From Twelfth Night Or What You Will. Ed. Kenneth Deighton. London: Macmillan.
2. you are like ... advanced, there is every prospect of his
raising you to a high office about him.
4. his humour, his caprice: call in question, seem to doubt.
8. the count. See note on i. 2. 25.
10. On your ... here. I am here waiting to serve you; your is
objective, in attendance on you.
11. aloof, from "Aprep, + Loof, luff, weather-gage, windward
direction; perhaps immediately from Du. loef, in te loef, to windward" ... (Murray's Eng. Dict).
12. no less but all, no less than all, the whole truth of the
matter; for but instead of 'than,' see Abb. § 127.
12, 3. I have ... soul, I have revealed to you the inmost secrets
of my soul, those which I have concealed from every one else;
cp. i. H. IV. i. 3. 188, "I will unclasp a secret book"; T. C.
iv. 6. 60, "unclasp the tables of their thoughts."
14. address ... her, direct your steps to her house; 'dress'
ultimately from the Lat. directus, straight.
15. Be not ... access, refuse to take any denial from her, insist
upon being allowed to see her.
16. thy fixed ... grow, there you will plant your foot immovably: have, subjunctive.
18. so ... sorrow, so utterly given up to, so completely preoccupied by, her sorrow.
19. As it is spoke, as people say; for spoke, the curtailed form
of the past participle, see Abb. § 343.
20. leap ... hounds, overleap all the limits of courtesy.
21. Rather ... return, rather than return without having gained
something from her, some answer, information.
22. Say, suppose.
24. Surprise ... faith; take her by surprise, and so get the
better of her, by pouring out the story of my passionate and
faithful love for her; for surprise, in this sense, cp. Temp. iii. 1.
93, "So glad of this as they I cannot be Who am surprised
withal"; W. T. iii. 1. 10, "And the ear-deafening voice o' the
oracle ... so surprised my sense"; dear, in the sense of 'heart-
felt,' is common in Shakespeare.
26. She will ... youth, she will listen to it better from one so
young as you are; for attend, trans., see Abb. § 200.
27. a nuncio, an ambassador, especially a papal ambassador;
Lat. nuntius, a messenger.
29. yet, even up to this time: happy years, the careless, happy,
years of youth.
31. rubious, red as a ruby; one of Shakespeare's coinages: small pipe, i.e. windpipe; cp. K. J. v. 7. 23, "This pale faint
swan Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death. And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings His soul and body to their lasting rest,"
where 'the organ-pipe of frailty' means the windpipe of one who
is well near worn out.
32. shrill and sound, shrill like a boy's treble and yet uncracked. In boys the voice cracks at the age of puberty, but the
Duke, though not admitting that Caesario had reached manhood,
seems surprised that in a lad (as he supposes her to be) of such
an age the voice should still retain its treble note and not yet
33. And all ... part, and everything about you resembles a
woman's part in a play; those parts being played by boys; cp. A. C. v. 2. 220, T. G. iv. 4. 165. semblative, like; not found
elsewhere in Shakespeare.
34. thy constellation ... apt. See note on i. 3. 117.
35. Some ... him, let some four or five go with him as an
36, 7. am best ... company, who am happiest, most at my ease,
when I am most alone.
37-9. Prosper ... thine, if you succeed in this matter, you shall
be as free to use my wealth as I am; for the transposition of
freely, see Abb. § 419a.
40. a barful strife, this is a contest in which, if I succeed, I
place a barrier to my own happiness: cp. Blanch's speech, K. J.
iii. 1. 328-35.
41. Whoe'er ... wife, though compelled to make love for him to
Olivia, it is he whom I desire to wed; on who for 'whom,' see
Abb. § 274.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night Or What You Will. Ed. Kenneth Deighton. London: Macmillan, 1889. Shakespeare Online. 20 Dec. 2010. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/twn_1_4.html >
Points to Ponder ... "Coming just after As You Like It and Much Ado About
Nothing, and just before the great tragedies, Twelfth Night has
been called Shakespeare's farewell to mirth. Critically described,
it appears not only a farewell to mirth, but a using-up of the old
characters that in former plays had made mirth. The whole
piece is full of reminiscences.
"The shipwreck, with its sequel of
disguises, resemblances, misunderstandings, repeats The Comedy
of Errors; as Viola, disguised as a page and carrying her sweet
heart's messages to a rival, repeats Julia from The Two Gentlemen
of Verona; while in her masquerade as a man she has been anticipated also by Portia and Rosalind. The trick played upon
Malvolio has already been played, even to detail, upon Beatrice and Benedick. And Sir Toby, Aguecheek, the Clown -- are they
not all revenants? Have we not met and known them before, in
their fuller-blooded avatars, as Falstaff, Master Slender, Touchstone?" W. Heath Robinson. (From his edition of Twelfth Night. Musson Book Co.)