Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 2

page Act 4 Scene 2 Page 5

Original Text

Modern Text

FOOL

Alas, sir, how fell you besides your five wits?

FOOL

Poor man, how did you go insane?

MALVOLIO

Fool, there was never a man so notoriously abused: I am as well in my wits, Fool, as thou art.

MALVOLIO

Fool, no one has ever been as mistreated as I am. I’m completely sane, Fool. I’m as sane as you are.

FOOL

80But as well? Then you are mad indeed, if you be no better in your wits than a fool.

FOOL

As sane as me? Then you really are insane, if you’re no saner than a fool.

MALVOLIO

They have here propertied me, keep me in darkness, send ministers to me—asses!—and do all they can to face me out of my wits.

MALVOLIO

They treat me like garbage here. They keep me in darkness, and send idiotic priests to talk to me—those asses!—and do everything they can to insist I’m insane.

FOOL

85Advise you what you say. The minister is here. (in the voice of Sir Topas) Malvolio, Malvolio, thy wits the heavens restore! Endeavor thyself to sleep, and leave thy vain bibble-babble.

FOOL

Be careful what you say—the priest is here. (in the voice of Sir Topas) Malvolio, Malvolio, may heaven make you sane again! Try to sleep, and stop your pointless babbling.

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas!

MALVOLIO

Sir Topas!

FOOL

90 (as Sir Topas) Maintain no words with him, good fellow. (in his own voice) Who, I, sir? Not I, sir. God b' wi' you, good Sir Topas. (as Sir Topas) Marry, amen. (in his own voice) I will, sir, I will.

FOOL

(as Sir Topas) Don’t talk to him, my friend. (in his own voice) Who, me, sir? Not me, sir. God be with you, Sir Topas, goodbye. (as Sir Topas) Well then, amen. (in his own voice) Goodbye, sir.

MALVOLIO

Fool, fool, fool, I say!

MALVOLIO

Fool, fool, hey, fool!

FOOL

95Alas, sir, be patient. What say you sir? I am shent for speaking to you.

FOOL

Please, sir, be quiet. What do you want to say, sir? I’ve just been scolded for speaking to you.

MALVOLIO

Good fool, help me to some light and some paper. I tell thee, I am as well in my wits as any man in Illyria.

MALVOLIO

Be a nice fool and help me find a candle and some paper. I tell you, I’m as sane as any man in Illyria.

FOOL

Well-a-day that you were, sir.

FOOL

If only you were, sir.