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Twelfth Night

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ACT V SCENE I Before OLIVIA's house. 
 [Enter Clown and FABIAN] 
FABIAN Now, as thou lovest me, let me see his letter. 
Clown Good Master Fabian, grant me another request. 
FABIAN Any thing. 
Clown Do not desire to see this letter.
FABIAN This is, to give a dog, and in recompense desire my 
 dog again. 
 [Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and Lords] 
DUKE ORSINO Belong you to the Lady Olivia, friends? 
Clown Ay, sir; we are some of her trappings. 
DUKE ORSINO I know thee well; how dost thou, my good fellow?
Clown Truly, sir, the better for my foes and the worse 
 for my friends. 11
DUKE ORSINO Just the contrary; the better for thy friends. 
Clown No, sir, the worse. 
DUKE ORSINO How can that be?
Clown Marry, sir, they praise me and make 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: so that, 
 conclusions to be as kisses, if your four negatives
 make your two affirmatives why then, the worse for

 my friends and the better for my foes. 20
DUKE ORSINO Why, this is excellent. 
Clown By my troth, sir, no; though it please you to be 
 one of my friends.
DUKE ORSINO Thou shalt not be the worse for me: there's gold. 
Clown But that it would be double-dealing, sir, I would 
 you could make it another. 
DUKE ORSINO O, you give me ill counsel. 
Clown Put your grace in your pocket, sir, for this once,
 and let your flesh and blood obey it. 
DUKE ORSINO Well, I will be so much a sinner, to be a 
 double-dealer: there's another. 31
Clown Primo, secundo, tertio, is a good play; and the old 
 saying is, the third pays for all: the triplex,
 sir, is a good tripping measure; or the bells of 
 Saint Bennet, sir, may put you in mind; one, two, three. 
DUKE ORSINO You can fool no more money out of me at this throw: 
 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. 39
Clown Marry, sir, lullaby 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. 
VIOLA Here comes the man, sir, that did rescue me. 
 [Enter ANTONIO and Officers] 
DUKE ORSINO That face of his I do remember well; 
 Yet, when I saw it last, it was besmear'd 
 As black as Vulcan in the smoke of war:
 A bawbling vessel was he captain of, 
 For shallow draught and bulk unprizable; 
 With which such scathful grapple did he make 50
 With the most noble bottom of our fleet, 
 That very envy and the tongue of loss
 Cried fame and honour on him. What's the matter? 
First Officer Orsino, this is that Antonio 
 That took the Phoenix and her fraught from Candy; 
 And this is he that did the Tiger board, 
 When your young nephew Titus lost his leg:
 Here in the streets, desperate of shame and state, 
 In private brabble did we apprehend him. 
VIOLA He did me kindness, sir, drew on my side; 60
 But in conclusion put strange speech upon me: 
 I know not what 'twas but distraction.
DUKE ORSINO Notable pirate! thou salt-water thief! 
 What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies, 
 Whom thou, in terms so bloody and so dear, 
 Hast made thine enemies? 
ANTONIO Orsino, noble sir,
 Be pleased that I shake off these names you give me: 
 Antonio never yet was thief or pirate, 
 Though I confess, on base and ground enough, 
 Orsino's enemy. A witchcraft drew me hither: 70
 That most ingrateful boy there by your side,
 From the rude sea's enraged and foamy mouth 
 Did I redeem; a wreck past hope he was: 
 His life I gave him and did thereto add 
 My love, without retention or restraint, 
 All his in dedication; for his sake
 Did I expose myself, pure for his love, 
 Into the danger of this adverse town; 
 Drew to defend him when he was beset: 
 Where being apprehended, his false cunning, 80
 Not meaning to partake with me in danger,
 Taught him to face me out of his acquaintance, 
 And grew a twenty years removed thing 
 While one would wink; denied me mine own purse, 
 Which I had recommended to his use 
 Not half an hour before.
VIOLA How can this be? 
DUKE ORSINO When came he to this town? 
ANTONIO To-day, my lord; and for three months before, 
 No interim, not a minute's vacancy, 
 Both day and night did we keep company. 90
 [Enter OLIVIA and Attendants] 
DUKE ORSINO Here comes the countess: now heaven walks on earth. 
 But for thee, fellow; fellow, thy words are madness: 
 Three months this youth hath tended upon me; 
 But more of that anon. Take him aside. 
OLIVIA What would my lord, but that he may not have,
 Wherein Olivia may seem serviceable? 
 Cesario, you do not keep promise with me. 
VIOLA Madam! 
DUKE ORSINO Gracious Olivia,-- 
OLIVIA What do you say, Cesario? Good my lord,-- 100
VIOLA My lord would speak; my duty hushes me. 
OLIVIA If it be aught to the old tune, my lord, 
 It is as fat and fulsome to mine ear 
 As howling after music. 
DUKE ORSINO Still so cruel?
OLIVIA Still so constant, lord. 
DUKE ORSINO What, to perverseness? you uncivil lady, 
 To whose ingrate and unauspicious altars 
 My soul the faithfull'st offerings hath breathed out 
 That e'er devotion tender'd! What shall I do?
OLIVIA Even what it please my lord, that shall become him. 
DUKE ORSINO Why should I not, had I the heart to do it, 111
 Like to the Egyptian thief at point of death, 
 Kill what I love?--a savage jealousy 
 That sometimes savours nobly. But hear me this:
 Since you to non-regardance cast my faith, 
 And that I partly know the instrument 
 That screws me from my true place in your favour, 
 Live you the marble-breasted tyrant still; 
 But this your minion, whom I know you love,
 And whom, by heaven I swear, I tender dearly, 120
 Him will I tear out of that cruel eye, 
 Where he sits crowned in his master's spite. 
 Come, boy, with me; my thoughts are ripe in mischief: 
 I'll sacrifice the lamb that I do love,
 To spite a raven's heart within a dove. 
VIOLA And I, most jocund, apt and willingly, 
 To do you rest, a thousand deaths would die. 
OLIVIA Where goes Cesario? 
VIOLA After him I love
 More than I love these eyes, more than my life, 
 More, by all mores, than e'er I shall love wife. 130
 If I do feign, you witnesses above 
 Punish my life for tainting of my love! 
OLIVIA Ay me, detested! how am I beguiled!
VIOLA Who does beguile you? who does do you wrong? 
OLIVIA Hast thou forgot thyself? is it so long? 
 Call forth the holy father. 
DUKE ORSINO Come, away! 
OLIVIA Whither, my lord? Cesario, husband, stay.
OLIVIA Ay, husband: can he that deny? 
DUKE ORSINO Her husband, sirrah! 
VIOLA No, my lord, not I. 
OLIVIA Alas, it is the baseness of thy fear 140
 That makes thee strangle thy propriety: 
 Fear not, Cesario; take thy fortunes up; 
 Be that thou know'st thou art, and then thou art 
 As great as that thou fear'st. 
 [Enter Priest] 
 O, welcome, father!
 Father, I charge thee, by thy reverence, 
 Here to unfold, though lately we intended 
 To keep in darkness what occasion now 
 Reveals before 'tis ripe, what thou dost know 
 Hath newly pass'd between this youth and me. 160
Priest A contract of eternal bond of love, 
 Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands, 
 Attested by the holy close of lips, 
 Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings; 
 And all the ceremony of this compact
 Seal'd in my function, by my testimony: 
 Since when, my watch hath told me, toward my grave 
 I have travell'd but two hours. 
DUKE ORSINO O thou dissembling cub! what wilt thou be 
 When time hath sow'd a grizzle on thy case?
 Or will not else thy craft so quickly grow, 160
 That thine own trip shall be thine overthrow? 
 Farewell, and take her; but direct thy feet 
 Where thou and I henceforth may never meet. 
VIOLA My lord, I do protest--
OLIVIA O, do not swear! 
 Hold little faith, though thou hast too much fear. 
 [Enter SIR ANDREW] 
SIR ANDREW For the love of God, a surgeon! Send one presently 
 to Sir Toby. 
OLIVIA What's the matter? 168
SIR ANDREW He has broke my head across and has given Sir Toby 
 a bloody coxcomb too: for the love of God, your 
 help! I had rather than forty pound I were at home. 
OLIVIA 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. 
DUKE ORSINO My gentleman, Cesario? 
SIR ANDREW 'Od's lifelings, here he is! You broke my head for 
 nothing; and that that I did, I was set on to do't 
 by Sir Toby.
VIOLA Why do you speak to me? I never hurt you: 180
 You drew your sword upon me without cause; 
 But I bespoke you fair, and hurt you not. 
SIR ANDREW If a bloody coxcomb be a hurt, you have hurt me: I 
 think you set nothing by a bloody coxcomb.
 [Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and Clown] 
 Here comes Sir Toby halting; you shall hear more: 
 but if he had not been in drink, he would have 
 tickled you othergates than he did. 
DUKE ORSINO How now, gentleman! how is't with you? 
SIR TOBY BELCH That's all one: has hurt me, and there's the end
 on't. Sot, didst see Dick surgeon, sot? 190
Clown O, he's drunk, Sir Toby, an hour agone; his eyes 
 were set at eight i' the morning. 
SIR TOBY BELCH Then he's a rogue, and a passy measures pavin: I 
 hate a drunken rogue.
OLIVIA Away with him! Who hath made this havoc with them? 
SIR ANDREW I'll help you, Sir Toby, because well be dressed together. 
SIR TOBY BELCH Will you help? an ass-head and a coxcomb and a 
 knave, a thin-faced knave, a gull! 200
OLIVIA Get him to bed, and let his hurt be look'd to.
SEBASTIAN I am sorry, madam, I have hurt your kinsman: 
 But, had it been the brother of my blood, 
 I must have done no less with wit and safety. 
 You throw a strange regard 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. 
DUKE ORSINO One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons, 
 A natural perspective, that is and is not! 210
SEBASTIAN Antonio, O my dear Antonio!
 How have the hours rack'd and tortured me, 
 Since I have lost thee! 
ANTONIO Sebastian are you? 
SEBASTIAN Fear'st thou that, Antonio? 
ANTONIO How have you made division of yourself?
 An apple, cleft in two, is not more twin 
 Than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian? 
OLIVIA Most wonderful! 
SEBASTIAN Do I stand there? I never had a brother; 
 Nor can there be that deity in my nature, 220
 Of here and every where. I had a sister, 
 Whom the blind waves and surges have devour'd. 
 Of charity, what kin are you to me? 
 What countryman? what name? what parentage? 
VIOLA Of Messaline: Sebastian was my father;
 Such a Sebastian was my brother too, 
 So went he suited to his watery tomb: 
 If spirits can assume both form and suit 
 You come to fright us. 
SEBASTIAN A spirit I am indeed;
 But am in that dimension grossly clad 230
 Which from the womb I did participate. 
 Were you a woman, as the rest goes even, 
 I should my tears let fall upon your cheek, 
 And say 'Thrice-welcome, drowned Viola!'
VIOLA My father had a mole upon his brow. 
SEBASTIAN And so had mine. 
VIOLA And died that day when Viola from her birth 
 Had number'd thirteen years. 
SEBASTIAN O, that record is lively in my soul!
 He finished indeed his mortal act 240
 That day that made my sister thirteen years. 
VIOLA If nothing lets to make us happy both 
 But this my masculine usurp'd attire, 
 Do not embrace me till each circumstance
 Of place, time, fortune, do cohere and jump 
 That I am Viola: which to confirm, 
 I'll bring you to a captain in this town, 
 Where lie my maiden weeds; by whose gentle help 
 I was preserved to serve this noble count.
 All the occurrence of my fortune since 250
 Hath been between this lady and this lord. 
SEBASTIAN [To OLIVIA] So it comes, lady, you have been mistook: 
 But nature to her bias drew in that. 
 You would have been contracted to a maid; 
 Nor are you therein, by my life, deceived,
 You are betroth'd both to a maid and man. 
DUKE ORSINO Be not amazed; right noble is his blood. 
 If this be so, as yet the glass seems true, 
 I shall have share in this most happy wreck. 
 [To VIOLA] 
 Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand times 260
 Thou never shouldst love woman like to me. 
VIOLA And all those sayings will I overswear; 
 And those swearings keep as true in soul 
 As doth that orbed continent the fire 
 That severs day from night.
DUKE ORSINO Give me thy hand; 
 And let me see thee in thy woman's weeds. 
VIOLA The captain that did bring me first on shore 
 Hath my maid's garments: he upon some action 
 Is now in durance, at Malvolio's suit,
 A gentleman, and follower of my lady's. 270
OLIVIA He shall enlarge him: fetch Malvolio hither: 
 And yet, alas, now I remember me, 
 They say, poor gentleman, he's much distract. 
 [Re-enter Clown with a letter, and FABIAN] 
 A most extracting frenzy of mine own
 From my remembrance clearly banish'd his. 
 How does he, sirrah? 
Clown Truly, madam, he holds Belzebub at the staves's end as 
 well as a man in his case may do: has here writ a 
 letter to you; I should have given't you to-day
 morning, but as a madman's epistles are no gospels, 
 so it skills not much when they are delivered. 281
OLIVIA Open't, and read it. 
Clown Look then to be well edified when the fool delivers 
 the madman.
 'By the Lord, madam,'-- 
OLIVIA How now! art thou mad? 
Clown No, madam, I do but read madness: an your ladyship 
 will have it as it ought to be, you must allow Vox. 
OLIVIA Prithee, read i' thy right wits.
Clown So I do, madonna; but to read his right wits is to 
 read thus: therefore perpend, my princess, and give ear. 
OLIVIA Read it you, sirrah. 
 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 on; 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. 
OLIVIA Did he write this? 301
Clown Ay, madam. 
DUKE ORSINO This savours not much of distraction.
OLIVIA See him deliver'd, Fabian; bring him hither. 
 [Exit FABIAN] 
 My lord so please you, these things further 
 thought on, 
 To think me as well a sister as a wife, 
 One day shall crown the alliance on't, so please you,
 Here at my house and at my proper cost. 
DUKE ORSINO Madam, I am most apt to embrace your offer. 
 [To VIOLA] 
 Your master quits you; and for your service done him, 310
 So much against the mettle of your sex, 
 So far beneath your soft and tender breeding,
 And since you call'd me master for so long, 
 Here is my hand: you shall from this time be 
 Your master's mistress. 
OLIVIA A sister! you are she. 
 [Re-enter FABIAN, with MALVOLIO] 
DUKE ORSINO Is this the madman?
OLIVIA Ay, my lord, this same. 
 How now, Malvolio! 
MALVOLIO Madam, you have done me wrong, 
 Notorious wrong. 
OLIVIA Have I, Malvolio? no.
MALVOLIO Lady, you have. Pray you, peruse that letter. 
 You must not now deny it is your hand: 320
 Write from it, if you can, in hand or phrase; 
 Or say 'tis not your seal, nor your invention: 
 You can say none of this: well, grant it then
 And tell me, in the modesty of honour, 
 Why you have given me such clear lights of favour, 
 Bade me come smiling and cross-garter'd to you, 
 To put on yellow stockings and to frown 
 Upon Sir Toby and the lighter people;
 And, acting this in an obedient hope, 
 Why have you suffer'd me to be imprison'd, 330
 Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest, 
 And made the most notorious geck and gull 
 That e'er invention play'd on? tell me why.
OLIVIA Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing, 
 Though, I confess, much like the character 
 But out of question 'tis Maria's hand. 
 And now I do bethink me, it was she 
 First told me thou wast mad; then camest in smiling,
 And in such forms which here were presupposed 
 Upon thee in the letter. Prithee, be content: 340
 This practise hath most shrewdly pass'd upon thee; 
 But when we know the grounds and authors of it, 
 Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge
 Of thine own cause. 
FABIAN Good madam, hear me speak, 
 And let no quarrel nor no brawl to come 
 Taint the condition of this present hour, 
 Which I have wonder'd at. In hope it shall not,
 Most freely I confess, myself and Toby 
 Set this device against Malvolio here, 
 Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts 350
 We had conceived against him: Maria writ 
 The letter at Sir Toby's great importance;
 In recompense whereof he hath married her. 
 How with a sportful malice it was follow'd, 
 May rather pluck on laughter than revenge; 
 If that the injuries be justly weigh'd 
 That have on both sides pass'd.
OLIVIA Alas, poor fool, how have they baffled thee! 358
Clown Why, 'some are born great, some achieve greatness, 
 and some have greatness thrown upon them.' I was 
 one, sir, in this interlude; one Sir Topas, sir; but 
 that's all one. 'By the Lord, fool, I am not mad.'
 But do you remember? 'Madam, why laugh you at such 
 a barren rascal? an you smile not, he's gagged:' 
 and thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges. 
MALVOLIO I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you. 
OLIVIA He hath been most notoriously abused.
DUKE ORSINO Pursue him and entreat him to a peace: 
 He hath not told us of the captain yet: 
 When that is known and golden time convents, 370
 A solemn combination shall be made 
 Of our dear souls. Meantime, sweet sister,
 We will not part from hence. Cesario, come; 
 For so you shall be, while you are a man; 
 But when in other habits you are seen, 
 Orsino's mistress and his fancy's queen. 
 [Exeunt all, except Clown] 
Clown [Sings] 
 When that I was and a little tiny boy,
 With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
 A foolish thing was but a toy, 
 For the rain it raineth every day. 380
 But when I came to man's estate, 
 With hey, ho, etc.
 'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate, 
 For the rain, etc. 
 But when I came, alas! to wive, 
 With hey, ho, etc. 
 By swaggering could I never thrive,
 For the rain, etc. 
 But when I came unto my beds, 
 With hey, ho, etc. 390
 With toss-pots still had drunken heads, 
 For the rain, etc.
 A great while ago the world begun, 
 With hey, ho, etc. 
 But that's all one, our play is done, 
 And we'll strive to please you every day. 

Return to Twelfth Night, Scenes


Explanatory Notes for Act 5, Scene 1

From Twelfth Night Or What You Will. Ed. Kenneth Deighton. London: Macmillan.

1. as thou lovest me, according as, i.e. if, as I am sure is the case, you love me.

5, 6. my dog, the dog you have given me.

8. some ... trappings, some of her belongings, ornamental appendages; cp. Haml, ii. 2. 233, "On fortune's cap we are not the very button."

12. the better, all the better; the, the instrumental case, 'by that.'

15. they praise ... me, they by flattering me turn my head.

18. abused, badly treated in being flattered by them.

18, 9. so that ... affirmatives, so that conclusions being as kisses, if conclusions are as kisses; see Abb. § 356 on the infinitive used indefinitely. The Camb. Edd. remark, "as in the syllogism it takes two premises to make one conclusion, so it takes two people to make one kiss"; and Farmer illustrates the passage by one from Lust's Dominion, "Queen. Come let's kiss. Moor, Away, away. Queen, No, no, says I [i.e. aye, yes]; and twice away says stay," For your, see Abb. § 221.

22, 3. though it ... friends, though you are pleased to flatter me.

24. Thou Shalt ... gold, at all events if you are the worse for your other friends (by their flattering you), you shall not be so for me; I will better you by giving you money, not mere flattery.

25, 6. But that ... another, if it were not that such a thing would be double-dealing, I should be glad if you could make this one coin two; with a pun on double-dealing as = false dealing, knavery.

27. give ... counsel, i.e. in advising me to be guilty of double- dealing.

28, 9. Put your ... obey it. For this once put your virtue in your pocket (i.e. lay it aside), and let your natural inclinations follow the advice I give you, i.e. gratify your natural generosity; for Put ... pocket, cp. K. J. iii. 1. 200, "I must pocket up these wrongs," i.e. endure them without resenting them; and Temp. ii. 1. 67, "or very falsely pocket up his report," i.e. conceal the report they ought to make: grace, perhaps with a pun on the Duke's title.

30, 1. to be a double-dealer, as to be in this instance guilty of double-dealing; for 'as' omitted, see Abb. § 281.

32. Primo ... tertio, first, second, third; Italian.

33. the third ... all, this seems to mean the third is the lucky throw and more than makes up for the other two.

33, 4. the triplex ... measure, triple time (in music) is good to dance to.

34, 5. or the bells ... mind; or, if you need further persuasion, the bells of St. Bennet, which in their chiming repeat one, two, three, one, two, three, preach the same lesson; it has been supposed that the church here referred to was St. Bennet's, Paul's Wharf, just opposite the Globe Theatre.

40. lullaby ... again, let your generosity go to sleep till, etc.: lullaby, a song sung to lull children to sleep.

47. As black ... war; as black with the smoke of gunpowder as the face of Vulcan (the smith of the gods) was with the smoke of his forge.

48. A bawbling vessel, a mere bauble of a boat, a very insignificant boat; cp. Cymb. iii. 1. 27, "and his shipping — Poor ignorant baubles! — on our terrible seas, Like eggshells moved upon their surges, crack'd As easily 'gainst our rocks"; T. C. i. 3. 35, "the sea being smooth. How many shallow bauble boats dare sail upon her patient breast."

49. For shallow ... unprizable, of little importance, worth, in regard to its draught and size; the 'draught' of a ship, i.e. the depth which it draws in the water, the number of feet it sinks in the water, being one measure of its size. Wright takes unprizable as = invaluable, inestimable; but the tone of the Duke is contemptuous as to the vessel in comparison with the 'noble bottoms' of his own fleet, and so more complimentary to the skill and valour of its captain.

50. scathful, destructive; 'scathe,' injury.

51. bottom, vessel, as in Lat. carina, the keel for the whole vessel; cp. M. V. i, 1, 42, "My ventures are not in one bottom trusted."

52, 3. That very ... him, that even those who hated him for the injury they suffered at his hands were loud in their praise of his exploits.

55. her fraught from Candy, her freight when coming from, etc.; cp. Lear, iv. 2. 90, "I met him back again," i.e. on his way back; Cor. i. 3. 32, "Methinks I hear hither your husband's drum," i.e. in imagination I hear the sound of your husband's drum home hither: for fraught = freight, cp. T. A. i. 1. 71, where it is used literally, and Oth. iii. 3. 449, where it is used figuratively.

57. lost his leg, i.e. had it shot off in action.

58. desperate ... state, utterly reckless as to shame and circumstances, i.e. caring nothing as to the shameful circumstances in which he was taken: shame and state, a hendiadys {A figure of speech in which two words connected by a conjunction are used to express a single idea instead of an adjective. Here, shameful state.}. Schmidt and others take state as = danger, or dangerous position, but the point emphasized seems to be his disreputable character, not his recklessness of danger.

59. brabble, squabble, quarrel; cp. T. A. ii. 1. 62, "This petty brabble will undo us all": apprehend, capture.

60. drew ... side, drew his sword and took part with me.

61. put .. upon me, addressed me in strange language, language that I could make nothing of.

63. thou ... thief, i.g. pirate; cp. M. V. i. 3. 24, "water-thieves and land-thieves; I mean pirates"; Middleton, The Phoenix, i. 2. 57, speaks of "a gallant salt-thief."

64. their mercies, the mercy of those, etc.; see Abb. § 219.

65. in terms ... dear, in so bitter and grievous a degree, by acts so cruel and involving such hatred; for dear, = grievously affecting them, cp. H. V. ii. 2. 181, "your dear offences"; R. III. i. 4. 215, "How canst thou urge God's dreadful law against us, When thou hast broke it in so dear degree."

67. Be pleased ... me, allow me to repudiate the terms you apply to me.

69. base, basis, foundation.

70. A witchcraft, i.e. the fascination exercised upon me by this youth.

71. Ingrateful, for in- retained from the Latin, see Abb. § 442.

73. redeem, save; lit. buy back, from Fr. redimer, Lat. redimere: a wreck ... was, but for me he would have had no hope of escape.

75. without ... restraint, without reserving or keeping to myself any of it; with complete self-abandonment.

76. All ... dedication, wholly dedicating myself and my love to him; cp. Temp, i. 2. 89.

77. pure, purely, entirely.

78. Into the ... town, to the danger which I knew threatened me in this hostile town; into, for 'unto,' is frequent in Shakespeare.

80. Where being apprehended, and I being seized there; the pronoun 'I' is to be supplied from me in 'face me out,' 1. 82; see Abb. § 379.

81. Not meaning... danger, he not having any intention of sharing danger with me.

82. Taught ... acquaintance, showed him how to meet me with effrontery and declare that he did not know me; cp. iv. 2. 89.

83. And grew ... wink, and he (to be supplied from 'him' in the previous line) became in one moment a thing removed by the space of twenty years, i.e. became as one who had not seen me for twenty years; for removed, cp. H. IV. iv. 1. 36, "Nor did he think it meet To lay so dangerous and dear a trust On any soul removed but on his own." For the phrase-compound in 'a twenty-years-removed thing,' see Abb. § 434..

84. denied, refused.

85. Which I ... use, which, out of kindness, I had entrusted to him, not half an hour before, with the desire that he should use its contents.

89. No interim... vacancy, without any interval even for a minute.

92. But for thee, but as to you.

93. tended, waited.

94. But ... anon, but of that I shall have to say more presently.

95, 6. What would ... serviceable? What does your lordship desire, except the one thing that cannot be granted to you (sc. her love), in which I may possibly serve you? i.e. there is no way, except in the matter of my love, in which I would not gladly oblige you; seem serviceable, a deprecatory way of saying 'show myself serviceable.'

97. you do not ... me, you are not true to me.

101. my duty hushes me, respect for my lord prevents my speaking while he wishes to do so.

102-4. If it . .. music, if it be anything to do with the suit you have urged so often, it is as burdensome and distasteful to my ear as would be shouting and screaming after one had been listening to sweet music. Wright points out that fat and fulsome which properly belong to the sense of taste, are here applied to that of hearing.

106. What to perverseness? i.e. do you mean you are constant to perverseness? for you cannot say you are constant in any other meaning of the term: uncivil, cruel, harsh-spoken.

107-9. To whose ... tender'd, before whose shrine, ungrateful and impropitious as you are, I have breathed forth the truest vows of love that were ever offered up by the most devoted lover; offerings, used in order to carry on the metaphor in altars. Cp. T. G. iii. 2. 73, "Say that upon the altar of her beauty You sacrifice your tears."

110. Even what ... him. Whatever your pleasure may be, provided it is an action that is not unworthy of you.

111-3. Why should ... love? Why should I not, if only I could bring myself to do it, kill what is dearest to me in the world? Theobald has shown that this is a reference to the story of Theagenes and Chariclea in the Ethiopica of Heliodorus, of which a translation existed in Shakespeare's time. The Egyptian thief (i.e. robber) was Thyamis, a native of Memphis, who, having captured a lady named Chariclea, fell desperately in love with her. Being himself shortly afterwards overpowered by a stronger body of robbers, he had her shut up in a cave with his treasure. But seeing no hope of escape and being determined that no one else should marry Chariclea, he called to her to come out, and being answered by a voice which he took to be hers, plunged his dagger into the heart of the person issuing forth.

113, 4. a savage ... nobly, an act of savage jealousy which in some circumstances has a taste of nobleness: a savage jealousy is in apposition with the clause why should ... love?

115-8. Since you ... still; since you treat my fidelity to you with contemptuous disregard, and since I know in a way what it is that displaces me from that favour in your sight to which I have good right, I am content that you should live on ever the same marble-hearted piece of tyranny that you are; in cast ... non-regardance, the metaphor seems to be from casting anything to the winds: for the instrument ... me, cp. W. T. i. 2. 416, "He thinks, nay, with all confidence he swears, as he had seen 't, or been an instrument to vice you to it." For the in the ... tyrant, to denote notoriety, see Abb. § 92, and for that omitted and then inserted, § 285.

119. your minion, your darling; but used contemptuously.

120. I tender dearly, I hold in tenderest regard; cp. Haml. i. 3. 107, "tender yourself more dearly"; R. J. iii. 1. 74, "which name I tender As dearly as my own."

121, 3. Him will I ... spite, him will I forcibly remove from the sight of her who has enthroned him there to spite his master; for the insertion of him after the subject, for the sake of clearness, see Abb. § 242.

123. my thoughts ... mischief, my thoughts in the matter of mischief are ripe for action.

126. To spite .. dove, to injure her, who, with the appearance of a gentle dove, has a heart as black as that of a raven; the contrast of the whiteness of the dove and the blackness of the raven occurs again in M. N. D. ii. 2. 114, "Who will not change a raven for a dove?" R. J. iii. 2. 76, "Dove-feathered raven!"

126. apt, aptly; for the ellipsis of the adverbial inflection, see Abb. § 397.

127. To do ... rest, to ensure you peace of mind.

130. by all mores, by the amount of all terms of excess; for the adjective used as a noun, see Abb. § 5.

131. you ... above, you powers above who behold my thoughts.

132. for tainting ... love! for doing dishonour to my love; for the verbal followed by an object, see Abb. § 93.

133. detested! hateful one! who does ... wrong, for 'do' used as an auxiliary to 'do,' see Abb. § 303.

135. is it so long, 'since you pledged your love,' she was going to say: forgot, for the curtailed form of the participle, see Abb. § 343.

136. Call ... father, the priest to bear witness to the betrothal.

137. husband, looking upon the ceremonial of betrothal as equivalent to marriage; so in T. S. ii. 3. 323, Petruchio calls Katharina 'wife,' and Baptista, her father, 'father,' though the marriage has yet to be performed, as in M. A. iv. 1. 24, Claudio calls Leonato 'father,' and Leonato, Claudio, 'son.'

141. That makes ... propriety, that leads you to suppress, disavow, that which you really are; for strangle, cp. Sonn. lxxxix. 9, "I will acquaintance strangle and look strange:" for propriety, Oth, ii. 3. 176, "it frights the isle From her propriety" i.e. out of herself.

142. take ... up, adopt, accept as belonging to you, what has befallen you, i.e. the position to which, as my husband, you have a right.

143, 4. Be that ... fear'st, show yourself as my husband and then you will be the equal of him you fear, sc. the Duke.

145. by thy reverence, by your sacred calling, profession.

147, 8. what cocasion ... ripe, what the circumstances of the time compel us to make public before that time is ripe for disclosure.

150. A contract ... love, an interchange of pledges of eternal love; Malone compares M. N. D. i. 1. 85, "The sealing day between my love and me For everlasting bond of fellowship."

151. joinder, union; for the form Wright compares "rejoindure," T. C. iv. 4. 38.

152. holy ... lips, the solemn exchange of kisses; for this and the next line, see note on iv. 3. 26, above.

154. compact, with the accent on the latter syllable.

155. Seal'd ... testimony, ratified by help of my sacred office and established by my testimony.

159. When time ... case, when you are no longer a cub, but a full grown animal as shown by your hair being tinged with grey, i.e. when you are a grown man: case, the body, or skin, as the cover of the soul, used here because of the comparison of him to an animal; cp. A. C. iv. 15. 89, "The case of that huge spirit now is cold."

160, 1. Or will ... overthrow? The question of appeal in the two previous lines is equivalent to 'you will be a monster of deceit by the time you come to your full growth,' and the Duke goes on 'but perhaps you will never live to reach that full growth, for your precocious endeavour to trip up others may result in your own destruction, you may be caught in your own snare,' "hoist with your own petard" (Haml. iii. 4. 207): trip, "the catch by which a wrestler supplants [trips up] his antagonist" (Schmidt).

165. Hold little faith, i.e. a little faith at all events, for I cannot expect much from one who is so full of fear; for the omission of a before little, see Abb. § 86.

167. presently, at once; as more usually in Shakespeare.

169. across, from one side to the other: broke, cracked and caused to bleed; for the form, see Abb. § 343.

170. coxcomb, head, used in a ludicrous sense.

171. forty, frequently used by Shakespeare for a large but indefinite number.

174. The count's gentleman, i.e. his gentleman attendant as contrasted with his menial servants.

175. incardinate, for Sir Andrew's blunder Delius compares Elbow's words, M. M. ii. i. 81, "a woman cardinally given."

177. Od's lifelings, lit. God's little lives, a petty form of oath; cp. "od's pittikins," "od's heartlings," "od's my little life": for nothing, for no injury I had done to you.

182. But I ... fair, but I gave you fair words in return for your threats; see above, iii. 4. 285: 'bespeak,' nowadays means to order beforehand, but is used as here, in the sense of 'address,' R. II. V. 2. 20, "Whilst he ... Bespake them thus: 'I thank you countrymen.'"

184. you set nothing by, you think nothing of.

185. halting, walking lame.

186. been in drink, been drunk; the expression 'to be in liquor' is still used vulgarly in the same sense: he would ... did, he would have paid you out (i.e. with his rapier) in a very different fashion: othergates, cp. Middleton, Blurt, Master Constable, ii. 1. 34, "you should find othergates privy signs of love hanging out there." For adverbs ending in 's' formed from the possessive inflexion of nouns, see Abb. § 25, and Earle, Phil. of the Engl. Tongue, § 515.

188. how is't ... you, what is your condition?

189. That's all one, that does not much matter: has, for the omission of the nominative, see Abb. § 400

190. sot, dolt, blockhead: Dick surgeon, Dick (Richard) the surgeon.

191. agone, ago; the past part, of the M. E. verb agon, to go away, pass by.

192. set, fixed, i.e. with the senseless stare of a drunken man; cp. Temp. iii. 2. 10, "thy eyes are almost set in thy head."

193. a passy-measures pavin, "Passy-measure, passa-measure, and passing-measure, are corruptions of the Italian passa-mezzo ('a slow dance,' says Sir J. Hawkins, 'differing little from the action of walking'); the 'pavin,' or 'pavan,' was a grave and stately dance, often mentioned by our early writers (according to Sir J. Hawkins, from pavo, a peacock, according to Italian authors, from Paduana); and the passinge measure Pavyon occurs in a list of dances printed from an old MS. in the Shakespeare Soc. Papers" (Dyce). Ben Jonson, Middleton, and Dekker all speak of "the Spanish pavin." Sir Toby, it would seem, "means only by this quaint expression that the surgeon is a rogue and a grave solemn coxcomb" (Malone). Pavin is Steevens' correction for panyn.

195, 6. Who hath ... them? Who is it that has injured them so?

197, 8. well be ... together, we will have our wounds dressed at the same time.

199, 200. Will you ... gull! Do you say that you will help, you who are nothing but an ass-head and a, etc., etc.: thin-faced knave, a wretched fellow with a face so thin that one can hardly see it; cp. K. J.; i. 1. 141, "my face so thin That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose Lest men should say 'Look where three-farthings goes,'" i.e. should compare me to the silver three-farthing pieces which were hardly thicker than wafers: cp. also i. H. IV. gull, see note on iii. 2. 61.

201. look'd to, attended to by the surgeon.

203. the brother ... blood, my own brother; cp. A. Y. L. i, I. 48, "you are my eldest brother, and in the gentle condition of blood you should so know me."

204. with wit and safety, so long as I had sufficient intelligence to think of my own self-preservation.

205. you throw ... me, you cast distant, estranged, looks upon me; look upon me as though I were no more than a stranger to you; cp. A. W. v. 3. 168, "Why do you look so strange upon your wife?"

207. even for, if only for.

208. so late ago, so short time ago; "'so late ago' seems a combination of 'so lately' and 'so short a time ago,' Abb. § 411.

209. one habit, the self-same dress.

210. A natural ... not! See note on 1. 258, and cp. Chapman, All Fools, i. 1. 48, 9, "But like a cozening picture which one way Shows like a crow, another like a swan."

212. hours, a dissyllable.

213. Since I have lost, we should now say 'since I lost.'

214. Fear'st thou that, are you so astonished that you doubt my being Sebastian.

216, 7. An apple ... creatures, for a similar idea, cp. M. N. D. iii. 2. 208-10, "So we grew together. Like to a double cherry, seeming parted. But yet an union in partition."

220, 1. Nor can ... where, nor can there be in my nature that divine power of being here and everywhere; for here and everywhere, used as a noun, see Abb. § 77.

222. blind, not seeing in their wrath what they did.

223. Of charity, I beseech you, out of kindness tell me: for of, which originally meant 'out of,' see Abb. § 169: what kin, of what relationship.

224. What countryman? a man of what country? see Abb. § 423.

226. Such a Sebastian, sc. as you look.

227. suited, dressed; cp. Cymb, v. 1. 23, "I'll disrobe me ... and suit myself As does a Briton peasant."

228. 9. If spirits ... us, if spirits have the power to assume both the form and dress of a man, then I should say you have come as a spirit to frighten us.

229-31. A spirit ... participate, I am a spirit indeed in so far that I have a soul, but at the same time what is spiritual in me is clothed in that gross shape which I inherited from my mother's womb together with my spirit; for dimension, cp. above, i. 5. 242; for grossly clad, M. V. v. 1. 64, 5, "But while this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it: participate, not, I think, as Schmidt explains it, 'have in common with others,' but acquired at my birth as a portion of that which constitutes me, the other portion being my soul.

232. Were you ... even, if you were a woman and in that respect tallied with what I remember, as the other circumstances do; for goes even, cp. Cymb, i. 4. 47, "shunned to go even with what I heard."

237. from her birth, from the date of her birth.

239. that ... soul! the recollection of that dwells vividly in my mind; cp. A. C. v. 2. 117, "The record of what injuries you did us, Though written in our flesh, we shall remember As things but done by chance": record, here with the accent on the second syllable.

240. He finished ... act, his part on the stage of life was played out; a metaphor from the theatre.

242, 3. If nothing ... attire, if nothing but this dress of a man, which I have put on without having any right to it, hinders us from being happy; for lets to, see Abb. § 349; 'let' meaning 'hinder' is from the A.S. lettan, to hinder; 'let' meaning 'allow,' from A.S. laetn, to allow.

245, 6. do cohere ... Viola, agree and tally in proving that I am Viola; for jump, cp. Oth. 1. 3. 5, "they jump not on a just account."

247. bring you to, take, conduct, you to.

248. my maiden weeds, the dress I wore when in my true character of a maiden; weeds, in this sense, is frequent in Shakespeare: for where, = at whose house, cp. R. J. ii. 4. 193, "Bid her devise Some means to come to shrift this afternoon; And there she shall at Friar Laurence' cell Be shrived and married"; Grant White reads 'captain's.'

249. to serve, with the result of my serving; for preserv'd, Theobald reads 'preferr'd.'

250, 1. All the ... lord, everything that has happened, fallen to my lot since, has had to do either with this lady or this lord.

252. mistook, for the form, see Abb. § 343.

253. But nature ... that, but nature in that matter was guided by her own proper tendency: to, in the direction given by the bias; the 'bias' was a weight let into a bowl (in the game of bowls) which caused it to take an indirect course to reach its goal.

255. by my life, I swear by my life.

258, 9. If this ... wreck. Treating of the parenthetic use of 'as' in its demonstrative meaning of 'so,' Abb. § 110, remarks on this passage, "The Duke has called the appearance of the twins 'a natural perspective that is and is not, i.e. a glass that produces an optical delusion of two persons instead of one. He now says: 'if they are two, brother and sister (and indeed, spite of my incredulity, the perspective or glass seems to be no delusion), then I shall,' etc. The curious introduction of the 'wreck' suggests that the glass called up the thought of the 'pilot's glass' (M. for M. ii. 1. 168)."

262. over-swear, swear over again.

263. And all ... soul, and keep all those oaths to the spirit as well as to the letter as truly, etc.

264, 5. As doth ... night, Wright inferentially points out that two constructions are possible here, (1) as truly as the firmament (that orbed continent), keeps the fire that severs, etc., i.e. the sun, (2) as truly as that orbed continent, viz., the fire (i.e, the sun) that severs, etc., keeps (i.e, on in his orbit): the objection to the latter construction is merely that keep would be used transitively in the clause And all, etc., and intransitively in the clause which is compared with it. CJp. Marlowe, ii. Tamburlaine, ii. 4. 2, "The golden ball of heaven's eternal fire," which supports the latter interpretation.

268. upon some action, in consequence of some deed of his.

269. Is now ... suit, is now in prison, having been prosecuted by Malvolio: durance, "The sense of imprisonment, common in Shakespeare, comes from that of long suffering or long endurance of hardship" (Skeat, Ety. Dict.).

271. enlarge, release; cp. H. V. ii. 2. 40, "Enlarge the man committed yesterday."

273. much distract, much out of his mind; for the form distract, see Abb. § 342.

274. extracting, if the reading is right, dragging me away from all other thoughts, as 'ecstasy' is lit. standing out of one's senses. Malone quotes The Historie of Hamlet, 1608, "to try if men of great account be extract out of their wits"; Hanmer reads 'distracting.'

275. his, sc. remembrance, all thought of him; for clearly, Abbott compares the expression "I have fairly forgotten it."

276. How does he? how is he? how does he fare now?

277, 8. he holds ... do; he keeps the devil at a good distance (something more than at arm's length, as we say) as well as a man as mad as he is, may do: stave, merely another form of 'staff': writ, for this form, see Abb. § 343.

279. to-day morning, this morning; to-day, is properly 'for the day,' and so this day.

279, 80. as a madman's ... gospels, as a madman's letters have nothing sacred about them; an allusion to the 'epistle' and 'gospel' (portions of the epistles and the gospels in the sacred canon appointed to be read in the Service of the Church): gospel, " — A.S. god, God; spell, a story, history, narrative ... Thus the lit. sense is 'the narrative of God,' i.e. the life of Christ" ... (Skeat, Ety. Dict.): skills not, does not matter; cp. T. S. iii. 2. 134, "whate'er he be It skills not much."

283. edified, lit. build up, i.e. instructed: when the fool ... madman, when the fool has to read the writings of the madman; cp. Temp. ii. 1. 45, "as he most learnedly delivered"; but the word in this sense is very frequent in Shakespeare.

285. art tbou mad? probably referring to the wild gestures and loud voice of the Clown as he begins to read.

286. read madness, read the mad language which Malvolio has set down.

286, 7. an your ... Vox, Malone supposes that the Clown, being reprimanded by Olivia for his loud voice and wild gestures, means to say, "If you would have it read in character, as such a mad epistle ought to be read, you must permit me to assume a frantic tone."

288. i' thy right wits, read what is written there without any extravagant commentary of your own.

289, 90. but to read ... thus, but if I am to read what he really says, I must read in this way: perpend, weigh, consider, his words; an affectation used by Shakespeare's clowns, as in A. Y. L. iii. 2. 69, "Learn of the wise and perpend"; also by the solemn Polonius, Haml. ii. 2. 105, and the braggart Pistol, H. V. iv. 4. 8.

293, 4. into darkness, the dark house of iii. 4. 124.

296. induced ... on, induced me to that fashion of dress which I assumed.

297, 8. with the which ... shame, by the production of which letter I expect to prove myself clearly right, or to put you to great shame if you disown it and refuse to act up to it; for the which, see Abb. § 270.

298, 9. I leave ... injury, in the language I use I in a measure lay aside the duty I owe to you and speak as the wrong done to me dictates; an allusion to the subscription of duty at the end of letters to a superior.

303. savours not, has not much taste of, has little sign of; cp. above, 1. 115, and H. V. i. 2. 295, "his jest will but savour of shallow wit."

305, 6. so please ... wife, provided it pleases you, when these matters have been further considered (sc. the business about Malvolio), to think of me as a sister (which I shall be if you marry Viola), as well as a wife (which I shall be by marrying Sebastian); possibly with the secondary meaning of thinking as well of her as a sister as he would have thought of her as his wife: for the part, used with a noun absolute in these things ... on, see Abb. § 376.

307. One day ... on 't, one and the same day shall ratify this alliance of wife and sister, shall make me wife to Sebastian and sister to you by your marriage with Viola.

308. proper, own.

309. apt, ready.

310. quits you, gives you your discharge as an attendant.

311. So much ... sex, so greatly against your constitution, temperament, as a woman; for mettle, cp. iii. 4. 250, "I care not who knows so much of my mettle."

312. So far beneath, so unworthy of.

314. Here is my hand, i.e. which shall make you your master's mistress.

315. A sister! ... she, i.e. I embrace you as a sister.

320. You must not, it is impossible for you to, etc.; for must, see Abb. 314.

321. Write ... phrase, write differently from it, if you can, either in regard to handwriting or expression; i.e. you cannot write, etc.: for from, see Abb. § 158.

322. invention, device, stratagem.

323. grant it, admit that it is yours in every respect.

324. in the ... honour, with due regard to modesty and truth.

325. such clear ... favour, such plain indications of your regard for me.

327. To put on, for 'to' omitted and afterwards inserted in the same sentence, see Abb. § 350.

328. the lighter people, people of less consequence.

329. And, acting ... imprisoned, and why have you allowed me, who acted in this way out of obedience to you and hope of your love, to be, etc.

332. geck, dupe; cp. Cymb. v. 4. 67, "the geck and scorn O' th' other's villany"; said to be derived from A.S. geac a cuckoo, but, as Wright points out, "the cuckoo of real life is anything but a dupe."

333. That e'er ... on, that ever inventive faculty played upon, as a man plays upon an instrument.

335. character, handwriting.

338-40. then earnest ... letter, then, i.e. just after she told me you were mad, you came in smiling, and in such dress and such behaviour as were indicated, previously imposed upon you, as the conditions on which you might expect to please me; for such ... which, see Abb. § 278: be content, be satisfied.

341. This practice ... thee, this trick has been played upon you in a most villanous manner; shrewdly, mischievously, lit. cursedly.

342. grounds, the bottom, origin.

345. to come, in the future.

346, 7. Taint ... at, infect the happiness of the present hour which is so great and unlooked for that it has filled me with wonder.

347. it shall not, i.e. that it shall not.

349. Set this ... here, put this trap in Malvolio's way; or, perhaps, instigated this plot against Malvolio.

350. Upon some ... him, in consequence of some harshness and discourtesy which we considered him to have shown towards us; there seems to be a mixture of metaphors between 'some harshness, etc., which we fancied we saw in him,' and 'some harshness, etc., for which we conceived ill will against him.' Possibly we should read 'in' for against, as Tyrwhitt conjectured, against being caught from 1. 350, above. For upon, meaning in consequence of, see Abb. § 191.

352. Importance, importunity; cp. K. J. ii. 1. 7, "At our importance hither has he come." "Fabian seems to have invented this to screen Maria" (Wright).

353. he hath married her, "though a short time before he was hopelessly drunk, and sent off to bed to get his wounds healed" (Wright).

354, 5. How with ... revenge, the merry spite with which the trick was followed up, is more likely, when described, to provoke laughter than a desire for revenge.

358. poor fool, said with commiseration, not scorn: baffled, see note on ii. 5. 144.

359. some are born ... them, quoting from the forged letter.

361. interlude, properly a farcical play performed in the intervals of a festivity, such as that in Act. v. of L. L. L.

363. Madam, why laugh, etc., Malvolio's sarcasms in i. 5. 76, etc., though slightly altered, as in the case of thrown for 'thrust' in 1. 361.

364, 5, the whirligig ... revenges, time as it revolves brings in its revenges, the time comes when one gets one's revenge, one has only to wait.

370. When ... convents, probably, when a happy moment serves, is convenient, though elsewhere Shakespeare uses 'convent' as = summon.

371, 2. A solemn ... souls, our souls shall be united by the solemn ceremony of marriage.

374. For so ... be, for that shall be your name.

376. fancy's, love's, as frequently.

377. and was often superfluously inserted in old ballads like this.

379. was but a toy, was regarded as nothing but a trifle.

391. toss-pots, drunkards.

395. But that's all one, but that does not matter. Staunton points out that this "was evidently one of those jigs with which it was the rude custom of the Clown to gratify the groundlings upon the conclusion of a play."

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. < >

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