From Twelfth Night Or What You Will. Ed. Kenneth Deighton. London: Macmillan.
1, 2. This is ... see't, i.e. I am able to feel and see things as
they really are, I am under no hallucination.
3, 4. And though ... madness. And though I am enveloped
with wonder I am not enveloped with madness; for enwraps, cp.
A. W. v. 3. 128, "I am wrapped in dismal thinkings," M. A. iv.
1. 146, "attired in wonder," M. V. i. 1. 91, "dressed in an
opinion of wisdom": Where's Antonio, then? If this is so, if I
am in my right senses, how is it I could not find Antonio?
6. there he was, had been lately; not, was there when I went
to look for him: this credit, this belief, this thing believed,
regarding him. Steevens takes credit for oral intelligence, and
quotes passages which may bear out his interpretation, though it
does not seem at all a necessary one.
8. might ... service, might be of the greatest possible use to
me; golden, precious.
9, 10. For though ...madness, for though my mind argues
skilfully with my senses to prove that even if I be mistaken
in this belief of mine as to the reality of my experience, I am
11, 2. Yet doth ... discourse, yet this good fortune which has
befallen me in such full measure, so far exceeds all example and
all reason; for discourse. Singer quotes Glanville, "The act of
the mind which connects propositions, and deduces conclusions from them, the schools call discourse, and we shall not miscall it if we name it reason"; cp. Haml. i. 2. 50, "a beast that wants
discourse of reason," and Oth. iv. 2. 153.
14-6. And wrangle ... mad; and dispute with my reason that
would persuade me to a confident belief in anything except that
either I am mad or that my lady is so: in disputes, discourse and wrangle, Sebastian is using the language of the schools, and,
in this sense, the last term is still in use at Cambridge in
'wrangler,' originally a disputant in the schools: trust, belief.
18-20. Take ... does, attend to matters of business and see that
her orders are carried out with so unruffled, clear-sighted, and
steady a method as I see is the case with her; take and give back.
is equivalent to 'administer,' 'attend to,' by receiving reports
from her steward and passing orders upon them; and 'see to,' or
some such verb, is easily supplied from take and give back.
Dyce would read 'them' for their, which seems to me unnecessary and tautological.
20, 1. there's ... deceiveable, there is something in the matter
that is delusive; for deceiveable, in this sense, cp. R. II. ii. 3. 84,
"Show me thy humble heart, and not thy knee, Whose duty is
deceiveable and false"; and for adjectives in -ble having both an
act. and a pass. meaning, see Abb. § 3.
22. If you mean well, if your intentions are sincere.
24. Into ... by, into the chantry which is close at hand; a
'chantry' was a church or chapel endowed with lands, or other
yearly revenue, for the maintenance of one priest or more, to
sing mass for the souls of the donors, and of such others as they
appointed; hence for religious services generally; cp. H. V.
iv. 1. 318, "and I have built Two chantries where the sad and
solemn priests Still sing for Richard's soul."
26. full assurance, complete assurance, as shown by the solemn
ceremony of bethrothal. Bethrothal, or troth-plight, in Shakespeare's time was looked upon as a contract much more binding than the 'engagement' of modern times, and was accompanied
by certain ceremonies such as the joining of hands before witnesses
(often before a priest), as in W. T. iv. 4. 394, etc.; the exchange
of kisses, K. J. ii. 1. 532-5; the interchange of rings, v. 1. 159-
62, below; R. III, i. 2. 302; T. G. ii. 5. 5-7.
27. 8. That my ... peace, that my soul, which is so jealous and
doubtful about you, may be at rest.
28. May live ... it, for the sake of the metre, Hanmer would
insert 'henceforth' before live; Abbott (§ 506) considers the line
as one with four accents, with an interruption at peace.
29. Whiles, until; "while now means only 'during the time
when,' but in Elizabethan English both while and whiles meant
also 'up to the time when'" (Abb. § 137); Irishmen often say
still 'wait while I come' for 'wait till I come': it shall ... note,
it shall be made known, proclaimed.
30. What time, at which time; for the omission of the preposition in adverbial expressions, see Abb. § 202: celebration, sc. of the marriage ceremony.
31. According ... birth, in a way suitable to my high birth.
33. truth, faith, troth.
34, 5. and heavens ... mine! and may the heavens so shine as
to look down favourably upon, etc., may the heavens show their
approval of, etc.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night Or What You Will. Ed. Kenneth Deighton. London: Macmillan, 1889. Shakespeare Online. 20 Dec. 2010. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/twn_4_3.html >
Points to Ponder In Comedy of Situation "a person is placed in circumstances over which he has little or no control, and is made to pursue absurd and nugatory objects without any direct fault of his own. His deception is brought about through the senses; his mistakes arise from false appearances which hover around him — in general, that which is phantom seems reality." Denton Jaques Snider. Read on...