Act I

Oil painting of Orsino, seated, and Viola, standing next to him.  Orsino looks up at her, while she looks away from him.

Orsino and Viola, circa 1850

Act I, Scene 1

DUKE ORSINO’s palace.

[Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and other Lords; Musicians attending]

Orsino. 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: 5
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou, 10
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy 15
That it alone is high fantastical.

Curio. Will you go hunt, my lord?

Orsino. What, Curio?

Curio. The hart.

Orsino. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have: 20
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
That instant was I turn’d into a hart;
And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
E’er since pursue me. 25
How now! what news from her?

Valentine. So please my lord, I might not be admitted;
But from her handmaid do return this answer:
The element itself, till seven years’ heat, 30
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 35
And lasting in her sad remembrance.

Orsino. 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 kill’d the flock of all affections else 40
That live in her; when liver, brain and heart,
These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and fill’d
Her sweet perfections with one self king!
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.45


Act I, Scene 2

The sea-coast.

[Enter VIOLA, a Captain, and Sailors]

Viola. What country, friends, is this?

Captain. This is Illyria, lady.

Viola. And what should I do in Illyria? 50
My brother he is in Elysium.
Perchance he is not drown’d: what think you, sailors?

Captain. It is perchance that you yourself were saved.

Viola. O my poor brother! and so perchance may he be.

Captain. True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance, 55
Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
When you and those 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 practise, 60
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.

Viola. For saying so, there’s gold: 65
Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
The like of him. Know’st thou this country?

Captain. Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
Not three hours’ travel from this very place.70

Viola. Who governs here?

Captain. A noble duke, in nature as in name.

Viola. What is the name?

Captain. Orsino.

Viola. Orsino! I have heard my father name him: 75
He was a bachelor then.

Captain. And so is now, 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,— 80
That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.

Viola. What’s she?

Captain. A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her
In the protection of his son, her brother, 85
Who shortly also died: for whose dear love,
They say, she hath abjured the company
And sight of men.

Viola. O that I served that lady
And might not be delivered to the world, 90
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
What my estate is!

Captain. That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the duke’s.95

Viola. 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. 100
I prithee, 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 shall present me as an eunuch to him: 105
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.110

Captain. Be you his eunuch, and your mute I’ll be:
When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.

Viola. I thank thee: lead me on.



Act I, Scene 3

OLIVIA’S house.


Sir Toby Belch. What a plague means my niece, to take the death of
her brother thus? I am sure care’s an enemy to life.

Maria. By my troth, Sir Toby, you must come in earlier o’
nights: your cousin, my lady, takes great
exceptions to your ill hours.120

Sir Toby Belch. Why, let her except, before excepted.

Maria. Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest
limits of order.

Sir Toby Belch. Confine! I’ll confine myself no finer than I am:
these clothes are good enough to drink in; and so be 125
these boots too: an they be not, let them hang
themselves in their own straps.

Maria. That quaffing and drinking will undo you: I heard
my lady talk of it yesterday; and of a foolish
knight that you brought in one night here to be her wooer.130

Sir Toby Belch. Who, Sir Andrew Aguecheek?

Maria. Ay, he.

Sir Toby Belch. He’s as tall a man as any’s in Illyria.

Maria. What’s that to the purpose?

Sir Toby Belch. Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.135

Maria. Ay, but he’ll have but a year in all these ducats:
he’s a very fool and a prodigal.

Sir Toby Belch. Fie, that you’ll say so! he plays o’ the
viol-de-gamboys, and speaks three or four languages
word for word without book, and hath all the good 140
gifts of nature.

Maria. He hath indeed, almost natural: for besides that
he’s a fool, he’s a great quarreller: and but that
he hath the gift of a coward to allay the gust he
hath in quarrelling, ’tis thought among the prudent 145
he would quickly have the gift of a grave.

Sir Toby Belch. By this hand, they are scoundrels and subtractors
that say so of him. Who are they?

Maria. They that add, moreover, he’s drunk nightly in your company.

Sir Toby Belch. With drinking healths to my niece: I’ll drink to 150
her as long as there is a passage in my throat and
drink in Illyria: he’s a coward and a coystrill
that will not drink to my niece till his brains turn
o’ the toe like a parish-top. What, wench!
Castiliano vulgo! for here comes Sir Andrew Agueface.155


Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Sir Toby Belch! how now, Sir Toby Belch!

Sir Toby Belch. Sweet Sir Andrew!

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Bless you, fair shrew.

Maria. And you too, sir.160

Sir Toby Belch. Accost, Sir Andrew, accost.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. What’s that?

Sir Toby Belch. My niece’s chambermaid.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Good Mistress Accost, I desire better acquaintance.

Maria. My name is Mary, sir.165

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Good Mistress Mary Accost,—

Sir Toby Belch. You mistake, knight; ‘accost’ is front her, board
her, woo her, assail her.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. By my troth, I would not undertake her in this
company. Is that the meaning of ‘accost’?170

Maria. Fare you well, gentlemen.

Sir Toby Belch. An thou let part so, Sir Andrew, would thou mightst
never draw sword again.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. An you part so, mistress, I would I might never
draw sword again. Fair lady, do you think you have 175
fools in hand?

Maria. Sir, I have not you by the hand.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Marry, but you shall have; and here’s my hand.

Maria. Now, sir, ‘thought is free:’ I pray you, bring
your hand to the buttery-bar and let it drink.180

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Wherefore, sweet-heart? what’s your metaphor?

Maria. It’s dry, sir.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Why, I think so: I am not such an ass but I can
keep my hand dry. But what’s your jest?

Maria. A dry jest, sir.185

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Are you full of them?

Maria. Ay, sir, I have them at my fingers’ ends: marry,
now I let go your hand, I am barren.


Sir Toby Belch. O knight thou lackest a cup of canary: when did I 190
see thee so put down?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Never in your life, I think; unless you see canary
put me down. Methinks sometimes I have no more wit
than a Christian or an ordinary man has: but I am a
great eater of beef and I believe that does harm to my wit.195

Sir Toby Belch. No question.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. An I thought that, I’ld forswear it. I’ll ride home
to-morrow, Sir Toby.

Sir Toby Belch. Pourquoi, my dear knight?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. What is ‘Pourquoi’? do or not do? I would I had 200
bestowed that time in the tongues that I have in
fencing, dancing and bear-baiting: O, had I but
followed the arts!

Sir Toby Belch. Then hadst thou had an excellent head of hair.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Why, would that have mended my hair?205

Sir Toby Belch. Past question; for thou seest it will not curl by nature.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. But it becomes me well enough, does’t not?

Sir Toby Belch. Excellent; it hangs like flax on a distaff; and I
hope to see a housewife take thee between her legs
and spin it off.210

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Faith, I’ll home to-morrow, Sir Toby: your niece
will not be seen; or if she be, it’s four to one
she’ll none of me: the count himself here hard by woos her.

Sir Toby Belch. She’ll none o’ the count: she’ll not match above
her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit; I 215
have heard her swear’t. Tut, there’s life in’t,

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. I’ll stay a month longer. I am a fellow o’ the
strangest mind i’ the world; I delight in masques
and revels sometimes altogether.220

Sir Toby Belch. Art thou good at these kickshawses, knight?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. As any man in Illyria, whatsoever he be, under the
degree of my betters; and yet I will not compare
with an old man.

Sir Toby Belch. What is thy excellence in a galliard, knight?225

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Faith, I can cut a caper.

Sir Toby Belch. And I can cut the mutton to’t.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. And I think I have the back-trick simply as strong
as any man in Illyria.

Sir Toby Belch. Wherefore are these things hid? wherefore have 230
these gifts a curtain before ’em? are they like to
take dust, like Mistress Mall’s picture? why dost
thou not go to church in a galliard and come home in
a coranto? My very walk should be a jig; I would not
so much as make water but in a sink-a-pace. What 235
dost thou mean? Is it a world to hide virtues in?
I did think, by the excellent constitution of thy
leg, it was formed under the star of a galliard.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Ay, ’tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a
flame-coloured stock. Shall we set about some revels?240

Sir Toby Belch. What shall we do else? were we not born under Taurus?

Sir Andrew Aguecheek. Taurus! That’s sides and heart.

Sir Toby Belch. No, sir; it is legs and thighs. Let me see the
caper; ha! higher: ha, ha! excellent!



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?

Valentine. No, believe me.

Viola. I thank you. Here comes the count.

[Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and Attendants]

Orsino. Who saw Cesario, ho?

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.



Act I, Scene 5

OLIVIA’S house.

[Enter MARIA and Clown]

Maria. Nay, either tell me where thou hast been, or I will
not open my lips so wide as a bristle may enter in
way of thy excuse: my lady will hang thee for thy absence.

Feste. Let her hang me: he that is well hanged in this
world needs to fear no colours.300

Maria. Make that good.

Feste. He shall see none to fear.

Maria. A good lenten answer: I can tell thee where that
saying was born, of ‘I fear no colours.’

Feste. Where, good Mistress Mary?305

Maria. In the wars; and that may you be bold to say in your foolery.

Feste. Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those
that are fools, let them use their talents.

Maria. Yet you will be hanged for being so long absent; or,
to be turned away, is not that as good as a hanging to you?310

Feste. Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage; and,
for turning away, let summer bear it out.

Maria. You are resolute, then?

Feste. Not so, neither; but I am resolved on two points.

Maria. That if one break, the other will hold; or, if both 315
break, your gaskins fall.

Feste. Apt, in good faith; very apt. Well, go thy way; if
Sir Toby would leave drinking, thou wert as witty a
piece of Eve’s flesh as any in Illyria.

Maria. Peace, you rogue, no more o’ that. Here comes my 320
lady: make your excuse wisely, you were best.


Feste. Wit, an’t be thy will, put me into good fooling!
Those wits, that think they have thee, do very oft
prove fools; and I, that am sure I lack thee, may 325
pass for a wise man: for what says Quinapalus?
‘Better a witty fool, than a foolish wit.’
God bless thee, lady!

Olivia. Take the fool away.330

Feste. Do you not hear, fellows? Take away the lady.

Olivia. Go to, you’re a dry fool; I’ll no more of you:
besides, you grow dishonest.

Feste. Two faults, madonna, that drink and good counsel
will amend: for give the dry fool drink, then is 335
the fool not dry: bid the dishonest man mend
himself; if he mend, he is no longer dishonest; if
he cannot, let the botcher mend him. Any thing
that’s mended is but patched: virtue that
transgresses is but patched with sin; and sin that 340
amends is but patched with virtue. If that this
simple syllogism will serve, so; if it will not,
what remedy? As there is no true cuckold but
calamity, so beauty’s a flower. The lady bade take
away the fool; therefore, I say again, take her away.345

Olivia. Sir, I bade them take away you.

Feste. Misprision in the highest degree! Lady, cucullus non
facit monachum; that’s as much to say as I wear not
motley in my brain. Good madonna, give me leave to
prove you a fool.350

Olivia. Can you do it?

Feste. Dexterously, good madonna.

Olivia. Make your proof.

Feste. I must catechise you for it, madonna: good my mouse
of virtue, answer me.355

Olivia. Well, sir, for want of other idleness, I’ll bide your proof.

Feste. Good madonna, why mournest thou?

Olivia. Good fool, for my brother’s death.

Feste. I think his soul is in hell, madonna.

Olivia. I know his soul is in heaven, fool.360

Feste. The more fool, madonna, to mourn for your brother’s
soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.

Olivia. What think you of this fool, Malvolio? doth he not mend?

Malvolio. Yes, and shall do till the pangs of death shake him:
infirmity, that decays the wise, doth ever make the 365
better fool.

Feste. God send you, sir, a speedy infirmity, for the
better increasing your folly! Sir Toby will be
sworn that I am no fox; but he will not pass his
word for two pence that you are no fool.370

Olivia. How say you to that, Malvolio?

Malvolio. I marvel your ladyship takes delight in such a
barren rascal: I saw him put down the other day
with an ordinary fool that has no more brain
than a stone. Look you now, he’s out of his guard 375
already; unless you laugh and minister occasion to
him, he is gagged. I protest, I take these wise men,
that crow so at these set kind of fools, no better
than the fools’ zanies.

Olivia. Oh, you are sick of self-love, Malvolio, and taste 380
with a distempered appetite. To be generous,
guiltless and of free disposition, is to take those
things for bird-bolts that you deem cannon-bullets:
there is no slander in an allowed fool, though he do
nothing but rail; nor no railing in a known discreet 385
man, though he do nothing but reprove.

Feste. Now Mercury endue thee with leasing, for thou
speakest well of fools!

[Re-enter MARIA]

Maria. Madam, there is at the gate a young gentleman much 390

desires to speak with you.

Olivia. From the Count Orsino, is it?

Maria. I know not, madam: ’tis a fair young man, and well attended.

Olivia. Who of my people hold him in delay?

Maria. Sir Toby, madam, your kinsman.395

Olivia. Fetch him off, I pray you; he speaks nothing but
madman: fie on him!
[Exit MARIA]
Go you, Malvolio: if it be a suit from the count, I
am sick, or not at home; what you will, to dismiss it. 400
Now you see, sir, how your fooling grows old, and
people dislike it.

Feste. Thou hast spoke for us, madonna, as if thy eldest
son should be a fool; whose skull Jove cram with 405
brains! for,—here he comes,—one of thy kin has a
most weak pia mater.


Olivia. By mine honour, half drunk. What is he at the gate, cousin?

Sir Toby Belch. A gentleman.410

Olivia. A gentleman! what gentleman?

Sir Toby Belch. ‘Tis a gentle man here—a plague o’ these
pickle-herring! How now, sot!

Feste. Good Sir Toby!

Olivia. Cousin, cousin, how have you come so early by this lethargy?415

Sir Toby Belch. Lechery! I defy lechery. There’s one at the gate.

Olivia. Ay, marry, what is he?

Sir Toby Belch. Let him be the devil, an he will, I care not: give
me faith, say I. Well, it’s all one.


Olivia. What’s a drunken man like, fool?

Feste. Like a drowned man, a fool and a mad man: one
draught above heat makes him a fool; the second mads
him; and a third drowns him.

Olivia. Go thou and seek the crowner, and let him sit o’ my 425
coz; for he’s in the third degree of drink, he’s
drowned: go, look after him.

Feste. He is but mad yet, madonna; and the fool shall look
to the madman.


[Re-enter MALVOLIO]

Malvolio. Madam, yond young fellow swears he will speak with
you. I told him you were sick; he takes on him to
understand so much, and therefore comes to speak
with you. I told him you were asleep; he seems to 435
have a foreknowledge of that too, and therefore
comes to speak with you. What is to be said to him,
lady? he’s fortified against any denial.

Olivia. Tell him he shall not speak with me.

Malvolio. Has been told so; and he says, he’ll stand at your 440
door like a sheriff’s post, and be the supporter to
a bench, but he’ll speak with you.

Olivia. What kind o’ man is he?

Malvolio. Why, of mankind.

Olivia. What manner of man?445

Malvolio. Of very ill manner; he’ll speak with you, will you or no.

Olivia. Of what personage and years is he?

Malvolio. Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for
a boy; as a squash is before ’tis a peascod, or a
cooling when ’tis almost an apple: ’tis with him 450
in standing water, between boy and man. He is very
well-favoured and he speaks very shrewishly; one
would think his mother’s milk were scarce out of him.

Olivia. Let him approach: call in my gentlewoman.

Malvolio. Gentlewoman, my lady calls.455


[Re-enter MARIA]

Olivia. Give me my veil: come, throw it o’er my face.
We’ll once more hear Orsino’s embassy.

[Enter VIOLA, and Attendants]

Viola. The honourable lady of the house, which is she?

Olivia. Speak to me; I shall answer for her.
Your will?

Viola. Most radiant, exquisite and unmatchable beauty,—I
pray you, tell me if this be the lady of the house, 465
for I never saw her: I would be loath to cast away
my speech, for besides that it is excellently well
penned, I have taken great pains to con it. Good
beauties, let me sustain no scorn; I am very
comptible, even to the least sinister usage.470

Olivia. Whence came you, sir?

Viola. I can say little more than I have studied, and that
question’s out of my part. Good gentle one, give me
modest assurance if you be the lady of the house,
that I may proceed in my speech.475

Olivia. Are you a comedian?

Viola. No, my profound heart: and yet, by the very fangs
of malice I swear, I am not that I play. Are you
the lady of the house?

Olivia. If I do not usurp myself, I am.480

Viola. Most certain, if you are she, you do usurp
yourself; for what is yours to bestow is not yours
to reserve. But this is from my commission: I will
on with my speech in your praise, and then show you
the heart of my message.485

Olivia. Come to what is important in’t: I forgive you the praise.

Viola. Alas, I took great pains to study it, and ’tis poetical.

Olivia. It is the more like to be feigned: I pray you,
keep it in. I heard you were saucy at my gates,
and allowed your approach rather to wonder at you 490
than to hear you. If you be not mad, be gone; if
you have reason, be brief: ’tis not that time of
moon with me to make one in so skipping a dialogue.

Maria. Will you hoist sail, sir? here lies your way.

Viola. No, good swabber; I am to hull here a little 495
longer. Some mollification for your giant, sweet
lady. Tell me your mind: I am a messenger.

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

Viola. It alone concerns your ear. I bring no overture of 500
war, no taxation of homage: I hold the olive in my
hand; my words are as fun of peace as matter.

Olivia. Yet you began rudely. What are you? what would you?

Viola. The rudeness that hath appeared in me have I
learned from my entertainment. What I am, and what I 505
would, are as secret as maidenhead; to your ears,
divinity, to any other’s, profanation.

Olivia. Give us the place alone: we will hear this divinity.
[Exeunt MARIA and Attendants]
Now, sir, what is your text?510

Viola. Most sweet lady,—

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

Viola. In Orsino’s bosom.

Olivia. In his bosom! In what chapter of his bosom?515

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

Olivia. O, I have read it: it is heresy. Have you no more to say?

Viola. Good madam, let me see your face.

Olivia. Have you any commission from your lord to negotiate
with my face? You are now out of your text: but 520
we will draw the curtain and show you the picture.
Look you, sir, such a one I was this present: is’t
not well done?


Viola. Excellently done, if God did all.525

Olivia. ‘Tis in grain, sir; ’twill endure wind and weather.

Viola. ‘Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white
Nature’s own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruell’st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave 530
And leave the world no copy.

Olivia. 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: as, item, two lips, 535
indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to
them; item, one neck, one chin, and so forth. Were
you sent hither to praise me?

Viola. I see you what you are, you are too proud;
But, if you were the devil, you are fair. 540
My lord and master loves you: O, such love
Could be but recompensed, though you were crown’d
The nonpareil of beauty!

Olivia. How does he love me?

Viola. With adorations, fertile tears, 545
With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.

Olivia. 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 divulged, free, learn’d and valiant; 550
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.

Viola. If I did love you in my master’s flame,
With such a suffering, such a deadly life, 555
In your denial I would find no sense;
I would not understand it.

Olivia. Why, what would you?

Viola. Make me a willow cabin at your gate,
And call upon my soul within the house; 560
Write loyal cantons of contemned love
And sing them loud even in the dead of night;
Halloo your name to the reverberate hills
And make the babbling gossip of the air
Cry out ‘Olivia!’ O, You should not rest 565
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me!

Olivia. You might do much.
What is your parentage?

Viola. Above my fortunes, yet my state is well: 570

I am a gentleman.

Olivia. Get you to your lord;
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: 575
I thank you for your pains: spend this for me.

Viola. I am no fee’d post, lady; keep your purse:
My master, not myself, lacks recompense.
Love make his heart of flint that you shall love;
And let your fervor, like my master’s, be 580
Placed in contempt! Farewell, fair cruelty.


Olivia. ‘What is your parentage?’
‘Above my fortunes, yet my state is well:
I am a gentleman.’ I’ll be sworn thou art; 585
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? 590
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]

Malvolio. Here, madam, at your service.

Olivia. 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, 600
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.

Malvolio. Madam, I will.


Olivia. 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.