Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Twelfth Night (Folio 1, 1623)

Scena Secunda.
50Enter 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
256 Twelfe Night, or, What you will.
Till I had made mine owne occasion mellow
95What my estate is.
Cap. That were hard to compasse,
Because she will admit no kinde of suite,
No, not the Dukes.
Vio. There is a faire behauiour in thee Captaine,
100And though that nature, with a beauteous wall
Doth oft close in pollution: yet of thee
I will beleeue thou hast a minde that suites
With this thy faire and outward charracter.
I prethee (and Ile pay thee bounteously)
105Conceale me what I am, and be my ayde,
For such disguise as haply shall become
The forme of my intent. Ile serue this Duke,
Thou shalt present me as an Eunuch to him,
It may be worth thy paines: for I can sing,
110And speake to him in many sorts of Musicke,
That will allow me very worth his seruice.
What else may hap, to time I will commit,
Onely shape thou thy silence to my wit.
Cap. Be you his Eunuch, and your Mute Ile bee,
115When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.
Vio. I thanke thee: Lead me on. Exeunt