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Twelfth Night

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 2 Scene 4
No Fear Act 2 Scene 4 Page 2

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ORSINO

   Thou dost speak masterly.
My life upon ’t, young though thou art, thine eye
Hath stay’d upon some favor that it loves.
Hath it not, boy?

ORSINO

You’re absolutely right. I’d bet my life that, as young as you are, you’ve fallen in love with someone. Haven’t you, boy?

VIOLA

   A little, by your favor.

VIOLA

A little bit.

ORSINO

25What kind of woman is’t?

ORSINO

What kind of woman is she?

VIOLA

   Of your complexion.

VIOLA

She’s a lot like you.

ORSINO

She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?

ORSINO

She’s not good enough for you, then. How old is she?

VIOLA

About your years, my lord.

VIOLA

About as old as you are, my lord.

ORSINO

Too old by heaven. Let still the woman take
An elder than herself. So wears she to him,
30So 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.

ORSINO

That’s definitely too old. A woman should always pick an older man. That way she’ll adjust herself to what her husband wants, and the husband will be happy and faithful to her. Because however much we like to brag, boy, the truth is that we men change our minds a lot more than women do, and our desires come and go a lot faster than theirs.

VIOLA

   I think it well, my lord.

VIOLA

I think you’re right, sir.

ORSINO

35Then let thy love be younger than thyself,
Or thy affection cannot hold the bent.
For women are as roses, whose fair flower
Being once displayed, doth fall that very hour.

ORSINO

So find someone younger to love, or you won’t be able to maintain your feelings. Women are like roses: the moment their beauty is in full bloom, it’s about to decay.

VIOLA

And so they are. Alas, that they are so,
40To die even when they to perfection grow!

VIOLA

That’s true. It’s too bad their beauty fades right when it reaches perfection!
Enter CURIO and FOOL
CURIO and the FOOL enter.