Act II

Oil painting of Orsino, seated in an outdoor patio, surrounded by a jester, musicians, and other entertainers.  Viola, dressed as Cesario, gazes up at him from the left. He looks distracted, with a hand in his hair and a casual pose.

Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene IV, 1850

Act II, Scene 1

The sea-coast.


Antonio. Will you stay no longer? nor will you not that I go with you?

Sebastian. By your patience, no. My stars shine darkly over
me: the malignancy of my fate might perhaps
distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your 615
leave that I may bear my evils alone: it were a bad
recompense for your love, to lay any of them on you.

Sebastian. No, sooth, sir: my determinate voyage is mere
extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent a 620
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 express myself. You
must know of me then, Antonio, my name is Sebastian,
which I called Roderigo. My father was that 625
Sebastian of Messaline, whom I know you have heard
of. He left behind him myself and a sister, both
born in an hour: if the heavens had been pleased,
would we had so ended! but you, sir, altered that;
for some hour before you took me from the breach of 630
the sea was my sister drowned.

Antonio. Alas the day!

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

Antonio. Pardon me, sir, your bad entertainment.640

Sebastian. O good Antonio, forgive me your trouble.

Antonio. If you will not murder me for my love, let me be
your servant.

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


Antonio. 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.655



Act II, Scene 2

A street.

[Enter VIOLA, MALVOLIO following]

Malvolio. Were not you even now with the Countess Olivia?

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

Malvolio. 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
into a desperate assurance she will none of him:
and one thing more, that you be never so hardy to 665
come again in his affairs, unless it be to report
your lord’s taking of this. Receive it so.

Viola. She took the ring of me: I’ll none of it.

Malvolio. Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and her
will is, it should be so returned: if it be worth 670
stooping for, there it lies in your eye; if not, be
it his that finds it.


Viola. I left no ring with her: what means this lady?
Fortune forbid my outside have not charm’d her! 675
She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.
She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger. 680
None of my lord’s ring! why, he sent her none.
I am the man: 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 does much. 685
How easy is it for the proper-false
In women’s waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we!
For such as we are made of, such we be.
How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly; 690
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me.
What will become of this? As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master’s love;
As I am woman,—now alas the day!— 695
What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe!
O time! thou must untangle this, not I;
It is too hard a knot for me to untie!



Act II, Scene 3

OLIVIA’s house.


Sir Toby Belch. Approach, Sir Andrew: not to be abed after
midnight is to be up betimes; and ‘diluculo
surgere,’ thou know’st,—

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Nay, my troth, I know not: but I know, to be up
late is to be up late.705

Sir Toby Belch. A false conclusion: I hate it as an unfilled can.
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?710

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

Sir Toby Belch. Thou’rt a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink.
Marian, I say! a stoup of wine!

[Enter Clown]

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

Feste. How now, my hearts! did you never see the picture
of ‘we three’?

Sir Toby Belch. Welcome, ass. Now let’s have a catch.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast. I 720
had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg,
and so sweet a breath to sing, as the fool has. In
sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last
night, when thou spokest of Pigrogromitus, of the
Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus: ’twas 725
very good, i’ faith. I sent thee sixpence for thy
leman: hadst it?

Feste. I did impeticos thy gratillity; for Malvolio’s nose
is no whipstock: my lady has a white hand, and the
Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.730

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

Sir Toby Belch. Come on; there is sixpence for you: let’s have a song.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. There’s a testril of me too: if one knight give a—

Feste. Would you have a love-song, or a song of good life?735

Sir Toby Belch. A love-song, a love-song.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Ay, ay: I care not for good life.

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

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Excellent good, i’ faith.745

Sir Toby Belch. Good, good.

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

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

Sir Toby Belch. A contagious breath.755

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

Sir Toby Belch. To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion.
But shall we make the welkin dance indeed? shall we
rouse the night-owl in a catch that will draw three
souls out of one weaver? shall we do that?760

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. An you love me, let’s do’t: I am dog at a catch.

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

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Most certain. Let our catch be, ‘Thou knave.’

Feste. ‘Hold thy peace, thou knave,’ knight? I shall be
constrained in’t to call thee knave, knight.765

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. ‘Tis not the first time I have constrained one to
call me knave. Begin, fool: it begins ‘Hold thy peace.’

Feste. I shall never begin if I hold my peace.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Good, i’ faith. Come, begin.

[Catch sung]

[Enter MARIA]

Maria. 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 Belch. My lady’s a Cataian, we are politicians, Malvolio’s 775
a Peg-a-Ramsey, and ‘Three merry men be we.’ Am not
I consanguineous? am I not of her blood?
Tillyvally. Lady!
‘There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!’780

Feste. Beshrew me, the knight’s in admirable fooling.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed, and so do
I too: he does it with a better grace, but I do it
more natural.

Sir Toby Belch. [Sings] ‘O, the twelfth day of December,’—785

Maria. For the love o’ God, peace!


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

Sir Toby Belch. We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!795

Malvolio. Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady bade me
tell you, that, though she harbours you as her
kinsman, she’s nothing allied to your disorders. If
you can separate yourself and your misdemeanors, you
are welcome to the house; if not, an it would please 800
you to take leave of her, she is very willing to bid
you farewell.

Sir Toby Belch. ‘Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.’

Maria. Nay, good Sir Toby.

Feste. ‘His eyes do show his days are almost done.’805

Malvolio. Is’t even so?

Sir Toby Belch. ‘But I will never die.’

Feste. Sir Toby, there you lie.

Malvolio. This is much credit to you.

Sir Toby Belch. ‘Shall I bid him go?’810

Feste. ‘What an if you do?’

Sir Toby Belch. ‘Shall I bid him go, and spare not?’

Feste. ‘O no, no, no, no, you dare not.’

Sir Toby Belch. Out o’ tune, sir: ye lie. Art any more than a
steward? Dost thou think, because thou art 815
virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

Feste. Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i’ the
mouth too.

Sir Toby Belch. Thou’rt i’ the right. Go, sir, rub your chain with
crumbs. A stoup of wine, Maria!820

Malvolio. Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady’s favour at any
thing more than contempt, you would not give means
for this uncivil rule: she shall know of it, by this hand.


Maria. Go shake your ears.825

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

Sir Toby Belch. Do’t, knight: I’ll write thee a challenge: or I’ll
deliver thy indignation to him by word of mouth.830

Maria. Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight: since the
youth of the count’s was today with thy lady, she is
much out of quiet. For Monsieur Malvolio, let me
alone with him: if I do not gull him into a
nayword, and make him a common recreation, do not 835
think I have wit enough to lie straight in my bed:
I know I can do it.

Sir Toby Belch. Possess us, possess us; tell us something of him.

Maria. Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. O, if I thought that I’ld beat him like a dog!840

Sir Toby Belch. What, for being a puritan? thy exquisite reason,
dear knight?

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

Maria. The devil a puritan that he is, or any thing 845
constantly, but a time-pleaser; an affectioned ass,
that cons state without book and utters it by great
swarths: the best persuaded of himself, so
crammed, as he thinks, with excellencies, that it is
his grounds of faith that all that look on him love 850
him; and on that vice in him will my revenge find
notable cause to work.

Sir Toby Belch. What wilt thou do?

Maria. I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of
love; wherein, by the colour of his beard, the shape 855
of his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure
of his eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find
himself most feelingly personated. I can write very
like my lady your niece: on a forgotten matter we
can hardly make distinction of our hands.860

Sir Toby Belch. Excellent! I smell a device.

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

Sir Toby Belch. He shall think, by the letters that thou wilt drop,
that they come from my niece, and that she’s in
love with him.865

Maria. My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that colour.

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

Maria. Ass, I doubt not.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. O, ’twill be admirable!

Maria. Sport royal, I warrant you: I know my physic will 870
work with him. I will plant you two, and let the
fool make a third, where he shall find the letter:
observe his construction of it. For this night, to
bed, and dream on the event. Farewell.


Sir Toby Belch. Good night, Penthesilea.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Before me, she’s a good wench.

Sir Toby Belch. She’s a beagle, true-bred, and one that adores me:
what o’ that?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I was adored once too.880

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

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way out.

Sir Toby Belch. Send for money, knight: if thou hast her not i’
the end, call me cut.885

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

Sir Toby Belch. Come, come, I’ll go burn some sack; ’tis too late
to go to bed now: come, knight; come, knight.



Act II, Scene 4

DUKE ORSINO’s palace.

[Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others]

Orsino. Give me some music. Now, good morrow, friends.
Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song we heard last night:
Methought it did relieve my passion much,
More than light airs and recollected terms 895
Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times:
Come, but one verse.

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

Orsino. Who was it?

Curio. Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady 900
Olivia’s father took much delight in. He is about the house.

Orsino. Seek him out, and play the tune the while.
[Exit CURIO. Music plays]
Come hither, boy: if ever thou shalt love,
In the sweet pangs of it remember me; 905
For such as I am all true lovers are,
Unstaid and skittish in all motions else,
Save in the constant image of the creature
That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?

Viola. It gives a very echo to the seat 910
Where Love is throned.

Orsino. Thou dost speak masterly:
My life upon’t, young though thou art, thine eye
Hath stay’d upon some favour that it loves:
Hath it not, boy?915

Viola. A little, by your favour.

Orsino. What kind of woman is’t?

Viola. Of your complexion.

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

Viola. About your years, my lord.920

Orsino. Too old by heaven: let still the woman take
An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
So sways she level in her husband’s heart:
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, 925
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women’s are.

Viola. I think it well, my lord.

Orsino. Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
Or thy affection cannot hold the bent; 930
For women are as roses, whose fair flower
Being once display’d, doth fall that very hour.

Viola. And so they are: alas, that they are so;
To die, even when they to perfection grow!

[Re-enter CURIO and Clown]

Orsino. O, fellow, come, the song we had last night.
Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
The spinsters and the knitters in the sun
And the free maids that weave their thread with bones
Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth, 940
And dallies with the innocence of love,
Like the old age.

Feste. Are you ready, sir?

Orsino. Ay; prithee, sing.
[Music] 945


Feste. Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid. 950
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet 955
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O, where 960
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!

Orsino. There’s for thy pains.

Feste. No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.

Orsino. I’ll pay thy pleasure then.965

Feste. Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.

Orsino. Give me now leave to leave thee.

Feste. Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the
tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for
thy mind is a very opal. I would have men of such 970
constancy put to sea, that their business might be
every thing and their intent every where; for that’s
it that always makes a good voyage of nothing. Farewell.


Orsino. Let all the rest give place. 975
[CURIO and Attendants retire]
Once more, Cesario,
Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty:
Tell her, my love, more noble than the world,
Prizes not quantity of dirty lands; 980
The parts that fortune hath bestow’d upon her,
Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune;
But ’tis that miracle and queen of gems
That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.

Viola. But if she cannot love you, sir?985

Orsino. I cannot be so answer’d.

Viola. Sooth, but you must.
Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
Hath for your love a great a pang of heart
As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her; 990
You tell her so; must she not then be answer’d?

Orsino. There is no woman’s sides
Can bide 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 995
Alas, their love may be call’d appetite,
No motion of the liver, but the palate,
That suffer surfeit, cloyment and revolt;
But mine is all as hungry as the sea,
And can digest as much: make no compare 1000
Between that love a woman can bear me
And that I owe Olivia.

Viola. Ay, but I know—

Orsino. What dost thou know?

Viola. Too well what love women to men may owe: 1005
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter loved a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.

Orsino. And what’s her history?1010

Viola. A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i’ the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument, 1015
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
We men may say more, swear more: but indeed
Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
Much in our vows, but little in our love.

Orsino. But died thy sister of her love, my boy?1020

Viola. I am all the daughters of my father’s house,
And all the brothers too: and yet I know not.
Sir, shall I to this lady?

Orsino. Ay, that’s the theme.
To her in haste; give her this jewel; say, 1025
My love can give no place, bide no denay.



Act II, Scene 5

OLIVIA’s garden.


Sir Toby Belch. Come thy ways, Signior Fabian.

Fabian. Nay, I’ll come: if I lose a scruple of this sport, 1030
let me be boiled to death with melancholy.

Sir Toby Belch. Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly
rascally sheep-biter come by some notable shame?

Fabian. I would exult, man: you know, he brought me out o’
favour with my lady about a bear-baiting here.1035

Sir Toby Belch. To anger him we’ll have the bear again; and we will
fool him black and blue: shall we not, Sir Andrew?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. An we do not, it is pity of our lives.

Sir Toby Belch. Here comes the little villain.
[Enter MARIA] 1040
How now, my metal of India!

Maria. Get ye all three into the box-tree: Malvolio’s
coming down this walk: he has been yonder i’ the
sun practising behavior to his own shadow this half
hour: observe him, for the love of mockery; for I 1045
know this letter will make a contemplative idiot of
him. Close, in the name of jesting! Lie thou there,
[Throws down a letter]
for here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling.



Malvolio. ‘Tis but fortune; all is fortune. Maria once told
me she did affect me: and I have heard herself come
thus near, that, should she fancy, it should be one
of my complexion. Besides, she uses me with a more 1055
exalted respect than any one else that follows her.
What should I think on’t?

Sir Toby Belch. Here’s an overweening rogue!

Fabian. O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock
of him: how he jets under his advanced plumes!1060

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. ‘Slight, I could so beat the rogue!

Sir Toby Belch. Peace, I say.

Malvolio. To be Count Malvolio!

Sir Toby Belch. Ah, rogue!

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Pistol him, pistol him.1065

Sir Toby Belch. Peace, peace!

Malvolio. There is example for’t; the lady of the Strachy
married the yeoman of the wardrobe.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Fie on him, Jezebel!

Fabian. O, peace! now he’s deeply in: look how 1070
imagination blows him.

Malvolio. Having been three months married to her, sitting in
my state,—

Sir Toby Belch. O, for a stone-bow, to hit him in the eye!

Malvolio. Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet 1075
gown; having come from a day-bed, where I have left
Olivia sleeping,—

Sir Toby Belch. Fire and brimstone!

Fabian. O, peace, peace!

Malvolio. And then to have the humour of state; and after a 1080
demure travel of regard, telling them I know my
place as I would they should do theirs, to for my
kinsman Toby,—

Sir Toby Belch. Bolts and shackles!

Fabian. O peace, peace, peace! now, now.1085

Malvolio. Seven of my people, with an obedient start, make
out for him: I frown the while; and perchance wind
up watch, or play with my—some rich jewel. Toby
approaches; courtesies there to me,—

Sir Toby Belch. Shall this fellow live?1090

Fabian. Though our silence be drawn from us with cars, yet peace.

Malvolio. I extend my hand to him thus, quenching my familiar
smile with an austere regard of control,—

Sir Toby Belch. And does not Toby take you a blow o’ the lips then?

Malvolio. Saying, ‘Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on 1095
your niece give me this prerogative of speech,’—

Sir Toby Belch. What, what?

Malvolio. ‘You must amend your drunkenness.’

Sir Toby Belch. Out, scab!

Fabian. Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot.1100

Malvolio. ‘Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with
a foolish knight,’—

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. That’s me, I warrant you.

Malvolio. ‘One Sir Andrew,’—

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I knew ’twas I; for many do call me fool.1105

Malvolio. What employment have we here?

[Taking up the letter]

Fabian. Now is the woodcock near the gin.

Sir Toby Belch. O, peace! and the spirit of humour intimate reading
aloud to him!1110

Malvolio. By my life, this is my lady’s hand these be her
very C’s, her U’s and her T’s and thus makes she her
great P’s. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Her C’s, her U’s and her T’s: why that?

Malvolio. [Reads] ‘To the unknown beloved, this, and my good 1115
wishes:’—her very phrases! By your leave, wax.
Soft! and the impressure her Lucrece, with which she
uses to seal: ’tis my lady. To whom should this be?

Fabian. This wins him, liver and all.

Malvolio. [Reads] 1120
Jove knows I love: But who?
Lips, do not move;
No man must know.
‘No man must know.’ What follows? the numbers
altered! ‘No man must know:’ if this should be 1125
thee, Malvolio?

Sir Toby Belch. Marry, hang thee, brock!

Malvolio. [Reads]
I may command where I adore;
But silence, like a Lucrece knife, 1130
With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore:
M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.

Fabian. A fustian riddle!

Sir Toby Belch. Excellent wench, say I.

Malvolio. ‘M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.’ Nay, but first, let 1135
me see, let me see, let me see.

Fabian. What dish o’ poison has she dressed him!

Sir Toby Belch. And with what wing the staniel cheques at it!

Malvolio. ‘I may command where I adore.’ Why, she may command
me: I serve her; she is my lady. Why, this is 1140
evident to any formal capacity; there is no
obstruction in this: and the end,—what should
that alphabetical position portend? If I could make
that resemble something in me,—Softly! M, O, A,

Sir Toby Belch. O, ay, make up that: he is now at a cold scent.

Fabian. Sowter will cry upon’t for all this, though it be as
rank as a fox.

Malvolio. M,—Malvolio; M,—why, that begins my name.

Fabian. Did not I say he would work it out? the cur is 1150
excellent at faults.

Malvolio. M,—but then there is no consonancy in the sequel;
that suffers under probation A should follow but O does.

Fabian. And O shall end, I hope.

Sir Toby Belch. Ay, or I’ll cudgel him, and make him cry O!1155

Malvolio. And then I comes behind.

Fabian. Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you might see
more detraction at your heels than fortunes before

Malvolio. M, O, A, I; this simulation is not as the former: and 1160
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. In my stars I 1165
am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some
are born great, some achieve greatness, and some
have greatness thrust upon ’em. Thy Fates open
their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them;
and, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, 1170
cast thy humble slough and appear fresh. Be
opposite with a kinsman, surly with servants; let
thy tongue tang arguments of state; put thyself into
the trick of singularity: she thus advises thee
that sighs for thee. Remember who commended thy 1175
yellow stockings, and wished to see thee ever
cross-gartered: I say, remember. Go to, thou art
made, if thou desirest to be so; if not, let me see
thee a steward still, the fellow of servants, and
not worthy to touch Fortune’s fingers. Farewell. 1180
She that would alter services with thee,
Daylight and champaign discovers not more: this is
open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors,
I will baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross 1185
acquaintance, I will be point-devise the very man.
I do not now fool myself, to let imagination jade
me; for every reason excites to this, that my lady
loves me. She did commend my yellow stockings of
late, she did praise my leg being cross-gartered; 1190
and in this she manifests herself to my love, and
with a kind of injunction drives me to these habits
of her liking. I thank my stars I am happy. I will
be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and
cross-gartered, even with the swiftness of putting 1195
on. Jove and my stars be praised! Here is yet a
‘Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou
entertainest my love, let it appear in thy smiling; 1200
thy smiles become thee well; therefore in my
presence still smile, dear my sweet, I prithee.’
Jove, I thank thee: I will smile; I will do
everything that thou wilt have me.


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

Sir Toby Belch. I could marry this wench for this device.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. So could I too.

Sir Toby Belch. And ask no other dowry with her but such another jest.1210

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Nor I neither.

Fabian. Here comes my noble gull-catcher.

[Re-enter MARIA]

Sir Toby Belch. Wilt thou set thy foot o’ my neck?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Or o’ mine either?1215

Sir Toby Belch. Shall I play my freedom at traytrip, and become thy

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I’ faith, or I either?

Sir Toby Belch. Why, thou hast put him in such a dream, that when
the image of it leaves him he must run mad.1220

Maria. Nay, but say true; does it work upon him?

Sir Toby Belch. Like aqua-vitae with a midwife.

Maria. 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 colour she 1225
abhors, and cross-gartered, a fashion she detests;
and he will smile upon her, which will 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. If you will see it, follow 1230

Sir Toby Belch. To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil of wit!

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I’ll make one too.