Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 2

SCENE II. OLIVIA'S house.

[Enter MARIA and CLOWN.]

MARIA.
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.]

CLOWN.
Well, I 'll put it on, and I will dissemble myself in 't; and I
would I were the first that ever dissembl'd 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 and MARIA.]

SIR TOBY.
Jove bless thee, master parson!

CLOWN.
Bonos dies, Sir Toby: for, as the old hermit of Prague, that
never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to 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 TOBY.
To him, Sir Topas.

CLOWN.
What, ho, I say, peace in this prison!

SIR TOBY.
The knave counterfeits well; a good knave.

MALVOLIO.
[Within] Who calls there?

CLOWN.
Sir Topas the curate, who comes to visit Malvolio the lunatic.

MALVOLIO.
Sir Topas, Sir Topas, good Sir Topas, go to my lady.

CLOWN.
Out, hyperbolical fiend! how vexest thou this man! talkest thou
nothing but of ladies?

SIR TOBY.
Well said, master parson.

MALVOLIO.
Sir Topas, never was man thus wrong'd; good Sir Topas, do not
think I am mad: they have laid me here in hideous darkness.

CLOWN.
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. Say'st thou that house is dark?

MALVOLIO.
As hell, Sir Topas.

CLOWN.
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?

MALVOLIO.
I am not mad, Sir Topas; I say to you, this house is dark.

CLOWN.
Madman, thou errest: I say, there is no darkness but ignorance;
in which thou art more puzzl'd than the Egyptians in their fog.

MALVOLIO.
I say, this house is as dark as ignorance, though ignorance were
as dark as hell; and I say, there was never man thus abus'd. I am
no more mad than you are; make the trial of it in any constant
question.

CLOWN.
What is the opinion of Pythagoras concerning wild fowl?

MALVOLIO.
That the soul of our grandam might haply inhabit a bird.

CLOWN.
What think'st thou of his opinion?

MALVOLIO.
I think nobly of the soul, and no way approve his opinion.

CLOWN.
Fare thee well. Remain thou still in darkness; thou shalt hold
th' 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.

MALVOLIO.
Sir Topas, Sir Topas!

SIR TOBY.
My most exquisite Sir Topas!

CLOWN.
Nay, I am for all waters.

MARIA.
Thou mightst have done this without thy beard and gown; he sees
thee not.

SIR TOBY.
To him in thine own voice, and bring me word how thou find'st
him; I would we were well rid of this knavery. If he may be
conveniently deliver'd, 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.]

CLOWN.
[Singing] Hey, Robin, jolly Robin,
Tell me how thy lady does.

MALVOLIO.
Fool, —

CLOWN.
My lady is unkind, perdy.

MALVOLIO.
Fool, —

CLOWN.
Alas, why is she so?

MALVOLIO.
Fool, I say, —

CLOWN.
She loves another — Who calls, ha?

MALVOLIO.
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.

CLOWN.
Master Malvolio?

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