Enter Duke Orsino, Curio, and other Lords; Musicians attending
Duke Orsino 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 sound,
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 soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
Curio Will you go hunt, my lord?
Duke Orsino What, Curio?
Curio The hart.
Duke Orsino Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged 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?
Valentine 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.
Duke Orsino 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.
Enter Viola, a Captain, and Sailors
Viola What country, friends, is this?
Captain This is Illyria, lady.
Viola And what should I do in Illyria?
My brother he is in Elysium.
Perchance he is not drown’d: what think you, sailors?
Captain It is perchance that you yourself were saved.
Viola O my poor brother! and so perchance may he be.
Captain True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance,
Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
When you and those poor number saved with you
Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
Most provident in peril, bind himself,
Courage and hope both teaching him the practise,
To a strong mast that lived 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.
Viola 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?
Captain Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
Not three hours’ travel from this very place.
Viola Who governs here?
Captain A noble duke, in nature as in name.
Viola What is the name?
Viola Orsino! I have heard my father name him:
He was a bachelor then.
Captain 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.
Viola What’s she?
Captain 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.
Viola 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!
Captain That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the duke’s.
Viola There is a fair behavior 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 prithee, 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 shall 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 thy silence to my wit.
Captain Be you his eunuch, and your mute I’ll be:
When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.
Viola I thank thee: lead me on.
Enter Sir Toby Belch and Maria
Sir Toby Belch What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her brother thus? I am sure care’s an enemy to life.
Maria By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o’ nights: your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
Sir Toby Belch Why, let her except, before excepted.
Maria Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
Sir Toby Belch 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.
Maria 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.
Sir Toby Belch Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?
Maria Ay, he.
Sir Toby Belch He’s as tall a man as any’s in Illyria.
Maria What’s that to the purpose?
Sir Toby Belch Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.
Maria Ay, but he’ll have but a year in all these ducats: he’s a very fool and a prodigal.
Sir Toby Belch Fie, that you’ll say so! he plays o’ the viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages word for word without book, and hath all the good gifts of nature.
Maria 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.
Sir Toby Belch By this hand, they are scoundrels and subtractors that say so of him. Who are they?
Maria They that add, moreover, he’s drunk nightly in your company.
Sir Toby Belch 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 coystrill 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 Agueface.
Enter Sir Andrew
Sir Andrew Sir Toby Belch! how now, Sir Toby Belch!
Sir Toby Belch Sweet Sir Andrew!
Sir Andrew Bless you, fair shrew.
Maria And you too, sir.
Sir Toby Belch Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.
Sir Andrew What’s that?
Sir Toby Belch My niece’s chambermaid.
Sir Andrew Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.
Maria My name is Mary, sir.
Sir Andrew Good Mistress Mary Accost —
Sir Toby Belch You mistake, knight; ‘accost’ is front her, board her, woo her, assail her.
Sir Andrew By my troth, I would not undertake her in this company. Is that the meaning of ‘accost’?
Maria Fare you well, gentlemen.
Sir Toby Belch An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst never draw sword again.
Sir Andrew An you part so, mistress, I would I might never draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have fools in hand?
Maria Sir, I have not you by the hand.
Sir Andrew Marry, but you shall have; and here’s my hand.
Maria Now, sir, ‘thought is free:’ I pray you, bring your hand to the buttery-bar and let it drink.
Sir Andrew Wherefore, sweet-heart? what’s your metaphor?
Maria It’s dry, sir.
Sir Andrew Why, I think so: I am not such an ass but I can keep my hand dry. But what’s your jest?
Maria A dry jest, sir.
Sir Andrew Are you full of them?
Maria Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers’ ends: marry, now I let go your hand, I am barren.
Sir Toby Belch O knight thou lackest a cup of canary: when did I see thee so put down?
Sir Andrew 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 a great eater of beef and I believe that does harm to my wit.
Sir Toby Belch No question.
Sir Andrew An I thought that, I’ld forswear it. I’ll ride home to-morrow, Sir Toby.
Sir Toby Belch Pourquoi, my dear knight?
Sir Andrew What is ‘Pourquoi’? do or not do? I would I had bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in fencing, dancing and bear-baiting: O, had I but followed the arts!
Sir Toby Belch Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.
Sir Andrew Why, would that have mended my hair?
Sir Toby Belch Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by nature.
Sir Andrew But it becomes me well enough, does’t not?
Sir Toby Belch Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs and spin it off.
Sir Andrew 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.
Sir Toby Belch 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.
Sir Andrew I’ll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o’ the strangest mind i’ the world; I delight in masques and revels sometimes altogether.
Sir Toby Belch Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?
Sir Andrew As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare with an old man.
Sir Toby Belch What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?
Sir Andrew Faith, I can cut a caper.
Sir Toby Belch And I can cut the mutton to’t.
Sir Andrew And I think I have the back-trick simply as strong as any man in Illyria.
Sir Toby Belch Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have these gifts a curtain before ’em? 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.
Sir Andrew Ay, ’tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a flame-coloured stock. Shall we set about some revels?
Sir Toby Belch What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?
Sir Andrew Taurus! That’s sides and heart.
Sir Toby Belch No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see the caper; ha! higher: ha, ha! excellent!
Enter Valentine and Viola in man’s attire
Valentine 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.
Viola 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?
Valentine No, believe me.
Viola I thank you. Here comes the count.
Enter Duke Orsino, Curio, and Attendants
Duke Orsino Who saw Cesario, ho?
Viola On your attendance, my lord; here.
Duke Orsino Stand you a while 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.
Viola Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandon’d to her sorrow
As it is spoke, she never will admit me.
Duke Orsino Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds
Rather than make unprofited return.
Viola Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?
Duke Orsino 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’s of more grave aspect.
Viola I think not so, my lord.
Duke Orsino 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.
Viola I’ll do my best
To woo your lady:
yet, a barful strife!
Whoe’er I woo, myself would be his wife.
Enter Maria and Clown
Maria 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.
Clown Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this world needs to fear no colours.
Maria Make that good.
Clown He shall see none to fear.
Maria A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that saying was born, of ‘I fear no colours.’
Clown Where, good Mistress Mary?
Maria In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.
Clown Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those that are fools, let them use their talents.
Maria 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?
Clown Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and, for turning away, let summer bear it out.
Maria You are resolute, then?
Clown Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two points.
Maria That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both break, your gaskins fall.
Clown 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.
Maria Peace, you rogue, no more o’ that. Here comes my lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best.
Clown Wit, an’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.’
Enter Olivia with Malvolio
God bless thee, lady!
Olivia Take the fool away.
Clown Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.
Olivia Go to, you’re a dry fool; I’ll no more of you: besides, you grow dishonest.
Clown 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. Any thing 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.
Olivia Sir, I bade them take away you.
Clown Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, cucullus non facit monachum; that’s as much to say as I wear not motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to prove you a fool.
Olivia Can you do it?
Clown Dexterously, good madonna.
Olivia Make your proof.
Clown I must catechise you for it, madonna: good my mouse of virtue, answer me.
Olivia Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I’ll bide your proof.
Clown Good madonna, why mournest thou?
Olivia Good fool, for my brother’s death.
Clown I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
Olivia I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
Clown The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother’s soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.
Olivia What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend?
Malvolio Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death shake him: infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the better fool.
Clown 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 two pence that you are no fool.
Olivia How say you to that, Malvolio?
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.
Olivia Oh, 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 a known discreet man, though he do nothing but reprove.
Clown Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou speakest well of fools!
Maria Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much desires to speak with you.
Olivia From the Count Orsino, is it?
Maria I know not, madam: ’tis a fair young man, and well attended.
Olivia Who of my people hold him in delay?
Maria Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.
Olivia 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 it.
Clown 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
Olivia By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin?
Sir Toby Belch A gentleman.
Olivia A gentleman! what gentleman?
Sir Toby Belch ’Tis a gentle man here — a plague o’ these pickle-herring! How now, sot!
Clown Good Sir Toby!
Olivia Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?
Sir Toby Belch Lechery! I defy lechery. There’s one at the gate.
Olivia Ay, marry, what is he?
Sir Toby Belch Let him be the devil, an he will, I care not: give me faith, say I. Well, it’s all one.
Olivia What’s a drunken man like, fool?
Clown Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man: one draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads him; and a third drowns him.
Olivia Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o’ my coz; for he’s in the third degree of drink, he’s drowned: go, look after him.
Clown He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look to the madman.
Malvolio 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.
Olivia Tell him he shall not speak with me.
Malvolio Has been told so; and he says, he’ll stand at your door like a sheriff’s post, and be the supporter to a bench, but he’ll speak with you.
Olivia What kind o’ man is he?
Malvolio Why, of mankind.
Olivia What manner of man?
Malvolio Of very ill manner; he’ll speak with you, will you or no.
Olivia Of what personage and years is he?
Malvolio Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy; as a squash is before ’tis a peascod, or a cooling when ’tis almost an apple: ’tis with him in 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.
Olivia Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.
Malvolio Gentlewoman, my lady calls.
Olivia Give me my veil: come, throw it o’er my face.
We’ll once more hear Orsino’s embassy.
Enter Viola, and Attendants
Viola The honourable lady of the house, which is she?
Olivia Speak to me; I shall answer for her.
Viola 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.
Olivia Whence came you, sir?
Viola 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 my speech.
Olivia Are you a comedian?
Viola 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?
Olivia If I do not usurp myself, I am.
Viola 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.
Olivia Come to what is important in’t: I forgive you the praise.
Viola Alas, I took great pains to study it, and ’tis poetical.
Olivia 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.
Maria Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.
Viola 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.
Olivia Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.
Viola 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 fun of peace as matter.
Olivia Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you?
Viola 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.
Olivia Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.
Exeunt Maria and Attendants
Now, sir, what is your text?
Viola Most sweet lady —
Olivia A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it.
Where lies your text?
Viola In Orsino’s bosom.
Olivia In his bosom! In what chapter of his bosom?
Viola To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.
Olivia O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have you no more to say?
Viola Good madam, let me see your face.
Olivia 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?
Viola Excellently done, if God did all.
Olivia ’Tis in grain, sir; ’twill endure wind and weather.
Viola ’Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruell’st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave the world no copy.
Olivia 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?
Viola 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 recompensed, though you were crown’d
The nonpareil of beauty!
Olivia How does he love me?
Viola With adorations, fertile tears,
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.
Olivia 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.
Viola 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.
Olivia Why, what would you?
Viola 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;
Halloo 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!
Olivia You might do much.
What is your parentage?
Viola Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
I am a gentleman.
Olivia 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.
Viola 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 fervor, like my master’s, be
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.
Olivia ‘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!
Malvolio Here, madam, at your service.
Olivia 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.
Malvolio Madam, I will.
Olivia 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.
Last updated Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at 14:13