Orsino, Duke of Illyria
Sir Toby Belch, uncle to Olivia
Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a knight
Sebastian, a shipwrecked gentleman of Messina, betrothed to Olivia
Valentine, a gentleman in service to the duke
Curio, the same
Antonio, a sailor, friend to Sebastian
Hildebrant, a friar
Fabian, once servant to Olivia, now retainer to Sir Toby
Feste, a clown in Olivia's service
Reynardo, a thief
Olivia, a rich countess
Viola, Sebastian's sister, betrothed to the Duke
Maria, wife to Sir Toby
Divers thieves, men-at-arms, jailors, attendants, scullions, torchbearers, &c.
Scene I: The garden of Olivia's house. Enter Olivia, Sebastian, Feste, and Malvolio.
Olivia: Sebastian, my husband soon to be
And lord already in my heart's regard,
Tell me what sorrow hangs upon your brow.
Surely, these few short days (however long
They seem to two such eager souls as ours)
Have not been time enough to cloy my name
Upon your palate, or to wear your eyes
Rubificent against mine image?
My lady—no, Olivia—'tis no
Such weariness. Why, I cannot conceive
Of anything in this world growing stale
While your affection green and fresh remains.
I am anew astonish'd ev'ry hour
At my good fortune to have won your heart
All unaware of ent'ring in the lists.
Olivia: Then is it that, myself as ignorant
Of striving, I have set myself against
Your will—balked some desire—spoken ill
Unknowingly of any you hold dear?
Why, from your face I fear it is this last.
Sebastian: No, not by words, Olivia; no word
Nor deed of yours has ever vexèd me,
Nor shall. No, if I seem unhappy, 'tis
A thing a word from you might remedy.
Olivia: Then say, and I shall speak it.
Sebastian: My dear friend
Antonio, who pull'd me from the sea,
And brought me safe to fire and warmth and shore,
Who fed me, fee'd me, lodg'd me, clothèd me
And who in public brawl did intervene
And risk'd his blood and life to save mine own,
For that same fight was taken by the Duke,
And prison'd lies for fighting in the streets;
Though, truly, did the Duke Orsino act
In retribution for some piracies,
Committed long ago in time of war
And just as long ago repaid in full.
My lady, if whatever influence
In Duke Orsino's counsels you might have,
You bring to bear, and his acquittal beg,
My gratitude for you would swell beyond
E'en its new compass, scrib'd in following
Your sphere, which by so much surpasseth mine
In state and substance, comeliness and charm
That my poor qualities may but eclipse
And darken your bright aspect.
Olivia: Oh, my dear,
If either of us must be grateful, let
Me be the one, for absent your return
Of mine own silly fondness, dark indeed
Would be my sphere, and through these lesser orbs
The sublunary waters flood, and leave
The dry earth bare to firmament and fire!
Glad will I bend the Duke Orsino's ear
To hear a sister's plea, and free your friend,
Whom I must now hold equally as dear
As you, and bend a thankful knee to him
Who brought you to Illyria, and me.
Feste: My lady, this is well done. Fetch a wheelbarrow for my lady!
Olivia: What for, good fool?
Feste: Why, to carry this petition to the Duke, for 'tis a weighty plea.
Olivia: You have taken it down?
Feste: It needs no taking down— words of such gravity sink of their own accord. More like I'll need a chisel to pry them from the wax of my memory, or a mug of burnt sack to melt them out. But bring me a chisel and a barrow, and I'll have the fellow out of prison— or bring sack, and I'll convey your words to Duke and leave it to him.
Olivia: Not yet, good Feste. There remains the matter of the gulling you, mine uncle Toby, and my maid Maria inflicted on my steward Malvolio. Good fool, was it right of you to use him so?
Feste: No, no righter than to use a brace-drill to bore a hole or a trenail to plug it up again. For if we use tools only as they were made for, all the pokers should be in the fire, and how would we mull our spirits? Nay, my lady, if a man's spirit overflow a posset-bowl, let it transcend what it was made for, and therefore let us not use gulls for gulling. Nor fools no more for fooling, so I shall warm a bowl of sack or be off.
Olivia: Nay, you shall stay and be sober a moment.
Feste: 'Twould be the first moment I ever did stay sober.
Olivia: By your own admissions, all three of you, you did most despicably gull and bait the man, who, if he ever wrong'd you, did so all out of proportion to your requital; who, if he quarrel'd with you, the quarrel was mine to resolve, not yours to pursue. Tell me, dear fool, what chastisement is fitting for the authors of such private reprisals, for sowing discord beneath my roof, where amity should reign?
Feste: Why, to remove the discordant elements to another roof, where they can jangle like rain on tile-stones.
Olivia: And for yourself, what penalty?
Feste: Oh, let me be cast out from under your roof. Nothing else is fitting but to send me home to mine own house, to reflect on my wrongs, and to wrong my reflection with much railing at the glass.
Olivia: There is some wisdom in your foolery.
Feste: I hide it like an egg in a haymow, but the cat will have it.
Olivia: My father own'd a house on Tower Square,
Which he did let to an old gentleman,
Now dead these seven years, and all his sons
Long marry'd and remov'd. I'd see it clean
And air'd, the roof-slates mended, window glass
Reset, the mouse and woodworm chased away
And everything made pretty, as it was
When Father had it built. This house I'll let,
For gratis, to mine uncle and Maria,
On stipulation they see it repair'd.
O'erseeing hired workmen from the town
In matters skill'd, but on their own to sweep,
To scrub and scour, to mend and polish, and
To set the terriers upon the rats.
You, Feste, in this toil shall you make one,
To daily view the progress of their work
And thence to me report: how fares the house
And how mine uncle and his wife do fare;
For I do fear what mischief they might do,
In similar devices; or more like,
What in his cups might Toby do himself.
Shall it be so?
Feste: It shall, my lady.
Then go you to Sir Toby, and the news
Do quickly explicate; thence to the Duke
With my petition for Antonio.
Feste: Madam, I go.
Olivia: And you, Malvolio?
Doth meet with your approval? I would not
For all the world that you were cross with me.
Malvolio: It suits, my lady. I cannot—I regret to say it—swear to nod to the gentleman your uncle, passing him in the street. No, nor swear not to cross and pass on the other side, were it not so much harder to trip a man by the ankles from five foot away.
Olivia: I cannot compel you to forgive Sir Toby, nor these others who have wrong'd you, though I beg you in charity to do so. And I must beg you to forgive me, for my oversight, or belike for my lack of it, in permitting you to be us'd so ill beneath my roof.
Malvolio: Of course, madam; it was not by your hand
That I a fool was made.
Olivia: Then here's that hand
In friendship, and we'll speak of it no more.
Now to the tradesmen, good Malvolio,
And set those preparations we discuss'd
In motion, that the wedding day may be
As festive, proper, and well-company'd
As hasty, mean, and secretive our plight.
Come, good Sebastian; let us away.
Malvolio: Not by your hand! Your loop, your slant, your rise,
By your hand, no one's else, was I beguil'd.
Your hand let slip the reins of governance,
And gave their heads to servants, kinsman, fools;
Nor took you up the whip until, halfway
To foundering, they shy'd at their own flight
Dug in their heels, and threw their lather'd flanks
Into the breeching-straps. Oh, by your hand,
My lady, and by this mine own, I swear
I'll be reveng'd. Not, certes, by a fist
Or openhanded blow. 'Tis not my charge
To mar my lady's treaures; and what lands,
Gems, horses, sable coats of Muscovy,
And store of gold a brother's legacy
Bequeath'd, do not offset those finer wares'
Depreciation, which the testament
Of Nature settled on her front and frame.
Not by the fist. Nor by the sword, I scarce
Need say. Not by the pen; I have
No skill to counterfeit an usurp'd hand.
My chancery is too unchangeable.
But to usurp a hand—why, how should that
Avail, when hand, eye, liver, heart, all bow
To an usurpèd reason? For, as all
The members of a body to the head
Their whims subordinate, so doth a wife
Capitulate to man; and so hath she
Her reason lost! No, not lost—given o'er;
Given her head, she gives it him, and all
Its proper vassals follow it—heart, eyes,
And so, et cetera, down to her hand,
All for this upstart, this Sebastian!
But say her reason—or, id est, her head
Which this Sebastian, like a Judith, flaunts
And brandishes in jubilant display—
Were ta'en away, and the usurper too.
Why then, being headless and unreasonable
Would she true madness know! The stifl'd air
Of Bedlam she would taste in summer's breath
And under noonday skies would see the dark
Of straiten'd cells, with eyes, tongue, nostrils, all
Appendages to reason shuttered up,
As windows in a vacant house, when once
Her wit has quit its tenancy. Oh, then,
My lady will know madness; she will know
Malvolio's revenge! But, being quit
And in the full enjoyment of revenge,
Can I be merciful, and ope the doors,
And let the light in. And she, being led
With gentle hand upon the collar-shank,
Back to her wit and reason, might she lean
A cheek into that hand—and as the proper course
Is for the head to lead, then might her hand,
Pursuant to her reason, follow on
And in that guiding hand be laid and held.
But first, to bring the upstart down. 'Tis true,
Sebastian is no more of her sphere
Than is the comet of th'Empyrean;
And, like that exhalation, bodes no good
To noble heads. His fuming steps I'll dog—
Not closely—for he'll stumble, plummet, fall
(At my impulsion if he stumble not)
And in the element that bred him, rot!
Orsino: Within a close and cloister'd treasure-house,
Well-fortify'd upon a barren isle
Amid the harbor waves, where lies my store
Of civic bullion, all the capital
Of state and governance, amid the coin
And baser shapes of noble metal, there
I keep as well a private hoard, of gems
Familial, unworn since last my dam
Did sit beside my father's chair at court.
And thither have I sent ten doughty men,
With Curio above them, here to fetch
The choicest trinkets-- pendants, hair-pins, rings,
A carcanet of pearls and emeralds,
A duchy's wealth, to deck a duchess well.
Tomorrow, you shall see your wedding gear,
And I shall see you in it, if you will.
Viola: I first would see a jeweler; for I've seen
The portrait of your mother, and a dame
Less like me in complexion and in form
May scarce be found.
Orsino: Nay, you are beautiful
And so was she; that's likeness.
Viola: Good my lord,
You are too kind, and far too fond, I fear.
I'll trust the goldsmith's measure, as should you,
Unless you'd see me on the wedding day
Half strangl'd on your carc'net, and as green?
Orsino: E'en so, I'd love you, but if you insist,
Valentine: My lord, here's one come from Olivia—
Feste, the clown.
Orsino: Why, let him enter.
You are most welcome. What news from the lady?
Feste: My lady, my lady Olivia sends her warm regards to my lady, and sisterly affection to your ladyship Orsino, my lady.
Orsino: What mean you, sirrah?
Feste: Why, it is the fashion for lords to change their coats and be ladyships, and I would not have it noised about that your ladyship is behind the fashion. My lady knows how ladies are about such things, my lady.
Orsino: Enough! As you see, nothing is changed in my coat, or any part of my clothing.
Feste: Why, nothing in your clothes would be a change indeed, and nothing in them require a change of clothes, for surely nothing but nothing would make me hide such a leg as yours in a maid's skirts.
Viola: Good sir, enough of nothing! Come, say what you are about.
Feste: I am about to tell my errand, the which is to say, to wit, that my lady Olivia doth plead for the release of one Antonio, whom my lord the duke holds for breach of the peace: if 't please you, she begs that you release him.
Orsino: It does not please me.
Viola: Oh, but bring the man
And hear his case! His intervention saved
Me from a thrashing, and from worse, mayhap.
For me, and for my brother, hear him out.
Orsino: For you, then. Have him sent for, Valentine.
Valentine: I shall.
Orsino: I'll hear his case. But hear me, sweet--
I scruple to release Antonio,
Not thinking him a danger to the peace
Of public thoroughfares, but to the seas
And thereupon my ships, for I recall
The privateer, the Doge's hireling,
Who harried all th'Illyrian coast, and cost
Me dear in plunder, stoven keels and blood.
I will not have him seek such hire again,
Or unindentur'd take to such a work.
Viola: My brother calls him honest.
Orsino: And for that,
And for Olivia's sisterly regard,
Against my better judgment, I would free
Antonio on her recognizance
And to her custody, if she agree
To stay him in Illyria a while
That I may test him, if he still incline
To his old comrades and old loyalties.
Good man, where does Olivia purpose
To keep Antonio, if he were freed?
Feste: Why, sir, in prison.
Viola: Prison, say you?
'Tis a dark, drafty, dusty ruin of a house whose very rats are the laughing- stock of their gossips, with great want of air, light, warmth, and furnishing; and in this place, for their crimes, doth she condemn two traitors to her household peace.
Orsino: What traitors, fellow? And what are their crimes?
Feste: One, Sir Toby Belch by name, is a great thief. He hath stolen kisses nearly a score from the maid Maria.
Viola: And the other?
Feste: That same Maria, a thief as well and a more shameless than Sir Toby.
Viola: What has she stolen?
Feste: Oh, she does not steal herself, though she herself is stolen from; she is accomplice to Sir Toby's thefts, and that makes her the worse—for, pardee, a woman who incites a man to crimes hath always been the guiltier, since Eve stole apples.
Orsino: If I read this fool right, Olivia hath made a wedding-gift to her kinsman of the Tower Street house. This is gently done, for it has a good foundation and needs only diligence to make it fair again. My good man, does Olivia intend Sir Toby to oversee Antonio's house arrest?
Feste: The oversight, she hath left to me, but I dare not take it up.
Orsino: Dare not, fool? How so?
Feste: Why, she hath made me the keeper of this rag-tag; and if a man be judged by the company he keeps, if I confess to keeping such a company of thieves and criminals, I must myself be convicted on mine own confession. So I'll not set foot in th' house and incriminate myself. Fool I may be, but if this Antonio be fool enough to take on the commission, I'll give it him quick enough to prove myself no fool at all.
Orsino: And be out of a place for your wisdom.
Feste: Aye, for wisdom is ever out of place in this world.
Orsino: Enough, here comes the man. Antonio,
By intercession of Olivia,
I free thee to that lady's usage; she
Has set a kinsman, one Sir Toby Belch
To be thine host; and with him shalt thou lodge
Until such time as I am satisfied
In thy allegiances. Well, sirrah, speak—
Antonio: A driblet better than I was.
Is this Sir Toby th'instigator of
The duel in which I rescued your good lady?
I'll lodge not happily with him, but liefer than
At your board, sir; I have no taste for chains.
Viola: Antonio, brave captain; I at least
Am grateful for your service, less to me
Than to Sebastian, for whose rescue I
Must ever be your servant.
Antonio: And I yours,
With thanks for your kind words; but I'll accept
No plaudits for my deeds; I had no choice
But love Sebastian, and loving him,
No choices but what love compell'd in me.
Viola: Then, if you love Sebastian, stay and see
Him marry'd; stand with him and quaff his health.
And when the nuptial pair have gone to bed,
So we will put suspicion to its rest
And send you where you will, with love and thanks.
Will you wait on the wedding, these few weeks?
Antonio: Sebastian wishes it?
Viola: I know he does.
Antonio: Then once again, love leaves no other choice;
Though for my love, I'd choose to be away.
Orsino: Then go thou with the fool; and for thy sake,
I hope I ne'er again sit judge o'er thee.
Conduct them onward, Valentine. Come, lad.
Viola: A moment, and he shall remember.
Love—Viola! Your pardon I must pray.
I am not customed to your maid's array.
Viola: No more am I. But your Cesario
Doth still within these stays and kirtle go.
Olivia: There's wind today.
Sebastian: I feel it not.
Olivia: Not here,
But on the hill, where lies my brother's tomb;
I hear it breathing in the cypresses,
A mournful sound; it chills me. I want music,
Music to warm my heart and gladden me.
Sebastian, will you sing for me?
In music was my full inheritance
Bestowed upon my sister. Viola
Has in my family the only voice
More worth to hear than this cold crowing wind.
Olivia: In speaking do you sound so much alike.
Sebastian: That is her art, my lady; I have none.
Olivia: And of that art I am no connaisseur,
To hiss you from the stage. Come, will you not
Essay a song for me?
Sebastian: I cannot, though
It grieves me much to say it. Oh, but here
The fool comes; we'll have music if you will.
Olivia: Let's hear him in plain prose, to start. What news?
Feste: In plain prose, the Duke's released Antonio, and I have conveyed him to Sir Toby's house, where he shall lodge until the wedding. And did you ever know me to talk such plain good sense before?
Olivia: Never, dear fool.
Sebastian: Oh, this is excellent news indeed! Olivia, my lady, I will take my leave of you, and go to see Antonio settled, and convey to him your part in his release, for the which he must no doubt be grateful. As I am— deeply grateful— I'll tell him so.
Olivia: Peace, go; visit your friend and take him my regards. Feste will show you the way.
Sebastian: No, stay, good fellow; the lady Olivia did ask for music— let her have a song. I'll find my own way; 'tis time enough I learned my way through the town. Good cheer, dear lady; good day, good sir!
Feste: Good lord. Well, good my lady, what will you hear?
Olivia: Mine own thoughts, and the wind. I am not in such a mind for music as I thought; I would be alone for a while.
Feste: An you change your mind, I know a tune to cheer it. Good day, my lady.
Olivia: Sweet fool, 'tis not the song, the song is nothing,
The sweetest voice profanes the serenato
That falls upon unwilling ears. But, stay,
That is uncharitable. I am not
Unwilling-- surely not-- that he should sing
For me, e'en were the song more dissonant
Than the rude parliament of carrion crows
Whose rumour haunts the cemetery breeze.
The comfort of the well-belovèd voice
Is music all its own; a fishwife's babe
Knows it, and scorns the dulcet church-organ
If't drowns the crack'd reed of its crooning dam,
But drowses smiling at her lullaby.
How can Sebastian's understanding be
Inferior to that infant's? How, unless
It is my apprehension, and not his
That fails; that he has grasp'd what I did not:
The well-belovèd voice was never his.
The voice I knew and lov'd, or thought I knew
And thought I lov'd, was e'er Cesario's.
Aye, and the face, the figure, all the outer
Forms, though like enough to strangers' glance
Cannot for long deceive the lover's eye.
Ah, me, but I have wax'd so fond of him,
Exceeding fond; and yet, I have not wan'd
Or waver'd in my fondness for his fetch,
Cesario, who never was. And I
Would laugh, and weep a bit, and call it good,
Or good enough to make a marriage on't,
If that Cesario were dead and gone.
But that belovèd youth still walks abroad,
In bodies two, and though Sebastian
Be fair, the fairer draft is Viola.
Alack the day she came! How can I be
A good and loyal wife, and daily see
My hop'd-for lord's eyes in my sister's face,
And still go happy to her twin's embrace?
Maria: Oh, the boy's swept the plate and polished the hearth, and I may well have told him to do't and never known. But tell me, Sir Husband, how am I to give orders in such infernal clanging, clapping, and thundering as would drive the devil's own blacksmith to the cloister?
Toby: By the knots in thy stay-laces, Penthisilea! Tall as Sir Andrew's knee and twice as sharp!
Maria: Aye, and I'll crack my voice with such crowing! Am I a rook, to nest in such riot?
Toby: A rat, my dear; by mine oath, a rat as black and toothy as a pard of India, and with more fellows than a guildhall! And what didst thou prescribe for such a plague but gorse-bushes in the panels?
Maria: Thatch, I was for thatch above. Did ever a crew of thatchers make such a din, except at table?
Toby: Aye, and on the rushes and in the beds for all I know. And what hides under every rush and gorse-thorn?
Maria: Six cartloads of slates, rattling like Sir Andrew's teeth in a knife-fight! Oh, they'll pound like a drunkard's temples with every drop of rain, and should it hail-- oh, lord avert it-- why, they'll clatter like-- just like--
Toby: Traps! Bear-traps, belike, might slow the brutes down, but I would not be abed when one of these beasts drags its iron-shackled haunch out of its hole and comes seeking vengeance!
Maria: We'll not have a moment's sleep the whole of November for the trembling of the house!
Toby: Aye, the whole house might well tremble in their boots, for there's no walking bare-footed in this pestilence! And what use thou hop'st to find in such tinker's toys I know not. The fanged brute that frighted Sir Andrew would wear such puny baubles as slippers, and raid thy wardrobe for more.
Maria: But 'tis an excuse for extravagance, and lord knows you'll take any-- wastrel! Spendthrift! Oh, 'tis no use abusing him; he'll hear nothing o't. I'd box his ears, but 'twould only be a tonic to them.
Toby: Insufferable wench, wilt not listen?
Maria: You need not shout. And oh, I hope never to be so grateful for the idleness of workmen; happily they'll finish the jug ere they resume. I told you thatch would serve.
Toby: Aye, and there'd not be a straw left within a month, save as bedding in these tuppeny deal-boxes you call traps. How doltish think'st thou these rats, to stride blithely into such a snare?
Andrew: I say, Maria, didst mean to leave this lying about? Were I not so agile a dancer, I'd have never scaped the other six.
Maria: Aye, Sir Husband; and a bigger trap might catch me an ass. So what's your remedy? Mayhap the hammering will drive them out; or me, and there's an answer either way.
Toby: What we need, is a dog-- a ratting-dog, a good terrier.
Andrew: Or a badger-dog. By Jove's beard, there's one in the closet the size of a boar badger.
Toby: Or a boar-hound! Or-- Fabian!
Fabian: Oh, no, never me; I am no rat-catcher, not though you gave me a dozen boar-spears.
Toby: Not thou, thou dolt-- the dog thou hadst ten ducats from at th' bear-bait.
Fabian: Cecily, you mean? Aye, she might do. And old Ignace has a bear in tonight, I'm told. Who's with me, gentlemen?
Maria: Oh, no. No, husband, the countess Olivia tasked you to stay--
Toby: And see to the renewal of the house.
Maria: And watch our lodger, as well as watch yourself. The bear-bait? If you're home before dawn, and on your own two feet, I'll eat my pillow, for 'tis sure I'll not sleep a wink tonight for the pounding.
Toby: Aye, and how should this night be different from all others?
Maria: We cannot all make up our lost sleep nodding over our sack.
Toby: We may have to, an' the rats eat the ticking for toast.
Maria: 'Tis just as well we can do without beds or pillows, then, or sleep.
Toby: Excellent chuck! Brave Amazon!
Maria: Oh, no, give o'er my purse!
Toby: Mine own is empty, and on thine account.
Maria: Less ale and less sack would see it fuller; and in the meantime, I'll have this pocket at mine own disposition.
Andrew: There's my shoe free! I think I shall not dance in these until rose-windows come again to the fashion.
Toby: A token, then, for luck?
Maria: My glove you shall have. Wear it in your belt, and remember what the hand it came from might do when you come home, or an' you stay too long out.
Fabian: Enough, you two! A ducat on Cecily, and the beer on me.
Maria: Go on, then, off with you!
Antonio: Thank th' heavens, the din has ceased.
Maria: Look for it again at the devil's own hour; we'll not see the reds of their noses before dawn, I'll warrant. But, bless you, worthy captain, for all your industry. I'd have a dozen pirates about the house were they all so handy as you.
Antonio: I look to my own reward, I confess; I'd dress a hundred beds to have one I need not share with Sir Andrew.
Maria: So many an honest woman has said, and gone to earn her living by the prick of her needle. When Andrew Aguecheek is off the auction block, he'll not find a loose-bodied gown in all Illyria, nor a scrap of lace for his bride. Though as the nunneries shall be emptied as well, 'tis like enough the good sisters will take up the trade.
Ah, and here's one come from the abbess herself t'examine our school. Hath Olivia made you our duenna now, good sir?
Sebastian: Antonio. It is a balm to mine eyes, to see you free. And to see you, of course, Mistress Belch; I can see you have been too diligent here to require any tutelage.
Maria: Why, then, I'll study diligence and leave you two alone, if we none of us need a duenna. Farewell.
Antonio: Unworried for your virtue? I'd have thought
From how you left me fast sequesterèd
That you were sorely fear'd, for yours or mine.
Sebastian: But you are free now-- and as soon as I
Was able to contrive-- and I am told
You stay upon my wedding. For the which,
I'm glad, and shall be gladder, an' you stand
Beside me on the day. Antonio,
Why do you frown? My rosy hap is yours;
And any turn my fortunate estate
Enable me to do you, such I shall,
For friendship fifty thousand-fold return'd.
Antonio: If that is how it is, then that is how
It must be. Do you much anticipate
Your marriage? Love you this Olivia?
Sebastian: As much as I did ever woman love.
Antonio: Make you such nice replies to her, not me.
I'd know the burden of your heart, if e'er
You'd recompense me for my fellowship.
Is she your lodestone; would you follow her
Into Inferno's maw, and count yourself
Well-compensated for the journey by
The glimpse of but one flutter of her gown?
Love you this woman as she loveth you?
Or by your silence will you answer no?
Sebastian: Say not, I do not love her. Rather, say
I study ev'ry day to love her more,
Though yet I am not of that discipline
Enough a master as to say, I love her.
But as I know her, so far do I love.
Antonio: And as she knowest you?
Sebastian: The same, I think.
She loved my sister in another guise.
And we are much alike.
Antonio: Except that she,
I trow, at such devotion might have stopp'd
A moment to inquire what underlay it.
But I remember me, Sebastian
Ne'er wondered at mine own idolatry,
And mine came just as sudden. I had thought
Your quick acceptance from requital sprang.
But now I fear, perhaps you are too us'd
To adoration; too accustomed to't
To question-- 'tis a common thing for you,
Base coin, that you may spend with open hand,
And ne'er miss if you drop it in the street.
Sebastian: I was alone, except for you. No coin
Had I except your purse; no compass but
Your knowledge of our road; no family,
Or so I thought; and in all of the world,
No friend or ally save Antonio,
Who ev'ry moment risk'd his neck for me.
What friend would I have been, to spurn the chance
To free myself from your dependency?
Antonio: 'Tis happy, then, you love Olivia,
So far as you are able, if you thought
Alone of me, and with such charity
When you accepted her.
Sebastian: What would you have?
She is a worthy woman, far beyond
My state in wealth, in rank above my birth,
In beauty my superior, and better
In all sagacities, except in one:
That she doth love me more than I deserve.
You are too good to wish me to betray
So good a lady, or to do her hurt.
Antonio: To wish 't? I only wish I were so good.
But, no, I will not ask it, for I'd not
See in you any havior but the best.
And for that reason-- let it be for that,
And not my pride, for Lord knows I have none
Where you have touched me-- neither will I stoop
To share you with my betters, an you would.
Sebastian: Not if you will not have it so.
Antonio: Well, then.
I'll wish you tranquil wedlock, and be off
As soon's Orsino lifts his hinderance.
Sebastian: But you'll return. Antonio, dear friend--
Say we are friends, if nothing else! Oh, say
You will return-- give me your promise on't!
Antonio: Aught else you ask'd; aught else that I could give
I would; but ask me not to see you wed,
To sit at table with you and your bride,
Sharing a silver plate of dainty meats
With all Molucca's odors redolant,
Pretending that I would not liefer be
Encamp'd beneath one blanket, with one loaf
Between us, and one bottle, for our feast.
I could not, and I will not; no, no more
Than I could guest beneath your roof, and sleep
Alone-- or, company'd, could watch you rise
Before the dawn and creep back to her sheets.
Sebastian: Is that your friendship's price? To throw her o'er--
But, no, you will not have that-- then to swear
To you I'll let her live as chastely wed
As in her maiden days, and continent
To you alone remain? 'Tis cruelty!
Antonio: No price, and no condition. Just the truth.
I know my limits, what I can accept
And what I cannot; and I cannot stay.
Sebastian: No more should I, methinks, if that is how
Antonio: Then fare you well. Maria will
Convey you out.
Antonio: Good day.
Sebastian: My fortune have I bought at too high cost--
My dearest friend, through my dear fortune lost!
Scene I: A street. Enter Curio, with a casket, and nine or ten MEN-AT-ARMS and TORCHBEARERS, with a barrow.
Curio: Now is the very blackest of the night,
Betwixt the false dawn and the true Aurora.
I'll breathe more easy when the palace gates
Are shut behind us. You, and you, and you
Run up ahead and scout the alley-mouths
Before for ambuscados.
First guard: Sir, we will.
Curio: Follow, the rest of you, but not too close.
Reynardo: The better option would have been to run.
The barrow, you: he and his box are mine.
Curio: You have a sailor's stance.
Reynardo: You have a tongue
More ready than your feet, sir; it is clear
You never strode a deck. Now stand, or run.
Second guard: Look to the barrow-- I am hit, not slain.
Third guard: We'll have your blood ten-fold from this one's veins.
Have at him, comrades!
Curio: Stay, the casket! Stay!
Reynardo: I'll have this, and good morrow to you, sirs.
Curio: Pursue him, you; we'll hold these here. Pursue!
Holla, the watch! Holla! Awake, awake!
A reck'ning will there be with these, at least.
Convey them to the Duke. Watchman, awake!
Andrew: Have you ever seen a bear move so quick?
Fabian: No, and never will again, for he's not among the quick now, eh, Cecily?
Toby: Oh, it's a good dog, a most excellent dog, a right dog of a dog of a dog.
Is't a rat, Cecily? Hast found a rat? Hold, lass! Hold, sirrah! What ho, Sir Rat, stand forth; I have her collar; you shan't break her teeth on your buckram.
Reynardo: I thank you, sir; you called her off most timely. May I know to whom I am indebted?
Toby: Sir Toby Belch, at your service, Sir; and there is to be no talk of debts, for I have enough of this foolish knight's that we should never be done emunerating 'em if we started talking of 'em now, not till we'd drunk Neptune's slipper dry. Hold, dog! What were we talking of?
Andrew: My debts, but I will not talk of them if you won't.
Toby: This Sir Rat! No, no debts, Sir Rat. The dog's a good one, aren't you, girl?
Reynardo: That there be no question of debts between us, let me repay mine now. Here-- a small purse, but all I have on my person. Let me give it you, as a token of my gratitude for still having two feet below my knees.
Fabian: No so small a purse as that.
Toby: And I have not so small a thirst! Let's you and us to the alehouse, Sir Rat, we'll drink you right off your feet again.
Fabian: 'Tis dawn, Sir Toby. Let's away home and let the gentleman go his way.
Reynardo: Yes, let me see you home, Sir Toby; and tomorrow I shall pay a call, and pay you my thanks more properly.
Toby: No, no talk of payment; you've paid enough! Where is the purse? I'll keep this, and pay you back in yards of ale. This is not th' alehouse door.
Andrew: And good thing, for the beds in the inn are full of fleas. I'd rather sleep with rats than with fleas; they only bite when you roll over on 'em.
Toby: I know a wench like that. She'll kill me; 'tis dawn.
Curio (off): This is the place-- draw, and after 'em!
Toby: Ho, Cecily, guard us from the Amazon horde!
Reynardo: Good morrow, Sir Toby; sirs; and I'll away.
Toby: Good morrow, Sir Rat!
Oh, the Amazons are out in full force; I feel 'em in my brow, an' their horses too.
Malvolio: I might have known, if the whole town is to be woken in the very sliver of dawn, that you three would be behind it. Is your mistress abed, or is she abroad caterwauling on the roofbeams for sounder sleepers' ears?
Toby: Oh, we've had the rat and the dog-- and the ass, sir knight-- and now is our menagerie complete. Good morrow, gull! Art done with yellow?
Malvolio: Not a bit of it, for my choler rises every moment I must look at you.
Toby: And a sallow liverish face it makes on thee. Hold, Cecily! There's not enough blood in that one to wet your throat. Come, lads, come sirs, leave the gull out with the pigeons. Oh, I could sleep for nine Sundays.
Malvolio: And all the days between, to hear your mistress tell it.
Toby: Hold the dog, lads! Hold the dog, and you, knight, hold my doublet.
And thou, hold still! Weak-livered pinch-lip, stop swaying and fight; my fist has an errand with thy cank'rous face!
Malvolio: And is lost on the way.
Toby: Not lost, sir; your face is out of its gates, frighting children and dogs in the street.
Ho, stand, sirrah! Stand!
Curio: Empty! And this street empty, too, save for four drunkards. Saw you a running man?
Malvolio: Three drunkards, sir; and I saw no one else; but if you are seeking brawlers, they are found.
Andrew: Nay, that was no brawl! Someone gets hit in brawling; I've seen it done.
Curio: Have you seen a thief? A man with foxy nose and chin, armed with a Spanish blade, running along this street.
Fabian: We've seen this jaundiced peacock, and that's the worst threat to the peace the street has seen all morning; and if your honors mean not to arrest him, we'll be taking our host in to his bed, for the shock of this stew-capon's manners have near to given him the apoplecty.
Curio: Yes, take the sot indoors. And you too, good Malvolio, leave this street; it is not safe for men to walk abroad unarmed.
Andrew: You take the dog; I think she scents mutton-dripping on my cuffs.
Malvolio: Sir, I shall, once I have seen these unfortunates safe within doors. Good morrow to you.
Curio: Quite. Come, men, and search the square.
Malvolio: This glove; Sir Toby let it fall. I'll wot
It is Maria's-- and, see, here, the buttons
In form of arrow-heads. 'Twas Toby's gift;
I've seen her wear it. Oh, how fortune smiles
Upon my enterprises, for this night
This purse from the pawnbroker I acquir'd;
It is the double of the one good Mistress Belch
Doth carry. In this purse I'll hide the glove,
Which she cannot deny is hers, for though
She might produce her purse in argument
That this one's not her own, but if she show
A glove the double to this glove, she proves
Beyond a doubt its proper owner. There!
Now to insinuate the lot into
The upstart's room, and let it there descry'd
By the contessa be! Then jealousy,
I'll leave to do its work. To th'Elephant!
Maria: Still abed, and little wonder, for I heard him in the street this morning ere the Matins rang. Oh, if he had not brought the dog, I'd dog him for his hours. Oh, the state of this doublet! Is ale the natural sweat of his pores? Or was he baptized in 't tonight, for he's confirmed himself in a whole calendar of names. Let the rest of his clothes stay on him; I'll not budge him 'till he wakes.
Here, what's this? A purse-- no, no more than a knotted kerchief. If this be Toby's, it's not so light as he claimed; had he winnings tonight, besides a head swollen to bursting?
I've seen this trinket before. This is the emerald collar the old Duchess wore on high occasions of state, afore she died. Oh, drunken dolt! Sot! Thrice-addled natural fool, what does he mean by bringing this into my house? 'Tis stolen for sure, and 'twill be miss'd anon-- and look'd for, and look'd for here! For who would the Duke suspect first but good captain Antonio?
Toby, Sir Husband, awake. Wake! Wake, you mull-minded oaf, you sog-brain'd sippet! Oh, wake! Where got you this kerchief, these jewels?
Toby: T' th' devil with you and let me sleep.
Maria: He'll come for us both an you do not wake! Whose is this? Who stole 't, who gave it you? You son of a worm-bored barrel, wake up and speak!
Toby: Oh, I could sleep till Lammas, I could an' I shall.
Maria: Toby! Husband! Toby! Husband! Oh, it is no use; he's in the very lees of his wits, a' would not wake for the trump of judgment. Oh, perfidy! What am I to do? Go to the Duke myself, and give 'em back? But how to know that Toby's not to blame-- suppose he's suspected; or suppose he's not, till I give reason?
And suppose there is no reason to suspect him; that he came into these all unaware. Well, someone stole 'em, surely. And someone may well be caught and taken and the jewels not found, so long as they're well away from Toby or the pirate. And suppose they never are reclaimed-- why, that being the case, someone else might well happen upon them, and have them broken up and sold in Venice with no one else the wiser.
Oh, but I'll suppose myself to the gallows as quick as to a gondola of ducats! Suppose the Duke's men even now are searching for Antonio? They must not find these gems on me, if they find 'em at all.
I have it! My workbasket, ho-- and here's needle and here's thread; and here's my purse, for this scrap of lawn shouldn't stand up to a good sneeze, let alone a search and seizure. I'll sew a false pocket i' th' lining of this pocket, and sew the necklace in it snug-- but in long stiches, a man's hand, for handy though he be at polishing a candlestick, you would never tell me Antonio's hands have every womanly skill. Oh, it hurts my heart to condemn the poor man so, but the Duke will have him whether he be the man or no, and who am I to set myself against the Duke's word? And Antonio may well be the man, for where was he last night when the others were howling like paynims at the moon? Unheard, that's where, and unseen, and how am I to take such secretiveness? There, that's done 't. (She calls off.) Ho, boy-- fetch me the captain Antonio, but see thou wake'st not the house! Mine husband's abed.
Boy (off): I'll be as silent as the cat.
Maria: Oh, the cat shall be belled soon enough, for with coin inside it will hang and clang just as it ever did-- and so it does. Oh, a bell for a cat and a kid stak'd for a tiger, though never did a tigress wring her claws in such disquietude! Oh, but soft, here he comes.
Antonio: Good morrow, good mine hostess. What occasions such an early summons? I heard such clamour from the street a while since-- is your husband safe return'd?
Maria: Return'd, aye, but his return was the occasion of that clamour, and his safety the occasion of my summoning you, good captain. Mine husband lies abed, sunk so deep in slumber, a will not wake but to say he inclines to sleep till Lammas. It is the drink; sack is sweet enough, is mother's milk to him, but beer on top of sack, and brandy on top of beer, and, quoth Sir Andrew, strong Canary on top of all hath quite o'ertopped him, and toppled him from his reason.
Antonio: 'Twould have toppled a lesser man far sooner; I have never seen so strong a constitution for drink as Sir Toby's.
Maria: Aye, and I would constitute him a sober man, on one day in seven. Therefore I beg you-- will you take this purse of alms to a friar I know, one Hildebrant, who has a cell i' th' close near to San Vincent's chapel. Do you beg him from me to pray today for Sir Toby's soul and his health, and that when he wakes, he wake a sober man, and the state for once so like him that he would cultivate it again.
Antonio: With pleasure, mistress. Consider it done, and I'll add my prayers to his.
Maria: I thank you, Captain. Good morrow t' you.
Antonio: Good morrow, mistress.
Maria: An he find Friar Hildebrant, the old man is too unworldly to touch even the alms; the purse will be recoverable, in a month or so, when the clamour is quieted. An he find him not-- then I am a weak woman, and can expect no better for harbouring a pirate and a thief. Oh, but I would I'd had him beg a prayer for my own soul! And for his own, poor man.
Malvolio: The upstart's lodgings these, in state above
His means, but far below the height his star,
Like to a bonfire spark on Saint John's Eve
Ascending, marked out for his flaxen head.
In fertile earth he's lodg'd; but such a storm
I'll raise as on the mould will lodge him flat,
Break him, and with my nails I'll hackle him.
Or with another's: Here's Maria's glove,
With claws unsheath'd. So small a hand it is,
To do such mischief. Oh, cruel manikin,
Conniving, grasp-tail'd ape of Barbary--
She'll rue the day she rais'd this hand to ape
A better. Now the pocket-- see how well
Accustom'd is the glove to such resort?
Quod erat demonstrandum; 'tis the very
Pattern of her own. But wait, here's coin—
Stay, leave it; someone stirs without; 'twill lend
My narrative verisimilitude.
Viola: My dearest brother, glad I am to see
You were not in the night's adventures harm'd.
But saw you nothing of the fight, here in
The marrow of the town, anent the street
Where Curio defended my lord's gold?
Sebastian: Most maids would speak first of the emeralds
They lost, than of the gold a husband sav'd.
Viola: But I am not most maids; and I retain
Those boyish hopes Cesario taught to me.
But Viola had fear'd Orsino's men,
Their master's rage more deep imbued in them
Than his fraternal amity, might take
Suspicion on you; and that womanly
Solicitude all martial zeal subdues.
Sebastian: Then fear you not, dear heart; in all the night's
Carousals and commotions, all my part
Was running in the street, my rapier drawn,
Beside my fellow-lodgers, till such din
And clamour had we woken, as would drive
An hundred rogues to ground, were they as deaf
As mounting-blocks, and eke unletter'd in
The alphabet of mouths. I nothing saw
Nor heard, except my neighbors in the chase.
Viola: I know not if that pleases me or no.
But soft; Malvolio stays for you. What ho,
Good steward; what news from Olivia?
Malvolio: My lady, sir. My mistress waits upon the duke at present, but she requests me to say she would attend my lord Sebastian at his lodgings in the evening, if he will be present.
Sebastian: Tell her I shall, with all the hospitality my circumstance allows. Well, why stay you? Is there more?
Malvolio: Nothing more, sir. Good day, and to you, my lady.
Viola: You smile not at your lady's invitation.
Sebastian: 'Tis lack of sleep, no more. And what of you?
My lady waits upon your lord, and not
A gleam of jealousy do your eyes show.
Viola: They are too red with your same malady;
Since false dawn has the duke not ceas'd to rage.
I hope Olivia's counsel might evoke
A gentler humor in my lord, which my
Entreaties fail'd in; for the clamour of
The chase has stopp'd his ears 'gainst clemency.
I came instead to warn you, he'll not bend.
Sebastian: To warn me? It is sweet of you, but why
Should I have come afoul of your lord Duke?
Think you I've turn'd to highway robbery?
Viola: Or guilty company, and to the Duke
A public house were company enough
To make accomplices of all therein.
Tartarus' gate the miscreant might not
Embrace, should he suspect the very devil
Of harb'ring him; I fear me for that wretch.
Sebastian: Your mercy credits you, but let it not
Such agitation stir. Why look you so?
Viola: The Duke's command is that Antonio
Be ta'en where'er he's found.
Sebastian: He cannot be
The architect of this affair.
Viola: Is 't faith
That moves your tongue, or is 't experience?
Sebastian: Faith, marry, and experience, and that
I know him, know he'd never hazard not
His freedom only, but my word and name
On such a perilous adventure, no,
No matter how his wrath 'gainst me were stirr'd.
Viola: Or 'gainst Orsino? I am gratified
You have such faith in him. I hope he proves
As worthy of 't as I would like to think him.
Do tell Antonio what I have said,
Antonio: I'll bear your message, good my lady; I
Believe I have some commerce with the man.
Viola: And what reply will he return?
Antonio: Just this:
That though he's innocent in yesternight's
Despoilment of Orsino's goods, nor is
He so enamour'd of Illyria
As he would stay, when it so little holds
Of welcome for him, cheer, or constancy.
Viola: Your caution heartens me. Good day to you.
Sebastian: No constancy, no cheer? I would return
Friendship for friendship, loyalty for love;
I would my fortune share with you before
All others. Your beneficence to me,
When friendless were we both, but for ourselves,
I would repay in ev'ry coin my hoard
Of reputation, rank, and family
Emburse to me. If that be not enough
Of welcome for you in Illyria,
You are a most demanding customer.
Antonio: Such talk of payment makes me wonder how
You valued those demonstrances of love
That swell'd your purse and overbrimm'd your lips,
And which I more than rubies treasurèd.
If you, after such profligacy, would
My debtor count yourself, then fill this purse
With such devoted utterance as once
You made me. Stock my coffer with your words,
That, like Aeolus' hide, 'twill speed my heart
Whene'er I open it.
My ev'ry word to you has ever been
In honest candor minted, with the seal
Of mine own heart upon it stamp'd. If now
My words are become base to you, 'tis not
Of their worth any fault, but rather of
The coiners who do leaden promises
In falseness tender for affection's gold.
Draw from your mem'ry's counting-house my words,
If you would hear them o'er; they do not rust.
My tongue is of th'unalloyed aureate.
Bite, if you doubt, and see.
Antonio: I know full well
How yielding is your tongue, though now it rings
Less gold than brazen.
Sebastian: An its clang displease,
I cannot tune it sweeter. Take your purse,
If you will nothing take that I can give.
Antonio: No, say not nothing. One kiss I would have,
One last, then we are quit, and all your debt
To me discharged, all balances restored.
Sebastian: The balance tips to you; your pauper I,
For I so many kisses in that one
Have spent, that at your parish I must beg
An alms of kisses.
Antonio: Aye, and spend them where?
Sebastian: I'd none to spare, an you did bankrupt me
With more such kisses. Would you have me be
Your almsman truly, sweet Antonio?
As dearly as you hold them, would you take
My words of love as rent, your tiring find
In my embrace, and all your sustenance
In kisses from my pyrite chalice sup?
For golden words that memory keeps bright
Will tarnish in the cold of poverty
And solitude and toil. Is that your will?
Antonio: Your words persuade, yet I would stop them still.
Sebastian: Sweet friend, I pray you, no. Take back your purse
And go your errand. I concede your way
Was wiser, not to tempt ourselves.
Antonio: And yet,
Now I know you are temptable, I would
Abandon wisdom for a folly shared.
Stay, for now I'm wise; for now, adieu.
Sebastian: An you be wise, my friend, God speed you hence,
And grant me in my wisdom confidence.
Scene I: A room in the Duke's palace. Enter Orsino, Viola, Oliva, and Valentine.
Valentine: My lord, the prisoners taken in yesternight's robbery would speak with you.
Orsino: Bring them forth, good Valentine, and Curio as well. I'll hear these reprobates' confession, ere the law's penance end our audience.
Olivia: And yet, be merciful! For as the hairshirt better becomes the diadem'd head than the headsman's hood, so should their sincere contrition tug at your scales heavier than retribution's craving.
Viola: And if it do not, then word of their escap'd compatriot may tip the balance.
Orsino: Fear not; the truant necklace is my creance, to call me back to Justice's hand; I shall not pursue these miscreants' chastisement beyond all hope of its repossession.
Valentine: My lord, here's Curio and the prisoners.
Orsino: Good Curio, what intelligence from these wretches?
Curio: No word, my lord, save that they would speak to your lordship first of all; but in that resolution they are firm.
Orsino: Well, sirrahs? What have you to say? If you will cheat the gibbet, speak like honest men.
First thief: My lord, I have never claimed to be an honest man, but as I believe I am a clever man and hope to be an old one, I had never taken this hire had I known it was your lordship's coin would provide my wages
Second thief: Aye, as he says. A simple charge it was, a box of ducats to be split three ways, and the first we ever heard about dukes and palaces was the watch-word outside your lordship's gates.
Orsino: And whose charge, sirrah? Whose fee didst thou set above the laws of this realm and the one above; who absconded with the prize of my treasury?
First thief: One whose hire would see me in ale for twenty year after the last groat were spent, could I scape with a mouth to drink it with and a tongue to tell the tale: one Reynardo, whom they call the fox.
Viola: Reynardo the Fox! I have heard tell of him— the man who plundered the mint of Messina of twenty thousand crowns, and fled pursuit in the prince's own war galleon. Is it the same man, think you, my lord?
Orsino: It is the very man; his exploits are no less infamous on this shore. Reynardo it was who found hire with a ship of the Veneto, in our late wars, until his greed for the Doge's gold outstripp'd the Doge's wage; Reynardo's black-hulled sloop carried on the pillage of our havens and the burning of my ships, under his mate and successor and my inescapable tribulation; aye, vixen, and your brother's bosom-friend!
Viola: I beg you, be not rash! Leap not to judgment!
Orsino: To judgment, aye, whither I should have leapt the instant I had the reprobate in my grasp. Valentine!
Valentine: My lord?
Orsino: Let soldiers stand ready to sift this town from gate to gutter for the fox Reynardo; but firstly, and softly as they may, let five or six be sent to Tower Square, to his lodgings in Sir Toby's house, to arrest the notorious privateer Antonio; let me know the instant he is taken.
Viola: My lord!
Orsino: And if you find him not, inquire of one Sebastian where he may be found.
Viola: My lord, you would not suspect my brother!
Olivia: Good my lord, if you would ask aught of him, then send for him openly; he would not stand in the way of your justice.
Viola: Call you this justice? And think you he would have any part in 't? I would not marry one I thought so ready to betray.
Orsino: Cease baying, women, unless you have a scent of this fox, or his cub. Come, Curio, let's away.
Valentine: My ladies, come away; the duke is set upon his task, and I must be to mine.
Viola: He shall be set upon my brother and his friend like a very hound, an he not see reason. Peace, I go, I go.
Malvolio: My lady, I know not whether to lay the matter before you, or keep it to myself; it is your concern, and not mine, but I would yet be steward of 't, for I fear it will concern you most gravely.
Olivia: I pray you tell me at least what your own gravity concerneth, for I can see that your stewardship of this concern has made you grave beyond even your custom.
Malvolio: I cannot conceal it, my lady; I am concerned over your betrothal, or rather over your betrothed.
Olivia: Over Sebastian? Why, what has befallen him?
Malvolio: No harm, my lady; nothing displeasing to himself, indeed nothing he did not court.
Olivia: Why, then what occasions such gravity?
Malvolio: It is what he courts, my lady, and where, and how. In point of fact, my lady, if I may speak plainly, it is whom.
Olivia: I see an end to this discourse, and not a congenial one. Say on.
Malvolio: It grieves me to say it, my lady.
Olivia: Your grief will be greater if you do not. Speak!
Malvolio: If your ladyship will have it so. This very day, after I had your errand accomplished, I lingered at the Elephant to see the lady Viola, who attended upon him, safe away. No sooner had she gone— not seeing me, for not wanting to intrude upon the lady's attentions, I had kept myself to the shadow of a doorpost— than Sebastian came and in the street met one who likewise waited there in quiet circumspection: your ladyship's once waiting-maid, now Mistress Belch.
Olivia: Maria? Oh, but why should he not speak with her? Belike he had some message for her lodger Antonio.
Malvolio: Mayhap, my lady; but if so, it was a whispered message, and a long, and, spoke low into her ear, it brought a blush to her cheek that welled up into the very roots of her hair.
Olivia: And what said she to him?
Malvolio: That I know not, neither, for she spoke low, and hid her face in the collar of his doublet, but they had lengthy conversation, my lady. And at the close of it, he did beg a glove off her hand— I say that, but it is a mere surmise; I could swear only that he made eloquent plea with his eyes while he murmured low, and he clasped her hand as would not let go, and pressed of kisses eighteen or more— I will not aver that it was a full score, but of eighteen I am certain— into her palm, and one more upon her wrist, just there, when he undid the button. And she for her part withdrew her hand— easily; I had not noticed what small hands she has— and let him keep the empty vessel.
Olivia: Keep it, you say. Where— in his sleeve, in his breast?
Malvolio: Why, neither, for she took the purse from her belt and gave it him, as she were making a gift; and he lifted the glove to her lips for one more buss, which she gave, and a dozen more in charity. And then he folded the glove inside the purse and fastened the purse at his waist; and still wearing it, away he went with the maid— no, I misspeak, with Mistress Belch— on his arm, hanging close on his shoulders like ivy on a gate-post.
Olivia: Why, it is intolerable! It is unbelievable! If I believed it, I should not tolerate it; I should abominate him, repudiate him-- but, no, it is untrue, it must be.
Malvolio: I say only what I saw, my lady.
Olivia: And from any man less upright, I should call it vile slander! But your eyes deceived you; they must have.
Malvolio: I grant, I may have witnessed some small deception. But if 't ease your mind, my lady, go within and make a search for Mistress Belch's tokens.
Olivia: Nay, I would not show him so little trust.
Malvolio: But contrarily, my lady, you should show that you trust to find only what justifies your trust.
Olivia: Oh, see, he comes! Away, quickly; I would speak to him privily.
Sebastian: My dear Olivia, well met indeed.
Pray come within; what hospitality
I have, I'd show you, though I fear 'tis scant,
And ill befitting your gentility.
Olivia: Let it not fret you; if your poverty
In any wise distress me, it is not
In want of trinkets from your hand, in lack
Of banquets, baubles, cagèd nightengales
And glass-forc'd roses hung about my door--
Such trifling wants, mine own substance fulfills.
It is your pride, my sweet, that vexes me,
That closes tight the hands that I would fill
With any gift you'd ask.
Sebastian: And bars my tongue
From asking? Dearest lady, you must know
There nothing worthier lies within your gift
Than your own self; and that is gift enow.
Olivia: And if to play the suitor pleases me,
To lavish gifts where I may see them worn
To good advantage, wooing where I've won?
Would you that joy deny me? No? Then let
Me some small token give-- what would you have?
Sebastian: Whatever it most pleases you to give.
Olivia: Something that bears my touch, then-- here, the glove
From off mine hand. Will 't please you carry it?
Sebastian: It will, my dear.
Olivia: You smile no more than that?
Sebastian: How should I smile, to show my gratitude?
Your token charms me, and I thank you for 't.
Olivia: But something else would charm you more; or else
My charms to you rest elsewhere than my hand.
Where do they lie? Where does your fancy fall?
The slipper off my foot I'd give, the pins
From out my coilèd hair, the kerchief from
My throat; if these your eyes do not excite,
Here under less discriminating eyes
I may the zone not from my gown undo,
But from my waist, here where it hangs, my purse
Will I do off and offer-- Ah, I see
The blood suffuse your countenance; here, take.
It is my gift; will you accept it not? I know
You have none of your own; for I recall
It was a purse's loan that led your friend
Antonio to his first arrest--
Sebastian: His first?
His only, surely, in Illyria?
Olivia: Perhaps, an he's left town by now; the duke
Doth seek him-- has he not yet question'd you
About him? And will you not take my gift?
Sebastian: Forgive me my distraction, lady. I'll accept
Whate'er it pleases you to give, with thanks.
Malvolio: Your ladyship! See what I have found, here in his rooms! You, sir, do you deny knowledge of this purse?
Sebastian: No, steward, not at all. Why shak'st thy head?
Olivia, you are pale; why look you so?
Olivia: That purse, I recognize it; 'tis Maria's.
How came it to your chamber? Tell me, quick!
Sebastian (aside): What shall I say? It is Antonio's,
But dare I to receiving him confess
When by his persecutors I am sought?
(to Olivia): I swear, my lady, I know not; I found
It in my lodgings. But good Mistress Belch
Has given me no tokens, and I none
Have begged, or would have taken. 'Tis the truth.
Olivia: Malvolio, you said there was a glove.
What's in the purse?
Malvolio: Three ducats, seven groats.
Olivia: 'Tis on his person, then. No, I'll not look,
I will not touch you. I need no more proof
Beyond your face; for all your diligence
And application to the practice, you
An ill-accomplish'd liar still remain.
I'll take my pocket, sir; you have your own.
Sebastian: Olivia! My lady! She has gone.
Malvolio, what do you know of this?
Malvolio: I know only what I have seen today, sir; and what I have seen appears to me as the barest deception any man has ever dared practice on the countess. Your pardon, sir; I must attend her ladyship, lest she do herself some mischief in her distraction. I believe this is yours, and may you have joy in it. Good day, sir.
Sebastian: Yes, joy indeed; this wretched purse is all
This much-miscarry'd day has left me with!
Olivia in tears-- not for this toy,
But for my heart's own infidelity
Whose signs she read upon my guilty brow.
And now Antonio arrested, and myself
For my connexion to him by the duke
Sought out, no doubt for last night's ambuscade.
In that, at least, I'm innocent; and I trust
Antonio too must be; perhaps 'tis not
Too late to see him safely on his way,
And after plead his case and clear his name.
If it belong to Mistress Belch, I'd know
How came it to Antonio, and to me.
Viola: I cannot credit that my brother would
Deceive you, not with any woman, least
Of all with your own erstwhile waiting-maid.
It is not in his nature to be false.
Olivia: Then why would he not look me in the eye?
Why blanch'd he when I ask'd, how came the purse
Into his chambers; and, when first I made
The offer of mine own, why did he flinch
And start away from my outreachèd hand?
Whence come these shews of guilty conscience, but
From hidden dalliance? Oh, perfidy,
Did ever man's heart scape your tyranny?
Viola: If you so low esteem men's constancy,
Then veil your face, and from their company
Withdraw yourself again.
Olivia: Aye, and again
The first I lift my veil, let fly my heart
To batter at some sightly stripling's breast?
Above all others, you should know I am
Not fashion'd for an eremetic life.
Viola: But are you made to trust that heart to men,
If you believe them all perfidious?
Had he your partiality return'd,
Cesario would a shabbier deceit
Have practic'd on you, e'en than you'd expect.
Olivia: Would he? I' faith, I am not certain of 't.
Viola: Such trust is flattery itself, from one
So chary of it, and yet I maintain
Cesario never would have constant been
To any woman. Though if any face
Were beauteous enough to hold his eye,
'Twere yours; aye, and your manner sweet enow.
Come, let us have some music. Fool, a song!
Feste: Why, cheerily-- if, pardee, 'tis a song of good cheer you will have, my lady. I can a most dolorous dirge intone if you will have a love song instead.
Viola: No, no-- we would liefer have good cheer than love; is 't not so, my lady?
Olivia: Marry, if we must choose; but know you no songs of love's felicities, good Feste?
Feste: Aye, but there's no cheer in them; them that have not felicity nor love take no solace in hearing of them that do, and them that have one but not the other lose the joy in what they have when they hear of what they lack.
Olivia: And what of those who have both?
Feste: Oh, I have never sung for 'em, my lady; they pass their hours in better employment than listening to a fool.
Olivia: Today, I have no joy in love and no trust in joy; prithee sing me a song of both, for I have no felicity to lose.
Feste: A happy tune it is, to afflict the heart and dishearten the ear.
(Sings): No maiden's eyes I've known
Than my Joan's brighter;
No marble was than my Joan's brow
O mistress, come to your door
I'll sing you low
I'll sing you high
And dance with me a measure more
No dove were ever to its mate
Than my Joan truer;
No maiden was than Joan more sweet
To her wooer.
O mistress, true will I bide
I'll sing you low
I'll sing you high
So long as you stay by my side
Olivia: Oh, it is a fortunate man who can sing such a song.
Feste: Oh, a man of ill hap may sing it, but only the most fortunate of boys.
Viola: Fortunate to have a lady to sing it to, so young?
Feste: Fortunate to have the breath for the longest note and the belly for the deepest; while a man who has the highest note may reach it through god's gift, or through ill hap indeed.
Olivia: Then I'll not ask which you have, good fool; but I'll ask for another song. Come within, and sing me more. Viola?
Viola: I'd have a song of good cheer next. The fool is right; there is no cheer for me in such songs.
Antonio: Halloa! Is any here within? I seek one Hildebrant, a grey friar of this street.
Hildebrant: Then you have found him; and if one doddering mendicant is all you seek, count yourself happy indeed. Your servant, sir, if you will tell me what service my poor self might do you.
Antonio: Why, none but to accept this purse of alms, and to hear the message that appertains to it.
Hildebrant: Oh, that I may do, that I may do most expeditiously. Say on, sir; I am not quite deaf yet; so say on, say on.
Antonio: Mistress Maria Belch, the countess Olivia's waiting-maid that was, begs that you pray for Sir Toby, her husband.
Hildebrant: Sir Toby-- not Toby Belch? The same-- and married now, and to little Maria! Why, that is a happy thing; I will add their blessings to my prayers, most gladly.
Antonio: Pray you especially for Sir Toby's sobriety.
Hildebrant: Why, hath he any? That is a change.
Antonio: It is that that Mistress Belch prays for, Friar; and that that she would have your prayers for as well.
Hildebrant: Aha, I see, I see indeed, yes. If she would have sobriety in a husband, I fear my poor prayers may not preserve her from disappointment. Little Maria; she hath known the knight long, hath she not?
Antonio: She married him in sickness and in health, Friar; but you cannot fault her for wanting one more than the other.
Hildebrant: Well, then let her pray, in stupor and in whatever other humours may yet unfold i' th' man, and I shall do the same, and in time, in time the burden of our prayers may reach the one who holds Sir Toby's liver in his fief.
Antonio: In time, good Friar? Marks He not the sparrow's fall?
Hildebrant: Oh, the good Lord hath heard; but when He made Sir Toby with free will, He made him a willful man indeed. But the landlord of the Arrow and Bird, now, may come more forcefully 'twixt the knight and his cups, think you not?
Antonio: You do the Lord's work, sir; and He made you a shrewd workman. Here, let me add mine own silver to Mistress Belch's, for as full as this purse be, 'tis oddly light. Why, and here's the reason.
Hildebrant: It is a woman's glove.
Antonio: It is Maria's; I recognize it.
Hildebrant: Were she not a woman new-married, I would think you had made an admirer of her, sir.
Antonio: More like, she is missing it even now. Well, I'll away to mine host's house and return it, and the purse as well. Good day to you, Friar.
Hildebrant: And to you, sir, and to you. May I know your name, sir?
Antonio: I am called Antonio, of the Veneto; I am a sailor, or am when I am not upon the land.
Hildebrant: As are we all, sir, excepting those happy saints whose sanctity empowers them with flight. As are we all-- I beg your pardon. Did you say, sir, that you are Antonio?
Antonio: I am, and have been since my christening.
Hildebrant: Oh, but this is a luckless hap indeed! Or, in happier light, a lucky hap, for here am I to warn to you.
Antonio: To warn me, Friar? Of what?
Hildebrant: The soldiers of Duke Orsino do seek one Antonio, the lodger, as I recall me now, of Sir Toby; he is to be arrested as accomplice to yestere'en's robbery in the streets. You are searched for e'en as we speak, sir.
Antonio: I might have known the Duke's clemency would not last. I thank you, Friar, for your warning; here's silver again.
Hildebrant: Oh, keep it, keep it; you'll have greater need of 't than I, I should think.
Antonio: Then take my thanks, and I will no more hazard your cell's tranquility on mine own parlous self.
Hildebrant: Nay sir, go not now; 'tis full light still, and soldiers came through this street not an hour since. Rather, let me go, and leave you to some asylum here until darkness fall, and then you may depart in whatever peace my prayers might secure.
Antonio: Oh, excellent friar, whatever I have done to merit such generosity, I shall make a practice of from this day forward.
Hildebrant: Keeping within doors will be your best practice for the moment; I'll away meanwhiles to the Arrow and Bird, to say what I may say and hear what I may hear.
Antonio: God go with you, brother.
Hildebrant: I doubt it not, I doubt it not. Good luck!
Antonio: The duke his soldiers search for me; I am
In all last night's adventures innocent,
But none did see me in my bed; none can
Aver he saw Antonio elsewhere
Than robbing of Orsino's caravan.
So then away, if none here can my name
And reputation burnish! What have I,
Except a narrow room in Bedlam's twin,
A creaking window on a crookèd square
Where dreary rustics gawk at tow'rs, so call'd,
No taller than the topmost yard of my
First worm-bor'd cog, and every citizen
Looks sidewise at me in the stinking streets.
Why stay within Illyria's dreary gates?
To see him married? Better cheer I'd find
Back in Orsino's prison. If he smile
And blithely shake my hand, that blissful smile
Will blot the very light out of the sky;
If he show but the shews of gaiety
And forced observances, I'll smile no more
Within my heart than doth Sebastian.
Oh, wretched heart, to be so overthrown
By one mere youth, no comlier in face
Or form than any dozen I might see
E'en in Illyria's tiresome avenues!
He does not lead the pack in cleverness
Or boldness, nor in any virtue, save
Alone in frank and plain transparency.
There is in him no native guile, only
The hard-taught lesson of the world: to watch
For it in others; and that discipline
Comes so unnaturally to his mind
As casts his proper ingenuity
Into a heightened lustre, as the shade
Doth amplify the lantern's luminence.
Why stay, only to see that brilliance dimm'd
By necessary artifice and craft?
Why watch vexation cloud his limpid brow?
There's nothing for me in Illyria
Except his clear and simple honesty.
If that be not mine, then forget repute,
Orsino's charges, and my character--
Ere th'Aurora's breaking, I shall break
Free of Illyria, of Sebastian,
And my entramm'ling heartstrings. Come the night,
Come heartbreak, notoriety, and flight!
Scene I: The street before Sir Toby's house. Enter Reynardo.
Reynardo: Here it is; the house of the drunken knight on whom I hid the necklace. If he be not an honest man-- and on my long experience of dishonesty, I would wager an hundred carcanets he be as little honest as I-- then lie the gems within still, waiting for our happy reunion. Oh, it shall not be long, my friends; the night is dark and the street drowses, and there is not a lock or bar that will not bend to my mastery in time. To work! The vespers sounds the footpad's cockcrow, but this hen-coop will not wake for the fox.
Sebastian: I see no light within; perhaps Antonio has learned of his danger, and fled. But light I see without-- it is the starlight, on the tools of some last workman late ending his day. Or no, no workman that, unless Mistress Belch hath called a locksmith. Thief! Thief at Sir Toby's doors!
Reynardo: Thief, aye! (He drops his tools and runs at Sebastian.) Hold, sirrah! See him there-- after him! Thief, thief!
Sebastian: Not I, not I! There, there he goes-- not I!
See him, behind you, fellows!
First man-at-arms: Think'st us so undiscerning, sirrah! That feint was old ere your granddam's dam gave suck.
Second man-at-arms: Certes, the villain's new to his work, for I've not seen him before.
Curio: And he'll not live to make journeyman if he learns no better than that. Come, rogue; let's see what you have stolen from the knight's house.
Maria: What din and discordancy is this? Will you wake the dead with this clangour-- or, what is harder, wake mine husband?
Curio: Mistress Belch, this man was apprehended at house-breaking.
Maria: Why, it is Sebastian, the countess Olivia's betrothed. What are you about, sir, battering into honest women's houses?
Andrew: Aye, answer her, fellow! What are you battering women about for?
Curio: There's nothing on him but this purse, and coin within it.
Andrew: That is Mistress Maria's. Thief! Caught with your hand in this good woman's pocket!
Sebastian: Mistress Belch, good Curio, I swear I am no thief. That purse, I found, in my lodging-house; I came only to return it.
Maria: Thief and liar, then! Oh, what will my lady Olivia say?
Sebastian: Ask Malvolio. The steward did find it in my rooms; he showed it to Olivia and me. Please, Curio, an you question him he'll say 'tis true.
Curio: An he do, it proves only that you had it earlier, not that you came by 't honestly. 'Tis strangely heavy, for being so empty.
Maria: Malvolio did see this purse? And in your rooms?
Sebastian: He accused me before my lady of having it from you as a love-token.
Andrew: And he would, for he's a bilious-minded obvert.
Maria: Curse me for a weak-willed woman, giving in to your importunings!
Andrew: You can't mean Malvolio had the right o' it?
Sebastian: Mistress Belch, what are you about?
Curio: Aha! It is the ducal carcanet! See, how it was hid within the lining of this pocket.
Maria: Beast! And I thought it was only myself you coveted; oh, good Curio, he beguiled me, he wheedled it from me, I swear I never knew what he intended with 't. He has deceived me, oh, as sure as he's deceived Olivia. Brute, wretch, honey-mouthed viper!
Sebastian: Mistress! She lies, sir; I had never seen that purse until Malvolio found it, nor that necklace until just this moment.
Curio: Take him in irons to the Duke's palace; we'll have the truth o' this affair from him. And you, Mistress Belch, come you as well; you are not yet i' th' clear.
Andrew: Someone is a thief; that's clear, for something was stolen-- the jewels. And someone hid 'em in Maria's purse; that's clear, for there they were. And someone beguiled Maria, for she must have been out of her wits to say she were beguiled, for there were never a truer beagle-bitch than she. But no, stay, that if that much be true, that she were beguiled, then where's the deception?
Fie, I have no head for syllogisms when the sun is down; my mind is a very heliotrope.
Toby: Aye, a sovereign remedy for insomnia. Why do you prattle in the street, Sir Knight?
Andrew: Oh, I could prattle in doors as easy.
Toby: Knight, it is late and my head poundeth fit to wake Endymion; or in point of fact, to waken a drunkard, which it hath done. Tell me why you stand i' th' street at mid-night with the doors wide open and your nightgown on.
Andrew: The duke's men have put Olivia's lover in chains for sewing up your wife's pocket around the collar of the duchess-to-be, but she doth claim she was beguiled and he argues back that Malvolio called it a love-token, and meseemeth that the fox is still loose in the city, and that pirate fellow as well.
Toby: I knew 'twould happen, he's gone mad at last. Or else I'm dreaming still; and in either wise, there's nothing for it but to put us both to bed. Come inside, knight, before the moon addle your single wit.
Andrew: Oh, I fear 'tis addled already.
Toby: Come, heliotrope; sleep's a panacea.
First guard: Well met; saw'st thou the cause o' th' late commotion?
Second guard: Aye, and a rare spectacle it was. Curio and his guards took a burglar in his work, in Tower Square, and his doxy as well.
First guard: Alas, have they snared the Fox, then? I'd hoped for a chance at him.
Second guard: Hush, thou mayst yet have it-- see'st thou that fellow?
First guard: Oh, there's a slippery look to that one. Hold, sirrah! Who goes there, and on what business?
Antonio: No business but mine own, sirs.
First guard: What are you, then, that goes about your own business in the night's darkest watch?
Antonio: A sailor, and one who would be quit of Illyria if you would let me pass.
Second guard: Your name, sailor?
Second guard: 'Tis late to seek your ship, Roderigo; and there's no odor of sack nor civet hangs about you. Turn out your pockets, if your business be honest.
Antonio: And if it be not, would you have me keep them in? But see, I've nothing beyond a day's necessities. A purse, half full of coin--
Second guard: And one more, half-conceal'd within your doublet.
Antonio: Nearly empty-- my paltry winnings at the dicing-table, that is all.
First guard: A lady's glove; the tale unfolds. No fear, sir; there's silver enough here to buy discretion.
Second guard: Stay, this purse is the match of the one Curio found the necklace conceal'd in.
First guard: There's nothing hid within this one.
Second guard: Naught but one glove, for a narrow small hand. The chit the thief employed i' th' square was a wee thing, with hands no bigger. Sailor, what's your name, truly? Is 't Reynardo? Have we caught the Fox?
Antonio: What matters it? Will you not send me to Orsino, whether I say yea or nay?
Second guard: To his captain, aye.
Antonio: Then no, you have let the Fox go again to ground. I am only that Antonio the Duke seeks, for no good reason but rank partiality.
First guard: Antonio the pirate! 'Tis almost as good.
Second guard: On with you, then; the Duke will hold court early this morrow.
Viola: Sebastian in chains! Say 'tis not so.
You cannot think my brother so corrupt,
Vile, and contemptible as he would steal
His sister's bridal raiment in the street.
What must you think of me, if you believe
Me sprung from such a varlet's self-same root!
Orsino: I know he did not take the carcanet
In highway robbr'y; nor is that the charge
On which I hold him. But no lawful act
Deliver'd him that necklace; and I'll not
Wink at such traffic in ill-gotten goods,
Not if the culprit mine own brother were.
Viola: Nor will he be, an you release him not.
Valentine: Forgive me, my lord, but you did ask to see the countess and her man directly they were arrived.
Orsino: Yes, yes, 'tis to the good.
Olivia: Is it indeed,
To roust us from our beds before the dawn,
No reason given? Sir, for courtesy
An explanation, at the very least,
Viola: Then allow me to explain.
Sebastian, my brother, sits in irons
Below, accus'd of intercourse with thieves.
Orsino: Accus'd, aye, by the evidences of
The necklace, found on his own person, sewn
Into the purse of your once maid, Maria;
And by that wench's lips, who did avow
That, for to make a witless messenger
Of her, he hath seduc'd her.
Olivia: She speaks true.
Viola: Must one transgression compass all the rest?
E'en if he's play'd you false, what follows from 't,
But that he is a man, and fallible?
Malvolio: My lord duke, if I may. When my lady and I called upon Sebastian at his lodgings yesterday, I saw Mistress Belch's purse within his rooms. No necklace saw I, but if 'twas well hidden, then I cannot swear it was not there; and if 'twas not there, then that proves only that he had not hid it yet.
Olivia: His face proved all that needed proof; he blanch'd
And spoke his bald excuses to my shoes.
Orsino: If he be recreant to you, my lady,
It argues ill for his fidelity
To law, Illyria, or mine own rule.
Viola: How in one breath can you of falseness speak,
And in the next condemn a man you not
A day ago were pleas'd to kinsman call?
Fie then upon you both-- here is the ring
Your lordship gave me; with your carcanet
Preserve it, sith one of my faithless line
You surely cannot trust to keep it safe.
Orsino: Sweet Viola! Do follow, Valentine;
Detain her not too close, but certify
She come to no misfortune.
Valentine: Sir, I go.
Olivia: There goes an ardent spirit. In despite
Of how Sebastian wrong'd me, still I must
Admire how constant is Cesario.
Orsino: You too? 'Tis easy to forget
That stout heart beats within a woman's breast.
Olivia: Think you? I cannot disregard her form
Orsino: Think you that she'll return?
Olivia: If you condemn her brother, not a chance.
Orsino: I would be merciful in judgment, but
If he be guilty in this, I cannot
Let him scape justice for an hundred sisters.
Olivia: And you are right, to love your city more
Than your intended, howe'er brave she be.
Orsino: I had that love forgotten, in large part,
Until Cesario recall'd me from
My swoon. Would I could deputize that maid.
Olivia: She'll wear neither your liv'ry nor your ring
Unless she prove myself, Malvolio
And you mistaken in Sebastian.
Orsino: I know; but I will put off such grave thoughts
Until the dawn, that blushes on the crown
Of yonder hill, has stretched herself down from
Her bed, and lighted on the valley floor.
My lady, let me offer better cheer,
At least for that short space. Will you away
To break your fast with me?
Olivia: Aye, gladly, sir.
Orsino: Then come-- and you, my good Malvolio.
Malvolio: I follow presently.
Is this? The upstart lover from her breast
Is cast out in digrace and enmity;
Now should misrule her reason overthrow.
But her unmaster'd heart, her heartsick head
Doth master, now the upstart's banishèd!
Curio: When he hath question'd Mistress Belch, the Duke
Will come to question you; until then, bide
And think upon remorse and penitence.
Sebastian: Antonio, is 't you? This cell is dark;
I cannot see your face.
Antonio: Sebastian, aye,
'Tis I; and aye, 'tis dark; but you and I
Together in the dark have lain before
And come through to the morn.
Sebastian: Speak not to me
Of hardships overcome; this present darkness
Will not abate for all your easeful words.
Antonio: You'd have my silence?
Sebastian: Your confession, rather,
Or of remorse some word.
Antonio: Then do believe
I am remorseful for my overhaste,
In leaving you with no farewells. No strength
Would I have had to turn away, had I
For e'en a leavetaking return'd to you;
And I would not have further you or me
Endanger'd with too lengthy a delay.
Sebastian: 'Tis late for such nice scrupling.
Antonio: Well, I had
A quieter departure hop'd to make.
Sebastian: No doubt; I'd have intended nothing else
In your place-- no, but stay, I'd not have been
In such a place. How long had you design'd
To make your dupe of me, to use me so?
Had you such aspirations e'en before
You follow'd me, against my wishes, hither?
Antonio: My dupe? Sweetest Sebastian--
Sebastian: Aye, your gull,
Your mule, your pigeon, your menagerie
Entire! Orsino's necklace was sewn in
The purse you dropp'd within my lodgings!
Sebastian: 'Tis Mistress Belch's role that puzzles me.
Did you her accomplicity attain
With honey'd words such as you spoke to me?
Did your proficient tongue make her the same
Observances of love, as made to me?
Antonio: That would be no mean feat; she hath not your
Endowments, to inspire such demonstration.
Sebastian: Think not with such demonstrances again
To sway me.
Antonio: Very well; you can admit
No explanation for so dread a crime,
I see that. Would it make one whit to my
Confession, how I did this thing, or why?
If you will hear my sins alone, then hear
What you will.
Sebastian: Touch me not.
Antonio: My manacles
Permit it not.
Sebastian: Then do not strain yourself
To slip your shackles, for mine heart is lock'd
In fetters stronger; you'll not touch it more.
Jailr: More quiet, there, unless you'd have cause for racket.
Scene I: A room in Orsino's palace. Enter Olivia, Malvolio, and Feste.
Malvolio: Good my lady, would you rather not return home, and allow me to bide for news? The wheels of the duke's justice will not turn the faster for your nearness.
Olivia: Nay, Malvolio; I will stay.
Malvolio: Then perhaps the fool should give you a song? Your dedication, my lady, is laudable, but you must not o'erburden yourself with care. It cannot do you good, my lady, to sit and brood over the wrongs done you by your intended and your maid.
Olivia: I do not brood on my wrongs, Malvolio; I wait for word on the arrest of the Fox, and hope that this matter may soon be brought to bed, with justice tempered by mercy.
Feste: My lady, you are merciful indeed if you still hope to bring Sebastian's matter to bed.
Olivia: Go to, fool; this is grave business.
Feste: 'Tis like to be, if the Duke be not more merciful e'en than your ladyship.
Olivia: And for that reason, I will wait here. Howe'er they may have wrong'd me, I would not see the full gravity of the law weigh upon Sebastian and Maria, where a lighter hand, or light words, might spare them.
Feste: Oh, leave you the light words to me, my lady; I have an attic full of 'm.
Malvolio: Thine attic's so light with 'em, thou canst not walk a straight line, fool.
Feste: And your bilges o'erlap your strakes with choler enough to o'erflow your collar and o'erspill your lap.
Olivia: Enough of choler, and of light words.
Malvolio: Your pardon, lady. But the fool is right in one thing; my choler does rise to think of how those you trusted have betrayed you. I hope my lady will remember, at least, how I have stood by her? How I alone have remained true, through trials that surely would have driven a lady of less fortitude mad?
Feste: As he would surely know, my lady.
Olivia: Enough of this! Malvolio, 'tis true, you have ever taken my part, as you have ever taken against Maria; you are steadfast in your loyalties and your grudges. But I would be as even-handed in this matter as I might; and therefore, good Feste, will you not seek to bring Maria hither and let me speak to her myself?
Feste: As you will, my lady.
Malvolio: My lady, there is no need; she will but dissemble. You did not see her with Sebastian, there in a public street--
Olivia: Nay; and as I think on it, meseems strange indeed that none other saw her there.
Malvolio: None but I would dare to lay so painful a matter before you, ladyship.
Olivia: That may be true; but I would hear from Maria's lips her story, whether she dissemble or no.
Maria: Oh, my lady, my lady, thank goodness you've come! I have been deceiv'd, sore deceiv'd and betray'd!
Olivia: Here, sit beside me, and tell me all, and I will do all I may to influence his lordship to mercy.
Maria: I have been held this night, and question'd by the Duke's men--
Olivia: Peace, start your tale a chapter back, prithee. Did you give to Sebastian a purse?
Maria: Aye. Aye, that I did, my lady, and sore do I rue it!
Olivia: Tell me the circumstance.
Maria: Why, 'twas the day we settled in the Tower Square house.
Malvolio: Hear how the wench lies!
Maria: Sebastian came to see me in my closet; he made such protests of love that I took pity on him. My lady, surely you would liefer not hear the particulars of our speech.
Olivia: Everything; all that you remember.
Maria: He would have the purse of me, as a remembrance, and not wishing that there should be trouble between us, I gave it him.
Malvolio: She lies, she lies!
Maria: What doth he know of 't, he was not there!
Olivia: And you never saw the necklace until last night?
Olivia: Nor sewed it into your purse?
Olivia: Nor gave no other token to Sebastian-- a kerchief, a ribbon, a glove?
Maria: Nay, I gave naught else.
Curio: A glove, my lady? A glove, of just the size to fit this maid's hand, my guardsman has just this morn deliver'd me; 'twas taken from the empty purse of the pirate Antonio at the city gates, this midnight.
Maria: Why, that is mine! How came it to Antonio?
Olivia: How came it indeed? Malvolio did swear to me he saw you give this glove to Sebastian, and the purse too, in the street before his lodging-house.
Maria: If he saw that, he's mad indeed.
Malvolio: Would you believe so shameless a liar, my lady? You've heard her confess to her dalliance with your own betrothed.
Olivia: I know not what or whom to believe, except that I doubt me I'll hear a word of truth in this room! Good Curio.
Curio: My lady?
Olivia: Keep Malvolio and Maria with you a while; belike one is mad and one dissembles, but which is which and whether they be the same, I have no head to discover. Feste, come you with me to the dungeons; I'll find the kernel of this matter yet.
Feste: Aye, go down and root it out quick, before it roots itself and sprouts new shoots.
Curio: Come, you; methinks the Duke should hear your stories both.
Viola: If naught will prove Sebastian's innocence
But the true malefactor's capture, then
He shall be captur'd. Oh, I hope he be
Not wholly as proficient with his blade
As reputation makes him; or that I
An untaught aptitude with mine disclose.
But first, to find the man. Were I a thief,
Familiar with the city, grimly sought,
And hopeful to make good both mine escape
And mine industrious hours in the town,
Where should I go, to lie until pursuit
Pass by me? Where's the covert of this fox?
Why, where else but in church? Whether he seek
Asylum, or a less well-guarded prize
Than what the ducal treasure-house enclose.
And haply is San Vincent's church nearby--
With that I'll start my search; belike one here
Hath seen or heard some rumor of the man.
Valentine: There is the girl; she hath slipped my sight a dozen times today.
Viola: Hoy, there within! Here's one would speak to you.
Hildebrant: Who's there, who's there? Some lad-- I do not know you, lad. What are you call'd? Say not so soft; I'm not quite deaf but I'm neither so young as you.
Viola: They call me Cesario, Friar; I have been some months in the duke's service.
Hildebrant: Ah, good lad, good lad. And yourself too, I've no doubt. Well, what is it?
Viola: Friar, I seek one Reynardo, a thief much wanted by the Duke. Have you seen any sign of such a man?
Hildebrant: Reynardo, Reynardo. Not Antonio? I met an Antonio who was sought by the Duke's men.
Viola: Antonio is captur'd.
Hildebrant: There is a pity, there is a pity indeed. Would the duke listen to an old beggar's testimonial of the man's character, think you?
Viola: It could do no harm, to him or you. But stay, before you go; the church of San Vincenzo. Is there much treasure of gold and ivory within, or precious stones and gems?
Hildebrant: Little enough, in this season at least.
Viola: But in others?
Hildebrant: Why, you must be newly come to both the Duke's service and our fair city, to ask what every schoolboy knoweth!
Viola: Then tutor me, brother.
Hildebrant: The church of San Vincent hath but one treasure, and that is the image which is processed each year, in solemn pomp and panoply, upon Good Friday, and thereafter shewn to the faithful only until the season's white gives way to summer's crimson.
Viola: 'Tis richly made, I suppose?
Hildebrant: Aye indeed, too rich to delight the eye of one of mine order, though I will not deny, no, that 'tis a pretty thing, if I blaspheme not to call so somber a display by such a trifling word. 'Tis of ivory set with every noble metal, and crown'd with a diadem of rubies, chalcedonies, and other stones which, in my poverty, I have not kept the names of.
Viola: And in this happier season, friar, where is kept?
Hildebrant: Why, marry, i' th' church, of course; in a vault beneath the floor of the sacristy.
Viola: As every schoolboy knoweth?
Hildebrant: Aye, as they do. Oh, me.
Viola: I fear some boy has repeated his lessons overdiligently, friar. I must away; I thank you. Here's silver, good brother.
Valentine: Good friar.
Hildebrant: What, help, ho!
Valentine: Good friar, 'tis I, Valentine; I serve the Duke as well.
Hildebrant: How, with frighting old men another hour nearer their graves?
Valentine: Your pardon. I go to follow that youth, but if you love the Duke at all, go you now and find whatever company as may serve well in a scrape, and bring 'em to San Vincenzo's steps. Make haste, man!
Olivia: Jailor, open this door, but silent as thou mayst; and first, douse thou all lights without. I would be unheard, unseen, and in every wise unnoticed.
Jailor: I'll be a very owl, my lady.
Feste: Aye, and keep thine eyes fix'd well behind thee, with those two about.
Olivia: Conceal yourselves, here, quickly.
Antonio: I may yet in Reynardo's counsels hold
Some sway, if on Orsino's mercies we
Prevail until he's ta'en.
Sebastian: And what of that?
Once captur'd, what will he be plac'd to do
We cannot do ourselves?
Antonio: Confess the truth:
That you nor I were no accomplices
To his malfeasance, neither to the theft
Nor to the disposition of the jewels.
Sebastian: Should I be comforted, to hear that you
Can practice still on one you once held dear,
To proffer your excuses?
Antonio: To keep faith
With me as once he did, and I with him.
Olivia: He half confesses, half acquits himself.
Antonio: I swear, I nothing of Reynardo knew,
His deeds nor plans nor presence on this shore,
Until the theft was done; these seven years
I have not seen the man, not since I bought
His ship with my prize-money, and good hap
I wished him in his ventures on the land.
Nor word to him I've sent, nor none received.
Sebastian: In truth?
Antonio: In truth. Do you believe me?
I'd give my hand on it, if that I could.
But if you had no hand in the affair,
How came the necklace to your purse, and me?
Feste: There's the marrow, though I had thought they'd crack their teeth in worrying the matter ere they came to 't.
Antonio: One purse I had when I set out that day;
'Twas given me by Mistress Belch.
Antonio: One purse I had with me at end of day;
It held some small coin, and a woman's glove,
Of fine material, and of a size
As might have fit Maria Belch's hand.
Sebastian: A glove?
Olivia: A glove!
Sebastian: Olivia did much make
Of gloves; she did demand to know if I
Had such a token of Maria begg'd.
Antonio: 'Twas gi'en instead to me; and one who meant
To cast suspicion on her, and on you,
Did hide the purse and necklace in your rooms.
Jailer: A pretty bit of supposition, that is.
Sebastian: Or else she gave the necklace you, and you
Exchang'd the purse in my rooms for its twin;
Though Viola carried no such purse, and I
No other visitors had ere you call'd.
Antonio: You did say, that your lady and her man
Inquiréd of a glove.
Sebastian: They did, as though
It were expected.
Olivia: Oh, Malvolio!
Malvolio, who told me of the glove,
Search'd for it, and turn'd red to see it gone!
Antonio: Yours is a clever tale, e'en with no proof.
I'd swear to 't, that I dropped the gems with you,
If we two both are to the gallows sent.
Sebastian: You'd nothing of the kind! Whether the glove
Were baited in my rooms, or else the gems,
Shows either way that one would have me seem
Untrustworthy at least, or criminal
Outright. I'll take the blame, if otherwise
I'd still be subject to such enmity.
Antonio: I'll not allow it.
Sebastian: Would you sooner leave
Me face mine enemies alone, and knowing how
I could have seen you safe?
Antonio: Mayhap the Fox
Will yet arrested be, and bring to light
The fullness of the plan.
Sebastian: I pray he be.
And that for my presumption, you'll forgive me.
Antonio: You know I would forgive you worse offense.
Sebastian: I pray I never give you cause, my friend.
Olivia: Close thou the door upon them, and let us to the Duke; I will have this matter into the light before the day is out.
Feste: You shall have to, or wait for another dawn for light enough to parse it by.
Viola: Who's there! Do not presume I see you not, inside
Where at this hour no man should be. Stand forth
And state your business, or the Duke his justice
Doth bide without, prepar'd to draw and stand.
Reynardo: Prepar'd, you say? Why do you draw not first,
And make your challenge afterward?
Viola: I did.
I see. The duchy teeters, if the Duke
His justice be this sapling of a boy.
Do stand away, lad; I no pupils take,
Nor will instruct you gratis in the blade.
Stand down, and let me pass.
Viola: Your pockets bulge.
Reynardo: 'Tis well observ'd, but no concern of yours.
Viola: I do believe it is. My brother lies
Imprison'd by the duke; your word alone
Will see him of your own transgressions clear'd.
You'll with me to Orsino, and confess.
Reynardo: I'll through you, if you do not stand aside.
Viola: Then try.
Reynardo: Say not I took you by surprise.
Have at you, then!
You untooth'd whelp, hot blood
Doth not with competency interchange.
Viola: Save as my pris'ner, you'll no farther go.
Reynardo: You give a step for every stroke.
Viola: I thought
You did not teach for gratis, yet your point
Might well be bated for the scathe you've done.
Reynardo: Here endeth then the lesson; step aside!
Now you are turn'd, now what's to stop me turn
And my escape make good?
Valentine: That would be me.
Reynardo: Another duke's man? If you be not more
A swordsman than this boy, then stand aside.
Valentine: And if I am?
Reynardo: Then you are still a lesser
Than I. 'Tis no disgrace, sir; many are.
Viola: But from this angle, sir, the lesser man
May spit the better, absent any skill,
Instruction, or experience. Now yield,
If you'll not hazard my untutor'd hand
Should slip too near your vitals.
Reynardo: I do yield.
Toby: 'Sblood, is she a boy again, or was I drunk the whole time she were in petticoats?
Andrew: If you were, then so must I have been, for I remember it too.
Hildebrant: Good Valentine, we seem to be too late for the scrape you warn'd me of.
Viola: Is 't you, Friar? You are not too late to help me bring this robber to the Duke's palace. I believe you'll find half the sacristy in his pockets.
Toby: Stay a moment. This rascal hath a familiar face.
Fabian: 'Tis the man who taunted my Cecily, the night we brought her back. 'Tis all well, girl, 'tis all well, the man can do you no harm.
Toby: I thought as much! Thou'rt the light-fingered knave who gave me a fat purse and snatch'd it back again, for it had vanish'd when I woke. Valentine, inscribe it with the rogue's other offenses.
Valentine: Sir Toby, I am come to believe it may all be one offense; think you so, Cesario?
Viola: Indeed, sir; but come with us to the palace, and lay your evidences against the reprobate, and we will find the end of 't. Hold his arms fast, and bring him.
Orsino: You lay a solemn charge.
Olivia: All the more reason to address it hastily.
Orsino: No, not with haste, but rather, with dispatch.
Feste: If I were charg'd so, I'd not want to be dispatch'd hastily.
Orsino: Call for Curio, and his charges.
Feste: Is even Curio to be charg'd? Why, then we are none of us safe.
Orsino: Malvolio, thou art accus'd of trafficking with certain stolen goods. What say'st thou to that?
Malvolio: I nothing may say to it, for 'tis nothing in it; it is an empty charge, and I can answer it but emptily.
Orsino: And if I name these commodities? To wit, one woman's glove.
Malvolio: I know nothing of it, your lordship.
Orsino: One purse, likewise.
Malvolio: I have not touch'd it.
Orsino: And one carcanet, set with emeralds and worked with my father's seal in gold?
Malvolio: You cannot—sir—your lordship could not possibly suspect me in that affair? I swear I've never seen 't, not since your lordship's lady mother last wore it abroad. Who lays this charge? Who accuses me?
Feste: His tongue wags not for haberdashery, but show him the necklace and he's all mouth.
Malvolio: My lord, I have served the lady Olivia long, and her brother before; ask the countess, am I not trustworthy?
Olivia: That is what the countess asks, Malvolio.
Malvolio: No, no, my lady. You cannot suspect me of this.
Orsino: Dost thou deny thou didst sew the necklace into a woman's purse?
Maria: Oh, lord preserve us!
Malvolio: 'Tis no mere denial, it is the truth.
Orsino: Dost thou deny thou laidest that purse within the rooms of Sebastian of Messina, with the intent to discredit that gentleman, to set upon him the prosecution and penalty for its theft?
Malvolio: Yes, I deny it. My lady, you were there; you saw the wretch's face!
Orsino: 'Tis a grave crime, Malvolio; the law's mercy cannot touch thee unless thou confess.
Malvolio: I knew nothing of the necklace; nothing at all!
Orsino: And the purse? The glove?
Malvolio: Yes, yes, the purse, the glove I stow'd in the upstart's room, but never the necklace! Your lordship—good lady Olivia—you must believe me!
Olivia: I do believe thee, Malvolio; but then I believ'd thee when thou didst forgive me for mine other servants' sins.
Maria: Good my lady, I've repented that heartily ever since, truly I have.
Malvolio: Then believe me, lady; gull I may have been, and obdurate I may still be, but never a thief.
Olivia: Why then, if speak'st thou truly, I must believe Maria the purloiner; for in her purse it was found.
Maria: My lady, you know I am no thief neither.
Olivia: I should hate to believe such a thing of either of you, but who else might it have been? If Malvolio is innocent—of this at least—then Maria cannot be.
Maria: My lady, I stash'd the necklace in my purse; that much, that much only. I never stole it, and chance alone brought it to my hand.
Orsino: Chance? A lucky chance, that.
Maria: Chance, and mine husband. I found it tuck'd into his shirt when he lay abed i' th' morn. And in my utter certainty that he had come by 't honestly, though some entirely lawful happenstance that, my lord, I have no doubt shall be evolv'd to us in good time, I still fear'd me that I might damn myself in overhasty eyes, if I were to let it be found upon me. And so I hid it, hoping to wait until your lordship achieved a cooler humour to return it.
Orsino: And employ'd the purse meanwhiles in your errands?
Maria: Naturally, my lord; 'twould have been remark'd had I not.
Olivia: The tale may not be at its end, but these chapters I believe are matter enough to see Sebastian and Antonio let free.
Orsino: Let them be brought here, and further questioned. And we must send for Sir Toby, if the tale falls to him next.
Valentine: My lord, Sir Toby's come, and Reynardo's been taken!
Maria: Surely not by mine husband.
Valentine: No indeed: by your lordship's betrothed.
Orsino: O, peerless Viola! Sweet Cesario!
Viola: My lord duke, I am your sweet nothing.
Feste: Oho, we are back to sweet nothings!
Viola: Not at least, until my brother is released; and here is the means to do 't.
Orsino: Reynardo, called the Fox. Sirrah, thou didst attack my men and abscond with a necklace valu'd at a quarter of my duchy's worth.
Hildebrant: And he did rob San Vincent's church.
Andrew: That's true; we made him turn out his pockets.
Orsino: What say'st thou to these charges, villain, knave?
Reynardo: That I am fairly taken, and in the plain deliction of th' offence.
Orsino: Thou confesseth all?
Reynardo: I will, and dispose my hopes entirely on your lordship's mercy.
Orsino: Then, for my mercy, tell me, how thou didst conceal the carcanet thou stolest.
Toby: I can do that, my lord Orsino. This wretch accosted me in the street—
Fabian: Aye, and my dog!
Toby: And made as he would give me for my pains—
Olivia: Your pains in what?
Feste: Doth it not pain a man, to be accosted?
Toby: --as he would give me a bag of gems. But when I woke, some little time later—
Andrew: Marry, 'twere the next night.
Toby: And that is little enough time in the mind of your creator, sir knight. When I awoke, the wretch had broken into my house and stolen the gems again—yea, from against my breast—and my good wife Maria's glove with 'em! Has he got it still?
Feste: Nay, you'll find the glove bends not with the remover.
Olivia: Good mine uncle, you do mistake the thief; your wife it is that pilfered you the necklace.
Toby: Remarkable woman! Where is 't?
Maria: With the duke its owner.
Toby: That is most excellent good. And the glove?
Olivia: Hath been borne by half a dozen swains of this town.
Toby: Aye, but lately?
Olivia: Yea, uncle, since Malvolio, I will hazard, found it i' th' street.
Curio: I have 't; yours, sir.
Toby: Oh, I thank you.
Malvolio: I should take better care of what you treasure, were I you, knight.
Orsino: And I should not threaten my lady's kinsmen, in thy place.
Let then this fox be taken to the cell where these two men, I do regret, were so groundlessly detain'd; and let Malvolio be ta'en as well, though with him shall I be lenient, for his service was long and steadfast ere this unhappy stroke.
Reynardo: It is Antonio, my old friend.
Antonio: Reynardo. I will visit you in prison, if you will it. I can no more; you know the character I might give of you.
Reynardo: Then for friendship's sake, I'll ask nothing of you but your silence.
Sebastian: That much he'll give.
Antonio: Sebastian, my friend.
Reynardo: I wish you joy of such a gentle friend. Adieu, unless it be not.
Antonio: My lord.
Orsino: I have been unjust to you, and I would make what amends I can. What would you have of me? Aside, of course, from your freedom, and your welcome in Illyria.
Antonio: Your lordship's generosity o'erwhelms me. I know not what to ask.
Sebastian: Then may I speak? My lord, give my friend a ship, a captaincy of some galley of war, or better e'en, of some mercantile vessel of your city; let him have his native element beneath him, but his welcome here, and let him oft return.
Antonio: To visit you, and wish you hap of your fortune?
Sebastian: Rather to let me visit my sister.
Sebastian: My lady, I am more grateful to you than I can ever express; but if I am to have your gratitude without your love, is 't not better to have it outside of marriage? It was not ever truly me you lov'd; it was some youth I do resemble.
Olivia: For love of him, I would have married you; but if you would to sea, then fortune go with you, and you have ever a welcome in my home, whomever I may make it with.
Viola: You are set upon this, brother?
Sebastian: If Antonio will have me to his crew.
Antonio: I will, and a fine mate you'll make, if 'tis what you desire.
Sebastian: Then my course is set, sister. I have once drown'd already; the sea cannot murder me again. Will you be here, when I put to shore?
Viola: I did return your lordship's ring.
Orsino: It is your choice, to take it up again; and e'en if you will not, I would have Cesario again in my service, as gladly as Viola in my bower.
Olivia: And they are both welcome in mine household as well; I am in need of a maid and a steward both.
Viola: And either of you would I gladly serve; or both, if in one roof your households ever should unite.
Orsino: My lady?
Olivia: The prospect pleases more than once it did. I shall consider it; with your counsel, dear Viola.
Orsino: Then, let us have music, to speed your consideration! Good fool, a song, a merry one; and a light, that shall not cloy the appetite for more.
Feste: Then I shall be merry at your lordship's pleasure, for as long as it please your lordship to pay my pleasure in merriment.
Song: On the moor and on the meadow,
In the sun and in the shadow,
In all a man doeth
And all a man doth, he doth for love
Hey, then, and ho, then,
Blithely will I go, then
Cupid o'ethroweth me,
As any who knoweth me
Know'th what I do, I do for love.