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May'st smile at this : thou shalt not choose but go;
Do not deny: beshrew his soul for me,
He started one poor heart” of mine in thee.

Seb. What relish is in this? how runs the stream ?
Or I am mad, or else this is a dream :-
Let fancy still my sense in Lethe steep;
If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep!
Oli. Nay, come, I pr’ythee: would thoud'st be

ruled by me! Seb. Madam, I will. Oli.

O, say so, and so be!


SCENE II. A Room in Olivia's House.

Enter MARIA and Clown.

Mar. Nay, I pr’ythee, 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.

[Exit MARIA. Clo. 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 3 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 careful man, and a great scholar. The competitors




Sir To. Jove bless thee, master parson.

Clo. Bonos 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: so I, being master parson, am master parson. For what is that, but that? and is, but is?

1 Ill betide.

2 An equivoque is here intended between hart and heart: they were formerly written alike,

3 The modern editors have changed this to fat without any apparent reason.

4 Confederates.



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Sir To. To him, Sir Topas.
Clo. What, hoa, I say ;-peace in this prison !
Sir To. The knave counterfeits well: a good


Mal. [In an inner chamber.] Who calls there?

Clo. Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio the lunatic.

Mal. Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to

my lady.


Clo. Out, hyperbolical fiend ! how vexest thou this man ? talkest thou nothing but of ladies?

Sir To. Well said, master parson.

Mal. Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged: good Sir Topas, do not think I am mad: they have laid me here in hideous darkness.

Clo. Fie, thou dishonest Sathan! I call thee by the most modest terms; for I am one of those gentle ones, that will use the devil himself with courtesy : say'st thou, that house is dark ?

Mal. As hell, Sir Topas.

Clo. Why, it hath bay-windows? transparent as barricadoes, and the clear stories towards the southnorth are as lustrous as ebony; and yet complainest thou of obstruction ?

Mal. I am not mad, Sir Topas: I say to you, this house is dark.

Cio. Madman, thou errest: I say, there is no darkness, but ignorance; in which thou art more puzzled than the Egyptians in their fog.

Mal. 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.

1 Bay windows were what are now called bow windows.

2 Clear stories, in Gothic architecture, denote the row of windows running along the upper part of a lofty hall or of a church, over the arches of the naye. The first folio reads clear stores, the second folio clear stones, which was followed by all subsequent editors. The emendation and explanation are Mr. Blakeway's.




Clo. What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild-fowl ?

Mal. That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird.

Clo. What thinkest thou of his opinion ?

Mal. I think nobly of the soul, and no way approve his opinion.

Clo. Fare 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.

Mal. Sir Topas, Sir Topas,-
Sir To. My most exquisite Sir Topas !
Clo. Nay, I am for all waters.3

Mar. Thou might'st have done this without thy beard and gown; he sees thee not.

Sir To. 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 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. Clo. Hey Robin, jolly Robin,

Tell me how thy lady does. [Singing. Mal. Fool, Clo. My lady is unkind, perdy. Mal. Fool, Clo. Alas, why is she so? Mal. Fool, I say ;


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1 Regular conversation.

2 The clown mentions a woodcock because it was proverbial as a foolish bird, and therefore a proper ancestor for a man out of his wits.

3 A proverbial phrase not yet satisfactorily explained. The meaning, however, appears to be, “I can turn my hand to any thing, or assume any character."

4 This ballad may be found in Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Vol. i. p. 194, ed. 1794.

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