[Enter VIOLA, and...
Act 3 Scene 1
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- William Shakespeare
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Viola (disguised as the male Cesario) has returned to see the Lady Olivia. She has another message
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[Enter VIOLA, and CLOWN with a tabor.]
Save thee, friend, and thy music. Dost thou live by thy tabor?
No, sir, I live by the church.
Art thou a churchman?
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.
So thou mayst say the king lies by a beggar, if a beggar dwell near him; or the church stands
by thy tabor, if thy tabor stand by the church.
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!
Nay, that's certain; they that dally nicely with words may quickly make them wanton.
I would, therefore, my sister had had no name, sir.
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.
Thy reason, man?
Troth, sir, I can yield you none without words; and words are grown so false I am loath to
prove reason with them.
I warrant, thou art a merry fellow, and carest for nothing.
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.
Art not thou the Lady Olivia's fool?
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.
I saw thee late at the Count Orsino's.
Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere. 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
Nay, an thou pass upon me, I'll no more with thee.
Hold, there's expenses for thee.
Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send thee a beard!
By my troth, I'll tell thee, I am almost sick for one; though I would not have it grow on my
chin. Is thy lady within?
Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?
Yes, being kept together and put to use.
I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to bring a
Cressida to this Troilus.
I understand you, sir; 'tis well begged.
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 overworn.
This fellow's 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, check at every feather
That comes before his eye. This is a practice
As full of labour as a wise man's art:
For folly, that he wisely shows, is fit;
But wise men, folly-fallen, quite taint their wit.
William Shakespeare Twelfth Night Act 3 sc.1
[Full text available on Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/1526/pg1526.html
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