Enter SIR TOBY, SIR ANDREW, and FABIAN
SIR TOBY. Come thy ways, Signior Fabian.
FABIAN. Nay, I'll come; if I lose a scruple of this sport let me be
boil'd to death with melancholy.
SIR TOBY. Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly rascally
sheep-biter come by some notable shame?
FABIAN. I would exult, man; you know he brought me out o' favour
with my lady about a bear-baiting here.
SIR TOBY. To anger him we'll have the bear again; and we will fool
him black and blue- shall we not, Sir Andrew?
AGUECHEEK. And we do not, it is pity of our lives.
SIR TOBY. Here comes the little villain.
How now, my metal of India!
MARIA. Get ye all three into the box-tree. Malvolio's coming down
this walk. He has been yonder i' the sun practising behaviour to
his own shadow this half hour. Observe him, for the love of
mockery, for I know this letter will make a contemplative idiot
of him. Close, in the name of jesting! [As the men hide she drops
a letter] Lie thou there; for here comes the trout that must be
caught with tickling.
MALVOLIO. 'Tis but fortune; all is fortune. Maria once told me she
did affect me; and I have heard herself come thus near, that,
should she fancy, it should be one of my complexion. Besides, she
uses me with a more exalted respect than any one else that
follows her. What should I think on't?
SIR TOBY. Here's an overweening rogue!
FABIAN. O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him;
how he jets under his advanc'd plumes!
AGUECHEEK. 'Slight, I could so beat the rogue-
SIR TOBY. Peace, I say.
MALVOLIO. To be Count Malvolio!
SIR TOBY. Ah, rogue!
AGUECHEEK. Pistol him, pistol him.
SIR TOBY. Peace, peace!
MALVOLIO. There is example for't: the Lady of the Strachy married
the yeoman of the wardrobe.
AGUECHEEK. Fie on him, Jezebel!
FABIAN. O, peace! Now he's deeply in; look how imagination blows
MALVOLIO. Having been three months married to her, sitting in my
SIR TOBY. O, for a stone-bow to hit him in the eye!
MALVOLIO. Calling my officers about me, in my branch'd velvet gown,
having come from a day-bed- where I have left Olivia sleeping-
SIR TOBY. Fire and brimstone!
FABIAN. O, peace, peace!
MALVOLIO. And then to have the humour of state; and after a demure
travel of regard, telling them I know my place as I would they
should do theirs, to ask for my kinsman Toby-
SIR TOBY. Bolts and shackles!
FABIAN. O, peace, peace, peace! Now, now.
MALVOLIO. Seven of my people, with an obedient start, make out for
him. I frown the while, and perchance wind up my watch, or play
with my- some rich jewel. Toby approaches; curtsies there to me-
SIR TOBY. Shall this fellow live?
FABIAN. Though our silence be drawn from us with cars, yet peace.
MALVOLIO. I extend my hand to him thus, quenching my familiar smile
with an austere regard of control-
SIR TOBY. And does not Toby take you a blow o' the lips then?
MALVOLIO. Saying 'Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on your
niece give me this prerogative of speech'-
SIR TOBY. What, what?
MALVOLIO. 'You must amend your drunkenness'-
SIR TOBY. Out, scab!
FABIAN. Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot.
MALVOLIO. 'Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with a
AGUECHEEK. That's me, I warrant you.
MALVOLIO. 'One Sir Andrew.'
AGUECHEEK. I knew 'twas I; for many do call me fool.
MALVOLIO. What employment have we here?
[Taking up the letter]
FABIAN. Now is the woodcock near the gin.
SIR TOBY. O, peace! And the spirit of humours intimate 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.
AGUECHEEK. Her C's, her U's, and her T's. Why that?
MALVOLIO. [Reads] 'To the unknown belov'd, this, and my good
wishes.' Her very phrases! By your leave, wax. Soft! And the
impressure her Lucrece with which she uses to seal; 'tis my lady.
To whom should this be?
FABIAN. This wins him, liver and all.
Jove knows I love,
Lips, do not move;
No man must know.'
'No man must know.' What follows? The numbers alter'd!
'No man must know.' If this should be thee, Malvolio?
SIR TOBY. Marry, hang thee, brock!
'I may command where I adore;
But silence, like a Lucrece knife,
With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore;
M. O. A. I. doth sway my life.'
FABIAN. A fustian riddle!
SIR TOBY. Excellent wench, say I.
MALVOLIO. '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 dress'd him!
SIR TOBY. And with what wing the staniel checks at it!
MALVOLIO. '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 obstruction in this. And the end- what
should that alphabetical position portend? If I could make that
resemble something in me. Softly! M. O. A. I.-
SIR TOBY. O, ay, make up that! He is now at a cold scent.
FABIAN. Sowter will cry upon't for all this, though it be as rank
as a fox.
MALVOLIO. M- Malvolio; M- why, that begins my name.
FABIAN. Did not I say he would work it out?
The cur is excellent at faults.
MALVOLIO. M- But then there is no consonancy in the sequel; that
suffers under probation: A should follow, but O does.
FABIAN. And O shall end, I hope.
SIR TOBY. Ay, or I'll cudgel him, and make him cry 'O!'
MALVOLIO. And then I comes behind.
FABIAN. Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you might see more
detraction at your heels than fortunes before you.
MALVOLIO. M. O. A. I. This simulation is not as the former; and
yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to me, for every one of
these letters are in my name. Soft! here follows prose.
'If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above
thee; but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some
achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. Thy
Fates open their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them;
and, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, cast thy
humble slough and appear fresh. Be opposite with a kinsman, surly
with servants; let thy tongue tang arguments of state; put
thyself into the trick of singularity. She thus advises thee that
sighs for thee. Remember who commended thy yellow stockings, and
wish'd to see thee ever cross-garter'd. I say, remember, Go to,
thou art made, if thou desir'st to be so; if not, let me see thee
a steward still, the fellow of servants, and not worthy to touch
Fortune's fingers. Farewell. She that would alter services with
Daylight and champain discovers not more. This is open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors, I will baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross acquaintance, I will be point-devise the very man. I do not now fool myself to let imagination jade me; for every reason excites to this, that my lady loves me. She did commend my yellow stockings of late, she did praise my leg being cross-garter'd; and in this she manifests herself to my love, and with a kind of injunction drives me to these habits of her liking. I thank my stars I am happy. I will be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and cross-garter'd, 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 entertain'st my love, let it appear in thy smiling; 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
FABIAN. I will not give my part of this sport for a pension of
thousands to be paid from the Sophy.
SIR TOBY. I could marry this wench for this device.
AGUECHEEK. So could I too.
SIR TOBY. And ask no other dowry with her but such another jest.
AGUECHEEK. Nor I neither.
FABIAN. Here comes my noble gull-catcher.
SIR TOBY. Wilt thou set thy foot o' my neck?
AGUECHEEK. Or o' mine either?
SIR TOBY. Shall I play my freedom at tray-trip, and become thy
AGUECHEEK. I' faith, or I either?
SIR TOBY. Why, thou hast put him in such a dream that when the
image of it leaves him he must run mad.
MARIA. Nay, but say true; does it work upon him?
SIR TOBY. Like aqua-vita! with a midwife.
AIARIA. 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, and cross-garter'd, 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.
SIR TOBY. To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil of wit!
AGUECHEEK. I'll make one too. Exeunt
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