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And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
[TO POLIXENES and CAMILLO.
PERDITA. Sir, the year growing ancient,
POLIXENES. Wherefore, gentle maiden,
PERDITA. For I have heard it said
POLIXENES. Say, there be:
PERDITA. So it is.
POLIXENES. Then make your garden rich in gilly-flowers, And do not call them bastards,
PERDITA. I'll not put
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 1 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 friends, 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 : 0 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 Phæbus 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;
FLORIZEL What you do,
Peapta O Doneles,
And the true blood, which peeps forth fairly through it,
FLORIZEL. I think you have
PERDITA. I'll swear for 'em.
POLIXENES. This is the prettiest low-born lass that ever
CAMILLO. He tells her something
This delicious scene is interrupted by the father of the prince discovering himself to Florizel, and haughtily breaking the intended match between his son and Perdita. When Polixenes goes out, Perdita says,
“Even here undone :
But milk my ewes and weep." As Perdita, the supposed shepherdess, turns out to be the daugh ter of Hermione, and a princess in disguise, both feelings of the pride of birth and the claims of nature are satisfied by the for. tunate event of the story, and the fine romance of poetry is reconciled to the strictest court etiquette.
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
All's WELL THAT ENDS Well is one of the most pleasing of our author's comedies. The interest is however more of a se rious than of a comic nature. The character of Helen is one of great sweetness and delicacy. She is placed in circum. stances of the most critical kind, and has to court her husband both as a virgin and a wife : yet the most scrupulous nioety 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 romantie 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 utten when young Roussillon 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,
To see him every hour, to sit and draw
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 indul. gent kindness of the Countess, whose pride of birth yields, al. most 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. The 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 honor 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 ridicu. lous and blustering undertakings which the person never means to perform: nor can anything be more severe than what one of the bystanders 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 thankful to escape with his life and the loss of character; for, so that he can live on, he is by no means queamish about the loss of pretensions, to which he had sense