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SEBASTIAN, a young Gentleman, Brother to Viola
ANTONIO, a Sea Captain, Friend to Sebastian.
A Sea Captain, Friend to Viola.
Gentlemen attending on the Duke.
SIR TOBY BELCH, Uncle of Olivia.
SIR ANDREW AGUE-CHEEK.
MALVOLIO, Steward to Olivia.
FABIAN, Servants to Olivia.
OLIVIA, a rich Countess.
VIOLA, in love with the Duke.
MARIA, Olivia's Woman.
Lords, Priests, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, and other Attendants.
SCENE. A City in Illyria, and the Sea-coast near it.
SCENE I. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter DUKE, CURIO, Lords; Musicians attending.
Duke. 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 south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing, and giving odor.-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 soever,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute! so full of shapes is fancy,
That it alone is high-fantastical.
Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord?
Duke. 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 turned into a hart;
And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E'er since pursue me.
How now? what news from her?
Val. 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. 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 killed the flock of all affections else
That live in her! when liver, brain, and heart,
These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and filled
(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, Captain, and Sailors.
Vio. What country, friends, is this?
Vio. And what should I do in Illyria?
My brother he is in Elysium.
Perchance he is not drowned: -What think you, sailors?
Cap. It is perchance that you yourself were saved.
Vio. O my poor brother! and so, perchance, may he be.
Cap. True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance,
Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
When you, and that 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 practice)
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.
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?
Cap. Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
Not three hours' travel from this very place.
Vio. Who governs here?
Vio. Orsino! I have heard my father name him: He was a bachelor then.
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.
Cap. 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.
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!
That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
Vio. 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 pray thee, 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 shalt 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.
Cap. Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be: When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see! Vio. I thank thee: Lead me on. [Exeunt.