List iconTwelfth Night:
Act 2, scene 3
List icon

Twelfth Night
Act 2, scene 3



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

Twelfth Night—an allusion to the night of festivity preceding the Christian celebration of the Epiphany—combines love, confusion, mistaken identities, and…

Act 1, scene 1

At his court, Orsino, sick with love for the Lady Olivia, learns from his messenger that she is grieving for…

Act 1, scene 2

On the Adriatic seacoast, Viola, who has been saved from a shipwreck in which her brother may have drowned, hears…

Act 1, scene 3

At the estate of Lady Olivia, Sir Toby Belch, Olivia’s kinsman, has brought in Sir Andrew Aguecheek to be her…

Act 1, scene 4

At Orsino’s court, Viola, disguised as a page and calling herself Cesario, has gained the trust of Orsino, who decides…

Act 1, scene 5

Viola, in her disguise as Cesario, appears at Olivia’s estate. Olivia allows Cesario to speak with her privately about Orsino’s…

Act 2, scene 1

A young gentleman named Sebastian, who has recently been saved from a shipwreck in which his sister has been lost,…

Act 2, scene 2

Malvolio finds the disguised Viola and “returns” the ring. Viola, alone, realizes that Olivia has fallen in love with Cesario…

Act 2, scene 3

At Olivia’s estate, Toby, Andrew, and the Fool hold a late night party. Maria comes in to quiet them, followed…

Act 2, scene 4

Orsino asks for a song to relieve his love-longing. In conversation about the capacities for love in men and in…

Act 2, scene 5

Maria lays her trap for Malvolio by placing her forged letter in his path. From their hiding place, Toby, Andrew,…

Act 3, scene 1

Viola (as Cesario), on her way to see Olivia, encounters first the Fool and then Sir Toby and Sir Andrew….

Act 3, scene 2

Sir Andrew, convinced that Olivia will never love him, threatens to leave. Sir Toby persuades him that he can win…

Act 3, scene 3

Antonio, having followed Sebastian, explains the incident in his past that keeps him from safely venturing into the streets of…

Act 3, scene 4

Malvolio, dressed ridiculously and smiling grotesquely, appears before an astonished Olivia. Thinking him insane, she puts him in the care…

Act 4, scene 1

The Fool encounters Sebastian, whom he mistakes for Cesario. When Sir Andrew and Sir Toby attack Sebastian, the Fool fetches…

Act 4, scene 2

Under directions from Sir Toby, the Fool disguises himself as a parish priest and visits the imprisoned Malvolio. In his…

Act 4, scene 3

While Sebastian is sure that neither he nor Olivia is insane, he is amazed by the wonder of his new…

Act 5, scene 1

Orsino, at Olivia’s estate, sends the Fool to bring Olivia to him. Antonio is brought in by officers and he…

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Quill icon
Scene 3
Enter Sir Toby and Sir Andrew.

TOBY Approach, Sir Andrew. Not to be abed after
 midnight is to be up betimes, and “diluculo surgere,”
 thou know’st—
ANDREW Nay, by my troth, I know not. But I know to
5 be up late is to be up late.
TOBY A false conclusion. I hate it as an unfilled can. To
 be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is early,
 so that to go to bed after midnight is to go to bed
 betimes. Does not our lives consist of the four
10 elements?
ANDREW Faith, so they say, but I think it rather consists
 of eating and drinking.
TOBY Thou ’rt a scholar. Let us therefore eat and
 drink. Marian, I say, a stoup of wine!

Enter Feste, the Fool.

ANDREW 15Here comes the Fool, i’ faith.
FOOL How now, my hearts? Did you never see the
 picture of We Three?
TOBY Welcome, ass! Now let’s have a catch.
ANDREW By my troth, the Fool has an excellent breast.
20 I had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg,
 and so sweet a breath to sing, as the Fool has.—In
 sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night
 when thou spok’st of Pigrogromitus of the Vapians
 passing the equinoctial of Queubus. ’Twas very
25 good, i’ faith. I sent thee sixpence for thy leman.
 Hadst it?

Twelfth Night
ACT 2. SC. 3

FOOL I did impeticos thy gratillity, for Malvolio’s nose
 is no whipstock, my lady has a white hand, and the
 Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.
ANDREW 30Excellent! Why, this is the best fooling when
 all is done. Now, a song!
TOBY, giving money to the Fool Come on, there is
 sixpence for you. Let’s have a song.
ANDREW, giving money to the Fool There’s a testril of
35 me, too. If one knight give a—
FOOL Would you have a love song or a song of good
TOBY A love song, a love song.
ANDREW Ay, ay, I care not for good life.
FOOL sings 
40 O mistress mine, where are you roaming?
 O, stay and hear! Your truelove’s coming,
  That can sing both high and low.
 Trip no further, pretty sweeting.
 Journeys end in lovers meeting,
45  Every wise man’s son doth know.

ANDREW Excellent good, i’ faith!
TOBY Good, good.
FOOL sings 
 What is love? ’Tis not hereafter.
 Present mirth hath present laughter.
50  What’s to come is still unsure.
 In delay there lies no plenty,
 Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty.
  Youth’s a stuff will not endure.

ANDREW A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.
TOBY 55A contagious breath.
ANDREW Very sweet and contagious, i’ faith.
TOBY To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion.
 But shall we make the welkin dance indeed? Shall
 we rouse the night owl in a catch that will draw
60 three souls out of one weaver? Shall we do that?

Twelfth Night
ACT 2. SC. 3

ANDREW An you love me, let’s do ’t. I am dog at a
FOOL By ’r Lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.
ANDREW Most certain. Let our catch be “Thou
65 Knave.”
FOOL “Hold thy peace, thou knave,” knight? I shall be
 constrained in ’t to call thee “knave,” knight.
ANDREW ’Tis not the first time I have constrained one
 to call me “knave.” Begin, Fool. It begins “Hold
70 thy peace.”
FOOL I shall never begin if I hold my peace.
ANDREW Good, i’ faith. Come, begin.Catch sung.

Enter Maria.

MARIA What a caterwauling do you keep here! If my
 lady have not called up her steward Malvolio and
75 bid him turn you out of doors, never trust me.
TOBY My lady’s a Cataian, we are politicians, Malvolio’s
 a Peg-a-Ramsey, and Sings. Three merry men be
 Am not I consanguineous? Am I not of her
 blood? Tillyvally! “Lady”! Sings. There dwelt a man
80 in Babylon, lady, lady.

FOOL Beshrew me, the knight’s in admirable fooling.
ANDREW Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed,
 and so do I, too. He does it with a better grace, but
 I do it more natural.
TOBY sings 85O’ the twelfth day of December
MARIA For the love o’ God, peace!

Enter Malvolio.

MALVOLIO My masters, are you mad? Or what are you?
 Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty but to
 gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do you
90 make an ale-house of my lady’s house, that you
 squeak out your coziers’ catches without any mitigation
 or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of
 place, persons, nor time in you?

Twelfth Night
ACT 2. SC. 3

TOBY We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!
MALVOLIO 95Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady
 bade me tell you that, though she harbors you as her
 kinsman, she’s nothing allied to your disorders. If
 you can separate yourself and your misdemeanors,
 you are welcome to the house; if not, an it would
100 please you to take leave of her, she is very willing to
 bid you farewell.
TOBY sings 
  Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.
MARIA Nay, good Sir Toby.
FOOL sings 
  His eyes do show his days are almost done.
MALVOLIO 105Is ’t even so?
TOBY sings 
  But I will never die.
FOOL sings 
  Sir Toby, there you lie.
MALVOLIO This is much credit to you.
TOBY sings 
  Shall I bid him go?
FOOL sings 
110  What an if you do?
TOBY sings 
  Shall I bid him go, and spare not?
FOOL sings 
  O no, no, no, no, you dare not.
TOBY Out o’ tune, sir? You lie. Art any more than a
 steward? Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous,
115 there shall be no more cakes and ale?
FOOL Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i’ th’
 mouth, too.
TOBY Thou ’rt i’ th’ right.—Go, sir, rub your chain
 with crumbs.—A stoup of wine, Maria!
MALVOLIO 120Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady’s favor
 at anything more than contempt, you would not give

Twelfth Night
ACT 2. SC. 3

 means for this uncivil rule. She shall know of it, by
 this hand.He exits.
MARIA Go shake your ears!
ANDREW 125’Twere as good a deed as to drink when a
 man’s a-hungry, to challenge him the field and
 then to break promise with him and make a fool of
TOBY Do ’t, knight. I’ll write thee a challenge. Or I’ll
130 deliver thy indignation to him by word of mouth.
MARIA Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight. Since the
 youth of the Count’s was today with my lady, she is
 much out of quiet. For Monsieur Malvolio, let me
 alone with him. If I do not gull him into a nayword
135 and make him a common recreation, do not think I
 have wit enough to lie straight in my bed. I know I
 can do it.
TOBY Possess us, possess us, tell us something of him.
MARIA Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.
ANDREW 140O, if I thought that, I’d beat him like a dog!
TOBY What, for being a puritan? Thy exquisite reason,
 dear knight?
ANDREW I have no exquisite reason for ’t, but I have
 reason good enough.
MARIA 145The devil a puritan that he is, or anything
 constantly but a time-pleaser; an affectioned ass
 that cons state without book and utters it by great
 swaths; the best persuaded of himself, so crammed,
 as he thinks, with excellencies, that it is his grounds
150 of faith that all that look on him love him. And on
 that vice in him will my revenge find notable cause
 to work.
TOBY What wilt thou do?
MARIA I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of
155 love, wherein by the color of his beard, the shape of
 his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure of his
 eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find himself

Twelfth Night
ACT 2. SC. 3

 most feelingly personated. I can write very like my
 lady your niece; on a forgotten matter, we can
160 hardly make distinction of our hands.
TOBY Excellent! I smell a device.
ANDREW I have ’t in my nose, too.
TOBY He shall think, by the letters that thou wilt drop,
 that they come from my niece, and that she’s in
165 love with him.
MARIA My purpose is indeed a horse of that color.
ANDREW And your horse now would make him an ass.
MARIA Ass, I doubt not.
ANDREW O, ’twill be admirable!
MARIA 170Sport royal, I warrant you. I know my physic
 will work with him. I will plant you two, and let the
 Fool make a third, where he shall find the letter.
 Observe his construction of it. For this night, to bed,
 and dream on the event. Farewell.
TOBY 175Good night, Penthesilea.She exits.
ANDREW Before me, she’s a good wench.
TOBY She’s a beagle true bred, and one that adores
 me. What o’ that?
ANDREW I was adored once, too.
TOBY 180Let’s to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for
 more money.
ANDREW If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way
TOBY Send for money, knight. If thou hast her not i’
185 th’ end, call me “Cut.”
ANDREW If I do not, never trust me, take it how you
TOBY Come, come, I’ll go burn some sack. ’Tis too
 late to go to bed now. Come, knight; come, knight.
They exit.