Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 2

page Act 4 Scene 2 Page 6

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MALVOLIO

100By this hand, I am. Good fool, some ink, paper, and light, and convey what I will set down to my lady. It shall advantage thee more than ever the bearing of letter did.

MALVOLIO

I swear I am. Get me some ink, paper, and a candle. I’ll write a letter and you’ll take it to my lady. You’ll get a bigger reward than you ever got delivering a letter before.

FOOL

I will help you to ’t. But tell me true, are you not mad indeed? Or do you but counterfeit?

FOOL

I’ll help you. But tell me honestly, are you sure you’re not insane? Or are you just pretending?

MALVOLIO

105Believe me, I am not. I tell thee true.

MALVOLIO

Believe me, I’m not. I’m telling the truth.

FOOL

Nay, I’ll ne'er believe a madman till I see his brains. I will fetch you light, and paper, and ink.

FOOL

I’ll never believe a madman until I can see his brains. But I’ll get you a candle and paper and ink.

MALVOLIO

Fool, I’ll requite it in the highest degree. I prithee, be gone.

MALVOLIO

Fool, I’ll repay you for this favor. Please, hurry.

FOOL

(sings)
110    I am gone, sir,
   And anon, sir,
   I’ll be with you again,
   In a trice,
   Like to the old Vice,
115    Your need to sustain,
   Who, with dagger of lath
   In his rage and his wrath,
   Cries “Aha,” to the devil,
   Like a mad lad,
120    “Pare thy nails, dad,
   Adieu, goodman devil.”

FOOL

(he sings)
   I’m going now, sir, but soon
   I’ll be with you again,
   To help you resist the devil,
   Like the sidekick in the old plays
   Who shakes a wooden dagger,
   Fumes in rage and wrath,
   And shouts “Whoa!” to the devil.
   He yells, “Trim your nails, old man.
   And goodbye, Satan, you peasant.”
Exit
FOOL exits.