Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 2

Original Text

Modern Text

FOOL

15Marry, sir, they praise me and make an ass of me, now my foes tell me plainly I am an ass. So that by my foes, sir I profit in the knowledge of myself, and by my friends, I am abused. So that, conclusions to be as kisses, if your four negatives make your two affirmatives, why then the worse for my friends and the better for my foes.

FOOL

Well, my friends praise me and make me look like an idiot, while my enemies tell me straightforwardly that I am an idiot. My enemies help me understand myself better, which is an advantage, and my friends help me lie about myself, which is a disadvantage. So if four negatives make two affirmatives, I’m worse off because of my friends and better off because of my foes.

ORSINO

Why, this is excellent.

ORSINO

That’s excellent.

FOOL

By my troth, sir, no—though it please you to be one of my friends.

FOOL

Don’t say that—unless you want to be one of my friends.

ORSINO

(giving a coin)
25Thou shalt not be the worse for me: there’s gold.

ORSINO

(he gives him a coin) You won’t be worse off because of me: here’s some money.

FOOL

But that it would be double-dealing, sir, I would you could make it another.

FOOL

That’s a nice hand you dealt me. But if it’s not double-dealing, sir, I wish you’d deal me another.

ORSINO

O, you give me ill counsel.

ORSINO

Oh, you’re a naughty one, encouraging double-dealing.

FOOL

Put your grace in your pocket, sir, for this once, and let your flesh and blood obey it.

FOOL

Ignore your virtue and nobility just this once, sir, go ahead.

ORSINO

Well, I will be so much a sinner, to be a double-dealer.
There’s another. (giving a coin)

ORSINO

Well, I’ll commit the sin of double-dealing, and deal you a second coin. Here it is. (he gives him another coin)

FOOL

Primo, secundo, tertio is a good play, and the old saying is, the third pays for all. The triplex, sir, is a good tripping measure, or the bells of Saint Bennet, sir, may put you in mind—one, two, three.

FOOL

And maybe a third? You know, there’s a game called “third time’s the charm,” which is fun to play, and they always say that three’s a magic number. The three-beat rhythm is a good for dancing, and the church bells chime—one, two, three.