Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > Twelfth Night > Act II, scene IV

Jump to: the first appearance of for_women_are_as_roses,_whose_fair_flower

	[Enter DUKE ORSINO, VIOLA, CURIO, and others]

DUKE ORSINO: Give me some music. Now, good morrow, friends.
	Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
	That old and antique song we heard last night:
	Methought it did relieve my passion much,
	More than light airs and recollected terms
	Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times:
	Come, but one verse.

CURIO: He is not here, so please your lordship that should sing it.

DUKE ORSINO: Who was it?

CURIO: Feste, the jester, my lord; a fool that the lady
	Olivia's father took much delight in. He is about the house.

DUKE ORSINO: Seek him out, and play the tune the while.

	[Exit CURIO. Music plays]

	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,
	Save in the constant image of the creature
	That is beloved. How dost thou like this tune?

VIOLA: It gives a very echo to the seat
	Where Love is throned.

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:
	Hath it not, boy?

VIOLA:                   A little, by your favour.

DUKE ORSINO: What kind of woman is't?

VIOLA: Of your complexion.

DUKE ORSINO: She is not worth thee, then. What years, i' faith?

VIOLA: About your years, my lord.

DUKE ORSINO: Too old by heaven: let still the woman take
	An elder than herself: so wears she to him,
	So sways she level in her husband's heart:
	For, boy, however we do praise ourselves,
	Our fancies are more giddy and unfirm,
	More longing, wavering, sooner lost and worn,
	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;
	For women are as roses, whose fair flower
	Being once display'd, doth fall that very hour.

VIOLA: And so they are: alas, that they are so;
	To die, even when they to perfection grow!

	[Re-enter CURIO and Clown]

DUKE ORSINO: O, fellow, come, the song we had last night.
	Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
	The spinsters and the knitters in the sun
	And the free maids that weave their thread with bones
	Do use to chant it: it is silly sooth,
	And dallies with the innocence of love,
	Like the old age.

Clown: Are you ready, sir?

DUKE ORSINO: Ay; prithee, sing.

Clown: Come away, come away, death,
	And in sad cypress let me be laid;
	Fly away, fly away breath;
	I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
	My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
	O, prepare it!
	My part of death, no one so true
	Did share it.
	Not a flower, not a flower sweet
	On my black coffin let there be strown;
	Not a friend, not a friend greet
	My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
	A thousand thousand sighs to save,
	Lay me, O, where
	Sad true lover never find my grave,
	To weep there!

DUKE ORSINO: There's for thy pains.

Clown: No pains, sir: I take pleasure in singing, sir.

DUKE ORSINO: I'll pay thy pleasure then.

Clown: Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.

DUKE ORSINO: Give me now leave to leave thee.

Clown: Now, the melancholy god protect thee; and the
	tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffeta, for
	thy mind is a very opal. I would have men of such
	constancy put to sea, that their business might be
	every thing and their intent every where; for that's
	it that always makes a good voyage of nothing. Farewell.


DUKE ORSINO: Let all the rest give place.

	[CURIO and Attendants retire]

		       Once more, Cesario,
	Get thee to yond same sovereign cruelty:
	Tell her, my love, more noble than the world,
	Prizes not quantity of dirty lands;
	The parts that fortune hath bestow'd upon her,
	Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune;
	But 'tis that miracle and queen of gems
	That nature pranks her in attracts my soul.

VIOLA: But if she cannot love you, sir?

DUKE ORSINO: I cannot be so answer'd.

VIOLA: Sooth, but you must.
	Say that some lady, as perhaps there is,
	Hath for your love a great a pang of heart
	As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her;
	You tell her so; must she not then be answer'd?

DUKE ORSINO: There is no woman's sides
	Can bide the beating of so strong a passion
	As love doth give my heart; no woman's heart
	So big, to hold so much; they lack retention
	Alas, their love may be call'd appetite,
	No motion of the liver, but the palate,
	That suffer surfeit, cloyment and revolt;
	But mine is all as hungry as the sea,
	And can digest as much: make no compare
	Between that love a woman can bear me
	And that I owe Olivia.

VIOLA: Ay, but I know--

DUKE ORSINO: What dost thou know?

VIOLA: 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: 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,
	And with a green and yellow melancholy
	She sat like patience on a monument,
	Smiling at grief. Was not this love indeed?
	We men may say more, swear more: but indeed
	Our shows are more than will; for still we prove
	Much in our vows, but little in our love.

DUKE ORSINO: But died thy sister of her love, my boy?

VIOLA: 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?

DUKE ORSINO: Ay, that's the theme.
	To her in haste; give her this jewel; say,
	My love can give no place, bide no denay.



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