Philip Weller caricature
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 4, Scene 1


           Enter SEBASTIAN and Clown.

      Clown
  1   Will you make me believe that I am not sent
1. Will you: Are you trying to.

  2   for you?

      SEBASTIAN
  3   Go to, go to, thou art a foolish fellow:
  4   Let me be clear of thee.
4. clear: rid.


      Clown
  5   Well held out, i' faith! No, I do not know you;
5. Well held out: i.e.,way to hang in there (with the pretense that you don't know what I'm talking about).

  6   nor I am not sent to you by my lady, to bid
  7   you come speak with her; nor your name is not
  8   Master Cesario; nor this is not my nose neither.
  9   Nothing that is so is so.

      SEBASTIAN
 10   I prithee, vent thy folly somewhere else: Thou
10. vent: air, vent—as in, "He's just venting."

 11   know'st not me.

      Clown
 12   Vent my folly! he has heard that word of some
12. that word: i.e., vent. (It wasn't, and isn't, an unusual word, even though the Clown mocks it as too high-flown.)

 13   great man and now applies it to a fool. Vent my
 14   folly! I am afraid this great lubber, the world,
14. lubber: a big, clumsy, stupid fellow; especially one who lives in idleness; a lout.

 15   will prove a cockney. I prithee now, ungird thy
 16   strangeness and tell me what I shall vent to my
15-16. ungird thy strangeness: Mockingly fancy for "quit pretending to be a stranger.

 17   lady: shall I vent to her that thou art coming?

      SEBASTIAN
 18   I prithee, foolish Greek, depart from me: There's
18. Greek: jester.

 19   money for thee: if you tarry longer, I shall give
 20   worse payment.
20. worse payment: Like maybe a whack upside the head.


      Clown
 21   By my troth, thou hast an open hand. These wise
21. hast an open hand: are generous. (The Clown is probably being sarcastic.)

 22   men that give fools money get themselves a good
 23   report — after fourteen years' purchase.
23. report: reputation. Clown fourteen years' purchase:


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

      SIR ANDREW
 24   Now, sir, have I met you again? [Hits Sebastian.]
 25   There's for you.

      SEBASTIAN
 26   Why, [Hitting Sir Andrew.] there's for thee, and there,
 27   and there. Are all the people mad? [Draws his dagger.]

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 28   Hold, sir, [Restrains Sebastian.] or I'll throw your dagger
28. Hold: Stop.

 29   o'er the house.

      Clown
 30   This will I tell my lady straight: I would not be in some
30. straight: straightway, immediately.

 31   of your coats for two pence.
30-31. be in some of your coats: i.e., be in the shoes of some of you. (Apparently the Clown knows that Olivia won't like anyone manhandling "Cesario.")


           [Exit.]

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 32   Come on, sir; hold.

      SIR ANDREW
 33   Nay, let him alone: I'll go another way to work
 34   with him; I'll have an action of battery against
33-34. go another way to work with him: i.e., get back at him another way. action of battery: lawsuit for assault and battery. 36. it's no matter for that: Of course Sir Andrew, the natural fool, is wrong; it would matter that he struck first.

 35   him, if there be any law in Illyria: though I
 36   struck him first, yet it's no matter for that.

      SEBASTIAN
 37   Let go thy hand.

      SIR TOBY BELCH
 38   Come, sir, I will not let you go. Come, my young
 39   soldier, put up your iron: you are well fleshed.
39. you are well fleshed: To be "fleshed" is to have a taste of battle. Sir Toby seems to be saying that the young man, by striking Sir Andrew, has done enough fighting.

 40   Come on.

      SEBASTIAN
 41   I will be free from thee. [Breaks free and draws
 42   his sword.] What wouldst thou now? If thou darest
 43   tempt me further, draw thy sword.
43. tempt me further: test me some more.


      SIR TOBY BELCH
 44   What, what? Nay, then I must have an ounce or two
 44        of this malapert blood from you. [Draws his sword.]
44. malapert: impudent, insolent.


           Enter OLIVIA.

      OLIVIA
 45   Hold, Toby; on thy life I charge thee, hold!
45. Hold: stop.


      SIR TOBY BELCH
 46   Madam —

      OLIVIA
 47   Will it be ever thus? Ungracious wretch,
47. Ungracious: graceless, uncivilized.

 48   Fit for the mountains and the barbarous caves,
 49   Where manners ne'er were preach'd! out of my sight!
 50   Be not offended, dear Cesario.
 51   Rudesby, be gone!
51. Rudesby: ruffian.


           [Exeunt SIR TOBY BELCH, SIR ANDREW,]
            and FABIAN.]

 51                                 I prithee, gentle friend,
 52   Let thy fair wisdom, not thy passion, sway
52. sway: rule (your mind and emotions).

 53   In this uncivil and thou unjust extent
53. unjust: unlawful. extent: outbreak of violence, attack.

 54   Against thy peace. Go with me to my house,
 55   And hear thou there how many fruitless pranks
55. fruitless pranks: pointless practical jokes.

 56   This ruffian hath botch'd up, that thou thereby
56. botch'd up: patched together, clumsily contrived.

 57   Mayst smile at this: thou shalt not choose but go:
57. this: i.e., what Sir Toby has just done to you.

 58   Do not deny. Beshrew his soul for me,
58. Beshrew his soul for me: curse his soul for me.

 59   He started one poor heart of mine in thee.
Started hart 59. started: startled, terrified. 60. What relish is in this?: i.e., Something's odd in what she just said. What is it?. Or: either.


      SEBASTIAN
 60   What relish is in this? how runs the stream?
 61   Or I am mad, or else this is a dream:
 62   Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep;
62. fancy: imagination. Lethe: the river of forgetfulness.
Lethe River

 63   If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!

      OLIVIA
 64   Nay, come, I prithee; would thou'ldst be ruled
 64       by me!
64. be ruled by me: take my advice.


      SEBASTIAN
 65   Madam, I will.

      OLIVIA
 65                           O, say so, and so be!
65. and so be: (If "Cesario" is really ruled by her, he will return her love.)


           Exeunt.