Search Menu

Twelfth Night

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter MARIA and FOOL
MARIA and the FOOL enter.

MARIA
Nay, I prithee, put on this gown and this beard. Make him believe thou art Sir Topas the curate. Do it quickly. I’ll call Sir Toby the whilst.
MARIA
No, I’m telling you, put on this robe and beard. Make him think you’re Sir Topas the priest. Be quick. Meanwhile, I’ll get Sir Toby.
Exit
MARIA exits.

FOOL
Well, I’ll put it on, and I will dissemble myself in ’t, and I would I were the first that ever dissembled in such a gown.
FOOL
Well, I’ll put it on and disguise myself. I wish I were the first person who ever told lies in a priest’s robe.
FOOL puts on gown and beard
The FOOL puts on the robe and beard.
I am not tall enough to become the function well, nor lean enough to be thought a good student, but to be said an honest man and a good housekeeper goes as fairly as to say a careful man and a great scholar. The competitors enter.
I’m not tall enough to make a believable priest, or skinny enough to look like a good student. But if you’re an honest man and a good host, that’s almost as good as being moral and studious. Here come the conspirators.
Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA
SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA enter.

10
SIR TOBY BELCH
Jove bless thee, master Parson.
SIR TOBY BELCH
God bless you, Mr. Priest.

FOOL
Bonos dies, Sir Toby. For, as the old hermit of Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King Gorboduc, “That that is is.” So I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson. For, what is “that” but “that,” and “is” but “is”?
FOOL

Bonos dies

The fool is saying hello in an imitation of Latin.

Bonos dies
, Sir Toby. As the old hermit of Prague, who couldn’t read or write, said very wittily to a niece of King Gorboduc, “Whatever is, is.” So since I’m Mr. Priest, I’m Mr. Priest. Because isn’t “that” “that,” and isn’t “is” “is”?

SIR TOBY BELCH
To him, Sir Topas.
SIR TOBY BELCH
Go to him, Sir Topas.