Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

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has no more brain than a stone. Look you now, he’s out of his guard already. Unless you laugh and minister occasion to him, he is gagged. I protest I take these wise men that crow so at these set kind of fools no better than the fools' zanies.
battle of wits by an ordinary jester with no more brains than a rock. Look at him, he’s at a loss for words already. Unless he’s got somebody laughing at him, he can’t think of anything to say. I swear, anyone smart who laughs at these courts jesters is nothing but a jester’s apprentice.

OLIVIA

Oh, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with a distempered appetite. To be generous, guiltless, and of free disposition is to take those things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets. There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do nothing but rail. Nor no railing in a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove.

OLIVIA

Malvolio, your vanity is damaging your good taste. If you were generous, innocent, and good-natured, you wouldn’t get so upset by what the fool says. You’d think of his wisecracks as harmless little firecrackers, not hurtful bullets. A court jester isn’t really criticizing people, even if he does nothing but make fun of them all day long. And a wise person doesn’t make fun of people, even if all he does is criticize them.

FOOL

Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of fools!

FOOL

You speak so highly of fools! I hope the god of deception rewards you by making you a wonderful liar.
Enter MARIA
MARIA enters.

MARIA

90Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much desires to speak with you.

MARIA

Madam, there’s a young gentleman at the gate who really wants to speak to you.

OLIVIA

From the Count Orsino, is it?

OLIVIA

Was he sent by Count Orsino?

MARIA

I know not, madam. 'Tis a fair young man, and well attended.

MARIA

I don’t know, madam. He’s a good-looking young man, and there are a lot of people with him.

OLIVIA

95Who of my people hold him in delay?

OLIVIA

Who’s talking to him now?

MARIA

Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.

MARIA

Sir Toby, madam, your relative.

OLIVIA

Fetch him off, I pray you. He speaks nothing but madman.
Fie on him!

OLIVIA

Send Toby away, please. He talks nothing but nonsense.