Twelfth Night: Act 4, Scene 2



      Enter MARIA and Clown     
    
      MARIA   
4.2.1      Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard;   
      make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate.   him i.e., Malvolio | Sir Topas >>> | curate a cleric who
      Do it quickly; I'll call Sir Toby the whilst.   serves the needs of the people of a single parish
    the whilst in the meantime
      Exit MARIA     
    
      Clown   
      Well, I'll put it on, and I will dissemble myself in't;   dissemble myself disguise myself
4.2.5      and I would I were the first that ever dissembled   dissembled played the hypocrite
      in such a gown. I am not tall enough to become the   tall large, fleshly | become the function suit the role
      function well, nor lean enough to be thought a good   (Stereotypically, priests were fat and scholars were
      student; but to be said an honest man and a good   lean.) | to be said to have a reputation (as)
      housekeeper goes as fairly as to say a careful man   goes as fairly sounds as well >>>
4.2.10      and a great scholar. The competitors enter.   competitors partners, confederates (in the scheme to
    play another trick on Malvolio)
      Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA     
    
      SIR TOBY BELCH   
      Jove bless thee, master Parson.   
    
      Clown   
      Bonos dies, Sir Toby: for, as the old hermit of   Bonos dies mock Latin for "Good day" (A real parson
      Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily   would know Latin.) | old hermit of Prague a religious
      said to a niece of King Gorboduc, "That that is is";   sage, invented by the Clown | wittily cleverly, wisely
4.2.15      so I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for,   King Gorboduc a legendary ancient King of England
      what is "that" but "that," and "is" but "is"?   "That that is is," etc. The Clown is mocking the
    scholarly habit of using a lot of words to make a simple
      SIR TOBY BELCH   point. In this case the simple point is, "If you say I am
      To him, Sir Topas.   'Master Parson', why so I am."
    
      Clown   
      What, ho, I say! peace in this prison!   What, ho, I say! "Sir Topas" is calling out to Malvolio,
    who is locked in a dark room. | prison >>>
      SIR TOBY BELCH   
      The knave counterfeits well; a good knave.   knave i.e., the Clown | counterfeits plays the role
    
      MALVOLIO   
      [Within] Who calls there?   Within i.e., offstage, out of sight
    
      Clown   
      Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio   
      the lunatic.   
    
      MALVOLIO   
      Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to   
      my lady.   
    
      Clown   
4.2.25      Out, hyperbolical fiend! how vexest thou this   hyperbolical fiend rowdy devil (who has taken
      man! talkest thou nothing but of ladies?   possession of Malvolio)
    
      SIR TOBY BELCH   
      Well said, Master Parson.   
    
      MALVOLIO   
      Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged. Good Sir   
      Topas, do not think I am mad; they have laid me   
4.2.30      here in hideous darkness.   
    
      Clown   
      Fie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee by the most   
      modest terms; for I am one of those gentle ones   modest moderate
      that will use the devil himself with courtesy.   
      Sayest thou that house is dark?   house i.e., room
    
      MALVOLIO   
4.2.35      As hell, Sir Topas.   
    
      Clown   
      Why it hath bay windows transparent as   
      barricadoes, and the clerestories toward   barricadoes barricades | clerestories windows in an
      the south north are as lustrous as ebony;   upper wall | south north There is no such direction.
      and yet complainest thou of obstruction?   ebony black wood (Ebony is naturally dull and not
    suitable for use as window glass.) | obstruction shutting
      MALVOLIO   out of light
4.2.40      I am not mad, Sir Topas: I say to you, this house   
      is dark.   
    
      Clown   
      Madman, thou errest: I say, there is no darkness   
      but ignorance; in which thou art more puzzled   puzzled confused, lost
      than the Egyptians in their fog.   the Egyptians in their fog See Exodus 10:20-23 >>>
    
      MALVOLIO   
4.2.45      I say, this house is as dark as ignorance, though   
      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   make . . . question test my sanity in any rational
      question.   discourse
    
      Clown   
4.2.50      What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning   Pythagoras Greek philosopher (fl. 530 BCE.) who
      wild fowl?   taught that a soul can transmigrate from one creature
    to another
      MALVOLIO   
      That the soul of our grandam might happily inhabit   happily haply, perhaps, by chance
      a bird.   
    
      Clown   
      What thinkest thou of his opinion?   
    
      MALVOLIO   
4.2.55      I think nobly of the soul, and no way approve his   I think nobly of the soul Malvolio adheres to traditional
      opinion.   Christian belief. | approve agree with, confirm
    
      Clown   
      Fare thee well. Remain thou still in darkness. Thou   
      shalt hold the opinion of Pythagoras ere I will allow   ere before | allow of thy wits acknowledge that you are
      of thy wits, and fear to kill a woodcock, lest thou   sane | fear to i.e., you must be afraid to | woodcock a
4.2.60      dispossess the soul of thy grandam. Fare thee well.   really stupid bird | dispossess evict (from the dead
    woodcock) | Fare thee well i.e., good-bye (The Clown
      MALVOLIO   steps out of the earshot of Malvolio.)
      Sir Topas, Sir Topas!   
    
      SIR TOBY BELCH   
      My most exquisite Sir Topas!   exquisite perfectly done (Sir Toby is praising the
    Clown's playing of Sir Topas.)
      Clown   
      Nay, I am for all waters.   I am for all waters literally, "I can sail any sea";
    metaphorically, "I can play many different roles"
      MARIA   
      Thou mightst have done this without thy beard and   
4.2.65      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   delivered released from prison
      would he were, for I am now so far in offence with   so far in offence in so trouble
4.2.70      my niece that I cannot pursue with any safety this   
      sport to the upshot. Come by and by to my chamber.    to the upshot i.e., any further >>>
    
      Exeunt SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA     
    
      Clown [Sings]   
                "Hey, Robin, jolly Robin,   "Hey, Robin . . . She loves another" The Clown sings
                Tell me how thy lady does."   lines from an old song, the moral of which is that you
    can trust women only to be untrustworthy.
      MALVOLIO   
      Fool!   
    
      Clown   
4.2.75      "My lady is unkind, perdie."   perdie indeed, certainly
    
      MALVOLIO   
      Fool!   
    
      Clown   
      "Alas, why is she so?"   
    
      MALVOLIO   
      Fool, I say!   
    
      Clown   
      "She loves another"—Who calls, ha?   
    
      MALVOLIO   
4.2.80      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   
      thee for't.   
    
      Clown   
      Master Malvolio?   
    
      MALVOLIO   
4.2.85      Ay, good fool.   
    
      Clown   
      Alas, sir, how fell you besides your five wits?   how fell you besides your five wits? how did you fall
    out of sanity? (The five wits are common sense, fantasy,
      MALVOLIO    memory, judgment, and imagination.)
      Fool, there was never a man so notoriously abused;   notoriously abused outrageously slandered
      I am as well in my wits, fool, as thou art.   
    
      Clown   
      But as well? then you are mad indeed, if you be no   
4.2.90      better in your wits than a fool.   
    
      MALVOLIO   
      They have here propertied me; keep me in darkness,   propertied me treated me as mere property
      send ministers to me, asses, and do all they can to   ministers agents, surrogates
      face me out of my wits.   face me out of my wits drive me insane by pretending
    that I am insane (The sort of thing that "Sir Topas" has
      Clown   just been doing.)
      Advise you what you say; the minister is here.   Advise you think about, be careful of
 [As Sir Topas  the minister i.e., "Sir Topas"
4.2.95      —Malvolio, Malvolio, thy wits the heavens restore!   
      endeavour thyself to sleep, and leave thy vain   endeavour thyself to sleep try to go to sleep
      bibble babble.   
    
      MALVOLIO   
      Sir Topas!   
    
      Clown   
      Maintain no words with him, good fellow.   
 [As himself  
4.2.100      —Who, I, sir? not I, sir. God buy you, good   God buy you good-bye
      Sir Topas.   
 [As Sir Topas  
                     —Marry, amen   
 [As himself  
                                           —I will, sir, I will.   
    
      MALVOLIO   
      Fool, fool, fool, I say!   
    
      Clown   
      Alas, sir, be patient. What say you sir? I am   
      shent for speaking to you.   shent scolded, rebuked
    
      MALVOLIO   
4.2.105      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.   
    
      Clown   
      Well-a-day that you were, sir!   Well-a-day that you were i.e., Alas, I wish that
    you really were (sane)
      MALVOLIO   
      By this hand, I am. Good fool, some ink, paper   
4.2.110      and light; and convey what I will set down to my   convey deliver
      lady. It shall advantage thee more than ever the   advantage benefit
      bearing of letter did.   
    
      Clown   
      I will help you to't. But tell me true, are you   But . . . counterfeit? i.e., Isn't it true that you really are
      not mad indeed? or do you but counterfeit?   mad? Or are you just pretending to be mad?
    
      MALVOLIO   
4.2.115      Believe me, I am not; I tell thee true.   
    
      Clown   
      Nay, I'll ne'er believe a madman till I see his   see his brains Maybe that would be when they've
      brains. I will fetch you light and paper and ink.   been knocked out and the man is dead.
    
      MALVOLIO   
      Fool, I'll requite it in the highest degree.   requite it return the favor (of bringing me writing
      I prithee, be gone.   materials) | be gone Malvolio wants the fool to hurry
    up and get those writing materials
      Clown [Sings.]   
4.2.120           I am gone, sir,   
           And anon, sir,   
              I'll be with you again,   
           In a trice,   trice moment
           Like to the old Vice,   Vice A mischievous character in medieval drama.
4.2.125           Your need to sustain;   Your need to sustain to sustain you in your time
        of need
           Who, with dagger of lath,   dagger of lath wooden dagger (The Vice often carried
           In his rage and his wrath,   one, beat the devil with it, and threatened to trim the
              Cries, ah, ha! to the devil:   devil's long nails with it.)
           Like a mad lad,   
4.2.130           Pare thy nails, dad;   
4.2.131              Adieu, goodman devil.   goodman devil This "devil" is the one which has taken
    possession of Malvolio. "Goodman" is appropriate
      Exit Clown   when you're talking to a humble farmer, insulting when
    you're talking to a Devil.