Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 1
No Fear Act 3 Scene 1 Page 4

Original Text

Modern Text

VIOLA

This fellow is wise enough to play the fool,
And to do that well craves a kind of wit.
55He 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 practise
As full of labor as a wise man’s art,
60For folly that he wisely shows is fit.
But wise men, folly-fall'n, quite taint their wit.

VIOLA

This guy’s wise enough to play the fool, and only clever people can do that. He pays attention to the mood and social rank of the person he’s joking with, and also to the time of day. And he doesn’t let go of his target when a distraction appears. His job requires as much effort and skill as any wise man’s occupation could. And he shows he’s very smart at playing the fool, while smart people look stupid when they play the fool.
Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, and SIR ANDREW
SIR TOBY BELCH and SIR ANDREW enter.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Save you, gentleman.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Hello, sir.

VIOLA

And you, sir.

VIOLA

Hello to you too, sir.

SIR ANDREW

Dieu vous garde, monsieur.

SIR ANDREW

(speaking in French) May God protect you, sir.

VIOLA

65 Et vous aussi. Votre serviteur!

VIOLA

(speaking in French) And you too, sir. I’m at your service.

SIR ANDREW

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

SIR ANDREW

SIR TOBY BELCH

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

SIR TOBY BELCH

My niece would like you to come in to the house, if your business here has to do with her.

VIOLA

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

VIOLA

I’m headed for your niece, sir. She’s the reason I’m here.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Taste your legs, sir. Put them to motion.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Taste your legs, sir. Please go inside.