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Twelfth Night

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 a 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 on 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
on 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 (sweetheart)? 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 of 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 it, man.
 
SIR ANDREW
I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow of the strangest mind in 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 it.
 
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]

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