[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?
- Viola. I thank you. Here comes the count.
[Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and Attendants]
- 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.
- Viola. I'll do my best
To woo your lady:
yet, a barful strife!
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.