Enter Viola, a Captain, and Sailors
And what should I do in Illyria? My brother he is in Elysium. Perchance he is not drown'd: what think you, sailors?
True, madam: and, to comfort you with chance, Assure yourself, after our ship did split, When you and those poor number saved with you Hung on our driving boat, I saw your brother, Most provident in peril, bind himself, Courage and hope both teaching him the practise, To a strong mast that lived upon the sea; Where, like Arion on the dolphin's back, I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves So long as I could see.
For saying so, there's gold: Mine own escape unfoldeth to my hope, Whereto thy speech serves for authority, The like of him. Know'st thou this country?
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, What great ones do the less will prattle of,— That he did seek the love of fair Olivia.
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 company And sight of men.
O that I served that lady And might not be delivered to the world, Till I had made mine own occasion mellow, What my estate is!
There is a fair behavior in thee, captain; And though that nature with a beauteous wall Doth oft close in pollution, yet of thee I will believe thou hast a mind that suits With this thy fair and outward character. I prithee, and I'll pay thee bounteously, Conceal me what I am, and be my aid For such disguise as haply shall become The form of my intent. I'll serve this duke: Thou shall 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. What else may hap to time I will commit; Only shape thou thy silence to my wit.