Act I, scene iv

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[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.

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

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

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!

Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.

Exeunt

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