Act I, Scene 1
Illyria. A room in Duke Orsino’s palace.
- Enter Orsino, Duke of Illyria, Curio, and other Lords;
- Musicians attending.
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- 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;
- O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
- That breathes upon a bank of violets,
- Stealing and giving odor. 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.
- Will you go hunt, my lord?
- What, Curio?
- The hart.
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- Why, so I do, the noblest that I have.
- O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
- Methought she purg’d 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.
- Enter Valentine.
- How now, what news from her?
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- 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.
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- 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 flow’rs,
- Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bow’rs.