Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Twelfth Night (Modern)
  • 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 (Modern)

    250Enter Valentine, and Viola in man's attire [as Cesario].
    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.
    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?
    No, believe me.
    Enter Orsino, Curio, and Attendants.
    I thank you. Here comes the count.
    Who saw Cesario, ho?
    On your attendance, my lord, here.
    [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.
    Sure, my noble lord,
    If she be so abandoned to her sorrow
    270As it is spoke, she never will admit me.
    Be clamorous, and leap all civil bounds,
    Rather than make unprofited return.
    Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?
    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.
    I think not so, my lord.
    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.
    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].