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gone; if you have reason be brief: 'tis not that time of moon with me, to make one in so skipping a dialogue. Tell me your mind.

Vio. I am a messenger.

Oli. Sure, you have some hideous matter to deliver, when the courtesy of it is so fearful. Speak your office.

Vio. It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of war, no taxation of homage; I hold the olive in my hand: my words are as full of peace as matter.

Oli. Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you? Vio. The rudeness that hath appeared in me, have I learn❜d from my entertainment. What I am, and what I would, are to your ears, divinity; to any other's, profanation.

Oli. Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.—[Exit MARIA.]-Now, sir, what is your text?

Vio. Most sweet lady,

Oli. A comfortable doctrine, and much may be said of it. Where lies your text?

Vio. In Orsino's bosom.

Oli. In his bosom? In what chapter of his bosom?

Vio. To answer by the method, in the first of his heart.

Oli. O, I have read it; it is heresy. Have you no more to say? Vio. Good madam, let me see your face.

Oli. Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate with my face? you are now out of your text: but we will draw the curtain, and show you the picture. Look you, sir, such a one as I was this present: Is't not well done? [Unveiling.

Vio. Excellently done, if nature did all.

Oli. 'Tis in grain, sir; 'twill endure wind and weather.
Vio. 'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white

Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on:

Lady, you are the cruel'st she alive,

If you will lead these graces to the grave,

And leave the world no copy.

Oli. O, sir, I will not be so hard-hearted; I will give out divers schedules of my beauty: It shall be inventoried; and every particle, and utensil, labelled to my will. Were you sent hither to praise me?

Vio. I see you what you are: you are too proud;

But, if you were the devil, you are fair.

My lord and master loves you; O, such love

Could be but recompens'd, though you were crown'd
The nonpareil of beauty!


How does he love me?

Vio. With adorations, with fertile tears,

With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.

Oli. Your lord does know my mind, I cannot love him;

Yet I suppose him virtuous, know him noble,

Of great estate, of fresh and stainless youth;

In voices well divulg'd, free, learn'd, and valiant,

And, in dimension, and the shape of nature,
A gracious person: but yet I cannot love him;
He might have took his answer long ago.

Vio. If I did love you in my master's flame,
With such a suffering, such a deadly life,
In your denial I would find no sense,

I would not understand it.


Why, what would you?

Vio. Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house;
Write loyal cantons of contemned love,

And sing them loud even in the dead of night;
Holla your name to the reverberate hills,
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out, Olivia! O, you should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me.

Oli. You might do much: What is your parentage?
Vio. Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:

I am a gentleman.


Get you to your


I cannot love him: let him send no more;
Unless, perchance, you come to me again,
To tell me how he takes it. Fare you well:
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.
Vio. I am no fee'd post, lady: keep your purse;
My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
Love makes his heart of flint, that you shall love;
And let your fervor, like my master's, be
Plac'd in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.

Oli. What is your parentage?

Above my fortunes, yet my state is well;

I am a gentleman.- -I'll be sworn thou art;

Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, actions, and spirit,

Do give thee five-fold blazon :-Not too fast:-soft! soft!

Unless the master were the man.-How now ?

Even so quickly may one catch the plague?
Methinks, I feel this youth's perfections,
With an invisible and subtle stealth,

To creep in at mine eyes. Well, let it be.-
What, ho, Malvolio!-


Re-enter MALVOLIO.

Here, madam, at your service.

Oli. Run after that same peevish messenger,
The county's man: he left this ring behind him,
Would I, or not; tell him, I'll none of it.
Desire him not to flatter with his lord,

Nor hold him up with hopes; I am not for him:


If that the youth will come this way to-morrow,
I'll give him reasons for't. Hie thee, Malvolio.

Mal. Madam, I will.


Oli. I do I know not what: and fear to find

Mine eye too great a flatterer for my mind.

Fate, show thy force: Ourselves we do not owe;
What is decreed, must be; and be this so!



SCENE.-A Street.

Enter VIOLA; MALVOLIO following.

Mal. Were not you even now with the countess Olivia ? Vio. Even now, sir; on a moderate pace I have since arrived but hither.

Mal. She returns this ring to you, sir; you might have saved me my pains, to have taken it away yourself. She adds, moreover, that you should put your lord into a desperate assurance she will none of him: And one thing more; that you be never so hardy to come again in his affairs, unless it be to report your lord's taking of this. Receive it so.

Vio. She took the ring of me; I'll none of it.

Mal. Come, sir, you peevishly threw it to her; and her will is, it should be so returned: if it be worth stooping for, there it lies in your eye; if not, be it his that finds it.

Vio. I left no ring with her: What means this lady? Fortune forbid, my outside have not charm'd her!

She made good view of me; indeed, so much,

That, sure, methought, her eyes had lost her tongue,
For she did speak in starts distractedly.

She loves me, sure; the cunning of her passion
Invites me in this churlish messenger.

None of my lord's ring! why, he sent her none.
I am the man ;-If it be so, (as 'tis,)
Poor lady, she were better love a dream.
Disguise, I see, thou art a wickedness,
Wherein the pregnant enemy does much.
How easy is it, for the proper-false

In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!
Alas, our frailty is the cause, not we;
For, such as we are made of, such we be.
My master loves her dearly;

And I, poor monster, fond as much on him;
And she, mistaken, seems to dote on me:
What will become of this! As I am man,
My state is desperate for my master's love:
As I am woman, now alas the day!


What thriftless sighs shall poor Olivia breathe?

O time, thou must entangle this, not I;

It is too hard a knot for me to untie.


Viola becomes enamored of the Duke, and with exquisite delicacy describes her own feelings, while professing to narrate her sister's story.

SCENE. A Room in the Duke's Palace.

Enter DUKE, VIOLA, CURIO, and others.

Duke. 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.

Cur. He is not here, so please your lordship, that should sing it.
Duke. Who was it?

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

Duke. Seek him out, and play the tune the while.

[Exit CURIO.-Music.

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 belov'd.-How dost thou like this tune?
Vio. It gives a very echo to the seat

Where Love is thron'd.


Thou dost speak masterly:

My life upon't, young though thou art, thine eye
Hath stay'd upon some favor that it loves;

Hath it not, boy?

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Of your complexion.

Duke. She is not worth thee then. What years, i' faith?
Vio. About your years, my lord.

Duke. 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.


I think it well, my lord.
Duke. 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.
Vio. And so they are; alas, that they are so;
To die, even when they to perfection grow!
Duke. Once more, Česario,

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.
Vio. But if she cannot love you, sir?
Duke. I cannot be so answer'd.


'Sooth, but you must.

Say, that some lady, as, perhaps, there is,
Hath for your love as 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. 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.
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.

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Duke. What dost thou know?

Vio. Too well what love women to men may:

In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter lov'd a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.

And what's her history?
Vio. A blank, my lord: She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,

Feed on her damask cheek: she pin'd 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. But died thy sister of her love, my boy?
Vio. 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?


Ay, that's the theme.

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