Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Twelfth Night (Folio 1, 1623)

Twelfe Night, or, What you will. 259
475may proceede in my speech.
Ol. Are you a Comedian?
Vio. No my profound heart: and yet (by the verie
phangs of malice, I sweare) I am not that I play. Are you
the Ladie of the house?
480Ol. If I do not vsurpe my selfe, I am.
Vio. Most certaine, if you are she, you do vsurp your
selfe: for what is yours to bestowe, is, not yours to re-
serue. But this is from my Commission: I will on with
my speech in your praise, and then shew you the heart of
485my message.
Ol. Come to what is important in't: I forgiue you
the praise.
Vio. Alas, I tooke great paines to studie it, and 'tis
490Ol. It is the more like to be feigned, I pray you keep
it in. I heard you were sawcy at my gates, & allowd your
approach rather to wonder at you, then to heare you. If
you be not mad, be gone: if you haue reason, be breefe:
'tis not that time of Moone with me, to make one in so
495skipping a dialogue.
Ma. Will you hoyst sayle sir, here lies your way.
Vio. No good swabber, I am to hull here a little lon-
ger. Some mollification for your Giant, sweete Ladie;
tell me your minde, I am a messenger.
500Ol. Sure you haue some hiddeous matter to deliuer,
when the curtesie of it is so fearefull. Speake your office.
Vio. It alone concernes your eare: I bring no ouer-
ture of warre, no taxation of homage; I hold the Olyffe
in my hand: my words are as full of peace, as matter.
505Ol. Yet you began rudely. What are you?
What would you?
Vio. The rudenesse that hath appear'd in mee, haue I
learn'd from my entertainment. What I am, and what I
would, are as secret as maiden-head: to your eares, Di-
510uinity; to any others, prophanation.
Ol. Giue vs the place alone,
We will heare this diuinitie. Now sir, what is your text?
Vio. Most sweet Ladie.
Ol. A comfortable doctrine, and much may bee saide
515of it. Where lies your Text?
Vio. In Orsinoes bosome.
Ol. In his bosome? In what chapter of his bosome?
Vio. To answer by the method, in the first of his hart.
Ol. O, I haue read it: it is heresie. Haue you no more
520to say?
Vio. Good Madam, let me see your face.
Ol. Haue you any Commission from your Lord, to
negotiate with my face: you are now out of your Text:
but we will draw the Curtain, and shew you the picture.
525Looke you sir, such a one I was this present: Ist not well
Vio. Excellently done, if God did all.
Ol. 'Tis in graine sir, 'twill endure winde and wea-
530Vio. Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white,
Natures owne sweet, and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruell'st shee aliue,
If you will leade these graces to the graue,
And leaue the world no copie.
535Ol. O sir, I will not be so hard-hearted: I will giue
out diuers scedules of my beautie. It shalbe Inuentoried
and euery particle and vtensile labell'd to my will: As,
Item two lippes indifferent redde, Item two grey eyes,
with lids to them: Item, one necke, one chin, & so forth.
540Were you sent hither to praise me?
Vio. I see you what you are, you are too proud:
But if you were the diuell, you are faire:
My Lord, and master loues you: O such loue
Could be but recompenc'd, though you were crown'd
545The non-pareil of beautie.
Ol. How does he loue me?
Vio. With adorations, fertill teares,
With groanes that thunder loue, with sighes of fire.
Ol. Your Lord does know my mind, I cannot loue him
550Yet I suppose him vertuous, know him noble,
Of great estate, of fresh and stainlesse youth;
In voyces well divulg'd, free, learn'd, and valiant,
And in dimension, and the shape of nature,
A gracious person; But yet I cannot loue him:
555He might haue tooke his answer long ago.
Vio. If I did loue you in my masters flame,
With such a suffring, such a deadly life:
In your deniall, I would finde no sence,
I would not vnderstand it.
560Ol. Why, what would you?
Vio. Make me a willow Cabine at your gate,
And call vpon my soule within the house,
Write loyall Cantons of contemned loue,
And sing them lowd euen in the dead of night:
565Hallow your name to the reuerberate hilles,
And make the babling Gossip of the aire,
Cry out Oliuia: O you should not rest
Betweene the elements of ayre, and earth,
But you should pittie me.
570Ol. You might do much:
What is your Parentage?
Vio. Aboue my fortunes, yet my state is well:
I am a Gentleman.
Ol. Get you to your Lord:
575I cannot loue him: let him send no more,
Vnlesse (perchance) you come to me againe,
To tell me how he takes it: Fare you well:
I thanke you for your paines: spend this for mee.
Vio. I am no feede poast, Lady; keepe your purse,
580My Master, not my selfe, lackes recompence.
Loue make his heart of flint, that you shal loue,
And let your feruour like my masters be,
Plac'd in contempt: Farwell fayre crueltie. Exit
Ol. What is your Parentage?
585Aboue my fortunes, yet my state is well;
I am a Gentleman. Ile be sworne thou art,
Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbes, actions, and spirit,
Do giue thee fiue-fold blazon: not too fast: soft, soft,
Vnlesse the Master were the man. How now?
590Euen so quickly may one catch the plague?
Me thinkes I feele this youths perfections
With an inuisible, and subtle stealth
To creepe in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.
What hoa, Maluolio.
595Enter Maluolio.
Mal. Heere Madam, at your seruice.
Ol. Run after that same peeuish Messenger
The Countes man: he left this Ring behinde him
Would I, or not: tell him, Ile none of it.
600Desire him not to flatter with his Lord,
Nor hold him vp with hopes, I am not for him:
If that the youth will come this way to morrow,
Ile giue him reasons for't: hie thee Maluolio.
Mal. Madam, I will. Exit.
605Ol. I do I know not what, and feare to finde
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my minde: