Twelfth Night

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 4

page Act 1 Scene 4 Page 2

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VIOLA

   Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandoned to her sorrow
20As it is spoke, she never will admit me.

VIOLA

But my lord, I’m sure that if she’s as depressed as people say, she’ll never let me in.

ORSINO

Be clamorous, and leap all civil bounds,
Rather than make unprofited return.

ORSINO

Be loud and obnoxious. Do whatever it takes, just get the job done.

VIOLA

Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?

VIOLA

Well, all right, let’s say hypothetically that I do get a chance to speak with her, my lord. What do I do then?

ORSINO

O, then unfold the passion of my love,
25Surprise 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.

ORSINO

Tell her how passionately I love her. Overwhelm her with examples of how faithful I am. The best thing would be to act out my feelings for her. She’ll pay more attention to a young guy like you than to an older, more serious man.

VIOLA

I think not so, my lord.

VIOLA

I don’t think so, my lord.

ORSINO

   Dear lad, believe it.
30For they shall yet belie thy happy years
That say thou art a man. Diana’s lip
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.
35I know thy constellation is right apt
For this affair. (to CURIO and attendants)
   Some four or five attend him.
All, if you will, for I myself am best
When least in company. (to VIOLA) Prosper well in this,
And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,
40To call his fortunes thine.

ORSINO

My boy, it’s true. Anyone who says you’re a man must not notice how young you are. Your lips are as smooth and red as the goddess Diana’s. Your soft voice is like a young girl’s, high and clear, and the rest of you is pretty feminine too. I know you’re the right person for this job. (to CURIO and attendants) Four or five of you go along with him, or you can all go if you like. I’m most comfortable when I’m alone. (to VIOLA) If you succeed at this assignment, I’ll reward you well. My whole fortune will be yours.

VIOLA

   I’ll do my best
To woo your lady—(aside) Yet, a barful strife—
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.

VIOLA

I’ll do my best to make this lady love you.—(to herself) But what a tough task!—I have to go matchmaking for the man I want to marry myself!
Exeunt
They exit.