Act 1, Scene 3, Twelfth Night, Translation: Shakespeare

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SCENE III. OLIVIA's house.
Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA
SIR TOBY BELCH
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 BELCH
Why, let her except, before excepted.
MARIA
Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest
limits of order.

SCENE III. Olivia's house.
Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA
SIR TOBY BELCH
What on earth does my niece mean, reacting to the death of
her brother like this? I'm sure excessive worry is an enemy to life.
MARIA
By my truth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier in the
evenings: your cousin, my lady, has strong
objections to your late hours.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Well, let her object, even before the objections are made.
MARIA
Yes, but you must confine yourself within the reasonable
boundaries of proper behavior.

SIR TOBY BELCH
Confine! I'll confine myself no finer than I am:
these clothes are good enough to drink in; and so be
these boots too: an 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 BELCH
Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?
MARIA
Ay, he.
SIR TOBY BELCH
He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
MARIA
What's that to the purpose?
SIR TOBY BELCH
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 BELCH
Constrain! I won't constrain myself to be any more refined than I am:
these clothes are good enough for drinking; and so are
these boots too: if they're not, let them hang
themselves by their own laces.
MARIA
All that carousing and drinking will ruin you: I heard
my lady talking about it yesterday; and about a foolish
knight that you brought in one night here to court her.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?
MARIA
Yes, him.
SIR TOBY BELCH
He's as tall a man as anyone in Illyria.
MARIA
What does that matter?
SIR TOBY BELCH
Well, he has three thousand ducats a year.
MARIA
Yes, but all those ducats will only last him a year:
he's a complete fool and a spendthrift.

SIR TOBY BELCH
Fie, that you'll say so! he plays o' the
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 BELCH
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 BELCH
Fie, that you'll say that! He plays the
viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages
verbatim without a book, and possesses all the good
qualities of nature.
MARIA
He indeed has almost natural talents, because besides
being a fool, he's a great fighter. And if it weren't for
the gift of being a coward to temper the eagerness he
has for fighting, wise people think
he'd soon receive the gift of a grave.
SIR TOBY BELCH
By my word, they are scoundrels and detractors
who say that about him. Who are they?
MARIA
Those who also say that he's drunk every night when he's with you.

SIR TOBY BELCH
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' the toe like a parish-top. What, wench!
Castiliano vulgo! for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.
Enter SIR ANDREW
SIR ANDREW
Sir Toby Belch! how now, Sir Toby Belch!
SIR TOBY BELCH
Sweet Sir Andrew!
SIR ANDREW
Bless you, fair shrew.
MARIA
And you too, sir.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.
SIR ANDREW
What's that?
SIR TOBY BELCH
My niece's chambermaid.
SIR ANDREW
Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

SIR TOBY BELCH
Toasting to my niece's health: I'll drink to
her as long as I have a passage in my throat and
can drink in Illyria. He's a coward and a simpleton
who won't drink to my niece until his brain spins
in his head like a spinning top. What's up, wench!
Castiliano vulgo! Because here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.
Enter SIR ANDREW
SIR ANDREW
Sir Toby Belch! How are you, Sir Toby Belch?
SIR TOBY BELCH
Sweet Sir Andrew!
SIR ANDREW
Bless you, fair scold.
MARIA
And you too, sir.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Come closer, Sir Andrew, come closer.
SIR ANDREW
What's that?
SIR TOBY BELCH
My niece's chambermaid.
SIR ANDREW
Good Mistress Accost, I'd like to get to know you better.

MARIA
My name is Mary, sir.
SIR ANDREW
Good Mistress Mary Accost,--
SIR TOBY BELCH
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 BELCH
An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst
never draw sword again.
SIR ANDREW
An you part so, mistress, I would I might never
draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have
fools in hand?

MARIA
My name is Mary, sir.
SIR ANDREW
Good Mistress Mary Accost,--
SIR TOBY BELCH
You mistake, knight; 'accost' means approach her, court
her, woo her, make advances to her.
SIR ANDREW
By my troth, I wouldn't attempt to court her in this
company. Is that the meaning of 'accost'?
MARIA
Farewell, gentlemen.
SIR TOBY BELCH
If you let her go like that, Sir Andrew, I hope
you'll never draw your sword again.
SIR ANDREW
If you let her go like that, lady, I wish I might never
draw my sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have
fools in hand?

MARIA
Sir, I have not you by the 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 the 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

MARIA
Sir, I don't have a hold on your hand.
SIR ANDREW
Well, you shall have it now; here's my hand.
MARIA
Now, sir, 'thought is free:' I ask you, bring
your hand to the wine-cellar's bar and let it have a drink.
SIR ANDREW
Why, sweetheart? What's your metaphor?
MARIA
It's dry, sir.
SIR ANDREW
Why, I think so. I'm not such a fool that I can't
keep my hand dry. But what's your joke?
MARIA
A dry joke, sir.
SIR ANDREW
Are you full of them?
MARIA
Yes, sir, I have them at my fingertips. But now,
since I've let go of your hand, I am empty.
Exit

SIR TOBY BELCH
O knight thou lackest 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 BELCH
No question.
SIR ANDREW
An I thought that, I'ld forswear it. I'll ride home
to-morrow, Sir Toby.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Pourquoi, my dear knight?
SIR ANDREW
What is 'Pourquoi'? do or not do? I would I had
bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in
fencing, dancing and bear-baiting: O, had I but
followed the arts!

SIR TOBY BELCH
Oh, knight, you need a cup of canary wine. When did I
see you so dejected?
SIR ANDREW
Never in your life, I think, unless you saw canary
wine putting me down. Sometimes I feel I have no more wit
than a Christian or an ordinary man. But I eat a
lot of beef, and I believe that harms my wit.
SIR TOBY BELCH
No doubt about it.
SIR ANDREW
If I thought that, I'd give it up. I'll ride home
tomorrow, Sir Toby.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Pourquoi, my dear knight?
SIR ANDREW
What's 'Pourquoi'? To do or not to do? I wish I had
spent that time studying languages, instead of
fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting. Oh, if only I had
pursued the arts!

SIR TOBY BELCH
Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
SIR ANDREW
Why, would that have mended my hair?
SIR TOBY BELCH
Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by nature.
SIR ANDREW
But it becomes me well enough, does't not?
SIR TOBY BELCH
Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I
hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs
and spin it off.
SIR ANDREW
Faith, I'll home to-morrow, Sir Toby: your niece
will not be seen; or if she be, it's four to one
she'll none of me: the count himself here hard by woos her.

SIR TOBY BELCH
Then you would have had an excellent head of hair.
SIR ANDREW
Why, would that have improved my hair?
SIR TOBY BELCH
No doubt; because you see it won't curl naturally.
SIR ANDREW
But it suits me well enough, doesn't it?
SIR TOBY BELCH
Excellent; it hangs down like flax on a spindle. I
hope to see a housewife take you between her legs
and spin it off.
SIR ANDREW
Well, I'll go home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your niece
won't be seen, or if she is, it's four to one
she won't have anything to do with me. The count himself here nearby is courting her.

SIR TOBY BELCH
She'll none o' the count: she'll not match above
her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I
have heard her swear't. Tut, there's life in't,man.
SIR ANDREW
I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o' the
strangest mind i' the world; I delight in masques, and revels sometimes altogether.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?
SIR ANDREW
As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the
degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare
with an old man.
SIR TOBY BELCH
What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
SIR ANDREW
Faith, I can cut a caper.

SIR TOBY BELCH
She won't have anything to do with the count. She
won't match above her station, neither in wealth,
age, nor intelligence; I've heard her swear that. Oh, there's life in it, man.
SIR ANDREW
I'll stay another month. I have a very odd mind;
I enjoy masques and revels, sometimes all at once.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Are you good at these trivial entertainments, knight?
SIR ANDREW
As good as any man in Illyria, no matter who he is, below
the rank of my superiors. And yet I won't compete
with an old man.
SIR TOBY BELCH
What's your skill in a galliard, knight?
SIR ANDREW
Honestly, I can leap in the air and turn around.

SIR TOBY BELCH
And I can cut the mutton to't.
SIR ANDREW
And I think I have the back-trick simply as strong
as any man in Illyria.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have
these gifts a curtain before 'em? are they like to
take dust, like Mistress Mall's picture? why dost
thou not go to church in a galliard and come home in
a coranto? My very walk should be a jig; I would not
so much as make water but in a sink-a-pace. What
dost thou mean? Is it a world to hide virtues in?
I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy
leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.
SIR ANDREW
Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a
flame-coloured stock. Shall we set about some revels?

SIR TOBY BELCH
And I can dance the galliard.
SIR ANDREW
And I think I can do the back-trick just as well
as any man in Illyria.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Why are these talents kept hidden? Why are these
abilities covered up? Are they going to collect dust
like Mistress Mall's portrait? Why don't you go to
church with a galliard and come back with a coranto?
I'd even dance a jig as I walk; I wouldn't even
urinate without doing a sink-a-pace. What do you
mean? Is this a world to hide one's virtues in?
I actually thought that, with the fantastic structure
of your leg, it was shaped under the star of the galliard.
SIR ANDREW
Yes, it's strong, and it looks quite nice in a
flame-colored stocking. Should we start some festivities?

SIR TOBY BELCH
What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?
SIR ANDREW
Taurus! That's sides and heart.
SIR TOBY BELCH
No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see the
caper; ha! higher: ha, ha! excellent!
Exeunt

SIR TOBY BELCH
What else can we do? Weren't we born under the sign of Taurus?
SIR ANDREW
Taurus! That's the sides and heart.
SIR TOBY BELCH
No, sir, it's the legs and thighs. Let me see you
dance a caper; ha! higher: ha, ha! excellent!
Exeunt

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