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As I seem now: Their transformations
Were never for a piece of beauty rarer;
Nor in a way so chaste : since my
Run not before mine honour; nor my lusts
Burn hotter than my faith.
O but, sir,
Your resolution cannot hold, when 't is
Oppos’d, as it must be, by the power o’the king;
One of these two must be necessities,
Which then will speak; that you must change this purpose,
Or I my life.
Flo. Thou dearest Perdita,
With these forc'd thoughts, I prithee, darken not
The mirth o’the feast: Or I 'll be thine, my fair,
Or not my father's : for I cannot be
Mine own, nor anything to any,
I be not thine : to this I am most constant,
Though destiny say No. Be merry, gentle ;
Strangle such thoughts as these, with anything
That you behold the while. Your guests are coming:
up your countenance; as it were the day
Of celebration of that nuptial, which
We two have sworn shall come.
O lady fortune,
Stand you auspicious !
Enter Shepherd, with POLIXENES and Camillo disguised ;
Clown, MOPSA, DORCAS, and others.
See, your guests approach :
Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
And let's be red with mirth.
Shep. Fie, daughter! when my old wife liv’d, upon
This day she was both pantler, butler, cook ;
Both dame and servant: welcom’d all: serv'd all :
Would sing her song, and dance her turn; now here,
At upper end o’the table, now, i'the middle;
On his shoulder, and his: her face o' fire
With labour; and the thing she took to quench it,
She would to each one sip: You are retir’d
As if you were a feasted one, and not
The hostess of the meeting: Pray you, bid
These unknown friends to us welcome: for it is
to make us better friends, more known.
Come, quench your blushes; and present yourself
That which you are, mistress o' the feast: Come on,
And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
As your good flock shall prosper.
Sir, welcome ! a [ To Pol.
It is my father's will I should take on me
The hostess-ship o'the day :-You're welcome, sir !
Give me those flowers there, Dorcas.-Reverend sirs,
For you there's rosemary, and rue; these keep
Seeming, and savour, all the winter long:
Grace, and remembrance, be to you both,
And welcome to our shearing!
(A fair one are you,) well you
With flowers of winter.
Sir, the year growing ancient,-
Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter,--the fairest flowers o'the season
Are our carnations, and streak'd gilly’vors,
Which some call nature's bastards : of that kind
Our rustic garden 's barren; and I care not
To get slips of them.
Wherefore, gentle maiden,
Do you neglect them?
For I have heard it said,
There is an art which, in their piedness, shares
With great creating nature.
Say, there be;
Yet nature is made better by no mean,
a The modern reading is, Welcome, sir.
b Gilly'vors. We print this word as it is twice printed in the original. Some of the old authors write gillyflower, some gillofre. Gilly'vor is perbaps a contraction of gillyflower.
But nature makes that mean : so, over that art,
Which, you say, adds to nature, is an art
That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
A gentler scion to the wildest stock;
And make conceive a bark of baser kind
By bud of nobler race: This is an art
Which does mend nature,—change it rather: but
The art itself is nature.
So it is.
Pol. Then make your garden rich in gilly’vors,
And do not call them bastards.
The dibble in earth to set one slip of them:
No more than, were I painted, I would wish
This youth should say, ’t were well; and only therefore
Desire to breed by me.--Here's flowers for you ;
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed with the sun,
And with him rises weeping; these are flowers
Of middle summer, and, I think, they are given
To men of middle age: You are very welcome.
Cam. I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,
And only live by gazing.
You ’d be so lean, that blasts of January
Would blow you through and through.—Now, my fairest
I would I had some flowers o'the spring, that might
Become your time of day; and yours, and yours ;
That wear upon your virgin branches yet
Your maidenheads growing:40, Proserpina,"
For the flowers now, that, frighted, thou lett'st fall
From Dis’s waggon ! daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty ; violets, dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,
Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses,
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phæbus in his strength, a malady
Most incident to maids; bold oxlips, and
The crown-imperial; lilies of all kinds,
The flower-de-luce being one! O! these I lack,
To make you garlands of; and, my sweet friend,
To strew him o'er and o’er.
What! like a corse?
Per. No, like a bank, for love to lie and play on;
Not like a corse: or if,—not to be buried,
But quick, and in mine arms. Come, take your flowers :
Methinks, I play as I have seen them do,
In Whitsun' pastorals : sure, this robe of mine
Does change my disposition.
Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet,
I'd have you do it ever: when you sing,
I'd have you buy and sell so; so give alms;
Pray so; and, for the ordering your affairs,
To sing them too: When you do dance, I wish you
A wave o' the
you might ever do
Nothing but that; move still, still so,
And own no other function : Each your doing,
So singular in each particular,
Crowns what you are doing in the present deeds,
acts are queens. Per.
Your praises are too large: but that your youth,
And the true blood which peeps fairly through’t,
Do plainly give you out an unstain'd shepherd,
With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
You woo'd me the false
I think, you have
As little skill to fear, as I have purpose
To put you to’t.—But, come; our dance, I pray:
Your hand, my Perdita : so turtles pair,
That never mean to part.
I 'll swear for 'em.
Pol. This is the prettiest low-born lass that ever
Ran on the green sward: nothing she does or seems,
But smacks of something greater than herself;
Too noble for this place.
Cam. He tells her something
That makes her blood look out: Good sooth, she is
of curds and cream. Clo.
Come on, strike up.
Dor. Mopsa must be your mistress: marry, garlic,
To mend her kissing with.
Now, in good time!
Clo. Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.-
Come, strike up.
Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses.
Pol. Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
Which dances with your daughter?
Shep. They call him Doricles; and boasts himself
To have a worthy feeding:but I have it
Upon his own report, and I believe it;
He looks like sooth:• He says, he loves my daughter;
I think so too: for never gaz’d the moon
Upon the water, as he 'll stand, and read,
As 't were, my daughter's eyes : and, to be plain,
I think there is not half a kiss to choose
Who loves another best.
She dances featly.
Shep. So she does anything; though I report it,
That should be silent: if
Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
Which he not dreams of.
Enter a Servant. Serv. O master, if you did but hear the pedlar at the door, you would never dance again after a tabor and pipe; no, the
a Look out. The original has look on't. We are not quite sure that Theobald's correction is necessary. The idea reminds one of the fine lines in Donne :
“ Her pure and eloquent blood Spoke in her veins, and such expression wrought,
You might have almost said her body thought." b Feeding-pasture. c Sooth-truth.