Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Twelfth Night (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editors: David Carnegie, Mark Houlahan
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-372-4

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editors: David Carnegie, Mark Houlahan
    Peer Reviewed

    Twelfth Night (Folio 1, 1623)

    Twelfe Night, Or what you will.
    1 Actus Primus, Scaena Prima.
    Enter Orsino Duke of Illyria, Curio, and other
    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.