Act IV, Scene 2
A Room in OLIVIA'S House.
Enter MARIA and FESTE.
Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard; make him
believe thou art Sir Topas the curate; do it quickly: I'll call
Sir Toby the whilst. 5
Well, I'll put it on, and I will dissemble myself in't; and
I would I were the first that ever dissembled in such a gown. I
am not tall enough to become the function well: nor lean enough
to be thought a good student: but to be said, an honest man and a 10
good housekeeper, goes as fairly as to say, a careful man and a
great scholar. The competitors enter.
Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA.
Jove bless thee, Master Parson.
Bonos dies, Sir Toby: for as the old hermit of Prague, that 15
never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King
Gorboduc, 'That that is, is'; so I, being master parson, am
master parson: for what is that but that? and is but is?
To him, Sir Topas.
What, hoa, I say,--Peace in this prison! 20
The knave counterfeits well; a good knave.
(In an inner chamber.) Who calls there?
Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio the lunatic.
Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to my lady.
Out, hyperbolical fiend! how vexest thou this man? talkest thou 25
nothing but of ladies?
Well said, master parson.
Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged: good Sir Topas, do
not think I am mad; they have laid me here in hideous darkness.
Fie, thou dishonest Sathan! I call thee by the most modest 30
terms; for I am one of those gentle ones that will use the devil
himself with courtesy. Say'st thou that house is dark?
As hell, Sir Topas.
Why, it hath bay windows transparent as barricadoes, and the
clerestories toward the south-north are as lustrous as ebony; 35
and yet complainest thou of obstruction?
I am not mad, Sir Topas; I say to you this house is dark.
Madman, thou errest. I say there is no darkness but
ignorance; in which thou art more puzzled than the Egyptians in
their fog. 40
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 question.
What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild-fowl? 45
That the soul of our grandam might happily inhabit a bird.
What thinkest thou of his opinion?
I think nobly of the soul, and no way approve his opinion.
Fare thee well. Remain thou still in darkness: thou shalt
hold the opinion of Pythagoras ere I will allow of thy wits; and 50
fear to kill a woodcock, lest thou dispossess the soul of thy
grandam. Fare thee well.
Sir Topas, Sir Topas!
My most exquisite Sir Topas!
Nay, I am for all waters. 55
Thou mightst have done this without thy beard and gown: he
sees thee not.
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 would he were; for I am now so far 60
in offence with my niece that I cannot pursue with any safety
this sport to the upshot. Come by and by to my chamber.
Exeunt SIR TOBY and MARIA.
(Singing.) 'Hey, Robin, jolly Robin,
Tell me how thy lady does.' 65
'My lady is unkind, perdy.'
'Alas, why is she so?'
Fool, I say;-- 70
'She loves another'--Who calls, ha?
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.
Master Malvolio! 75
Ay, good fool.
Alas, sir, how fell you besides your five wits?
Fool, there was never man so notoriously abused; I am as well in
my wits, fool, as thou art.
But as well? then you are mad indeed, if you be no better in 80
your wits than a fool.
They have here propertied me; keep me in darkness, send
ministers to me, asses, and do all they can to face me out of my wits.
Advise you what you say: the minister is here.--Malvolio, thy
wits the heavens restore! endeavour thyself to sleep, and leave 85
thy vain bibble-babble.
Maintain no words with him, good fellow. Who, I, sir? not
I, sir. God b' wi' you, good Sir Topas.--Marry, amen.--I will
sir, I will. 90
Fool, fool, fool, I say,--
Alas, sir, be patient. What say you, sir? I am shent for
speaking to you.
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. 95
Well-a-day,--that you were, sir!
By this hand, I am: Good fool, some ink, paper, and
light, and convey what I will set down to my lady; it shall
advantage thee more than ever the bearing of letter did.
I will help you to't. But tell me true, are you not mad 100
indeed? or do you but counterfeit?
Believe me, I am not; I tell thee true.
Nay, I'll ne'er believe a madman till I see his brains.
I will fetch you light, and paper, and ink.
Fool, I'll requite it in the highest degree: I prithee be gone. 105
'I am gone, sir,
And anon, sir,
I'll be with you again,
In a trice, 110
Like to the old vice,
Your need to sustain;
Who with dagger of lath,
In his rage and his wrath,
Cries ah, ha! to the devil: 115
Like a mad lad,
Pare thy nails, dad.
Adieu, goodman devil.
Twelfth Night IV.i : Twelfth Night IV.iii