Oil painting depicting four figures in a wooded area.  Viola, dressed in men's clothing, leans into  Fabian on the left; Sir Aguecheek and Sir Belch confer on the right.

Scene from “Twelfth Night,” Act III IV, where Fabian (far left) encourages Viola/Cesario (second left) to fight Sir Andrew Aguecheek (second right), encouraged by Sir Toby Belch (far right), because Viola is accused of wooing Olivia, whereas Andrew wishes to woo her instead.

Act III, Scene 1

OLIVIA’s garden.

[Enter VIOLA, and Clown with a tabour]

Viola. Save thee, friend, and thy music: dost thou live by
thy tabour?

Feste. No, sir, I live by the church.

Viola. Art thou a churchman?

Feste. No such matter, sir: I do live by the church; for 1240
I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by
the church.

Viola. So thou mayst say, the king lies by a beggar, if a
beggar dwell near him; or, the church stands by thy
tabour, if thy tabour stand by the church.1245

Feste. You have said, sir. To see this age! A sentence is
but a cheveril glove to a good wit: how quickly the
wrong side may be turned outward!

Viola. Nay, that’s certain; they that dally nicely with
words may quickly make them wanton.1250

Feste. I would, therefore, my sister had had no name, sir.

Viola. Why, man?

Feste. Why, sir, her name’s a word; and to dally with that
word might make my sister wanton. But indeed words
are very rascals since bonds disgraced them.1255

Viola. Thy reason, man?

Feste. Troth, sir, I can yield you none without words; and
words are grown so false, I am loath to prove
reason with them.

Viola. I warrant thou art a merry fellow and carest for nothing.1260

Feste. Not so, sir, I do care for something; but in my
conscience, sir, I do not care for you: if that be
to care for nothing, sir, I would it would make you invisible.

Viola. Art not thou the Lady Olivia’s fool?

Feste. No, indeed, sir; the Lady Olivia has no folly: she 1265
will keep no fool, sir, till she be married; and
fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to
herrings; the husband’s the bigger: I am indeed not
her fool, but her corrupter of words.

Viola. I saw thee late at the Count Orsino’s.1270

Feste. Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun,
it shines every where. I would be sorry, sir, but
the fool should be as oft with your master as with
my mistress: I think I saw your wisdom there.

Viola. Nay, an thou pass upon me, I’ll no more with thee. 1275
Hold, there’s expenses for thee.

Feste. Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send thee a beard!

Viola. By my troth, I’ll tell thee, I am almost sick for
[Aside] 1280
though I would not have it grow on my chin. Is thy
lady within?

Feste. Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?

Viola. Yes, being kept together and put to use.

Feste. I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to bring 1285
a Cressida to this Troilus.

Viola. I understand you, sir; ’tis well begged.

Feste. The matter, I hope, is not great, sir, begging but
a beggar: Cressida was a beggar. My lady is
within, sir. I will construe to them whence you 1290
come; who you are and what you would are out of my
welkin, I might say ‘element,’ but the word is over-worn.


Viola. This fellow is wise enough to play the fool;
And to do that well craves a kind of wit: 1295
He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons, and the time,
And, like the haggard, cheque at every feather
That comes before his eye. This is a practise
As full of labour as a wise man’s art 1300
For folly that he wisely shows is fit;
But wise men, folly-fall’n, quite taint their wit.


Sir Toby Belch. Save you, gentleman.

Viola. And you, sir.1305

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Dieu vous garde, monsieur.

Viola. Et vous aussi; votre serviteur.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I hope, sir, you are; and I am yours.

Sir Toby Belch. Will you encounter the house? my niece is desirous
you should enter, if your trade be to her.1310

Viola. I am bound to your niece, sir; I mean, she is the
list of my voyage.

Sir Toby Belch. Taste your legs, sir; put them to motion.

Viola. My legs do better understand me, sir, than I
understand what you mean by bidding me taste my legs.1315

Sir Toby Belch. I mean, to go, sir, to enter.

Viola. I will answer you with gait and entrance. But we
are prevented.
[Enter OLIVIA and MARIA]
Most excellent accomplished lady, the heavens rain 1320
odours on you!

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. That youth’s a rare courtier: ‘Rain odours;’ well.

Viola. My matter hath no voice, to your own most pregnant
and vouchsafed ear.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. ‘Odours,’ ‘pregnant’ and ‘vouchsafed:’ I’ll get ’em 1325
all three all ready.

Olivia. Let the garden door be shut, and leave me to my hearing.
Give me your hand, sir.

Viola. My duty, madam, and most humble service.1330

Olivia. What is your name?

Viola. Cesario is your servant’s name, fair princess.

Olivia. My servant, sir! ‘Twas never merry world
Since lowly feigning was call’d compliment:
You’re servant to the Count Orsino, youth.1335

Viola. And he is yours, and his must needs be yours:
Your servant’s servant is your servant, madam.

Olivia. For him, I think not on him: for his thoughts,
Would they were blanks, rather than fill’d with me!

Viola. Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts 1340
On his behalf.

Olivia. O, by your leave, I pray you,
I bade you never speak again of him:
But, would you undertake another suit,
I had rather hear you to solicit that 1345
Than music from the spheres.

Viola. Dear lady,—

Olivia. Give me leave, beseech you. I did send,
After the last enchantment you did here,
A ring in chase of you: so did I abuse 1350
Myself, my servant and, I fear me, you:
Under your hard construction must I sit,To force that on you, in a shameful cunning,
Which you knew none of yours: what might you think?
Have you not set mine honour at the stake
And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts 1355
That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving
Enough is shown: a cypress, not a bosom,
Hideth my heart. So, let me hear you speak.

Viola. I pity you.

Olivia. That’s a degree to love.1360

Viola. No, not a grize; for ’tis a vulgar proof,
That very oft we pity enemies.

Olivia. Why, then, methinks ’tis time to smile again.
O, world, how apt the poor are to be proud!
If one should be a prey, how much the better 1365
To fall before the lion than the wolf!
[Clock strikes]
The clock upbraids me with the waste of time.
Be not afraid, good youth, I will not have you:
And yet, when wit and youth is come to harvest, 1370
Your were is alike to reap a proper man:
There lies your way, due west.

Viola. Then westward-ho! Grace and good disposition
Attend your ladyship!
You’ll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?1375

Olivia. Stay:
I prithee, tell me what thou thinkest of me.

Viola. That you do think you are not what you are.

Olivia. If I think so, I think the same of you.

Viola. Then think you right: I am not what I am.1380

Olivia. I would you were as I would have you be!

Viola. Would it be better, madam, than I am?
I wish it might, for now I am your fool.

Olivia. O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful
In the contempt and anger of his lip! 1385
A murderous guilt shows not itself more soon
Than love that would seem hid: love’s night is noon.
Cesario, by the roses of the spring,
By maidhood, honour, truth and every thing,
I love thee so, that, maugre all thy pride, 1390
Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.
Do not extort thy reasons from this clause,
For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause,
But rather reason thus with reason fetter,
Love sought is good, but given unsought better.1395

Viola. By innocence I swear, and by my youth
I have one heart, one bosom and one truth,
And that no woman has; nor never none
Shall mistress be of it, save I alone.
And so adieu, good madam: never more 1400
Will I my master’s tears to you deplore.

Olivia. Yet come again; for thou perhaps mayst move
That heart, which now abhors, to like his love.



Act III, Scene 2

OLIVIA’s house.


Sir Andrew Aguecheek. No, faith, I’ll not stay a jot longer.

Sir Toby Belch. Thy reason, dear venom, give thy reason.

Fabian. You must needs yield your reason, Sir Andrew.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Marry, I saw your niece do more favours to the
count’s serving-man than ever she bestowed upon me; 1410
I saw’t i’ the orchard.

Sir Toby Belch. Did she see thee the while, old boy? tell me that.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. As plain as I see you now.

Fabian. This was a great argument of love in her toward you.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. ‘Slight, will you make an ass o’ me?1415

Fabian. I will prove it legitimate, sir, upon the oaths of
judgment and reason.

Sir Toby Belch. And they have been grand-jury-men since before Noah
was a sailor.

Fabian. She did show favour to the youth in your sight only 1420
to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valour, to
put fire in your heart and brimstone in your liver.
You should then have accosted her; and with some
excellent jests, fire-new from the mint, you should
have banged the youth into dumbness. This was 1425
looked for at your hand, and this was balked: the
double gilt of this opportunity you let time wash
off, and you are now sailed into the north of my
lady’s opinion; where you will hang like an icicle
on a Dutchman’s beard, unless you do redeem it by 1430
some laudable attempt either of valour or policy.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. An’t be any way, it must be with valour; for policy
I hate: I had as lief be a Brownist as a

Sir Toby Belch. Why, then, build me thy fortunes upon the basis of 1435
valour. Challenge me the count’s youth to fight
with him; hurt him in eleven places: my niece shall
take note of it; and assure thyself, there is no
love-broker in the world can more prevail in man’s
commendation with woman than report of valour.1440

Fabian. There is no way but this, Sir Andrew.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Will either of you bear me a challenge to him?

Sir Toby Belch. Go, write it in a martial hand; be curst and brief;
it is no matter how witty, so it be eloquent and fun
of invention: taunt him with the licence of ink: 1445
if thou thou’st him some thrice, it shall not be
amiss; and as many lies as will lie in thy sheet of
paper, although the sheet were big enough for the
bed of Ware in England, set ’em down: go, about it.
Let there be gall enough in thy ink, though thou 1450
write with a goose-pen, no matter: about it.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Where shall I find you?

Sir Toby Belch. We’ll call thee at the cubiculo: go.


Fabian. This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby.1455

Sir Toby Belch. I have been dear to him, lad, some two thousand
strong, or so.

Fabian. We shall have a rare letter from him: but you’ll
not deliver’t?

Sir Toby Belch. Never trust me, then; and by all means stir on the 1460
youth to an answer. I think oxen and wainropes
cannot hale them together. For Andrew, if he were
opened, and you find so much blood in his liver as
will clog the foot of a flea, I’ll eat the rest of
the anatomy.1465

Fabian. And his opposite, the youth, bears in his visage no
great presage of cruelty.

[Enter MARIA]

Sir Toby Belch. Look, where the youngest wren of nine comes.

Maria. If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourself 1470
into stitches, follow me. Yond gull Malvolio is
turned heathen, a very renegado; for there is no
Christian, that means to be saved by believing
rightly, can ever believe such impossible passages
of grossness. He’s in yellow stockings.1475

Sir Toby Belch. And cross-gartered?

Maria. Most villanously; like a pedant that keeps a school
i’ the church. I have dogged him, like his
murderer. He does obey every point of the letter
that I dropped to betray him: he does smile his 1480
face into more lines than is in the new map with the
augmentation of the Indies: you have not seen such
a thing as ’tis. I can hardly forbear hurling things
at him. I know my lady will strike him: if she do,
he’ll smile and take’t for a great favour.1485

Sir Toby Belch. Come, bring us, bring us where he is.



Act III, Scene 3

A street.


Sebastian. I would not by my will have troubled you;
But, since you make your pleasure of your pains, 1490
I will no further chide you.

Antonio. I could not stay behind you: my desire,
More sharp than filed steel, did spur me forth;
And not all love to see you, though so much
As might have drawn one to a longer voyage, 1495
But jealousy what might befall your travel,
Being skilless in these parts; which to a stranger,
Unguided and unfriended, often prove
Rough and unhospitable: my willing love,
The rather by these arguments of fear, 1500
Set forth in your pursuit.

Sebastian. My kind Antonio,
I can no other answer make but thanks,
And thanks; and ever thanks; and oft good turns
Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay: 1505
But, were my worth as is my conscience firm,
You should find better dealing. What’s to do?
Shall we go see the reliques of this town?

Antonio. To-morrow, sir: best first go see your lodging.

Sebastian. I am not weary, and ’tis long to night: 1510
I pray you, let us satisfy our eyes
With the memorials and the things of fame
That do renown this city.

Antonio. Would you’ld pardon me;
I do not without danger walk these streets: 1515
Once, in a sea-fight, ‘gainst the count his galleys
I did some service; of such note indeed,
That were I ta’en here it would scarce be answer’d.

Sebastian. Belike you slew great number of his people.

Antonio. The offence is not of such a bloody nature; 1520
Albeit the quality of the time and quarrel
Might well have given us bloody argument.
It might have since been answer’d in repaying
What we took from them; which, for traffic’s sake,
Most of our city did: only myself stood out; 1525
For which, if I be lapsed in this place,
I shall pay dear.

Sebastian. Do not then walk too open.

Antonio. It doth not fit me. Hold, sir, here’s my purse.
In the south suburbs, at the Elephant, 1530
Is best to lodge: I will bespeak our diet,
Whiles you beguile the time and feed your knowledge
With viewing of the town: there shall you have me.

Sebastian. Why I your purse?

Antonio. Haply your eye shall light upon some toy 1535
You have desire to purchase; and your store,
I think, is not for idle markets, sir.

Sebastian. I’ll be your purse-bearer and leave you
For an hour.

Antonio. To the Elephant.1540

Sebastian. I do remember.



Act III, Scene 4

OLIVIA’s garden.

[Enter OLIVIA and MARIA]

Olivia. I have sent after him: he says he’ll come;
How shall I feast him? what bestow of him? 1545
For youth is bought more oft than begg’d or borrow’d.
I speak too loud.
Where is Malvolio? he is sad and civil,
And suits well for a servant with my fortunes:
Where is Malvolio?1550

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

Olivia. Why, what’s the matter? does he rave?

Maria. No. madam, he does nothing but smile: your
ladyship were best to have some guard about you, if 1555
he come; for, sure, the man is tainted in’s wits.

Olivia. Go call him hither.
[Exit MARIA]
I am as mad as he,
If sad and merry madness equal be. 1560
[Re-enter MARIA, with MALVOLIO]
How now, Malvolio!

Malvolio. Sweet lady, ho, ho.

Olivia. Smilest thou?
I sent for thee upon a sad occasion.1565

Malvolio. Sad, lady! I could be sad: this does make some
obstruction in the blood, this cross-gartering; but
what of that? if it please the eye of one, it is
with me as the very true sonnet is, ‘Please one, and
please all.’1570

Olivia. Why, how dost thou, man? what is the matter with thee?

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

Olivia. Wilt thou go to bed, Malvolio?1575

Malvolio. To bed! ay, sweet-heart, and I’ll come to thee.

Olivia. God comfort thee! Why dost thou smile so and kiss
thy hand so oft?

Maria. How do you, Malvolio?

Malvolio. At your request! yes; nightingales answer daws.1580

Maria. Why appear you with this ridiculous boldness before my lady?

Malvolio. ‘Be not afraid of greatness:’ ’twas well writ.

Olivia. What meanest thou by that, Malvolio?

Malvolio. ‘Some are born great,’—

Olivia. Ha!1585

Malvolio. ‘Some achieve greatness,’—

Olivia. What sayest thou?

Malvolio. ‘And some have greatness thrust upon them.’

Olivia. Heaven restore thee!

Malvolio. ‘Remember who commended thy yellow stockings,’—1590

Olivia. Thy yellow stockings!

Malvolio. ‘And wished to see thee cross-gartered.’

Olivia. Cross-gartered!

Malvolio. ‘Go to thou art made, if thou desirest to be so;’—

Olivia. Am I made?1595

Malvolio. ‘If not, let me see thee a servant still.’

Olivia. Why, this is very midsummer madness.

[Enter Servant]

Servant. Madam, the young gentleman of the Count Orsino’s is
returned: I could hardly entreat him back: he 1600
attends your ladyship’s pleasure.

Olivia. I’ll come to him.
[Exit Servant]
Good Maria, let this fellow be looked to. Where’s
my cousin Toby? Let some of my people have a special 1605
care of him: I would not have him miscarry for the
half of my dowry.

[Exeunt OLIVIA and MARIA]

Malvolio. O, ho! do you come near me now? no worse man than
Sir Toby to look to me! This concurs directly with 1610
the letter: she sends him on purpose, that I may
appear stubborn to him; for she incites me to that
in the letter. ‘Cast thy humble slough,’ says she;
‘be opposite with a kinsman, surly with servants;
let thy tongue tang with arguments of state; put 1615
thyself into the trick of singularity;’ and
consequently sets down the manner how; as, a sad
face, a reverend carriage, a slow tongue, in the
habit of some sir of note, and so forth. I have
limed her; but it is Jove’s doing, and Jove make me 1620
thankful! And when she went away now, ‘Let this
fellow be looked to:’ fellow! not Malvolio, nor
after my degree, but fellow. Why, every thing
adheres together, that no dram of a scruple, no
scruple of a scruple, no obstacle, no incredulous 1625
or unsafe circumstance—What can be said? Nothing
that can be can come between me and the full
prospect of my hopes. Well, Jove, not I, is the
doer of this, and he is to be thanked.

[Re-enter MARIA, with SIR TOBY BELCH and FABIAN]

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

Fabian. Here he is, here he is. How is’t with you, sir?
how is’t with you, man?1635

Malvolio. Go off; I discard you: let me enjoy my private: go

Maria. Lo, how hollow the fiend speaks within him! did not
I tell you? Sir Toby, my lady prays you to have a
care of him.1640

Malvolio. Ah, ha! does she so?

Sir Toby Belch. Go to, go to; peace, peace; we must deal gently
with him: let me alone. How do you, Malvolio? how
is’t with you? What, man! defy the devil:
consider, he’s an enemy to mankind.1645

Malvolio. Do you know what you say?

Maria. La you, an you speak ill of the devil, how he takes
it at heart! Pray God, he be not bewitched!

Fabian. Carry his water to the wise woman.

Maria. Marry, and it shall be done to-morrow morning, if I 1650
live. My lady would not lose him for more than I’ll say.

Malvolio. How now, mistress!

Maria. O Lord!

Sir Toby Belch. Prithee, hold thy peace; this is not the way: do
you not see you move him? let me alone with him.1655

Fabian. No way but gentleness; gently, gently: the fiend is
rough, and will not be roughly used.

Sir Toby Belch. Why, how now, my bawcock! how dost thou, chuck?

Malvolio. Sir!

Sir Toby Belch. Ay, Biddy, come with me. What, man! ’tis not for 1660
gravity to play at cherry-pit with Satan: hang
him, foul collier!

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

Malvolio. My prayers, minx!

Maria. No, I warrant you, he will not hear of godliness.1665

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


Sir Toby Belch. Is’t possible?1670

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

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

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

Fabian. Why, we shall make him mad indeed.1675

Maria. The house will be the quieter.

Sir Toby Belch. Come, we’ll have him in a dark room and bound. My
niece is already in the belief that he’s mad: we
may carry it thus, for our pleasure and his penance,
till our very pastime, tired out of breath, prompt 1680
us to have mercy on him: at which time we will
bring the device to the bar and crown thee for a
finder of madmen. But see, but see.


Fabian. More matter for a May morning.1685

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Here’s the challenge, read it: warrant there’s
vinegar and pepper in’t.

Fabian. Is’t so saucy?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Ay, is’t, I warrant him: do but read.

Sir Toby Belch. Give me. 1690
‘Youth, whatsoever thou art, thou art but a scurvy fellow.’

Fabian. Good, and valiant.

Sir Toby Belch. [Reads] ‘Wonder not, nor admire not in thy mind,
why I do call thee so, for I will show thee no reason for’t.’1695

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

Sir Toby Belch. [Reads] ‘Thou comest to the lady Olivia, and in my
sight she uses thee kindly: but thou liest in thy
throat; that is not the matter I challenge thee for.’

Fabian. Very brief, and to exceeding good sense—less.1700

Sir Toby Belch. [Reads] ‘I will waylay thee going home; where if it
be thy chance to kill me,’—

Fabian. Good.

Sir Toby Belch. [Reads] ‘Thou killest me like a rogue and a villain.’

Fabian. Still you keep o’ the windy side of the law: good.1705

Sir Toby Belch. [Reads] ‘Fare thee well; and God have mercy upon
one of our souls! He may have mercy upon mine; but
my hope is better, and so look to thyself. Thy
friend, as thou usest him, and thy sworn enemy,
If this letter move him not, his legs cannot:
I’ll give’t him.

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

Sir Toby Belch. Go, Sir Andrew: scout me for him at the corner the 1715
orchard like a bum-baily: so soon as ever thou seest
him, draw; and, as thou drawest swear horrible; for
it comes to pass oft that a terrible oath, with a
swaggering accent sharply twanged off, gives manhood
more approbation than ever proof itself would have 1720
earned him. Away!

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Nay, let me alone for swearing.


Sir Toby Belch. Now will not I deliver his letter: for the behavior
of the young gentleman gives him out to be of good 1725
capacity and breeding; his employment between his
lord and my niece confirms no less: therefore this
letter, being so excellently ignorant, will breed no
terror in the youth: he will find it comes from a
clodpole. But, sir, I will deliver his challenge by 1730
word of mouth; set upon Aguecheek a notable report
of valour; and drive the gentleman, as I know his
youth will aptly receive it, into a most hideous
opinion of his rage, skill, fury and impetuosity.
This will so fright them both that they will kill 1735
one another by the look, like cockatrices.

[Re-enter OLIVIA, with VIOLA]

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

Sir Toby Belch. I will meditate the while upon some horrid message 1740
for a challenge.


Olivia. I have said too much unto a heart of stone
And laid mine honour too unchary out:
There’s something in me that reproves my fault; 1745
But such a headstrong potent fault it is,
That it but mocks reproof.

Viola. With the same ‘havior that your passion bears
Goes on my master’s grief.

Olivia. Here, wear this jewel for me, ’tis my picture; 1750
Refuse it not; it hath no tongue to vex you;
And I beseech you come again to-morrow.
What shall you ask of me that I’ll deny,
That honour saved may upon asking give?

Viola. Nothing but this; your true love for my master.1755

Olivia. How with mine honour may I give him that
Which I have given to you?

Viola. I will acquit you.

Olivia. Well, come again to-morrow: fare thee well:
A fiend like thee might bear my soul to hell.1760



Sir Toby Belch. Gentleman, God save thee.

Viola. And you, sir.

Sir Toby Belch. That defence thou hast, betake thee to’t: of what 1765
nature the wrongs are thou hast done him, I know
not; but thy intercepter, full of despite, bloody as
the hunter, attends thee at the orchard-end:
dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for
thy assailant is quick, skilful and deadly.1770

Viola. You mistake, sir; I am sure no man hath any quarrel
to me: my remembrance is very free and clear from
any image of offence done to any man.

Sir Toby Belch. You’ll find it otherwise, I assure you: therefore,
if you hold your life at any price, betake you to 1775
your guard; for your opposite hath in him what
youth, strength, skill and wrath can furnish man withal.

Viola. I pray you, sir, what is he?

Sir Toby Belch. He is knight, dubbed with unhatched rapier and on
carpet consideration; but he is a devil in private 1780
brawl: souls and bodies hath he divorced three; and
his incensement at this moment is so implacable,
that satisfaction can be none but by pangs of death
and sepulchre. Hob, nob, is his word; give’t or take’t.

Viola. I will return again into the house and desire some 1785
conduct of the lady. I am no fighter. I have heard
of some kind of men that put quarrels purposely on
others, to taste their valour: belike this is a man
of that quirk.

Sir Toby Belch. Sir, no; his indignation derives itself out of a 1790
very competent injury: therefore, get you on and
give him his desire. Back you shall not to the
house, unless you undertake that with me which with
as much safety you might answer him: therefore, on,
or strip your sword stark naked; for meddle you 1795
must, that’s certain, or forswear to wear iron about you.

Viola. This is as uncivil as strange. I beseech you, do me
this courteous office, as to know of the knight what
my offence to him is: it is something of my
negligence, nothing of my purpose.1800

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


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

Fabian. I know the knight is incensed against you, even to a 1805
mortal arbitrement; but nothing of the circumstance more.

Viola. I beseech you, what manner of man is he?

Fabian. Nothing of that wonderful promise, to read him by
his form, as you are like to find him in the proof
of his valour. He is, indeed, sir, the most skilful, 1810
bloody and fatal opposite that you could possibly
have found in any part of Illyria. Will you walk
towards him? I will make your peace with him if I

Viola. I shall be much bound to you for’t: I am one that 1815
had rather go with sir priest than sir knight: I
care not who knows so much of my mettle.



Sir Toby Belch. Why, man, he’s a very devil; I have not seen such a 1820
firago. I had a pass with him, rapier, scabbard and
all, and he gives me the stuck in with such a mortal
motion, that it is inevitable; and on the answer, he
pays you as surely as your feet hit the ground they
step on. They say he has been fencer to the Sophy.1825

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Pox on’t, I’ll not meddle with him.

Sir Toby Belch. Ay, but he will not now be pacified: Fabian can
scarce hold him yonder.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Plague on’t, an I thought he had been valiant and so
cunning in fence, I’ld have seen him damned ere I’ld 1830
have challenged him. Let him let the matter slip,
and I’ll give him my horse, grey Capilet.

Sir Toby Belch. I’ll make the motion: stand here, make a good show
on’t: this shall end without the perdition of souls.
[Aside] 1835
Marry, I’ll ride your horse as well as I ride you.
[Re-enter FABIAN and VIOLA]
I have his horse to take up the quarrel:
I have persuaded him the youth’s a devil.1840

Fabian. He is as horribly conceited of him; and pants and
looks pale, as if a bear were at his heels.

Sir Toby Belch. [To VIOLA] There’s no remedy, sir; he will fight
with you for’s oath sake: marry, he hath better
bethought him of his quarrel, and he finds that now 1845
scarce to be worth talking of: therefore draw, for
the supportance of his vow; he protests he will not hurt you.

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

Fabian. Give ground, if you see him furious.1850

Sir Toby Belch. Come, Sir Andrew, there’s no remedy; the gentleman
will, for his honour’s sake, have one bout with you;
he cannot by the duello avoid it: but he has
promised me, as he is a gentleman and a soldier, he
will not hurt you. Come on; to’t.1855

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Pray God, he keep his oath!

Viola. I do assure you, ’tis against my will.

[They draw]


Antonio. Put up your sword. If this young gentleman 1860
Have done offence, I take the fault on me:
If you offend him, I for him defy you.

Sir Toby Belch. You, sir! why, what are you?

Antonio. One, sir, that for his love dares yet do more
Than you have heard him brag to you he will.1865

Sir Toby Belch. Nay, if you be an undertaker, I am for you.

[They draw]

[Enter Officers]

Fabian. O good Sir Toby, hold! here come the officers.

Sir Toby Belch. I’ll be with you anon.1870

Viola. Pray, sir, put your sword up, if you please.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Marry, will I, sir; and, for that I promised you,
I’ll be as good as my word: he will bear you easily
and reins well.

First Officer. This is the man; do thy office.1875

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

Antonio. You do mistake me, sir.

First Officer. No, sir, no jot; I know your favour well,
Though now you have no sea-cap on your head.
Take him away: he knows I know him well.1880

Antonio. I must obey.
This comes with seeking you:
But there’s no remedy; I shall answer it.
What will you do, now my necessity 1885
Makes me to ask you for my purse? It grieves me
Much more for what I cannot do for you
Than what befalls myself. You stand amazed;
But be of comfort.

Second Officer. Come, sir, away.1890

Antonio. I must entreat of you some of that money.

Viola. What money, sir?
For the fair kindness you have show’d me here,
And, part, being prompted by your present trouble,
Out of my lean and low ability 1895
I’ll lend you something: my having is not much;
I’ll make division of my present with you:
Hold, there’s half my coffer.

Antonio. Will you deny me now?
Is’t possible that my deserts to you 1900
Can lack persuasion? Do not tempt my misery,
Lest that it make me so unsound a man
As to upbraid you with those kindnesses
That I have done for you.

Viola. I know of none; 1905
Nor know I you by voice or any feature:
I hate ingratitude more in a man
Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
Or any taint of vice whose strong corruption
Inhabits our frail blood.1910

Antonio. O heavens themselves!

Second Officer. Come, sir, I pray you, go.

Antonio. Let me speak a little. This youth that you see here
I snatch’d one half out of the jaws of death,
Relieved him with such sanctity of love, 1915
And to his image, which methought did promise
Most venerable worth, did I devotion.

First Officer. What’s that to us? The time goes by: away!

Antonio. But O how vile an idol proves this god
Thou hast, Sebastian, done good feature shame. 1920
In nature there’s no blemish but the mind;
None can be call’d deform’d but the unkind:
Virtue is beauty, but the beauteous evil
Are empty trunks o’erflourish’d by the devil.

First Officer. The man grows mad: away with him! Come, come, sir.1925

Antonio. Lead me on.

[Exit with Officers]

Viola. Methinks his words do from such passion fly,
That he believes himself: so do not I.
Prove true, imagination, O, prove true, 1930
That I, dear brother, be now ta’en for you!

Sir Toby Belch. Come hither, knight; come hither, Fabian: we’ll
whisper o’er a couplet or two of most sage saws.

Viola. He named Sebastian: I my brother know
Yet living in my glass; even such and so 1935
In favour was my brother, and he went
Still in this fashion, colour, ornament,
For him I imitate: O, if it prove,
Tempests are kind and salt waves fresh in love.


Sir Toby Belch. A very dishonest paltry boy, and more a coward than
a hare: his dishonesty appears in leaving his
friend here in necessity and denying him; and for
his cowardship, ask Fabian.

Fabian. A coward, a most devout coward, religious in it.1945

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. ‘Slid, I’ll after him again and beat him.

Sir Toby Belch. Do; cuff him soundly, but never draw thy sword.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. An I do not,—

Fabian. Come, let’s see the event.

Sir Toby Belch. I dare lay any money ’twill be nothing yet.1950