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Act II, Scene iv

The DUKE'S palace
[Enter DUKE, VIOLA, CURIO, and others.]
DUKE:
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.
CURIO:
He is not here, so please your lordship, that should sing it.
DUKE:
Who was it?
CURIO:
Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady Olivia's father
took much delight in. He is about the house.
DUKE:
Go 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 belov'd. How dost thou like this tune?
VIOLA:
It gives a very echo to the seat
Where Love is thron'd.
DUKE:
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?
VIOLA:
A little, by your favour.
DUKE:
What kind of woman is 't?
VIOLA:
Of your complexion.
DUKE:
She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?
VIOLA:
About your years, my lord.
DUKE:
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.
VIOLA:
I think it well, my lord.
DUKE:
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.
VIOLA:
And so they are: alas, that they are so;
To die, even when they to perfection grow!
[Re-enter CURIO and CLOWN.]
DUKE:
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.
CLOWN:
Are you ready, sir?
DUKE:
Ay; prithee, sing.
[Music]
SONG
CLOWN:
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!
DUKE:
There 's for thy pains.
CLOWN:
No pains, sir; I take pleasure in singing, sir.
DUKE:
I 'll pay thy pleasure, then.
CLOWN:
Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid one time or another.
DUKE:
Give me now leave to leave thee.
CLOWN:
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.
[Exit.]
DUKE:
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 't is that miracle and queen of gems
That Nature pranks her in attracts my soul.
VIOLA:
But if she cannot love you, sir?
DUKE:
I cannot be so answer'd.
VIOLA:
Sooth, but you must.
Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
Hath for your love as 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?
DUKE:
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.
VIOLA:
Ay, but I know—
DUKE:
What dost thou know?
VIOLA:
Too well what love women to men may owe;
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter lov'd a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.
DUKE:
And what's her history?
VIOLA:
A blank, my lord. She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' th' bud,
Feed on her damask cheek; she pin'd 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.
DUKE:
But died thy sister of her love, my boy?
VIOLA:
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?
DUKE:
Ay, that's the theme.
To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,
My love can give no place, bide no denay.
[Exeunt.]
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