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Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night Translation Act 1, Scene 4

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Enter VALENTINE and VIOLA in man’s attire, as Cesario

VALENTINE

If the duke continue these favors towards you, Cesario,you are like to be much advanced. He hath known you butthree days, and already you are no stranger.

VALENTINE

If the duke keeps favoring you like this, Cesario, you're likely to get promoted very high. He's only known you for three days, and already he's treating you like a friend.

VIOLA

You either fear his humor or my negligence, that you call in question the continuance of his love. Is he inconstant, sir, in his favors?

VIOLA

You must be afraid of his moodiness or my faults, if you think there's any chance that he'll stop liking me. Is he usually fickle in his moods and favors?

VALENTINE

No, believe me.

VALENTINE

No, believe me.

VIOLA

I thank you. Here comes the count.

VIOLA

I thank you for telling me. Here comes the duke.

Enter ORSINO, CURIO, and attendants

ORSINO

Who saw Cesario, ho?

ORSINO

Hey, has anyone seen Cesario?

VIOLA

On your attendance, my lord, here.

VIOLA

I'm here, my lord, at your service.

ORSINO

[To VIOLA and attendants] Stand you a while aloof. [To VIOLA] Cesario, Thou know’st no less but all. I have unclasped To thee the book even of my secret soul. Therefore, good youth, address thy gait unto her; Be not denied access, stand at her doors, And tell them there thy fixed foot shall grow Till thou have audience.

ORSINO

[To attendants] Give us some privacy for a while.

[To VIOLA] 
Cesario, you know everything about me. I have opened the book of my most secret soul to you. Therefore, good youth, direct your steps to Olivia's house. Don't let them deny you access—stand outside her door and tell them that you'll plant roots there until they let you see her.

VIOLA

Sure, my noble lord, If she be so abandoned to her sorrow As it is spoke , she never will admit me.

VIOLA

But my noble lord, if she is really as brokenhearted as they say, she is sure to deny me an audience.

ORSINO

Be clamorous, and leap all civil bounds, Rather than make unprofited return.

ORSINO

Be loud and obnoxious, and go beyond the limits of decency and civility if you have to—just don't come back without having spoken to her.

VIOLA

Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?

VIOLA

And if I do get to speak to her, my lord, what do I do then?

ORSINO

O, then unfold the passion of my love, Surprise her with discourse of my dear faith: It shall become thee well to act my woes; She will attend it better in thy youth Than in a nuncio’s of more grave aspect.

ORSINO

Oh, then describe the passion of my love for her. Ambush her with descriptions of my faithfulness. It will be best if you act out my feelings—she'll pay closer attention to you, as a young man, than to an older, more serious messenger.

VIOLA

I think not so, my lord.

VIOLA

I don't think so, my lord.

ORSINO

Dear lad, believe it. For they shall yet belie thy happy years That say thou art a man. Diana’s lip Is not more smooth and rubious. Thy small pipe Is as the maiden’s organ, shrill and sound, And all is semblative a woman’s part. I know thy constellation is right apt For this affair. [To CURIO and attendants] Some four or five attend him. All, if you will, for I myself am best When least in company. [To VIOLA] Prosper well in this, And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord, To call his fortunes thine.

ORSINO

Dear boy, believe me. Anyone who says that you're a man is denying you the happy years of your youth. Your lips are as smooth and ruby-red as the goddess Diana's. Your small voice is like a girl's, high and clear, and the rest of you is feminine as well. I know you have been predestined to do this job.

[To CURIO and attendants]
 Four or five of you go with him. All of you can go if you want to, for I feel my best when I'm away from people.

[To VIOLA]
 If you succeed in this you will live as well as I do, and share in all my fortune.

VIOLA

I’ll do my best To woo your lady— [aside] Yet, a barful strife— Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.

VIOLA

I'll do my best to woo this lady for you. [To herself] And yet, what a conflict—I must go courting on behalf of the man I want to marry myself!

Exeunt

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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.