Study Guide

Twelfth Night

by William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night eText - Act I

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Act I

Scene I

Duke Orsino'

[Enter Duke, Curio, Lords; Musicians attending.]

[Exeunt.]

DUKE ORSINO:
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,(5)
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(10)
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.(15)
CURIO:
Will you go hunt, my lord?
DUKE ORSINO:
What, Curio?
CURIO:
The hart.
DUKE ORSINO:
Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,(20)
Methought she purg'd 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.
How now! what news from her?(25)

[Enter Valentine.]

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(30)
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.
DUKE ORSINO:
O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame(35)
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(40)
Her sweet perfections with one self king!
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.

Scene II

The sea-coast

[Enter Viola, Captain, and Sailors.]

[Exeunt.]

VIOLA:
What country, friends, is this?
CAPTAIN:
This is Illyria, lady.
VIOLA:
And what should I do in Illyria?
My brother he is in Elysium.
Perchance he is not drown'd: what think you, sailors?(5)
CAPTAIN:
It is perchance that you yourself were saved.
VIOLA:
O my poor brother! and so perchance may he be.
CAPTAIN:
True, madam; and, to comfort you with chance,
Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
When you and those poor number saved with you(10)
Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
Most provident in peril, bind himself,
Courage and hope both teaching him the practice,
To a strong mast that lived upon the sea;
Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,(15)
I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves
So long as I could see.
VIOLA:
For saying so, there's gold.
Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
Whereto thy speech serves for authority,(20)
The like of him. Know'st thou this country?
CAPTAIN:
Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
Not three hours' travel from this very place.
VIOLA:
Who governs here?
CAPTAIN:
A noble duke, in nature(25)
As in name.
VIOLA:
What is his name?
CAPTAIN:
Orsino.
VIOLA:
Orsino! I have heard my father name him.
He was a bachelor then.(30)
CAPTAIN:
And so is now, or was so very late;
For but a month ago I went from hence,
And then 'twas fresh in murmur,—as, you know,
What great ones do the less will prattle of,—
That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.(35)
VIOLA:
What's she?
CAPTAIN:
A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
That died some twelvemonth since; then leaving her
In the protection of his son, her brother,
Who shortly also died: for whose dear love,(40)
They say, she hath abjured the company
And sight of men.
VIOLA:
O that I served that lady
And might not be delivered to the world,
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,(45)
What my estate is!
CAPTAIN:
That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the Duke's.
VIOLA:
There is a fair behavior in thee, captain;(50)
And though that nature with a beauteous wall
Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee
I will believe thou hast a mind that suits
With this thy fair and outward character.
I prithee, and I'll pay thee bounteously,(55)
Conceal me what I am, and be my aid
For such disguise as haply shall become
The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke:
Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him:
It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing(60)
And speak to him in many sorts of music
That will allow me very worth his service.
What else may hap to time I will commit;
Only shape thou silence to my wit.
CAPTAIN:
Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be:(65)
When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.
VIOLA:
I thank thee: lead me on.

Scene III

Olivia's House.

[Enter Sir Toby Belch and Maria.]

[Enter Sir Andrew Aguecheek.]

[Exit Maria.]

[Exeunt.]

SIR TOBY:
What a plague means my niece, to take the death of
her brother thus? I am sure care's an enemy to life.
MARIA:
By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o'
nights: your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to
your ill hours.(5)
SIR TOBY:
Why, let her except, before excepted.
MARIA:
Ay, but you must confine yourself within the
modest limits of order.
SIR TOBY:
Confine? I'll confine myself no finer than I am:
these clothes are good enough to drink in; and so be these(10)
boots too: an they be not, let them hang themselves in
their own straps.
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.(15)
SIR TOBY:
Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?
MARIA:
Ay, he.
SIR TOBY:
He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
MARIA:
What's that to the purpose?
SIR TOBY:
Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.(20)
MARIA:
Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats: he's a
very fool, and a prodigal.
SIR TOBY:
Fie, that you'll say so! he plays o' the viol-de-gam-
boys, and speaks three or four languages word for word
without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.(25)
MARIA:
He hath indeed, almost natural: for besides that he's
a fool, he's a great quarreler; 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.(30)
SIR TOBY:
By this hand, they are scoundrels and substractors
that say so of him. Who are they?
MARIA:
They that add, moreover, he's drunk nightly in your
company.
SIR TOBY:
With drinking healths to my niece: I'll drink to her as(35)
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.
SIR ANDREW:
Sir Toby Belch! how now, Sir Toby Belch!(40)
SIR TOBY:
Sweet Sir Andrew!
SIR ANDREW:
Bless you, fair shrew.
MARIA:
And you too, sir.
SIR TOBY:
Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.
SIR ANDREW:
What's that?(45)
SIR TOBY:
My niece's chambermaid.
SIR ANDREW:
Good Mistress Accost, I desire better
acquaintance.
MARIA:
My name is Mary, sir.
SIR ANDREW:
Good Mistress Mary Accost,—(50)
SIR TOBY:
You mistake, knight; ‘accost’ is front her, board her,
woo her, assail her.
SIR ANDREW:
By my troth, I would not undertake her in this
company. Is that the meaning of ‘accost’?
MARIA:
Fare you well, gentlemen.(55)
SIR TOBY:
An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst
never draw sword again.
SIR ANDREW:
An you part so, mistress, I would I might never
draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools
in hand?(60)
MARIA:
Sir, I have not you by the hand.
SIR ANDREW:
Marry, but you shall have; and here's my
hand.
MARIA:
Now, sir, thought is free. I pray you, bring your hand
to the buttery-bar and let it drink.(65)
SIR ANDREW:
Wherefore, sweetheart? what's your metaphor?
MARIA:
It's dry, sir.
SIR ANDREW:
Why, I think so: I am not such an ass but I can
keep my hand dry. But what's your jest?(70)
MARIA:
A dry jest, sir.
SIR ANDREW:
Are you full of them?
MARIA:
Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers' ends: marry, now I
let go your hand, I am barren.
SIR TOBY:
O knight, thou lackest a cup of canary: when did(75)
I see thee so put down?
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 great
eater of beef, and I believe that does harm to my wit.(80)
SIR TOBY:
No question.
SIR ANDREW:
An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride home
tomorrow, Sir Toby.
SIR TOBY:
Pourquoi, my dear knight?
SIR ANDREW:
What is ‘Pourquoi’? Do or not do? I would I had(85)
bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fenc-
ing, dancing, and bear-baiting. Oh, had I but followed
the arts!
SIR TOBY:
Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
SIR ANDREW:
Why, would that have mended my hair?(90)
SIR TOBY:
Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by
nature.
SIR ANDREW:
But it becomes me well enough, does't not?
SIR TOBY:
Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope
to see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin(95)
it off.
SIR ANDREW:
Faith, I'll home tomorrow, 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.
SIR TOBY:
She'll none o' the Count: she'll not match above her(100)
degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard
her swear't. Tut, there's life in't, man.
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.(105)
SIR TOBY:
Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?
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.
SIR TOBY:
What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?(110)
SIR ANDREW:
Faith, I can cut a caper.
SIR TOBY:
And I can cut the mutton to't.
SIR ANDREW:
And, I think I have the back-trick simply as strong
as any man in Illyria.
SIR TOBY:
Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have these(115)
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. What dost thou mean? Is it a world to hide(120)
virtues in? I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy
leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.
SIR ANDREW:
Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in flame-
colour'd stock. Shall we set about some revels?
SIR TOBY:
What shall we do else? were we not born under(125)
Taurus?
SIR ANDREW:
Taurus? that's sides and heart.
SIR TOBY:
No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee caper; ha!
higher! ha, ha! excellent!

Scene IV

Duke Orsino' Palace

[Enter Valentine, and Viola in man's attire.]

[Enter Duke, Curio, and Attendants.]

[Exeunt.]

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.
VIOLA:
You either fear his humour or my negligence, that you
call in question the continuance of his love: is he inconstant,(5)
sir, in his favours?
VALENTINE:
No, believe me.
VIOLA:
I thank you. Here comes the Count.
DUKE ORSINO:
Who saw Cesario, ho?
VIOLA:
On your attendance, my lord; here.(10)
DUKE ORSINO:
Stand you awhile 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,(15)
And tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow
Till thou have audience.
VIOLA:
Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow
As it is spoke, she never will admit me.(20)
DUKE ORSINO:
Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds,
Rather than make unprofited return.
VIOLA:
Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?
DUKE ORSINO:
O, then unfold the passion of my love,
Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith:(25)
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.
VIOLA:
I think not so, my lord.
DUKE ORSINO:
Dear lad, believe it;(30)
For they shall yet belie thy happy years,
That say thou art a man: Diana's lip
Is not more smooth and rubious; thy small pipe
Is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound,
And all is semblative a woman's part.(35)
I know thy constellation is right apt
For this affair. 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,(40)
To call his fortunes thine.
VIOLA:
I'll do my best
To woo your lady. [Aside] Yet, a barful strife!
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.

Scene V

Olivia's House.

[Enter Maria and Clown.]

[Exit.]

[Re-enter Maria .]

[Enter Sir Toby.]

[Exit.]

[Exit.]

[Re-enter Malvolio .]

[Exit.]

[Re-enter Maria.]

[Enter Viola.]

[Exit.]

[Re-enter Malvolio.]

[Exit.]

[Exit.]

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.
CLOWN:
Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this world
needs to fear no colours.(5)
MARIA:
Make that good.
CLOWN:
He shall see none to fear.
MARIA:
A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that saying
was born, of, ‘I fear no colours.’
CLOWN:
Where, good Mistress Mary?(10)
MARIA:
In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your
foolery.
CLOWN:
Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that
are fools, let them use their talents.
MARIA:
Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent; or, to be(15)
turned away, is not that as good as a hanging to you?
CLOWN:
Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and, for
turning away, let summer bear it out.
MARIA:
You are resolute, then?
CLOWN:
Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two points.(20)
MARIA:
That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both break,
your gaskins fall.
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.(25)
MARIA:
Peace, you rogue; no more o' that; here comes my lady:
make your excuse wisely; you were best.
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(30)
says Quinapalus? ‘Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.’
God bless thee, lady!

[Enter Olivia and Malvolio.]

OLIVIA:
Take the fool away.
CLOWN:
Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.
OLIVIA:
Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you: besides,(35)
you grow dishonest.
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(40)
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(45)
a flower: The lady bade take away the fool; therefore, I
say again, take her away.
OLIVIA:
Sir, I bade them take away you.
CLOWN:
Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, ‘Cucullus
non facit monachum’—that's as much to say as I wear not(50)
motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to
prove you a fool.
OLIVIA:
Can you do it?
CLOWN:
Dexteriously, good madonna.
OLIVIA:
Make your proof.(55)
CLOWN:
I must catechize you for it, madonna. Good my
mouse of virtue, answer me.
OLIVIA:
Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll 'bide your
proof.
CLOWN:
Good madonna, why mourn'st thou?(60)
OLIVIA:
Good fool, for my brother's death.
CLOWN:
I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
OLIVIA:
I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
CLOWN:
The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother's
soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.(65)
OLIVIA:
What think you of this fool, Malvolio? Doth he not
mend?
MALVOLIO:
Yes; and shall do till the pangs of death shake
him. Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the
better fool.(70)
CLOWN:
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.
OLIVIA:
How say you to that, Malvolio?(75)
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(80)
wise men that crow so at these set kind of fools, no better
than the fools' zanies.
OLIVIA:
O, 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(85)
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.
CLOWN:
Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest
well of fools!(90)
MARIA:
Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much
desires to speak with you.
OLIVIA:
From the Count Orsino, is it?
MARIA:
I know not, madam; 'tis a fair young man, and well
attended.(95)
OLIVIA:
Who of my people hold him in delay?
MARIA:
Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.
OLIVIA:
Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but mad-
man. Fie on him!
Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the Count, I am sick,(100)
or not at home; what you will to dismiss it.
Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and people
dislike it.

[Exit Maria]

[Exit Malvolio.]

CLOWN:
Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest
son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with brains,(105)
for,—here he comes,—one of thy kin, has a most weak pia
mater.
OLIVIA:
By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate,
cousin?
SIR TOBY:
A gentleman.(110)
OLIVIA:
A gentleman? What gentleman?
SIR TOBY:
'Tis a gentleman here—a plague o' these pickle-herring!
—How now, sot?
CLOWN:
Good Sir Toby!
OLIVIA:
Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this(115)
lethargy?
SIR TOBY:
Lechery! I defy lechery. There's one at the gate.
OLIVIA:
Ay, marry; what is he?
SIR TOBY:
Let him be the devil an he will, I care not: give me
faith, say I. Well, it's all one.(120)
OLIVIA:
What's a drunken man like, fool?
CLOWN:
Like a drowned man, a fool, and a madman: one
draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads
him; and a third drowns him.
OLIVIA:
Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o' my(125)
coz; for he's in the third degree of drink; he's drowned:
go, look after him.
CLOWN:
He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look
to the madman.
MALVOLIO:
Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak(130)
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 fore-
knowledge of that too, and therefore comes to speak with
you. What is to be said to him, lady? he's fortified against(135)
any denial.
OLIVIA:
Tell him, he shall not speak with me.
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.(140)
OLIVIA:
What kind of man is he?
MALVOLIO:
Why, of mankind.
OLIVIA:
What manner of man?
MALVOLIO:
Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you
or no.(145)
OLIVIA:
Of what personage and years is he?
MALVOLIO:
Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough
for a boy; as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or a codling,
when 'tis almost an apple: 'tis with him in standing water,
between boy and man. He is very well-favoured, and he(150)
speaks very shrewishly; one would think his mother's milk
were scarce out of him.
OLIVIA:
Let him approach. Call in my gentlewoman.
MALVOLIO:
Gentlewoman, my lady calls.
OLIVIA:
Give me my veil; come, throw it o'er my face. We'll once(155)
more hear Orsino's embassy.
VIOLA:
The honourable lady of the house, which is she?
OLIVIA:
Speak to me; I shall answer for her. Your will?
VIOLA:
Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty,—I pray
you, tell me if this be the lady of the house, for I never saw(160)
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.
OLIVIA:
Whence came you, sir?(165)
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.
OLIVIA:
Are you a comedian?(170)
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?
OLIVIA:
If I do not usurp myself, I am.
VIOLA:
Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp yourself; for(175)
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.
OLIVIA:
Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the
praise.(180)
VIOLA:
Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.
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(185)
that time of moon with me to make one in so skipping
a dialogue.
MARIA:
Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.
VIOLA:
No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little longer.
Some mollification for your giant, sweet lady.(190)
OLIVIA:
Tell me your mind.
VIOLA:
I am a messenger.
OLIVIA:
Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when
the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
VIOLA:
It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of war,(195)
no taxation of homage: I hold the olive in my hand; my
words are as full of peace as matter.
OLIVIA:
Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would
you?
VIOLA:
The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I learned(200)
from my entertainment. What I am, and what I would,
are as secret as maidenhead; to your ears, divinity; to
any other's, profanation.
OLIVIA:
Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.
Now, sir, what is your text?(205)

[Exit Maria.]

VIOLA:
Most sweet lady,—
OLIVIA:
A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
Where lies your text?
VIOLA:
In Orsino's bosom.
OLIVIA:
In his bosom? In what chapter of his bosom?(210)
VIOLA:
To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.
OLIVIA:
O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have you no more to
say?
VIOLA:
Good madam, let me see your face.
OLIVIA:
Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate(215)
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 I was this present. Is't not well
done?(220)

[Unveiling.]

VIOLA:
Excellently done, if God did all.
OLIVIA:
'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.
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,(225)
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave the world no copy.
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,(230)
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?
VIOLA:
I see you what you are: you are too proud;
But, if you were the devil, you are fair.(235)
My lord and master loves you: O, such love
Could be but recompensed, though you were crown'd
The nonpareil of beauty!
OLIVIA:
How does he love me?
VIOLA:
With adorations, fertile tears,(240)
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.
OLIVIA:
Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him:
Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,
Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
In voices well divulged, free, learn'd, and valiant,(245)
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.
VIOLA:
If I did love you in my master's flame,
With such a suffering, such a deadly life,(250)
In your denial I would find no sense;
I would not understand it.
OLIVIA:
Why, what would you?
VIOLA:
Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;(255)
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(260)
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me.
OLIVIA:
You might do much.
What is your parentage?
VIOLA:
Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:(265)
I am a gentleman.
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:(270)
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.
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(275)
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.
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,(280)
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(285)
To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.
What, ho, Malvolio!
MALVOLIO:
Here, madam, at your service.
OLIVIA:
Run after that same peevish messenger,
The County's man: he left this ring behind him,(290)
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 tomorrow,
I'll give him reasons for't: hie thee, Malvolio.(295)
MALVOLIO:
Madam, I will.
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.(300)