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Twelfth Night

Enter MARIA and Clown
MARIANay, 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.
ClownWell, I’ll put it on, and I will dissemble myself 5
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 good housekeeper goes as fairly as to say a 10
careful man and a great scholar. The competitors enter.
SIR TOBY BELCHJove bless thee, master Parson.
ClownBonos dies, Sir Toby: for, as the old hermit of
Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily
said to a niece of King Gorboduc, ‘That that is is;’ 15
so I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for,
what is ‘that’ but ‘that,’ and ‘is’ but ‘is’?
SIR TOBY BELCHTo him, Sir Topas.
ClownWhat, ho, I say! peace in this prison!
SIR TOBY BELCHThe knave counterfeits well; a good knave. 20
ClownSir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio
the lunatic.
MALVOLIOSir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to my lady.
ClownOut, hyperbolical fiend! how vexest thou this man!
talkest thou nothing but of ladies? 25
SIR TOBY BELCHWell said, Master Parson.
MALVOLIOSir Topas, never was man thus wronged: good Sir
Topas, do not think I am mad: they have laid me
here in hideous darkness.
ClownFie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee by the most 30
modest terms; for I am one of those gentle ones
that will use the devil himself with courtesy:
sayest thou that house is dark?
MALVOLIOAs hell, Sir Topas.
ClownWhy it hath bay windows transparent as barricadoes, 35
and the clearstores toward the south north are as
lustrous as ebony; and yet complainest thou of
MALVOLIOI am not mad, Sir Topas: I say to you, this house is dark.
ClownMadman, thou errest: I say, there is no darkness 40
but ignorance; in which thou art more puzzled than
the Egyptians in their fog.
MALVOLIOI 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 45
are: make the trial of it in any constant question.
ClownWhat is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild fowl?
MALVOLIOThat the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird.
ClownWhat thinkest thou of his opinion?
MALVOLIOI think nobly of the soul, and no way approve his opinion. 50
ClownFare thee well. Remain thou still in darkness:
thou shalt hold the opinion of Pythagoras ere I will
allow of thy wits, and fear to kill a woodcock, lest
thou dispossess the soul of thy grandam. Fare thee well.
MALVOLIOSir Topas, Sir Topas! 55
SIR TOBY BELCHMy most exquisite Sir Topas!
ClownNay, I am for all waters.
MARIAThou mightst have done this without thy beard and
gown: he sees thee not.
SIR TOBY BELCHTo him in thine own voice, and bring me word how 60
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 in offence with
my niece that I cannot pursue with any safety this
sport to the upshot. Come by and by to my chamber. 65
‘Hey, Robin, jolly Robin,
Tell me how thy lady does.’
Clown‘My lady is unkind, perdy.’
Clown‘Alas, why is she so?’
MALVOLIOFool, I say!
Clown‘She loves another’–Who calls, ha?
MALVOLIOGood fool, as ever thou wilt deserve well at my
hand, help me to a candle, and pen, ink and paper: 75
as I am a gentleman, I will live to be thankful to
thee for’t.
ClownMaster Malvolio?
MALVOLIOAy, good fool.
ClownAlas, sir, how fell you besides your five wits? 80
MALVOLIOFool, there was never a man so notoriously abused: I
am as well in my wits, fool, as thou art.
ClownBut as well? then you are mad indeed, if you be no
better in your wits than a fool.
MALVOLIOThey have here propertied me; keep me in darkness, 85
send ministers to me, asses, and do all they can to
face me out of my wits.
ClownAdvise you what you say; the minister is here.
Malvolio, Malvolio, thy wits the heavens restore!
endeavour thyself to sleep, and leave thy vain 90
bibble babble.
ClownMaintain no words with him, good fellow. Who, I,
sir? not I, sir. God be wi’ you, good Sir Topas.
Merry, amen. I will, sir, I will. 95
MALVOLIOFool, fool, fool, I say!
ClownAlas, sir, be patient. What say you sir? I am
shent for speaking to you.
MALVOLIOGood fool, help me to some light and some paper: I
tell thee, I am as well in my wits as any man in Illyria. 100
ClownWell-a-day that you were, sir
MALVOLIOBy 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. 105
ClownI will help you to’t. But tell me true, are you
not mad indeed? or do you but counterfeit?
MALVOLIOBelieve me, I am not; I tell thee true.
ClownNay, I’ll ne’er believe a madman till I see his
brains. I will fetch you light and paper and ink. 110
MALVOLIOFool, I’ll requite it in the highest degree: I
prithee, be gone.
I am gone, sir,
And anon, sir,
I’ll be with you again, 115
In a trice,
Like to the old Vice,
Your need to sustain;
Who, with dagger of lath,
In his rage and his wrath, 120
Cries, ah, ha! to the devil:
Like a mad lad,
Pare thy nails, dad;
Adieu, good man devil.