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Download Twelfth Night
Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workTwelfth Night
Act 1, scene 1
At his court, Orsino, sick with love for the Lady Olivia, learns from his messenger that she is grieving for her dead brother and refuses to be seen for seven years.Enter Orsino, Duke of Illyria, Curio, and other Lords,
⌜with Musicians playing.⌝
0001 If music be the food of love, play on.
0002 Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
0003 The appetite may sicken and so die.
0004 That strain again! It had a dying fall.
0005 5 O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
0006 That breathes upon a bank of violets,
0007 Stealing and giving odor. Enough; no more.
0008 ’Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
0009 O spirit of love, how quick and fresh art thou,
0010 10 That, notwithstanding thy capacity
0011 Receiveth as the sea, naught enters there,
0012 Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
0013 But falls into abatement and low price
0014 Even in a minute. So full of shapes is fancy
0015 15 That it alone is high fantastical.
0016 Will you go hunt, my lord?
ORSINO 0017 What, Curio?
CURIO 0018 The hart.
0019 Why, so I do, the noblest that I have.
0020 20 O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
p. 90021 Methought she purged the air of pestilence.
0022 That instant was I turned into a hart,
0023 And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
0024 E’er since pursue me.
0025 25 How now, what news from her?
0026 So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
0027 But from her handmaid do return this answer:
0028 The element itself, till seven years’ heat,
0029 Shall not behold her face at ample view,
0030 30 But like a cloistress she will veilèd walk,
0031 And water once a day her chamber round
0032 With eye-offending brine—all this to season
0033 A brother’s dead love, which she would keep fresh
0034 And lasting in her sad remembrance.
0035 35 O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
0036 To pay this debt of love but to a brother,
0037 How will she love when the rich golden shaft
0038 Hath killed the flock of all affections else
0039 That live in her; when liver, brain, and heart,
0040 40 These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and filled
0041 Her sweet perfections with one self king!
0042 Away before me to sweet beds of flowers!
0043 Love thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.