Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 1


           Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO,
Toby Stephans as Orsino Duke Orsino

           and other Lords; Musicians attending.

      DUKE ORSINO
  1   If music be the food of love, play on;
  2   Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
  3   The appetite may sicken, and so die.
3. The appetite may sicken, and so die: Orsino, worried

  4   That strain again! it had a dying fall:
4. dying fall: slowing rhythm and/or diminishing volume.

  5   O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
  6   That breathes upon a bank of violets,
  7   Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
  8   'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
  9   O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
9. quick and fresh: keen and hungry.

 10   That, notwithstanding thy capacity
 11   Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
 12   Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
12. validity: value. pitch: height.

 13   But falls into abatement and low price,
13. abatement: decline. price: worth.
 14   Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
14. so full of shapes is fancy: So full of daydreams is love.

 15   That it alone is high fantastical.
15. high fantastical: supremely imaginative.


      CURIO
 16   Will you go hunt, my lord?

      DUKE ORSINO
 16                           What, Curio?

      CURIO
 16                                       The hart.
16. hart: stag.


      DUKE ORSINO
 17   Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
17. the noblest that I have: i.e., the noblest "hart" I have, my heart.

 18   O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
 19   Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
 20   That instant was I turn'd into a hart;
20. I turn'd into a hart: Orsinio compares himself to Actaeon.

 21   And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
21. fell: fierce.

 22   E'er since pursue me.

           Enter VALENTINE.

 22                        How now! what news from her?

      VALENTINE
 23   So please my lord, I might not be admitted;
 24   But from her handmaid do return this answer:
 25   The element itself, till seven years' heat,
25. element: sky. seven years' heat: seven summers.

 26   Shall not behold her face at ample view;
26. at ample view: in full view, without a veil.

 27   But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk
27. cloistress: secluded nun.

 28   And water once a day her chamber round
 29   With eye-offending brine: all this to season
29. eye-offending brine: salty tears. season: preserve.

 30   A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh
30. brother's dead love: dead brother's love.

 31   And lasting in her sad remembrance.

      DUKE ORSINO
 32   O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
32. frame: condition, as in a good frame of mind.

 33   To pay this debt of love but to a brother,
 34   How will she love, when the rich golden shaft
34. golden shaft: Cupid's golden arrow.

 35   Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
35. affections else: other affections.

 36   That live in her; when liver, brain and heart,
 37   These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and fill'd
37. sovereign thrones: Alice Crawford as Olivia by Logsdail 1907 The liver, brain, and heart are all 38. one self king: one and only king.

 38   Her sweet perfections with one self king!
 39   Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
 40   Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.

           Exeunt.