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SCENE I. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter Duke, Curio, Lords ; Musicians attending.
If musick 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:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,
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 !
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soever",
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute! so full of shapes is fancy,
That it alone is high-fantastical'.
Of what validity and pitch soever,] Validity is here used for value. Malone, who reads soe'er.
* That it alone is high-fantastical.] High-fantastical, means fantastical to the height.
Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord ?
What, Curio ?
Duke. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
Methought, she purg'd 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.—How now? what news from
Val. So please my lord, I might not be admitted,
But from hier handmaid do return this answer:
The element itself, till seven years heat",
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,
And lasting, in her sad remembrance.
Duke. 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
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.
[Exeunt. 3 The element itself, till seven years heat,] Heat for heated. The air, till it shall have been warmed by seven revolutions of the sun, shall not, &c.
* (Her sweet perfections,)] Liver, brain, and heart, are admitted in poetry as the residence of passions, judgment, and sentiments. These are what Shakspeare calls, her sweet perfections, though he has not very clearly expressed what he might design to have said. STEEVENS.
Enter VIOLA, Captain, and Sailors.
Vio. What country, friends, is this?
+ Illyria, lady.
Vio. And what should I do in Illyria ?
My brother he is in Elysium.
Perchance, he is not drown'd: — What think you,
sailors ? Cap. It is perchance, that you yourself were saved. Vio. O my poor brother ! and so, perchance, may
Cap. True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance,
Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
When you, and that 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 practice)
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.
For saying so, there's gold:
Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
The like of him. Know'st thou this country?
Cap. Ay, madam, well ; for I was bred and born,
Not three hours' travel from this very place.
Vio. Who governs here?
A noble duke, in nature,
As in his name.
What is his name?
" This is Illyria, lady." Malone.
Vio. Orsino! I have heard my father name him :
He was a bachelor then.
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,) that he did seek
The love of fair Olivia.
Cap. A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
That died some twelvemonth since; then leaving her
In the protection of his son, her brother,
Who shortly also died: for whose dear love,
They say, she hath abjur'd the company
And sight of men.
O, that I served that lady:
And might not be delivered to the world,
Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
What my estate is !
That were hard to compass;
Because she will admit no kind of suit,
No, not the duke's.
Vio. There is a fair behaviour 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.
I pray thee, 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 shalt present me as an eunuch to him,
It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing,
And speak to him in many sorts of musick,
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.
Cap. Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be ;
When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see !
Vio. I thank thee: Lead me on.
A Room in Olivia's House.
Enter Sir Toby Belch, and MARIA. Sir To. What a plague means my niece, to take the death of her brother thus ? I am sure, care's an enemy to life.
Mar. By my troth, sir Toby, you must come in earlier o’nights; your cousin, my lady, takes great exceptions to your ill hours.
Sir To. Why, let her except before excepted.
Mar. Ay, but you must confine yourself within the modest limits of order.
Sir To. Confine? I'll confine myself no finer than I am : these clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too; an they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps.
Mar. 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.
Sir To. Who? Sir Andrew Ague-cheek?
Mar. Ay, he.
Sir To. He's as tall a mano as any's in Illyria.
Mar. What's that to the purpose ?
Sir To. Why, he has three thousand ducats a year.
Mar. Ay, but he'll have but a year in all these ducats ; he's a very fool, and a prodigal.