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Twelfth Night

Act I
Twelfth Night

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Script of Act I Twelfth Night
 The play by William Shakespeare

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Script / Text of Act I Twelfth Night

ACT I
SCENE I. DUKE ORSINO's palace.

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.

Enter VALENTINE

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.

Exeunt

SCENE II. The sea-coast.

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?

Captain 
Orsino.

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.

Exeunt

SCENE III. OLIVIA'S house.

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.

Exit

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!

Exeunt

SCENE IV. DUKE ORSINO's palace.

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:

Aside

yet, a barful strife!
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.

Exeunt

SCENE V. OLIVIA'S house.

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.

Exit

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!

Re-enter MARIA

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!

Exit MARIA

Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the count, I
am sick, or not at home; what you will, to dismiss it.

Exit MALVOLIO

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.

Exit

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.

Exit

Re-enter MALVOLIO

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.

Exit

Re-enter MARIA

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.
Your will?

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?

Unveiling

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.

Exit

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!

Re-enter 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.

Exit

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.

Exit

Script of Act I Twelfth Night
a famous play by William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare Index Twelfth Night the play by William Shakespeare

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