Act I, Scene 3 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.
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 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 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.
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 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]
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 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 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 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 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]

 

To see other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act II, Scene 5 Olivia's garden.
Act I, Scene 1 Duke Orsino's palace. Act III, Scene 1 Olivia's garden.
Act I, Scene 2 The sea-coast. Act III, Scene 2 Olivia's house.
Act I, Scene 3 Olivia's house. Act III, Scene 3 A street.
Act I, Scene 4 Duke Orsino's palace. Act III, Scene 4 Olivia's garden
Act I, Scene 5 Olivia's house. Act IV, Scene 1 Before Olivia's house.
Act II, Scene 1 The sea-coast. Act IV, Scene 2 Olivia's house.
Act II, Scene 2 A street. Act IV, Scene 3 Olivia's garden.
Act II, Scene 3 Olivia's house. Act V, Scene 1  Before Olivia's house.
Act II, Scene 4 Duke Orsino's palace.

 

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