Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

SIR TOBY BELCH

115Is ’t possible?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Is it possible?

FABIAN

If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction.

FABIAN

If this were a play, I’d complain it was unrealistic.

SIR TOBY BELCH

His very genius hath taken the infection of the device, man.

SIR TOBY BELCH

He’s really taken this prank to heart. He’s playing the role perfectly.

MARIA

Nay, pursue him now, lest the device take air and taint.

MARIA

No, follow him now, before he divulges the prank and ruins everything.

FABIAN

120Why, we shall make him mad indeed.

FABIAN

Wow, we’re really going to drive him crazy.

MARIA

The house will be the quieter.

MARIA

The house will be so much quieter.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Come, we’ll have him in a dark room and bound. My niece is already in the belief that he’s mad. We may carry it thus, for our pleasure and his penance, till our very pastime, tired out of breath, prompt us to have mercy on him, at which time we will bring the device to the bar and crown thee for a finder of madmen. But see, but see!

SIR TOBY BELCH

Come on, let’s put him in a dark room and tie him up. My niece already thinks he’s insane. We can go on like this, punishing him and having some fun, until we’re tired of it. Then we can take mercy on him and let him out, and talk about how well the joke went. We’ll also worship you for setting up this trick. Let’s do it, let’s do it!
Enter SIR ANDREW
SIR ANDREW enters.

FABIAN

More matter for a May morning.

FABIAN

Here’s more insanity for us.

SIR ANDREW

(presenting a paper) Here’s the challenge, read it. Warrant there’s vinegar and pepper in ’t.

SIR ANDREW

(presenting them a piece of paper) Here’s the challenge, read it. It’s bursting with fighting words.

FABIAN

Is ’t so saucy?

FABIAN

Is it that aggressive?

SIR ANDREW

Ay, is ’t, I warrant him. Do but read.

SIR ANDREW

Yes, it is, I think. Just read it.