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Twelfth Night, Or What You Will

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Act I, Scene 4

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 250
    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: 260
    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, 265
    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? 270
  • 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. 275
  • 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 280
    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 285
    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: 290
    yet, a barful strife!
    Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.