Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 2
Enter VIOLA, a Captain, and Sailors.
1What country, friends, is this?
2This is Illyria, lady.
2. Illyria: A region on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea.
3And what should I do in Illyria?
4My brother he is in Elysium.
4. Elysium: The abode of the blessed dead.
5Perchance he is not drown'd: what think you, sailors?
5. Perchance: Perhaps.
6It is perchance that you yourself were saved.
6. perchance: by chance.
7O my poor brother! and so perchance may he be.
8True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance,
8. chance: possible good luck.
9Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
10When you and those poor number saved with you
10. poor number: few people.
11Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
11. driving: driven by, at the mercy of, the sea.
12Most provident in peril, bind himself,
13Courage and hope both teaching him the practise,
14To a strong mast that lived upon the sea;
14. lived: floated.
15Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,
15. like Arion on the dolphin's back: According to Herodotus
16I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves
17So long as I could see.
18For saying so, there's gold:
18. there's gold: Viola gives the Captain money.
19Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,
19. unfoldeth: reveals.
20Whereto thy speech serves for authority,
20. authority: precedent, evidence.
21The like of him. Know'st thou this country?
21. The like of him: the possibility that her brother escaped as she did.
22Ay, madam, well; for I was bred and born
23Not three hours' travel from this very place.
24Who governs here?
25A noble duke, in nature as in name.
26What is the name?
28Orsino! I have heard my father name him:
29He was a bachelor then.
30And so is now, or was so very late;
31For but a month ago I went from hence,
32And then 'twas fresh in murmur,--as, you know,
32. murmur: rumor.
33What great ones do the less will prattle of,--
33. great ones: nobles. the less: commoners.
34That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.
36A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count
37That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her
38In the protection of his son, her brother,
39Who shortly also died: for whose dear love,
40They say, she hath abjured the company
41And sight of men.
41O that I served that lady
42And might not be delivered to the world,
42. delivered: revealed.
43. mellow: ripe.
44. estate: position in life.
44. estate: position in life.
43Till I had made mine own occasion mellow,
44What my estate is!
44That were hard to compass;
45Because she will admit no kind of suit,
45. she will admit no kind of suit: she will not listen to any kind of request.
46No, not the duke's.
47There is a fair behavior in thee, captain;
47. fair behavior: good appearance.
48And though that nature with a beauteous wall
49Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee
50I will believe thou hast a mind that suits
51With this thy fair and outward character.
50-51. suits / With: matches.
52I prithee, and I'll pay thee bounteously,
52. prithee: pray you, earnestly request of you.
53Conceal me what I am, and be my aid
54For such disguise as haply shall become
54. haply shall become: perhaps be suited to.
55The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke:
55. form of my intent: nature of my purpose.
56Thou shall present me as an eunuch to him:
56. eunuch: boy neutered to preserve his soprano singing voice.
57It may be worth thy pains; for I can sing
58And speak to him in many sorts of music
59That will allow me very worth his service.
59. allow: prove.
60What else may hap to time I will commit;
60. hap: happen, chance to occur.
61Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.
61. shape thou thy silence to my wit: fit your silence to my plan.
62Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be:
62. mute: silent servant.
63When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.
64I thank thee: lead me on.