Twelfth Night

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter at different entrances Viola, and Feste playing

his pipe and tabor


Save thee, friend, and thy music. Dost thou live by

thy tabor?
tabor (n.) type of small drum, especially used in revelling


No, sir, I live by the church.


Art thou a Churchman?


No such matter, sir; I do live by the church. For I

do live at my house, and my house doth stand by the



So thou mayst say the king lies by a beggar, if a
lie (v.) 4 sleep, go to bed

beggar dwell near him; or the Church stands by thy
stand by (v.) 3 support, uphold, maintain

tabor, if thy tabor stand by the church.


You have said, sir. To see this age! A sentence is
say (v.) 6 speak the truth, speak to the point See Topics: Discourse markers

but a cheveril glove to a good wit; how quickly the
cheveril (adj.) flexible, yielding, pliant
wit (n.) 6 lively person, sharp-minded individual

wrong side may be turned outward!


Nay, that's certain. They that dally nicely with
dally (v.) 1 deal lightly, play about, tease
nicely (adv.) 2 subtly, triflingly, fancifully

words may quickly make them wanton.
wanton (adj.) 10 equivocal, ambiguous, uncontrollable


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


Why, man?


Why, sir, her name's a word, and to dally with that

word might make my sister wanton. But indeed, words
wanton (adj.) 5 sexually hot, passionate, sportive

are very rascals, since bonds disgraced them.
bond (n.) 1 deed, contract, pledge


Thy reason, man?


Troth, sir, I can yield you none without words, and

words are grown so false, I am loath to prove reason
false (adj.) 3 sham, spurious, not genuine, artificial

with them.


I warrant thou art a merry fellow, and car'st for
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm See Topics: Frequency count



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.


Art not thou the Lady Olivia's fool?


No indeed, sir, the Lady Olivia has no folly. She

will keep no fool, sir, till she be married, and fools are as

like husbands as pilchers are to herrings; the husband's
pilcher (n.) 1 pilchard

the bigger. I am indeed not her fool, but her corrupter

of words.


I saw thee late at the Count Orsino's.


Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, it

shines everywhere. I would be sorry, sir, but the fool

should be as oft with your master as with my mistress.
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

I think I saw your wisdom there?


Nay, an thou pass upon me, I'll no more with
pass upon (v.) [unclear meaning] jest at; impose on; pass judgement upon

thee. Hold, there's expenses for thee!

She gives him a coin
commodity (n.) 1 supply, quantity, stock, consignment


Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send

thee a beard!


By my troth, I'll tell thee, I am almost sick for
sick (adj.) 1 longing, pining, avid

one – (aside) though I would not have it grow on my

chin. Is thy lady within?


Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?


Yes, being kept together and put to use.
use (n.) 7 profit, interest, premium


I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to

bring a Cressida to this Troilus.


I understand you, sir; 'tis well begged.

She gives another coin


The matter, I hope, is not great, sir, begging but a

beggar – Cressida was a beggar. My lady is within, sir.

I will conster to them whence you come. Who you are
conster (v.) 1 explain, inform, give an account

and what you would are out of my welkin – I might say
welkin, out of one's out of one's element, none of one's business

‘ element,’ but the word is overworn.



This fellow is wise enough to play the fool;

And to do that well craves a kind of wit.
crave (v.) 2 need, demand, require
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

He must observe their mood on whom he jests,

The quality of persons, and the time,
quality (n.) 1 nature, disposition, character

And, like the haggard, check at every feather
check at (v.) 2 [falconry] swerve to pounce on, turn towards, swoop at
haggard (n.) [falconry] wild hawk

That comes before his eye. This is a practice
practice (n.) 5 occupation, profession, line of work

As full of labour as a wise man's art.
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science

For folly that he wisely shows is fit;
fit (adj.) 1 suited, fitting, appropriate

But wise men, folly-fallen, quite taint their wit.
folly-fallen (adj.) falling into folly, stooping to foolishness
taint (v.) 4 impair, harm, injure
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

Enter Sir Toby and Sir Andrew


Save you, gentleman!


And you, sir!


Dieu vous garde, monsieur!


Et vous aussi; votre serviteur!


I hope, sir, you are, and I am yours.


Will you encounter the house? My niece is
encounter (v.) 2 approach, go to, move towards

desirous you should enter, if your trade be to her.
trade (n.) 2 business, dealings


I am bound to your niece, sir. I mean, she is the

list of my voyage.
list (n.) 4 limit, objective


Taste your legs, sir; put them to motion.
taste (v.) 1 try out, test, put to the proof


My legs do better under-stand me, sir, than I
understand (v.) 1 stand under the force of [with pun on ‘comprehend’]

understand what you mean by bidding me taste my legs.


I mean to go, sir, to enter.


I will answer you with gate and entrance.

Enter Olivia and Maria
prevent (v.) 1 forestall, anticipate

But we are prevented. (To Olivia) Most excellent,

accomplished lady, the heavens rain odours on you!


rare (adj.) 1 marvellous, splendid, excellent

That youth's a rare courtier. ‘ Rain

odours ’! Well!


My matter hath no voice, lady, but to your own
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue

most pregnant and vouchsafed ear.
pregnant (adj.) 1 well-disposed, ready, inclined, receptive
vouchsafed (adj.) well-bestowed, kindly granted


‘ Odours;’ ‘ pregnant;’ and ‘ vouchsafed.’

I'll get 'em all three all ready.


Let the garden door be shut and leave me to my


Exeunt Sir Toby and Maria, Sir Andrew lingering before

he, too, leaves

Give me your hand, sir.


My duty, madam, and most humble service!
duty (n.) 2 reverence, due respect, proper attitude


What is your name?


Cesario is your servant's name, fair princess.
servant (n.) 1 devotee, one who gives dedicated service, lover


My servant, sir? 'Twas never merry world
world (n.) 2 times, life, state of affairs

Since lowly feigning was called compliment.
feigning (n.) pretentiousness, posturing, courtly display
lowly (adj.) 1 humble, modest, submissive

Y'are servant to the Count Orsino, youth.


And he is yours, and his must needs be yours.

Your servant's servant is your servant, madam.


For him, I think not on him. For his thoughts,

Would they were blanks rather than filled with me.


Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

On his behalf –


                         O, by your leave, I pray you.

I bade you never speak again of him.
bid (v.), past form bade 1 command, order, enjoin, tell

But would you undertake another suit,
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship

I had rather hear you to solicit that
solicit (v.) 1 urge, move, incite, prevail upon

Than music from the spheres.
sphere (n.) 1 celestial globe in which a heavenly body was thought to move, orbit See Topics: Cosmos


                         Dear lady –


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
abuse (v.) 2 misuse, maltreat, treat badly, wrong

Myself, my servant, and, I fear me, you.

Under your hard construction must I sit,
construction (n.) 2 judgement, consideration, appraisal
hard (adj.) 3 painful, harrowing, tough

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,
stake, at the [bear-baiting] under attack; or [gambling]: at risk

And baited it with all th' unmuzzled thoughts

That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving
receiving (n.) perception, awareness, discernment

Enough is shown; a cypress, not a bosom,
cypress (n.) type of lightweight fabric, gauze cloth, crape material [when black, used in mourning]

Hides my heart. So let me hear you speak.


I pity you.
degree (n.) 3 step, stage, rung


                         That's a degree to love.


No, not a grize; for 'tis a vulgar proof
grece, grise, grize (n.) step, degree, grade
proof (n.) 2 experience, actual practice, tried knowledge
vulgar (adj.) 5 familiar, ordinary, everyday

That very oft we pity enemies.
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count


Why, then, methinks 'tis time to smile again.
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

O world, how apt the poor are to be proud!

If one should be a prey, how much the better

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,
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

Your wife is like to reap a proper man.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count
proper (adj.) 1 good-looking, handsome, comely

There lies your way, due west.


                         Then westward ho!

Grace and good disposition attend your ladyship.
attend (v.) 4 accompany, follow closely, go with
disposition (n.) 1 composure, state of mind, temperament

You'll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?



I prithee, tell me what thou think'st of me?


That you do think you are not what you are.


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


Then think you right; I am not what I am.


I would you were as I would have you be.


Would it be better, madam, than I am?

I wish it might, for now I am your fool.



O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful

In the contempt and anger of his lip!

A murderous guilt shows not itself more soon

Than love that would seem hid: love's night is noon.

(To Viola) Cesario, by the roses of the spring,

By maidhood, honour, truth, and everything,

I love thee so that, maugre all thy pride,
maugre (prep.) [pron: 'mawguh] in spite of

Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide.
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

Do not extort thy reasons from this clause:
clause (n.) premise, assertion, statement
extort (v.) 2 extract with force, wring out

For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause.

But rather reason thus with reason fetter:
fetter (v.) restrain, overcome, suppress

Love sought, is good; but given unsought, is better.


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

Will I my master's tears to you deplore.
deplore (v.) tell with grief, express with lamentation


Yet come again; for thou perhaps mayst move

That heart, which now abhors, to like his love.


  Previous scene     Next scene