Modern English Twelfth Night Ebook Sample
Act 4, Scene 2
Maria carried a clerical cap and gown and a false beard. ‘No, come on, please,’ she implored Feste. ‘Put on this gown and this beard to make him believe that you’re the curate, Sir Topas. Get on with it. I’ll call Sir Toby in the meantime.’
She ran off to find Sir Toby, leaving Feste with the items. Well, he would put them on and disguise himself in them. He wished he were the first to wear clerical garb to disguise deceit. He slipped the gown on – it was very long. He wasn’t tall enough to look the part nor skinny enough to be taken for a dedicated scholar but, he supposed, to be thought of as an honest man who balances his books is as good as saying that he was a cautious man and a great scholar. Ah, here were the conspirators.
Sir Toby bowed exaggeratedly. ‘God bless you, Mister Parson,’ he said.
Feste nodded gravely at him. ‘Bonas Dies,’ he said in the quavering voice of a frail old man. ‘As the old hermit of Prague, who never used pen and ink, said to a niece of King Gorbuduc – ” that that is, is ” ; so I, being Mister Parson, am Mr Parson, because what is ‘that’ but ‘that’ and ‘is’ but ‘is’?’
They stood near the entrance of Olivia’s house. There was a guardhouse with a square hole with bars in the door, in which Sir Toby had locked Malvolio.
‘To him, Sir Topas,’ said Sir Toby.
Feste went and stood beside the door. ‘You in there, I say! Silence in this prison!’