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

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ACT I, SCENE II (Next) >

ACT I - SCENE I. DUKE ORSINO's palace.
DUKE ORSINO
1    If music be the food of love, play on;
2    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
3    The appetite may sicken, and so die.
4    That strain again! it had a dying fall:
5    O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
6    That breathes upon a bank of violets,
7    Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
8    'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
9    O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
10   That, notwithstanding thy capacity
11   Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
12   Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
13   But falls into abatement and low price,
14   Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
15   That it alone is high fantastical.
CURIO
16   Will you go hunt, my lord?
DUKE ORSINO
17   What, Curio?
CURIO
18   The hart.
DUKE ORSINO
19   Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
20   O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
21   Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
22   That instant was I turn'd into a hart;
23   And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
24   E'er since pursue me.
Enter VALENTINE
25   How now! what news from her?
VALENTINE
26   So please my lord, I might not be admitted;
27   But from her handmaid do return this answer:
28   The element itself, till seven years' heat,
29   Shall not behold her face at ample view;
30   But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk
31   And water once a day her chamber round
32   With eye-offending brine: all this to season
33   A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh
34   And lasting in her sad remembrance.
DUKE ORSINO
35   O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
36   To pay this debt of love but to a brother,
37   How will she love, when the rich golden shaft
38   Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
39   That live in her; when liver, brain and heart,
40   These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and fill'd
41   Her sweet perfections with one self king!
42   Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
43   Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.
Exeunt

ACT I, SCENE II (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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