Speeches (Lines) for Orsino
in "Twelfth Night"

Total: 59

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and other Lords; Musicians attending]

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?

Orsino. What, Curio?



Curio. The hart.

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.

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.



(stage directions). [Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and Attendants]

Orsino. Who saw Cesario, ho?



Viola. On your attendance, my lord; here.

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.

Orsino. Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds
Rather than make unprofited return.



Viola. Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?

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.

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.



(stage directions). [Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others]

Orsino. Give me some music. Now, good morrow, friends.
Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
That old and antique song we heard last night:
Methought it did relieve my passion much,
More than light airs and recollected terms
Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times:
Come, but one verse.



Curio. He is not here, so please your lordship that should sing it.

Orsino. Who was it?



Curio. Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady
Olivia's father took much delight in. He is about the house.

Orsino. Seek him out, and play the tune the while.
[Exit CURIO. Music plays]
Come hither, boy: if ever thou shalt love,
In the sweet pangs of it remember me;
For such as I am all true lovers are,
Unstaid and skittish in all motions else,
Save in the constant image of the creature
That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?



Viola. It gives a very echo to the seat
Where Love is throned.

Orsino. Thou dost speak masterly:
My life upon't, young though thou art, thine eye
Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves:
Hath it not, boy?



Viola. A little, by your favour.

Orsino. What kind of woman is't?



Viola. Of your complexion.

Orsino. She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?



Viola. About your years, my lord.

Orsino. Too old by heaven: let still the woman take
An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
So sways she level in her husband's heart:
For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
Than women's are.



Viola. I think it well, my lord.

Orsino. Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
Or thy affection cannot hold the bent;
For women are as roses, whose fair flower
Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.



(stage directions). [Re-enter CURIO and Clown]

Orsino. O, fellow, come, the song we had last night.
Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
The spinsters and the knitters in the sun
And the free maids that weave their thread with bones
Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth,
And dallies with the innocence of love,
Like the old age.



Feste. Are you ready, sir?

Orsino. Ay; prithee, sing.



Feste. Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O, prepare it!
My part of death, no one so true
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!

Orsino. There's for thy pains.



Feste. No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.

Orsino. I'll pay thy pleasure then.



Feste. Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.

Orsino. Give me now leave to leave thee.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Orsino. Let all the rest give place.
[CURIO and Attendants retire]
Once more, Cesario,
Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty:
Tell her, my love, more noble than the world,
Prizes not quantity of dirty lands;
The parts that fortune hath bestow'd upon her,
Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune;
But 'tis that miracle and queen of gems
That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.



Viola. But if she cannot love you, sir?

Orsino. I cannot be so answer'd.



Viola. Sooth, but you must.
Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
Hath for your love a great a pang of heart
As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her;
You tell her so; must she not then be answer'd?

Orsino. There is no woman's sides
Can bide the beating of so strong a passion
As love doth give my heart; no woman's heart
So big, to hold so much; they lack retention
Alas, their love may be call'd appetite,
No motion of the liver, but the palate,
That suffer surfeit, cloyment and revolt;
But mine is all as hungry as the sea,
And can digest as much: make no compare
Between that love a woman can bear me
And that I owe Olivia.



Viola. Ay, but I know—

Orsino. What dost thou know?



Viola. Too well what love women to men may owe:
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter loved a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.

Orsino. And what's her history?



Viola. A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And with a green and yellow melancholy
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
We men may say more, swear more: but indeed
Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
Much in our vows, but little in our love.

Orsino. But died thy sister of her love, my boy?



Viola. I am all the daughters of my father's house,
And all the brothers too: and yet I know not.
Sir, shall I to this lady?

Orsino. Ay, that's the theme.
To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,
My love can give no place, bide no denay.



(stage directions). [Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and Lords]

Orsino. Belong you to the Lady Olivia, friends?



Feste. Ay, sir; we are some of her trappings.

Orsino. I know thee well; how dost thou, my good fellow?



Feste. Truly, sir, the better for my foes and the worse
for my friends.

Orsino. Just the contrary; the better for thy friends.



Feste. No, sir, the worse.

Orsino. How can that be?



Feste. Marry, sir, they praise me and make an ass of me;
now my foes tell me plainly I am an ass: so that by
my foes, sir I profit in the knowledge of myself,
and by my friends, I am abused: so that,
conclusions to be as kisses, if your four negatives
make your two affirmatives why then, the worse for
my friends and the better for my foes.

Orsino. Why, this is excellent.



Feste. By my troth, sir, no; though it please you to be
one of my friends.

Orsino. Thou shalt not be the worse for me: there's gold.



Feste. But that it would be double-dealing, sir, I would
you could make it another.

Orsino. O, you give me ill counsel.



Feste. Put your grace in your pocket, sir, for this once,
and let your flesh and blood obey it.

Orsino. Well, I will be so much a sinner, to be a
double-dealer: there's another.



Feste. Primo, secundo, tertio, is a good play; and the old
saying is, the third pays for all: the triplex,
sir, is a good tripping measure; or the bells of
Saint Bennet, sir, may put you in mind; one, two, three.

Orsino. You can fool no more money out of me at this throw:
if you will let your lady know I am here to speak
with her, and bring her along with you, it may awake
my bounty further.



(stage directions). [Enter ANTONIO and Officers]

Orsino. That face of his I do remember well;
Yet, when I saw it last, it was besmear'd
As black as Vulcan in the smoke of war:
A bawbling vessel was he captain of,
For shallow draught and bulk unprizable;
With which such scathful grapple did he make
With the most noble bottom of our fleet,
That very envy and the tongue of loss
Cried fame and honour on him. What's the matter?



Viola. He did me kindness, sir, drew on my side;
But in conclusion put strange speech upon me:
I know not what 'twas but distraction.

Orsino. Notable pirate! thou salt-water thief!
What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies,
Whom thou, in terms so bloody and so dear,
Hast made thine enemies?



Viola. How can this be?

Orsino. When came he to this town?



(stage directions). [Enter OLIVIA and Attendants]

Orsino. Here comes the countess: now heaven walks on earth.
But for thee, fellow; fellow, thy words are madness:
Three months this youth hath tended upon me;
But more of that anon. Take him aside.



Viola. Madam!

Orsino. Gracious Olivia,—



Olivia. If it be aught to the old tune, my lord,
It is as fat and fulsome to mine ear
As howling after music.

Orsino. Still so cruel?



Olivia. Still so constant, lord.

Orsino. What, to perverseness? you uncivil lady,
To whose ingrate and unauspicious altars
My soul the faithfull'st offerings hath breathed out
That e'er devotion tender'd! What shall I do?



Olivia. Even what it please my lord, that shall become him.

Orsino. Why should I not, had I the heart to do it,
Like to the Egyptian thief at point of death,
Kill what I love?—a savage jealousy
That sometimes savours nobly. But hear me this:
Since you to non-regardance cast my faith,
And that I partly know the instrument
That screws me from my true place in your favour,
Live you the marble-breasted tyrant still;
But this your minion, whom I know you love,
And whom, by heaven I swear, I tender dearly,
Him will I tear out of that cruel eye,
Where he sits crowned in his master's spite.
Come, boy, with me; my thoughts are ripe in mischief:
I'll sacrifice the lamb that I do love,
To spite a raven's heart within a dove.



Olivia. Hast thou forgot thyself? is it so long?
Call forth the holy father.

Orsino. Come, away!



Olivia. Whither, my lord? Cesario, husband, stay.

Orsino. Husband!



Olivia. Ay, husband: can he that deny?

Orsino. Her husband, sirrah!



Priest. A contract of eternal bond of love,
Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands,
Attested by the holy close of lips,
Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings;
And all the ceremony of this compact
Seal'd in my function, by my testimony:
Since when, my watch hath told me, toward my grave
I have travell'd but two hours.

Orsino. O thou dissembling cub! what wilt thou be
When time hath sow'd a grizzle on thy case?
Or will not else thy craft so quickly grow,
That thine own trip shall be thine overthrow?
Farewell, and take her; but direct thy feet
Where thou and I henceforth may never meet.



Sir Andrew Aguecheek. The count's gentleman, one Cesario: we took him for
a coward, but he's the very devil incardinate.

Orsino. My gentleman, Cesario?



Sir Andrew Aguecheek. If a bloody coxcomb be a hurt, you have hurt me: I
think you set nothing by a bloody coxcomb.
[Enter SIR TOBY BELCH and Clown]
Here comes Sir Toby halting; you shall hear more:
but if he had not been in drink, he would have
tickled you othergates than he did.

Orsino. How now, gentleman! how is't with you?



Sebastian. I am sorry, madam, I have hurt your kinsman:
But, had it been the brother of my blood,
I must have done no less with wit and safety.
You throw a strange regard upon me, and by that
I do perceive it hath offended you:
Pardon me, sweet one, even for the vows
We made each other but so late ago.

Orsino. One face, one voice, one habit, and two persons,
A natural perspective, that is and is not!



Sebastian. [To OLIVIA] So comes it, lady, you have been mistook:
But nature to her bias drew in that.
You would have been contracted to a maid;
Nor are you therein, by my life, deceived,
You are betroth'd both to a maid and man.

Orsino. Be not amazed; right noble is his blood.
If this be so, as yet the glass seems true,
I shall have share in this most happy wreck.
Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand times
Thou never shouldst love woman like to me.



Viola. And all those sayings will I overswear;
And those swearings keep as true in soul
As doth that orbed continent the fire
That severs day from night.

Orsino. Give me thy hand;
And let me see thee in thy woman's weeds.



Feste. Ay, madam.

Orsino. This savours not much of distraction.



Olivia. See him deliver'd, Fabian; bring him hither.
My lord so please you, these things further
thought on,
To think me as well a sister as a wife,
One day shall crown the alliance on't, so please you,
Here at my house and at my proper cost.

Orsino. Madam, I am most apt to embrace your offer.
Your master quits you; and for your service done him,
So much against the mettle of your sex,
So far beneath your soft and tender breeding,
And since you call'd me master for so long,
Here is my hand: you shall from this time be
Your master's mistress.



(stage directions). [Re-enter FABIAN, with MALVOLIO]

Orsino. Is this the madman?



Olivia. He hath been most notoriously abused.

Orsino. Pursue him and entreat him to a peace:
He hath not told us of the captain yet:
When that is known and golden time convents,
A solemn combination shall be made
Of our dear souls. Meantime, sweet sister,
We will not part from hence. Cesario, come;
For so you shall be, while you are a man;
But when in other habits you are seen,
Orsino's mistress and his fancy's queen.

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