Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 14

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FOOL

290So I do, madonna. But to read his right wits is to read thus.
Therefore perpend, my princess, and give ear.

FOOL

I will, my lady, but a sane person reading this would make it sound crazy. So listen up, princess.

OLIVIA

(giving the letter to FABIAN) Read it you, sirrah.

OLIVIA

(giving the letter to FABIAN) Oh, you read it, sir.

FABIAN

(reads)
“By the Lord, madam, you wrong me, and the world shall know it. Though you have put me into darkness and given your drunken cousin rule over me, yet have I the benefit of my senses as well as your Ladyship. I have your own letter that induced me to the semblance I put on, with the which I doubt not but to do myself much right or you much shame. Think of me as you please. I leave my duty a little unthought of and speak out of my injury. The madly used Malvolio.”

FABIAN

(he reads)
“I swear to God, madam, you’ve wronged me, and I’ll tell the whole world. You’ve shut me up in a dark room and given your drunken cousin authority over me, but I’m as sane as you are. I’ve got a letter from you encouraging me to act the way I did. If I didn’t have it, I couldn’t prove that I’m right and you’re wrong. I don’t care what you think of me. I’m going to forget my duties to you a little bit and complain about the injuries you’ve caused me. Signed,
   The poorly treated Malvolio.”

OLIVIA

Did he write this?

OLIVIA

Did he write this?

FOOL

Ay, madam.

FOOL

Yes, madam.

ORSINO

305This savors not much of distraction.

ORSINO

It doesn’t sound like an insane person’s letter.

OLIVIA

See him delivered, Fabian; bring him hither.

OLIVIA

Set him free. Fabian, bring him here.
Exit FABIAN
FABIAN exits.
My lord so please you, these things further thought on,
To think me as well a sister as a wife,
One day shall crown the alliance on ’t, so please you,
310Here at my house and at my proper cost.
My lord, I hope that after you think things over a bit you’ll come to like the idea of having me as a sister-in-law instead of a wife. We can have the weddings tomorrow if you want, here at my own house. I’ll pay for everything.