A room in Olivia’s house.
(Sir Toby; Sir Andrew; Fabian; Maria)
Sir Andrew is angry and insistent that he will leave, given that the Duke’s messenger-boy was better received by Olivia than he ever has been himself. Fabian and Toby, afraid of losing his access to Andrew’s money, persuades him that Olivia only acted that way to make him jealous. They convince Andrew that the only honorable thing for him to do is challenge Cesario to a duel. Andrew goes off to write it while Toby and Fabian plan the fun they’ll have at the expense of the two, neither of whom appears to be particularly courageous. Maria arrives to tell them that Malvolio has dressed himself up as planned and is doing his best to smile, a sight well-worth seeing. (28 lines)
Enter Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Fabian.
No, faith, I’ll not stay a jot longer.
Thy reason, dear venom, give thy reason.
You must needs yield your reason, Sir Andrew.
Marry, I saw your niece do more favors to the Count’s servingman than ever she bestow’d upon me. I saw’t i’ th’ orchard.
Did she see thee the while, old boy? Tell me that.
As plain as I see you now.
This was a great argument of love in her toward you.
’Slight! Will you make an ass o’ me?
I will prove it legitimate, sir, upon the oaths of judgment and reason.
And they have been grand-jurymen since before Noah was a sailor.
She did show favor to the youth in your sight only to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valor, to put fire in your heart, and brimstone in your liver. You should then have accosted her, and with some excellent jests, fire-new from the mint, you should have bang’d the youth into dumbness. This was look’d for at your hand, and this was balk’d. The double gilt of this opportunity you let time wash off, and you are now sail’d into the north of my lady’s opinion, where you will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman’s beard, unless you do redeem it by some laudable attempt either of valor or policy.
And’t be any way, it must be with valor, for policy I hate. I had as lief be a Brownist as a politician.
Why then build me thy fortunes upon the basis of valor. Challenge me the Count’s youth to fight with him, hurt him in eleven places—my niece shall take note of it, and assure thyself, there is no love-broker in the world can more prevail in man’s commendation with woman than report of valor.
There is no way but this, Sir Andrew.
Will either of you bear me a challenge to him?
Go, write it in a martial hand, be curst and brief. It is no matter how witty, so it be eloquent and full of invention. Taunt him with the license of ink. If thou thou’st him some thrice, it shall not be amiss; and as many lies as will lie in thy sheet of paper, although the sheet were big enough for the bed of Ware in England, set ’em down. Go about it. Let there be gall enough in thy ink, though thou write with a goose-pen, no matter. About it.
Where shall I find you?
We’ll call thee at the cubiculo. Go.
Exit Sir Andrew.
This is a dear manikin to you, Sir Toby.
I have been dear to him, lad, some two thousand strong, or so.
We shall have a rare letter from him; but you’ll not deliver’t?
Never trust me then; and by all means stir on the youth to an answer. I think oxen and wain-ropes cannot hale them together. For Andrew, if he were open’d and you find so much blood in his liver as will clog the foot of a flea, I’ll eat the rest of th’ anatomy.
And his opposite, the youth, bears in his visage no great presage of cruelty.
Look where the youngest wren of nine comes.
If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourselves into stitches, follow me. Yond gull Malvolio is turn’d heathen, a very renegado; for there is no Christian that means to be sav’d by believing rightly can ever believe such impossible passages of grossness. He’s in yellow stockings.
Most villainously; like a pedant that keeps a school i’ th’ church. I have dogg’d him like his murderer. He does obey every point of the letter that I dropp’d to betray him. He does smile his face into more lines than is in the new map, with the augmentation of the Indies; you have not seen such a thing as ’tis. I can hardly forbear hurling things at him. I know my lady will strike him. If she do, he’ll smile, and take’t for a great favor.
Come bring us, bring us where he is.