Page images
PDF
EPUB

Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,

And merrily hent the stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,

Your sad tires in a mile-a.

(Exit.

SCENE III.
The same. A Shepherd's Cottage.

Enter FLORIZEL and PERDITA.
Flo. These your unusual weeds to each part of you
Do give a life : no shepherdess; but Flora,
Peering in April's front. This your sheep-shearing
Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
And you the queen on't.
Per.

Sir, my gracious lord,
To chide at your extremes “, it not becomes me;
O, pardon, that I name them: your high self,
The gracious mark o'the land, you have obscured
With a swain's wearing ; and me, poor lowly maid,
Most goddess-like prank'd up?: But that our feasts
In every mess have folly, and the feeders
Digest it with a custom, I should blush
To see you so attired; sworn, I think,
To show myself a glass.
Flo.

I bless the time,
When my good falcon made her flight across
Thy father's ground.
Per.

Now Jove afford you cause !
To me, the difference ® forges dread; your greatness

4- hent the stile-a :) To hent the stile, is to take hold of it.

your extremes,] That is, the extravagance of his conduct, in obscuring himself “in a swain's wearing,” while he “pranked her up most goddess-like.”

6 The gracious mark – The object of all men’s notice.
7- prank'd up :] To prank is to dress with ostentation.
& To me, the difference 1 i. e. between his rank and hers.

Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble
To think, your father, by some accident,
Should pass this way, as you did : 0, the fates !
How would he look, to see his work, so noble,
Vilely bound up'? What would he say? or how
Should I, in these my borrow'd flaunts, behold
The sternness of his presence ?
Flo.

Apprehend
Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
Humbling their deities to love, have taken
The shapes of beasts upon them : Jupiter
Became a bull, and bellow'd; the green Neptune
A ram, and bleated : and the fire-rob’d god,
Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,
As I seem now: Their transformations
Were never for a piece of beauty rarer;
Nor in a way so chaste: since my desires
Run not before mine honour; nor my lusts
Burn hotter than my faith.
Per.

O but, dear sir t,
Your resolution cannot hold, when 'tis
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 pr’ythee, darken not
The mirth o’the feast : Or I'll be thine, my fair,
Or not my father's: for I cannot be

9 his work, so noble,

Vilely bound up?] It is impossible for any man to rid his mind of his profession. The authorship of Shakspeare has supplied him with a metaphor, which, rather than he would lose it, be has put with no great propriety into the mouth of a country maid. Thinking of his own works, his mind passed naturally to the binder. I am glad that he has no hint at an editor. Johnson.

+ “O but, sir,”—MALONE.

Mine own, nor any thing to any, if
I be not thine: to this I am most constant,
Though destiny say, no. Be merry, gentle ;
Strangle such thoughts as these, with any thing
That you behold the while. Your guests are coming :
Lift up your countenance; as it were the day
Of celebration of that nuptial, which
We two have sworn shall come.
Per.

O lady fortune,
Stand you auspicious !

Enter Shepherd, with POLIXENES and Camillo disguised;

Clown, Mopsa, Dorcas, and Others.

Flo.

See, your guests approach :
Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
And let's be red with mirth.

Shep. Fye, 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
A way 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.
Per.

Welcome, sir! To Pol. It is my father's will, I should take on me The hostess-ship o’the day :-You're welcome, sir !

[To CAMILLO. Give me those flowers there, Dorcas.-Reverend sirs,

Pol.

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 !
Pol.

Shepherdess,
(A fair one are you,) well you fit our ages
With flowers of winter.
Per.

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 gillyflowers,
Which some call nature's bastards: of that kind
Our rustick garden's barren ; and I care not
To get slips of them.

Wherefore, gentle maiden,
Do you neglect them ?
Per.

For I have heard it said,
There is an art, which, in their piedness, shares
With great creating nature.
Pol.

Say, there be ;
Yet nature is made better by no mean,
But nature makes that mean: so, o'er 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.
Per.

So it is.
Pol. Then make your garden rich in gillyflowers,
And do not call them bastards.
Per.

I'll not put
The dibble’ in earth to set one slip of them:

1 For I have — ] For, in this place, signifies—because that.

?- dibble ] An instrument used by gardeners to make holes in the earth for the reception of young plants.

No more than, were I painted, I would wish
This youth should say, 'twere 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.
Per.

Out, alas!
You'd be so lean, that blasts of January
Would blow you through and through. — Now, my

fairest friend,
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 :-Proserpina,
For the flowers now, that, frighted, thou let'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 Phoebus 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 ?

Flo.

3

[ocr errors]

- violets, dim, But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,] I suspect that our author mistakes Juno for Pallas, who was the goddess of blue eyes. Sweeter than an eye-lid is an odd image, but perhaps he uses sweet in the general sense for delightful. Johnson.

« PreviousContinue »