Twelfth Night: Act 2, Scene 4

      
      Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others     
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
2.4.1      Give me some music. Now good morrow, friends.   
      Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,   but just (as in "just another slice of cake, please")
      That old and antique song we heard last night;   antique of the good old times
      Methought it did relieve my passion much,   relieve my passion comfort me
2.4.5      More than light airs and recollected terms   light airs trivial tunes | recollected terms common
      Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times.   clichés (?)
      Come, but one verse.   
      
      CURIO  
      He is not here, so please your lordship that   
      should sing it.   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
2.4.10      Who was it?   
      
      CURIO  
      Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady   Feste (This is the only time that his name is
      Olivia's father took much delight in. He is   mentioned. In speech-headings he's "Clown.")
      about the house.   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      Seek him out, and play the tune the while.   
      
      Exit CURIO.  Music plays     
      
2.4.15      Come hither, boy. If ever thou shalt love,   
      In the sweet pangs of it remember me;   
      For such as I am all true lovers are,   
      Unstaid and skittish in all motions else,   Unstaid unsteady | motions else other thoughts
      Save in the constant image of the creature   and feelings
2.4.20      That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?   
      
      VIOLA  
      It gives a very echo to the seat   
      Where Love is throned.   gives . . . throned echoes the feelings of the loving
    heart
      DUKE ORSINO  
                                 Thou dost speak masterly:   
      My life upon't, young though thou art, thine eye   
      Hath stay'd upon some favour that it loves:   stay'd upon lingered over | favour face
2.4.25      Hath it not, boy?   
      
      VIOLA  
                            A little, by your favour.   by your favour if you please (And Viola, who
    loves Orsino, also means "thanks to you" and
      DUKE ORSINO   "near to your appearance.")
      What kind of woman is't?   
      
      VIOLA  
                                  Of your complexion.   complexion complexion, appearance
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?   She is not worth thee, then (Orsino is being modest;
    if the woman looks like him, "Cesario" can do
      VIOLA   better.)
      About your years, my lord.   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      Too old by heaven. Let still the woman take   
2.4.30      An elder than herself, so wears she to him,   wears she adapts herself >>>
      So sways she level in her husband's heart:   sways she level i.e., always holds the same place
      For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,     
      Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,   fancies affections, loves
      More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,   worn worn out
2.4.35      Than women's are.   
      
      VIOLA  
                             I think it well, my lord.   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      Then let thy love be younger than thyself,   
      Or thy affection cannot hold the bent;   hold the bent keep its intensity (In Orsino's meta-
      For women are as roses, whose fair flower   phor, "affection" is compared to a bow bent to
      Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.   shoot an arrow.) | display'd in full bloom
      
      VIOLA  
2.4.40      And so they are: alas, that they are so;   
      To die, even when they to perfection grow!   even when just when
      
      Re-enter CURIO and Clown     
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      O, fellow, come, the song we had last night.   fellow (To the Clown. This is a nice way of speaking
      Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;   to someone of lower social status.) | Mark Pay close
      The spinsters and the knitters in the sun   attention | spinsters women who spin thread
2.4.45      And the free maids that weave their thread with bones     free carefree | bones bobbins used in making lace
      Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth,   Do use Are accustomed | silly sooth simple, inno-
      And dallies with the innocence of love,   cent truth | dallies with plays lovingly with
      Like the old age.   Like the old age As in the good old days
      
      Clown  
      Are you ready, sir?   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
2.4.50      Ay; prithee, sing.   
      
      Music   
      
      THE SONG   
      
      Clown  
                 Come away, come away, death,   Come away i.e., come (away from where you are) to
                 And in sad cypress let me be laid;   me | in . . . cypress in a cyrpress coffin or among
          Fly away, fly away breath;   boughs of cypress (Cypress was emblematic of death
                 I am slain by a fair cruel maid.   and mourning.)
2.4.55            My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,   stuck all with yew decorated with sprigs of yew (Yew
                      O, prepare it!   was also emblematic of death and mourning.)
            My part of death, no one so true   My . . . it i.e., I am the truest lover who has ever died
                      Did share it.   for love, or I had to die alone, because only I was so
    true to love
           Not a flower, not a flower sweet   
2.4.60               On my black coffin let there be strown;   strown strewn
           Not a friend, not a friend greet   
               My poor corpse, where my bones   
                      shall be thrown.   
            A thousand thousand sighs to save,   A thousand thousand sighs to save In order to save a
                      Lay me, O, where     million sighs
2.4.65            Sad true lover never find my grave,   where / Sad true lover never find where no sad true
                      To weep there!   lover may find
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      There's for thy pains.   pains efforts (Orsino offers money.)
      
      Clown  
      No pains, sir, I take pleasure in singing, sir.   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      I'll pay thy pleasure then.   
      
      Clown  
2.4.70      Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time   pleasure will be paid pleasure has to be paid for >>>
      or another.   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      Give me now leave to leave thee.   leave to leave permission to take leave of
      
      Clown  
      Now, the melancholy god protect thee, and the tailor   
      make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for thy mind   changeable taffeta thin, iridescent silk
2.4.75      is a very opal. I would have men of such constancy   doublet tight jacket | opal an iridescent gemstone
      put to sea, that their business might be every thing   constancy (Ironic; the Clown means that Orsino is
      and their intent every where; for that's it that always   inconstant, changeable.)
      makes a good voyage of nothing. Farewell.   
      
      Exit Clown     
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      Let all the rest give place.   give place withdraw (Orsino wants to talk to Cesario
    alone.)
      CURIO and Attendants retire     
      
                                        Once more, Cesario,   
2.4.80      Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty.   same sovereign cruelty i.e., Olivia ("same" = the one
      Tell her, my love, more noble than the world,   we've already discussed; "sovereign" = Queen of my
      Prizes not quantity of dirty lands;   heart.) | quantity of dirty lands mere acreage
      The parts that fortune hath bestow'd upon her,   parts that fortune hath bestow'd upon her gifts of
      Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune;   fortune | hold as giddily as fortune (Fortune gives
2.4.85      But 'tis that miracle and queen of gems   and takes away without rhyme or reason.)
      That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.   queen of gems i.e., Olivia's beauty
    pranks her in adorns her with
      VIOLA   attracts my soul that captivates my soul
      But if she cannot love you, sir?   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      I cannot be so answer'd.   
      
      VIOLA  
                                   Sooth, but you must.   Sooth truly
      Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,   
2.4.90      Hath for your love a great a pang of heart   for your love because of love for you
      As you have for Olivia. You cannot love her;   
      You tell her so; must she not then be answer'd?   be answer'd accept your answer with good grace
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      There is no woman's sides   
      Can bide the beating of so strong a passion   bide abide, withstand (without bursting)
2.4.95      As love doth give my heart; no woman's heart   
      So big, to hold so much; they lack retention   retention the ability to hold true (to one love)
      Alas, their love may be call'd appetite,   
      No motion of the liver, but the palate,   motion of the liver i.e., deep emotion (The liver is
      That suffer surfeit, cloyment and revolt;   the seat of true love.)
2.4.100      But mine is all as hungry as the sea,   suffer experience | cloyment glut | revolt revulsion
      And can digest as much. Make no compare   
      Between that love a woman can bear me   bear me have for me
      And that I owe Olivia.   owe have for >>>
      
      VIOLA  
                                 Ay, but I know—   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      What dost thou know?   
      
      VIOLA  
2.4.105      Too well what love women to men may owe;   
      In faith, they are as true of heart as we.   
      My father had a daughter loved a man,   
      As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,   
      I should your lordship.   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
                                   And what's her history?   
      
      VIOLA  
2.4.110      A blank, my lord. She never told her love,   
      But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud,   
      Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,   damask pink and white, like the damask rose
      And with a green and yellow melancholy   green and yellow pale and sallow
      She sat like patience on a monument,   like patience on a monument like a scupture of
2.4.115      Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?   Patience on a tomb
      We men may say more, swear more, but indeed   
      Our shows are more than will; for still we prove   will desire, feeling | still always | prove demonstrate
      Much in our vows, but little in our love.   
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
      But died thy sister of her love, my boy?   
      
      VIOLA  
2.4.120      I am all the daughters of my father's house,   
      And all the brothers too—and yet I know not.   
      Sir, shall I to this lady?   shall I to shall I go to
      
      DUKE ORSINO  
                                      Ay, that's the theme.   
      To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,   
2.4.124      My love can give no place, bide no denay.   can give no place, bide no denay cannot yield,
    cannot endure denial
      Exeunt