Sidor som bilder

Polixenes. Then make your garden rich in gilly-flowers, And do not call them bastards.

Perdita. I'll not put

The dibble in earth, to set one slip of them; 1

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.
Camillo. I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,
And only live by gazing.

Perdita. 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! 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 fleur-de-lis being one! O, these I lack
To make you garlands of; and my sweet friend
To strow him o'er and o'er.

Florizel. What, like a corse?

Perdita. 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.

Florizel. What you do,

1 The lady, we here see, gives up the argument, but keeps her mind.

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 sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that: move still, still so,

And own no other function.

So singular in each particular,

Each your doing,

Crowns what you're doing in the present deeds,
That all your acts are queens.

Perdita. O Doricles,

Your praises are too large; but that your youth
And the true blood, which peeps forth fairly through it,
Do plainly give you out an unstained shepherd;
With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,

You woo'd me the false way.

· Florizel. 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.

Perdita. I'll swear for 'em.

Polixenes. 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.

Camillo. He tells her something

That makes her blood look out: good sooth she is
The queen of curds and cream.'

[ocr errors]

This delicious scene is interrupted by the father of the prince discovering himself to Florizel, and haughtily breaking off the intended match between his son and Perdita. When Polixenes goes out, Perdita says,

"Even here undone :

I was not much afraid; for once or twice
I was about to speak; and tell him plainly,
The self-same sun that shines upon his court,
Hides not his visage from our cottage, but
Looks on't alike. Wilt please you, sir, be gone?

[To Florizel.

I told you what would come of this. Beseech you,
Of your own state take care: this dream of mine,
Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch farther,
But milk my ewes and weep."

As Perdita, the supposed shepherdess, turns out to be the daughter of Hermione, and a princess in disguise, both feelings of the pride of birth and the claims of nature are satisfied by the fortunate event of the story, and the fine romance of poetry is reconciled to the strictest court-etiquette.


ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL is one of the most pleasing of our author's comedies. The interest is however more of a serious than of a comic nature. The character of Helen is one of great sweetness and delicacy. She is placed in circumstances of the most critical kind, and has to court her husband both as a virgin and a wife: yet the most scrupulous nicety of female modesty is not once violated. There is not one thought or action that ought to bring a blush into her cheeks, or that for a moment lessens her in our esteem. Perhaps the romantic attachment of a beautiful and virtuous girl to one placed above her hopes by the circumstances of birth and fortune, was never so exquisitely expressed as in the reflections which she utters when young Rousillon leaves his mother's house, under whose protection she has been brought up with him, to repair to the French king's court.

"Helena. Oh, were that all—I think not on my father, And these great tears grace his remembrance more Than those I shed for him. What was he like?

I have forgot him. My imagination
Carries no favour in it, but Bertram's.
I am undone, there is no living, none
If Bertram be away. It were all one
That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it; he is so above me :
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
Th' ambition in my love thus plagues itself;
The hind that would be mated by the lion,
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, tho' a plague,
To see him every hour, to sit and draw

His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls
In our heart's table: heart too capable
Of every line and trick of his sweet favour.
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics."

The interest excited by this beautiful picture of a fond and innocent heart is kept up afterwards by her resolution to follow him to France, the success of her experiment in restoring the king's health, her demanding Bertram in marriage as a recompense, his leaving her in disdain, her interview with him afterwards disguised as Diana, a young lady whom he importunes with his secret addresses, and their final reconciliation when the consequences of her stratagem and the proofs of her love are fully made known. The persevering gratitude of the French king to his benefactress, who cures him of a languishing distemper by a prescription hereditary in her family, the indulgent kindness of the Countess, whose pride of birth yields, almost without a struggle, to her affection for Helen, the honesty and uprightness of the good old lord Lafeu, make very interesting parts of the picture. The wilful stubbornness and youthful petulance of Bertram are also very admirably described. comic part of the play turns on the folly, boasting, and cowardice of Parolles, a parasite and hanger-on of Bertram's, the detection of whose false pretensions to bravery and honour forms a very amusing episode. He is first found out by the old lord Lafeu, who says, "The soul of this man is in his clothes;" and it is proved afterwards that his heart is in his tongue, and that both are false and hollow. The adventure of "the bringing off of his drum" has become proverbial as a satire on all ridiculous and blustering undertakings which the person never means to perform: nor can any thing be more severe than what one of the bye-standers remarks upon what Parolles says of himself, "Is it possible he should know what he is, and be that he is?" Yet Parolles himself gives the best solution of the difficulty afterwards when he is


« FöregåendeFortsätt »