Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > Twelfth-Night; or, What You Will
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
Twelfth-Night; or, What You Will
 
Act IV. Scene II.
 
A Room in OLIVIA’S House.
 
Enter MARIA and Clown; MALVOLIO in a dark chamber adjoining.
  Mar.  Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard; make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate: do it quickly; I’ll call Sir Toby the whilst.  [Exit.
  Clo.  Well, I’ll put it on and I will dissemble myself in ’t: and I would I were the first that ever dissembled in such a gown. I am not tall enough to become the function well, nor lean enough to be thought a good student; but to be said an honest man and a good housekeeper goes as fairly as to say a careful man and a great scholar. The competitors enter.
 
Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA.
        5
  Sir To.  God bless thee, Master parson.
  Clo.  Bonos dies, Sir Toby: for, as the old hermit of Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King Gorboduc, ‘That, that is, is;’ so I, being Master parson, am Master parson; for, what is ‘that,’ but ‘that,’ and ‘is,’ but ‘is?’
  Sir To.  To him, Sir Topas.
  Clo.  What ho! I say. Peace in this prison!
  Sir To.  The knave counterfeits well; a good knave.        10
  Mal.  [Within]  Who calls there?
  Clo.  Sir Topas, the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio the lunatic.
  Mal.  Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to my lady.
  Clo.  Out, hyperbolical fiend! how vexest thou this man! Talkest thou nothing but of ladies?
  Sir To.  Well said, Master Parson.        15
  Mal.  [Within.]  Sir Topas, never was man thus wronged. Good Sir Topas, do not think I am mad: they have laid me here in hideous darkness.
  Clo.  Fie, thou dishonest Satan! I call thee by the most modest terms; for I am one of those gentle ones that will use the devil himself with courtesy. Sayst thou that house is dark?
  Mal.  As hell, Sir Topas.
  Clo.  Why, it hath bay-windows transparent as barricadoes, and the clerestories toward the south-north are as lustrous as ebony; and yet complainest thou of obstruction?
  Mal.  I am not mad, Sir Topas. I say to you, this house is dark.        20
  Clo.  Madman, thou errest: I say, there is no darkness but ignorance, in which thou art more puzzled than the Egyptians in their fog.
  Mal.  I say this house is as dark as ignorance, though ignorance were as dark as hell; and I say, there was never man thus abused. I am no more mad than you are: make the trial of it in any constant question.
  Clo.  What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild fowl?
  Mal.  That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird.
  Clo.  What thinkest thou of his opinion?        25
  Mal.  I think nobly of the soul, and no way approve his opinion.
  Clo.  Fare thee well: remain thou still in darkness: thou shalt hold the opinion of Pythagoras ere I will allow of thy wits, and fear to kill a woodcock, lest thou dispossess the soul of thy grandam. Fare thee well.
  Mal.  Sir Topas! Sir Topas!
  Sir To.  My most exquisite Sir Topas!
  Clo.  Nay, I am for all waters.        30
  Mar.  Thou mightst have done this without thy beard and gown: he sees thee not.
  Sir To.  To him in thine own voice, and bring me word how thou findest him: I would we were well rid of this knavery. If he may be conveniently delivered, I would he were; for I am now so far in offence with my niece that I cannot pursue with any safety this sport to the upshot. Come by and by to my chamber.  [Exeunt SIR TOBY and MARIA.
  Clo.
Hey Robin, jolly Robin,
Tell me how thy lady does.
  Mal.  Fool!
  Clo.
My lady is unkind, perdy!
        35
  Mal.  Fool!
  Clo.
Alas, why is she so?
  Mal.  Fool, I say!
  Clo.
She loves another.
Who calls, ha?        40
  Mal.  Good fool, as ever thou wilt deserve well at my hand, help me to a candle, and pen, ink, and paper. As I am a gentleman, I will live to be thankful to thee for ’t.
  Clo.  Master Malvolio!
  Mal.  Ay, good fool.
  Clo.  Alas, sir, how fell you beside your five wits?
  Mal.  Fool, there was never man so notoriously abused: I am as well in my wits, fool, as thou art.        45
  Clo.  But as well? then you are mad indeed, if you be no better in your wits than a fool.
  Mal.  They have here propertied me; keep me in darkness, send ministers to me, asses! and do all they can to face me out of my wits.
  Clo.  Advise you what you say: the minister is here. Malvolio, Malvolio, thy wits the heavens restore! endeavour thyself to sleep, and leave thy vain bibble-babble.
  Mal.  Sir Topas!
  Clo.  Maintain no words with him, good fellow.—Who, I, sir? not I, sir. God be wi’ you, good Sir Topas. Marry, amen. I will sir, I will.        50
  Mal.  Fool, fool, fool, I say!
  Clo.  Alas, sir, be patient. What say you, sir?
I am shent for speaking to you.
  Mal.  Good fool, help me to some light and some paper: I tell thee I am as well in my wits as any man in Illyria.
  Clo.  Well-a-day, that you were, sir!        55
  Mal.  By this hand, I am. Good fool, some ink, paper, and light; and convey what I will set down to my lady: it shall advantage thee more than ever the bearing of letter did.
  Clo.  I will help you to ’t. But tell me true, are you not mad indeed? or do you but counterfeit?
  Mal.  Believe me, I am not: I tell thee true.
  Clo.  Nay, I’ll ne’er believe a madman till I see his brains. I will fetch you light and paper and ink.
  Mal.  Fool, I’ll requite it in the highest degree: I prithee, be gone.        60
  Clo.
  I am gone, sir,
  And anon, sir,
I’ll be with you again
  In a trice,
  Like to the old Vice,
Your need to sustain;
Who with dagger of lath,
In his rage and his wrath,
  Cries, Ah, ah! to the devil:
Like a mad lad,
Pare thy nails, dad;
  Adieu, goodman drivel.
[Exit.    
 
 
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