Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Twelfth Night (Folio 1, 1623)


255

Twelfe Night, Or what you will.


1
Actus Primus, Scæna Prima.



Enter Orsino Duke of Illyria, Curio, and other
Lords.

Duke.
5IF Musicke be the food of Loue, play on,!
Giue me excesse of it: that surfetting,
The appetite may sicken, and so dye.
That straine agen, it had a dying fall:
O, it came ore my eare, like the sweet sound
10That breathes vpon a banke of Violets;
Stealing, and giuing Odour. Enough, no more,
'Tis not so sweet now, as it was before.
O spirit of Loue, how quicke and fresh art thou,
That notwithstanding thy capacitie,
15Receiueth as the Sea. Nought enters there,
Of what validity, and pitch so ere,
But falles into abatement, and low price
Euen in a minute; so full of shapes is fancie,
That it alone, is high fantasticall.
20Cu. Will you go hunt my Lord?
Du. What Curio?
Cu. The Hart.
Du. Why so I do, the Noblest that I haue:
O when mine eyes did see Oliuia first,
25Me thought she purg'd the ayre of pestilence;
That instant was I turn'd into a Hart,
And my desires like fell and cruell hounds,
Ere since pursue me. How now what newes from her?

Enter Valentine.
30Val. So please my Lord, I might not be admitted,
But from her handmaid do returne this answer:
The Element it selfe, till seuen yeares heate,
Shall not behold her face at ample view:
But like a Cloystresse she will vailed walke,
35And water once a day her Chamber round
With eye-offending brine: all this to season
A brothers dead loue, which she would keepe fresh
And lasting, in her sad remembrance.
Du. O she that hath a heart of that fine frame
40To pay this debt of loue but to a brother,
How will she loue, when the rich golden shaft
Hath kill'd the flocke of all affections else
That liue in her. When Liuer, Braine, and Heart,
These soueraigne thrones, are all supply'd and fill'd
45Her sweete perfections with one selfe king:
Away before me, to sweet beds of Flowres,
Loue-thoughts lye rich, when canopy'd with bowres.
Exeunt

Scena Secunda.



50
Enter Viola, a Captaine, and Saylors.

Vio. What Country (Friends) is this?
Cap. This is Illyria Ladie.
Vio. And what should I do in Illyria?
My brother he is in Elizium,
55Perchance he is not drown'd: What thinke you saylors?
Cap. It is perchance that you your selfe were saued.
Vio. O my poore brother, and so perchance may he be.
Cap. True Madam, and to comfort you with chance,
Assure your selfe, after our ship did split,
60When you, and those poore number saued with you,
Hung on our driuing boate: I saw your brother
Most prouident in perill, binde himselfe,
(Courage and hope both teaching him the practise)
To a strong Maste, that liu'd vpon the sea:
65Where like Orion on the Dolphines backe,
I saw him hold acquaintance with the waues,
So long as I could see.
Vio. For saying so, there's Gold:
Mine owne escape vnfoldeth to my hope,
70Whereto thy speech serues for authoritie
The like of him. Know'st thou this Countrey?
Cap. I Madam well, for I was bred and borne
Not three houres trauaile from this very place:
Vio. Who gouernes heere?
75Cap. A noble Duke in nature, as in name.
Vio. What is his name?
Cap. Orsino.
Vio, Orsino: I haue heard my father name him.
He was a Batchellor then.
80Cap. And so is now, or was so very late:
For but a month ago I went from hence,
And then 'twas fresh in murmure (as you know
What great ones do, the lesse will prattle of,)
That he did seeke the loue of faire Oliuia.
85Vio. What's shee?
Cap. A vertuous maid, the daughter of a Count
That dide some tweluemonth since, then leauing her
In the protection of his sonne, her brother,
Who shortly also dide: for whose deere loue
90(They say) she hath abiur'd the sight
And company of men.
Vio. O that I seru'd that Lady,
And might not be deliuered to the world
Y2
Till
256
Twelfe Night, or, What you will.