William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, the famous gender-bending comedy, tells the story of Viola, a young woman who loses her brother at sea.
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Act I. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—A Room in the DUKE'S Palace.

Enter VALENTINE, and VIOLA in man's

Val. If the duke continue these favours to-
wards you, Cesario, you are like to be much
advanced: he hath known you but three days,
and already you are no stranger.
Vio. You either fear his humour or my negli-
gence, that you call in question the continuance
of his love. Is he inconstant, sir, in his favours?
Val. No, believe me.
Vio. I thank you. Here comes the count.

Enter DUKE, CURIO, and Attendants.
Duke. Who saw Cesario? ho!
Vio. On your attendance, my lord; here.
Duke. Stand you awhile aloof. Cesario,
Thou know'st no less but all; I have unclasp'd
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.
Vio. Sure, my noble lord,
If she be so abandon'd to her sorrow
As it is spoke, she never will admit me.
Duke. Be clamorous and leap all civil bounds
Rather than make unprofited return.
Vio. Say I do speak with her, my lord, what then?
Duke. 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 of more grave aspect.
Vio. I think not so, my lord.
Duke. 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. Some four or five attend him;
All, if you will; for I myself am best
When least in company. Prosper well in this,
And thou shalt live as freely as thy lord,
To call his fortunes thine.
Vio. I'll do my best
To woo your lady: [Aside] yet, a barful strife!
Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife.
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