Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

VIOLA

I will return again into the house and desire some conduct of the lady. I am no fighter. I have heard of some kind of men that put quarrels purposely on others, to taste their valor. Belike this is a man of that quirk.

VIOLA

I’ll go back inside and ask the lady for some kind of escort. I’m not a fighter. I’ve heard of men who pick fights with other people on purpose, just to see how brave they are. This man is probably like that.

SIR TOBY BELCH

220Sir, no. His indignation derives itself out of a very competent injury. Therefore get you on and give him his desire. Back you shall not to the house, unless you undertake that with me which with as much safety you might answer him. Therefore on, or strip your sword stark naked, for meddle you must, that’s certain, or forswear to wear iron about you.

SIR TOBY BELCH

No, sir. He’s furious because you insulted him, and he has a right to satisfaction. So go out there and give him what he wants. You can’t go back into the house unless you want to fight with me—and if you’re willing to do that, you might as well just go and fight with him. So go to the orchard, or take out your sword right now. You’re going to have to fight one way or another, there’s no doubt about that, or else you’ll have to stop wearing a sword and claiming to be a gentleman.

VIOLA

This is as uncivil as strange. I beseech you, do me this courteous office, as to know of the knight what my offense to him is. It is something of my negligence, nothing of my purpose.

VIOLA

This is as rude as it is strange. Please, do me this one favor: find out what I’ve done to offend this knight. It must be something I did accidentally.

SIR TOBY BELCH

I will do so. Signior Fabian, stay you by this gentleman till my return.

SIR TOBY BELCH

I will do so. Mr. Fabian, stay with this gentleman until I come back.
Exit
SIR TOBY exits.

VIOLA

Pray you, sir, do you know of this matter?

VIOLA

Excuse me, sir, do you know anything about this?

FABIAN

I know the knight is incensed against you, even to a mortal arbitrament, but nothing of the circumstance more.

FABIAN

I know the knight is furious with you, so much that he’s willing to fight you to the death, but I don’t know anything else about it.

VIOLA

I beseech you, what manner of man is he?

VIOLA

What kind of man is he?

FABIAN

Nothing of that wonderful promise, to read him by his form, as you are like to find him in the proof of his valor. He is, indeed, sir, the most skillful, bloody, and fatal opposite that you could possibly have found in any part of Illyria. Will you walk towards him? I will make your peace with him if I can.

FABIAN

He’s not much to look at, but he’s very brave in battle. He really is the most skillful, bloodthirsty, and dangerous opponent you can find in Illyria. Do you want to go see him? I’ll try to calm him down for you if I can.