Please see the bottom of the page for full explanatory notes and helpful resources.
|ACT I SCENE IV ||DUKE ORSINO'S PALACE.|| |
|[Enter VALENTINE and VIOLA in man's attire]|
|VALENTINE||If the duke continue these favours towards you,|
|Cesario, you are like to be much advanced: he hath|
|known you but three days, and already you are no stranger.|
|VIOLA||You either fear his humour or my negligence, that|
|you call in question the continuance of his love:|
|is he inconstant, sir, in his favours?|
|VALENTINE||No, believe me.|
|VIOLA||I thank you. Here comes the count.|
|[Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO, and Attendants]|
|DUKE ORSINO||Who saw Cesario, ho?|
|VIOLA||On your attendance, my lord; here.||10|
|DUKE ORSINO||Stand you a while aloof, Cesario,|
|Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasp'd|
|To thee the book even of my secret soul:|
|Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her;|
|Be not denied access, stand at her doors,|
|And tell them, there thy fixed foot shall grow|
|Till thou have audience.|
|VIOLA||Sure, my noble lord,|
|If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow|
|As it is spoke, she never will admit me.|
|DUKE ORSINO||Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds||20|
|Rather than make unprofited return.|
|VIOLA||Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?|
|DUKE ORSINO||O, then unfold the passion of my love,|
|Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith:|
|It shall become thee well to act my woes;|
|She will attend it better in thy youth|
|Than in a nuncio's of more grave aspect.|
|VIOLA||I think not so, my lord.|
|DUKE ORSINO||Dear lad, believe it;|
|For they shall yet belie thy happy years,|
|That say thou art a man: Diana's lip||30|
|Is not more smooth and rubious; thy small pipe|
|Is as the maiden's organ, shrill and sound,|
|And all is semblative a woman's part.|
|I know thy constellation is right apt|
|For this affair. Some four or five attend him;|
|All, if you will; for I myself am best|
|When least in company. Prosper well in this,|
|And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,|
|To call his fortunes thine.|
|VIOLA||I'll do my best|
|To woo your lady:||[Aside]
|yet, a barful strife!||40|
|Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.|
Next: Twelfth Night, Act 1, Scene 5
Explanatory Notes for Act 1, Scene 4
From Twelfth Night Or What You Will. Ed. Kenneth Deighton. London: Macmillan.
2. you are like ... advanced, there is every prospect of his
raising you to a high office about him.
4. his humour, his caprice: call in question, seem to doubt.
8. the count. See note on i. 2. 25.
10. On your ... here. I am here waiting to serve you; your is
objective, in attendance on you.
11. aloof, from "A prep, + Loof, luff, weather-gage, windward
direction; perhaps immediately from Du. loef, in te loef, to windward" ... (Murray's Eng. Dict).
12. no less but all, no less than all, the whole truth of the
matter; for but instead of 'than,' see Abb. § 127.
12, 3. I have ... soul, I have revealed to you the inmost secrets
of my soul, those which I have concealed from every one else;
cp. i. H. IV. i. 3. 188, "I will unclasp a secret book"; T. C.
iv. 6. 60, "unclasp the tables of their thoughts."
14. address ... her, direct your steps to her house; 'dress'
ultimately from the Lat. directus, straight.
15. Be not ... access, refuse to take any denial from her, insist
upon being allowed to see her.
16. thy fixed ... grow, there you will plant your foot immovably: have, subjunctive.
18. so ... sorrow, so utterly given up to, so completely preoccupied by, her sorrow.
19. As it is spoke, as people say; for spoke, the curtailed form
of the past participle, see Abb. § 343.
20. leap ... hounds, overleap all the limits of courtesy.
21. Rather ... return, rather than return without having gained
something from her, some answer, information.
22. Say, suppose.
24. Surprise ... faith; take her by surprise, and so get the
better of her, by pouring out the story of my passionate and
faithful love for her; for surprise, in this sense, cp. Temp. iii. 1.
93, "So glad of this as they I cannot be Who am surprised
withal"; W. T. iii. 1. 10, "And the ear-deafening voice o' the
oracle ... so surprised my sense"; dear, in the sense of 'heart-
felt,' is common in Shakespeare.
26. She will ... youth, she will listen to it better from one so
young as you are; for attend, trans., see Abb. § 200.
27. a nuncio, an ambassador, especially a papal ambassador;
Lat. nuntius, a messenger.
29. yet, even up to this time: happy years, the careless, happy,
years of youth.
31. rubious, red as a ruby; one of Shakespeare's coinages: small pipe, i.e. windpipe; cp. K. J. v. 7. 23, "This pale faint
swan Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death. And from the organ-pipe of frailty sings His soul and body to their lasting rest,"
where 'the organ-pipe of frailty' means the windpipe of one who
is well near worn out.
32. shrill and sound, shrill like a boy's treble and yet uncracked. In boys the voice cracks at the age of puberty, but the
Duke, though not admitting that Caesario had reached manhood,
seems surprised that in a lad (as he supposes her to be) of such
an age the voice should still retain its treble note and not yet
33. And all ... part, and everything about you resembles a
woman's part in a play; those parts being played by boys; cp. A. C. v. 2. 220, T. G. iv. 4. 165. semblative, like; not found
elsewhere in Shakespeare.
34. thy constellation ... apt. See note on i. 3. 117.
35. Some ... him, let some four or five go with him as an
36, 7. am best ... company, who am happiest, most at my ease,
when I am most alone.
37-9. Prosper ... thine, if you succeed in this matter, you shall
be as free to use my wealth as I am; for the transposition of
freely, see Abb. § 419a.
40. a barful strife, this is a contest in which, if I succeed, I
place a barrier to my own happiness: cp. Blanch's speech, K. J.
iii. 1. 328-35.
41. Whoe'er ... wife, though compelled to make love for him to
Olivia, it is he whom I desire to wed; on who for 'whom,' see
Abb. § 274.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Twelfth Night Or What You Will. Ed. Kenneth Deighton. London: Macmillan, 1889. Shakespeare Online. 20 Dec. 2010. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/twn_1_4.html >
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