SCENE: A City in Illyria; and the Sea-coast near it.
SCENE I. An Apartment in the DUKE'S Palace.
[Enter DUKE, CURIO, Lords; Musicians attending.]
If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken and so die. -
That strain again; - it had a dying fall;
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour. - Enough; no more;
'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou!
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soever,
But falls into abatement and low price
Even in a minute! so full of shapes is fancy,
That it alone is high-fantastical.
Will you go hunt, my lord?
Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purg'd the air of pestilence;
That instant was I turn'd into a hart;
And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E'er since pursue me. - How now! what news from her?
So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
But from her handmaid do return this answer:
The element itself, till seven years' heat,
Shall not behold her face at ample view;
But like a cloistress she will veiled walk,
And water once a-day her chamber round
With eye-offending brine: all this to season
A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh
And lasting in her sad remembrance.
O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
To pay this debt of love but to a brother,
How will she love when the rich golden shaft
Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
That live in her; when liver, brain, and heart,
These sovereign thrones, are all supplied and fill'd, -
Her sweet perfections, - with one self king! -
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.
SCENE II. The sea-coast.
[Enter VIOLA, CAPTAIN, and Sailors.]
What country, friends, is this?
This is Illyria, lady.
And what should I do in Illyria?
My brother he is in Elysium.
Perchance he is not drown'd - What think you, sailors?
It is perchance that you yourself were sav'd.
O my poor brother! and so perchance may he be.
True, madam; and, to comfort you with chance,
Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
When you, and those poor number sav'd with you,
Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
Most provident in peril, bind himself, - -
Courage and hope both teaching him the practice, -
To a strong mast that liv'd upon the sea;
Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,
I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves
So long as I could see.
For saying so, there's gold!
Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
The like of him. Know'st thou this country?
Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
Not three hours' travel from this very place.
Who governs here?
A noble duke, in nature
As in name.
What is his name?
Orsino! I have heard my father name him.
He was a bachelor then.
And so is now,
Or was so very late; for but a month
Ago I went from hence; and then 'twas fresh
In murmur, - as, you know, what great ones do,
The less will prattle of, - that he did seek
The love of fair Olivia.
A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
That died some twelvemonth since; then leaving her
In the protection of his son, her brother,
Who shortly also died; for whose dear love,
They say, she hath abjured the company
And sight of men.
O that I served that lady!
And might not be delivered to the world,
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
What my estate is.
That were hard to compass:
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the duke's.
There is a fair behaviour in thee, captain;
And though that nature with a beauteous wall
Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee
I will believe thou hast a mind that suits
With this thy fair and outward character.
I pray thee, and I'll pay thee bounteously,
Conceal me what I am; and be my aid
For such disguise as, haply, shall become
The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke;
Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him;
It may be worth thy pains, for I can sing,
And speak to him in many sorts of music,
That will allow me very worth his service.
What else may hap to time I will commit;
Only shape thou silence to my wit.
Be you his eunuch and your mute I'll be;
When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.
I thank thee. Lead me on.
SCENE III. A Room in OLIVIA'S House.
[Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and MARIA.]
What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her
brother thus? I am sure care's an enemy to life.
By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o' nights;
your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
Why, let her except, before excepted.
Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits
Confine? I'll confine myself no finer than I am: these
clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too;
an they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.
That quaffing and drinking will undo you: I heard my lady
talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish knight that you brought in
one night here to be her wooer.
Who? Sir Andrew Ague-cheek?
He's as tall a man as any's in Illyria.
What's that to the purpose?
Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.
Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats; he's a
very fool, and a prodigal.
Fye that you'll say so! he plays o' the viol-de-gambo,
and speaks three or four languages word for word without book,
and hath all the good gifts of nature.
He hath indeed, - almost natural: for, besides that he's a
fool, he's a great quarreller; and, but that he hath the gift of
a coward to allay the gust he hath in quarrelling, 'tis thought
among the prudent he would quickly have the gift of a grave.
By this hand, they are scoundrels and subtractors that
say so of him. Who are they?
They that add, moreover, he's drunk nightly in your company.
With drinking healths to my niece; I'll drink to her as
long as there is a passage in my throat and drink in Illyria.
He's a coward and a coystril that will not drink to my niece
till his brains turn o' the toe like a parish-top. What, wench!
Castiliano-vulgo! for here comes Sir Andrew Ague-face.
[Enter SIR ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK.]
Sir Toby Belch! how now, Sir Toby Belch!
Sweet Sir Andrew?
Bless you, fair shrew.
And you too, sir.
Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.
My niece's chamber-maid.
Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.
My name is Mary, sir.
Good Mistress Mary Accost, -
You mistake, knight: accost is, front her, board her,
woo her, assail her.
By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company.
Is that the meaning of accost?
Fare you well, gentlemen.
An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst never
draw sword again.
An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw
sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?
Sir, I have not you by the hand.
Marry, but you shall have; and here's my hand.
Now, sir, thought is free. I pray you, bring your hand to
the buttery-bar and let it drink.
Wherefore, sweetheart? what's your metaphor?
It's dry, sir.
Why, I think so; I am not such an ass but I can keep my
hand dry. But what's your jest?
A dry jest, sir.
Are you full of them?
Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers' ends: marry, now I let
go your hand I am barren.
O knight, thou lack'st a cup of canary: When did I see
thee so put down?
Never in your life, I think; unless you see canary put
me down. Methinks sometimes I have no more wit than a Christian
or an ordinary man has; but I am great eater of beef, and, I
believe, that does harm to my wit.
An I thought that, I'd forswear it. I'll ride home
to-morrow, Sir Toby.
Pourquoy, my dear knight?
What is pourquoy? do or not do? I would I had bestowed
that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing, and
bear-baiting. Oh, had I but followed the arts!
Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
Why, would that have mended my hair?
Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by nature.
But it becomes me well enough, does't not?
Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to
see a houswife take thee between her legs and spin it off.
Faith, I'll home to-morrow, Sir Toby; your niece will
not be seen; or, if she be, it's four to one she'll none of me;
the count himself here hard by woos her.
She'll none o' the Count; she'll not match above her
degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I have heard her
swear't. Tut, there's life in't, man.
I'll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o' the strangest
mind i' the world; I delight in masques and revels sometimes
Art thou good at these kick-shaws, knight?
As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the
degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare with an old man.
What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
Faith, I can cut a caper.
And I can cut the mutton to't.
And, I think, I have the back-trick simply as strong as
any man in Illyria.
Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have these
gifts a curtain before them? are they like to take dust, like
Mistress Mall's picture? why dost thou not go to church in a
galliard and come home in a coranto? My very walk should be a
jig; I would not so much as make water but in a sink-a-pace. What
dost thou mean? is it a world to hide virtues in? I did think, by
the excellent constitution of thy leg, it was formed under the
star of a galliard.
Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in
flame-colour'd stock. Shall we set about some revels?
What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?
Taurus? that's sides and heart.
No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see thee caper: ha,
higher: ha, ha! - excellent!
SCENE IV. A Room in the DUKE'S Palace.
[Enter VALENTINE, and VIOLA in man's attire.]
If the duke continue these favours 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 humour or my negligence, that you call
in question the continuance of his love. Is he inconstant, sir,
in his favours?
No, believe me.
[Enter DUKE, CURIO, and Attendants.]
I thank you. Here comes the count.
Who saw Cesario, ho?
On your attendance, my lord; here.
Stand you awhile aloof. - Cesario,
Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasp'd
To thee the book even of my secret soul:
Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her;
Be not denied access, stand at her doors,
And tell them there thy fixed foot shall grow
Till thou have audience.
Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow
As 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,
Surprise 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 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,
And all is semblative a woman's part.
I know thy constellation is right apt
For this affair: - some four or five attend him:
All, if you will; for I myself am best
When least in company: - prosper well in this,
And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,
To call his fortunes thine.
I'll do my best
To woo your lady. [Aside] Yet, a barful strife!
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.
SCENE V. A Room in OLIVIA'S House.
[Enter MARIA and CLOWN.]
Nay; either tell me where thou hast been, or I will not open
my lips so wide as a bristle may enter in way of thy excuse: my
lady will hang thee for thy absence.
Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this world needs
to fear no colours.
Make that good.
He shall see none to fear.
A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that saying was
born, of, I fear no colours.
Where, good Mistress Mary?
In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.
Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are
fools, let them use their talents.
Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent: or to be
turned away; is not that as good as a hanging to you?
Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and for turning
away, let summer bear it out.
You are resolute, then?
Not so, neither: but I am resolved on two points.
That if one break, the other will hold; or if both break,
your gaskins fall.
Apt, in good faith, very apt! Well, go thy way; if Sir Toby
would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a piece of Eve's flesh
as any in Illyria.
Peace, you rogue; no more o' that; here comes my lady: make
your excuse wisely; you were best.
[Enter OLIVIA and MALVOLIO.]
Wit, and't be thy will, put me into good fooling! Those wits
that think they have thee do very oft prove fools; and I, that am
sure I lack thee, may pass for a wise man. For what says
Quinapalus? Better a witty fool than a foolish wit. - God bless
Take the fool away.
Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.
Go to, you're a dry fool; I'll no more of you: besides, you
Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel will amend:
for give the dry fool drink, then is the fool not dry; bid the
dishonest man mend himself: if he mend, he is no longer
dishonest; if he cannot, let the botcher mend him. Anything
that's mended is but patched; virtue that transgresses is but
patched with sin, and sin that amends is but patched with virtue.
If that this simple syllogism will serve, so; if it will not,
what remedy? As there is no true cuckold but calamity, so
beauty's a flower: - the lady bade take away the fool; therefore,
I say again, take her away.
Sir, I bade them take away you.
Misprision in the highest degree! - Lady, Cucullus non facit
monachum; that's as much to say, I wear not motley in my
brain. Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.
Can you do it?
Dexteriously, good madonna.
Make your proof.
I must catechize you for it, madonna.
Good my mouse of virtue, answer me.
Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I'll 'bide your proof.
Good madonna, why mourn'st thou?
Good fool, for my brother's death.
I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
The more fool you, madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul
being in heaven. - Take away the fool, gentlemen.
What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend?
Yes; and shall do, till the pangs of death shake him.
Infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool.
God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the better
increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be sworn that I am no fox;
but he will not pass his word for twopence that you are no fool.
How say you to that, Malvolio?
I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a barren
rascal; I saw him put down the other day with an ordinary fool
that has no more brain than a stone. Look you now, he's out of
his guard already; unless you laugh and minister occasion to him,
he is gagged. I protest I take these wise men that crow so at
these set kind of fools, no better than the fools' zanies.
O, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste with a
distempered appetite. To be generous, guiltless, and of free
disposition, is to take those things for bird-bolts that you deem
cannon bullets. There is no slander in an allowed fool, though he
do nothing but rail; nor no railing in known discreet man, though
he do nothing but reprove.
Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of
Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much desires
to speak with you.
From the Count Orsino, is it?
I know not, madam; 'tis a fair young man, and well attended.
Who of my people hold him in delay?
Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.
Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but madman.
Fie on him!
Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the count, I am sick, or
not at home; what you will to dismiss it.
Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and people dislike
Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest son should
be a fool: whose skull Jove cram with brains, for here he comes -
one of thy kin, has a most weak pia mater.
[Enter SIR TOBY BELCH.]
By mine honour, half drunk! - What is he at the gate, cousin?
A gentleman? What gentleman?
'Tis a gentleman here. - A plague o' these pickle-herrings! - How
Good Sir Toby, -
Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?
Lechery! I defy lechery. There's one at the gate.
Ay, marry; what is he?
Let him be the devil an he will, I care not: give me
faith, say I. Well, it's all one.
What's a drunken man like, fool?
Like a drowned man, a fool, and a madman: one draught above
heat makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns
Go thou and seek the coroner, and let him sit o' my coz;
for he's in the third degree of drink; he's drowned: go, look
He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look to the
Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with you. I
told him you were sick; he takes on him to understand so much,
and therefore comes to speak with you; I told him you were
asleep; he seems to have a foreknowledge of that too, and
therefore comes to speak with you. What is to be said to him,
lady? he's fortified against any denial.
Tell him, he shall not speak with me.
Has been told so; and he says he'll stand at your door
like a sheriff's post, and be the supporter of a bench, but he'll
speak with you.
What kind of man is he?
Why, of mankind.
What manner of man?
Of very ill manner; he'll speak with you, will you or no.
Of what personage and years is he?
Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy;
as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or a codling, when 'tis
almost an apple: 'tis with him e'en standing water, between boy
and man. He is very well-favoured, and he speaks very shrewishly;
one would think his mother's milk were scarce out of him.
Let him approach. Call in my gentlewoman.
Gentlewoman, my lady calls.
Give me my veil; come, throw it o'er my face;
We'll once more hear Orsino's embassy.
The honourable lady of the house, which is she?
Speak to me; I shall answer for her. Your will?
Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty, - I pray you,
tell me if this be the lady of the house, for I never saw her: I
would be loath to cast away my speech; for, besides that it is
excellently well penned, I have taken great pains to con it. Good
beauties, let me sustain no scorn; I am very comptible, even to
the least sinister usage.
Whence came you, sir?
I can say little more than I have studied, and that
question's out of my part. Good gentle one, give me modest
assurance, if you be the lady of the house, that I may proceed in
Are you a comedian?
No, my profound heart: and yet, by the very fangs of malice
I swear, I am not that I play. Are you the lady of the house?
If I do not usurp myself, I am.
Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp yourself; for
what is yours to bestow is not yours to reserve. But this is from
my commission: I will on with my speech in your praise, and then
show you the heart of my message.
Come to what is important in't: I forgive you the praise.
Alas, I took great pains to study it, and 'tis poetical.
It is the more like to be feigned; I pray you keep it in. I
heard you were saucy at my gates; and allowed your approach,
rather to wonder at you than to hear you. If you be not mad, be
gone; if you have reason, be brief: 'tis not that time of moon
with me to make one in so skipping a dialogue.
Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.
No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little longer. -
Some mollification for your giant, sweet lady.
Tell me your mind.
I am a messenger.
Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the
courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of war, no
taxation of homage; I hold the olive in my hand: my words are as
full of peace as matter.
Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you?
The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I learned from my
entertainment. What I am and what I would are as secret as
maidenhead: to your ears, divinity; to any other's, profanation.
Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.
Now, sir, what is your text?
Most sweet lady, -
A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
Where lies your text?
In Orsino's bosom.
In his bosom? In what chapter of his bosom?
To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.
O, I have read it; it is heresy. Have you no more to say?
Good madam, let me see your face.
Have 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 show you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one I was this
present. Is't not well done?
Excellently done, if God did all.
'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.
'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruel'st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.
O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted; I will give out
divers schedules of my beauty. It shall be inventoried; and every
particle and utensil labelled to my will: as, item, two lips
indifferent red; item, two grey eyes with lids to them; item, one
neck, one chin, and so forth. Were you sent hither to praise me?
I see you what you are: you are too proud;
But, if you were the devil, you are fair.
My lord and master loves you. O, such love
Could be but recompens'd though you were crown'd
The nonpareil of beauty!
How does he love me?
With adorations, fertile tears,
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.
Your lord does know my mind; I cannot love him:
Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,
Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;
In voices well divulged, free, learn'd, and valiant,
And, in dimension and the shape of nature,
A gracious person: but yet I cannot love him;
He might have took his answer long ago.
If I did love you in my master's flame,
With such a suffering, such a deadly life,
In your denial I would find no sense,
I would not understand it.
Why, what would you?
Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;
Write loyal cantons of contemned love,
And sing them loud, even in the dead of night;
Holla your name to the reverberate hills,
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out Olivia! O, you should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me.
You might do much. What is your parentage?
Above my fortunes, yet my state is well: I am a gentleman.
Get you to your lord;
I cannot love him: let him send no more;
Unless, perchance, you come to me again,
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well:
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.
I am no fee'd post, lady; keep your purse;
My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
Love make his heart of flint that you shall love;
And let your fervour, like my master's, be
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.
What is your parentage?
'Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
I am a gentleman.' - I'll be sworn thou art;
Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit,
Do give thee five-fold blazon. Not too fast: - soft, soft!
Unless the master were the man. - How now?
Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
Methinks I feel this youth's perfections
With an invisible and subtle stealth
To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be. -
What, ho, Malvolio! -
Here, madam, at your service.
Run after that same peevish messenger,
The county's man: he left this ring behind him,
Would I or not; tell him I'll none of it.
Desire him not to flatter with his lord,
Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him:
If that the youth will come this way to-morrow,
I'll give him reasons for't. Hie thee, Malvolio.
Madam, I will.
I do I know not what: and fear to find
Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.
Fate, show thy force. Ourselves we do not owe:
What is decreed must be; and be this so!