L S W - 06/02/00
Guest :- Stephen Boxer
Text drawn from 12th Night
1, Scene 5 opening
Act 3, Scene 1 opening
On Acting the Clown
Act 1, Scene 5
Enter MARIA and Clown
Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, or I will
my lips so wide as a bristle may enter in
way of thy excuse: my lady will hang thee for thy absence.
Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in
world needs to fear no colours.
Make that good.
He shall see none to fear.
A good lenten answer: I can
tell thee where that
saying was born, of 'I fear no colours.'
Where, good Mistress Mary?
In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your
Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those
that are fools, let them use their talents.
Yet you will be hanged for being so long
to be turned away, is not that as good as a hanging to you?
Many a good hanging prevents a bad
for turning away, let summer bear it out.
You are resolute, then?
Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two
That if one break, the other will hold; or,
break, your gaskins fall.
Apt, in good faith; very apt. Well, go thy way; if
Sir Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a
piece of Eve's flesh as any in Illyria.
Peace, you rogue, no more o' that. Here comes my
lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best.
Wit, an't be thy will, put me into good
Those wits, that think
they have thee, do very oft
prove fools; and I, that am sure I lack thee, may
pass for a wise man: for what says Quinapalus?
'Better a witty
fool, than a foolish wit.'
Enter OLIVIA with MALVOLIO
God bless thee, lady!
Take the fool away.
Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the
Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no
more of you:
besides, you grow dishonest.
Two faults, madonna, that drink and good
will amend: for give the dry fool drink, then
the fool not dry: bid the
dishonest man mend
himself; if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if
he cannot, let the botcher mend him. Any thing
that's mended is but patched: virtue that
transgresses is but patched with
sin; and sin that
amends is but patched with virtue. If that
simple syllogism will serve, so; if it will not,
what remedy? As there is no true cuckold but
calamity, so beauty's a flower. The lady bade take
away the fool; therefore, I say again, take her away.
Sir, I bade them take away you.
Misprision in the highest degree! Lady,
facit monachum; that's as much to say as I wear not
motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to
prove you a fool.
Can you do it?
Dexterously, good madonna.
Make your proof.
I must catechise you for it, madonna: good
of virtue, answer me.
Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll bide your proof.
Good madonna, why mournest thou?
Good fool, for my brother's death.
I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your
soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.
What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth
he not mend?
Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death shake him:
infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the
God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for
better increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be
sworn that I am no fox; but he will not
word for two pence that you are no fool.
How say you to that, Malvolio?
I marvel your ladyship takes delight in
barren rascal: I saw him put down the other
with an ordinary fool that has no more brain
than a stone. Look you now, he's out of his guard
already; unless you laugh and minister occasion to
him, he is gagged. I protest, I take these wise men,
that crow so at these set kind of fools, no
than the fools' zanies.
Oh, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste
with a distempered
appetite. To be generous,
guiltless and of free disposition,
is to take those
things for bird-bolts that you deem
there is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do
nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet
man, though he do nothing but reprove.
Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for
speakest well of fools!
Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much
desires to speak with you.
From the Count Orsino, is it?
I know not, madam: 'tis a fair young man,
and well attended.
Who of my people hold him in delay?
Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.
Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks
madman: fie on him!
Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the count, I
am sick, or not at home; what you
will, to dismiss it.
Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and
people dislike it.
Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy
son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with
brains! for,--here he comes,--one of thy kin has a
most weak pia mater.
SIR TOBY BELCH
By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at
the gate, cousin?
SIR TOBY BELCH
A gentleman! what gentleman?
SIR TOBY BELCH
'Tis a gentle man
here--a plague o' these
pickle-herring! How now, sot!
Good Sir Toby!
Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?
SIR TOBY BELCH
Lechery! I defy lechery.
There's one at the gate.
Ay, marry, what is he?
SIR TOBY BELCH
Let him be the devil, an he will, I care
me faith, say I. Well, it's all one.
What's a drunken man like, fool?
Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man:
draught above heat
makes him a fool; the second mads
him; and a third drowns him.
Go thou and seek the crowner, and let
him sit o' my
coz; for he's in the third degree of drink, he's
drowned: go, look after him.
He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool
to the madman.
Act 3, Scene 1
Enter VIOLA, and Clown with a tabour
Save thee, friend, and thy
music: dost thou live by
No, sir, I live by the church.
Art thou a churchman?
No such matter, sir: I do live by the church;
I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by
So thou mayst say, the king lies by a beggar,
beggar dwell near him; or, the church stands by thy
tabour, if thy
tabour stand by the church.
You have said, sir. To see this age! A
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,
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;
words are grown so false, I am loath
reason with them.
I warrant thou art a merry fellow and carest
Not so, sir, I do care for something; but in
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
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
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
By my troth, I'll tell thee, I am almost sick
one; Aside though I would not have it grow on
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
a Cressida to this Troilus.
I understand you, sir; 'tis well begged.
The matter, I hope, is not great, sir, begging
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
might say 'element,' but the word is over-worn. Exit