Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare Act V: Scene 1

Truly, madam, he holds Belzebub at the stave's end as well as a
man in his case may do. Has here writ a letter to you; I should
have given 't you to-day morning; but as a madman's
epistles are no gospels, so it skills not much when they are

Open 't, and read it.

Look then to be well edified when the fool delivers the madman.
[Reads] By the Lord, madam, —

How now! art thou mad?

No, madam, I do but read madness: and your ladyship will have it
as it ought to be, you must allow Vox.

Prithee, read i' thy right wits.

So I do, madonna; but to read his right wits is to read thus:
therefore perpend, my princess, and give ear.

[To FABIAN] Read it you, sirrah.

[Reads] By the Lord, madam, you wrong me, and the world shall
know it; though you have put me into darkness and given your
drunken cousin rule over me, yet have I the benefit of my senses
as well as your ladyship. I have your own letter that induc'd me
to the semblance I put on; with the which I doubt not but to do
myself much right, or you much shame. Think of me as you please.
I leave my duty a little unthought of, and speak out of

Did he write this?

Ay, madam.

This savours not much of distraction.

See him deliver'd, Fabian; bring him hither.
[Exit FABIAN.]
My lord, so please you, these things further thought on,
To think me as well a sister as a wife,
One day shall crown th' alliance on 't, so please you,
Here at my house, and at my proper cost.

Madam, I am most apt t' embrace your offer.
[To VIOLA] Your master quits you; and, for your service done him,
So much against the mettle of your sex,
So far beneath your soft and tender breeding,
And since you call'd me master for so long,
Here is my hand; you shall from this time be
Your master's mistress.

A sister! you are she.

[Re-enter FABIAN, with MALVOLIO.]

Is this the madman?

Ay, my lord, this same.
How now, Malvolio!

Madam, you have done me wrong,
Notorious wrong.

Have I, Malvolio? no.

Lady, you have. Pray you peruse that letter.
You must not now deny it is your hand;
Write from it, if you can, in hand or phrase;
Or say 't is not your seal, not your invention:
You can say none of this. Well, grant it then;
And tell me, in the modesty of honour,
Why you have given me such clear lights of favour,
Bade me come smiling and cross-garter'd to you,
To put on yellow stockings, and to frown
Upon Sir Toby and the lighter people;
And, acting this in an obedient hope,
Why have you suffer'd me to be imprison'd,
Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,
And made the most notorious geck and gull
That e'er invention play'd on? tell me why.

Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing,
Though, I confess, much like the character;
But out of question 't is Maria's hand.
And now I do bethink me, it was she
First told me thou wast mad; then cam'st in smiling,
And in such forms which here were presuppos'd
Upon thee in the letter. Prithee, be content:
This practice hath most shrewdly pass'd upon thee,
But when we know the grounds and authors of it,
Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge
Of thine own cause.

Good madam, hear me speak;
And let no quarrel nor no brawl to come
Taint the condition of this present hour,
Which I have wond'red at. In hope it shall not,
Most freely I confess myself and Toby
Set this device against Malvolio here,
Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts
We had conceiv'd against him. Maria writ
The letter at Sir Toby's great importance;
In recompense whereof he hath married her.
How with a sportful malice it was follow'd
May rather pluck on laughter than revenge;
If that the injuries be justly weigh'd
That have on both sides pass'd.

Alas, poor fool, how have they baffl'd thee!

Why, 'some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have
greatness thrown upon them.' I was one, sir, in this interlude;
one Sir Topas, sir; but that 's all one. 'By the Lord,
fool, I am not mad'; but do you remember? 'Madam, why laugh you
at such a barren rascal? and you smile not, he 's gagg'd': and
thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.

I 'll be reveng'd on the whole pack of you.


He hath been most notoriously abus'd.

Pursue him, and entreat him to a peace.
He hath not told us of the captain yet;
When that is known, and golden time convents,
A solemn combination shall be made
Of our dear souls. Meantime, sweet sister,
We will not part from hence. Cesario, come;
For so you shall be, while you are a man;
But, when in other habits you are seen,
Orsino's mistress and his fancy's queen.

[Exeunt all but the CLOWN.]

When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man's estate,
With hey, ho, &c.
'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate,
For the rain, &c.

But when I came, alas! to wive,
With hey, ho, &c.
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain, &c.

But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, &c.
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain, &c.

A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, &c.
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.



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