Act I, Scene 1

An Apartment in DUKE ORSINO'S Palace.

Enter ORSINO, CURIO, Lords; Musicians attending.

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;
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet south,		5
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			10
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.			15

Will you go hunt, my lord?

What, Curio?

The hart.

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


So please my lord, I might not be admitted,		25
But from her 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		30
With eye-offending brine: all this to season
A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh
And lasting in her sad remembrance.

O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
To pay this debt of love but to a brother,		35
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 filled,--
Her sweet perfections,--with one self king!--		40
Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.


Twelfth Night : Twelfth Night I.ii