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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource
PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

Twelfth Night Scenes


Scene 3

A room in Olivia’s house.

(Sir Toby Belch; Maria; Sir Andrew Aguecheek)


Olivia’s debauched uncle Sir Toby chats with her gentlewoman Maria, who tries to convince him to be a bit less rowdy. Sir Toby cannot understand why Olivia is moaning so much about her brother. They discuss Sir Andrew Aguecheek, a foolish suitor for Olivia’s hand whom Sir Toby keeps around to milk of his money. Sir Toby praises his accomplishments while Maria points out his foolishness. Sir Andrew enters and quickly proves Maria’s opinion of him correct. Still, he has sense enough to suspect that Olivia will have nothing to do with him, and proposes returning home the next day. Sir Toby convinces him to stay a month longer, promising to help him, and Sir Toby therefore gets to keep his moneybags close for that much longer. He has Sir Andrew practice his dancing. ( line)

Enter Sir Toby Belch and Maria.

SIR TO.

What a plague means my niece to take the death of her brother thus? I am sure care’s an enemy to life.

MAR.

By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier a’ nights. Your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.

SIR TO.

Why, let her except before excepted.

MAR.

Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.

SIR TO.

Confine? I’ll confine myself no finer than I am. These clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too; and they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.

MAR.

That quaffing and drinking will undo you. I heard my lady talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish knight that you brought in one night here to be her wooer.

SIR TO.

Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

MAR.

Ay, he.

SIR TO.

He’s as tall a man as any’s in Illyria.

MAR.

What’s that to th’ purpose?

SIR TO.

Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.

MAR.

Ay, but he’ll have but a year in all these ducats. He’s a very fool and a prodigal.

SIR TO.

Fie, that you’ll say so! He plays o’ th’ viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages word for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.

MAR.

He hath indeed, almost natural; for besides that he’s a fool, he’s a great quarreller; and but that he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarrelling, ’tis thought among the prudent he would quickly have the gift of a grave.

SIR TO.

By this hand, they are scoundrels and sub-stractors that say so of him. Who are they?

MAR.

They that add moreov’r, he’s drunk nightly in your company.

SIR TO.

With drinking healths to my niece. I’ll drink to her as long as there is a passage in my throat, and drink in Illyria. He’s a coward and a coystrill that will not drink to my niece till his brains turn o’ th’ toe like a parish-top. What, wench! Castiliano vulgo! For here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.

Enter Sir Andrew Aguecheek.

SIR AND.

Sir Toby Belch! How now, Sir Toby Belch?

SIR TO.

Sweet Sir Andrew!

SIR AND.

Bless you, fair shrew.

MAR.

And you too, sir.

SIR TO.

Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

SIR AND.

What’s that?

SIR TO.

My niece’s chambermaid.

SIR AND.

Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

MAR.

My name is Mary, sir.

SIR AND.

Good Mistress Mary Accost—

SIR TO.

You mistake, knight. “Accost” is front her, board her, woo her, assail her.

SIR AND.

By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of “accost”?

MAR.

Fare you well, gentlemen.

SIR TO.

And thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst never draw sword again.

SIR AND.

And you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?

MAR.

Sir, I have not you by th’ hand.

SIR AND.

Marry, but you shall have—and here’s my hand.

MAR.

Now, sir, thought is free. I pray you bring your hand to th’ butt’ry-bar, and let it drink.

SIR AND.

Wherefore, sweetheart? What’s your metaphor?

MAR.

It’s dry, sir.

SIR AND.

Why, I think so. I am not such an ass but I can keep my hand dry. But what’s your jest?

MAR.

A dry jest, sir.

SIR AND.

Are you full of them?

MAR.

Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers’ ends. Marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.

Exit Maria.

SIR TO.

O knight, thou lack’st a cup of canary. When did I see thee so put down?

SIR AND.

Never in your life I think, unless you see canary put me down. Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man has; but I am a great eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.

SIR TO.

No question.

SIR AND.

And I thought that, I’d forswear it. I’ll ride home tomorrow, Sir Toby.

SIR TO.

Pourquoi, my dear knight?

SIR AND.

What is “pourquoi”? Do, or not do? I would I had bestow’d that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting. O had I but follow’d the arts!

SIR TO.

Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.

SIR AND.

Why, would that have mended my hair?

SIR TO.

Past question, for thou seest it will not curl by nature.

SIR AND.

But it becomes me well enough, does’t not?

SIR TO.

Excellent, it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to see a huswife take thee between her legs, and spin it off.

SIR AND.

Faith, I’ll home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your niece will not be seen, or if she be, it’s four to one she’ll none of me. The Count himself here hard by woos her.

SIR TO.

She’ll none o’ th’ Count. She’ll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her swear’t. Tut, there’s life in’t, man.

SIR AND.

I’ll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o’ th’ strangest mind i’ th’ world; I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether.

SIR TO.

Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?

SIR AND.

As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the degree of my betters, and yet I will not compare with an old man.

SIR TO.

What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?

SIR AND.

Faith, I can cut a caper.

SIR TO.

And I can cut the mutton to’t.

SIR AND.

And I think I have the back-trick simply as strong as any man in Illyria.

SIR TO.

Wherefore are these things hid? Wherefore have these gifts a curtain before ’em? Are they like to take dust, like Mistress Mall’s picture? Why dost thou not go to church in a galliard, and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig.

I would not so much as make water but in a sink-a-pace. What dost thou mean? Is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was form’d under the star of a galliard.

SIR AND.

Ay, ’tis strong; and it does indifferent well in a dun-color’d stock. Shall we set about some revels?

SIR TO.

What shall we do else? Were we not born under Taurus?

SIR AND.

Taurus? That’s sides and heart.

SIR TO.

No, sir, it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee caper. Ha, higher! Ha, ha, excellent!

Exeunt.

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