Enter Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian
Come thy ways, Signor Fabian.
Nay, I'll come. If I lose a scruple of this sport,
let me be boiled to death with melancholy.
Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly,
rascally sheep-biter come by some notable
I would exult, man. You know he brought me
out o' favour with my lady about a bear-baiting here.
To anger him, we'll have the bear again, and
we will fool him black and blue – shall we not, Sir
An we do not, it is pity of our lives.
Here comes the little villain. How now, my
metal of India?
Get ye all three into the box-tree. Malvolio's
coming down this walk, he has been yonder i'the sun
practising behaviour to his own shadow this half-hour.
Observe him, for the love of mockery, for I know this
letter will make a contemplative idiot of him. Close, in
the name of jesting!
The men hide. Maria throws down a letter
Lie thou there – for here comes the trout that must be
caught with tickling.
'Tis but fortune, all is fortune. Maria once
told me she did affect me; and I have heard herself
come thus near, that should she fancy, it should be one
of my complexion. Besides, she uses me with a more
exalted respect than anyone else that follows her. What
should I think on't?
Here's an overweening rogue!
O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock
of him; how he jets under his advanced plumes!
'Slight, I could so beat the rogue!
Peace, I say!
To be Count Malvolio . . .
Pistol him, pistol him!
There is example for't. The lady of the
Strachy married the yeoman of the wardrobe.
Fie on him! Jezebel!
O, peace! Now he's deeply in. Look how
imagination blows him.
Having been three months married to her,
sitting in my state . . .
O for a stone-bow to hit him in the eye!
Calling my officers about me, in my branched
velvet gown, having come from a day-bed, where I have
left Olivia sleeping . . .
Fire and brimstone!
O, peace, peace!
And then to have the humour of state; and
after a demure travel of regard – telling them I know my
place, as I would they should do theirs – to ask for my
Bolts and shackles!
O, peace, peace, peace! Now, now!
Seven of my people, with an obedient start,
start (n.) 1
starting up, immediate reaction, sudden movement
make out for him. I frown the while, and perchance
wind up my watch, or play with my (fingering his
steward's chain of office) – some rich jewel. Toby
approaches, curtsies there to me . . .
Shall this fellow live?
Though our silence be drawn from us with cars,
carriage, cart, chariot [often of the sun god]
I extend my hand to him thus – quenching
my familiar smile with an austere regard of control . . .
And does not Toby take you a blow o'the lips
Saying, Cousin Toby, my fortunes having
cast me on your niece give me this prerogative of
speech . . .
You must amend your drunkenness.
Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot.
Besides, you waste the treasure of your time
with a foolish knight . . .
That's me, I warrant you.
One Sir Andrew.
I knew 'twas I, for many do call me fool.
(picks up the letter)
What employment have
Now is the woodcock near the gin.
type of game bird, thought to be easily tricked or snared; simpleton
O, peace, and the spirit of humours intimate
reading aloud to him!
By my life, this is my lady's hand. These be
her very C's, her U's and her T's; and thus makes she
her great P's. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.
Her C's, her U's and her T's? Why that?
To the unknown beloved this, and my good wishes.
Her very phrases! By your leave, wax. Soft! and the
impressure her Lucrece, with which she uses to seal.
'Tis my lady! To whom should this be?
This wins him, liver and all.
Jove knows I love;
Lips, do not move;
No man must know.
‘ No man must know ’! What follows? The numbers
altered! ‘ No man must know ’! If this should be thee,
Marry, hang thee, brock!
badger; [contemptuous] stinker, dirty rat
I may command where I adore;
But silence, like a Lucrece' knife,
With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore;
M.O.A.I. doth sway my life.
A fustian riddle!
Excellent wench, say I!
‘ M.O.A.I. doth sway my life.’ Nay, but first
let me see, let me see, let me see. . . .
What dish o' poison has she dressed him!
And with what wing the staniel checks at it!
‘ I may command where I adore.’ Why, she
may command me. I serve her, she is my lady. Why,
this is evident to any formal capacity. There is no
obstruction in this. And the end: what should that alphabetical
position portend? If I could make that resemble
something in me. . . . Softly, ‘ M.O.A.I.’ . . .
O, ay, make up that. He is now at a cold scent.
Sowter will cry upon't for all this, though it be as
[shoemaker, cobbler] name of a stupid hound
rank as a fox.
M . . . Malvolio! M! Why, that begins my
Did not I say he would work it out? The cur is
excellent at faults.
fault (n.) 5
[hunting] break in a line of scent, loss of scent
M! But then there is no consonancy in the
sequel that suffers under probation. A should follow,
but O does.
And O shall end, I hope.
Ay, or I'll cudgel him and make him cry O.
And then I comes behind.
Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you might
see more detraction at your heels than fortunes before
M.O.A.I. This simulation is not as the
former. And yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to
me, for every one of these letters are in my name. Soft!
Here follows prose.
If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above
thee, but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great,
some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust
upon 'em. Thy fates open their hands, let thy blood and
spirit embrace them; and to inure thyself to what thou art
like to be, cast thy humble slough and appear fresh. Be
opposite with a kinsman, surly with servants. Let thy
tongue tang arguments of state. Put thyself into the trick of
trick (n.) 3
peculiarity, idiosyncrasy, distinguishing trait
singularity. She thus advises thee that sighs for thee.
Remember who commended thy yellow stockings and wished
to see thee ever cross-gartered. I say, remember. Go to, thou
art made if thou desirest to be so. If not, let me see thee a
steward still, the fellow of servants, and not worthy to
touch Fortune's fingers. Farewell. She that would alter
services with thee, The Fortunate Unhappy.
Daylight and champain discovers not more! This is
open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors, I will
baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross acquaintance, I
will be point-devise the very man. I do not now fool
myself, to let imagination jade me; for every reason
excites to this, that my lady loves me. She did commend
my yellow stockings of late, she did praise my leg being
cross-gartered; and in this she manifests herself to my
love and with a kind of injunction drives me to these
habits of her liking. I thank my stars, I am happy! I
will be strange, stout, in yellow stockings and cross-gartered,
even with the swiftness of putting on. Jove and
my stars be praised! Here is yet a postscript.
Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou entertainest
my love, let it appear in thy smiling, thy smiles
become thee well. Therefore in my presence still smile, dear
my sweet, I prithee.
Jove, I thank thee! I will smile. I will do everything that
thou wilt have me!
I will not give my part of this sport for a pension
of thousands to be paid from the Sophy.
I could marry this wench for this device.
So could I too.
And ask no other dowry with her but such another
Nor I neither.
Here comes my noble gull-catcher.
Wilt thou set thy foot o' my neck?
Or o' mine either?
Shall I play my freedom at tray-trip and become
type of dicing game [depending on the throw of a three]
I'faith, or I either?
Why, thou hast put him in such a dream, that
when the image of it leaves him, he must run mad.
Nay, but say true: does it work upon him?
Like aqua-vitae with a midwife.
If you will then see the fruits of the sport, mark
his first approach before my lady. He will come to her in
yellow stockings, and 'tis a colour she abhors; and cross-gartered,
a fashion she detests; and he will smile upon
her, which will now be so unsuitable to her disposition –
being addicted to a melancholy as she is – that it cannot
but turn him into a notable contempt. If you will see it,
To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent
devil of wit!
I'll make one too.