Even after some centuries of continuous and industrious exploration on a scale unprecedented in literary history, there remain some small islands in the Sea of Shakespearia still practically unvisited and uncharted. The immense mass of commentary upon The Merchant of Venice almost neglects Launcelot's contribution to palmistry in 2.2, or dismisses it as mere nonsense. It is, in fact, clear evidence that Shakespeare was well acquainted with the science, for he keeps Launcelot close to the principles laid down by early authority, even in respect of dangers of drowning and of widows and maids in the number of prospective wives. 1 A second unexplored islet, with which we are here concerned, is the ordeal to which Malvolio was subjected to test his sanity, put in question by Olivia in 3.4 of Twelfth Night. She charges Maria and Toby to take care of him, and they enter with zest upon their psychiatric duties. Toby diagnoses at once diabolical possession as the cause of his madness, and Maria and Fabian concur with relish. They confine him in a dark room and very properly arrange for a visit by a clergyman in the hope of exorcizing the devil in him. Feste puts on a gown and beard, and adopts the name of Sir Topas the curate, an obvious choice of name for those who know how to treat madness, having perhaps learned from Reginald Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft (1584) that "a topaz healeth the lunatic person of his passion of lunacy," a belief supported by the au 184thority of Cardan. (See Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, The inquiry is conducted in 4.2, with an interrogatory by Sir Topas, to which Malvolio manfully replies in defense of his challenged five wits.