Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

There is a fair behavior in thee, captain,
45And 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—
50Conceal 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 shall present me as an eunuch to him.
It may be worth thy pains, for I can sing
55And 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.
Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.
You seem to be a good person, captain, and although people who look beautiful are often corrupt inside, I believe that you have a beautiful mind to go with your good looks and manners. Please—and I’ll pay you plenty for this—help me conceal my identity, and find me the right disguise so I can look the way I want. I want to be this Duke’s servant. You’ll introduce me to him as a eunuch. You won’t be wasting your time, because I really can sing and talk to him about many different kinds of music, so he’ll be happy to have me in his service. Only time will tell what will happen after that—just please keep quiet about what I’m trying to do.
Be you his eunuch, and your mute I’ll be.
60When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.
I won’t say a word. You can be a eunuch, but I’ll be mute. I swear on my life I won’t tell your secret.
I thank thee. Lead me on.
Thank you. Show me the way.
They exit.