Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

OLIVIA

Smilest thou? I sent for thee upon a sad occasion.

OLIVIA

You’re smiling? I sent for you about a sad occasion.

MALVOLIO

Sad, lady! I could be sad. This does make some obstruction in the blood, this cross-gartering, but what of that? If it please the eye of one, it is with me as the very true sonnet is, “Please one, and please all.”

MALVOLIO

Sad, my lady! I could be sad if I wanted to be. These crisscrossing laces do cut off the circulation in my legs a bit, but who cares? As the sonnet says, “If you please one special person, you please everyone who matters.”

OLIVIA

Why, how dost thou, man? What is the matter with thee?

OLIVIA

Why, what’s going on? What’s the matter with you?

MALVOLIO

Not black in my mind, though yellow in my legs. It did come to his hands, and commands shall be executed. I think we do know the sweet Roman hand.

MALVOLIO

My legs may be yellow, but I don’t feel blue. It was addressed to him, and orders must be obeyed. I think we know whose fancy handwriting that was.

OLIVIA

Wilt thou go to bed, Malvolio?

OLIVIA

Don’t you think you should go to bed, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO

To bed? “Ay, sweetheart, and I’ll come to thee.”

MALVOLIO

To bed! “Yes, sweetheart, I’ll come to you.”

OLIVIA

God comfort thee! Why dost thou smile so, and kiss thy hand so oft?

OLIVIA

For heaven’s sake, why are you smiling like that and kissing your hand so much?

MARIA

How do you, Malvolio?

MARIA

How are you feeling, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO

At your request! Yes, nightingales answer daws!

MALVOLIO

You’re asking me! Noble people don’t answer to peasants!

MARIA

Why appear you with this ridiculous boldness before my lady?

MARIA

Why are you acting so brazen toward my lady?

MALVOLIO

35“Be not afraid of greatness.” 'Twas well writ.

MALVOLIO

“Don’t be afraid of greatness.” That was well written.

OLIVIA

What meanest thou by that, Malvolio?

OLIVIA

What do you mean by that, Malvolio?

MALVOLIO

“Some are born great—”

MALVOLIO

“Some are born great—”