Twelfe Night

by

William Shakespeare

Free Public Domain Books from the
Classic Literature Library

Twelfe Night Page 01

Actus Primus, Scaena Prima.

Enter Orsino Duke of Illyria, Curio, and other Lords.

Duke. If Musicke be the food of Loue, play on, Giue me excesse of it: that surfetting, The appetite may sicken, and so dye. That straine agen, it had a dying fall: O, it came ore my eare, like the sweet sound That breathes vpon a banke of Violets; Stealing, and giuing Odour. Enough, no more, 'Tis not so sweet now, as it was before. O spirit of Loue, how quicke and fresh art thou, That notwithstanding thy capacitie, Receiueth as the Sea. Nought enters there, Of what validity, and pitch so ere, But falles into abatement, and low price Euen in a minute; so full of shapes is fancie, That it alone, is high fantasticall

Cu. Will you go hunt my Lord? Du. What Curio? Cu. The Hart

Du. Why so I do, the Noblest that I haue: O when mine eyes did see Oliuia first, Me thought she purg'd the ayre of pestilence; That instant was I turn'd into a Hart, And my desires like fell and cruell hounds, Ere since pursue me. How now what newes from her? Enter Valentine.

Val. So please my Lord, I might not be admitted, But from her handmaid do returne this answer: The Element it selfe, till seuen yeares heate, Shall not behold her face at ample view: But like a Cloystresse she will vailed walke, And water once a day her Chamber round With eye-offending brine: all this to season A brothers dead loue, which she would keepe fresh And lasting, in her sad remembrance

Du. O she that hath a heart of that fine frame To pay this debt of loue but to a brother, How will she loue, when the rich golden shaft Hath kill'd the flocke of all affections else That liue in her. When Liuer, Braine, and Heart, These soueraigne thrones, are all supply'd and fill'd Her sweete perfections with one selfe king: Away before me, to sweet beds of Flowres, Loue-thoughts lye rich, when canopy'd with bowres.

Exeunt.

Scena Secunda.

Enter Viola, a Captaine, and Saylors.

Vio. What Country (Friends) is this? Cap. This is Illyria Ladie

Vio. And what should I do in Illyria? My brother he is in Elizium, Perchance he is not drown'd: What thinke you saylors? Cap. It is perchance that you your selfe were saued

Vio. O my poore brother, and so perchance may he be

Cap. True Madam, and to comfort you with chance, Assure your selfe, after our ship did split, When you, and those poore number saued with you, Hung on our driuing boate: I saw your brother Most prouident in perill, binde himselfe, (Courage and hope both teaching him the practise) To a strong Maste, that liu'd vpon the sea: Where like Orion on the Dolphines backe, I saw him hold acquaintance with the waues, So long as I could see

Vio. For saying so, there's Gold: Mine owne escape vnfoldeth to my hope, Whereto thy speech serues for authoritie The like of him. Know'st thou this Countrey? Cap. I Madam well, for I was bred and borne Not three houres trauaile from this very place

Vio. Who gouernes heere? Cap. A noble Duke in nature, as in name

Vio. What is his name? Cap. Orsino

Vio. Orsino: I haue heard my father name him. He was a Batchellor then

Cap. And so is now, or was so very late: For but a month ago I went from hence, And then 'twas fresh in murmure (as you know What great ones do, the lesse will prattle of,) That he did seeke the loue of faire Oliuia

Twelfe Night Page 02

William Shakespeare Plays

Free Books in the public domain from the Classic Literature Library ©

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
The Winters Tale