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Florizel. Thou dearest Perdita, With these forc'd thoughts, I pr'ythee, darken not the mirth of the feast.

Thy father's ground.

Per. Now Jove afford you cause !

To me, the difference forges dread; your greatness Hath not been us'd to fear. Even now I tremble

To think, your father, by some accident,

Should pass this way as you did : Oh, the fates!
How would he look, to see his work, so noble,
Vilely bound up !2 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-rou'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,

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 pur

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

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.

[1] Meaning the difference between his rank and hers. M. MASON. [2] This allusion occurs more than once in Romeo and Juliet:


This precious book of love, this unbound love
"To beautify him only lacks a cover." STEEV.


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. 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
A way to make us better friends, more known.
Come, quench you 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!

It is my father's will, I should take on me



The hostesship o'the day. You're welcome,sir. [ToCAM.
-Give me those flowers there, Dorcas.—Reverend sirs,
For you there's rosemary, and rue ;3 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 gilly-flowers.

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

[3] Rue was called herb of grace. Rosemary was the emblem of remembrance, 1 know not why unless because it was carried at funerals. JOHNS. Rosemary was nciently pposed to strengthen the memory, and is prescribed for that purpose in the books of ancient physic. STEEV.

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Pol. 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 scyon 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 gilly-flowers, And do not call them bastards.

Per. I'll not put

The dibble in earth to set one slip of them;

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, savoury, 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


I would, I had some flowers o'the spring, that might
Become your time of day; and your's, and your's,
That wear upon your virgin-branches yet
Your maiden-heads growing:-O Proserpina,
For the flowers now, that, frighted, thou let'st fall
From Dis's waggon 4 daffodils,

That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
[4] So, in Ovid's Metam. B. V:

"ut summa vestem laxavit ab ora,

"Collecti flores tunicis cecidere remissis." STEEV.

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