Enter Sir Toby Belch and Maria
What a plague means my niece to take the death
of her brother thus? I am sure care's an enemy to life.
By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier
o' nights. Your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to
your ill hours.
Why, let her except before excepted.
Ay, but you must confine yourself within the
modest limits of order.
Confine! I'll confine myself no finer than I am.
These clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be
these boots too; an they be not, let them hang themselves
in their own straps.
That quaffing and drinking will undo you. I heard
my lady talk of it yesterday, and of a foolish knight that
you brought in one night here, to be her wooer.
Who? Sir Andrew Aguecheek?
He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
What's that to the purpose?
Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.
Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats.
He's a very fool and a prodigal.
Fie, that you'll say so. He plays o'the viol-de-gamboys,
and speaks three or four languages word for
word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.
He hath indeed all, most natural; for besides that
he's a fool, he's a great quarreller; and but that he hath
the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarrelling,
'tis thought among the prudent he would quickly
have the gift of a grave.
By this hand, they are scoundrels and substractors
that say so of him. Who are they?
They that add, moreover, he's drunk nightly in
With drinking healths to my niece. I'll drink to
her as long as there is a passage in my throat and drink
in Illyria. He's a coward and a coistrel that will not
drink to my niece till his brains turn o'the toe like a
parish top. What, wench! Castiliano, vulgo – for here
parish top (n.)
whipping-top kept for parishioners' use [of unclear purpose]
[unclear meaning] popularly, commonly; in everyday speech
comes Sir Andrew Agueface!
Enter Sir Andrew Aguecheek
Sir Toby Belch! How now, Sir Toby
Sweet Sir Andrew!
Bless you, fair shrew.
vexatious person, troubleseome individual [of either sex]
And you too, sir.
Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.
My niece's chambermaid.
Good Mistress Accost, I desire better
My name is Mary, sir.
Good Mistress Mary Accost –
You mistake, knight. ‘ Accost ’ is front
her, board her, woo her, assail her.
assail (v.) 2
approach with offers of love, woo with vigour, attempt to seduce
By my troth, I would not undertake
her in this company. Is that the meaning of ‘ accost ’?
Fare you well, gentlemen.
An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would
thou mightst never draw sword again.
An you part so, mistress, I would I might
never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you
have fools in hand?
Sir, I have not you by the hand.
Marry, but you shall have, and here's my
Now, sir, ‘ Thought is free.’ I pray you, bring your
hand to the buttery bar and let it drink.
ledge by the hatch of a buttery [liquor store]
Wherefore, sweetheart? What's your
It's dry, sir.
Why, I think so. I am not such an ass, but
I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest?
A dry jest, sir.
Are you full of them?
Ay, sir. I have them at my fingers' ends. Marry,
now I let go your hand, I am barren.
O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary. When
did I see thee so put down?
Never in your life, I think, unless you see
canary put me down. Methinks sometimes I have no
more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man has; but I
am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to
An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride
home tomorrow, Sir Toby.
Pourquoi, my dear knight?
What is pourquoi? Do or not do? I would I
had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in
fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting. O, had I but followed
Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
Why, would that have mended my hair?
Past question, for thou seest it will not curl by
But it becomes me well enough, does't not?
Excellent, it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I
hope to see a huswife take thee between her legs and
spin it off.
Faith, I'll home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your
niece will not be seen, or if she be, it's four to one she'll
none of me; the Count himself, here hard by, woos her.
She'll none o'the Count; she'll not match above
her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit. I have heard
her swear't. Tut, there's life in't, man.
I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o'the
strangest mind i'the world. I delight in masques and
revels sometimes altogether.
Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?
As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be,
under the degree of my betters, and yet I will not compare
with an old man.
What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
Faith, I can cut a caper.
caper, cut a
perform a leap in which the feet are kicked together in the air
And I can cut the mutton to't.
And I think I have the back-trick, simply as
strong as any man in Illyria.
Wherefore are these things hid? Wherefore
have these gifts a curtain before 'em? Are they like to
take dust, like Mistress Mall's picture? Why dost thou
not go to church in a galliard and come home in a
coranto? My very walk should be a jig. I would not so
much as make water but in a sink-apace. What dost thou
mean? Is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think by
the excellent constitution of thy leg it was formed under
the star of a galliard.
Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in
a dun-coloured stock. Shall we set about some revels?
What shall we do else? Were we not born under
Taurus? That's sides and heart.
No, sir, it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee
caper. Ha! Higher! Ha! Ha! Excellent!