rare example of Sir Andrew's wit so that she can address him as "Ass," or for a pun on "As."
  158. Medicine (to purge Malvolio of conceit).
  159. It is not clear whether the Clown is present now, nor why he is, in the event, replaced by Fabian. See note to TLN 813.
  160. Construing, interpretation.
  161. Maria's prime purpose is to stop them partying (in the Armfield film she takes their gin bottle away). In some productions, however, Sir Toby takes "bed" as an invitation, which Maria has to gently put aside with "and dream on the event"; in the Nunn film, Maria means it as an invitation, but Sir Toby refuses, preferring to drink with Sir Andrew.
  162. Outcome.
  163. Queen of the warrior Amazon women (joking again about Maria's small stature).
  164. A mild oath that substitutes "me" for "God."
  165. A small breed of hound (perhaps loyal, perhaps "on the scent" of Malvolio).
  166. This unexpected glimpse of Sir Andrew's unlikely past is usually both comic and, after a pause, poignant. Alternatively, it may be another "me-too"-ism, even resentful.
  167. Obtain (and thereby retrieve expenses).
  168. Either (a) grievously out of pocket, or (b) lost in my purpose.
  169. Proverbial abuse: a "cut" is a curtal, a horse with its tail docked (cut short). Possibly also a cut (gelded) horse. Compare TLN 1100-1103, and Falstaff's "spit in my face, call me horse" (1H4 TLN 1153).
  170. A typically confused complication by Sir Andrew; this defiance makes no sense when Sir Toby has already given permission.
  171. Mull some wine. Sack was Spanish or Canary (see TLN 196-197); the name seems to mean dry (French sec), but it was described as a sweet wine. In England, sugar (and probably spices) were often added at the time of drinking, but the precise preparation and heating of "burnt sack" is unknown.
  172. If the Clown has not left earlier (see note to TLN 813 and TLN 865), he has to exit here. In a New Zealand production the knights were leaving, singing "Three Merry Men" again, but drunkenly realized they were one short; they returned to rouse the Clown from his stupor. Sometimes he observes the knights exit, then leaves a different way.
  173. Orsino apparently commands music, greets his attendant lords, Cesario particularly, then returns his attention direct to the musicians. Orsino is not asking Cesario to sing. Punctuation in Folio leaves some uncertainty about the intention of the lines and staging. Orsino may direct the musicians indirectly by instructing Curio. It is possible, however, that "friends" is to the musicians; and also possible that Orsino singles out Cesario to discuss "but [= only] that piece of song."
  174. Old, quaint (at the time pronounced and often spelled "antic").
  175. Love suffering
  176. Frivolous tunes and artificial phrases. Orsino instead wants an "antique" folk song, "old and plain" (TLN 932).
  177. Smart and whirling, frivolous.
  178. The only mention of the Clown's name.
  179. There is no SD for the music to stop, although there is a renewed direction for the musicians to play at TLN 939. Clearly a production decision is needed.
  180. As at TLN 261, Viola's special attraction for Orsino is emphasized by their spatial separation from the other courtiers.
  181. Capricious; unregulated and frivolous.
  182. Impulses, emotions.
  183. Returns an exact reflection (to the heart, "the seat / Where love in throned"; see note to TLN 43-45).
  184. Face.
  185. If you please (with the hidden sense of "like your face").
  186. (a) coloring, (b) temperament.
  187. She adapts (like clothes to the wearer).
  188. She adjusts to (him). There may be a pun on "sway" as "rule, exert influence," since "level" includes a sense of equality, but probably not on "swings in perfect balance" (so Donno).
  189. Affections (compare TLN 18-19).
  190. Worn out. Some editors suppose a misreading of "won," arguing that the inconstant man's love is lost to one woman and quickly won by another.
  191. The irony of her agreement will be understood by both Viola and the audience.
  192. Maintain its intensity (a metaphor from archery of a bow retaining its springiness).
  193. Elided to one syllable for the meter, and to rhyme with "hour."
  194. Elided to one syllable for the meter.
  195. (a) unfolded, (b) open to view.
  196. Just. Again the audience knows, with Viola, that her response to Orsino is rich in irony. Actors might elide "even" into one syllable for the meter.
  197. Spinners (nearly always female, whence the modern usage).
  198. Innocent, unconstrained.
  199. Make lace with bone bobbins.
  200. Have the custom.
  201. Simple truth.
  202. Speaks, plays (amorously).
  203. i.e. golden age, olden times of ideal pastoral innocence and virtue.
  204. In performance, the Clown sometimes asks this with heavy irony, thus lightly drawing attention to Orsino's intense involvement with Viola.
  205. Since this is spelled "I" in Folio, it is possible that Orsino does not reply to the Clown, but simply says "I pray you to sing."
  206. The stage direction implies the theatre musicians (see note to TLN 898), although in modern productions the Clown often accompanies himself.
  207. Probably an old song, but no music survives. The stage focus throughout this song is usually on the reaction to it of Viola and Orsino as they listen together.
  208. i.e. coffin of cypress wood (associated, like "yew," TLN 945, with mourning).
  209. i.e. begone. Earlier editors often emended unnecessarily to "fly away."
  210. No one as faithful (as I) has ever shared my allotted portion, death.
  211. The meter requires elision to "flow'r" both times, as at TLN 926.
  212. i.e. will never find.
  213. i.e. paid for with pain (proverbial).
  214. A courteous and witty dismissal.
  215. Saturn (the planet ruling those of a melancholy disposition).
  216. Shot silk ("changeable"--like a lover--when viewed from different angles, because the warp and woof are of different colors).
  217. A semiprecious stone whose color changes with differences in light and angle of view (compare previous note).
  218. I.e. men of no fixed purpose should be sea-faring merchants, so that either (a) they will get some pleasure from wasting their time (compare the proverb, "He that is everywhere is nowhere"), or (b) by being all over the place, they can be opportunistic and make a profit where none was expected.
  219. Society (with worldly values).
  220. Possessions.
  221. Lightly (as the fickle goddess Fortune).
  222. Her beauty (or more generally, her being, which is an enduring gift of Nature rather than a temporary whim of Fortune).
  223. Adorns.
  224. Folio's "It cannot" (= your suit cannot) makes sense in Orsino's half-line, but matches neither Viola's reply "you must," nor "Must she not" at TLN 979.
  225. Endure, bear.
  226. Power to retain (a physiological metaphor, as becomes clearer in the lines following).
  227. Mere appetite, not a true emotion of the liver (one of the seats of love; see note to TLN 43), just a greedy taste which is sated and sickened by excess.
  228. Have for. See also TLN 993.
  229. It is a production decision whether Viola stops herself just in time, or is cut off by Orsino.
  230. (a) a void, (b) a vacant space yet to be filled in (i.e. a "history" not yet complete).
  231. i.e. told of.
  232. Allowed secrecy, like an insect larva (cankerworm) in a rosebud, to eat away at her healthy pink cheek. A "damask" is a pink and white rose; compare TLN 530, and AYL TLN 1897, "Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask."
  233. Love sickness (specifically chlorosis, a form of anaemia in teenage girls which gives a greenish tinge to the skin, and was thought to result from love melancholy; and pale or jaundiced skin).
  234. Like an allegorical statue of Patience. Patience (Patientia) is one of the seven heavenly virtues in Christian thinking, closely associated (and sometimes conflated or confused) with Fortitude. Viola here personifies her, just as she appears in art and emblem books; an elaborate iconography usually signals her emblematic role as suffering with great endurance. The "monument" is sometimes a squared plinth, sometimes simply a rock, on which she sits or leans, and to which she is often chained. Sometimes she bears a symbolic yoke of oppression on her shoulders, or thorns under her bare feet. The difficulties facing her are sometimes more general, such as the grotesquely deformed and frightening world surrounding her in "Patience," created by the artist Pieter Breugel the Elder as part of his sixteenth-century depiction of "The Seven Virtues." A more brutally political and military set of horrors to be endured is depicted in Hans Collaert's engraving "The Spanish Fury," in which Catholic Spanish troops in the Netherlands are sacking Antwerp. Patience sits with great forbearance as slaughter and flames engulf her. She is, as often in the iconography, holding a cross. In (Pericles, the king says of his long-lost daughter, "thou dost look / Like Patience smiling on kings' graves, and smiling / Extremity out of act" (5.1.137–9).
  235. Our displays are greater than our passions.
  236. Always.
  237. This riddling culmination of her indirect love scene with Orsino offers many options to the actor of Viola, including cheerful obscurity, melancholy for Sebastian, uncertainty about his survival or her own best course of action, or such intense emotional or even erotic engagement with Orsino that a reassertion of her disguise role and a deflection of subject become essential.
  238. Probably a ring or pendant; but Olivia's ring is the subject at Viola's next meeting with her. See also note to TLN 1297-1298.
  239. Cede no priority (to anyone or anything else).
  240. Denial, refusal. The older spelling retains the rhyme for the final couplet of the scene.
  241. For Fabian replacing the Clown, compare TLN 864-865.
  242. Come along. Evidently Sir Toby enters before this new character.
  243. An intensifier, like modern "don't worry."
  244. Tiniest portion (literally, a very small unit of measurement of weight--20 grains--or of time).
  245. A double joke, since (a) melancholy was a cold humor, and (b) "boil" was pronounced "bile," and black bile was thought to be the source of melancholy.
  246. Mean.
  247. Literally, a dog that savages sheep, but generally used of a malicious or sneaking fellow. The term also occurs in attacks on puritans as hypocrites, possibly linked to the sense of "woman hunter" (since mutton was slang for whore).
  248. A sport particularly condemned by puritans (compare previous note and TLN 833).
  249. i.e. he will be bruised by their planned foolery.
  250. If.
  251. We do not deserve to live.
  252. Playful abuse, and another reference to Maria's small size.
  253. (a)gold, (b) mettle, spirit.
  254. I.e. box, a small evergreen tree or shrub much used for ornamental garden hedges, and, in its dwarf variety, for borders. Although Elizabethan theatre companies did have property trees for a few plays, and stage posts, this hedge may be imaginary in performance.
  255. An urgent command to keep close, hide (pronounced with "s," not "z," sound). The hiding may be real, or stage convention; see note to TLN 1031.
  256. Trout in shallow water can be caught by "tickling," i.e. gently stroking the belly until the fish can be hooked out by the gills with thumb and fingers. Hence a proverbial image of flattery and gulling.
  257. Malvolio is indulging a fantasy of a higher life if Fortune were less fickle.
  258. i.e. Olivia.
  259. Feel fond of.
  260. She, Olivia.
  261. Fall in love (but see note to TLN 18-19).
  262. Coloring (probably not "temperament" as at TLN 913).
  263. Is in her service.
  264. Neither this nor the subsequent interjections are heard by Malvolio, but this need not mean they are quiet.
  265. Meditation, thought (compare TLN 1035).
  266. Proverbially vain. Compare H5 TLN 2912-2913, "swelling like a turkey-cock."
  267. Struts.
  268. Raised, displayed.
  269. By God's light (an oath).
  270. Here and at TLN 53 some editors have argued that Folio's speech prefix "To." must be a misreading of "Fa." because Fabian elsewhere restrains the others from giving themselves away. But Sir Toby's inconsistency adds to the humor; and although T and F could easily be confused in Secretary hand, speech prefixes were often in an Italian hand.
  271. Shoot (with a pistol).
  272. A subordinate who looks after the clothes in a great household.
  273. i.e. a woman of high birth married a social inferior. Attempts to identify a historical lady called, or from, Strachy, and a specific yeoman, have not been persuasive.
  274. A biblical example of shamelessness. Only Sir Andrew might fail to realize he is speaking of a woman, the wicked wife of King Ahab (2 Kings 9: 30-7).
  275. Absorbed.
  276. Inflates, puffs up.
  277. Throne (canopied with the cloth of state). Possibly Fabian's previous speech is a result of Malvolio sitting on a stool to act out his idea of a count on a throne. A state may have been on stage for earlier scenes with Orsino and Olivia.
  278. A crossbow modified to shoot small stones (rather than arrows).
  279. Embroidered with foliage or flowers.
  280. A dignified full length garment worn by a man of high social standing.
  281. i.e. a bed for use during the day (in his fantasy, with Olivia). Cf. R3 TLN 2288 (Q1), "a lewd day-bed."
  282. Temperament of high rank.
  283. Grave looking about (at all present).
  284. Malvolio, imagining himself of higher rank, familiarly drops the "Sir" here and at TLN 1076.
  285. Fetters (equivalent to "shackles").
  286. Fabian presumably draws their attention to Malvolio approaching the letter; if so, his failure to see it will heighten their frustration.
  287. (a) sudden display of energy, (b) rush.
  288. Go forth
  289. Watches were large and usually richly ornamented, so Malvolio is no doubt imagining an ostentatious display of winding it. Malvolio may be dreaming of future possession of such an emblem of wealth; but the Priest owns a watch (see TLN 2324), so it is possible Malvolio also has one. Even if he has, he would not have it out here, since he needs his hands free for the business with his steward's chain that follows (see next note).
  290. Malvolio may habitually finger his steward's chain, which would give more point to the visual and verbal business here as he imagines himself a count.
  291. Bows low, makes a "courtesy."
  292. i.e. chariots, or carts and horses. Compare TGV TLN 1333-1334, "a team of horse shall not pluck that from me."
  293. Probably lowering his hand to indicate that Sir Toby would have to kneel to kiss it.
  294. Friendly
  295. Commanding gaze.
  296. Sir Toby mimics Malvolio's earlier familiarity (TLN 1070 and note).
  297. Strike.
  298. A common term of abuse.
  299. Business.
  300. Proverbially stupid birds, easy to trap.
  301. Snare, trap.
  302. May the god of eccentricity suggest to him that he read aloud.
  303. A bawdy pun on "cut" as vulva. Malvolio is likely to be mystified by the audience laughter. The absence of "c" (or a "great P"; see next note) in the handwritten address Malvolio reads at TLN 1104 will not be noticed; they are introduced for the sake of the bawdy.
  304. (a) capital P's, (b) copious urinations (pees from the "cut," TLN 1101).
  305. Beyond doubt.
  306. Sir Andrew's naivety extends the joke; in performance, one of the others sometimes whispers in his ear, and he looks shocked or intrigued.
  307. i.e. sealing wax to hold the letter closed.
  308. Not too fast (be cautious). Compare TLN 598.
  309. i.e. the imprint (in the wax) is of her seal, an image of the Roman Lucretia (a model of chastity who killed herself because she had been raped; see Shakespeare's Luc.).
  310. Habitually seals.
  311. Totally. The liver is the seat of the passions; see note to TLN 43-45.
  312. Meter.
  313. Badger (often "stinking brock").
  314. i.e. the knife with which she committed suicide; see note to TLN 1106.
  315. As the comments in the next two lines make clear, these letters have no obvious meaning (though some ingenious suggestions have been made), but are designed to persuade Malvolio they have.
  316. High-sounding gibberish (literally, a coarse substitute cloth). Fabian approves of Maria's choice.
  317. Prepared (for)
  318. i.e. speed or manoeuvring in flight.
  319. Kestrel (a small hawk held in contempt for falconry).
  320. Is distracted by and flies at (falconry term).
  321. Fully formed (i.e. normal) intelligence.
  322. Obstacle, difficulty.
  323. Arrangement.
  324. Although the verse at TLN 1120 requires the individual letters to be named, it is possible here or at TLN 1145 for Malvolio to attempt various pronunciations as if "moai" were a word.
  325. Echoing "O.I."
  326. Complete, make sense of.
  327. i.e. no longer able to be followed by the hounds. The terminology here switches from falconry to hunting.
  328. i.e. the hound Sowter will (pick up the scent again and) give tongue, even though our bait stinks (of deception) as much as a fox.
  329. The dog is good at (finding the right trail again where there are) breaks in the scent (because he is too poor a hunter to change direction at the fault).
  330. No consistency in what follows; that breaks down under testing.
  331. It will conclude with a groan (punning on the letter "O," which possibly also suggests a hangman's noose).
  332. Pronounced as "I" in the riddle; a repeat of the play on "O."
  333. Disparagement (possibly with additional reference to stage business of the eavesdroppers behind Malvolio).
  334. Counterfeit (i.e. code to be broken).
  335. Turn (it) over in your mind. If the actor seeks an easy laugh by physically turning around, he risks losing the primary sense.
  336. i.e. astrological determinants at birth (hence rank and fortune).
  337. Are being generous.
  338. Courage
  339. Accustom
  340. i.e. throw off your lowly behaviour (as a snake its old skin; pronounced "sluff").
  341. Antagonistic (to Sir Toby).
  342. Ring out (like a bell) with high political matter. Compare TLN 841.
  343. Affectation of idiosyncrasy.
  344. A popular color of hose suitable for young (marriageable) men. See note to TLN 1535. Given Olivia's aversion to yellow (TLN 1201), "probably the only commendation is in this letter, and . . . Malvolio's imagination does the rest' (Penguin).
  345. A flamboyant style of garter finished with a bow above the knee. See note to TLN 1535.
  346. "well then."
  347. Assured of success (in life).
  348. This final confirmation may be shared with the audience in delight.
  349. Exchange duties (by raising him from servant to husband and master).
  350. Open country. The first syllable is stressed and pronounced as in "champion."
  351. Reveals
  352. Clear, evident.
  353. Malvolio uses the emphatic "will," not the standard "shall," here and in the following lines.
  354. i.e. from whom he can learn "arguments of state" (TLN 1155-1156).
  355. (a) confound, (b) display to the world as disgraced.
  356. Precisely (i.e. in every detail).
  357. Trick (as a deceitful horse--a jade--would).
  358. Induces (belief in).
  359. (a) clothes, (b) behavior.
  360. Fortunate.
  361. Aloof, proud. Compare TLN 1154-1155.
  362. Malvolio is perhaps echoing Olivia's apparent choice of pagan god in the letter (TLN 1109) here and in 3.4.
  363. Receive, accept.
  364. Always.
  365. Malvolio uses the emphatic form "will." In production Malvolio often has some trouble forcing his customary disapproving face into a grotesque smile at this point. Practising a set face was a known Elizabethan affectation.
  366. Malvolio for the first time uses the intimate singular pronoun such as lovers use (and Maria put in the letter).
  367. Regular payment.
  368. The Shah of Persia (modern Iran). An account of the embassy of Sir Anthony Sherley to Persia, and the Shah's rich gifts to him, was published in 1600.
  369. Trapper of fools.
  370. A traditional symbol of supremacy. Compare Cym. TLN 1652-1653, "Thus mine enemy fell, / And thus I set my foot on's neck."
  371. Wager, play for.
  372. A dice game needing a three ("tray") thrown to win.
  373. Brandy (or other spirits).
  374. Public subject of scorn.
  375. The classical hell; note "devil" in this sentence.
  376. Sir Andrew's fifth "me too"-ism since TLN 1185 is reinforced by a fear of being left behind as they exit following Maria.


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