Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 5
Enter MARIA and Clown.
1Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, or I will
2not open my lips so wide as a bristle may enter in
3way of thy excuse: my lady will hang thee for thy
5Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this
6world needs to fear no colours.
6. colours: deceptions, with a pun on "collars," hangmen's nooses.
7Make that good.
7. Make that good: prove it.
8He shall see none to fear.
8. He shall see none to fear: (Because he'll be dead.)
9A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that
9. lenten: meager (like food during Lent). Maria means it's a lame joke. 10. I fear no colours: ("colours" are the banner of a military unit).
10saying was born, of 'I fear no colours.'
11Where, good Mistress Mary?
12In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in
14Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and
15those that are fools, let them use their talents.
14-15. Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and their talents those that are fools, let them use their talents:
16Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent;
17or, to be turned away, is not that as good as a
17. turned away: dismissed, turned off or hanged.
18hanging to you?
19Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage;
19. Many . . . bad marriage: proverbial where hanging means execution or sexual prowess. 20. for turning away, let summer bear it out: i.e., As for being fired, summer would be the ideal season to be homeless.
20and, for turning away, let summer bear it out.
21You are resolute, then?
22Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two
23. points: "Points" can also mean "laces used to hold up breeches."
24That if one break, the other will hold;
25or, if both break, your gaskins fall.
25. gaskins: breeches.
26Apt, in good faith; very apt. Well, go thy way;
26. Apt, in good faith; very apt: well done, very witty (but the Clown is being ironic). 27-28. if Sir Toby . . . in Illyria: Toby and Maria would make a good match.
27if Sir Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as
28witty a piece of Eve's flesh as any in Illyria.
29Peace, you rogue, no more o' that. Here comes
30my lady: make your excuse wisely, you were
32Wit, an't be thy will, put me into good fooling!
33Those wits, that think they have thee, do very
33. thee: i.e., wit.
34oft prove fools; and I, that am sure I lack thee,
34. thee: i.e., wit.
35may pass for a wise man: for what says
36Quinapalus? 'Better a witty fool, than a foolish
36. Quinapalus: An authority, invented by the clown.
Enter LADY OLIVIA with MALVOLIO
God bless thee, lady!
38Take the fool away.
39Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.
40Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you:
40. Go to, you're a dry fool: Get outta here, you're a dull fool.
41besides, you grow dishonest.
41. dishonest: unreliable, wicked.
42Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel
42. madonna: A fancy way of saying "My Lady," from the Italian, mia donna.
43will amend: for give the dry fool drink, then is
44the fool not dry: bid the dishonest man mend
45himself; if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if
45. mend: reform.
46he cannot, let the botcher mend him. Any thing
46. botcher: mender of shoes or clothes.
47that's mended is but patched: virtue that
48transgresses is but patched with sin; and sin that
49amends is but patched with virtue. If that this
50simple syllogism will serve, so; if it will not,
50. syllogism: deductive reasoning.
51what remedy? As there is no true cuckold but
51. cuckold: a man sexually betrayed by his wife.
52calamity, so beauty's a flower. The lady bade take
52. As there . . . so beauty's a flower: Calamity is a cuckold because no one can stay married to it forever.
53away the fool; therefore, I say again, take her away.
54Sir, I bade them take away you.
55Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, 'Cucullus non
55. misprision: arrest of the wrong person.
56facit monachum': that's as much to say as I wear not
55-56. Cucullus . . . monachum: the cowl does not make the monk. 57. motley: multi-colored clothing of fools (The Clown's point is that his thinking isn't foolish.)
57motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to
58prove you a fool.
59Can you do it?
60Dexterously, good madonna.
61Make your proof.
62I must catechise you for it, madonna: good
62. catechise: question methodically. 62-63. good my mouse of virtue: my good virtuous mouse.
63my mouse of virtue, answer me.
64Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll bide
64. want of other idleness: lack of any other way of wasting time. bide: endure, put up with.
66Good madonna, why mournest thou?
67Good fool, for my brother's death.
68I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
69I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
70The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your
71brother's soul being in heaven. Take away the
73What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he
74. mend: improve. (Olivia thinks the Clown is becoming more amusing.)
75Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death shake
75. Yes: (He thinks the Clown is becoming more foolish.)
76him: infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever
76. Infirmity . . . better fool: Sickness and age always make a fool "better" (by making him more foolish).
77make the better fool.
78God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the
79better increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be
80sworn that I am no fox; but he will not pass his
80. fox: crafty person. pass: pledge.
81word for two pence that you are no fool.
81. pence: pennies.
82How say you to that, Malvolio?
83I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a
84barren rascal: I saw him put down the other day
85with an ordinary fool that has no more brain
85. with an ordinary fool: by a natural fool, idiot.
86than a stone. Look you now, he's out of his guard
86. out of his guard: off his game, without a witty reply.
87already; unless you laugh and minister occasion to
87. minister occasion: provide openings (for his jests).
88him, he is gagged. I protest, I take these wise men,
88. protest: declare.
89that crow so at these set kind of fools, no better
89. crow: laugh loudly. set kind of fools: professional fools.
90than the fools' zanies.
90. zanies: sidekicks, crew.
91Oh, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste
91. of: with.
92with a distempered appetite. To be generous,
92. distempered: sickly.
93guiltless and of free disposition, is to take those
93. free: open-minded.
94things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets:
94. bird-bolts: blunt arrows for shooting birds.
95there is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do
95. allowed fool: licensed fool, one allowed to say anything.
96nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet
96. rail: scold, satirize.
97man, though he do nothing but reprove.
96-97. a known discreet man: a man known to have good judgment.
98Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou
98. Mercury: God of guile (insidious cunning, deceit, treachery). endue: endow. leasing: lying. (In other words, as a reward for speaking "well of fools," may Mercury give you the gift of lying).
99speakest well of fools!
100Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman
101much desires to speak with you.
102From the Count Orsino, is it?
103I know not, madam: 'tis a fair young man, and
104. well attended: accompanied by a good number of servants, but when the "gentleman" (Viola) appears, he/she is alone.
105Who of my people hold him in delay?
106Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.
107Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but
107. speaks nothing but madman: talks crazy.
108madman: fie on him!
109Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the count, I
109. suit: request, plea.
110am sick, or not at home; what you will, to dismiss it.
110. what you will: say whatever you want.
111Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and
112people dislike it.
113Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest
113. us: i.e., fools.
114son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with
113-114. as if thy eldest son should be a fool: as if you wanted your oldest son to go into the fool business. 114. Jove: highest deity of the ancient Romans.
115brains! for, here he comes,
Enter SIR TOBY BELCH.
116one of thy kin has a most weak pia mater.
116. pia mater: brain.
117By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the
117. What: what sort of man.
SIR TOBY BELCH
120A gentleman! what gentleman?
SIR TOBY BELCH
121'Tis a gentle man here a plague o' these
122pickle-herring! How now, sot!
122. a plague o' these pickle-herring! How now, sot sot: drunkard, fool.
123Good Sir Toby!
124Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early
125by this lethargy?
125. lethargy: drunken stupor.
SIR TOBY BELCH
126Lechery! I defy lechery. There's one at the gate.
127Ay, marry, what is he?
SIR TOBY BELCH
128Let him be the devil, an he will, I care not:
128. an he will: if he wants to.
129give me faith, say I. Well, it's all one.
129. faith: religious faith (to protect him against the devil). Well, it's all one: it doesn't matter, whatever, etc.
130What's a drunken man like, fool?
131Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man: one
132draught above heat makes him a fool; the second
131-132. One draught above heat: one drink more than what it takes to make one pleasantly warm.
133mads him; and a third drowns him.
134Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o'
134. crowner: coroner. sit o': hold an inquest concerning.
135my coz; for he's in the third degree of drink, he's
135. coz: short for "cousin," which means "kinsman." (Olivia's joke is that because Toby is dead drunk, he's a case for the coroner.)
136drowned: go, look after him.
137He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look
138to the madman.
139Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with
140you. I told him you were sick; he takes on him to
141understand so much, and therefore comes to speak
142with you. I told him you were asleep; he seems to
143have a foreknowledge of that too, and therefore
143. therefore: for that very reason.
144comes to speak with you. What is to be said to him,
145lady? he's fortified against any denial.
146Tell him he shall not speak with me.
147Has been told so; and he says, he'll stand at your
148door like a sheriff's post, and be the supporter to
148. sheriff's post: a post standing at the door of a sheriff's office, used for posting official notices .
149a bench, but he'll speak with you.
150What kind o' man is he?
151Why, of mankind.
151. of mankind: human (Malvolio sees nothing special about Viola/Cesario.)
152What manner of man?
153Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you
155Of what personage and years is he?
155. personage: appearance.
156Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough
157for a boy; as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or
157. squash: unripe pea pod. peascod: pea pod.
158a codling when 'tis almost an apple: 'tis with him
158. codling: unripe apple.
159in standing water, between boy and man. He is
159. in standing water: at the turn of the tide.
160very well-favoured and he speaks very shrewishly.
160. well-favoured: good-looking. shrewishly: sharply.
161One would think his mother's milk were scarce
162out of him.
163Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.
164Gentlewoman, my lady calls.
165Give me my veil: come, throw it o'er my face.
166We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.
167The honourable lady of the house, which is she?
168Speak to me; I shall answer for her.
170Most radiant, exquisite and unmatchable beauty,
171I pray you, tell me if this be the lady of the house,
172for I never saw her: I would be loath to cast away
172. I would be loath to cast away: I would hate to waste.
173my speech, for besides that it is excellently well
174penned, I have taken great pains to con it. Good
174. con: memorize.
175beauties, let me sustain no scorn; I am very
176comptible, even to the least sinister usage.
176. comptible: sensitive. the least sinister usage: the slightest disrespect.
177Whence came you, sir?
177. Whence: from what family or country? (Olivia is taking a personal interest in this young gentleman.)
178I can say little more than I have studied, and that
179question's out of my part. Good gentle one, give me
179. out of my part: not part of the role I'm supposed to play.
180modest assurance if you be the lady of the house,
180. modest: serious, sincere.
181that I may proceed in my speech.
182Are you a comedian?
182. comedian: actor.
183No, my profound heart: and yet, by the very fangs
183. profound: very wise.
184of malice I swear, I am not that I play. Are you
185the lady of the house?
186If I do not usurp myself, I am.
186. usurp: wrongly take the place of.
187Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp
188yourself; for what is yours to bestow is not
188. what is yours to bestow: i.e., love.
189yours to reserve. But this is from my commission;
189. reserve: keep back. from my commission: outside the limits of my instructions.
190I will on with my speech in your praise, and then
191show you the heart of my message.
192Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the
192. forgive: excuse from a duty.
194Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.
195It is the more like to be feigned: I pray you,
195. feigned: pretended, insincere.
196keep it in. I heard you were saucy at my gates,
196. keep it in: keep it to yourself.
197and allowed your approach rather to wonder at
197. approach: i.e., this interview with me.
198you than to hear you. If you be not mad, be
199gone; if you have reason, be brief: 'tis not that
198-199. If you be not mad, be gone:199. reason: rationality, sanity. 200. time of moon: Moon phases. make one in: take part in.
200time of moon with me to make one in so
201skipping a dialogue.
201. skipping: flighty, helter-skelter.
202Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.
202. Here lies your way: i.e., You can go out this way. (Maria is probably pointing to the door.)
203No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little
203. swabber: ship's petty officer, in charge of keeping the decks clean. hull: drift with sails furled.
204longer. Some mollification for your giant, sweet
204. Some mollification for your giant: i.e., call off your guardian giant. (Maria is tiny.)
205lady. Tell me your mind: I am a messenger.
206Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when
207the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
207. courtesy of: introduction to. fearful: frightening. office: business.
208It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of
208. overture: declaration.
209war, no taxation of homage: I hold the olive in my
209. taxation of homage: demand for tribute. olive: i.e., olive branch of peace. 210. olive: i.e., olive branch of peace. matter: important meaning.
210hand; my words are as full of peace as matter.
211Yet you began rudely. What are you? what
213The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I
214learned from my entertainment. What I am,
214. entertainment: (rude) reception (by your people).
215and what I would, are as secret as maidenhead;
215. maidenhead: virginity, the hymen.
216to your ears, divinity, to any other's, profanation.
217Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.
Exeunt MARIA and Attendants.
218Now, sir, what is your text?
218. your text: gospel passage upon which you will preach (Olivia mockingly takes "divinity" to mean "a sermon.").
219Most sweet lady,
220A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
220. comfortable: full of comfort.
221Where lies your text?
222In Orsino's bosom.
223In his bosom! In what chapter of his bosom?
224To answer by the method, in the first
224. by the method: following the usual way (of beginning a sermon).
225of his heart.
226O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have you
227no more to say?
228Good madam, let me see your face.
229Have you any commission from your lord to
230negotiate with my face? You are now out of
231your text; but we will draw the curtain and show
230-231. out of your text: wandering away from your topic.
232you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one I was
233. this present: at the present time.
234Is't not well done?
235Excellently done, if God did all.
235. if God did all: (Cesario/Viola is hinting that Olivia might be using a lot of make-up.)
236'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and
236. in grain: i.e., not painted on.
238'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
238. blent: blended.
239Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
239. cunning: skillful.
240Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive,
240. she: woman.
241If you will lead these graces to the grave
241-242. If . . . And leave the world no copy: Olivia is cruel if she lets her beauty (her "graces") die..
242And leave the world no copy.
243O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted; I will give
244out divers schedules of my beauty: it shall be
244. divers: several. schedules: itemized lists (such a list is also a "copy"). 245. particle and utensil: i.e., every little thing.
245inventoried, and every particle and utensil
246labelled to my will: as, item, two lips,
246. labelled to my will: added as a codicil to my will.
247indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids
247. indifferent: more or less.
248to them; item, one neck, one chin, and so forth.
249Were you sent hither to praise me?
249. praise: (puns on "appraise").
250I see you what you are, you are too proud;
251But, if you were the devil, you are fair.
251. if: even if. the devil: i.e., the proudest creature that ever lived.
253. but recompensed: only fairly repaid. 254. nonpareil: one without an equal .
253. but recompensed: only fairly repaid. 254. nonpareil: one without an equal .
252My lord and master loves you: O, such love
253Could be but recompensed, though you were crown'd
254The nonpareil of beauty!
254How does he love me?
255With adorations, fertile tears,
255. fertile: ever-growing.
256With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.
257Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him:
258Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,
258. suppose: believe as a fact.
259Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
259. Of great estate: wealthy and important. stainless: unstained. 260. In voices well divulged: well spoken of. free: generous. dimension and the shape of nature: physique.
260In voices well divulged, free, learn'd and valiant;
261And in dimension and the shape of nature
262A gracious person: but yet I cannot love him;
262. gracious person: pleasing figure of a man.
263He might have took his answer long ago.
264If I did love you in my master's flame,
264. in my master's flame: with my master's passion.
265With such a suffering, such a deadly life,
265. deadly life: death in life.
266In your denial I would find no sense;
267I would not understand it.
267Why, what would you?
268Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
268. willow: (Willow was a symbol of unrequited love.)
269And call upon my soul within the house;
269. my soul: i.e., Olivia.
270Write loyal cantons of contemned love
270. cantons: cantos, songs. contemned: rejected.
271And sing them loud even in the dead of night;
272Halloo your name to the reverberate hills
272. reverberate: resounding.
273And make the babbling gossip of the air
273. the babbling gossip of the air: echo.
274Cry out 'Olivia!' O, You should not rest
275Between the elements of air and earth,
275. Between the elements of air and earth: i.e., anywhere.
276But you should pity me!
276. But you should pity me: until you came to pity me.
276You might do much.
277What is your parentage?
278Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
278. Above: better than. my fortunes: what I happen to be at the moment. my state is well: i.e., I'm satisfied with my present position.
279I am a gentleman.
279Get you to your lord;
280I cannot love him: let him send no more;
281Unless, perchance, you come to me again,
282To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well:
283I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.
283. Spend this for me: (She offers Cesario/Viola a tip.)
284I am no fee'd post, lady; keep your purse:
284. fee'd post: paid messenger.
285My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
286Love make his heart of flint that you shall love;
286. Love make his heart of flint that you shall love: May Love make the man with whom you fall in love have a heart of flint.
287And let your fervor, like my master's, be
288Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.
288. fair cruelty: beautiful cruel one.
289'What is your parentage?'
290'Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
291I am a gentleman.' I'll be sworn thou art;
292Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions and spirit,
292. tongue: manner of speaking.
293Do give thee five-fold blazon: not too fast: soft, soft!
293. five-fold blazon: Soft: hold on, go slowly.
294Unless the master were the man. How now!
294. the man: the man-servant of the master. 295. the plague: i.e., love-sickness.
295Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
296Methinks I feel this youth's perfections
297With an invisible and subtle stealth
298To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.
299What ho, Malvolio!
299Here, madam, at your service.
300Run after that same peevish messenger,
301The County's man: he left this ring behind him,
301. County's: Count's, i.e., Duke Orsino's.
302Would I or not: tell him I'll none of it.
302. Would I or not: whether I wanted it or not (Olivia's lying; Viola left no ring). 303. flatter with his lord: i.e., flatter Orsino with the idea that he still has a chance to win Olivia's love.
303Desire him not to flatter with his lord,
304Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him:
305If that the youth will come this way tomorrow,
306I'll give him reasons for't: hie thee, Malvolio.
306. reasons for't: i.e., reasons why she cannot love.
307Madam, I will.
308I do I know not what, and fear to find
309Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.
309. flatterer: seducer, tempter.
310Fate, show thy force: ourselves we do not owe;
310. owe: own.
311What is decreed must be, and be this so.
311. be this so: (She hopes that love between herself and the young gentleman is one of those things that fate has decreed.)