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  • Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others

  • 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.

  • He is not here, so please your lordship that should sing it.

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

  • 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?

  • It gives a very echo to the seat
    Where Love is throned.

  • 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?

  • A little, by your favour.

  • What kind of woman is't?

  • Of your complexion.

  • She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?

  • About your years, my lord.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • And so they are: alas, that they are so;
    To die, even when they to perfection grow!

  • Re-enter CURIO and Clown

  • 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.

  • Are you ready, sir?

  • Ay; prithee, sing.

  • 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!

  • There's for thy pains.

  • No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.

  • I'll pay thy pleasure then.

  • Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.

  • Give me now leave to leave thee.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • But if she cannot love you, sir?

  • I cannot be so answer'd.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Ay, but I know--

  • What dost thou know?

  • 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.

  • And what's her history?

  • 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.

  • But died thy sister of her love, my boy?

  • 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.
    To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,
    My love can give no place, bide no denay.