Twelfth Night: Act 2, Scene 5

      
      Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, SIR ANDREW,     
      and FABIAN     
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
2.5.1      Come thy ways, Signior Fabian.   Come thy ways come on, let's go
      
      FABIAN  
      Nay, I'll come. If I lose a scruple of this sport,   Nay i.e., Don't worry | a scruple the least little bit
      let me be boiled to death with melancholy.   boiled (With a pun on "bile." An excess of black bile,
    one of the four essential humours [fluids] of the body,
      SIR TOBY BELCH   was the cause of melancholy.)
      Wouldst thou not be glad to have the   
2.5.5      niggardly rascally sheep-biter come by   sheep-biter (Literally, a dog that attacks sheep;
      some notable shame?   metaphorically, a mean person who nips at the
    heels of the innocent.)
      FABIAN  
      I would exult, man: you know, he brought me out   
      o' favour with my lady about a bear-baiting here.   bear-baiting (A brutal entertainment in which a
    chained bear was attacked by dogs.)
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      To anger him we'll have the bear again; and   have . . . again bring back
2.5.10      we will fool him black and blue; shall we not,   fool mock, make a fool of | black and blue i.e., like
      Sir Andrew?   a person who has suffered a beating
      
      SIR ANDREW  
      And we do not, it is pity of our lives.   it is pity of our lives i.e., it'll be a crying shame
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Here comes the little villain.   villain (Said admiringly.)
      
      Enter MARIA     
      
      How now, my metal of India!   metal of India i.e., gold (Maria is as good as gold.)
      
      MARIA  
2.5.15      Get ye all three into the box-tree; Malvolio's   box-tree (Maybe a hedge; the shrubs known as "box"
      coming down this walk: he has been yonder i' the   are still used for hedges.)
      sun practising behavior to his own shadow this half   behavior exquiste manners, such as bowing and
      hour. Observe him, for the love of mockery; for I   hand-kissing
      know this letter will make a contemplative idiot of   contemplative thoughtful
2.5.20      him. Close, in the name of jesting! Lie thou there,   Close Keep hidden | Lie thou there (Said to the
    letter that Maria is throwing to the ground.)
      The men hide. Maria throws down a letter     
      
      for here comes the trout that must be caught   
      with tickling.   tickling (Literally, stroking about the gills
    [something that was actually done to catch trout];
      Exit MARIA   metaphorically, stroking Malvolio's ego.)
      
      Enter MALVOLIO     
      
      MALVOLIO  
      'Tis but fortune; all is fortune. Maria once told   'Tis . . . fortune it's all a matter of luck >>>
      me she did affect me, and I have heard herself   she i.e.,Olivia | did affect me was fond of me
2.5.25      come thus near, that, should she fancy, it should   come .  . . near come close (to saying that she loves
      be one of my complexion. Besides, she uses me   me) | fancy fall in love | complexion character >>>
      with a more exalted respect than any one else that   
      follows her. What should I think on't?   follows her serves her
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Here's an overweening rogue!   overweening arrogant, presumptuous
      
      FABIAN  
2.5.30      O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare   Contemplation thought, conjecture, day-dreaming
      turkey-cock of him: how he jets under his   jets struts
      advanced plumes!   advanced plumes feathers fluffed out (to make the
    turkey look more impressive)
      SIR ANDREW  
      'Slight, I could so beat the rogue!   'Slight By God's light (A mild oath.)
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Peace, I say.   Peace Shut up (Said to Sir Andrew.)
      
      MALVOLIO  
2.5.35      To be Count Malvolio!   
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Ah, rogue!   
      
      SIR ANDREW  
      Pistol him, pistol him.   Pistol him Pistol-whip him
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Peace, peace!   
      
      MALVOLIO  
      There is example for't; the lady of the Strachy   example precedent | for't for it (i.e., for a lady
2.5.40      married the yeoman of the wardrobe.   marrying a servant) | the lady of the Strachy >>>
    yeoman of the wardrobe a servant who supervised
      SIR ANDREW   the care of clothing and linen
      Fie on him, Jezebel!   Jezebel arrogant and cruel wife of Ahab, King of
    Israel (But does Sir Andrew know that Jezebel was
      FABIAN   a woman?)
      O, peace! now he's deeply in. Look how   
      imagination blows him.   blows him puffs him up
      
      MALVOLIO  
      Having been three months married to her,   
2.5.45      sitting in my state—   sitting in my state i.e., on the court chair of, and
    dressed in the robes of, a Count (since Olivia is
      SIR TOBY BELCH   a Countess)
      O, for a stone-bow, to hit him in the eye!   stone-bow crossbow used to shoot stones
      
      MALVOLIO  
      Calling my officers about me, in my branched   officers household staff | branched embroidered with
      velvet gown; having come from a day-bed, where   branches of leaves and flowers | day-bed couch
      I have left Olivia sleeping—   (Malvolio may be thinking that his love will have
    left Olvia very satisfied.)
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
2.5.50      Fire and brimstone!   
      
      FABIAN  
      O, peace, peace!   
      
      MALVOLIO  
      And then to have the humour of state; and after   the humour of state the manner of the powerful
      a demure travel of regard, telling them I know   demure travel of regard grave visual examination
      my place as I would they should do theirs, to ask   of all present | telling . . . place (It is his "demure
2.5.55      for my kinsman Toby—   travel of regard" that tells everyone that Malvolio
    has the "place" of a Count.)
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Bolts and shackles!   Bolts and shackles leg irons (Sir Toby thinks
    Malvolio ought to be locked up.)
      FABIAN  
      O peace, peace, peace! Now, now.   
      
      MALVOLIO  
      Seven of my people, with an obedient start,   start jump (as in "jump to it")
      make out for him: I frown the while; and perchance   make out for go after
2.5.60      wind up watch, or play with my—some rich jewel.   play with my . . . jewel (Malvolio was thinking of his
      Toby approaches; curtsies there to me—   steward's chain, but remembers that he'll be a Count.)
    curtsies bows, shows other signs of respect
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Shall this fellow live?   
      
      FABIAN  
      Though our silence be drawn from us with cars,   be drawn . . . with cars i.e., kept only with a great
      yet peace.   struggle >>>
      
      MALVOLIO  
2.5.65      I extend my hand to him thus, quenching my   thus (Malvolio demonstrates; he may hold out his
      familiar smile with an austere regard of control—   hand to be kissed, rather than shaken.)
    austere regard of control severe look of authority
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      And does not Toby take you a blow o' the   take you a blow o' give you a punch on
      the lips then?   
      
      MALVOLIO  
      Saying, "Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast   
2.5.70      me on your niece, give me this prerogative   give me this prerogative of speech i.e., you must
      of speech"—   acknowledge my right to give you a talking-to
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      What, what?   What, what? i.e., What even more outrageous thing
    is he going to say next?
      MALVOLIO  
      "You must amend your drunkenness."   
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Out, scab!   Out Begone, Get out of my sight | scab scurvy rascal
      
      FABIAN  
2.5.75      Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of   
      our plot.   
      
      MALVOLIO  
      "Besides, you waste the treasure of your   
      time with a foolish knight"—   
      
      SIR ANDREW  
      That's me, I warrant you.   warrant promise
      
      MALVOLIO  
2.5.80      "One Sir Andrew"—   
      
      SIR ANDREW  
      I knew 'twas I, for many do call me fool.   
      
      MALVOLIO  
      What employment have we here?   employment business
      
      Taking up the letter     
      
      FABIAN  
      Now is the woodcock near the gin.   woodcock a really stupid bird | gin trap
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      O, peace! and the spirit of humour intimate   
2.5.85      reading aloud to him!   
      
      MALVOLIO  
      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.   great upper-case | in contempt of question without
    a doubt | hand handwriting
      SIR ANDREW  
      Her C's, her U's and her T's: why that?   Her C's, her U's and her T's ("Cut" was slang for
    female privates.)
      MALVOLIO [Reads]  
2.5.90      "To the unknown beloved, this, and my good   unknown beloved secret love
      wishes":—her very phrases! By your leave,   By your leave With your permission (He's talking to
      wax. Soft! and the impressure her Lucrece, with   the letter as he opens it.) | Soft wait a minute
      which she uses to seal: 'tis my lady. To whom   impressure impression in the wax seal
      should this be?   Lucrece Lucretia, emblem of chastity
      
      FABIAN  
2.5.95      This wins him, liver and all.   wins him gets him | liver (The organ of love.)
      
      MALVOLIO [Reads]  
                     "Jove knows I love,   
                          But who?   
                     Lips, do not move;   
                     No man must know."   
2.5.100      "No man must know." What follows? the   
      numbers altered! "No man must know." If this   numbers altered meter changed (Maybe Malvolio
      should be thee, Malvolio?   is thinking that, if said just right, "no man must know"
    sounds like "Malvolio.")
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Marry, hang thee, brock!   brock badger, a stinking beast
      
      MALVOLIO [Reads]  
            "I may command where I adore;   where i.e., the person whom
2.5.105                 But silence, like a Lucrece knife,   Lucrece knife (After being raped by Tarquin, Lucretia
            With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore:   stabbed herself to death.)
                 M, O, A, I, doth sway my life."   
      
      FABIAN  
      A fustian riddle!   fustian high-sounding, but empty (Perfect for
    Malvolio.)
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Excellent wench, say I.   Excellent wench i.e., Maria, who wrote the letter
      
      MALVOLIO  
2.5.110      "M, O, A, I, doth sway my life." Nay, but   
      first, let me see, let me see, let me see.   
      
      FABIAN  
      What dish o' poison has she dressed him!   What What a | she dressed him she has prepared
    for him
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      And with what wing the staniel cheques   wing flight, speed | staniel an inferior hawk
      at it!   cheques at it goes for it (When a hawk cheques, it
    turns and goes after the wrong target.)
      MALVOLIO  
2.5.115      "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   formal capacity normal understanding
      obstruction in this. And the end—what should   obstruction difficulty, obstacle
      that alphabetical position portend? If I could make   alphabetical position arrangement of the letters
2.5.120      that resemble something in me! Softly! M, O, A, I,—   Softly! Slowly! Carefully!
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      O, ay, make up that. He is now at a cold   O, ay (Toby is mocking Malvolio's reading.)
      scent.   make up that make something out of that
    cold scent faint, deceptive trail
      FABIAN  
      Sowter will cry upon't for all this, though it be as   Sowter (Typical name of a stupid hunting dog.)
      rank as a fox.   will . . . fox despite the fact that the trail is cold, he
    will give tongue as though he had found the true
      MALVOLIO   scent, even though the deception stinks like a fox
2.5.125      M—Malvolio; M,—why, that begins my   
      name.   
      
      FABIAN  
      Did not I say he would work it out? the cur is   
      excellent at faults.   faults places where the trail of scent is broken (Fabian
    means that Malvolio will read the letter to suit him-
      MALVOLIO   self, no matter what.)
      M,—but then there is no consonancy in the   consonancy agreement, consistency
2.5.130      sequel that suffers under probation: A should   sequel that suffers under probation following letters
      follow but O does.   which are subject to examination >>>
      
      FABIAN  
      And O shall end, I hope.   O shall end i.e., O, the hangman's noose, will put an
    end to him, and/or this joke will end in a cry of pain,
      SIR TOBY BELCH   "O," when Malvolio discovers the truth
      Ay, or I'll cudgel him, and make him   
      cry O!   
      
      MALVOLIO  
2.5.135      And then I comes behind.   
      
      FABIAN  
      Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you might   an if | any eye behind you i.e., an eye in the back of
      see more detraction at your heels than fortunes   your head | detraction insults, mockery
      before you.   fortunes good luck, rewards | before you in front of
    you
      MALVOLIO  
      M, O, A, I. This simulation is not as the former;   simulation disguised meaning
2.5.140      and yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to me,   crush force | yield
      for every one of these letters are in my name.   
      Soft, here follows prose.   Soft hold on, wait a minute, etc.
      
      Reads     
      
      "If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am   revolve think things over | stars fortune
      above thee, but be not afraid of greatness. Some are   
2.5.145      born great, some achieve greatness, and some have   
      greatness thrust upon 'em. Thy Fates open their hands;   open their hands (They're in a giving mood.)
      let thy blood and spirit embrace them; and, to inure   thy blood and spirit i.e., every fiber of your being
      thyself to what thou art like to be, cast thy humble   inure accustom | like to be likely to be | cast throw
      slough and appear fresh. Be opposite with a kinsman,   off | humble slough humble appearance >>>
2.5.150      surly with servants; let thy tongue tang arguments of   opposite contrary | tang sound loud with
      state; put thyself into the trick of singularity. She thus   arguments of state political opinions | trick habit
      advises thee that sighs for thee. Remember who com-   singularity uniqueness, eccentricity
      mended thy yellow stockings, and wished to see thee   
      ever cross-gartered: I say, remember. Go to, thou art   ever always | cross-gartered >>> | Go to i.e., wake up
2.5.155      made, if thou desirest to be so; if not, let me see thee   thou art made i.e., you are assured of being a
      a steward still, the fellow of servants, and not worthy   gentleman | still always | fellow companion
      to touch Fortune's fingers. Farewell. She that would   
      alter services with thee,   alter services (Malvolio is now serves Olivia; if
                      The Fortunate-Unhappy."  they married, she would serve him.)
2.5.160      Daylight and champaign discovers not more. This is   champaign open country | discovers reveals
      open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors,   open obvious | politic authors >>>
      I will baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross   baffle put down | wash off get rid of | gross lowly,
      acquaintance, I will be point-devise the very man.   ignorant | point-devise the very man i.e., exactly the
      I do not now fool myself, to let imagination jade   man, to the letter | jade trick
2.5.165      me; for every reason excites to this, that my lady   every reason excites to all the evidence points to
      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   
2.5.170      of her liking. I thank my stars I am happy. I will   happy fortunate
      be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and cross-   strange aloof | stout haughty
      gartered, even with the swiftness of putting on.   
      Jove and my stars be praised! Here is yet a postscript.   
      
      Reads     
      
      "Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou   
2.5.175      entertainest my love, let it appear in thy smiling;   entertainest accept
      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.   
      
      Exit MALVOLIO     
      
      FABIAN  
2.5.180      I will not give my part of this sport for a pension   
      of thousands to be paid from the Sophy.   the Sophy the Shah of Persia
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      I could marry this wench for this device—   this wench i.e., Maria
      
      SIR ANDREW  
      So could I too.   
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      And ask no other dowry with her but such   
2.5.185      another jest.   
      
      SIR ANDREW  
      Nor I neither.   
      
      FABIAN  
      Here comes my noble gull-catcher.   gull-catcher tricker of suckers
      
      Re-enter MARIA     
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Wilt thou set thy foot o' my neck?   o' on (Toby is saying, "You're the boss!")
      
      SIR ANDREW  
      Or o' mine either?   
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
2.5.190      Shall I play my freedom at tray-trip,   play gamble | tray-trip a dice game
      and become thy bond-slave?   
      
      SIR ANDREW  
      I' faith, or I either?   
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Why, thou hast put him in such a dream, that   
      when the image of it leaves him he must run mad.   when the image of it leaves him i.e., when Malvolio
    learns the truth
      MARIA  
2.5.195      Nay, but say true; does it work upon him?   
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
      Like aqua-vitae with a midwife.   aqua-vitae brandy, whisky, etc. midwife (Apparently
     it didn't take much to make a midwife drunk.)
      MARIA  
      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,   
2.5.200      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, follow me.   notable contempt common object of scorn
      
      SIR TOBY BELCH  
2.5.205      To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil   Tartar Tartarus, hell
      of wit!   
      
      SIR ANDREW  
2.5.207      I'll make one too.   make one be one of the group (of those who will see
    Malvolio make a fool of himself)
      Exeunt