Twelfth Night


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Viola, a Captain, and sailors


VIOLA

What country, friends, is this?


CAPTAIN

This is Illyria, lady.


VIOLA

And what should I do in Illyria?

My brother, he is in Elysium.

Perchance he is not drowned. What think you, sailors?
perchance (adv.) 1 perhaps, maybe See Topics: Frequency count


CAPTAIN

It is perchance that you yourself were saved.
perchance (adv.) 2 by good fortune, by chance


VIOLA

O, my poor brother! and so perchance may he be.


CAPTAIN

True, madam, and to comfort you with chance,
chance (n.) 7 what may have happened, conceivability, possibility

Assure yourself, after our ship did split,
split (v.) break up, split in two

When you and those poor number saved with you

Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother,
driving (adj.) drifting, driven by the storm

Most provident in peril, bind himself –

Courage and hope both teaching him the practice –

To a strong mast, that lived upon the sea;
live (v.) 2 stay afloat, avoid destruction

Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back,

I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves

So long as I could see.


VIOLA

For saying so, there's gold.

Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope,

Whereto thy speech serves for authority,

The like of him. Knowest thou this country?
like, the the same


CAPTAIN

Ay, madam, well, for I was bred and born

Not three hours' travel from this very place.


VIOLA

Who governs here?


CAPTAIN

A noble Duke, in nature as in name.


VIOLA

What is his name?


CAPTAIN

Orsino.


VIOLA

Orsino . . . I have heard my father name him.

He was a bachelor then.


CAPTAIN

And so is now, or was so, very late;

For but a month ago I went from hence,

And then 'twas fresh in murmur – as you know,
murmur (n.) rumour, hearsay, gossip

What great ones do, the less will prattle of –

That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.


VIOLA

What's she?


CAPTAIN

A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count

That died some twelvemonth since, then leaving her

In the protection of his son, her brother,

Who shortly also died; for whose dear love,

They say, she hath abjured the sight
abjure (v.) swear to abandon, solemnly reject

And company of men.


VIOLA

O, that I served that lady,

And might not be delivered to the world –
deliver (v.) 5 present, show, display

Till I had made mine own occasion mellow –
occasion (n.) 1 circumstance, opportunity

What my estate is.
compass (v.) 1 accomplish, fulfil, achieve, bring about
estate (n.) 1 state, situation, circumstances


CAPTAIN

                         That were hard to compass,

Because she will admit no kind of suit,
admit (v.) 1 permit, allow, grant
suit (n.) 2 wooing, courtship

No, not the Duke's.


VIOLA

There is a fair behaviour in thee, Captain,

And though that nature with a beauteous wall

Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee
oft (adv.) often See Topics: Frequency count

I will believe thou hast a mind that suits
suit (v.) 2 match, compare, equate

With this thy fair and outward character.
character (n.) 8 personal appearance, demeanour

I prithee – and I'll pay thee bounteously –
bounteously (adv.) very well, liberally, generously

Conceal me what I am, and be my aid

For such disguise as haply shall become
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck See Topics: Frequency count

The form of my intent. I'll serve this Duke.
form (n.) 8 physical appearance, outward appearance
intent (n.) intention, purpose, aim See Topics: Frequency count

Thou shalt present me as an eunuch to him.

It may be worth thy pains, for I can sing

And speak to him in many sorts of music

That will allow me very worth his service.
allow (v.) 3 acknowledge, grant, admit

What else may hap to time I will commit.
hap (v.) happen, take place, come to pass

Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.
wit (n.) 4 cunning plan, ingenious design


CAPTAIN

Be you his eunuch, and your mute I'll be.
mute (n.) 2 dumb servant [as in a Turkish court]

When my tongue blabs, then let mine eyes not see.
blab (v.) 2 talk indiscreetly, betray secrets


VIOLA

I thank thee. Lead me on.

Exeunt

 
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