58 Twelfth Night: Act 5

William Shakespeare

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

Scene 1

Enter Clown [with a letter] and Fabian.

Now as thou lov’st me, let me see his letter.[1]

Good Master Fabian, grant me another request.


Do not desire to see this letter.

This is to give a dog, and in recompense desire my dog again.[2]
2160Enter Orsino,[3] Viola [as Cesario], Curio, and Lords.

Belong you to the Lady Olivia, friends?

Ay, sir, we are some of her trappings.[4]

I know thee well. How dost thou, my good fellow?

Truly, sir, the better for my foes, and the worse for my friends.

Just the contrary; the better for thy friends.

No, sir, the worse.

How can that be?

Marry, sir, they praise me, and make[5] an ass of me. Now, my foes tell me
plainly I am an ass, so that by my foes, sir, I profit in the knowledge of
myself, and by my friends I am abused.[6] So that, conclusions to be as kisses,
2175if your four[7] negatives make your two affirmatives,[8] why then, the worse for
my friends and the better for my foes.

Why, this is excellent.[9]

By my troth, sir, no; though it please you to be one of my friends.[10]

Thou shalt not be the worse[11] for me; there’s gold.[12]
[Orsino gives him a gold coin.]

But that it would be double-dealing,[13] sir, I would you could make it another.

O you give me ill counsel.

Put your grace in your pocket,[14] sir, for this once, and let your flesh and blood
obey it.[15]

Well, I will be so much a sinner[16] to be a double-dealer; there’s another.
[Orsino gives him another gold coin.]

Primo, secundo, tertio[17] is a good play;[18] and the old saying is, “the third pays
for all”;[19] the triplex,[20] sir, is a good tripping measure;[21] or the bells of Saint
2190Bennet,[22] sir, may put you in mind: one, two, three.[23]

You can fool no more money out of me at this throw.[24] If you will let your
lady know I am here to speak with her, and bring her along with you, it may
awake my bounty further.

Marry, sir, lullaby[25] to your bounty till I come again. I go, sir, but I would not
have you to think that my desire of having is the sin of covetousness–but as
you say, sir, let your bounty take a nap; I will awake it anon.
2200Enter Antonio and Officers [guarding him].

Here comes the man, sir, that did rescue me.

That face of his I do remember well;
Yet when I saw it last, it was besmeared
As black as Vulcan[26] in the smoke of war.
2205A baubling[27] vessel was he captain of,
For shallow draught and bulk, unprizable;[28]
With which such scatheful[29] grapple did he make
With the most noble bottom[30] of our fleet,
That very envy, and the tongue of loss,[31]
2210Cried fame and honor on him. What’s the matter[32]?

First Officer
Orsino,[33] this is that Antonio
That took the Phoenix,[34] and her fraught from Candy,[35]
And this is he that did the Tiger board
When your young nephew Titus lost his leg.
2215Here in the streets, desperate of shame and state,[36]
In private brabble[37] did we apprehend him.

He did me kindness, sir, drew on my side,[38]
But in conclusion put strange speech upon me;[39]
I know not what ’twas, but distraction.[40]

Notable[41] pirate, thou saltwater thief,
What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies
Whom thou, in terms so bloody and so dear,[42]
Hast made thine enemies?

Orsino, noble sir,[43]
2225Be pleased that I shake off these names you give me.
Antonio never yet was thief, or pirate,
Though I confess, on base and ground[44] enough,
Orsino’s enemy. A witchcraft drew me hither:
That most ingrateful boy there by your side
2230From the rude sea’s enraged and foamy mouth
Did I redeem. A wrack[45] past hope he was.
His life[46] I gave him, and did thereto add
My love without retention[47] or restraint,
All his in dedication.[48] For his sake
2235Did I expose myself, pure[49] for his love,
Into the danger of this adverse[50] town;
Drew to defend him, when he was beset;
Where being apprehended, his false cunning,
Not meaning to partake with me in danger,
2240Taught him to face me out of his acquaintance,[51]
And grew a twenty years’ removèd thing[52]
While one would wink; denied me mine own purse,
Which I had recommended[53] to his use
Not half an hour before.

How can this be?[54]

When came he to this town?

Today, my lord; and for three months before,
No int’rim,[55] not a minute’s vacancy,
Both day and night did we keep company.
2250Enter Olivia and Attendants.[56]

Here comes the countess, now heaven walks on earth.
[To Antonio] But for thee, fellow–fellow, thy words are madness.
Three months[57] this youth hath tended upon me;
2255But more of that anon. [To Officers] Take him aside.

What would my lord, but that[58] he may not have,
Wherein Olivia may seem serviceable?
[To Viola] Cesario, you do not keep promise with me.
[Viola and Orsino speak at the same time.][59]


Gracious Olivia–

What do you say, Cesario? [Silencing Orsino] Good my lord.

My lord would speak, my duty hushes me.

If it be aught to the old tune, my lord,
It is as fat and fulsome[60] to mine ear
2265As howling after music.

Still so cruel?

Still so constant, lord.[61]

What, to perverseness? You uncivil[62] lady,
To whose ingrate[63] and unauspicious[64] altars
2270My soul the faithfull’st off’rings[65] have breathed out
That e’er devotion tendered! What shall I do?

Even what it please my lord, that shall become him

Why should I not, had I the heart to do it,
Like to th’Egyptian thief[66] at point of death,
2275Kill what I love?–a savage jealousy,
That sometime savors nobly.[67] But hear me this:
Since you to non-regardance[68] cast my faith,
And that I partly know the instrument
That screws[69] me from my true place in your favor,
2280Live you the marble-breasted[70] tyrant still.
But [Seizing Viola] this your minion,[71] whom I know you love,
And whom, by heaven, I swear I tender[72] dearly,
Him will I tear out of that cruel eye
Where he sits crownèd in his master’s spite.[73]
2285Come, boy, with me; my thoughts are ripe in mischief.[74]
I’ll sacrifice the lamb that I do love,
To spite a raven’s heart within a dove.[75] [He moves to exit with Viola.]

And I most jocund, apt,[76] and willingly,
To do you rest,[77] a thousand deaths would die.

Where goes Cesario?

After him I love
More than I love these eyes, more than my life,
More, by all mores,[78] than e’er I shall love wife.
If I do feign, you witnesses above[79]
2295Punish my life, for tainting of[80] my love.

Ay me, detested! How am I beguiled![81]

Who does beguile you? Who does do you wrong?

Hast thou forgot thyself? Is it so long?
Call forth the holy father. [Exit an Attendant.]

[To Cesario] Come, away.

Whither, my lord? Cesario, husband, stay![82]


Ay, husband. Can he that deny?

Her husband, sirrah?

No, my lord, not I.

Alas, it is the baseness of thy fear
That makes thee strangle thy propriety.[83]
Fear not, Cesario, take thy fortunes up,
Be that thou know’st thou art, and then thou art
2310As great as that thou fear’st.[84]
Enter Priest.
O welcome, father!
Father, I charge thee by thy reverence
Here to unfold (though lately we intended
2315To keep in darkness what occasion[85] now
Reveals before ’tis ripe) what thou dost know
Hath newly passed between this youth and me.

A contract[86] of eternal bond of love,
Confirmed by mutual joinder[87] of your hands,
2320Attested by the holy close of lips,
Strengthened by interchangement of your rings,
And all the ceremony of this compact[88]
Sealed in my function,[89] by my testimony;
Since when, my watch[90] hath told me, toward my grave
2325I have travelled but two hours.

[To Viola] O thou dissembling cub![91] What wilt thou be
When time hath sowed a grizzle[92] on thy case[93]?
Or will not else thy craft so quickly grow
That thine own trip[94] shall be thine overthrow?
2330Farewell,[95] and take her, but direct thy feet
Where thou and I henceforth may never meet.

My lord, I do protest–

O, do not swear,
Hold little faith,[96] though thou hast too much fear.
2335Enter Sir Andrew[97] [with his head bloody].

Sir Andrew
For the love of God, a surgeon![98] Send one presently[99] to Sir Toby.

What’s the matter?

Sir Andrew
2340He’s[100] broke my head across, and has given Sir Toby a bloody coxcomb[101] too.
For the love of God, your help! I had rather than forty pound I were at

Who has done this, Sir Andrew?

Sir Andrew
The count’s gentleman, one Cesario. We took him for a coward, but he’s the
very devil incardinate.[102]

My gentleman Cesario?

Sir Andrew
[Seeing Viola] [and recoiling in fear]. ‘Od’s lifelings,[103] here he is! [To her]
You broke my head for nothing; and that that I did, I was set on to do’t by
Sir Toby.

Why do you speak to me? I never hurt you.
2350You drew your sword upon me without cause,
But I bespake you fair, and hurt you not.
Enter Sir Toby [limping, his head bloody,] and [supported by] Clown.

Sir Andrew
If a bloody coxcomb be a hurt, you have hurt me; I think you set nothing by[104]
2355a bloody coxcomb. Here comes Sir Toby halting;[105] you shall hear more. But if
he had not been in drink, he would have tickled[106] you othergates[107] than he did.

How now, gentleman? How is’t with you?

Sir Toby
2360That’s all one,[108] he’s[109] hurt me, and there’s th’end on’t. [To Clown] Sot,[110] didst see
Dick Surgeon, sot?

Oh, he’s drunk, Sir Toby, an hour agone;[111] his eyes were set[112] at eight

Sir Toby
Then he’s a rogue, and a passy-measures pavan.[113] I hate a drunken rogue.[114]

Away with him! Who hath made this havocwith them?

Sir Andrew
I’ll help you, Sir Toby, because we’ll be dressed together.[115]

Sir Toby
2370Will you help? An ass-head, and a coxcomb,[116] and a knave? A thin-faced
knave, a gull![117]

Get him to bed, and let his hurt be looked to.
[Exeunt[118] Sir Toby and Sir Andrew led off by Clown and Fabian.]
Enter Sebastian. [Everyone else observes the identically dressed Sebastian and Viola.]

I am sorry, madam, I have hurt your kinsman;
But had it been the brother of my blood,[119]
2375I must have done no less with wit and safety.[120]
You throw a strange regard[121] upon me, and by that
I do perceive it hath offended you.
Pardon me, sweet one, even for the vows
We made each other but so late ago.

One face, one voice, one habit,[122] and two persons:
A natural perspective,[123] that is, and is not!

Antonio! Oh, my dear Antonio,
How have the hours racked and tortured me
Since I have lost thee!

Sebastian, are you?

Fear’st thou that, Antonio?[124]

How have you made division of yourself?
An apple cleft in two is not more twin
Than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian?

Most wonderful.[125]

[Seeing Viola] Do I stand there? I never had a brother;
Nor can there be that deity in my nature
Of here and everywhere.[126] I had a sister,
Whom the blind[127] waves and surges have devoured.
2395Of charity,[128] what kin are you to me?
What countryman? What name? What parentage?

Of Messaline. Sebastian was my father.
Such a Sebastian was my brother too;
So went he suited[129] to his watery tomb.
2400If spirits[130] can assume both form and suit,
You come to fright us.

A spirit I am indeed,
But am in that dimension[131] grossly[132] clad
Which from the womb I did participate.[133]
2405Were you a woman, as the rest goes even,[134]
I should my tears let fall upon your cheek,
And say, “Thrice welcome, drownèd Viola.”[135]

My father had a mole upon his brow.

And so had mine.

And died that day when Viola from her birth
Had numbered thirteen years.

Oh, that record[136] is lively in my soul.
He finishèd indeed his mortal act
That day that made my sister thirteen years.

If nothing lets[137] to make us happy both,
But this my masculine usurped attire,
Do not embrace me, till each circumstance
Of place, time, fortune, do cohere and jump[138]
That I am Viola;[139] which to confirm,
2420I’ll bring you to a captain in this town,
Where lie my maiden weeds,[140] by whose gentle help
I was preserved to serve this noble count.
All the occurrence of my fortune since
Hath been between this lady and this lord.

[To Olivia] So comes it, lady, you have been mistook.[141]
But nature to her bias drew[142] in that.
You would have been contracted to a maid;
Nor are you therein, by my life, deceived:
You are betrothed both to a maid and man.[143]

[To Olivia] Be not amazed, right noble is his blood.
If this be so–as yet the glass seems true–[144]
I shall have share in this most happy[145] wrack.[146]
[To Viola] Boy,[147] thou hast said to me a thousand times
Thou never shouldst love woman like to me.[148]

And all those sayings will I overswear,[149]
And all those swearings keep as true in soul
As doth that orbèd continent the fire[150]
That severs day from night.[151]

Give me thy hand,[152]
2440And let me see thee in thy woman’s weeds.

The captain that did bring me first on shore
Hath my maid’s garments; he upon some action[153]
Is now in durance,[154] at Malvolio’s suit,
A gentleman and follower of my lady’s.

He shall enlarge[155] him. Fetch[156] Malvolio hither–
And yet, alas, now I remember me,
They say, poor gentleman, he’s much distract.[157]
Enter Clown with a letter, and Fabian.
A most extracting frenzy[158] of mine own
2450From my remembrance[159] clearly banished his.
[To Clown] How does he,[160] sirrah?

Truly, madam, he holds Beelzebub at the stave’s end[161] as well as a man in his
case may do. He’s[162] here writ a letter to you. I should have given’t you today
2455morning,[163] but as a madman’s epistles are no gospels,[164] so it skills not[165] much
when they are delivered.[166]

Open’t, and read it.
Look then to be well edified, when the fool delivers[167] the madman. [Reading

“By the Lord, madam–“

How now, art thou mad?

No, madam, I do but read madness. An[168] your ladyship will have it as it ought
to be, you must allow vox.[169]

Prithee, read i’thy right wits.

So I do, madonna. But to read his right wits[170] is to read thus. Therefore
perpend,[171] my princess, and give ear.
[Clown prepares to read madly again; Olivia seizes the letter and gives it to Fabian.]

[To Fabian] Read it you, sirrah.


2470“By the Lord, madam, you wrong me, and the world shall know it.
Though you have put me into darkness, and given your drunken cousin
rule over me, yet have I the benefit of my senses as well as your
ladyship. I have your own letter, that induced me to the semblance I put
2475on; with the which I doubt not but to do myself much right, or you
much shame. Think of me as you please. I leave my duty a little
unthought of, and speak out of my injury.
The madly-used Malvolio.”

Did he write this?

Ay, madam.

This savors not much of distraction.

See him delivered,[172] Fabian, bring him hither.
[Exit Fabian.]
[To Orsino] My Lord, so please you, these things further thought on,
To think me as well a sister as a wife,[173]
One day shall crown th’alliance on’t,[174] so please you,
2485Here at my house, and at my proper[175] cost.

Madam, I am most apt t’embrace your offer.
[To Viola] Your master quits[176] you; and for your service done him,
So much against the mettle[177] of your sex,
So far beneath your soft and tender breeding,
2490And since you called me master for so long,
Here is my hand;[178] you shall from this time be
Your master’s mistress.

A sister, you are she![179]
Enter [Fabian and] Malvolio[180] [with Maria’s letter].

Is this the madman?

Ay, my lord, this same.
[To Malvolio] How now, Malvolio?

Madam, you have done me wrong,
Notorious[181] wrong.

Have I, Malvolio? No.

Lady,[182] you have. Pray you peruse that letter.
[Giving her the letter] You must not now deny it is your hand.
Write from it[183] if you can, in hand, or phrase,[184]
Or say ’tis not your seal, not your invention.[185]
You can say none of this. Well, grant it then,
2505And tell me, in the modesty of honor,[186]
Why you have given me such clear lights[187] of favor,
Bade[188] me come smiling and cross-gartered to you,
To put on yellow stockings, and to frown
Upon Sir Toby, and the lighter[189] people;
2510And acting this in an obedient hope,
Why have you suffered me to be imprisoned,
Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,
And made the most notorious geck and gull[190]
That ere invention[191] played on? Tell me, why?

Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing,
Though I confess much like the character;[192]
But out of question, ’tis Maria’s hand.
And now I do bethink me, it was she
First told me thou wast mad; then cam’st[193] in smiling,
2520And in such forms which here were presupposed
Upon[194] thee in the letter. Prithee, be content.
This practice hath most shrewdly past[195] upon thee;
But when we know the grounds and authors of it,
Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge
2525Of thine own cause.

Good madam, hear me speak,[196]
And let no quarrel, nor no brawl to come,[197]
Taint the condition of this present hour,
Which I have wondered[198] at. In hope it shall not,
2530Most freely I confess myself and Toby
Set this device against Malvolio here,
Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts
We had conceived against him.[199] Maria writ
The letter, at Sir Toby’s great importance,[200]
2535In recompense whereof he hath married her.[201]
How with a sportful malice it was followed[202]
May rather pluck on[203] laughter than revenge,
If that the injuries be justly weighed
That have on both sides passed.

[To Malvolio] Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled[204] thee!

[To Malvolio] Why,[205] “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and
some have greatness thrown upon them.” I was one, sir, in this interlude,[206] one
Sir Topaz, sir; but that’s all one.[207] “By the Lord, fool, I am not mad!” But do
2545you remember: “Madam, why laugh you at such a barren rascal? An[208] you
smile not, he’s gagged.” And thus the whirligig of time[209] brings in his

I’ll be revenged on the whole pack[210] of you!

He hath been most notoriously abused.[211]

[To Fabian] Pursue him,[212] and entreat him to a peace. [Exit Fabian.]
He hath not told us of the captain yet.
When that is known, and golden[213] time convents,[214]
A solemn combination shall be made
Of our dear[215] souls. [To Olivia] Meantime, sweet sister,
2555We will not part[216] from hence. [To Viola] Cesario, come–[217]
For so you shall be[218] while you are a man;
But when in other habits you are seen,
Orsino’s mistress, and his fancy’s[219] queen.
Exeunt [all except Clown].[220]

When that I was[221]and a[222] little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing[223] was but a toy,[224]
For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came to man’s estate,
2565With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
‘Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,[225]
For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came, alas, to wive,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
2570By swaggering[226] could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With tosspots still ‘had drunken heads,[227]
2575For the rain it raineth every day.
A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that’s all one,[228] our play is done,
And we’ll strive to please you every day.

  1. i.e. Malvolio's to Olivia.
  2. Fabian may well have directed this repartee to the audience in early productions, especially if it was a well-known anecdote. According to John Manningham, who also reported the first known performance of Twelfth Night, Dr. Boleyn, a kinsman of Queen Elizabeth, "had a dog which he doted on, so much that the Queen understanding of it requested he would grant her one desire, and he should have whatsoever he would ask. She demanded his dog; he gave it, and 'Now, Madam' quoth he, 'you promised to give me my desire.' 'I will,' quoth she. 'Then I pray you give me my dog again'."
  3. If Valentine and Viola have been wearing riding boots earlier (see 1.1.24n), Orsino will here. An image of traveling may metaphorically suggest that Orsino's emotions are on the move too
  4. Embellishments (literally, decorated horse-cloths).
  5. And thus make.
  6. Ill-used, deceived.
  7. Unstressed, simply meaning "that you know of" (as with "your two" following).
  8. In grammar, a double negative is an affirmative. The common joke based on this grammatical rule was that when a maid was asked for a kiss, her "No, no" meant "yes." The Clown is making a general defence of his chop-logic.
  9. Orsino's willingness to jest with the Clown marks a distinct move away from his melancholy at their last encounter in 2.4. Presumably spoken to Viola and the other courtiers.
  10. An invitation for praise (and, perhaps, a tip).
  11. (a) "abused" (TLN 2173), (b) poorer.
  12. A half-crown was the smallest English gold coin, so the Clown is getting at least five times as much as the silver sixpence given him by Sir Toby (TLN 731), ten times as much if he is given a gold crown (five shillings).
  13. (a) duplicity, (b) giving twice.
  14. i.e. (a) put your virtue where it cannot see (to criticize), (b) put your hand in your pocket (for more money), my lord Duke ("your grace").
  15. i.e. let your normal human instincts (unwatched by virtuous "grace") obey my "ill counsel."
  16. (because evading divine "grace").
  17. First, second, third (Latin). Possibly a children's game, or a reference to a winning three at dice (compare "tray-trip", TLN 1193 and note). Arden 3 argues that the reference is to "the philosophers' table", an "elaborate form of mathematical chess."
  18. Game, or a throw at dice.
  19. Proverbial; compare modern "third time lucky."
  20. Triple time in music.
  21. Quick time (in music). Given "tripping," possibly "music for a nimble dance" is meant, which the Clown may give life to.
  22. Benedict. There is no way of knowing which of the several churches named for this saint in London Shakespeare was thinking of for its distinctive chime of bells. Most editors cite St Bennet at Paul's Wharf, across the Thames from the Globe, whose bells might have been audible in the theatre, but another church of this name, such as St Bennet Fink, next to the Royal Exchange, may have had the distinctive chime of three that is the Clown's point (if we think of London rather than Illyrian bells).
  23. In production the Clown may sing each of these words in the pitch of the supposed chime.
  24. i.e. throw of the dice (continuing gambling references at TLN 2187-2188).
  25. Soothing repose (picking up "awake," at TLN 2193, and anticipating "nap," TLN 2198).
  26. Blacksmith of the Roman gods.
  27. Paltry (like a child's bauble). Compare Tro. TLN 491 1.3.35, 'shallow bauble boats'.
  28. i.e. so small as not to be worth capturing as a "prize."
  29. Destructive.
  30. Ship.
  31. Even Ill-will and the voice of Loss. The emotions of his enemies are personified as proclaiming his honor.
  32. Business, allegation.
  33. The lack of an honorific before his name is surprising; but see note to TLN 2224.
  34. Like "Tiger" in the next line, the name of a ship.
  35. i.e. the cargo (freight) it had brought from Crete ("Candy"). Candy may mean either the sea port Candia, then capital of Crete, or simply the island of Crete.
  36. Reckless of (his) reputation and (his) position. Some editors read "state" as "public order", or as "danger to himself". The meter requires "desperate" to be elided to two syllables.
  37. i.e. brawling in a personal quarrel.
  38. i.e. drew his sword in my defence.
  39. Spoke to me strangely.
  40. Madness. The meter requires four syllables.
  41. Notorious.
  42. Grievous.
  43. Despite the accusations, and Sebastian's apparent betrayal, Antonio's response is both courteous and proud. Antonio's courtesy may be emphasized by the apparent lack of it from the First Officer at TLN 2211.
  44. Foundation. The two words are synonyms.
  45. Shipwrecked survivor.
  46. As Sebastian has already expressed at TLN 645.
  47. Reservation.
  48. i.e. dedicated my love entirely to him.
  49. Purely, only.
  50. Hostile.
  51. i.e. brazenly deny knowing me.
  52. i.e. like someone not met for twenty years.
  53. Committed.
  54. Viola probably breaks in quickly (thus completing Antonio's verse line). Alternatively, a pause may be implied after Antonio's line, in which case Orsino completes Viola's short line.
  55. Interim (the Folio elision "intrim" serves the meter). The compositor set the word in italic, so may have mistaken it for Latin rather than the elided English word.
  56. Maria is not named, but in many productions she appears.
  57. The concurrence between Antonio and Orsino confirms for each the impossibility of the other's story. Viola seems only to have been with Orsino a few days.
  58. Except that which (i.e. her love).
  59. Viola defers to her master; Olivia urges her new betrothed (as she thinks) to continue, asking Orsino (probably with a gesture) to wait.
  60. Gross and repugnant.
  61. An acting choice is required as to which of Folio's three short lines constitutes a shared iambic pentameter (probably "Still . . . lord") and which a short line, perhaps followed by a pause.
  62. Barbarous.
  63. Ungrateful.
  64. Unpropitious
  65. Both elisions in Folio are for the meter.
  66. Orsino's threat to Olivia is based on the story of a bandit who tried to kill a captive with whom he had fallen in love, in order that she not be enjoyed by his victorious enemies. Thyamis is an Egyptian robber-captain in Heliodorus's Ethiopian History. In the event, he killed the wrong woman, which may be Shakespeare's point in having Orsino threaten Olivia. (Orsino turns on Viola only at TLN 2281.)
  67. i.e. has a noble quality.
  68. Disregard.
  69. Forces (as with a threaded instrument such as a vice--or thumbscrews).
  70. Compare "heart of stone" (TLN 1718). The unfeeling mistress is a conventional figure of Elizabethan love poetry; what is less common is for the lover to take no for an answer (here, in preparation for his new attachment to Viola).
  71. Darling, favorite (pejorative; and, ironically in view of Orsino's attachment to "Cesario," often of boys loved by men).
  72. Hold, regard.
  73. To the vexation of his master.
  74. Ready to do harm.
  75. i.e. the heart of a black (and predatory) bird within the outward appearance of a beautiful, often white (and loving, at least in poetry) bird. Compare TLN 100-101, TLN 1889-1890, and Rom. TLN 1727, "Dove-feathered raven."
  76. Cheerful, ready.
  77. Make you feel easy.
  78. All possible comparisons.
  79. i.e. in the heavens.
  80. Sullying, betraying.
  81. Robbed, cheated.
  82. Olivia refers to the binding contract of betrothal (see TLN 2318 and note to TLN 2141; effectively, a marriage), apparently denied at TLN 2293. The word "husband," in performance, stops everyone dead, and preempts Orsino's exit with Viola. The rhyming couplets started by Orsino at TLN 2286-2287 assist in building the tension, and Viola's confusion ("wrong/long, away/stay, deny/not I").
  83. Suppress your proper identity (as my husband to be).
  84. Him whom you fear (i.e. Orsino).
  85. The turn of events. Compare TLN 94.
  86. Of betrothal. See notes to TLN 2301 and TLN 2141.
  87. Joining.
  88. Covenant, contract: accented on the second syllable.
  89. Confirmed by my office (as a priest).
  90. Displaying his (valuable) watch confirms the slight sense of pomposity in the Priest's speech.
  91. (cunning) fox-cub.
  92. Gray hair.
  93. Skin (here, of the fox "cub").
  94. Wrestling move to "overthrow" an opponent.
  95. Presumably Orsino and his courtiers again start to leave, with Viola possibly following in desperation while Olivia, equally desperate, tries to keep her.
  96. Keep at least a little faith.
  97. Evidently Sir Andrew and Sir Toby have met Sebastian again, as we surmise from the blood and TLN 2345. The encounter in 4.1 did not produce these injuries.
  98. A practitioner who treats wounds, fractures, etc., seldom at this time educated to the university level of a physician, and often combining the practice with barbering and pulling teeth.
  99. Immediately.
  100. i.e. He has.
  101. Head (based on the fool's cap; see note to TLN 347-348).
  102. Sir Andrew's error for "incarnate" ("in the flesh").
  103. By God's little lives (a mild oath). Sir Andrew's violent reaction at seeing Cesario is partly fear, and in the Armfield film, confusion because he thought he had left him behind.
  104. Think nothing of.
  105. Limping
  106. i.e. beaten.
  107. In a different manner (i.e. more effectively).
  108. i.e. without remedy.
  109. i.e. he has.
  110. (a) fool, (b) drunkard. As at TLN 414.
  111. Ago.
  112. Fixed, immoveable. Some editors have suggested "closed."
  113. A variety of pavan, a slow dance; from the Italian passamezzo pavana. "Pavyn" was a current spelling, and indicates stress on the first syllable; Folio's "panyn" almost certainly results from an "n" being mistaken for a "u" (= "v") in the print shop. The point of Sir Toby's abuse is not clear: is he imagining a slow, swaying drunk, or the lethargy of the surgeon? In 1.3 Sir Toby favored livelier dances.
  114. The irony of Sir Toby's comment on other drunkards may be comic, or, as in Nunn's film, sadly self-aware.
  115. i.e. have our wounds dressed.
  116. Fool. Compare note to TLN 347-348, and H5 TLN 1926-1927, "an ass, and a fool, and a prating coxcomb."
  117. Dupe, fool.
  118. Folio gives no exit direction, but clearly Sir Toby and Sir Andrew leave, and the Clown and Fabian (who have an entry direction at TLN 2448) with them. In Nunn's film Sir Andrew, his eyes now opened, leaves in a different direction. There is no reason for the Priest to leave, but he could (as could Maria, helping Sir Toby, if she entered with Olivia). Some productions have kept them all on, in the background, although that weakens Olivia's assurance of future justice at TLN 2515-1525, and Fabian's subsequent explanation. Several stage options are open as to where Sebastian enters and whether he sees Sir Toby and the others departing (or they him), but it is essential that he not see Viola until after TLN 2389.
  119. My own brother.
  120. Sensible thought and in self-protection.
  121. Distant (cold) look. He thinks Olivia is angry, but she, like everyone else, is in "wonder" (compare TLN 2390).
  122. Costume. See TLN 1900-1904.
  123. Either (a) an illusion seen through a distorting optical device, or, (b) a picture drawn so that its content varies depending on which angle it is viewed from. Accented on the first syllable. Orsino's "natural perspective, that is, and is not!" (TLN 2381) cannot be what we normally think of as realistic perspective in drawing. Rather, "perspective" is either an optical instrument that deceives the eye when looked through, or the trick perspective of "double pictures." Both were fashionable in the Tudor and Stuart period. Orsino's exclamation "One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons!" (TLN 2380) suggests a perspective glass, revealing "miraculous sights and conceits made and contained in glass. . . . for you may have glasses so made . . . where one image shall seem to be a hundred" (Reginald Scot, The Discovery of Witchcraft [1584], Book 13, Chap. 19 [p. 316]). Alternatively, Orsino may mean graphic distortion of pictures. Two techniques were used: (1) anamorphic drawing, such as that in Holbein's famous painting of "The Ambassadors," in which an ambiguous grey element in the foreground can be seen, if viewed sideways from a particular angle, as a skull, or in which an apparently grotesque picture is revealed, if viewed from an acute angle, as a realistic portrait (as in the anomorphic portrait of Edward VI by William Scrots); or (2) a drawing which appears one thing, but if turned upside down is revealed as something quite different, such as the sixteenth-century anti-Catholic "Perverted Church" images below that satirize the Council of Trent. One way up they appear to be the Pope and a cardinal; turned upside down ("perverted") the faces have become the devil and a jester. See Inga-Stina Ekeblad, "Webster's Realism, or, 'A Cunning Piece Wrought Perspective'," in Brian Morris, ed, John Webster, Mermaid Critical Commentaries (London: Benn, 1970), pp. 159–78 (esp. pp. 160–4), and Arthur H. R. Fairchild, Shakespeare and the Arts of Design (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1937; repr. New York: Benjamin Blom, 1972), pp. 125–130.
  124. Do you doubt that.
  125. Full of wonder. In performance, something of the modern sense may also come through as Olivia surveys a double helping of Cesario.
  126. To be in two places at once is a divine attribute.
  127. i.e. unfeeling, merciless (not seeing Viola's beauty and virtue).
  128. Out of your generosity (tell me).
  129. i.e. dressed like you (compare TLN 2380).
  130. Ghosts. Although "spirits" can refer to devils taking the form of the dead (the reason for Hamlet's caution with the Ghost), here it simply refers to ghosts. How seriously this is taken will vary in different productions. There may also be reference to the attendant spirit (Greek daemon) thought to accompany every person throughout life; compare the meeting of the twins in Err. TLN 1818-1819, "which is the natural man, / And which the spirit?"
  131. Bodily form.
  132. Materially, corporeally.
  133. Have in common with others.
  134. Agrees, fits together.
  135. The first mention of her name.
  136. Recollection. Stressed here on the second syllable.
  137. Hinders.
  138. Accord and agree.
  139. At this emotional high point, few Sebastians obey Viola's injunction not to embrace her.
  140. Clothes.
  141. Mistaken.
  142. i.e. Nature leaned in her usual direction (to have male mate with female). In the game of bowls, the "bias" is both the off-center lead weight in the bowl, and the curved path it follows as a result. Shakespeare delighted in metaphors deriving from the curved, indirect, path of the weighted ("biased") ball used in bowls. Although the ball initially goes in the direction it is bowled, the bias gradually asserts itself and the ball curves away from the line in which it was first heading, and towards the intended target. (Modern lawn bowling no longer uses a weight, but the ball is shaped to perform in the same way.) The application of the metaphor to Olivia's mistaken betrothal to Sebastian is clear: Nature, both human and the personification of the natural order, has ensured that Olivia has curved away from Viola and "kissed" (to use another bowls word, for a ball succeeding in resting against the "jack") the appropriately heterosexual male, Sebastian.
  143. (a) man who is a virgin, (b) woman and man.
  144. i.e. the "perspective" glass (TLN 2381) is still showing truth rather than illusion.
  145. Fortunate.
  146. Wreck, or wreckage thrown ashore.
  147. Orsino's joke is both emotionally charged and wryly self-critical.
  148. As much as (you love) me.
  149. Swear over (and over) again.
  150. As the sun keeps its fire. The "orbèd continent" (spherical container) is either the sun itself or the Ptolemaic sphere in which the sun if fixed.
  151. i.e. the sun. Compare Genesis 1: 14.
  152. Both a physical clasp that is now permissible, and symbolic betrothal.
  153. Legal charge.
  154. Imprisonment.
  155. Free.
  156. This instruction will be to one of her attendants, who presumably has no idea where Malvolio is. Olivia's next line may preempt the exit; Fabian is sent at TLN 2481.
  157. Distraught, mad.
  158. i.e. a madness which drew everything else out of my mind. See TLN 1536-1537 for Olivia's earlier comparison of her madness with Malvolio's.
  159. Memory.
  160. The Clown's convenient entry, Olivia's assumption that he knows about Malvolio, and his sense of who Olivia's question refers to, are required by the plot, and will not be questioned in performance.
  161. Keeps the devil at a distance (proverbial, from quarterstaff fighting). Folio's "Belzebub" may reflect Shakespearean pronunciation.
  162. i.e. he has.
  163. This morning.
  164. (a) letters are not divine truth, (b) New Testament Epistles are not New Testament Gospels. The Epistles carry less sacred authority than the Gospels.
  165. Does not matter.
  166. (a) given to the addressee, (b) read aloud (in church, like the "gospels").
  167. (a) reads aloud, (b) speaks on behalf of.
  168. If.
  169. Voice (appropriate to the rhetorical context; Latin).
  170. His real mental state (madness).
  171. Weigh carefully. A deliberately pompous word in what may be a deliberately old-fashioned blank verse line ("therefore . . . ear").
  172. Released.
  173. i.e. be as pleased to approve of me as a sister-in-law (if you marry Viola) as you would have as a wife.
  174. i.e. the relationship created by the double marriage.
  175. Own.
  176. Releases from service, acquits.
  177. Nature, disposition.
  178. (a) pledge of my word, (b) hand in betrothal (compare TLN 2439).
  179. Emphatic delight at the double bond with Viola.
  180. Presumably still in his yellow stockings and cross-garters; Orsino's question may be incredulous.
  181. Compare TLN 2513 and note to TLN 2072.
  182. Malvolio is given blank verse for the first time in the play, perhaps to allow him increased dignity.
  183. Differently.
  184. Handwriting or phraseology.
  185. Composition.
  186. With honorable moderation.
  187. Unmistakable signs.
  188. Pronounced "bad."
  189. Frivolous (i.e. the "servants," TLN 1155).
  190. Fool and dupe.
  191. Contrivance.
  192. Handwriting.
  193. Then (you) came.
  194. Previously suggested to.
  195. This trick has been cunningly played. Manningham's diary also refers to the trick as a "good practice."
  196. Fabian completes Olivia's verse line, which may indicate a quick cue (before things get worse).
  197. Turbulent squabble awaiting (us).
  198. Marveled. Compare TLN 2390; a sense of wonder is a vital element in the resolution of the play.
  199. As a consequence of willful incivility we saw and resented in him.
  200. Importunity.
  201. Reaction of those on stage to this news may be a significant pointer to the tone of the production.
  202. Pursued, carried out.
  203. Induce.
  204. (a) confounded, (b) displayed to the world as disgraced. As TLN 1165.
  205. The Clown can mimic Malvolio's manner of speech in the various quotes which follow, which are close to what he said in 2.5, 4.2, and 1.5.
  206. Play, entertainment.
  207. Of no consequence. Compare TLN 2359 and TLN 2578.
  208. If.
  209. Either (a) time's spinning top (which is whipped to keep it turning), or (b) a merry-go-round. Both meanings suggest "The wheel is come full circle" (Lr. TLN 3136).
  210. Malvolio picks up the Clown's "revenges"; "pack" refers to a gang of conspirators.
  211. Possibly Olivia is picking up two Malvolioisms (see TLN 2498, TLN 2513, TLN 2033, and especially TLN 2072-2073).
  212. Folio gives no exit; Fabian, who has played the peacemaker, seems the obvious choice.
  213. i.e. favorable and precious, recalling the idyllic "golden age" of an ideal world. Compare "golden world in AYL TLN 117-119.
  214. Convenes, calls (us) together. Stress is on the second syllable.
  215. (a) loving, (b) precious.
  216. Orsino, by using the emphatic "will" rather than "shall," underlines the harmony of the two couples and households in his promise to remain at Olivia's house.
  217. In this preparation for the final exit (to marriage and feasting, as traditional in comedy), Orsino presumably takes Viola's hand, and Sebastian Olivia's.
  218. i.e. I would have you to be.
  219. Love's (without the pejorative overtones of TLN 18-19).
  220. The song is a form of epilogue, acknowledging and farewelling the audience (compare Puck in MND and Rosalind in AYL). There is no need for the Clown to exit, then reenter for the song.
  221. The song is a form of epilogue, acknowledging and farewelling the audience (compare Puck in MND and Rosalind in AYL). It is generally agreed to be a thematic comment on the world of Twelfth Night. The traditional music may be later than Shakespeare. It is not known if the words are his (a similar verse is included in Lr.). In the Armfield film, the moon on a backdrop moves down onto the Clown and is revealed as a theatrical followspot.
  222. Either emphatic, or an extra word to fit the music.
  223. (a) bad behavior, (b) penis.
  224. (a) trifle, (b) useless "thing" (like the Clown's bauble, which may itself be used as a mock phallus).
  225. i.e. (once I was an adult) men locked their doors against knaves and thieves (like me). The possibly sexual connotation of "foolish thing" is not insisted on here.
  226. Blustering, bullying. Compare TLN 1696-1699 for approbation of swaggering "manhood," and Doll Tearsheet in 2H4, who calls Pistol a "swaggering rascal" (TLN 1098).
  227. Either (a) when I came to whichever place served me as a bed, like the other drunks ("tosspots") I had ("'had") hangovers all the time ("still"), or (b) when I grew old, I was always drunk. The syntax is awkward, and supporters of the second version emend to singular "bed, head."
  228. Epilogues traditionally announce the end of the play by seeking audience approval, and often encourage future attendance. Compare AWW, where in the epilogue the King seeks applause "which we will pay, / With strife to please you, day exceeding day" (TLN 3075-3076).


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