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Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.

      — Romeo and Juliet, Act II Scene 6

Twelfth Night, Or What You Will

Act IV

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Scene 1. Before OLIVIA’s house.

Scene 2. OLIVIA’s house.

Scene 3. OLIVIA’s garden.

---
       

Act IV, Scene 1

Before OLIVIA’s house.

      next scene .
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[Enter SEBASTIAN and Clown]

  • Feste. Will you make me believe that I am not sent for you?
  • Sebastian. Go to, go to, thou art a foolish fellow:
    Let me be clear of thee. 1955
  • Feste. Well held out, i' faith! No, I do not know you; nor
    I am not sent to you by my lady, to bid you come
    speak with her; nor your name is not Master Cesario;
    nor this is not my nose neither. Nothing that is so is so.
  • Sebastian. I prithee, vent thy folly somewhere else: Thou 1960
    know'st not me.
  • Feste. Vent my folly! he has heard that word of some
    great man and now applies it to a fool. Vent my
    folly! I am afraid this great lubber, the world,
    will prove a cockney. I prithee now, ungird thy 1965
    strangeness and tell me what I shall vent to my
    lady: shall I vent to her that thou art coming?
  • Sebastian. I prithee, foolish Greek, depart from me: There's
    money for thee: if you tarry longer, I shall give
    worse payment. 1970
  • Feste. By my troth, thou hast an open hand. These wise men
    that give fools money get themselves a good
    report—after fourteen years' purchase.

[Enter SIR ANDREW, SIR TOBY BELCH, and FABIAN]

  • Sebastian. Why, there's for thee, and there, and there. Are all
    the people mad?
  • Feste. This will I tell my lady straight: I would not be
    in some of your coats for two pence. 1980

[Exit]

  • Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Nay, let him alone: I'll go another way to work
    with him; I'll have an action of battery against
    him, if there be any law in Illyria: though I 1985
    struck him first, yet it's no matter for that.
  • Sir Toby Belch. Come, sir, I will not let you go. Come, my young
    soldier, put up your iron: you are well fleshed; come on.
  • Sebastian. I will be free from thee. What wouldst thou now? If 1990
    thou darest tempt me further, draw thy sword.
  • Sir Toby Belch. What, what? Nay, then I must have an ounce or two
    of this malapert blood from you.

[Enter OLIVIA]

  • Olivia. Hold, Toby; on thy life I charge thee, hold! 1995
  • Olivia. Will it be ever thus? Ungracious wretch,
    Fit for the mountains and the barbarous caves,
    Where manners ne'er were preach'd! out of my sight!
    Be not offended, dear Cesario. 2000
    Rudesby, be gone!
    [Exeunt SIR TOBY BELCH, SIR ANDREW, and FABIAN]
    I prithee, gentle friend,
    Let thy fair wisdom, not thy passion, sway
    In this uncivil and thou unjust extent 2005
    Against thy peace. Go with me to my house,
    And hear thou there how many fruitless pranks
    This ruffian hath botch'd up, that thou thereby
    Mayst smile at this: thou shalt not choose but go:
    Do not deny. Beshrew his soul for me, 2010
    He started one poor heart of mine in thee.
  • Sebastian. What relish is in this? how runs the stream?
    Or I am mad, or else this is a dream:
    Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep;
    If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep! 2015
  • Olivia. Nay, come, I prithee; would thou'ldst be ruled by me!
  • Olivia. O, say so, and so be!

[Exeunt]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 2

OLIVIA’s house.

      next scene .
---

[Enter MARIA and Clown]

  • Maria. Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard;
    make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate: do
    it quickly; I'll call Sir Toby the whilst.

[Exit]

  • Feste. Well, I'll put it on, and I will dissemble myself 2025
    in't; and I would I were the first that ever
    dissembled in such a gown. I am not tall enough to
    become the function well, nor lean enough to be
    thought a good student; but to be said an honest man
    and a good housekeeper goes as fairly as to say a 2030
    careful man and a great scholar. The competitors enter.

[Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA]

  • Feste. Bonos dies, Sir Toby: for, as the old hermit of
    Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily 2035
    said to a niece of King Gorboduc, 'That that is is;'
    so I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for,
    what is 'that' but 'that,' and 'is' but 'is'?
  • Feste. What, ho, I say! peace in this prison! 2040
  • Feste. Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio
    the lunatic.
  • Malvolio. Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to my lady. 2045
  • Feste. Out, hyperbolical fiend! how vexest thou this man!
    talkest thou nothing but of ladies?
  • Malvolio. Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged: good Sir
    Topas, do not think I am mad: they have laid me 2050
    here in hideous darkness.
  • Feste. Fie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee by the most
    modest terms; for I am one of those gentle ones
    that will use the devil himself with courtesy:
    sayest thou that house is dark? 2055
  • Feste. Why it hath bay windows transparent as barricadoes,
    and the clearstores toward the south north are as
    lustrous as ebony; and yet complainest thou of
    obstruction? 2060
  • Malvolio. I am not mad, Sir Topas: I say to you, this house is dark.
  • Feste. Madman, thou errest: I say, there is no darkness
    but ignorance; in which thou art more puzzled than
    the Egyptians in their fog.
  • Malvolio. I say, this house is as dark as ignorance, though 2065
    ignorance were as dark as hell; and I say, there
    was never man thus abused. I am no more mad than you
    are: make the trial of it in any constant question.
  • Feste. What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild fowl?
  • Malvolio. That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird. 2070
  • Feste. What thinkest thou of his opinion?
  • Malvolio. I think nobly of the soul, and no way approve his opinion.
  • Feste. Fare thee well. Remain thou still in darkness:
    thou shalt hold the opinion of Pythagoras ere I will
    allow of thy wits, and fear to kill a woodcock, lest 2075
    thou dispossess the soul of thy grandam. Fare thee well.
  • Feste. Nay, I am for all waters.
  • Maria. Thou mightst have done this without thy beard and 2080
    gown: he sees thee not.
  • Sir Toby Belch. To him in thine own voice, and bring me word how
    thou findest him: I would we were well rid of this
    knavery. If he may be conveniently delivered, I
    would he were, for I am now so far in offence with 2085
    my niece that I cannot pursue with any safety this
    sport to the upshot. Come by and by to my chamber.

[Exeunt SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA]

  • Feste. [Singing]
    'Hey, Robin, jolly Robin, 2090
    Tell me how thy lady does.'
  • Feste. 'My lady is unkind, perdy.'
  • Feste. 'Alas, why is she so?' 2095
  • Feste. 'She loves another'—Who calls, ha?
  • Malvolio. Good fool, as ever thou wilt deserve well at my
    hand, help me to a candle, and pen, ink and paper:
    as I am a gentleman, I will live to be thankful to 2100
    thee for't.
  • Feste. Alas, sir, how fell you besides your five wits?
  • Malvolio. Fool, there was never a man so notoriously abused: I 2105
    am as well in my wits, fool, as thou art.
  • Feste. But as well? then you are mad indeed, if you be no
    better in your wits than a fool.
  • Malvolio. They have here propertied me; keep me in darkness,
    send ministers to me, asses, and do all they can to 2110
    face me out of my wits.
  • Feste. Advise you what you say; the minister is here.
    Malvolio, Malvolio, thy wits the heavens restore!
    endeavour thyself to sleep, and leave thy vain
    bibble babble. 2115
  • Feste. Maintain no words with him, good fellow. Who, I,
    sir? not I, sir. God be wi' you, good Sir Topas.
    Merry, amen. I will, sir, I will.
  • Feste. Alas, sir, be patient. What say you sir? I am
    shent for speaking to you.
  • Malvolio. Good fool, help me to some light and some paper: I
    tell thee, I am as well in my wits as any man in Illyria.
  • Feste. Well-a-day that you were, sir 2125
  • Malvolio. By this hand, I am. Good fool, some ink, paper and
    light; and convey what I will set down to my lady:
    it shall advantage thee more than ever the bearing
    of letter did.
  • Feste. I will help you to't. But tell me true, are you 2130
    not mad indeed? or do you but counterfeit?
  • Malvolio. Believe me, I am not; I tell thee true.
  • Feste. Nay, I'll ne'er believe a madman till I see his
    brains. I will fetch you light and paper and ink.
  • Malvolio. Fool, I'll requite it in the highest degree: I 2135
    prithee, be gone.
  • Feste. [Singing]
    I am gone, sir,
    And anon, sir,
    I'll be with you again, 2140
    In a trice,
    Like to the old Vice,
    Your need to sustain;
    Who, with dagger of lath,
    In his rage and his wrath, 2145
    Cries, ah, ha! to the devil:
    Like a mad lad,
    Pare thy nails, dad;
    Adieu, good man devil.

[Exit]

---
. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 3

OLIVIA’s garden.

       
---

[Enter SEBASTIAN]

  • Sebastian. This is the air; that is the glorious sun;
    This pearl she gave me, I do feel't and see't;
    And though 'tis wonder that enwraps me thus,
    Yet 'tis not madness. Where's Antonio, then? 2155
    I could not find him at the Elephant:
    Yet there he was; and there I found this credit,
    That he did range the town to seek me out.
    His counsel now might do me golden service;
    For though my soul disputes well with my sense, 2160
    That this may be some error, but no madness,
    Yet doth this accident and flood of fortune
    So far exceed all instance, all discourse,
    That I am ready to distrust mine eyes
    And wrangle with my reason that persuades me 2165
    To any other trust but that I am mad
    Or else the lady's mad; yet, if 'twere so,
    She could not sway her house, command her followers,
    Take and give back affairs and their dispatch
    With such a smooth, discreet and stable bearing 2170
    As I perceive she does: there's something in't
    That is deceiveable. But here the lady comes.

[Enter OLIVIA and Priest]

  • Olivia. Blame not this haste of mine. If you mean well,
    Now go with me and with this holy man 2175
    Into the chantry by: there, before him,
    And underneath that consecrated roof,
    Plight me the full assurance of your faith;
    That my most jealous and too doubtful soul
    May live at peace. He shall conceal it 2180
    Whiles you are willing it shall come to note,
    What time we will our celebration keep
    According to my birth. What do you say?
  • Sebastian. I'll follow this good man, and go with you;
    And, having sworn truth, ever will be true. 2185
  • Olivia. Then lead the way, good father; and heavens so shine,
    That they may fairly note this act of mine!

[Exeunt]

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