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Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 3

page Act 1 Scene 3 Page 5

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SIR ANDREW

An I thought that, I’d forswear it. I’ll ride home tomorrow,
Sir Toby.

SIR ANDREW

If I really believed that, I’d give up red meat totally. By the way, I’m going home tomorrow, Sir Toby.

SIR TOBY BELCH

80 Pourquoi, my dear knight?

SIR TOBY BELCH

SIR ANDREW

What is “pourquoi”? Do, or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing, and bear-baiting. O, had I but followed the arts!

SIR ANDREW

What does “pourquoi” mean? Does it mean I will or I won’t? Oh, I wish I’d spent as much time learning languages as I spent on fencing, dancing, and

bear-baiting

Bear-baiting, in which a bear was tied to a stake and attacked by dogs, was a popular entertainment in Shakespeare’s time.

bear-baiting
! If only I’d taken school more seriously!

SIR TOBY BELCH

Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.

SIR TOBY BELCH

You’d have a great hairstyle if you had.

SIR ANDREW

85Why, would that have mended my hair?

SIR ANDREW

Why, would that have fixed my hair?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Past question, for thou seest it will not curl by nature.

SIR TOBY BELCH

Oh, no question—it won’t style itself.

SIR ANDREW

But it becomes me well enough, does ’t not?

SIR ANDREW

But my hair looks good anyway, doesn’t it?

SIR TOBY BELCH

Excellent. It hangs like flax on a distaff. And I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin it off.

SIR TOBY BELCH

It looks great. It hangs like an old worn-out mop. Some woman should give you syphilis so you go bald.

SIR ANDREW

90Faith, I’ll home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your niece will not be seen. Or if she be, it’s four to one she’ll none of me. The count himself here hard by woos her.

SIR ANDREW

Listen, I’m going home tomorrow, Sir Toby. Your niece is refusing to see anyone, and even if she saw me, ten to one she’d want nothing to do with me. That duke who lives nearby is courting her.

SIR TOBY BELCH

She’ll none o' the count. She’ll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit. I have heard her swear ’t. Tut, there’s life in ’t, man.

SIR TOBY BELCH

She’s not interested in the duke. She doesn’t want to marry anyone of higher social rank than her, or anyone richer, older, or smarter. I’ve heard her say that. So cheer up, there’s still hope for you, man.