Act II, Scene 4 DUKE ORSINO's palace.

Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others

 

DUKE 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.
DUKE 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.
DUKE 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.
DUKE 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.
DUKE ORSINO What kind of woman is't?
VIOLA Of your complexion.
DUKE ORSINO She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?
VIOLA About your years, my lord.
DUKE 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.
DUKE 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.
VIOLA And so they are: alas, that they are so;
To die, even when they to perfection grow!
  [Re-enter CURIO and Clown]
DUKE 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.
Clown Are you ready, sir?
DUKE ORSINO Ay; prithee, sing.
  [Music]
Clown SONG.
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!
DUKE ORSINO There's for thy pains.
Clown No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.
DUKE ORSINO I'll pay thy pleasure then.
Clown Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.
DUKE ORSINO Give me now leave to leave thee.
Clown Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the
tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for
thy mind is a very opal. I would have men of such
constancy put to sea, that their business might be
every thing and their intent every where; for that's
it that always makes a good voyage of nothing. Farewell.
  [Exit]
DUKE 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?
DUKE 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?
DUKE 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--
DUKE 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.
DUKE 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.
DUKE 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?
DUKE ORSINO Ay, that's the theme.
To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,
My love can give no place, bide no denay.
  [Exeunt]

 

To see other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act II, Scene 5 Olivia's garden.
Act I, Scene 1 Duke Orsino's palace. Act III, Scene 1 Olivia's garden.
Act I, Scene 2 The sea-coast. Act III, Scene 2 Olivia's house.
Act I, Scene 3 Olivia's house. Act III, Scene 3 A street.
Act I, Scene 4 Duke Orsino's palace. Act III, Scene 4 Olivia's garden
Act I, Scene 5 Olivia's house. Act IV, Scene 1 Before Olivia's house.
Act II, Scene 1 The sea-coast. Act IV, Scene 2 Olivia's house.
Act II, Scene 2 A street. Act IV, Scene 3 Olivia's garden.
Act II, Scene 3 Olivia's house. Act V, Scene 1  Before Olivia's house.
Act II, Scene 4 Duke Orsino's palace.

 

To view other Twelfth Night sections:

Main Play Page     Play Text    Scene by Scene Synopsis  

   Character Directory     Commentary 

 

To view the other Plays click below:

By  Comedies    Histories    Romances    Tragedies

All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale

 

To view other Shakespeare Library sections:

Biography     Plays     Poems     Sonnets     Theaters     Shake Links 

 
Send mail to jciccarelli@hudsonshakespeare.org with questions or comments about this web site.
[Home]  [Upcoming Shows]  [HSC Venues]  [Past Productions]  [Articles] [HSC Programs]
 [Shakespeare Library] [Actor Resources]   [Contact Us]  [Links]  [Site Map]