The Play within a Play
Setting: The drawing room, later the same morning. Mr. Warren, the apothecary stands talking with Edmund. Mr. Warren is a large, but kindly, gentlemanly man. He has a reputation for being fearless in prosecuting for the needs of his patients.
Mr. Warren: I was quite surprised to find that your own cousin was housed in such a room. Surely, this is a mistake. Is it not, Mr. Bertram? In such a fine house as Mansfield Park, where certainly not even half of the bedchambers are in use, to have a member of the family quartered in such a hovel, without even a fire and scarcely room to stand up and turn around.
Edmund (coloured to the brightest red. He can make no excuse, but stammers): I... I... I had never seen her room until this morning. She was put there when she was but a young child and has never moved. Yes, it is shameful and shall end as of this moment.
Mr. Warren (more gently, but firmly): She must be moved to a comfortable chamber, with a fire. And she must have a nurse. I know a fine woman, a very respectable gentlewoman who seeks work as a nurse or as a companion, as her husband died of late, leaving her without fortune or family. I believe she would do admirably. If I have your consent, I will speak with her immediately.
Edmund: What is her name,
Mr. Warren: Mrs. Braunston.
Edmund: Ah, yes, I know the family, though not well. It is a respectable name. Yes, I can speak for my family. We will receive her as soon as she can come to us.
Mr. Warren: Very well,
Sir. I believe I may promise her arrival this same day. I will inform Mrs. Braunston of my specific requirements for Miss Price's care, but let me tell you the items of greatest import. She must eat a great deal of milk, cheese and butter. She will not be able to walk for some time, possibly never. She must lie quietly in bed and not move except if absolutely necessary. I will return with some binding material.
Edmund: Mr. Warren, what is wrong with Fanny?
Mr. Warren: She has a palsy. Her right leg is very weak but not completely flaccid, at least, not yet. I fear that there has been a serious injury to the bones in her hip. Time will tell. I hope she will recover completely and be able to walk again.
Edmund is awe-stricken. He collapses into a chair and holds his head in his hands. He does not move for several moments. Mr. Warren begins to look as if he will have two patients.
Mr. Warren: Pull yourself together,
Sir! You will need to take charge to ensure that the proper care is provided, I am sure. Knowing your aunt, I am very sure.
Edmund (struggling mightily to regain control): Yes, you are right... How is this possible?... But, how was she able to walk at all? She walked from the dining room to the drawing room and up to her room last night, though the last was with help. I almost carried her. I would that I had!
Mr. Warren: It must have been with an extraordinary amount of pain and most would not withstand it for a moment. But with force of will, it is possible. That same will must be harnessed to make her well.
Edmund: Yes, I will see to it.
Mr. Warren: I leave her in your capable hands. I will return late this afternoon or this evening.
Exit Mr. Warren.
Edmund rings the bell and paces the room. A knock is heard.
Edmund calls: Come.
Badderly: How may I be of service, Mr. Edmund?
Edmund (anxious, stopping to talk face to face with the Butler but beginning to pace again before finishing his instructions): Badderly, Miss Price is to be moved to the Rose Room immediately and with the greatest care. She is to have a fire at all hours of the night and day. She is to be encouraged to eat as much milk, cheese and butter as she can eat. All her meals are to consist of these items with bread or soup or such as she requests to make them palatable. A nurse, a gentlewoman nurse, is to arrive this day, I hope. Mrs. Braunston by name. She is to be set up in the adjoining room. All her requests are to be complied with...
Badderly: Is that all,
Edmund (agitated): Have I forgotten anything,
Badderly? Can you think of anything?
Badderly: Perhaps the young lady would like some flowers to look at if she is to be shut up in her room.
Edmund: Bless you,
Badderly! Indeed! Please do so and refresh them daily. Let me know if there are any difficulties with her care, such as interference from certain members of this family who have no greater claim to Mansfield Park than does Miss Price.
Badderly (with a look of understanding): Yes,
Sir. It shall be precisely as you say.
Edmund walks over to the fire. Stands and stares into it for a few moments then sits and buries his face in his hands. He remains like this for several moments, until disturbed by the turning of the lock in the drawing room door. He stands abruptly, turning away from the door, withdraws his handkerchief and wipes his face.
Enter Mrs. Norris, Lady Bertram, Maria, Julia and Miss Crawford.
Mrs. Norris: What had that worthless apothecary to say?
Edmund: I believe him to be the best of men in his profession. He says that Fanny has a palsy. He fears she may have broken some bones around her hip and that she must be bedridden for the present. He fears that it will be some time before she will be able to walk. (He tries to say more, is overcome momentarily. Then regains himself.) He was quite amazed to see that a member of this family, a close relative, was housed in a room not fit for a chambermaid. I was mortified by his presentation of the facts as they plainly are and should have been obvious to us all.
Mrs. Norris: It was quite good enough...
Edmund: (interrupting the interrupter) I have ordered her moved to the Rose Room. She is...
Mrs. Norris: (interrupting again, in indignation) The Rose Room! Why that is the best room in the house. It is the best guest room, reserved only for the most distinguished of visitors. I have never even stayed in the Rose Room.
Edmund: (Bitterly) Well, perhaps if you are very kind to her, Fanny may invite you in... (Miss Crawford hides a smile behind her handkerchief.) (Firmly) I will continue, Madam.
He paused briefly for effect and looked around at the ladies facing him. Mrs. Norris seemed about to say some thing else but Julia's hand resting firmly on hers stayed her.
Edmund: She is to have a nurse. A Mrs. Braunston, a respectable gentlewoman whose husband recently died leaving her destitute has offered to care for her. She will, I hope, be arriving today. Mr. Warren believes Fanny may walk again, if given the proper diet and care now.
Lady Bertram: I am agitated exceedingly! My poor dear Fanny. What ever shall I do without her?
Edmund: Madam, you must endeavour to manage with only your servants.
Mrs. Norris: But, how is this possible? It was only a little slip and tumble. Young girls like Fanny do not get the palsy from little falls.
Edmund: But in this case, it is indeed true. When I went to her this morning, she was so anxious for me to know that she had earnestly and repeatedly tried to get up, however her legs would not support her. Her pain was terrible but she exhausted herself trying to arise and dress. She was most distressed when I arrived that she was unable to do so. All she wanted me to do was to help her up and let the maid help her dress so she could come down to us and act like normal. I left the maid with her with strict orders not to let her out of bed while I rode to fetch Mr. Warren. The poor maid was freezing in Fanny's room. So Fanny made her take one after another of her blankets but still the girl shivered. Fanny's only concern on our arrival was that the maid be allowed to seek warmth. No wonder that Mr. Warren was indignant about the conditions in which he found her: our cousin and niece. I was completely mortified. I had no excuse to offer. I am thoroughly ashamed of us all. When I think of the comfort of all of our rooms... But I never had seen where Fanny sleeps. I had not thought of it.
Maria and Julia blush. Mrs. Norris remains hardened.
Lady Bertram shows no reaction at all in her always gentle countenance, but says: My poor dear Fanny!
Miss Crawford looks disgusted at both aunts.
Mrs. Norris: Well, I see no reason for some one of her calibre to be housed in the best room in the house.
Edmund (firmly) : Aunt, you are not to abuse Fanny...
Mrs. Norris: Me? Abuse Fanny?
Edmund (more firmly, bordering on threatening): ...or in any way interfere with Fanny's care or I will ban you from the house.
Mrs. Norris (sputtering) (To Lady Bertram): Did... Did... Did you hear how my nephew, your youngest son, spoke to me?
Lady Bertram (nervously ruffling Pugs fur and receiving little growls in response): Yes, sister. I was surprised. But, I suppose it is indeed improper to place a niece in a room fit only for servants. And certainly he is right in one thing: Fanny needs great care at present. We must not interfere. And I do think it indeed mortifying that the apothecary should see the room we have put her in and think us cruel to our own relation.
Setting: The Rose Room, named for the warm but subtle hue in all the furniture, draperies and carpets. A truly lovely and inviting room. Late afternoon of the same day. A fire roars in the huge fireplace. A small figure is seen afloat in the immense four poster bed. A servant sits at her work in a rocker next to the bed.
Fanny: Jilly, are you there?
Jilly: Yes, Miss. Can I get you any thing?
Fanny: I'm awfully thirsty. May I have a sip of water?
Jilly moves to the bed side table, pours a small glass of water and stooping over Fanny, lifts her up while fluffing her pillows to support her in a little more of a sitting position. Fanny stifles a groan only partially.
Jilly: I'm sorry, Miss. I know it hurts. The doctor will be here soon with some more of that medicine for your pain. Here, take a sip. (Sitting by her and supporting her, she lifts the glass to her lips. Fanny drinks a little and coughs.) Oh, too fast. Do you want to try again? (Fanny shakes her head and collapses back into the pillows).
Enter Edmund, with Mr. Warren and Mrs. Braunston. The latter is a pleasant and prettyish woman in her late thirties.
Edmund: (To Jilly) You may leave now, thank you for your care.
Exit Jilly, with a curtsy.
Edmund (To Mrs. Braunston): That girl has been with her all day, freezing in her little attic, then sweltering here in the Rose Room, but doing her best to keep Fanny comfortable.
Mrs. Braunston smiles at Edmund. Then looks to Fanny, who looks back at her anxiously. Mrs. Braunston smiles warmly and approaches her gracefully.
Mrs. Braunston (warmly): So you are Miss Price? I am Mrs. Braunston, Livie, if you like. I am going to work very hard to see you completely healed, both on my knees holding you up to your Maker and on my feet, keeping you comfortable and nourished. I hope we shall be great friends.
Fanny smiled at her. Tears welled up in her eyes.
Fanny: I hate to think of all the trouble I am causing everyone. How can I be in this wonderful room and having such a nice lady here to take care of me and even to pray... for ... me? (she can not continue).
Mrs. B. ( Hush, child. You are worth more than emeralds, rubies or diamonds to all who know you. (She sits beside her and hugs her. (Edmund turns away with tears in his eyes. He walks to the fire. His lips move as he looks up.)
Mr. Warren approaches him, puts an arm around his shoulders and gives a fraternal squeeze.
Mr. Warren: All will be fine now. Do not you feel it? There are some people, mainly women, in my experience, who enter a room and all chaos, discord and misery must depart. Mrs. Braunston is such a woman. I knew she would fill a great need in this house, especially for this little one in need.
Edmund: Thank you,
Sir. I thank you more than you can know.
Mr. Warren: And now, you must leave. We have some binding to do. It will be painful, so we will have to give your cousin an extra dose of dilaudid.
Edmund: May I stay? Perhaps I could be useful.
Mr. Warren: No. Miss Price will be dreadfully exposed and would not like you to see her in such a way, I am certain. Mrs. Braunston will do more than any man.
Edmund (desperate): Why must you bind her? Has she not suffered enough?
Mr. Warren: We will wrap strong linen strips around her hips and her right leg and a splint to hold the bones as still as possible. It is not possible to completely immobilise bones in such an area. All we can do is provide external support.
Edmund: But I thought you were not even certain she had broken bones. You said you thought she had broken some bones in her hip.
Mr. Warren: Please pardon me for my diplomacy. She has broken a bone. It is part of her pelvis. I can feel the bone fragments moving when I press on them.
Edmund turned white and felt dizzy. Mr. Warren helped him to a chair.
Mr. Warren: Edmund, can you make it downstairs? I need to pay attention to Miss Price. I can not have any other patients right now.
Edmund (regathering himself): I will be fine. (He stands and walks for the door, glancing over to the little figure in the big bed.)
Mrs. Braunston and Fanny have been talking quietly on the bed, the latter cradled in the former's arms, as if known to each other all their lives. Fanny smiles gratefully to her cousin as he leaves.
Edmund: (aside) At last, Fanny will feel the mother's love she has always needed.
Mr. Warren: Miss Price, we must bind your hips and splint your right leg so it can not move at the hip. This will likely be painful. So, I need you to take an extra dose of dilaudid. Can you do that, child?
Sir. (She does so, grimacing at the end.)
Mrs. B. There now, Fanny, lie back and see if you can sleep.
Fanny falls off to sleep at once.
The curtain falls as Mr. Warren exposes her hip, though we can not see it. He and Mrs. Braunston give each other a look of grave concern from either side of her.
Setting: The little drawing room (The Theatre). Mr. Yates is storming. Tom is sitting. All the others including Mrs. Norris, the Grants and the Crawfords are in attendance sitting in various locations around the room.
Yates: I think it is abominable that such another occurrence is threatening our theatricals. It is too much. After suffering the same fate at Ecclesford, it is simply too much for my nerves.
Tom: Fanny can hardly have planned to injure herself.
Yates: But she has no part. Could we not proceed?
Tom: Edmund is completely against it. He will certainly not participate.
Mrs. Norris: Perhaps we can do very well without him. I could read his part.
Yates: Hear, Hear, Madam.
Maria: Perhaps we could be forgiven for reading it through just once. I know Fanny is ill. Edmund thinks we are heartless beasts for thinking of a theatre at this time. But we can not all nurse her. Let him give up all amusement if he wishes, but I can not think it necessary or reasonable for all of us to do so.
Yates: Hear, Hear, Miss Bertram.
Enter Edmund. Tom, Julia and Miss Crawford look at him shame-facedly. The others look concerned or simply blank.
Tom: How is Fanny?
Edmund (distressed beyond expression): She suffers cruelly. They are binding her as we speak to try to keep the bones in place. They have given her some dilaudid. I hope it will help. The nurse is with her. She is wonderful, precisely what I could have always wished for. Such a loving woman to take proper care of Fanny. But I do not know what to do with myself.
No one speaks for a moment.
Crawford (standing, facing him, with sincerity): We are selfish beings who are only interested in our own amusement. I never realised that it could be this severe for poor Miss Price. (Softer): But, Edmund, she is being cared for, at present. I think it is you who needs some support now, from us. Could we divert you from the present troubles by thinking of the play?
Yates opens his mouth.
Tom (quietly but threateningly to Yates): Do not even say a word. Let Crawford handle this.
Mary: Please Edmund. Think about something else for a few minutes. When Miss Price is able to see people, I would gladly leave this gathering to join you in a visit to her. But I believe Henry is right. You are white as a sheet. You need to think of something else.
Edmund (collapsing into a chair): Perhaps you are right. I will try. But do not expect any real acting from me at present. Crawford smiles and hands him a copy of the play.
Crawford (more business-like, with the air of a director): I have a suggestion. I have reread the entire play since we last met. Has everyone else done so? (Blank looks greet him.) Well, I highly recommend it for every one. At any rate, I was confused by the beginning of Act I Scene 5 where Maria chides the clown for being so long absent. I thought 'where has he been?' Then I realised the most likely thing is that he has been at Duke Orsino's court, playing to him. He probably was playing the music that inspires Orsino's first speech and dreamy mood. So, if that is true, I must appear in Scene 1 as the clown and can not play Valentine. So, I propose Dr. Grant to take Valentine. Would that be agreeable to all?
All indicate their agreement or do not make any response at all as in the case of Mrs. Norris and Maria, the latter because she doesn't care, the former because she hates to see Dr. Grant distinguished in any way.
Tom: Then let us proceed. Yates, will you start?
Yates ( ranting and storming around the room): If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die. That strain again! it had a dying fall: O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
All have shocked looks on their faces.
Crawford (quietly, to Mary): Did we not hear him read this before in a more sensible manner? What has got into the man? Is he insane?
Mary: (quietly, in response) I have wondered that of him before. And probably not for the last time.
Tom: Pardon me Yates. Do not you think that Shakespeare intended those words to be uttered in a more serene manner? (All present agree. Yates looks mortified.)
Yates: You criticise my acting so soon?
Tom: I understand that you wished to play Baron Wildenhaim, but instead you are playing an infinitely better character. You can not, however, play him like Baron Wildenhaim. Listen to that last line. 'O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound'. I picture this speech in a dreamy manner, as Crawford just said. The Duke is speaking to his attendants and he is bodily with them, but his mind is elsewhere, with his ladylove.
Bertram. I agree with your interpretation completely.
Yates looks around at all of them. They appear determined against him.
Yates: Very well. I shall deliver the Count in your insipid terms. If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
All the players look at each other in disbelief. Mary (quietly to Crawford): Can you believe that any one could be this bad at acting? And with such a play and such a part. I believe Mr. Rushworth would do the Duke more justice.
Crawford laughs. Yates does not even notice the murmuring around him.
Julia (to Maria): Perhaps he will improve after he gets to know the character and the play a little better.
Yates (silly and affected): That strain again! it had a dying fall: O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more: 'Tis not so sweet now as it was before. O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
But falls into abatement and low price, Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy That it alone is high fantastical.
Tom: Rushworth, this is your part. Curio. Will you read it?
Rushworth: Oh, pardon me. (as CURIO): Will you go hunt, my lord?
Yates (as ORSINO): What, Curio?
Rushworth (as CURIO): The hart.
Mary (quietly to Crawford): What did I tell you? (Aloud): Very well done, Mr. Rushworth.
Rushworth smiles proudly and looks for more speeches, but alas there are none for Mr. Curio.
Yates (as ORSINO): Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
That instant was I turn'd into a hart;
And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E'er since pursue me.
Tom (as the stage manager): Enter VALENTINE
Yates (as ORSINO): How now! what news from her?
Dr. Grant (as VALENTINE): So please my lord, I might not be admitted;
But from her handmaid do return this answer:
The element itself, till seven years' heat,
Shall not behold her face at ample view;
But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk
And water once a day her chamber round
With eye-offending brine: all this to season
A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh
And lasting in her sad remembrance.
Yates (as ORSINO): O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
To pay this debt of love but to a brother,
How will she love, when the rich golden shaft
Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
That live in her; when liver, brain and heart,
These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and fill'd
Her sweet perfections with one self king!
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.
Tom (as stage manager): Exeunt. Well, what think you all? Is any thing wanting?
Crawford: When we study our parts, we should all look to answer these questions: What am I saying? What am I doing? What am I thinking that I am not saying? Why am I saying this?
Yates: Are you an experienced stage actor, Mr. Crawford?
Crawford (stands) (with an enigmatic smile): No, but I am a very experienced theatre attendee. If I saw a performance like yours, I would walk out and demand my money back. Pardon me for saying so. (Bows slightly as he says this last). But with honest appraisal you may be able to do justice to this part.
Yates stands, offended.
Julia (to Yates): Pray, do not be offended. It is our first time reading through it. You will improve.
Yates' stance softens at Julia's request.
The curtain falls as the two men reseat themselves beside the sister of their choice.
Setting: The 'Theatre' some minutes later. Servants bring in tea and Mrs. Norris serves officiously (inaudibly to us). All the company have their tea and biscuits. Crawford sits first, followed by his sister and Mr. Tom Bertram. The company has just completed Act I,
Scene 2 prior to tea. [to review this scene, see TPw/iaP Act II,
Crawford: You did very well in your scene, Mary. I look forward to seeing you act it. What say you to your hair being down and unkempt and you are both wrapped in blankets as if you were just washed in on to shore and were given dry blankets by some kind fisherfolk you had met -- now gone.
Mary: Why that?
Crawford: We know you came ashore with nothing and but you are to find boys clothes to change into, so must have help from some unknown persons.
Mary looks thoughtful but makes no response.
Tom: We must clear away all the furniture for that scene and have the bare floor indicate the beach.
Mary: Yes, that could work. (To Tom): Sir, I must commend your plan. It is, indeed, very sensible for you to stand first, then help me to my feet, then hug me in celebration of our survival. Only then should I look around and ask 'what country is this?'
Tom (to Mary): And I like your idea of falling to your knees before me as you tell me there is gold for me for saying that your brother may have been saved.
Mary: Very well, we are full of good ideas and appreciate each other's. Now what shall we do about Yates?
Crawford: (To Tom): He's your friend. You will have to bring him to his senses.
Mary: I will do my best in the scenes I have with him, but we must all encourage him to speak the part rather than hallooing it.
The others are moving about.
Yates: Players, shall we re-commence.
Tom: Yates, will you read the stage instructions in this scene, please. And Yates, I'll have a devil of a time changing costume so fast, having just left the scene as the Captain. So, please note that my costume change to Sir Toby must be very quick and easy. Oh, also, I will need a half-full bottle for this scene. Possibly Sir Andrew should have one too.
Yates: Indeed. (Scribbling furiously).
Yates (as stage manager): SCENE III. OLIVIA'S house. Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA
Crawford: May I set the scene? (Tom nods.) I picture this scene as taking place in the garden outside Olivia's house*. It is the dead of night. As the curtain rises, Maria is rushing madly about looking for something in the poorly lit garden. Slurred singing is heard. She goes to the noise. She finds Sir Toby lying in the flower bed, raises him up a little but falls down into sitting position trying to support his weight. Ends up supporting his head and shoulders on her lap.
What think you of this plan?
Julia: I like it very well. (She smiles appreciatively). Tom nods his approval.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her brother thus? I am sure care's an enemy to life.
Julia (as MARIA ): By my troth,
Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o' nights: your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Why, let her except, before excepted.
Julia (as MARIA): Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Confine! I'll confine myself no finer than I am: these clothes are good enough to drink in; and so be these boots too: an they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.
Julia (as MARIA): That quaffing and drinking will undo you: I heard my lady talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish knight that you brought in one night here to be her wooer.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Who,
Sir Andrew Aguecheek?
Julia (as MARIA): Ay, he.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
Julia (as MARIA): What's that to the purpose?
Julia: Mr. Crawford, what is that to the purpose? Why does he talk about Sir Andrew's height?
Crawford: Tall meant strong or valiant at that time.
Julia: I should have guessed as much. Sir Toby's speeches are so filled with nonsense, I assumed this was another example.
Tom: I plan to have great fun with his nonsense!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.
Julia (as MARIA): Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats: he's a very fool and a prodigal.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Fie, that you'll say so! he plays o' the viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages word for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.
Julia (as MARIA): He hath indeed, almost natural: for besides that he's a fool, he's a great quarreller: and but that he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarrelling, 'tis thought among the prudent he would quickly have the gift of a grave.
Tom, Mary and Crawford laugh. Dr. Grant smiles. The others look on unamused or confused. Edmund does not attend.
Mary: Indeed, Miss Julia, your part is an excellent one! (Julia looks pleased.)
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): By this hand, they are scoundrels and subtractors that say so of him. Who are they?
Julia (as MARIA): They that add, moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.
Tom (bursts out): Ha! Add and subtract! That's rich! (Appreciative smiles from Crawford, Julia and Mary.)
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): With drinking healths to my niece: I'll drink to her as long as there is a passage in my throat and drink in Illyria: he's a coward and a coystrill that will not drink to my niece till his brains turn o' the toe like a parish-top. What, wench! Castiliano vulgo! for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.
Tom: I think I should say, '...here lies Sir Andrew Agueface.' (Giggles are heard from more than one quarter.)
Crawford: Yes, a decided improvement. And possibly Sir Andrew could give us some out-of-tune drunken singing just prior to that line, to call Sir Toby's attention to him.
Mrs. Grant: Oh, dear me! Henry, how can I possibly do so? Is it proper, Dr. Grant?
Dr. Grant: I think you may be allowed this indulgence, my dear Emilia. Only remember you are acting. And you must try to sing in your best basso voce. (Mrs. Grant and Mary laugh at this.)
Mary: Sister, if you do learn to do a good basso voce, I must entreat you to teach me. I am afraid I will make Cesario ridiculous with my soprano.
The sisters smile conspiratorially at one another. Mrs. Norris looks daggers at them.
Tom: What means that: 'Castiliano vulgo'?
Crawford: He commands her to use discrete language before Sir Andrew. As if Sir Andrew could understand one tenth of her wit.
Yates (to Julia): Is there anything this fellow does not know or think he knows?
Tom: Pray, let us continue.
Yates (as stage manager) : Enter SIR ANDREW
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): (giggling, then collecting herself and trying to speak basso, with no success at all): Sir Toby Belch! how now,
Sir Toby Belch!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Sweet Sir Andrew!
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): (giggling nervously): Bless you, fair shrew.
Julia (as MARIA): And you too, sir.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): (chuckling at Sir ANDREW): Accost,
Sir Andrew, accost.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): (finding a new raspiness in her voice that she appears to think sounds masculine): What's that?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): My niece's chambermaid.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.
Julia (as MARIA): My name is Mary, sir.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Good Mistress Mary Accost,--
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): You mistake, knight; 'accost' is front her, board her, woo her, assail her.
Tom: (chuckling) Ho! I say, I doubt that I can say such a thing about my sister.
Julia: I am not your sister,
Sir. I am your niece's gentlewoman.
Mrs. Norris: That is quite to the purpose, Julia. What a great talent you have for acting. Why it almost reminds me of my performance as Bianca in Taming of the Shrew at Huntingdon. All the neighbourhood said I should have played Katherine. I fairly stole the audience from the insipid girl who played her. Aye, that was a time of great theatricals, I can tell you. My sister Bertram can testify of it, she could not get enough of those rehearsals...
Tom: Ma'am. We have a great many scenes to get through yet. May we proceed?
Mrs. Norris: Well, upon my word...
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of 'accost'?
Julia (as MARIA): Fare you well, gentlemen.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): An thou let part so,
Sir Andrew, would thou mightst never draw sword again.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): (struggling to keep from laughing) An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?
Julia (as MARIA): (laughing) Sir, I have not you by the hand.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): (laughing with her) Marry, but you shall have; and here's my hand.
Julia (as MARIA): (regaining control) Now, sir, 'thought is free:' I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar and let it drink.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Wherefore, sweet-heart? what's your metaphor?
Julia (as MARIA): It's dry, sir.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Why, I think so: I am not such an ass but I can keep my hand dry. But what's your jest?
Julia (as MARIA): A dry jest, sir.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Are you full of them?
Julia (as MARIA): Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers' ends: marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.
Yates (as stage manager) : Exit Maria
Mary: (laughing) Oh! I say, sister. You have as good a part as Miss Julia. How ever will you keep your countenance?
Mrs. Grant: I know not. He does seem to be the silliest man imaginable. I fancy wearing Grecian garb can make him no more ridiculous than he has ever been portrayed.
Dr Grant and Tom laugh with Mary. Mrs. Norris snorts.
Crawford: You have found your true calling, Mrs. Grant.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): O knight thou lackest a cup of canary: when did I see thee so put down?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Never in your life, I think; unless you see canary put me down. Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian or an ordinary man has: but I am a great eater of beef and I believe that does harm to my wit.
Mrs. Grant: Henry, what is canary? I can not imagine a cup of the sweet little yellow bird.
Crawford: It is a wine from the Canary Islands. (His sister nods her understanding).
Yates (to Julia): He does think he knows all.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): No question.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): An I thought that, I'ld forswear it. I'll ride home to-morrow,
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Pourquoi, my dear knight?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): What is 'Pourquoi'? do or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing and bear-baiting: O, had I but followed the arts!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Why, would that have mended my hair?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by nature.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): But it becomes me well enough, does't not?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin it off.
Tom, Mary, Crawford and Julia erupt in laughter. Mrs. Grant smiles with a deep blush. Dr. Grant tries to hide his sniggering. Yates titters. The rest look unconcerned or confused. Edmund does not attend.
Tom (when he recovers himself): Pray continue, good Sir Andrew.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Faith, I'll home to-morrow,
Sir Toby: your niece will not be seen; or if she be, it's four to one she'll none of me: the count himself here hard by woos her.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): She'll none o' the count: she'll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her swear't. Tut, there's life in't, man.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o' the strangest mind i' the world; I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?
Tom: I fancy this is a kind of dance. What think you? No one responds. Crawford shrugs.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare with an old man.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Faith, I can cut a caper.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): And I can cut the mutton to't.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): (struggling to keep her voice) And I think I have the back-trick simply as strong as any man in Illyria.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have these gifts a curtain before 'em? are they like to take dust, like Mistress Mall's picture? why dost thou not go to church in a galliard and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a jig; I would not so much as make water but in a sink-a-pace**. (Tom chuckles but continues) What dost thou mean? Is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a flame-coloured stock. Shall we set about some revels?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Taurus! That's sides and heart.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH ): No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see the caper; ha! higher: ha, ha! excellent!
Yates (as stage manager): Exeunt.
Tom: Hold a moment, Yates. Will you be able to dance and kick up your legs in your Grecian robes, Ma'am? (to Mrs. Grant)
Mrs. Grant: I will try.
Dr. Grant: Emilia, I should not like to see too much leg in the process.
Mrs. Grant: I will take care,
Crawford: Sir, I think we may need to see her legs a little. If they are enclosed in thick scarlet stockings, as Sir Andrew himself alludes to, do you not think my sister may kick and not engage the limits of propriety?
Dr. Grant: I will have to see it first in private.
Mrs. Grant: I'll start to work immediately on the thickest stockings. I have some wool which might just do, with a good red dye. It will be worthy, do not you think, Richard?
Dr. Grant: We will see, my dear.
Tom: Edmund, I fear we are unsuccessful in diverting you.
Edmund (standing): Let me just walk out and ensure that the footman knows to fetch me when Mr. Warren comes down.
Yates: Methinks young Edmund feels his cousin's injury over much.
Crawford: What! Yates! Well spoken! Speak your Duke in such a manner and we'll have no complaints for you.
But Miss Crawford glances hatefully at Mr. Yates. She then begins to portray a different character of concern in her countenance than seen there before.
Re-enter Edmund. Miss Crawford gives him an inviting and conciliatory smile. He takes a seat next to her.
Edmund: I left word to be notified when Mr. Warren makes his appearance below.
Mary: I will gladly join you.
Yates: SCENE IV. DUKE ORSINO's palace. Enter VALENTINE and VIOLA in man's attire
Crawford: I mean not to be tiresome or meddling, but if there is no other early idea of how we should play this scene, I have some thoughts on the subject. The setting might be the gaming salon of the Duke's palace. Over a Billiard table meet Valentine and Cesario (Viola). Other men are about the room at other games.
Tom: Yes, I think that would do admirably.
Yates: It will do until we can think of something better.
Dr. Grant (as VALENTINE): If the duke continue these favours towards you, Cesario, you are like to be much advanced: he hath known you but three days, and already you are no stranger.
Mary (as VIOLA): (with an attempt at a deep voice) You either fear his humour or my negligence, that you call in question the continuance of his love: is he inconstant, sir, in his favours?
Tom, Yates and Rushworth chuckle at Miss Crawford's vocal exercises. Edmund, though next to her, does not seem to attend.
Dr. Grant (as VALENTINE): No, believe me.
Mary (as VIOLA): I thank you. Here comes the count.
Tom: I'll take the stage manager again as you are on again, Yates. Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and Attendants
Yates (as ORSINO): Who saw Cesario, ho?
Mary (as VIOLA): On your attendance, my lord; here.
Crawford: Orsino comes in and dismisses the other men with a look and a gesture. The two are alone. The Duke takes up the billiard cue left by Valentine and gestures Cesario to continue the game with him. They speak the scene while battling on the green battlefield.
Yates (as ORSINO): Stand you a while aloof, Cesario,
Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasp'd To thee the book even of my secret soul: Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her;
Be not denied access, stand at her doors, And tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow Till thou have audience.
Mary (as VIOLA): Sure, my noble lord, If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow As it is spoke, she never will admit me.
Yates (as ORSINO): (loud and threatening, with shades of Baron Wildenhaim) Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds Rather than make unprofited return.
Mary (as VIOLA): (grimacing) Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?
Crawford: Orsino slings arm about Cesario in a fraternal fashion as he says:
Yates (as ORSINO): (still ranting) O, then unfold the passion of my love,
Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith: It shall become thee well to act my woes; She will attend it better in thy youth Than in a nuncio's of more grave aspect.
Mary (as VIOLA): (trying not to laugh at Yates) I think not so, my lord.
Yates (as ORSINO): Dear lad, believe it; For they shall yet belie thy happy years,
That say thou art a man:...
Crawford: Orsino roughly feels her face as he says:
Yates (as Orsino): (angrily) Diana's lip Is not more smooth and rubious;
Crawford: Orsino roughly feels her throat as he says:
Yates (as Orsino): (more angrily) thy small pipe Is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound,
Crawford: Orsino roughly boxes her and gives her another fraternal hug as he says:
Yates (as Orsino): (glaring at Crawford) And all is semblative a woman's part. I know thy constellation is right apt For this affair.
Crawford: Then he looks offstage as he says:
Yates (as Orsino): Some four or five attend him;
All, if you will; for I myself am best When least in company. Prosper well in this, And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,
To call his fortunes thine.
Mary (as VIOLA): I'll do my best To woo your lady: Aside ( in her own voice) yet, a barful strife! Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.
Tom (as stage manager): Exeunt
Mary (to Crawford): What say you, Henry? I barely could keep my countenance in that scene. The Duke is going to be a challenge.
Crawford (to Mary) Yes, amazingly stupid fellow!
Yates (to Julia): How that Little Emperor raises my ire!
Julia (to Yates): His insights and knowledge are very good. I think he will make us an excellent director.
Yates peers at the lady thoughtfully.
Tom (stage manager): SCENE V. OLIVIA'S house. Enter MARIA and Clown
Crawford: I propose the setting for this scene be a drawing room in Olivia's house. As the curtain rises, Maria is seen serving tea to the Clown, who sits regally in the largest chair in the room. The Clown has been playing for the Duke. Maria (and Olivia) suspect as much. They would be very angry and suspicious of him if that were true. Maria is hoping he will prove her and her mistress wrong. The clown (Feste) has no intention of proving her wrong. But in those days, a wise fool was a type of counselor and could provide the Duke with much information against the Countess Olivia. Maria knows that he treasures his relationship with her mistress, so tries to motivate him in that way to tell her his recent whereabouts. He remains philosophical. They tease each other and joust with the language, appreciating each other's wit. (He nods to Julia.)
Julia (as MARIA): Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, or I will not open my lips so wide as a bristle may enter in way of thy excuse: my lady will hang thee for thy absence.
Crawford (as Clown): Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this world needs to fear no colours.
Julia (as MARIA): Make that good.
Crawford (as Clown): He shall see none to fear.
Julia (as MARIA): A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that saying was born, of 'I fear no colours.'
Crawford (as Clown): Where, good Mistress Mary?
Julia (as MARIA): In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.
Crawford (as Clown): Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
Julia (as MARIA): (grinning at him) Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent; or, to be turned away, is not that as good as a hanging to you?
Crawford (as Clown): Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and, for turning away, let summer bear it out. (Crawford grins and looks at Maria and Rushworth. Such a picture of domestic felicity makes him chuckle.)
Julia (as MARIA): You are resolute, then?
Crawford (as Clown): Not so, neither;
But I am resolved on two points.
Julia (as MARIA): That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both break, your gaskins fall. (laughs, joined by Crawford and Mary.)
Crawford (as Clown): Apt, in good faith; very apt. Well, go thy way; if Sir Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a piece of Eve's flesh as any in Illyria.
Crawford: I fear I must slap your backside with this statement, or at least make to do so and you might move too quickly for my hand to connect. No disrespect intended to you, Miss Julia, but your character and mine seem to be intimate enough to allow and demand it.
Julia (looks nervously at Edmund, who does not notice, then brightens and responds): I give you permission, just this once. (smiles coquettishly at him).
Julia (as MARIA): Peace, you rogue, no more o' that. Here comes my lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best.
Tom: (as stage manager) :Exit Maria Yates, you read the stage instructions for this scene. Sir Toby must make an appearance shortly.
Crawford (as Clown): Wit, an't be thy will, put me into good fooling! Those wits, that think they have thee, do very oft prove fools; and I, that am sure I lack thee, may pass for a wise man: for what says Quinapalus? 'Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.'
Yates (as stage manager): Enter OLIVIA with MALVOLIO
Crawford (as Clown): God bless thee, lady!
Maria (as OLIVIA): Take the fool away.
Crawford (as Clown): Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you: besides, you grow dishonest.
Crawford (as Clown): Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel will amend: for give the dry fool drink, then is the fool not dry: bid the dishonest man mend himself; if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if he cannot, let the botcher mend him. Any thing that's mended is but patched: virtue that transgresses is but patched with sin; and sin that amends is but patched with virtue. If that this simple syllogism will serve, so; if it will not, what remedy? As there is no true cuckold but calamity, so beauty's a flower. The lady bade take away the fool; therefore, I say again, take her away.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Sir, I bade them take away you.
Crawford (as Clown): Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, cucullus non facit monachum; that's as much to say as I wear not motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Can you do it?
Crawford (as Clown): Dexterously, good madonna.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Make your proof.
Crawford (as Clown): I must catechise you for it, madonna: good my mouse of virtue, answer me.
Maria (as OLIVIA): (giggles) Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll bide your proof.
Crawford (as Clown): (grinning) Good madonna, why mournest thou?
Maria (as OLIVIA): Good fool, for my brother's death.
Crawford (as Clown): I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
Maria (as OLIVIA): I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
Crawford (as Clown): The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.
Maria (as OLIVIA): What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend?
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): (with true Malvolian pomposity) Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death shake him: infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool.
Crawford (as Clown): (Chuckling at Dr. Grant's Malvolio then recovering) God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the better increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be sworn that I am no fox;
But he will not pass his word for two pence that you are no fool.
Maria (as OLIVIA): How say you to that, Malvolio?
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren rascal: I saw him put down the other day with an ordinary fool that 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.
Maria (as 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.
Crawford (as Clown): Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of fools!
Yates: Re-enter MARIA
Julia (as MARIA): Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much desires to speak with you.
Maria (as OLIVIA): From the Count Orsino, is it?
Julia (as MARIA): I know not, madam: 'tis a fair young man, and well attended.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Who of my people hold him in delay?
Julia (as MARIA): Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but madman: fie on him!
Yates: Exit MARIA
Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the count, I am sick, or not at home; what you will, to dismiss it.
Yates: Exit MALVOLIO
Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and people dislike it.
Crawford: Before I answer the Countess as the Clown, I should like to say that I am gratified at your first reading, Dr. Grant. You show yourself a very superior creature, one not afraid to look exceedingly ridiculous in the right cause. With such an actor, I anxiously await your appearance in Yellow Stockings and Cross Gartered. Sir, I salute you. (He bows low to his brother in law, who returns the honour in like form.)
Mrs. Norris: Upon my word! Such goings on. Mr. Norris would have been quite shocked. (No one seems to hear her.)
Crawford (as Clown): Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with brains! for,--here he comes,--one of thy kin has a most weak pia mater.
Yates: Enter SIR TOBY BELCH
Maria (as OLIVIA): By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): A gentleman.
Maria (as OLIVIA): A gentleman! what gentleman?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): 'Tis a gentle man here--a plague o' these pickle-herring! How now, sot!
Crawford (as Clown): Good Sir Toby!
Maria (as OLIVIA): Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Lechery! I defy lechery. There's one at the gate.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Ay, marry, what is he?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Let him be the devil, an he will, I care not: give me faith, say I. Well, it's all one.
Yates: Exit Sir Toby
Tom: Ha! How I love that valiant knight,
Maria (as OLIVIA): What's a drunken man like, fool?
Crawford (as Clown): Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man: one draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns him.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o' my coz; for he's in the third degree of drink, he's drowned: go, look after him.
Crawford (as Clown): He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look to the madman.
Yates: Exit Clown Re-enter MALVOLIO
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with you. I told him you were sick; he takes on him to understand so much, and therefore comes to speak with you. I told him you were asleep; he seems to have a foreknowledge of that too, and therefore comes to speak with you. What is to be said to him, lady? he's fortified against any denial.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Tell him he shall not speak with me.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Has been told so; and he says, he'll stand at your door like a sheriff's post, and be the supporter to a bench, but he'll speak with you.
Maria (as OLIVIA): What kind o' man is he?
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Why, of mankind.
Maria (as OLIVIA): What manner of man?
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you or no.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Of what personage and years is he?
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or a cooling when 'tis almost an apple: 'tis with him in standing water, between boy and man. He is very well-favoured and he speaks very shrewishly; one would think his mother's milk were scarce out of him.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Gentlewoman, my lady calls.
Yates: Exit Malvolio Re-enter MARIA
Maria (as OLIVIA): Give me my veil: come, throw it o'er my face. We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.
Yates: Enter VIOLA, and Attendants. I think it will have to be Viola alone. We have no attendants. We can not use Mrs. Norris here, because these attendants must be men.
Tom (chuckling): Unless we determine to have more 'men' in Grecian garb.
Crawford: I propose that Olivia sit in the large chair recently regally occupied by the Clown.
Maria regards him affectionately.
Mary (as VIOLA): The honourable lady of the house, which is she?
Maria (as OLIVIA): Speak to me; I shall answer for her. Your will?
Mary (as VIOLA): Most radiant, exquisite and unmatchable beauty,--I pray you, tell me if this be the lady of the house, for I never saw her: I would be loath to cast away my speech, for besides that it is excellently well penned, I have taken great pains to con it. Good beauties, let me sustain no scorn; I am very comptible, even to the least sinister usage.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Whence came you, sir?
Mary (as VIOLA): I can say little more than I have studied, and that question's out of my part. Good gentle one, give me modest assurance if you be the lady of the house, that I may proceed in my speech.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Are you a comedian?
Mary (as VIOLA): No, my profound heart: and yet, by the very fangs of malice I swear, I am not that I play. Are you the lady of the house?
Maria (as OLIVIA): If I do not usurp myself, I am.
Mary (as VIOLA): Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp yourself; for what is yours to bestow is not yours to reserve. But this is from my commission: I will on with my speech in your praise, and then show you the heart of my message.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.
Mary (as VIOLA): Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.
Maria (as OLIVIA): It is the more like to be feigned: I pray you, keep it in. I heard you were saucy at my gates, and allowed your approach rather to wonder at you than to hear you. If you be not mad, be gone; if you have reason, be brief: 'tis not that time of moon with me to make one in so skipping a dialogue.
Julia (as MARIA): Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.
Mary (as VIOLA): No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little longer. Some mollification for your giant, sweet lady. Tell me your mind: I am a messenger.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
Mary (as VIOLA): It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of war, no taxation of homage: I hold the olive in my hand; my words are as full of peace as matter.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you?
Mary (as VIOLA): The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I learned from my entertainment. What I am, and what I would, are as secret as maidenhead; to your ears, divinity, to any other's, profanation.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.
Yates (stage manager): Exeunt MARIA and Attendants
Maria (as OLIVIA): Now, sir, what is your text?
Mary (as VIOLA): Most sweet lady,--
Maria (as OLIVIA): A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it. Where lies your text?
Mary (as VIOLA): In Orsino's bosom.
Maria (as OLIVIA): In his bosom! In what chapter of his bosom?
Mary (as VIOLA): To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.
Maria (as OLIVIA): O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have you no more to say?
Mary (as VIOLA): Good madam, let me see your face.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate with my face? You are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain and show you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one as I was this present: is't not well done?
Yates (stage manager): Unveiling
Mary (as VIOLA): Excellently done, if God did all.
Mary (laughing): Aye, such a vixen is this Viola. I am quite fond of her already.
Maria (as OLIVIA): 'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.
Mary (as VIOLA): 'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on: Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive, If you will lead these graces to the grave And leave the world no copy.
Maria (as OLIVIA): O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted; I will give out divers schedules of my beauty: it shall be inventoried, and every particle and utensil labelled to my will: as, item, two lips, indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to them; item, one neck, one chin, and so forth. Were you sent hither to praise me?
Maria (proudly): So, Miss Crawford. What think you of Olivia? She's a saucy she, is she not?
Mrs. Norris: Indeed, Maria. You certainly have the best part in the play, which is as it should be.
Mary smiles but continues.
Mary (as VIOLA): I see you what you are, you are too proud;
But, if you were the devil, you are fair. My lord and master loves you: O, such love Could be but recompensed, though you were crown'd The nonpareil of beauty!
Maria (as OLIVIA): How does he love me?
Mary (as VIOLA): With adorations, fertile tears, With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.
Mary: Oh, such words! Olivia must be a hard-hearted wench to stand unmoved. How shall I say so without tears?
Maria: I am trying my best to keep my countenance. But you are so little. How shall I ever think of you as a man and make love speeches to you.
Mary: Perhaps it will be easier when you see me in man's attire. I was to wear breeches as most military uniforms should be, but in deference to modesty, (looking at Edmund, who is not listening, but looks up as he feels her eyes upon him) I must wear trousers -- it will be a small modification of the expected uniform. I will have a short wig to approximate my brother Sebastian's hair -- Henry and I will go for a two day visit to London next week just to have such a wig made. If possible I will have side whiskers like his, and I will rub soot into my chin to suggest a beard. So, perhaps you will just consider me a short man.
Maria: But I could never love such a midget of a man! (Mr. Rushworth stands next to Crawford at this and looks down at him and at Maria.)
Mary: Ah! Here will be excellent ground for 'Acting'. You must act to imagine it. You would not love me, but Olivia would.
Maria smiles and looks to Crawford, completely ignoring Rushworth.
Maria: And when you,
Sir, called me a 'mouse of virtue', I nearly collapsed in Mirth.
Crawford: Perhaps Mr. Shakespeare did not have you in mind when he wrote the part. (Actually, it was played by a boy, who would have been shorter than the other actors. As would Viola have been played by a boy, playing a girl, playing a boy.) But regardless, you can take his words and make them your own, though you must remember that you are the Countess Olivia, not Miss Maria Bertram.
Sir, I will try. (curtsies solemnly.)
Maria (as OLIVIA): Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him: Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble, (at this point, Rushworth gives up trying to impress her and sits down.) Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth; In voices well divulged, free, learn'd and valiant;
And in dimension and the shape of nature A gracious person: but yet I cannot love him; He might have took his answer long ago.
Mary (as VIOLA): If I did love you in my master's flame, With such a suffering, such a deadly life, In your denial I would find no sense; I would not understand it.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Why, what would you?
Mary (as VIOLA): Make me a willow cabin at your gate, And call upon my soul within the house; Write loyal cantons of contemned love And sing them loud even in the dead of night; Halloo your name to the reverberate hills And make the babbling gossip of the air Cry out 'Olivia!' O, You should not rest (she indeed cries out the name, causing the less alert to start) Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me!
Maria (as OLIVIA): You might do much. What is your parentage?
Mary (as VIOLA): Above my fortunes, yet my state is well: I am a gentleman.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Get you to your lord; I cannot love him: let him send no more; Unless, perchance, you come to me again,
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well: I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.
Mary (as VIOLA): I am no fee'd post, lady; keep your purse: My master, not myself, lacks recompense. Love make his heart of flint that you shall love;
And let your fervor, like my master's, be Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.
Yates: Exit Viola
Maria (as OLIVIA): 'What is your parentage?' 'Above my fortunes, yet my state is well: I am a gentleman.' I'll be sworn thou art; Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions and spirit, Do give thee five-fold blazon: not too fast: soft, soft! Unless the master were the man. How now! Even so quickly may one catch the plague? Methinks I feel this youth's perfections With an invisible and subtle stealth To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be. What ho, Malvolio!
Yates: Re-enter MALVOLIO
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Here, madam, at your service.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Run after that same peevish messenger,
The county's man: he left this ring behind him, Would I or not: tell him I'll none of it. Desire him not to flatter with his lord, Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him: If that the youth will come this way to-morrow, I'll give him reasons for't: hie thee, Malvolio.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Madam, I will.
Yates: Exit Malvolio
Maria (as OLIVIA): I do I know not what, and fear to find Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind. Fate, show thy force: ourselves we do not owe; What is decreed must be, and be this so.
Yates: Exit Olivia
Tom: That's Act I. Shall we continue?
Yates: Yes, man. I had planned that we read the entire play twice or thrice tonight.
Tom: I suspect there may be insufficient time, but shall we begin? (All nod or make affirmative noises or say nothing.)
Enter the Footman (His timing is amazing, is it not?)
Footman: Pardon me, Mr. Edmund,
Sir. The doctor's to leave.
Edmund (rising abruptly): Certainly. You must excuse me.
Exit Edmund followed by the Footman. He is quickly followed by Miss Crawford and Julia.
The curtain falls as the others sit more or less complacently looking at each other, except Crawford who arises and paces outside the circle of the players.
* OK, I admit it. I borrowed a little from the movie Twelfth Night, but not too much. If you haven't seen it , rush right out to your video store and get it. (This has not been a paid commercial message.)
** CINQUE PACE = a kind of dance (from Shakespearian Glossary http://www.ulen.com/shakespeare/students/guide/page3.html
*** cucullus non facit monachum = something like 'the cowl (or hood) does not make the monk' ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Sorry, this file is too big to allow me to put more scenes in one message.
Act III Scene 5
Setting: The 'Theatre'. Some minutes later. The group is still sitting staring at each other.
Tom pours himself another drink, offers one to Yates, who accepts with alacrity.
Crawford still paces outside the circle of the players.
Yates: Shall we continue?
Tom: (somewhat contemptuously): No, Edmund is playing Sebastian, remember? This is Sebastian's first scene.
Mrs. Norris: I could read it for him. He's not likely to get much out of it or put much into it tonight at any rate.
Tom: No, Aunt. Let us wait a short time for Edmund. Let us see what he has to say. (Mrs. Norris' face twitches discontentedly.)
Maria's eyes follow Crawford's movements. Rushworth arises and approaches his betrothed's seat.
Rushworth (bows to Mrs. Norris, who sits on one side of Maria, and then says to Mrs. Norris): Ma'am, would you be so kind and gracious as to relinquish your seat and take the one I have vacated?
Mrs. Norris: With pleasure, Mr. Rushworth. (instantly exchanging her frown for an obsequious smile)
Maria: Must you,
Sir? There is no necessity for you to disturb my aunt.
Mrs. Norris: Oh, it is no trouble at all. I think nothing of any little inconvenience to myself, it is nothing I regard. (She is up and moved. Rushworth sits.)
Rushworth: I've been longing to speak with you all day, Maria. It has been an extraordinary day, has it not? One would think that we were in different counties for the difficulty we have found to have a moment together.
She smiles weakly at him but then darts her eye back to Mr. Crawford as she notices that he observes her tete-a-tete.
Rushworth: (attempting to take her hand, she resists but finally lets him take it.): Maria, will you walk with me in the shrubbery tomorrow morning?
Maria: I am engaged to Julia and Miss Crawford for a ride into the country.
Rushworth: I should be happy to join you.
Maria: No, it is a fixed engagement. Certainly we had not planned on any gentlemen in our party.
Rushworth: What of a walk before breakfast? I will meet you as early as you wish.
Maria: I am certain that such would be most inconvenient. We shall probably be up quite late working on the play and then I will need some sleep,
Rushworth: Will you take a short walk with me directly after breakfast, before your ride?
Maria: Well, I'm sure there should be no call for that,
Sir. The gentlemen usually leave for the hunt directly after breakfast. You would miss your sport.
Rushworth (irritated): Madam, am I to understand that you have no time for your betrothed at all tomorrow as you had none today?
Maria: I do not see how it could be better arranged. There just is not a moment to spare. (She withdraws her hand.)
Rushworth turns from her, red-faced. Maria looks at Crawford, who regards her without emotion. She smiles, but he makes no response.
Enter Edmund, Julia and Miss Crawford.
Edmund: The binding is done and Fanny sleeps. Mrs. Braunston cares for her admirably. (He sits despondently. Miss Crawford watches him with concern.)
Yates: We were preparing to start Act II. This is your first scene, Edmund. Will you read your part?
Edmund looks at the dandy with contempt for a moment, but finally accepts the proffered script from Tom. After looking at it for a moment, while no one speaks, he says: Yes, I will do it.
Tom: Great. Edmund, I really think it good for you to think of something else. (Edmund nods.) Mr. Rushworth, this is your first scene as Captain Antonio as well. Are you prepared?
Rushworth grabs a script, looks at it for a moment and nods, yet red-faced.
Tom (as stage manager): ACT II SCENE I. The sea-coast. Enter ANTONIO and SEBASTIAN
Tom: Do you have any thoughts on this scene, Crawford? If so, speak them now or I will set Rushworth lose to conquer the scene. (Mr. Rushworth smiles proudly.)
Crawford (smiles): I do have some thoughts: The setting is a dock, where Sebastian waits to board a ship for Illyria and Count Osino's Court. The two gentlemen have been in company for the past three months, since Antonio saved Sebastian's life when he went overboard into the sea. He has nursed him back to health and become quite attached to his young charge. Antonio has spent the time since that day on the sea supporting the spirits of this young man who would prefer to have died with his sister than to live without her. Somewhat like myself and Mary, were I to fear her dead. (Winks at her) As the truest of friends, Antonio is willing to risk danger or death to help his friend.
(Crawford nods to Rushworth.)
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): Will you stay no longer? nor will you not that I go with you?
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): By your patience, no. My stars shine darkly over me: the malignancy of my fate might perhaps distemper yours; therefore I shall crave of you your leave that I may bear my evils alone: it were a bad recompense for your love, to lay any of them on you.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): Let me yet know of you whither you are bound.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): No, sooth, sir: my determinate voyage is mere extravagancy. But I perceive in you so excellent a touch of modesty, that you will not extort from me what I am willing to keep in; therefore it charges me in manners the rather to express myself. You must know of me then, Antonio, my name is Sebastian, which I called Roderigo. My father was that Sebastian of Messaline, whom I know you have heard of. He left behind him myself and a sister, both born in an hour: if the heavens had been pleased, would we had so ended! but you, sir, altered that; for some hour before you took me from the breach of the sea was my sister drowned.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): Alas the day!
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): A lady, sir, though it was said she much resembled me, was yet of many accounted beautiful: but, though I could not with such estimable wonder overfar believe that, yet thus far I will boldly publish her; she bore a mind that envy could not but call fair. She is drowned already, sir, with salt water, though I seem to drown her remembrance again with more.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): Pardon me, sir, your bad entertainment.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): O good Antonio, forgive me your trouble.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): If you will not murder me for my love, let me be your servant.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): If you will not undo what you have done, that is, kill him whom you have recovered, desire it not. Fare ye well at once: my bosom is full of kindness, and I am yet so near the manners of my mother, that upon the least occasion more mine eyes will tell tales of me. I am bound to the Count Orsino's court: farewell.
Tom (as stage manager): Exit Sebastian
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): The gentleness of all the gods go with thee! I have many enemies in Orsino's court, Else would I very shortly see thee there. But, come what may, I do adore thee so,
That danger shall seem sport, and I will go.
Crawford: Sebastian goes on board the ship. Then Antonio sneaks on and stows away.
Tom (as stage manager): Exit Antonio.
Mary : Bravo, Mr. Rushworth. Another scene well read!
Rushworth smiles at her and blushes, then looks at Maria who is watching Crawford. His countenance clouds.
Crawford (unaware of Maria's or Rushworth's regard, bowing deeply to the gentleman who wishes him far gone) : Yes, Mr. Rushworth, I think you will do admirably for Antonio.
Rushworth smiles and bows half-heartedly while looking more than half-confused.
Tom (as stage manager): SCENE II. A street. Enter VIOLA, MALVOLIO following
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Were not you even now with the Countess Olivia?
Mary (as VIOLA): Even now, sir; on a moderate pace I have since arrived but hither.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): She returns this ring to you, sir: you might have saved me my pains, to have taken it away yourself. She adds, moreover, that you should put your lord into a desperate assurance she will none of him: and one thing more, that you be never so hardy to come again in his affairs, unless it be to report your lord's taking of this. Receive it so.
Mary (as VIOLA): She took the ring of me: I'll none of it.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and her will is, it should be so returned: if it be worth stooping for, there it lies in your eye; if not, be it his that finds it.
Mary (as VIOLA): I left no ring with her: what means this lady? Fortune forbid my outside have not charm'd her! She made good view of me; indeed, so much,
That sure methought her eyes had lost her tongue, For she did speak in starts distractedly. She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion Invites me in this churlish messenger. None of my lord's ring! why, he sent her none. I am the man: if it be so, as 'tis, Poor lady, she were better love a dream. Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness, Wherein the pregnant enemy does much. How easy is it for the proper-false In women's waxen hearts to set their forms! Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we! For such as we are made of, such we be. How will this fadge? my master loves her dearly;
And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me. What will become of this? As I am man, My state is desperate for my master's love;
As I am woman,--now alas the day!-- What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe! O time! thou must untangle this, not I; It is too hard a knot for me to untie!
Tom (stage manager): Exit
Tom: An excellent reading, Miss Crawford. You were certainly well chosen for this part, though my sister thinks you too small. It's your heart and your imagination that are too large for the part. (Mary smiles appreciatively and curtsies to her gallant host.)
Mary (to Edmund): I would ten-times rather do a scene with my estimable brother-in-law than that popinjay who so slaughters the noble words of that marvelous Duke. I would so rather that you played the Duke.
Edmund: Thank you but I will be more than challenged by Sebastian.
Tom: To You, Yates.
Yates (stage manager): SCENE III. OLIVIA's house. Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and SIR ANDREW
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Approach,
Sir Andrew: not to be abed after midnight is to be up betimes; and 'diluculo surgere,' * thou know'st,--
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Nay, my troth, I know not: but I know, to be up late is to be up late.
Yates: Rare wisdom, good Sir Andrew!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): A false conclusion: I hate it as an unfilled can. To be up after midnight and to go to bed then, is early: so that to go to bed after midnight is to go to bed betimes. Does not our life consist of the four elements?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Faith, so they say;
But I think it rather consists of eating and drinking.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Thou'rt a scholar; let us therefore eat and drink. Marian, I say! a stoup of wine!
Yates (stage manager): Enter Clown
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Here comes the fool, i' faith.
Mary (to Edmund): What? Does she see Yates? (He stifles a laugh but can not avoid a grin.)
Crawford (as CLOWN): How now, my hearts! did you never see the picture of 'we three'?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Welcome, ass. Now let's have a catch.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): By my troth, the fool has an excellent breast. I had rather than forty shillings I had such a leg, and so sweet a breath to sing, as the fool has. In sooth, thou wast in very gracious fooling last night, when thou spokest of Pigrogromitus, of the Vapians passing the equinoctial of Queubus: 'twas very good, i' faith. I sent thee sixpence for thy leman: hadst it?
Crawford (as CLOWN): I did impeticos thy gratillity; for Malvolio's nose is no whipstock: my lady has a white hand, and the Myrmidons are no bottle-ale houses.
Crawford: I have no idea what I just said but it sounds impressive indeed. (Maria giggles.)
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Excellent! why, this is the best fooling, when all is done. Now, a song.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Come on; there is sixpence for you: let's have a song.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): There's a testril of me too: if one knight give a█
Crawford (as CLOWN): Would you have a love-song, or a song of good life?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): A love-song, a love-song.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Ay, ay: I care not for good life.
Mrs. Grant (chuckling): Oh,
Sir Andrew, you silly man!
Crawford (as CLOWN): [Sings] O mistress mine, where are you roaming? O, stay and hear; your true love's coming,
That can sing both high and low: Trip no further, pretty sweeting; Journeys end in lovers meeting, Every wise man's son doth know.
Crawford: Bertram, I propose that we collaborate to write some cords of music for our songs. As we both must sing, let us predetermine our notes that our songs be pleasing. What say you?
Tom: Indeed, but my abilities in music writing must be sad, for I know not a note.
Maria: Oh, I shall be only too pleased to help you gentlemen. (Rushworth glares from Maria to Crawford and back again, unnoticed by either of his objects.)
Crawford: No, I believe your brother and I must do it ourselves. (Maria looks downcast. Rushworth is pleased.) It matters not if you can play or pick out the notes,
Sir. You may sing your ideas to me while I record them, or if you appreciate or criticise the tunes that I propose to you, that will suffice. Between us, we will arrive at some worthy compositions, I believe.
Tom: I will certainly endeavour to assist you. (He nods to Mrs. Grant, who has been patiently waiting.)
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Excellent good, i' faith.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Good, good.
Crawford (as CLOWN): [Sings] What is love? 'tis not hereafter; Present mirth hath present laughter; What's to come is still unsure: In delay there lies no plenty; Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty, Youth's a stuff will not endure.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): A mellifluous voice, as I am true knight.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): A contagious breath.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Very sweet and contagious, i' faith.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): To hear by the nose, it is dulcet in contagion. But shall we make the welkin dance indeed? shall we rouse the night-owl in a catch that will draw three souls out of one weaver? shall we do that?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): An you love me, let's do't: I am dog at a catch.
Crawford (as CLOWN): By'r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Most certain. Let our catch be, 'Thou knave.'
Crawford (as CLOWN): 'Hold thy peace, thou knave,' knight? I shall be constrained in't to call thee knave, knight.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): 'Tis not the first time I have constrained one to call me knave. Begin, fool: it begins 'Hold thy peace.'
Crawford (as CLOWN): I shall never begin if I hold my peace.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Good, i' faith. Come, begin.
Yates (stage manager): Catch sung Enter MARIA
Mary (to Edmund): I could wish that Mr. Yates played the Duke half as sensibly as he reads the stage directions. (Edmund raises an eyebrow in agreement.)
Julia (as MARIA): What a caterwauling do you keep here! If my lady have not called up her steward Malvolio and bid him turn you out of doors, never trust me.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): My lady's a Cataian, we are politicians, Malvolio's a Peg-a-Ramsey, and 'Three merry men be we.' Am not I consanguineous? am I not of her blood? Tillyvally. Lady! Sings 'There dwelt a man in Babylon, lady, lady!'
Crawford (as CLOWN): Beshrew me, the knight's in admirable fooling.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Ay, he does well enough if he be disposed, and so do I too: he does it with a better grace, but I do it more natural.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): [Sings] 'O, the twelfth day of December,'█
Julia (as MARIA): For the love o' God, peace!
Yates (stage manager):Enter MALVOLIO
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): My masters, are you mad? or what are you? Have ye no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do ye make an alehouse of my lady's house, that ye squeak out your coziers' catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): We did keep time, sir, in our catches. Sneck up!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Sir Toby, I must be round with you. My lady bade me tell you, that, though she harbours you as her kinsman, she's nothing allied to your disorders. If you can separate yourself and your misdemeanors, you are welcome to the house; if not, an it would please you to take leave of her, she is very willing to bid you farewell.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): 'Farewell, dear heart, since I must needs be gone.'
Julia (as MARIA): Nay, good Sir Toby.
Tom: Hey Day! That got a response from her. She would not like me to be gone.
Crawford (as CLOWN): 'His eyes do show his days are almost done.'
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Is't even so?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): 'But I will never die.'
Crawford (as CLOWN): Sir Toby, there you lie.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): This is much credit to you.
SIR TOBY BELCH 'Shall I bid him go?'
Crawford (as CLOWN): 'What an if you do?'
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): 'Shall I bid him go, and spare not?'
Crawford (as CLOWN): 'O no, no, no, no, you dare not.'
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Out o' tune, sir: ye lie. Art any more than a steward? Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?
Crawford (as CLOWN): Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot i' the mouth too.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Thou'rt i' the right. Go, sir, rub your chain with crumbs. A stoup of wine, Maria!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Mistress Mary, if you prized my lady's favour at any thing more than contempt, you would not give means for this uncivil rule: she shall know of it, by this hand.
Yates (stage manager): Exit Malvolio
Julia (as MARIA): Go shake your ears.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): 'Twere as good a deed as to drink when a man's a-hungry, to challenge him the field, and then to break promise with him and make a fool of him.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Do't, knight: I'll write thee a challenge: or I'll deliver thy indignation to him by word of mouth.
Julia (as MARIA): Sweet Sir Toby, be patient for tonight: since the youth of the count's was today with thy lady, she is much out of quiet. For Monsieur Malvolio, let me alone with him: if I do not gull him into a nayword, and make him a common recreation, do not think I have wit enough to lie straight in my bed: I know I can do it.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Possess us, possess us; tell us something of him.
Julia (as MARIA): Marry, sir, sometimes he is a kind of puritan.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): O, if I thought that I'ld beat him like a dog!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): What, for being a puritan? thy exquisite reason, dear knight?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): I have no exquisite reason for't, but I have reason good enough.
Julia (as MARIA): The devil a puritan that he is, or any thing constantly, but a time-pleaser; an affectioned ass, that cons state without book and utters it by great swarths:...
Yates (quietly to Julia): Some might liken him to our director.
Julia (as MARIA) (without pausing or noticing her admirer's comments) ...the best persuaded of himself, so crammed, as he thinks, with excellencies, that it is his grounds of faith that all that look on him love him; and on that vice in him will my revenge find notable cause to work.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): What wilt thou do?
Julia (as MARIA): I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of love; wherein, by the colour of his beard, the shape of his leg, the manner of his gait, the expressure of his eye, forehead, and complexion, he shall find himself most feelingly personated. I can write very like my lady your niece: on a forgotten matter we can hardly make distinction of our hands.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Excellent! I smell a device.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): I have't in my nose too.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): He shall think, by the letters that thou wilt drop, that they come from my niece, and that she's in love with him.
Julia (as MARIA): My purpose is, indeed, a horse of that colour. (And here you thought that horse a creation of L. Frank Baum!) (So did I.)
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): And your horse now would make him an ass.
Julia (as MARIA): Ass, I doubt not.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): O, 'twill be admirable!
Julia (as MARIA): Sport royal, I warrant you: I know my physic will work with him. I will plant you two, and let the fool make a third, where he shall find the letter: observe his construction of it. For this night, to bed, and dream on the event. Farewell.
Yates (stage manager): Exit Maria
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Good night, Penthesilea.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Before me, she's a good wench.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): She's a beagle, true-bred, and one that adores me: what o' that?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): I was adored once too.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Let's to bed, knight. Thou hadst need send for more money.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): If I cannot recover your niece, I am a foul way out.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Send for money, knight: if thou hast her not i' the end, call me cut.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): If I do not, never trust me, take it how you will.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Come, come, I'll go burn some sack; 'tis too late to go to bed now: come, knight; come, knight.
Yates (stage manager): Exeunt
Tom: I'll take it, Yates.
Tom (stage manager): SCENE IV. DUKE ORSINO's palace. Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Give me some music. Now, good morrow, friends. Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song we heard last night: Methought it did relieve my passion much, More than light airs and recollected terms Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times: Come, but one verse.
Rushworth (as CURIO): He is not here, so please your lordship that should sing it.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Who was it?
Rushworth (as CURIO): Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady Olivia's father took much delight in. He is about the house.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Seek him out, and play the tune the while.
Tom: Exit CURIO. Music plays
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO): (with affected silliness) Come hither, boy: if ever thou shalt love, In the sweet pangs of it remember me; For such as I am all true lovers are,
Unstaid and skittish in all motions else,
Save in the constant image of the creature That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?
Mary (to Edmund): I declare, I might have never believed that such majestic words could be so degraded by entrusting them to a foolish tongue.
Edmund (thoughtfully): It does surprise me that he should be quite this bad. I never thought him a genius, but thought his enthusiasm would give him some power with the lines which is sadly lacking.
Mary (as VIOLA): It gives a very echo to the seat Where Love is throned.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Thou dost speak masterly:...
Mary (to Edmund): If only he could appreciate these words as his character does. (Edmund smiles but says nothing.)
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) ...My life upon't, young though thou art, thine eye Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves: Hath it not, boy?
Mary (as VIOLA): A little, by your favour.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) What kind of woman is't?
Mary (as VIOLA): Of your complexion.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?
Mary (as VIOLA): About your years, my lord.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Too old by heaven: let still the woman take An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
So sways she level in her husband's heart: For, boy, however we do praise ourselves, Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm, More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women's are.
Mary (as VIOLA): I think it well, my lord.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Then let thy love be younger than thyself, Or thy affection cannot hold the bent; For women are as roses, whose fair flower Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.
Mary (as VIOLA): And so they are: alas, that they are so; To die, even when they to perfection grow!
Tom (stage manager): Re-enter CURIO and Clown
Tom: We must contrive to find more speeches for Mr. Rushworth. He has done so well with those he has.
Crawford: Hear, Hear!
Tom: Very well. At this point he could say 'My Lord, I bring you the fool, Feste.'
Rushworth gazes at them both with appreciation mixed with apprehension.
Tom: Will you say it,
Rushworth (as Curio): My Lord, I bring you the fool, Feste.
Mary: Well done, indeed, Mr. Curio.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) O, fellow, come, the song we had last night. Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain; The spinsters and the knitters in the sun And the free maids that weave their thread with bones Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth, And dallies with the innocence of love, Like the old age.
Mary (to Edmund): Could we but give Rushworth the Duke's part, all would be much improved.
Edmund: I am all amazement. I believe you are quite right.
Crawford (as CLOWN): Are you ready, sir?
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Ay; prithee, sing.
Tom: Music SONG. Crawford (as CLOWN): Come away, come away, death, And in sad cypress let me be laid; Fly away, fly away breath; I am slain by a fair cruel maid. My shroud of white, stuck all with yew, O, prepare it! My part of death, no one so true Did share it. Not a flower, not a flower sweet On my black coffin let there be strown; Not a friend, not a friend greet My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown: A thousand thousand sighs to save, Lay me, O, where Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) There's for thy pains.
Crawford (as CLOWN): No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) I'll pay thy pleasure then.
Crawford (as CLOWN): Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Give me now leave to leave thee.
Crawford (as CLOWN): Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy mind is a very opal. I would have men of such constancy put to sea, that their business might be every thing and their intent every where; for that's it that always makes a good voyage of nothing. Farewell.
Tom (stage manager): Exit CLOWN.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO): Let all the rest give place.
Tom: CURIO and Attendants retire
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO): Once more, Cesario, Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty: Tell her, my love, more noble than the world, Prizes not quantity of dirty lands; The parts that fortune hath bestow'd upon her,
Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune;
But 'tis that miracle and queen of gems That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.
Mary (as VIOLA): But if she cannot love you, sir?
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) I cannot be so answer'd.
Mary (as VIOLA): Sooth, but you must. Say that some lady, as perhaps there is, Hath for your love a great a pang of heart As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her; You tell her so; must she not then be answer'd?
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) There is no woman's sides Can bide the beating of so strong a passion As love doth give my heart; no woman's heart So big, to hold so much; they lack retention Alas, their love may be call'd appetite, No motion of the liver, but the palate,
That suffer surfeit, cloyment and revolt;
But mine is all as hungry as the sea, And can digest as much: make no compare Between that love a woman can bear me And that I owe Olivia.
Mary (as VIOLA): Ay, but I know█
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) What dost thou know?
Mary (as VIOLA): Too well what love women to men may owe: In faith, they are as true of heart as we. My father had a daughter loved a man, As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman, I should your lordship.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) And what's her history?
Mary (as VIOLA): A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud, Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought, And with a green and yellow melancholy She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed? We men may say more, swear more: but indeed Our shows are more than will; for still we prove Much in our vows, but little in our love.
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) But died thy sister of her love, my boy?
Mary (as VIOLA): I am all the daughters of my father's house, And all the brothers too: and yet I know not. Sir, shall I to this lady?
Yates (as DUKE ORSINO) Ay, that's the theme. To her in haste; give her this jewel; say, My love can give no place, bide no denay.
Tom (stage manager): Exeunt
Mary (to Edmund): If I may be convincing as a girl pretending to be a boy who is in love with that Fool and the Fool does not know it, I may be one of the world's greatest actresses.
Edmund: Brava! I detected not a hint of contempt in any of your speeches to him.
Mary: I must carefully guard against it, or my true feelings will out, I fear. Tell me if I am straying from the outward expression of devotion to that worm, that festering fitchew.
Edmund tries unsuccessfully to stifle a laugh. He is regarded peculiarly by the very object of their jest, (bringing high colour to the gentleman and the lady by his side) who then ignores him and proceeds.
Yates: SCENE V. OLIVIA's garden. Enter SIR TOBY BELCH,
SIR ANDREW, and FABIAN
Tom: What will we do for a Fabian? Edmund, will you take this part as well?
Edmund: How is it to be done? Is he never in the scene with Sebastian?
Tom: No, never except in Act V and we have contrived a way to do it. You will come on as Fabian just at the beginning of Act V and then leave and the Clown will read a letter from you for the rest.
Edmund: Then, I suppose I will take it. (apathetically).
Tom: Fabian has some great fun in some of his part. I think you will like it.
Edmund: (looking at the scene in his script. ) Lead on. I will do my best.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Come thy ways,
Edmund (as FABIAN): (tentatively) Nay, I'll come: if I lose a scruple of this sport, let me be boiled to death with melancholy.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Wouldst thou not be glad to have the niggardly rascally sheep-biter come by some notable shame?
Edmund (as FABIAN): I would exult, man: you know, he brought me out o' favour with my lady about a bear-baiting here.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): To anger him we'll have the bear again; and we will fool him black and blue: shall we not,
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): An we do not, it is pity of our lives.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Here comes the little villain.
Yates: Enter MARIA
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): How now, my metal of India!
Julia (as MARIA): Get ye all three into the box-tree: Malvolio's coming down this walk: he has been yonder i' the sun practising behavior to his own shadow this half hour: observe him, for the love of mockery; for I know this letter will make a contemplative idiot of him. Close, in the name of jesting! Lie thou there,
Throws down a letter for here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling.
Yates: Exit MARIA. Enter MALVOLIO
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): (pulls a looking glass from his pocket, speaks to himself -- enamoured) 'Tis but fortune; all is fortune. Maria once told me she did affect me: and I have heard herself come thus near, that, should she fancy, it should be one of my complexion. Besides, she uses me with a more exalted respect than any one else that follows her. What should I think on't?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Here's an overweening rogue!
Edmund (as FABIAN): O, peace! Contemplation makes a rare turkey-cock of him: how he jets under his advanced plumes!
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): 'Slight, I could so beat the rogue!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Peace, I say.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): To be Count Malvolio!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Ah, rogue!
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Pistol him, pistol him.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Peace, peace!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): (convincing himself with feats of logic) There is example for't; the lady of the Strachy married the yeoman of the wardrobe.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Fie on him, Jezebel!
Edmund (as FABIAN): O, peace! now he's deeply in: look how imagination blows him.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Having been three months married to her, sitting in my state,--
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): O, for a stone-bow, to hit him in the eye!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): (gesturing to the air with great flourishes) Calling my officers about me, in my branched velvet gown; having come from a day-bed, where I have left Olivia sleeping,-- (his voice choked with tenderness)
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Fire and brimstone!
Edmund (as FABIAN): O, peace, peace!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): (with a haughty air) And then to have the humour of state; and after a demure travel of regard, telling them I know my place as I would they should do theirs, to for my kinsman Toby,--
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Bolts and shackles!
Edmund (as FABIAN): O peace, peace, peace! now, now.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): (enjoying his fantasy) Seven of my people, with an obedient start, make out for him: I frown the while; and perchance wind up watch, or play with my--some rich jewel. Toby approaches; courtesies there to me,--
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Shall this fellow live?
Edmund (as FABIAN): Though our silence be drawn from us with cars, yet peace.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): I extend my hand to him thus, quenching my familiar smile with an austere regard of control,--
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): And does not Toby take you a blow o' the lips then?
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): Saying, 'Cousin Toby, my fortunes having cast me on your niece give me this prerogative of speech,'--
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): What, what?
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): 'You must amend your drunkenness.'
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Out, scab!
Edmund (as FABIAN): Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): 'Besides, you waste the treasure of your time with a foolish knight,'--
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): That's me, I warrant you.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): 'One Sir Andrew,'--
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): I knew 'twas I; for many do call me fool.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): What employment have we here? Taking up the letter
Edmund (as FABIAN): (beginning to relax) Now is the woodcock near the gin.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): O, peace! and the spirit of humour intimate reading aloud to him!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): By my life, this is my lady's hand these be her very C's, her U's and her T's and thus makes she her great P's. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Her C's, her U's and her T's: why that?
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): [Reads] 'To the unknown beloved, this, and my good wishes:'--her very phrases! By your leave, wax. Soft! and the impressure her Lucrece, with which she uses to seal: 'tis my lady. To whom should this be?
Edmund (as FABIAN): This wins him, liver and all.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): [Reads] Jove knows I love: But who? Lips, do not move; No man must know. 'No man must know.' What follows? the numbers altered! 'No man must know:' if this should be thee, Malvolio?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Marry, hang thee, brock!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): [Reads] I may command where I adore;
But silence, like a Lucrece knife, With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore: M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.
Edmund (as FABIAN): A fustian riddle!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Excellent wench, say I.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): 'M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.' Nay, but first, let me see, let me see, let me see.
Edmund (as FABIAN): (enjoying himself) What dish o' poison has she dressed him!
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): And with what wing the staniel cheques at it!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): 'I may command where I adore.' Why, she may command me: I serve her; she is my lady. Why, this is evident to any formal capacity; there is no obstruction in this: and the end,--what should that alphabetical position portend? If I could make that resemble something in me,--Softly! M, O, A, I,--
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): O, ay, make up that: he is now at a cold scent.
Edmund (as FABIAN): Sowter will cry upon't for all this, though it be as rank as a fox.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): M,--Malvolio; M,--why, that begins my name.
Edmund (as FABIAN): Did not I say he would work it out? the cur is excellent at faults.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): M,--but then there is no consonancy in the sequel; that suffers under probation A should follow but O does.
Edmund (as FABIAN): And O shall end, I hope.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Ay, or I'll cudgel him, and make him cry O!
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): And then I comes behind.
Edmund (as FABIAN): Ay, an you had any eye behind you, you might see more detraction at your heels than fortunes before you.
Dr. Grant (as MALVOLIO): M, O, A, I; this simulation is not as the former: and yet, to crush this a little, it would bow to me, for every one of these letters are in my name. Soft! here follows prose. Reads 'If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above thee;
But be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em. Thy Fates open their hands; let thy blood and spirit embrace them; and, to inure thyself to what thou art like to be, cast thy humble slough and appear fresh. Be opposite with a kinsman, surly with servants; let thy tongue tang arguments of state; put thyself into the trick of singularity: she thus advises thee that sighs for thee. Remember who commended thy yellow stockings, and wished to see thee ever cross-gartered: I say, remember. Go to, thou art made, if thou desirest to be so; if not, let me see thee a steward still, the fellow of servants, and not worthy to touch Fortune's fingers. Farewell. She that would alter services with thee,
THE FORTUNATE-UNHAPPY.' Daylight and champaign discovers not more: this is open. I will be proud, I will read politic authors, I will baffle Sir Toby, I will wash off gross acquaintance, I will be point-devise the very man. I do not now fool myself, to let imagination jade me; for every reason excites to this, that my lady loves me. She did commend my yellow stockings of late, she did praise my leg being cross-gartered; and in this she manifests herself to my love, and with a kind of injunction drives me to these habits of her liking. I thank my stars I am happy. I will be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and cross-gartered, even with the swiftness of putting on. Jove and my stars be praised! Here is yet a postscript. Reads 'Thou canst not choose but know who I am. If thou entertainest my love, let it appear in thy smiling; thy smiles become thee well; therefore in my presence still smile, dear my sweet, I prithee.' Jove, I thank thee: I will smile; I will do everything that thou wilt have me. Exit
Edmund (as FABIAN): (enthusiastically) I will not give my part of this sport for a pension of thousands to be paid from the Sophy.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): I could marry this wench for this device.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): So could I too.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): And ask no other dowry with her but such another jest.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Nor I neither.
Edmund (as FABIAN): Here comes my noble gull-catcher. Re-enter MARIA
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Wilt thou set thy foot o' my neck?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Or o' mine either?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Shall I play my freedom at traytrip, and become thy bond-slave?
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): I' faith, or I either?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Why, thou hast put him in such a dream, that when the image of it leaves him he must run mad.
Julia (as MARIA): Nay, but say true; does it work upon him?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Like aqua-vitae with a midwife.
Julia (as MARIA): If you will then see the fruits of the sport, mark his first approach before my lady: he will come to her in yellow stockings, and 'tis a colour she abhors, and cross-gartered, a fashion she detests; and he will smile upon her, which will now be so unsuitable to her disposition, being addicted to a melancholy as she is, that it cannot but turn him into a notable contempt. If you will see it, follow me.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): To the gates of Tartar, thou most excellent devil of wit!
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): I'll make one too. Exeunt
Yates: So ends Act II. We continue.
Edmund: If you must continue, do. But I am knocked up. It has been an exhausting day. I will indulge you on the morrow, but must make my excuses now.
Tom: I begin to think our plan was too ambitious, Yates. We should all rest now and start fresh in the morning.
Rushworth: Do you mean to rehearse in the morning? What of our sport?
Tom: Certainly. We hunt in the morning and begin rehearsals directly after noon.
Maria: Miss Crawford and Julia and I have a long ride planned and may not return directly after noon.
Yates: I am not tired. Surely we could do one more scene.
Edmund: Not I. I wish you all a pleasant night and will see you in the morning.
Tom: Would you join us for our hunt in the morning, Dr. Grant?
Dr. Grant: No, I thank you, Mr. Bertram, but I do have my parish duties to attend to. That is the business of all my mornings.
Mrs. Norris snorts. Dr. Grant starts but attempts to ignore her ill humour.
The Grants and Crawfords make their way to the door as the curtain falls.
* diluculo surgere = to the break of day you will be risen
Act III Scene 6
digging myself out of a hole I dug too deep...
Setting: The Rose Room. The following morning.
Mrs. Braunston hovers over Fanny Price supported by several pillows in her huge bed. She brushes and arranges her charge's hair. The breakfast trays are on a table beside the bed. The shelves that completely line the long wall on each side of the huge fireplace are filled with valuable objets d'art and gilt-edged volumes. One section of the shelves closest to the bed is filled with Fanny's books and treasures. Her drawings and silhouettes are simply mounted on a board to one side of her bed. The great expanse of the room is only slightly affected by the addition of its new mistress.
Mrs. Braunston: My dear Fanny, what is the matter? Are you in pain?
Fanny: No... well, not much. But, how I miss my family and my duties! Lying here, though it has been but two days, wears on my patience.
Mrs. Braunston: Your convalescence may be long, my dear. You must find other amusements. Shall I read to you?
Fanny: Yes. Thank you. Your kindness is more than I could ever deserve.
Mrs. Braunston: Pardon me, but I must contradict you. You are a treasure! I knew that at once I saw you.
Fanny: I can not imagine what you see.
Mrs. Braunston (with an air of mystery): Ah, but you should know that I am reputed to be extraordinarily perceptive. I see things that others may not see. Shall I tell you what I see?
Fanny: I should be afraid to know, except that you are always so kind.
Mrs. Braunston: Not to everyone. Only to those who deserve kindness. (Mischievously.) I have been known to be a bit of a minx in other circumstances...
Fanny (smiling, her imagination ignited): I should like very much to hear of those circumstances.
Mrs. Braunston: Perhaps, some time... I shall tell you what I see before me, though you will not ask. I see a beautiful young lady of such gentleness, humility and selflessness, she is beyond hope of description. I see a generous spirit who has happiness only in what she can do for others. I see cleverness so superior to those around her, she seems dull to those of weak minds...
Fanny (Shaking her head): I have never met one whom I could so completely trust. I must suspect myself if I doubt you. But, I can not think ill of my family -- those who have cared for me so generously since I was ten years old.
Mrs. Braunston: ...I also see a character so firmly rooted in truth and honour that no hardship can cause a shadow of compromise. Such strength may bring great loneliness. 'Uncompromising' is an ill epithet in the language of some, though it is the highest praise from others.
Fanny blushes but makes no response.
Mrs. Braunston: And I see one more thing. I see a heart so full of love and affection, particularly for one who has not yet recognised it nor returned it in kind, that it is like to break at times. Any other heart would. But this heart loves with more constancy than most any other God created, and with less encouragement.
Fanny (stares at her wide-eyed. She ventures): You would not speak this?...
Mrs. Braunston: Never! (She caresses Fanny's cheek affectionately, bringing tears to the eyes of her charge.) What shall we read? (She moves toward the bookshelves.)
Fanny: What say you to a play?
Mrs. Braunston: A play? I am amazed.
Fanny: I should like to hear the play that my Cousins are presenting. It seems a providential choice, now that I think on it. At first, I feared they would chuse Lover's Vows. Mr. Yates arrived from Cornwall speaking of nothing else. I read it one day after hearing so much spoken of it in such different terms. It was truly shocking. My Uncle would have been so disappointed in my Cousins if he had arrived to such a play.
Mrs. Braunston: I could not agree more.
Fanny: It would have been most improper to have been acted by any gentlewomen.
Mrs. Braunston: True. I found it amusing enough on stage, but I would have been very discontented to see any gentlewomen involved in such a piece.
Fanny: How I should love to see a play well acted!
Mrs. Braunston: I have no doubt you will do so in future.
Fanny made no response but looked thoughtful.
Fanny: My poor Uncle... But I believe that Twelfth Night with the parts well-cast, as it seems to be, might not offend him... I dare say, it would have been different...
Mrs. Braunston: Very true. Though I know him not, I have heard much of the uprightness of his character. It would have been most disconcerting...
A knock is heard. Mrs. Braunston glides toward the door. It opens slightly.
Edmund (tentatively): May I come in?
Fanny: Oh, yes, please do.
Mrs. Braunston: (At the same time): Please!... Your Cousin will be so pleased for company. Shall I withdraw,
Edmund: No, indeed. You are dear to my heart for the comfort you bring my Cousin.
Mrs. Braunston: Fanny, would you prefer that I leave you to your Cousin?
Fanny (nervously): No, ma'am. I am happy to have you with us.
Edmund (approaching the bed): How do you fare this morning, Fanny? Have you much pain?
Fanny: No. It is not much at all. I yearn to descend the stairs. I would be pleased to see even Mr. Crawford, nay -- even Mr. Yates. That is how much I desire Society.
Edmund (with a grin): What of Mr. Rushworth?
Fanny: Yes, poor Mr. Rushworth would amuse me exceedingly this morning. But, my dear Cousin, do let us not be cruel to poor Mr. Rushworth.
Edmund: Well then, I shall have to seek him out and advise him to pay you a visit... And what of my Aunt Norris? She expressed a wish to see the Rose Room.
Fanny: Did she?
Edmund: Yes. I told her that if she were to be very kind to you, you might invite her in.
Fanny (laughing): Oh, Cousin! How could you say such to my Aunt?... (becoming serious) Of course, she should feel it improper in me to be installed in such a fine room. I can imagine her words.
Edmund: I am afraid you have had too much experience in that subject. But she will not accost you again.
Fanny: Truly? Is she reformed?
Edmund: I should not like to assume too much in that quarter. But she has been chastised and though she may not recognise the injustice of her misdeeds, she will not wish the consequences of repeating them.
Fanny: What, have you chastised my Aunt on my account, Cousin? No, it must not be so.
Edmund: Fanny, you have as strong a claim to the comforts of this house as she. More, for you have been unjustly used here... I told my Aunt that if she interfered with your care or otherwise ill-used you, she would be banned from the house. Tom and my Mother affirmed my decision.
Fanny (aghast): Oh, Cousin! In no way would I so elevate myself above my station to threaten my Aunt or to have you do so on my behalf. What will my Uncle say?
Edmund: My Father will be highly displeased to hear how the Apothecary shamed us on the ill treatment of our closest relative in his house. He will be mortified, as I was and am. He will certainly concur in this decision.
Fanny: Oh! How disagreeable! What must she think of me! I am sure to have many ill looks to endure. If only there will be no angry words.
Edmund: Mrs. Braunston will not allow your Aunt to distress you. Will you, Ma'am?
Mrs. Braunston: Indeed, I shall not,
Sir. (Indignantly, though gently)... (Crossing to Fanny. Protectively caressing her brow.) Now, perhaps you would like to tell your Cousin what we have been about this morning.
Fanny looks nervously at her companion.
Mrs. Braunston: Mr. Bertram, your Cousin is very interested in the play.
Edmund (surprised): Indeed?
Fanny (brightening): Yes, Cousin. Tell me, have the rehearsals started yet? How I should love to see the play!
Edmund: Do you truly wish to see it?
Fanny: Of course. My only concern is how my Uncle will consider it. I think he would not wish his daughters in men's dress nor making very warm love speeches... But as he is not to be distressed in such a way... And it seems very amusing... I have never seen any thing of a play. I should like very much to see it.
Edmund.: You need amusement. Well, I shall tell you all that I can recall of the business below... (Fanny smiles and looks expectantly from her Cousin to her friend and back.) Let me recollect... Mr. Yates has been storming through the Duke Orsino as he would have done with Baron Wildenhaim. (The ladies laugh with him.)... Miss Crawford, who must act with him a great deal as she plays Viola is quite out of humour with him. She sat by me last evening as we read the first two acts and amused herself and me with many remarks at his expense. (Fanny looks serious. Mrs. Braunston regards her with concern.) Mr. Rushworth read Antonio and Curio to much eclat. Miss Crawford thinks him better suited to the Duke than Yates. (Fanny smiles.) Mr. Crawford has emerged as our director. He lets his fancy lose on the scenes and shares his thoughts with us with great ceremony... Yates makes ill-humoured remarks to Julia on Mr. Crawford's forwardness. He does not recognise his own jealousy of Crawford's superior talent... Mrs. Grant and Miss Crawford imagine themselves masculine by attempting low voices for their parts. (He laughs.) Dr. Grant takes on the task of teaching them sword play. (The ladies join him.) And Mrs. Grant will knit some very thick red stockings to wear under her Grecian robe that she may kick up her legs without fear of impropriety. (His words have been almost unintelligible due to his laughter. The ladies accompany him in his mirth. Suddenly, Fanny looks pained.)
Mrs. Braunston: My dear, you must not injure yourself. (Looking at Edmund.)
Edmund: Fanny, are you tired? Should I go?
Fanny: No. Forgive me. I think I moved too much. If I just lie here a moment, I will be fine.
Mrs. Braunston: Shall I read the play to you? (Fanny nods.)
Edmund: Shall we read it to her together? I could read the men's parts and you the women's.
Fanny (weakly): Such an indulgence! I should love it above all things.
Enter Mr. Warren with a knock without waiting for a response. Edmund stands and shakes his hand.
Mr. Warren: How is our patient today? Have you been a good girl, following all Mrs. Braunston's instructions? (He begins pulling a screen in front of the bed to screen Fanny from our view and from Edmund's. He and Mrs. Braunston disappear behind the screen. Edmund paces before it. We hear the other's voices from behind the screen, with an occasional groan from Fanny.)
Mrs. Braunston: Indeed, she has,
Sir. No nurse could ask a better patient.
Fanny: No patient could ask a better nurse.
Edmund: Miss Price appears to be quite comfortable as long as she does not move too much. But she has an unusual request, Mr. Warren. She would like to see the rehearsals. Could I carry her down stairs and lay her on a sofa?
Mr. Warren (firmly): It is too early for that.
Edmund: How regrettable! But if it has to be so...
Mr. Warren: Indeed, I see I have disappointed you, Miss Price...Your tears will do you no good... Hmmm...(emerging from behind the screen). She appears to be doing very well... I believe it should be allowable...(Edmund looks hopeful.) If the players wish to quietly congregate in this room for a scene or two in the evening, as long as they do not overly tire Miss Price and they leave immediately on Mrs. Braunston's request, I see no harm.
Edmund: That is just the thing!
Exit Edmund, rushing out. The curtain falls.
Act III Scene 7
Setting: The Rose Room: That evening. Elegant, comfortable, rose-coloured chairs supplement the two matching sofas placed on either side of the fireplace. A third sofa is placed close by Fanny's bedside table. All of the furniture is unoccupied except the bed. Mrs. Braunston puts the final touches on Fanny's hair. She wears a dressing gown and blankets, which cover her modestly and is propped up as before. She smiles expectantly.
Fanny: Oh, Livie, I am so excited to receive guests. (Frowns suddenly) Do you think it is proper for me to receive them in such a state of undress, however?
Mrs. Braunston: My dear sweet girl. You are quite modestly covered. Surely the most proper of matrons would not object. It is quite impossible for you to be dressed or to leave your bed. The only other possible solution would be for you to remain here alone and unamused when false modesty only would be denying you this small indulgence. No, all the family were delighted with the request. They are all looking forward to providing you with some diversion, I assure you. And the Grants and Crawfords and indeed Mr. Rushworth were no less -- in fact, I dare say, more enthusiastic in their support of the plan, than even your Cousins and Aunts.
A knock is heard. The door opens.
Edmund: May we enter?
Mrs. Braunston: Please do!
Enter Lady Bertram, holding Pug, then Mrs. Norris with her Sister's work basket as well as her own, followed by Tom, Julia and Maria. They are followed by Mr. Rushworth, the Grants and Crawfords and finally Mr. Yates. All approach - more or less affectedly or nervously - the bed where the mistress of the room receives them graciously. Mrs. Norris is watched carefully by Edmund and Mrs. Braunston as she approaches.
Edmund stands by his Cousin as the entourage pays court.
Lady Bertram: Fanny, I am so pleased to see you looking so well. You know I have not seen any of the play myself, but I felt I must come up and sit with you.
Fanny: Aunt Bertram, this is so good of you. Indeed, it is so good of you all. (Tears appear in her eyes).
Mrs. Braunston seats her Ladyship on the sofa alongside Fanny's bedside table, placing Pug at her side. Mrs. Norris places her work in her Sister's lap and then stiffly greets her niece.
Mrs. Norris: Well, Fanny, this is quite a nice room. I hope it serves you well. (She curtsies and goes to the chairs closest to the fire, and sits, arranging her own work.) (Fanny is covered with the deepest blush as she is greeted by her Aunt. She nods her thanks but too late, Mrs. Norris has turned away.)
Tom: Fanny, I am so happy that we can indulge you in such a way. Our play is indeed worthy if it provides you with any amusement. (He takes her hand, bows deeply over it gallantly, kisses it and replaces it gently then moves on to claim a seat in the circle farthest from the fire. Fanny blushes but manages a smile and a gracious nod. She feels Mrs. Braunston's calming touch on her shoulder.)
Julia and Maria approach. Julia kisses her Cousin on the cheek, whispers in her ear, causing Fanny to smile and blush, and stands back, eyeing her work proudly.
Maria (curtsies): I am happy that you are feeling better, Fanny.
The Sisters move towards the grouping by the fire selecting neighbouring chairs.
Mr. Rushworth (casts a glance toward Maria as she sits then bows to Fanny): Miss Price, I hope we may amuse you a little and that you will be well enough to join us soon. (Fanny gives him a warm smile.)
Dr. and Mrs. Grant greet her warmly and sympathetically, then find seats. They are followed by Miss and Mr. Crawford. The former appears unable to keep her eyes on Fanny but repeatedly steals glances at Edmund.
Mr. Crawford (approaches her hesitantly, bows and intones): Miss Price, I am deeply moved that you have invited us to join you. I earnestly pray that you will be restored to complete health as rapidly as possible. (He is greeted with a smile with more warmth than intended. He is obviously struck by the freshness of her looks and the blush on his cheeks is greeted with surprise and a matching rise in colour from his hostess.)
Mr. Yates approaches with out any embarrassment, bows and says: Miss Price, pray get well and join us in our company.
All the company is seated. Mrs. Braunston is graciously offered a seat by her Ladyship. Edmund kisses Fanny's hand and leaves her side to sit with the group. Miss Crawford gives him a playful inviting smile and is rewarded by his chusing a seat by her, which she has carefully guarded for him. All of this is noted by Fanny and Mrs. Braunston but by no other.
Yates (stands and affectedly speaks): Miss Price, Ladies, we have arrived at the beginning of Act III. You are familiar with the previous two acts?
Fanny (nods her affirmation): Yes, Mrs. Braunston and Edmund read it to me this afternoon. (Smiling at the two mentioned.)
Yates: Then let us commence.
Yates (as Stage Manager): ACT III SCENE I. OLIVIA's garden. Enter VIOLA, and CLOWN with a tabour
Mary (as VIOLA): Save thee, friend, and thy music: dost thou live by thy tabour?
Crawford (as CLOWN) No, sir, I live by the church.
Mary (as VIOLA): Art thou a churchman?
Crawford (as CLOWN) No such matter, sir: I do live by the church; for I do live at my house, and my house doth stand by the church.
Mary (as VIOLA): So thou mayst say, the king lies by a beggar, if a beggar dwell near him; or, the church stands by thy tabour, if thy tabour stand by the church.
Crawford (as CLOWN) You have said, sir. To see this age! A sentence is but a cheveril glove to a good wit: how quickly the wrong side may be turned outward!
Mary (as VIOLA): Nay, that's certain; they that dally nicely with words may quickly make them wanton.
Crawford (as CLOWN) I would, therefore, my sister had had no name, sir.
Mary (as VIOLA): Why, man?
Crawford (as CLOWN) Why, sir, her name's a word; and to dally with that word might make my sister wanton. But indeed words are very rascals since bonds disgraced them.
Mary (as VIOLA): Thy reason, man?
Crawford (as CLOWN) Troth, sir, I can yield you none without words; and words are grown so false, I am loath to prove reason with them.
Mary (as VIOLA): I warrant thou art a merry fellow and carest for nothing.
Crawford (as CLOWN) Not so, sir, I do care for something;
But in my conscience, sir, I do not care for you: if that be to care for nothing, sir, I would it would make you invisible.
Mary (as VIOLA): Art not thou the Lady Olivia's fool?
Crawford (as CLOWN) No, indeed, sir; the Lady Olivia has no folly: she will keep no fool, sir, till she be married; and fools are as like husbands as pilchards are to herrings; the husband's the bigger: I am indeed not her fool, but her corrupter of words.
Mary (as VIOLA): I saw thee late at the Count Orsino's.
Crawford (as CLOWN) Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, it shines every where. I would be sorry, sir, but the fool should be as oft with your master as with my mistress: I think I saw your wisdom there.
Mary (as VIOLA): Nay, an thou pass upon me, I'll no more with thee. Hold, there's expenses for thee.
Crawford (as CLOWN) Now Jove, in his next commodity of hair, send thee a beard!
Mary (as VIOLA): By my troth, I'll tell thee, I am almost sick for one;...
Mary (as VIOLA): ...though I would not have it grow on my chin. (Aloud) Is thy lady within?
Crawford (as CLOWN): (holding up two coins) Would not a pair of these have bred, sir?
Mary (as VIOLA): Yes, being kept together and put to use.
Crawford (as CLOWN) I would play Lord Pandarus of Phrygia, sir, to bring a Cressida to this Troilus.
Mary (as VIOLA): I understand you, sir; 'tis well begged.
Crawford (as CLOWN) The matter, I hope, is not great, sir, begging but a beggar: Cressida was a beggar. My lady is within, sir. I will construe to them whence you come; who you are and what you would are out of my welkin, I might say 'element,' but the word is over-worn.
Yates: Exit CLOWN
Tom: I say, Crawford! I believe you have the cleverest part of all. And the most comedic -- for the man who craved tragedy.
Crawford: Yes, but you may recall that I said I would take any part. I only conditioned within myself that it should be a good one and a clever. I am well pleased with my CLOWN. He will give me excellent material for all sorts of foolery and music-making.
Mary: But should you like calling your Sister 'Sir'. And what should you think if your Sister should draw her sword on you and slice your tabour. Excellent fool!
Crawford: I should be forced to give my Sister a thrashing.
Mary: What, with your tabour?
Mary and Mrs. Grant giggle.
Mrs. Grant: You might find yourself facing the swords of both your Sisters,
Crawford: Ma'am, would you face me in your red stockings?
The gentlemen chuckle over this idea, joined by most of the ladies.
Mary (as VIOLA): This fellow is wise enough to play the fool;
And to do that well craves a kind of wit: He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons, and the time, And, like the haggard, cheque at every feather That comes before his eye. This is a practise As full of labour as a wise man's art For folly that he wisely shows is fit;
But wise men, folly-fall'n, quite taint their wit.
Yates: Enter SIR TOBY BELCH, and SIR ANDREW
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Save you, gentleman.
Mary (as VIOLA): And you, sir.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Dieu vous garde, monsieur.
Mary (as VIOLA): Et vous aussi; votre serviteur.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): I hope, sir, you are; and I am yours.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Will you encounter the house? my niece is desirous you should enter, if your trade be to her.
Mary (as VIOLA): I am bound to your niece, sir; I mean, she is the list of my voyage.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Taste your legs, sir; put them to motion.
Mary (as VIOLA): My legs do better understand me, sir, than I understand what you mean by bidding me taste my legs.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): I mean, to go, sir, to enter.
Mary (as VIOLA): I will answer you with gait and entrance. But we are prevented.
Yates: Enter OLIVIA and MARIA
Mary (as VIOLA): Most excellent accomplished lady, the heavens rain odours on you!
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): That youth's a rare courtier: 'Rain odours;' well.
Mary (as VIOLA): My matter hath no voice, to your own most pregnant and vouchsafed ear.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): 'Odours,' 'pregnant' and 'vouchsafed:' I'll get 'em all three all ready.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Let the garden door be shut, and leave me to my hearing. Exeunt SIR TOBY BELCH,
SIR ANDREW, and MARIA Give me your hand, sir.
Mary (as VIOLA): My duty, madam, and most humble service.
Maria (as OLIVIA): What is your name?
Mary (as VIOLA): Cesario is your servant's name, fair princess.
Maria (as OLIVIA): My servant, sir! 'Twas never merry world Since lowly feigning was call'd compliment: You're servant to the Count Orsino, youth.
Mary (as VIOLA): And he is yours, and his must needs be yours: Your servant's servant is your servant, madam.
Maria (as OLIVIA): For him, I think not on him: for his thoughts, Would they were blanks, rather than fill'd with me!
Mary (as VIOLA): Madam, I come to whet your gentle thoughts On his behalf.
Maria (as OLIVIA): O, by your leave, I pray you, I bade you never speak again of him: But, would you undertake another suit, I had rather hear you to solicit that Than music from the spheres.
Mary (as VIOLA): Dear lady,--
Maria (as OLIVIA): Give me leave, beseech you. I did send, After the last enchantment you did here, A ring in chase of you: so did I abuse Myself, my servant and, I fear me, you: Under your hard construction must I sit,
To force that on you, in a shameful cunning, Which you knew none of yours: what might you think? Have you not set mine honour at the stake And baited it with all the unmuzzled thoughts That tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving Enough is shown: a cypress, not a bosom, Hideth my heart. So, let me hear you speak.
Mary (as VIOLA): I pity you.
Maria (as OLIVIA): That's a degree to love.
Mary (as VIOLA): No, not a grise; for 'tis a vulgar proof,
That very oft we pity enemies.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Why, then, methinks 'tis time to smile again. O, world, how apt the poor are to be proud! If one should be a prey, how much the better To fall before the lion than the wolf! Clock strikes The clock upbraids me with the waste of time. Be not afraid, good youth, I will not have you: And yet, when wit and youth is come to harvest, Your wife is like to reap a proper man: There lies your way, due west.
Mary (as VIOLA): Then westward-ho! Grace and good disposition 'tend your ladyship! You'll nothing, madam, to my lord by me?
Maria (as OLIVIA): Stay: I prithee, tell me what thou think'st of me.
Mary (as VIOLA): That you do think you are not what you are.
Maria (as OLIVIA): If I think so, I think the same of you.
Mary (as VIOLA): Then think you right: I am not what I am.
Maria (as OLIVIA): I would you were as I would have you be!
Mary (as VIOLA): Would it be better, madam, that I am? I wish it might, for now I am your fool.
Maria (as OLIVIA): O, what a deal of scorn looks beautiful In the contempt and anger of his lip! A murd'rous guilt shows not itself more soon Than love that would seem hid: love's night is noon. Cesario, by the roses of the spring,
By maidhood, honour, truth and every thing, I love thee so, that, maugre all thy pride, Nor wit nor reason can my passion hide. Do not extort thy reasons from this clause, For that I woo, thou therefore hast no cause,
But rather reason thus with reason fetter, Love sought is good, but given unsought better.
Mary (as VIOLA): By innocence I swear, and by my youth I have one heart, one bosom and one truth, And that no woman has; nor never none Shall mistress be of it, save I alone. And so adieu, good madam: never more Will I my master's tears to you deplore.
Maria (as OLIVIA): Yet come again; for thou perhaps mayst move That heart, which now abhors, to like his love.
Lady Bertram: Wonderful!
Mrs. Braunston: I agree completely. What say you Fanny?
Fanny: Delightful! The fool is no fool I think.
Mary: And the gentleman no gentleman.
Crawford: And the Lady no lady.
Maria: Do not say so, Mr. Crawford or my Brother Edmund will renew his entreaty for me to quit the part.
Edmund: Indeed I will not. I see things differently now.
Maria: How so?
Edmund: In comparison to other plays we could have done, I feel my Father would not object to this and to your part.
Mary: This scene will be difficult to memorise. My repartee with Henry is most challenging.
Fanny: I believe it will be a truly wonderful scene.
Mary: Thank you kindly, Miss Price. How good of you to say so.
Fanny: I only speak what I think. The fool is the most intricate of characters and plays well off Cesario.
Crawford (standing, impressed, and walks toward the bed): It is truly the most unexceptionable role I can imagine. I tremble but long to do it justice. Such words! As one who has been some times reckoned 'clever', it is humbling to me to see a truly clever mind at work.
Fanny smiles, surprised at his enthusiasm and the modesty of his words. She blushes. He bows and retakes his seat. Maria looks at him fondly. Her regard is not noticed by the gentleman, but rather by her fianc╗.
Yates: Shall we proceed?
Crawford: Are you tired, Miss Price?
Fanny: Oh, no! Not at all! Pray, continue.
Yates: SCENE II. OLIVIA's house. Enter SIR TOBY BELCH,
SIR ANDREW, and FABIAN
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): No, faith, I'll not stay a jot longer.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Thy reason, dear venom, give thy reason.
Edmund (as FABIAN): You must needs yield your reason,
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Marry, I saw your niece do more favours to the count's serving-man than ever she bestowed upon me; I saw't i' the orchard.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Did she see thee the while, old boy? tell me that.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): As plain as I see you now.
Edmund (as FABIAN): This was a great argument of love in her toward you.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): 'Slight, will you make an ass o' me?
Edmund (as FABIAN): I will prove it legitimate, sir, upon the oaths of judgment and reason.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): And they have been grand-jury-men since before Noah was a sailor.
Tom: Hey Day, Fanny, would not William like to hear that line?
Fanny: Oh yes! I would he were here. He would enjoy the play so much.
Edmund smiles at her tenderly (observed by Miss Crawford) but then returns his attention to his script.
Edmund (as FABIAN): She did show favour to the youth in your sight only to exasperate you, to awake your dormouse valour, to put fire in your heart and brimstone in your liver. You should then have accosted her; and with some excellent jests, fire-new from the mint, you should have banged the youth into dumbness. This was looked for at your hand, and this was balked: the double gilt of this opportunity you let time wash off, and you are now sailed into the north of my lady's opinion; where you will hang like an icicle on a Dutchman's beard, unless you do redeem it by some laudable attempt either of valour or policy.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): An't be any way, it must be with valour; for policy I hate: I had as lief be a Brownist as a politician.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Why, then, build me thy fortunes upon the basis of valour. Challenge me the count's youth to fight with him; hurt him in eleven places: my niece shall take note of it; and assure thyself, there is no love-broker in the world can more prevail in man's commendation with woman than report of valour.
Edmund (as FABIAN): There is no way but this,
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Will either of you bear me a challenge to him?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Go, write it in a martial hand;
Be curst and brief; it is no matter how witty, so it be eloquent and full of invention: taunt him with the licence of ink: if thou thou's him some thrice, it shall not be amiss; and as many lies as will lie in thy sheet of paper, although the sheet were big enough for the bed of Ware in England, set 'em down: go, about it. Let there be gall enough in thy ink; though thou write with a goose-pen, no matter. About it.
Mrs. Grant (as SIR ANDREW): Where shall I find you?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): We'll call thee at the cubiculo: go. Exit SIR ANDREW
Edmund (as FABIAN): This is a dear manikin to you,
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): I have been dear to him, lad, some two thousand strong, or so.
Edmund (as FABIAN): We shall have a rare letter from him: but you'll not deliver't?
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Never trust me, then; and by all means stir on the youth to an answer. I think oxen and wainropes cannot hale them together. For Andrew, if he were opened, and you find so much blood in his liver as will clog the foot of a flea, I'll eat the rest of the anatomy.
Edmund (as FABIAN): And his opposite, the youth, bears in his visage no great presage of cruelty.
Yates: Enter MARIA
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Look, where the youngest wren of nine comes.
Julia (as MARIA): If you desire the spleen, and will laugh yourself into stitches, follow me. Yond gull Malvolio is turned heathen, a very renegado; for there is no Christian, that means to be saved by believing rightly, can ever believe such impossible passages of grossness. He's in yellow stockings.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): And cross-gartered?
Julia (as MARIA): Most villanously; like a pedant that keeps a school i' the church. I have dogged him, like his murderer. He does obey every point of the letter that I dropped to betray him: he does smile his face into more lines than are in the new map with the augmentation of the Indies: you have not seen such a thing as 'tis. I can hardly forbear hurling things at him. I know my lady will strike him: if she do, he'll smile and take't for a great favour.
Tom (as SIR TOBY BELCH): Come, bring us, bring us where he is.
Tom (laughs heartily): Oh, that Sir TOBY! Such a villain! Such fun! And MARIA! Julia, will you not have fun with her? Will you not now love a comedy?
Julia: I dare say, you were right,
Brother. Comedy is more for me than tragedy. My MARIA is a winsome harpy!
Maria: Not I!
Sister. My character, the gentlewoman, MARIA.
Yates (smiling appreciatively at Julia, then on to the business at hand): Now, life becomes interesting for Mr. Edmund Bertram, for he no sooner exits as FABIAN than he enters as SEBASTIAN. Quite the challenge for the actor, Mr. Bertram. (Edmund ignores him.) And Mr. Rushworth, you return as ANTONIO. (Rushworth, who had been gazing thoughtfully at Maria, starts and grabs up his script.)
Rushworth: Aye. Captain Antonio. Let me see. What is the scene? (Edmund shows him in his script.)
Yates: SCENE III. A street. Enter SEBASTIAN and ANTONIO
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): I would not by my will have troubled you;
But, since you make your pleasure of your pains, I will no further chide you.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): I could not stay behind you: my desire,
More sharp than filed steel, did spur me forth;
And not all love to see you, though so much
As might have drawn one to a longer voyage,
But jealousy what might befall your travel,
Being skilless in these parts; which to a stranger,
Unguided and unfriended, often prove
Rough and unhospitable: my willing love,
The rather by these arguments of fear,
Set forth in your pursuit.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): My kind Antonio, I can no other answer make but thanks,
And thanks; and ever thanks. Often good turns
Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay:
But, were my worth as is my conscience firm,
You should find better dealing. What's to do?
Shall we go see the reliques of this town?
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): To-morrow, sir: best first go see your lodging.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): I am not weary, and 'tis long to night:
I pray you, let us satisfy our eyes
With the memorials and the things of fame
That do renown this city.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): Would you'ld pardon me; I do not without danger walk these streets:
Once, in a sea-fight, 'gainst the count, his galleys,
I did some service; of such note indeed,
That were I ta'en here it would scarce be answer'd.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): Belike you slew great number of his people.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO) (straightening and sitting tall in his seat): The offence is not of such a bloody nature;
Albeit the quality of the time and quarrel
Might well have given us bloody argument.
It might have since been answer'd in repaying
What we took from them; which, for traffic's sake,
Most of our city did: only myself stood out;
For which, if I be lapsed in this place, I shall pay dear.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): Do not then walk too open.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): It doth not fit me. Hold, sir, here's my purse.
In the south suburbs, at the Elephant,
Is best to lodge: I will bespeak our diet,
Whiles you beguile the time and feed your knowledge
With viewing of the town: there shall you have me.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): Why I your purse?
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): Haply your eye shall light upon some toy
You have desire to purchase; and your store, I think, is not for idle markets, sir.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): I'll be your purse-bearer and leave you For an hour.
Rushworth (as ANTONIO): To the Elephant.
Edmund (as SEBASTIAN): I do remember.
Mrs. Braunston: Thank you all for coming up and sharing your excellent play with us. But I believe Miss Fanny must sleep. This is a great deal of excitement for her. Shall you return tomorrow evening?
Crawford: Certainly, Madam. I, for one, would be delighted. (He bows gallantly to Fanny and Mrs. Braunston.)
(The others make their bows and curtsies and good nights.)
Exeunt all but Edmund, Mrs. Braunston, and Fanny.
Edmund looks as if he would stay but Mrs. Braunston escorts him to the door.
Mrs. Braunston: She is quite exhausted. Her fatigue has been growing for the last two scenes, but I wanted to give her as much enjoyment as possible so allowed the merriment to continue. Your scene was definitely pleasing to her. Will you join us for breakfast in the morning?
Edmund (from without): Yes, I will certainly join you.
The curtain falls as Mrs. Braunston helps a truly fagged Fanny settle for the night and kisses her forehead.
Act III Scene 8
Setting: The Rose Room, the following morning. The maid takes away the breakfast trays. Edmund sits on the sofa beside Fanny's bed. Mrs. Braunston sits in a chair facing them with her work.
Edmund: The bickering of the company is sometimes more than I can bear. Mr. Yates is not satisfied with any one else's performance and no one else is satisfied with his.
Fanny: May I be so forward as to give you my opinion in the matter? (She blushes slightly but looks at him without flinching.)
Edmund (surprised): Certainly!
Fanny: The play is for the amusement of those participating. There will be very little audience. Only Mrs. Braunston, my Aunt Bertram and myself. Oh, and possibly Mrs. Rushworth. It matters little how well any actor portrays his part. What matters is the effort of the company. Perhaps if no one notes Mr. Yates performance, he will more honestly look at it himself.
Mrs. Braunston: Well spoken, Fanny! Sir, I believe your Cousin has fixed on the most crucial matter.
Edmund: Yes, I agree. But every player will have his own vexations. You may have to explain this principle ten times to cover them all. I dare say, Miss...
A knock is heard. No motion of the door to open is seen. Mrs. Braunston crosses and opens it, revealing a blushing Mr. Rushworth.
Rushworth: Pardon me for my impertinence, Ma'am.
Mrs. Braunston: Phoo! Phoo! We are happy to receive you at any time,
Sir. (Fanny and Edmund look mystified but smile their welcomes.)
Rushworth: If it is no trouble... (He enters and seats himself in the proffered chair.)
Mrs. Braunston: Have you breakfasted,
Rushworth: Yes, Ma'am.
Mrs. Braunston: Would you care for some tea?
Rushworth: No, thank you, Ma'am.
A silence reigns momentarily. Finally Mr. Rushworth clears his throat.
Rushworth: I would that I might not shame myself in speaking my parts. I have no head for memorising. I come to beg your assistance.
Fanny: Without a doubt, Mr. Rushworth. You may depend on us for any possible assistance.
Rushworth: Some of the speeches are so long.
Fanny: Ah, but they make sense. They tell a story. Surely if you remember the story you are to tell, the lines will come.
Rushworth (thoughtfully): Perhaps... (Brightening). I had not thought of that. Yes, I will look for the story. That may help, indeed... (His countenance darkens again.) I had hoped to go over my lines a great many times, to be certain I had them in my head. But I can not get Maria to give me a moment, and why should some other person do what my own fianc╗e will not...Tell me, Mr. Bertram, do you think a woman should pay more attention to another man in her betrothed's presence?
Edmund (taken aback): Ah... Well... I must say... (Regaining control.) No, I do not think that is a good thing.
Rushworth: Should a man be obliged to watch such a flirtation without demanding a change? I begin to think Miss Bertram does not love me.
Sir... You must consult your own heart in this.
Rushworth (to Fanny): Miss Price, would you treat a man so?
Fanny (wide-eyed and very hesitant): If I must give my opinion: No, I would not.
Rushworth (eyeing her carefully): I thought not... (Looking back to Edmund): And I begin to wonder if I love her.
Edmund (says nothing, but then when the silence lengthens and Mr. Rushworth still regards him.): Sir, as I said, you must consult your own heart. But if I may say, as the clergyman that I will be, a period of betrothal may be useful for determining one's own heart. The seriousness of the marriage oath must be carefully weighed by all facing such a commitment. Though there is some vexation and inconvenience associated with broken engagements, they can not compare to those of broken marriages.
Rushworth (thoughtfully): I thank you,
Sir. It seems that I indeed needed the advice of a clergyman. This raises questions I had not considered.
Rushworth stands, bows, excuses himself. At that moment a knock is heard and the door bursts open.
Enter Tom - almost colliding with Mr. Rushworth.
Tom: Halloo, I'm off to the hunt but thought to check on my little Cousin. Pardon me, Mr. Rushworth, Edmund, I did not know you were here.
Mrs. Braunston (with irony): Thank you,
Sir, for your thoughtfulness. As you see, Miss Price has many visitors this morning, many kind inquirers after her health. She does well, do you not Fanny?
Fanny: Yes, thank you. Mrs. Braunston always knows how I am feeling before I know it myself. Thank you, Mr. Bertram for your kind attention.
Tom bows to Fanny.
Tom: So, Rushworth, where were you rushing off to in such a hurry?
Rushworth: I have decided to end my engagement with your Sister. I shall give Miss Bertram her freedom this very morning.
Tom: I say, that is most unexpected.
Rushworth: Have you not noticed,
Sir, her coldness to me and interest in Mr. Crawford? And I begin to doubt my love for her. And I have just learned to think much more seriously of the marriage oaths. I will not enter into them lightly.
Tom (after a moment's thought): One can not wonder that you should be tempted to do so. Indeed, I salute you. I would not have endured half such inattentiveness from my betrothed towards me with out entering into a duel.
Rushworth (nervous): Then you do not blame me?
Edmund (alarmed, to Rushworth): Now I think there is no occasion for a challenge. Amicably settled, you may continue on here as intimate friend of both families. Is that not preferable to a duel? (looking daggers at his Brother.)
Rushworth: Yes, I am certain that it is. What think you, Mr. Bertram? (to Tom).
Tom: I quite agree. And I do not blame you. Not at all. (Claps him on the shoulder.) I only hope that you will stay for the play regardless of this little misadventure.
Edmund and Fanny look disgusted. They look to each other and note the other's disapprobation and appear comforted by the other's similar feelings. Mrs. Braunston looks philosophical. They say nothing.
Tom: Shall we go to the hunt, Gentlemen? (Rushworth looks relieved.)
Rushworth: Indeed. I could do with a little sport.
Tom: Edmund? Are you coming?
Edmund: In a moment.
Exeunt Tom and Rushworth.
Mrs. Braunston: Well, well.
Edmund: Indeed. Perhaps I should warn Maria. But, I believe 'twould be best for her if the engagement was broken.
Mrs. Braunston and Fanny look at him. Mrs. Braunston looks at Fanny.
Mrs. Braunston: Fanny, you are all done in! Mr. Bertram, you must excuse us. Your Cousin is in need of a nap.
Fanny: I am a bit tired.
Mrs. Braunston escorts Edmund to the door. (quietly to him): Your Cousin becomes stronger, though not yet in body. She is growing more confident, more able to give her opinion. It is as I told you, she needs only love and encouragement. Her illness may keep her abed for some time, but during that time, we will undertake the healing of her spirit along with her body.
Edmund (bowing): Madam, in SEBASTIAN's words: 'I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.' You are a breath of spring in this wintery house. How shall I ever thank you for your affection for my Cousin?
Mrs. Braunston: By showing her your affection as well.
Edmund: I always have. She is the most beloved of my Sisters.
Mrs. Braunston: Then I am certain we may depend on her rapid recovery -- for the knowledge that one is loved is the best medicine for all ills.
Edmund: She has always had my love. (He bows.)
Mrs. Braunston: Indeed,
The curtain falls as Mrs. Braunston quietly regards her charge, in deep sleep already, then takes her seat and picks up her work.
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