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Great king, I am no strumpet, by my life;
I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.
King. She does abuse our ears to prison with her.
Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail. Stay, royal sir:

[Exit Widow.

The jeweller that owes the ring is sent for,
And he shall surety me. But for this lord,
Who hath abused me, as he knows himself,
Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him:
He knows himself my bed he hath defiled;
And at that time he got his wife with child:
Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick:
So there's my riddle: one that's dead is quick :
And now behold the meaning.


Re-enter Widow, with HELENA.

Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?

Is't real that I see?


Is there no exorcist

No, my good lord ;

"Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,
The name and not the thing.

Both, both. O, pardon !
Hel. O my good lord, when I was like this maid,
I found you wondrous kind. There is your ring;
And, look you, here's your letter; this it says:
"When from my finger you can get this ring
And are by me with child," &c. This is done :
Will you
be mine, now you are doubly won ?

Ber. If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly, I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.

Hel. If it appear not plain and prove untrue,

Deadly divorce step between me and you!

O my dear mother, do I see you living?

Laf. Mine eyes smell onions; I shall weep anon:




[To Parolles] Good Tom Drum, lend me a handkercher : so,

thank thee: wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee:

Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy ones.

King. Let us from point to point this story know,

To make the even truth in pleasure flow.

[To Diana] If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower,

Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower;

For I can guess that by thy honest aid

Thou kept'st a wife herself, thyself a maid.
Of that and all the progress, more or less,
Resolvedly more leisure shall express :
All yet seems well; and if it end so meet,
The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.




King. The king's a beggar, now the play is done :
All is well ended, if this suit be won,

That you express content; which we will pay,
With strife to please you, day exceeding day:
Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts;
Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.


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SCENE: A city in Illyria, and the sea-coast near it.


SCENE I. The DUKE's palace.

Enter DUKE, CURIO, and other Lords; Musicians, attending.

Duke. 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:

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O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
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 soe'er,

But falls into abatement and low price,

Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy

That it alone is high fantastical.

Cur. Will you go hunt, my lord?

What, Curio?

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Cur. The hart.

Duke. Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:

O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,

Methought she purged 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 her?

Val. So please my lord, I might not be admitted;
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
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.

SCENE II. The sea-coast.

Enter VIOLA, a Captain, and Sailors.

Vio. What country, friends, is this?

Cup. This is 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 he be.
Cap. True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance,
Assure yourself, after our ship did split,

When you and those 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.

Vio. 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?

Cap. A noble duke, in nature as in name.
Vio. What is his name?

Cap. Orsino.

Vio. Orsino! I have heard my father name him : He was a bachelor then.

Cap. 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.

Vio. What's she?

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 abjured 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 prithee, 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 music
That will allow me very worth his service.
What else may hap to time I will commit;

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