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Home > Twelfth Night > ACT II - SCENE IV. DUKE ORSINO's palace.

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ACT II - SCENE IV. DUKE ORSINO's palace.
Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others

DUKE ORSINO
1    Give me some music. Now, good morrow, friends.
2    Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
3    That old and antique song we heard last night:
4    Methought it did relieve my passion much,
5    More than light airs and recollected terms
6    Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times:
7    Come, but one verse.
CURIO
8    He is not here, so please your lordship that should sing it.
DUKE ORSINO
9    Who was it?
CURIO
10   Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady
11   Olivia's father took much delight in. He is about the house.
DUKE ORSINO
12   Seek him out, and play the tune the while.
Exit CURIO. Music plays
13   Come hither, boy: if ever thou shalt love,
14   In the sweet pangs of it remember me;
15   For such as I am all true lovers are,
16   Unstaid and skittish in all motions else,
17   Save in the constant image of the creature
18   That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?
VIOLA
19   It gives a very echo to the seat
20   Where Love is throned.
DUKE ORSINO
21   Thou dost speak masterly:
22   My life upon't, young though thou art, thine eye
23   Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves:
24   Hath it not, boy?
VIOLA
25   A little, by your favour.
DUKE ORSINO
26   What kind of woman is't?
VIOLA
27   Of your complexion.
DUKE ORSINO
28   She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?
VIOLA
29   About your years, my lord.
DUKE ORSINO
30   Too old by heaven: let still the woman take
31   An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
32   So sways she level in her husband's heart:
33   For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
34   Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
35   More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
36   Than women's are.
VIOLA
37   I think it well, my lord.
DUKE ORSINO
38   Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
39   Or thy affection cannot hold the bent;
40   For women are as roses, whose fair flower
41   Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.
VIOLA
42   And so they are: alas, that they are so;
43   To die, even when they to perfection grow!
Re-enter CURIO and Clown

DUKE ORSINO
44   O, fellow, come, the song we had last night.
45   Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
46   The spinsters and the knitters in the sun
47   And the free maids that weave their thread with bones
48   Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth,
49   And dallies with the innocence of love,
50   Like the old age.
Clown
51   Are you ready, sir?
DUKE ORSINO
52   Ay; prithee, sing.
Music
Clown
53   Come away, come away, death,
54   And in sad cypress let me be laid;
55   Fly away, fly away breath;
56   I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
57   My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
58   O, prepare it!
59   My part of death, no one so true
60   Did share it.
61   Not a flower, not a flower sweet
62   On my black coffin let there be strown;
63   Not a friend, not a friend greet
64   My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
65   A thousand thousand sighs to save,
66   Lay me, O, where
67   Sad true lover never find my grave,
68   To weep there!
DUKE ORSINO
69   There's for thy pains.
Clown
70   No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.
DUKE ORSINO
71   I'll pay thy pleasure then.
Clown
72   Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.
DUKE ORSINO
73   Give me now leave to leave thee.
Clown
74   Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the
75   tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for
76   thy mind is a very opal. I would have men of such
77   constancy put to sea, that their business might be
78   every thing and their intent every where; for that's
79   it that always makes a good voyage of nothing. Farewell.
Exit

DUKE ORSINO
80   Let all the rest give place.
CURIO and Attendants retire
81   Once more, Cesario,
82   Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty:
83   Tell her, my love, more noble than the world,
84   Prizes not quantity of dirty lands;
85   The parts that fortune hath bestow'd upon her,
86   Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune;
87   But 'tis that miracle and queen of gems
88   That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.
VIOLA
89   But if she cannot love you, sir?
DUKE ORSINO
90   I cannot be so answer'd.
VIOLA
91   Sooth, but you must.
92   Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
93   Hath for your love a great a pang of heart
94   As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her;
95   You tell her so; must she not then be answer'd?
DUKE ORSINO
96   There is no woman's sides
97   Can bide the beating of so strong a passion
98   As love doth give my heart; no woman's heart
99   So big, to hold so much; they lack retention
100  Alas, their love may be call'd appetite,
101  No motion of the liver, but the palate,
102  That suffer surfeit, cloyment and revolt;
103  But mine is all as hungry as the sea,
104  And can digest as much: make no compare
105  Between that love a woman can bear me
106  And that I owe Olivia.
VIOLA
107  Ay, but I know--
DUKE ORSINO
108  What dost thou know?
VIOLA
109  Too well what love women to men may owe:
110  In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
111  My father had a daughter loved a man,
112  As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
113  I should your lordship.
DUKE ORSINO
114  And what's her history?
VIOLA
115  A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
116  But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
117  Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
118  And with a green and yellow melancholy
119  She sat like patience on a monument,
120  Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
121  We men may say more, swear more: but indeed
122  Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
123  Much in our vows, but little in our love.
DUKE ORSINO
124  But died thy sister of her love, my boy?
VIOLA
125  I am all the daughters of my father's house,
126  And all the brothers too: and yet I know not.
127  Sir, shall I to this lady?
DUKE ORSINO
128  Ay, that's the theme.
129  To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,
130  My love can give no place, bide no denay.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT II, SCENE IIIACT II, SCENE V (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I

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