Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 3

SCENE III. OLIVIA'S house.

[Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA.]

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

MARIA.
By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o' nights; your
cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.

SIR TOBY.
Why, let her except before excepted.

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

SIR TOBY.
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.

MARIA.
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 TOBY.
Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

MARIA.
Ay, he.

SIR TOBY.
He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.

MARIA.
What's that to th' purpose?

SIR TOBY.
Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.

MARIA.
Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats; he's a very
fool and a prodigal.

SIR TOBY.
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.

MARIA.
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 TOBY.
By this hand, they are scoundrels and subtractors that say so of
him. Who are they?

MARIA.
They that add, moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.

SIR TOBY.
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 ANDREW.
Sir Toby Belch; how now, Sir Toby Belch!

SIR TOBY.
Sweet Sir Andrew!

SIR ANDREW.
Bless you, fair shrew.

MARIA.
And you too, sir.

SIR TOBY.
Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

SIR ANDREW.
What's that?

SIR TOBY.
My niece's chambermaid.

SIR ANDREW.
Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

MARIA.
My name is Mary, sir.

SIR ANDREW.
Good Mistress Mary Accost, —

SIR TOBY.
You mistake, knight; 'accost' is front her, board her, woo her,
assail her.

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

MARIA.
Fare you well, gentlemen.

SIR TOBY.
An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst never draw
sword again.

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

MARIA.
Sir, I have not you by th' hand.

SIR ANDREW.
Marry, but you shall have; and here's my hand.

MARIA.
Now, sir, 'thought is free.' I pray you, bring your hand to th'
buttery-bar and let it drink.

SIR ANDREW.
Wherefore, sweet-heart? what's your metaphor?

MARIA.
It's dry, sir.

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

MARIA.
A dry jest, sir.

SIR ANDREW.
Are you full of them?

MARIA.
Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers' ends; marry, now I let go
your hand, I am barren.

[Exit.]

SIR TOBY.
O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary; when did I see thee so
put down?

SIR ANDREW.
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 TOBY.
No question.

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