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Twelfth Night

Act 3, Scene 1

OLIVIA's garden.

Enter VIOLA, and Clown with a tabour

VIOLA

Save thee, friend, and thy music: dost thou live by
thy tabour?

Clown

No, sir, I live by the church.

VIOLA

Art thou a churchman?

Clown

No such matter, sir: I do live by the church; for
I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by
the church.

VIOLA

So thou mayst say, the king lies by a beggar, if a
beggar dwell near him; or, the church stands by thy
tabour, if thy tabour stand by the church.

Clown

You have said, sir. To see this age! A sentence is
but a cheveril glove to a good wit: how quickly the
wrong side may be turned outward!

VIOLA

Nay, that's certain; they that dally nicely with
words may quickly make them wanton.

Clown

I would, therefore, my sister had had no name, sir.

VIOLA

Why, man?

Clown

Why, sir, her name's a word; and to dally with that
word might make my sister wanton. But indeed words
are very rascals since bonds disgraced them.

VIOLA

Thy reason, man?

Clown

Troth, sir, I can yield you none without words; and
words are grown so false, I am loath to prove
reason with them.

VIOLA

I warrant thou art a merry fellow and carest for nothing.

Clown

Not so, sir, I do care for something; but in my
conscience, sir, I do not care for you: if that be
to care for nothing, sir, I would it would make you invisible.

VIOLA

Art not thou the Lady Olivia's fool?

Clown

No, indeed, sir; the Lady Olivia has no folly: she
will keep no fool, sir, till she be married; and
fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to
herrings; the husband's the bigger: I am indeed not
her fool, but her corrupter of words.

VIOLA

I saw thee late at the Count Orsino's.

Clown

Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun,
it shines every where. I would be sorry, sir, but
the fool should be as oft with your master as with
my mistress: I think I saw your wisdom there.

VIOLA

Nay, an thou pass upon me, I'll no more with thee.
Hold, there's expenses for thee.

Clown

Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send thee a beard!

VIOLA

By my troth, I'll tell thee, I am almost sick for
one;

Aside
though I would not have it grow on my chin. Is thy
lady within?

Clown

Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?

VIOLA

Yes, being kept together and put to use.

Clown

I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to bring
a Cressida to this Troilus.

VIOLA

I understand you, sir; 'tis well begged.

Clown

The matter, I hope, is not great, sir, begging but
a beggar: Cressida was a beggar. My lady is
within, sir. I will construe to them whence you
come; who you are and what you would are out of my
welkin, I might say 'element,' but the word is over-worn.

Exit

VIOLA

This fellow is wise enough to play the fool;
And to do that well craves a kind of wit:
He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons, and the time,
And, like the haggard, cheque at every feather
That comes before his eye. This is a practise
As full of labour as a wise man's art
For folly that he wisely shows is fit;
But wise men, folly-fall'n, quite taint their wit.

Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, and SIR ANDREW

SIR TOBY BELCH

Save you, gentleman.

VIOLA

And you, sir.

SIR ANDREW

Dieu vous garde, monsieur.

VIOLA

Et vous aussi; votre serviteur.

SIR ANDREW

I hope, sir, you are; and I am yours.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Will you encounter the house? my niece is desirous
you should enter, if your trade be to her.

VIOLA

I am bound to your niece, sir; I mean, she is the
list of my voyage.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Taste your legs, sir; put them to motion.

VIOLA

My legs do better understand me, sir, than I
understand what you mean by bidding me taste my legs.

SIR TOBY BELCH

I mean, to go, sir, to enter.

VIOLA

I will answer you with gait and entrance. But we
are prevented.

3_1_2

2005: Total Acting & Total Directing *

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