Twelfth Night


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Sir Toby Belch and Maria


SIR TOBY

What a plague means my niece to take the death

of her brother thus? I am sure care's an enemy to life.


MARIA

By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier

o' nights. Your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to
exception (n.) 1 (often plural) objection, dislike, disapproval

your ill hours.
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count


SIR TOBY

Why, let her except before excepted.
except, except against (v.) 1 take exception to, object to, repudiate


MARIA

Ay, but you must confine yourself within the

modest limits of order.
modest (adj.) 1 moderate, reasonable, mild, limited
order (n.) 2 prescribed practice, regular procedure


SIR TOBY

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.


MARIA

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.


SIR TOBY

Who? Sir Andrew Aguecheek?


MARIA

Ay, he.


SIR TOBY

He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
tall (adj.) 1 brave, valiant, bold


MARIA

What's that to the purpose?
purpose (n.) 2 point at issue, matter in hand


SIR TOBY

Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.


MARIA

Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats.

He's a very fool and a prodigal.
prodigal (n.) 1 waster, squanderer, spendthrift
very (adj.) 1 [intensifying] thorough-going, absolute


SIR TOBY

Fie, that you'll say so. He plays o'the viol-de-gamboys,
viol-de-gamboys (n.) viola da gamba

and speaks three or four languages word for

word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.
book, without off by heart, by rote


MARIA

He hath indeed all, most natural; for besides that
natural (adv.) like a half-wit, idiotically

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,
gift (n.) 1 quality, accomplishment, talent
gust (n.) 3 relish, taste, inclination

'tis thought among the prudent he would quickly

have the gift of a grave.


SIR TOBY

By this hand, they are scoundrels and substractors

that say so of him. Who are they?
substractor (n.) detractor, slanderer, calumniator


MARIA

They that add, moreover, he's drunk nightly in

your company.


SIR TOBY

With drinking healths to my niece. I'll drink to
health (n.) 1 toast, salutation in drink

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
coistrel (n.) groom, low fellow, knave

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]
vulgo (adv.) [unclear meaning] popularly, commonly; in everyday speech
wench (n.) girl, lass See Topics: Frequency count

comes Sir Andrew Agueface!

Enter Sir Andrew Aguecheek


SIR ANDREW

Sir Toby Belch! How now, Sir Toby

Belch?


SIR TOBY

Sweet Sir Andrew!


SIR ANDREW

Bless you, fair shrew.
shrew (n.) vexatious person, troubleseome individual [of either sex]


MARIA

And you too, sir.


SIR TOBY

Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.
accost (v.) approach, make up to, pay court to


SIR ANDREW

What's that?


SIR TOBY

My niece's chambermaid.


SIR ANDREW

Good Mistress Accost, I desire better

acquaintance.


MARIA

My name is Mary, sir.


SIR ANDREW

Good Mistress Mary Accost –


SIR TOBY

(aside)
accost (v.) approach, make up to, pay court to
front (v.) 1 confront, face, meet

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
board (v.) 1 accost, address, approach, tackle


SIR ANDREW

(aside)
undertake (v.) 4 approach, make overtures to, commit to deal with

By my troth, I would not undertake

her in this company. Is that the meaning of ‘ accost ’?


MARIA

Fare you well, gentlemen.


SIR TOBY

(aside)
part (v.) 1 depart [from], leave, quit

An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would

thou mightst never draw sword again.


SIR ANDREW

An you part so, mistress, I would I might

never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you

have fools in hand?
hand, in to deal with, here present


MARIA

Sir, I have not you by the hand.


SIR ANDREW

Marry, but you shall have, and here's my

hand.


MARIA

Now, sir, ‘ Thought is free.’ I pray you, bring your
thought is free think what you like

hand to the buttery bar and let it drink.
buttery bar ledge by the hatch of a buttery [liquor store]


SIR ANDREW

Wherefore, sweetheart? What's your

metaphor?


MARIA

It's dry, sir.


SIR ANDREW

Why, I think so. I am not such an ass, but

I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest?


MARIA

A dry jest, sir.


SIR ANDREW

Are you full of them?


MARIA

Ay, sir. I have them at my fingers' ends. Marry,

now I let go your hand, I am barren.

Exit


SIR TOBY

O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary. When
canary, canaries (n.) 1 variety of sweet wine from the Canary Islands

did I see thee so put down?
put down (v.) crush, defeat, put to silence


SIR ANDREW

Never in your life, I think, unless you see

canary put me down. Methinks sometimes I have no
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man has; but I
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to

my wit.


SIR TOBY

No question.


SIR ANDREW

An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count

home tomorrow, Sir Toby.


SIR TOBY

Pourquoi, my dear knight?


SIR ANDREW

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

the arts!


SIR TOBY

Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.


SIR ANDREW

Why, would that have mended my hair?


SIR TOBY

Past question, for thou seest it will not curl by

nature.


SIR ANDREW

But it becomes me well enough, does't not?
become (v.) 2 grace, honour, dignify See Topics: Frequency count


SIR TOBY

Excellent, it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I
distaff (n.) device for weaving, spindle

hope to see a huswife take thee between her legs and
housewife, huswife (n.) [pron: 'husif] hussy, wanton, minx

spin it off.


SIR ANDREW

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.
hard (adv.) 1 close, near


SIR TOBY

She'll none o'the Count; she'll not match above
match (v.) 1 join in marriage, make a match

her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit. I have heard
degree (n.) 1 rank, station, standing
estate (n.) 2 high rank, standing, status
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count

her swear't. Tut, there's life in't, man.


SIR ANDREW

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.


SIR TOBY

Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?
kickshaw (n.) 1 trifle, triviality, worthless distraction


SIR ANDREW

As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be,

under the degree of my betters, and yet I will not compare
degree (n.) 1 rank, station, standing

with an old man.
old (adj.) 6 experienced, practised, skilled


SIR TOBY

What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
galliard (n.) type of lively, high-spirited dance


SIR ANDREW

Faith, I can cut a caper.
caper, cut a perform a leap in which the feet are kicked together in the air


SIR TOBY

And I can cut the mutton to't.


SIR ANDREW

And I think I have the back-trick, simply as
back-trick (n.) type of backwards dance leap

strong as any man in Illyria.


SIR TOBY

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
galliard (n.) type of lively, high-spirited dance

coranto? My very walk should be a jig. I would not so
coranto (n.) lively dance with quick running steps
jig (n.) lively song; frivolous dance

much as make water but in a sink-apace. What dost thou
cinquepace (n.) five-step capering dance

mean? Is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think by

the excellent constitution of thy leg it was formed under
constitution (n.) 2 construction, make-up, frame

the star of a galliard.


SIR ANDREW

Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in

a dun-coloured stock. Shall we set about some revels?
dun (adj.) 2 grey-brown
stock (n.) 3 stocking See Topics: Clothing


SIR TOBY

What shall we do else? Were we not born under

Taurus?


SIR ANDREW

Taurus? That's sides and heart.


SIR TOBY

No, sir, it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee

caper. Ha! Higher! Ha! Ha! Excellent!
caper (v.) 2 dance with joy, leap with delight

Exeunt

 
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