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Twelfth Night: Acts VI & VII

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ACT VI

SCENE 1

    DUKE ORSINO's palace. Enter ORSINO and VIOLA.

    VIOLA
How quickly does time fly, my dearest heart!
Scarcely have I felt these thirty days,
Since you and I were wed before the priest,
And my brother wed to sweet Olivia.

    ORSINO
Would that the priest have wed a different pair,
And gave me someone else.

    VIOLA
                                          What do you mean?

    Enter FABIAN

    FABIAN
Greetings, my lord and lady! Olivia sends her love. Sebastian, too, sends love to both of you.

    ORSINO
Hello, Fabian. What brings you to our home?

    FABIAN
An invitation from the count and countess, sir.

    ORSINO
An invitation?

[Reads]
    We request the pleasure of your company for dinner, merriment,
    good cheer, and happiness at our house in seven days. Signed,
    Sebastian and Olivia
.

[To VIOLA] Well, shall we go?

    VIOLA
                                          We must attend!
It's been so long since last we saw them both.
I miss Sebastian so.

    ORSINO
                                           As I do, too.
Then Fabian, please tell your lord and lady:
We'll see them at their home in one week hence.

    FABIAN
Thank you, sir. They'll be quite glad to hear it. [To VIOLA] They requested that I give this back to you.

    VIOLA
What's this?

    [VIOLA opens a small box and takes out a ring]

[Aside] Olivia must have sent 't, but 'tisn't mine.
And yet, it feels familiar. [To FABIAN] Thank you.

    [FABIAN bows and exits]

    ORSINO
What is it?

    VIOLA
A trifle; a memory; a nothing never lost,
Which now has made its short way back to me.

    ORSINO
I see. Well, best we'd go and prep to sup.
Curio will call us soon to dine.

    [Exeunt]

SCENE 2

    OLIVIA's garden. Enter SEBASTIAN.

    SEBASTIAN
My heart is full -- too full to give to one,
Alone, contained; it is the biggest curse
That I must bear. For other than my heart,
I've other organs, too, that are too full.
And I must love too much for mine own good.

    Enter ANTONIO

    ANTONIO
Sebastian!

    SEBASTIAN
Antonio! At last, you've come.

    ANTONIO
I haven't yet, but will, now that I'm here.
I've missed you, dear Sebastian.

    [ANTONIO and SEBASTIAN embrace]

How do you fare?

    SEBASTIAN
I fare Antonio, or so I hope to soon.

    Enter FESTE

    FESTE
Another liaison, Sebastian?

    ANTONIO
Another?

    SEBASTIAN
I hear Olivia call you from the house;
Feste, you'd best respond to her anon.
You know how much she angers when ignored.

    FESTE
Strange! I hear no sound but the crowing of a cock. But you are the king of ignoring Olivia.

    ANTONIO
What is that word, another? How sharp it strikes the heart!

    FESTE
Ask Sebastian himself, or Fabian. Or Maria, for that matter, before she left with Sir Toby.

    ANTONIO
Sebastian? What does he mean?

    SEBASTIAN
He means nothing. The jester jests.

    FESTE
The count jests. The jester counts -- four in this garden, last week alone. Flowers for a sailor, jewelry for two maids, and one last of some renown, whose name I can't divulge. For I, poor Feste, must sweep my master's tracks.

    ANTONIO
I must leave. [Exit]

    SEBASTIAN
I wish you'd leave as well.
'Twill be days before he speaks to me again.

    FESTE
I wish you'd leave your trysts.
Someday your love will break my lady's heart.

    [Exeunt]


SCENE 3

    DUKE ORSINO'S bedroom. Enter ORSINO and VIOLA.

    ORSINO
Alone at last. Viola, where's your friend?

    VIOLA
Cesario, Cesario, always Cesario!
Why can't my duke love poor Viola?
But as it pleases him, I'll bind my hair,
And hide my truest self beneath these clothes.

    ORSINO
Remember, please, the bargain that we made.
As woman, Viola's flower's petals wilt.
But as a man, Cesario's gentle youth
Still holds in it the promise of bright bloom.


SCENE 4

    OLIVIA'S house. Enter MALVOLIO and BRUNO, a servant.

    MALVOLIO
Curse the fools who mocked me. Curse Maria, and curse Sir Toby, and curse them thrice again for leaving. Gone from Olivia's household, gone from Illyria, to start their lives anew, with no one left for Malvolio's revenge.

    BRUNO
Yes, sir.

    MALVOLIO
And worse -- Maria replaced by a dullard like you.

    BRUNO
Yes, sir.

    MALVOLIO
But I wonder; what if my lady Olivia were true? That youth, Sebastian, was quick to win her love. It seems unreal, for she meant to mourn her brother seven years. Perhaps foul play was done.

    BRUNO
Perhaps, sir. They say Count Sebastian is quite fond of cocks.

    MALVOLIO
I see no other way he could have won her heart. He must have magicked her.

    BRUNO
Magic? 'Tis illegal in Illyria!

    MALVOLIO
Magicked, bewitched, hexed; I know not what it was. The signs are clear; he did it, and my lady doesn't know. She loved me once; now I'm sure she loves me still. I must save her from him.

    BRUNO
How will you do it, sir?

    MALVOLIO
How, indeed. Next week, at dinner, under distracting guise of guests, you'll poison the twin's wine.

    BRUNO
I will?

    MALVOLIO
If you wish to keep employment, you will. Yes, that will work. Once Sebastian's spell is broken, Olivia will be mine again. She'll thank me for rescuing her from his evil clutch.

    BRUNO
The twins' wine? Which twins, and which wine?

    MALVOLIO
I'll provide the wine. Sebastian's the twin; his twin is Viola, wife of Duke Orsino. Will you poison the twin's wine?

    BRUNO
Yes, sir. I'll poison the twins' wine.

    [Exeunt]


SCENE 5

    OLIVIA'S garden. Enter OLIVIA.

    OLIVIA
I wonder if 'twas enough. Fabian said
She took the ring and didn't throw it back.
I hope she comes tonight.

    Enter VIOLA

Viola?

    VIOLA
It's been too long. I've missed you. Fabian
Came with your invite earlier today.
As well, he had a gift for me alone.
You cloned the ruse?

    OLIVIA
                              I did; I wasn't sure
How else to let you know I've missed you, too.

    VIOLA
I see.

    OLIVIA
You're here. I'd scarcely hoped you would appear.
I've wanted you myself for all this time.
One month ago, I made a grave mistake;
The twin I loved was wed to someone else.

    VIOLA
The twin you wed loves you and no one else.

    OLIVIA
I wish that it were so, but even then,
Sebastian's not the same; he's not as smart.
His wit flows slow'r; his temper is too quick.
And you; do you truly love the duke?

    VIOLA
I do; I did; I don't know. He has changed;
Since I became Viola, he's grown cold.
He wants Cesario, and I want to be Viola.

    OLIVIA
I want Viola, too. The day we met,
When you lay witty words unto my ears,
I began to see a future life with you,
A woman who was strong, who was sharp,
Who found her strength in self and not in men.

    VIOLA
A woman? Then, you knew Cesario was false?

    OLIVIA
I thought you knew I knew. I didn't know
Your name, but in your face I recognized
A female touch; a woman's sense of calm.
I thought your guise a ploy to see me more,
And willingly, I played to see you too.

    VIOLA
But why Sebastian? Why did you choose
To wed the other twin instead of me?

    OLIVIA
It was unfortunate; I must admit
I knew not of the twin, and in my love,
In the mom'nt, my eyes were blinded. Though I meant
To marry dear Cesario -- my Viol' --
The priest wed me your brother on that day.
And when I found my error late that night,
It was too late. You'd wed the duke; my love
Did seem so joyed, I didn't have the heart
To stop it. Then I thought, that if two twins
Could look so close in body, then perhaps
Two twins might be so close in mind as well.

    VIOLA
I don't know what to say.

    OLIVIA
                                    Say nothing, then.
Just love me for the woman that I am;
I'll love you in return. Now smile for me;
I miss the sun upon Viola's bloom.

    Enter MALVOLIO and FESTE

    FESTE
This garden's quite the spot.

    MALVOLIO
What do you mean? Never mind -- Olivia, you must come inside. The cook wishes to discuss next week's meal.

    VIOLA
I'll leave you be. [Exit]

    OLIVIA
Not now, Malvolio.
Please go yourself; I trust you'll choose good food.

    MALVOLIO
Quite good, my lady. There's a special wine --

    OLIVIA
A wine?

    MALVOLIO
A lovely wine; quite spicy. Count Sebastian will surely die of delight.

    [Exeunt]

                            ***

ACT VII

SCENE 1

    OLIVIA'S house. Music. Enter OLIVIA and FESTE.

    OLIVIA
They'll be here any moment. Where's the count?

    FESTE
Counting flowers in the garden.

    Enter ORSINO and VIOLA

    OLIVIA
Welcome, dearest friends!

    ORSINO
Your pleasure's ours. But where's Sebastian?

    OLIVIA
The garden, I believe. I'll fetch him now. [Exit]

    ORSINO
The gard'n, our secret place? What could this mean?

    FESTE
What happens in the garden, stays in the garden.

    ORSINO
[Aside] I thought Sebastian went there just for me.

    VIOLA
The garden?

    FESTE
Indeed, the garden. A magical place, my lady, where the mums keep mum, love is found anew, and your brother affects them all.

    VIOLA & ORSINO
What?

    FESTE
Indeed; he's quite the player, though Feste's been ill affected. He cut my pay as soon as he was count.

    VIOLA
Surely you jest; that's not Sebastian.

    FESTE
He'd hardly romance you.

    ORSINO
Enough of this. Feste, sing for us.

    FESTE
As you wish, my lord.

[Sings]
    Ohh, caught in a bad romance
    Ohh, caught in a bad romance

    ORSINO
Stop; your voice is screeching to my ears.
If Olivia knew, she'd turn you out anon.

    Enter MALVOLIO, BRUNO, and FABIAN

    MALVOLIO
The meal is served.

    VIOLA
Where's Olivia? And Sebastian?

    MALVOLIO
Waiting in the room. Fabian shall escort you.

    [Exeunt FABIAN, ORSINO, and VIOLA]

[To BRUNO] Do you have the dust?

    BRUNO
I have it. Shall I poison the twins' wine with poison, in the wine?

    MALVOLIO
Yes. Poison the twin's wine, and Olivia will be mine once again.

    [Exeunt]


SCENE 2

    OLIVIA'S dining room. OLIVIA, SEBASTIAN, VIOLA, and
    ORSINO sit at the table; FABIAN, FESTE, and ATTENDANTS
    stand.
Enter MALVOLIO and BRUNO.

    SEBASTIAN
Malvolio! Where's the wine!

    MALVOLIO
Here, my lord. Bruno will serve it now.

    BRUNO
Indeed, I'll serve the special wine we've specially prepared for you.

    ORSINO
Sebastian, when we met Olivia
We wondered where you were; so where were you?

    SEBASTIAN
Outside, my duke, to take the briefest walk.

    OLIVIA
With whom, dear husband?

    MALVOLIO
[To BRUNO] Do it now.

    [BRUNO hands wine to SEBASTIAN and OLIVIA]

    SEBASTIAN
With whom? Alone; with no one, dearest wife.

    [BRUNO poisons a glass of wine and hands it to VIOLA]

    BRUNO
[To VIOLA] My lady, your wine is especially special tonight.

    MALVOLIO
[To BRUNO] Fool! The other twin!

    BRUNO
[To MALVOLIO] I thought you said the twins' wine.

    MALVOLIO
[To BRUNO] The twin's wine! Sebastian!

    [BRUNO poisons a glass of wine and hands it to SEBASTIAN]

    BRUNO
[To SEBASTIAN] A special drink for my lord.

    OLIVIA
No one makes loud noises through the flow'rs.
He sounds like one I know -- Antonio.

    SEBASTIAN
You likely heard the wind. But now -- a toast!
To friends and family, to life and love.
Let's drink and cease all quarreling tonight.

    [They stand and drink. SEBASTIAN and VIOLA fall down]

    OLIVIA & ORSINO
My love!

    [OLIVIA runs to VIOLA; ORSINO runs to SEBASTIAN]

    OLIVIA
Why do you hold my husband in your arms?

    ORSINO
Why do you hold my gentle wife in yours?

    FESTE
Aha! The quarrel's solved.

    MALVOLIO
I am a fool.

    FESTE
You are, for the women want no men, and the men want no women. And no one wants Malvolio, not even Sebastian, who wants them all.

    OLIVIA
What is this treachery? Poisoned wine?
Explain, before I turn you all outside.

    BRUNO
My lady, the steward ordered me to do it. He holds the purse, and I hold my salary dear. He gave me the poison; the fault is his.

    OLIVIA
Malvolio, go. Fabian, please follow close.
Demand a cure to that which kills my love;
If Viola's death be on your hands tonight,
Malvolio's death be on my hands tomorrow.

    FABIAN
Of course, my lady. I'll send for a doctor.

    [Exeunt MALVOLIO and FABIAN]

    OLIVIA
Orsino, Bruno, let's bring them both upstairs.

    [Exeunt]


SCENE 3

    OLIVIA'S bedroom. Enter ORSINO (carrying SEBASTIAN),
    BRUNO (carrying VIOLA), OLIVIA, and FESTE.

    BRUNO
My lady, where shall I put her?

    OLIVIA
The bed, and place Sebastian on the couch.

    ORSINO
Olivia, how long has this gone on?
I didn't know you'd made me a cuckold.

    OLIVIA
Nothing has gone on. Your twin, at least,
Is faithful. Would I say the same for mine.
Orsino's no cuckold, but I'm a cuckquean.

    ORSINO
The fault is mine.

    OLIVIA
                         It's not; the fault is his.
Sebastian's one whose heart is much too large.
If you have shared his heart, then take no blame;
Lest all Illyria take the blame as well.

    ORSINO
Sebastian, I thought you loved me best.

    OLIVIA
At that, I can't be sure. But know this truth;
The only name he speaks in sleep is yours.

    Enter MALVOLIO, FABIAN, and DOCTOR MUNDITIA

    FABIAN
A cure! And a doctor. We bring both.

    OLIVIA
Come quick, before the poison sets within
And Viola's love is lost to me forever.

    [MUNDITIA examines VIOLA]

    MUNDITIA
This is a lucky case; the poison's weak.
If just one twin had drunk the dose of both,
There'd be a coroner inside this room,
Examining the stiff and rotting corpse.
Instead, you have my services to use,
And by my years, they'll both come out unharmed.

    ORSINO
Thank the gods!

    [MUNDITIA administers medicine to VIOLA,
    then to SEBASTIAN. Both twins awaken.]

    SEBASTIAN
What happened?

    VIOLA
Where am I?

    OLIVIA
Shhh; you're in my bed. Malvolio
Had poisoned you; but now the doctor's here.
For you, I'm here as well, my Viola;
And with me by your side, there's naught to fear.

    VIOLA
What of your husband, love? And what of mine?

    FESTE
It's not clear? The solution's staring in the face, or on the couch. Even a fool could see it.

    ORSINO
He's right. Olivia knows; Sebastian too,
What must be done to fix the thing we've wrought.
Olivia meant to wed Sebastian's twin,
Orsino should have wed the man himself.
But then, five weeks ago, our stars were crossed;
The duke and countess found themselves engaged
And married to the twin they didn't love.

    OLIVIA
Viola, will you come and live with me?

    ORSINO
Sebastian, will you come with me tonight?

    VIOLA & SEBASTIAN
Yes!

    SEBASTIAN
My duke, I have loved many; but you know
I've loved you most. Let me bring you my hearts
And increase our love threefold.

    VIOLA
                                             Olivia,
I've thought these seven days on what you said;
Your words were dear to me. I'll stay with you;
We'll live life in your garden, free of men.

    OLIVIA
It's settled, then. Bruno, Malvolio,
I quit you of your duties to this house.
Now leave before I call Illyr'an guards
To forcibly eject you from my grounds.

    MALVOLIO
I deluded myself this time, without Maria's help.

    BRUNO
I'll never serve wine again.

    [Exeunt MALVOLIO and BRUNO]

    ORSINO
Sebastian, my heart's too full for words.
If hearts you want, I'll let you bring them, too.

    [Exeunt ORSINO and SEBASTIAN]

    FABIAN
Doctor, may I escort you back to town?

    MUNDITIA
You may.

    [Exeunt FABIAN and MUNDITIA]

    OLIVIA
The dinner's ruined, and yet I can't deny
I wish the night had gone no other way.

    VIOLA
My love, I'd like to see the flowers now.
Their fragrance must smell lovely in the dark.

    [Exeunt OLIVIA and VIOLA]

    FESTE
The tale is done; the mismatched pieces matched
To matching homes. Around them falls the night;
Within, their hearts are full of newfound hope,
While dreams of future love soar up in flight.
And if their happiness is so begun,
Then surely love be found for everyone.

    [Exit]