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Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


Twelfth Night: Act 3, Scene 2

           Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, SIR ANDREW,
Sir Toby and Sir Andrew

           and FABIAN.

      SIR ANDREW
  1   No, faith, I'll not stay a jot longer.

      SIR TOBY BELCH
  2   Thy reason, dear venom, give thy reason.
2. venom: venomous one.


      FABIAN
  3   You must needs yield your reason, Sir Andrew.

      SIR ANDREW
  4   Marry, I saw your niece do more favours to
4. Marry: i.e., I swear. do more favours to: i.e., be nicer to.

  5   the count's serving-man than ever she bestowed
5. the count's serving-man: i.e., Cesario/Viola.

  6   upon me. I saw't i' the orchard.
6. orchard: garden.


      SIR TOBY BELCH
  7   Did she see thee the while, old boy? tell me that.
7. the while: at that time.


      SIR ANDREW
  8   As plain as I see you now.

      FABIAN
  9   This was a great argument of love in her toward
9. argument: proof.

 10   you

      SIR ANDREW
 11   'Slight, will you make an ass o' me?
11. 'Slight: (by) his (God's) light.


      FABIAN
 12   I will prove it legitimate, sir, upon the oaths of
 13   judgment and reason.

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 14   And they have been grand-jury-men since before
14. grand-jury-men: i.e., excellent judges of evidence.

 15   Noah was a sailor.

      FABIAN
 16   She did show favour to the youth in your sight
 17   only to exasperate you, awake your dormouse
17. exasperate: make rough and violent. dormouse: i.e., sleeping.

 18   valour, to put fire in your heart and brimstone in
 19   your liver. You should then have accosted her,
 20   and with some excellent jests, fire-new from the
 21   mint, you should have banged the youth into
20-21. fire-new from the mint: freshly minted, original.

 22   dumbness. This was looked for at your hand, and
21-22. banged the youth into dumbness: beaten ["Cesario"] into silence. 22. looked for at your hand: expected from you.

 23   this was balked: the double gilt of this opportunity
23. balked: let slip. double gilt: heavy gold-plating.

 24   you let time wash off, and you are now sailed into
 25   the north of my lady's opinion; where you will
25. north of . . . opinion: i.e., looked upon coldly.

 26   hang like an icicle on a Dutchman's beard, unless
26. Willem Barentszicicle on a Dutchman's beard:
28. policy: cunning plan.

 27   you do redeem it by some laudable attempt either
 28   of valour or policy.

      SIR ANDREW
 29   An't be any way, it must be with valour; for policy
 30   I hate: I had as lief be a Brownist as a
Pilgrim couple 30. as lief: as readily. Brownist: separatist 31. politician: schemer. 32. build me:, Challenge me: In this everyday slang "me" adds the sense of "I've got a good idea."

 31   politician.

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 32   Why, then, build me thy fortunes upon the basis
 33   of valour. Challenge me the count's youth to fight
 34   with him; hurt him in eleven places: my niece
 35   shall take note of it; and assure thyself, there is
 36   no love-broker in the world can more prevail in
36. love-broker: go-between in matters of the heart.

 37   man's commendation with woman than report of
37. report of: reputation for.

 38   valour.

      FABIAN
 39   There is no way but this, Sir Andrew.

      SIR ANDREW
 40   Will either of you bear me a challenge to him?
40. bear me: deliver for me.


      SIR TOBY BELCH
 41   Go, write it in a martial hand; be curst and
Sir Toby and Sir Andrew 41. a martial hand: military handwriting. curst: insulting. 42. so it be: as long as it is. 43. invention: imagination, wit.

 42   brief. It is no matter how witty, so it be
 43   eloquent and full of invention: taunt him with
 44   the licence of ink: if thou thou'st him some thrice,
44. licence: freedom—It's safer to be insulting in a letter than face-to-face. 44. thou'st him: calling him "thou" is insulting to someone who is not a friend or a servant.

 45   it shall not be amiss; and as many lies as will lie
 46   in thy sheet of paper, although the sheet were big
 47   enough for the bed of Ware in England, set 'em
47. bed of Ware: A famous bed, about eleven feet square.

 48   down. Go, about it. Let there be gall enough in
48. gall: bitterness and Oak gall, an ingredient of ink.

 49   thy ink, though thou write with a goose-pen, no
49. goose-pen: goose-quill pen. Sir Toby may also mean that Sir Andrew will write like a silly goose.

 50   matter. About it!

      SIR ANDREW
 51   Where shall I find you?

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 52   We'll call thee at the cubiculo. Go.
52. call thee: call for you. cubiculo: little chamber.


           Exit SIR ANDREW.

      FABIAN
 53   This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby.
53. dear manikin: beloved puppet.


      SIR TOBY BELCH
 54   I have been dear to him, lad, some two thousand
54. dear: expensive. two thousand: Sir Toby has wrangled quite a lot of money out of Sir Andrew

 55   strong, or so.

      FABIAN
 56   We shall have a rare letter from him: but you'll
56. rare: exceptional, outstanding, but Fabian is being ironic.

 57   not deliver't?
. but you'll not deliver't?: Actually delivering the letter might be carrying the joke too far.


      SIR TOBY BELCH
 58   Never trust me, then; and by all means stir on the
58. Never trust me, then: i.e., you bet I will.

 59   youth to an answer. I think oxen and wainropes
59. wainropes: wagon ropes.

 60   cannot hale them together. For Andrew, if he were
60. hale: haul, drag.

 61   opened, and you find so much blood in his liver as
61. blood in his liver: Cowards have white, bloodless livers.

 62   will clog the foot of a flea, I'll eat the rest of
 63   the anatomy.
63. anatomy: body.


      FABIAN
 64   And his opposite, the youth, bears in his visage
64. opposite: adversary. the youth: i.e., Cesario/Viola. visage: face.

 65   no great presage of cruelty.
65. presage: sign, prophecy.


           Enter MARIA.

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 66   Look, where the youngest wren of nine comes.
66. youngest wren of nine: i.e., Maria (The runt of a litter ofwrens is very small, like Maria.)


      MARIA
 67   If you desire the spleen, and will laugh your-
67. the spleen: uncontrollable laughter.

 68   self into stitches, follow me. Yond gull Mal-
68. gull: sucker.

 69   volio is turned heathen, a very renegado; for
69. renegado: renegade, who has renounced Christianity.

 70   there is no Christian, that means to be saved
 71   by believing rightly, can ever believe such
 72   impossible passages of grossness. He's in
72. impossible passages of grossness: obvious absurdities—in the letter that Maria wrote and Malvolio read.

 73   yellow stockings.

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 74   And cross-gartered?

      MARIA
 75   Most villanously; like a pedant that keeps a school
75. pedant: pompous schoomaster.

 76   i' the church. I have dogged him, like his
 77   murderer. He does obey every point of the letter
76-77. like his murderer: i.e., as if I were going to ambush him.

 78   that I dropped to betray him: he does smile his
 79   face into more lines than is in the new map with the
 80   augmentation of the Indies: you have not seen such
World Map c1599 80. the new map with the augmentation of the Indies:

 81   a thing as 'tis. I can hardly forbear hurling things
 82   at him. I know my lady will strike him: if she do,
 83   he'll smile and take't for a great favour.

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 84   Come, bring us, bring us where he is.

           Exeunt.