Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: David Carnegie, Mark Houlahan
Peer Reviewed

Twelfth Night (Modern)


1.4
250
Enter Valentine, and Viola in man's attire [as Cesario].
Valentine If the Duke continue these favors 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 humor, or my negligence, 255that you call in question the continuance of his love. Is he inconstant, sir, in his favors?
Valentine No, believe me.
Enter Orsino, Curio, and Attendants.
Viola I thank you. Here comes the count.
Orsino Who saw Cesario, ho?
260Viola On your attendance, my lord, here.
Orsino [To the Courtiers] Stand you awhile aloof. [All but Viola stand apart.] Cesario,
Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasped
To thee the book even of my secret soul.
Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her,
265Be not denied access, stand at her doors,
And tell them, there thy fixèd foot shall grow
Till thou have audience.
Viola
Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandoned to her sorrow
270As it is spoke, she never will admit me.
Orsino Be clamorous, and leap all civil bounds,
Rather than make unprofited return.
Viola Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?
Orsino O then unfold the passion of my love,
275Surprise 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 [Indicating Valentine] of more grave aspect.
Viola
I think not so, my lord.
280Orsino
Dear lad, believe it;
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;
285And all is semblative a woman's part.
I know thy constellation is right apt
For this affair. [To the Courtiers] Some four or five attend him--
All if you will, for I myself am best
When least in company. Prosper well in this,
290And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord
To call his fortunes thine.
Viola
I'll do my best
To woo your lady.
[Exit Orsino.]
[To the audience] Yet a barful strife;
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.
Exeunt [Viola, Courtiers, and Attendants].