Twelfth Night

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Maria and Feste the Clown


Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, or I will

not open my lips so wide as a bristle may enter, in way of

thy excuse. My lady will hang thee for thy absence.


Let her hang me. He that is well hanged in this

world needs to fear no colours.
colours, fear no fear no enemy, fear nothing


Make that good.
make good 1 justify, vindicate, confirm


He shall see none to fear.


A good lenten answer! I can tell thee where that
lenten (adj.) 2 dismal, meagre, scanty

saying was born, of ‘ I fear no colours.’


Where, good Mistress Mary?


In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in

your foolery.


Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and

those that are fools, let them use their talents.


Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent;

or to be turned away – is not that as good as a hanging
turn away (v.) send away, dismiss from service

to you?


Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage;

and for turning away, let summer bear it out.
bear out (v.) 1 endure, weather, cope [with]


You are resolute, then?


Not so neither, but I am resolved on two points.
point (n.) 2 (usually plural) tagged lace [especially for attaching hose to the doublet]


That if one break, the other will hold; or if both

break, your gaskins fall.
gaskins (n.) loose-fitting trousers, wide breeches See Topics: Clothing


Apt, in good faith, very apt. Well, go thy way, if

Sir Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a

piece of Eve's flesh as any in Illyria.


Peace, you rogue, no more o' that. Here comes my

lady. Make your excuse wisely, you were best.
best, thou wert / you were you are best advised


Enter Olivia with Malvolio and attendants
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability See Topics: Frequency count


Wit, an't be thy will, put me into good fooling.

Those wits that think they have thee do very oft prove
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count
wit (n.) 6 lively person, sharp-minded individual

fools; and I that am sure I lack thee may pass for a wise

man. For what says Quinapalus? ‘ Better a witty fool
witty (adj.) 2 intelligent, ingenious, sensible

than a foolish wit.’ God bless thee, lady!
wit (n.) 6 lively person, sharp-minded individual


Take the fool away.


Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.


Go to, y' are a dry fool. I'll no more of you. Besides,
dry (adj.) 1 barren, arid, yielding no result

you grow dishonest.
dishonest (adj.) 1 undutiful, unreliable, irresponsible


Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel

will amend. For give the dry fool drink, then is the fool

not dry. Bid the dishonest man mend himself: if he

mend, he is no longer dishonest; if he cannot, let the

botcher mend him. Anything that's mended, is but
botcher (n.) mender of old clothes, tailor who does repairs, patcher-up

patched: virtue that transgresses is but patched with

sin; and sin that amends is but patched with virtue. If
amend (v.) 3 make better, ameliorate, lessen the evil of

that this simple syllogism will serve, so; if it will not,

what remedy? As there is no true cuckold but calamity,

so beauty's a flower. The lady bade take away the fool;
bid (v.), past form bade 1 command, order, enjoin, tell
cuckold (n.) [mocking name] man with an unfaithful wife See Topics: Frequency count

therefore I say again – take her away!


Sir, I bade them take away you.


Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, cucullus
misprision (n.) 1 mistake, error, misunderstanding, misconception

non facit monachum; that's as much to say as I wear not

motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to
madonna (n.) my lady, madam
motley (n.) 1 distinctive dress of a fool

prove you a fool.


Can you do it?


Dexteriously, good madonna.
dexteriously (adv.) with dexterity, adroitly, skilfully


Make your proof.


I must catechize you for it, madonna. Good my
catechize (v.) 2 question systematically, cross-examine, interrogate

mouse of virtue, answer me.


Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll bide your
bide (v.) 2 face, await, undergo
idleness (n.) pastime, foolishness, silly diversion
want (n.) 1 lack, shortage, dearth



Good madonna, why mourn'st thou?


Good fool, for my brother's death.


I think his soul is in hell, madonna.


I know his soul is in heaven, fool.


The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your

brother's soul, being in heaven. Take away the fool,



What think you of this fool, Malvolio? Doth he

not mend?
mend (v.) 1 amend, improve, make better, put right


Yes, and shall do, till the pangs of death shake

him. Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the

better fool.


God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity for the better

increasing your folly. Sir Toby will be sworn that I am

no fox, but he will not pass his word for twopence that

you are no fool.


How say you to that, Malvolio?


I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a

barren rascal. I saw him put down the other day with an
barren (adj.) 2 stupid, empty-headed, dull
put down (v.) crush, defeat, put to silence

ordinary fool that has no more brain than a stone. Look

you now, he's out of his guard already; unless you laugh

and minister occasion to him, he is gagged. I protest I
minister (v.) 1 provide, supply, give
occasion (n.) 1 circumstance, opportunity

take these wise men, that crow so at these set kind of
set (adj.) 3 carefully composed, deliberately expressed

fools, no better than the fools' zanies.
zany (n.) stooge, clown's assistant, mimic


O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste

with a distempered appetite. To be generous, guiltless,
distempered (adj.) 3 disordered, disturbed, diseased

and of free disposition, is to take those things for bird-bolts
bird-bolt, burbolt (n.) short blunt-headed arrow for shooting birds
free (adj.) 2 generous, magnanimous

that you deem cannon bullets. There is no slander

in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail; nor no
allowed (adj.) 2 licensed, authorized, permitted
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about] See Topics: Frequency count

railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing
railing (n.) abuse, insulting speech, vilification

but reprove.


Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou
indue, endue (v.) 1 endow, furnish, provide
leasing (n.) 2 skill in lying, ability to lie

speak'st well of fools.

Enter Maria


Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman

much desires to speak with you.


From the Count Orsino, is it?


I know not, madam. 'Tis a fair young man, and

well attended.
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]


Who of my people hold him in delay?


Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.


Fetch him off, I pray you, he speaks nothing but

madman. Fie on him! Go you, Malvolio. If it be a suit

from the Count, I am sick or not at home – what you
suit (n.) 1 formal request, entreaty, petition See Topics: Frequency count

will, to dismiss it.

Exit Malvolio

Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old and people
old (adj.) 2 hackneyed, worn-out, stale

dislike it?


Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest

son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with brains,

for – here he comes –

(Enter Sir Toby)
pia mater (n.) membrane covering the brain; brain

one of thy kin has a most weak pia mater.


By mine honour, half drunk! What is he at the

gate, cousin?


A gentleman.


A gentleman! What gentleman?


'Tis a gentleman here – a plague o' these

pickle-herring! (To Feste) How now, sot!


Good Sir Toby!


Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by

this lethargy?


Lechery! I defy lechery! There's one at the



Ay, marry, what is he?


Let him be the devil an he will, I care not. Give

me faith, say I. Well, it's all one.
all is one; that's / it's all one it makes no difference, it's one and the same, it doesn't matter See Topics: Discourse markers

Exit Sir Toby, followed by Maria


What's a drunken man like, fool?


Like a drowned man, a fool, and a madman. One

draught above heat makes him a fool, the second mads
heat (n.) 4 normal body temperature

him, and a third drowns him.


Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o'
crowner (n.) coroner

my coz, for he's in the third degree of drink – he's
degree (n.) 3 step, stage, rung

drowned. Go, look after him.


He is but mad yet, madonna, and the fool shall look

to the madman.


Enter Malvolio


Madam, yond young fellow swears he will

speak with you. I told him you were sick; he takes on

him to understand so much, and therefore comes to

speak with you. I told him you were asleep; he seems to

have a foreknowledge of that too, and therefore comes

to speak with you. What is to be said to him, lady? He's

fortified against any denial.


Tell him, he shall not speak with me.


He's been told so; and he says he'll stand at

your door like a sheriff's post and be the supporter to a
post (n.) 3 door-post

bench, but he'll speak with you.


What kind o' man is he?


Why, of mankind.


What manner of man?


Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count

you or no.


Of what personage and years is he?
personage (n.) appearance, demeanour


Not yet old enough for a man, nor young

enough for a boy; as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or
peascod (n.) pea-plant, pea-pod
squash (n.) 1 unripe pea-pod

a codling when 'tis almost an apple. 'Tis with him in
codling (n.) unripe apple, half-grown apple

standing water between boy and man. He is very well-favoured,
standing (adj.) 3 not ebbing or flowing
well-favoured (adj.) good-looking, attractive in appearance

and he speaks very shrewishly. One would
shrewishly (adv.) like a woman, shrilly, sharply

think his mother's milk were scarce out of him.


Let him approach. Call in my gentlewoman.


Gentlewoman, my lady calls.


Enter Maria


Give me my veil. Come, throw it o'er my face.

We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.
embassy (n.) 1 message [especially via an ambassador]

Enter Viola


The honourable lady of the house, which is she?


Speak to me, I shall answer for her. Your will?


Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty –

I pray you, tell me if this be the lady of the house, for I

never saw her. I would be loath to cast away my speech;

for besides that it is excellently well penned, I have

taken great pains to con it. Good beauties, let me sustain
con (v.) 1 learn by heart, commit to memory

no scorn. I am very comptible, even to the least sinister
comptible (adj.) sensitive, thin-skinned, impressionable
sinister (adj.) 3 malicious, adverse, impolite

usage (n.) treatment, handling, conduct


Whence came you, sir?


I can say little more than I have studied, and that
study (v.) 3 learn by heart, commit to memory

question's out of my part. Good gentle one, give me

modest assurance if you be the lady of the house, that I
assurance (n.) 2 confirmation, pledge, guarantee
gentle (adj.) 1 well-born, honourable, noble See Topics: Frequency count
modest (adj.) 1 moderate, reasonable, mild, limited

may proceed in my speech.


Are you a comedian?
comedian (n.) actor, stage-player


No, my profound heart; and yet, by the very fangs

of malice, I swear I am not that I play. Are you the lady

of the house?


If I do not usurp myself, I am.
usurp (v.) 1 supplant, oust, impersonate


Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp yourself;
usurp (v.) 3 take wrongful possession of, misappropriate

for what is yours to bestow is not yours to reserve.

But this is from my commission. I will on with my
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]

speech in your praise, and then show you the heart of

my message.


Come to what is important in't. I forgive you the
forgive (v.) excuse, let off



Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.


It is the more like to be feigned; I pray you, keep it
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count

in. I heard you were saucy at my gates, and allowed your
saucy (adj.) 1 insolent, impudent, presumptuous, defiant

approach rather to wonder at you than to hear you. If
wonder (v.) 2 stare in curiosity, look in fascination

you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief.

'Tis not that time of moon with me, to make one in so

skipping a dialogue.
skipping (adj.) 1 frivolous, flighty, frolicsome


(showing Viola the way out)

Will you hoist sail, sir?

Here lies your way.


No, good swabber, I am to hull here a little longer.
hull (v.) lie, float, drift [with sails furled]
swabber (n.) deckhand, sailor who washes the deck

Some mollification for your giant, sweet lady! Tell me
mollification (n.) appeasement, placating, pacifying

your mind; I am a messenger.


Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver,

when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
courtesy, cur'sy, curtsy (n.) 3 salutation, first greeting, expression of courtesy
fearful (adj.) 2 causing fear, awe-inspiring, terrifying, alarming
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility See Topics: Frequency count


It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of
overture (n.) 1 disclosure, revelation

war, no taxation of homage. I hold the olive in my hand;
homage (n.) 1 act of homage, acknowledgement of allegiance
olive (n.) olive-branch [symbol of peace]
taxation (n.) 2 demand for money, financial claim

my words are as full of peace as matter.
matter (n.) 4 affair(s), business, real issue


Yet you began rudely. What are you? What

would you?


The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I

learned from my entertainment. What I am and what I
entertainment (n.) 1 treatment, hospitality, reception

would are as secret as maidenhead; to your ears divinity,

to any others profanation.


Give us the place alone.

Maria and attendants withdraw

We will hear this divinity. Now, sir, what is your text?


Most sweet lady –


A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of
comfortable (adj.) 2 comforting, encouraging, reassuring

it. Where lies your text?


In Orsino's bosom.
bosom (n.) 1 heart, inner person


In his bosom! In what chapter of his bosom?


To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.
method (n.) 2 table of contents, summary arrangement


O, I have read it; it is heresy. Have you no more to



Good madam, let me see your face.


Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]

with my face? You are now out of your text; but
text (n.) 1 theme, subject, topic

we will draw the curtain and show you the picture. Look

you, sir, such a one I was this present. Is't not well
present, this just now, recently



Excellently done – if God did all.


'Tis in grain, sir, 'twill endure wind and weather.
grain, in inherent, ingrained, indelible


'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
blent (adj.) blended, mixed, applied [as of painting]

Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on.
cunning (adj.) 1 knowledgeable, skilful, clever

Lady, you are the cruellest she alive,
she (n.) lady, woman, girl

If you will lead these graces to the grave,

And leave the world no copy.


O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted. I will give

out divers schedules of my beauty. It shall be inventoried,
divers (adj.) different, various, several
schedule (n.) 1 inventory, list, itemization

and every particle and utensil labelled to my will.
label (v.) attach as a codicil, affix as a supplementary note
utensil (n.) 1 distinctive feature, functional organ

As, item: two lips, indifferent red; item: two grey eyes,
indifferent (adv.) 1 moderately, tolerably, reasonably

with lids to them; item: one neck, one chin, and so forth.

Were you sent hither to praise me?
praise (v.) 2 appraise, assess, put a valuation on


I see you what you are, you are too proud.

But if you were the devil, you are fair.

My lord and master loves you – O, such love

Could be but recompensed, though you were crowned

The nonpareil of beauty!
nonpareil (n.) person without equal, unique one, paragon


                         How does he love me?


With adorations, fertile tears,
fertile (adj.) abundant, profuse, rich

With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.


Your lord does know my mind, I cannot love him.

Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,

Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth,
estate (n.) 2 high rank, standing, status

In voices well divulged, free, learned, and valiant,
divulge (v.) 1 proclaim, reveal, make publicly known
free (adj.) 3 noble, honourable, worthy
voice (n.) 4 talk, rumour, opinion

And in dimension and the shape of nature
dimension (n.) 1 bodily form, physical frame

A gracious person. But yet I cannot love him.
gracious (adj.) 10 graceful, elegant, attractive
shape (n.) 1 appearance, aspect, visible form

He might have took his answer long ago.


If I did love you in my master's flame,

With such a suffering, such a deadly life,
deadly (adj.) deathly, death-like

In your denial I would find no sense;

I would not understand it.


                         Why, what would you?


Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
cabin (n.) 1 small room, hut, shelter
willow (adj.) made of leaves from the willow tree [a symbol of the grief felt by a deserted or unrequited lover] See Topics: Plants

And call upon my soul within the house;

Write loyal cantons of contemned love
canton (n.) song, ballad, verse
contemned (adj.) 2 despised, rejected, spurned

And sing them loud even in the dead of night;

Hallow your name to the reverberate hills
hallow, holloa, hollow (v.) 1 shout, yell, cry out
reverberate (adj.) reverberating, resounding, echoing

And make the babbling gossip of the air

Cry out ‘ Olivia!’ O, you should not rest

Between the elements of air and earth,

But you should pity me.


                         You might do much.

What is your parentage?


Above my fortunes, yet my state is well.
state (n.) 2 status, rank, position

I am a gentleman.


                         Get you to your lord.

I cannot love him. Let him send no more –

Unless, perchance, you come to me again
perchance (adv.) 1 perhaps, maybe See Topics: Frequency count

To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well.

I thank you for your pains. Spend this for me.


I am no fee'd post, lady; keep your purse.
fee'd (adj.) paid by a fee, hired, bribed
post (n.) 1 express messenger, courier See Topics: Frequency count

My master, not myself, lacks recompense.

Love make his heart of flint, that you shall love,

And let your fervour like my master's be

Placed in contempt. Farewell, fair cruelty!



‘ What is your parentage?’

‘ Above my fortunes, yet my state is well.

I am a gentleman.’ I'll be sworn thou art.

Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit

Do give thee fivefold blazon. Not too fast! soft, soft –
blazon (n.) 1 armorial bearing, banner showing a coat-of-arms

Unless the master were the man. How now?

Even so quickly may one catch the plague?

Methinks I feel this youth's perfections,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

With an invisible and subtle stealth,
stealth (n.) 1 stealing away, furtive journey, clandestine act
subtle, subtile (adj.) 1 crafty, cunning, wily

To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be!

What ho, Malvolio!

Enter Malvolio


Here, madam, at your service.


Run after that same peevish messenger,
peevish (adj.) 1 silly, foolish; or: headstrong, impulsive

The County's man. He left this ring behind him,
county (n.) 1 [title of rank] count

Would I or not. Tell him, I'll none of it.

Desire him not to flatter with his lord,
flatter with / withal (v.) 1 encourage, foster [false] hope

Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him.

If that the youth will come this way tomorrow,

I'll give him reasons for't. Hie thee, Malvolio!
hie (v.) hasten, hurry, speed See Topics: Frequency count


Madam, I will.



I do I know not what, and fear to find

Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.

Fate, show thy force; ourselves we do not owe.
owe (v.) 1 own, possess, have See Topics: Frequency count

What is decreed must be, and be this so.


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