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SCENE III.

A Shepherd's Cottage.

Enter FLORIZEL and PERdita.

The same.

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 obscur'd With a swain's wearing; and me, poor lowly maid, Most goddess-like prank'd up :2 But that our feasts

9 your extremes,] That is, your excesses, the extravagance of your praises. JOHNSON.

By his extremes, Perdita does not mean his extravagant praises, as Johnson supposes; but the extravagance of his conduct, in obscuring himself " in a swain's wearing," while he "pranked her up most goddess-like." The following words, O pardon that I name them, prove this to be her meaning. M. MASON.

The gracious mark o'the land,] The object of all men's notice and expectation. JOHNSON.

So, in King Henry IV. P. II:

"He was the mark and glass, copy and book,

"That fashion'd others.' MALONE.

2

prank'd up:] To prank is to dress with ostentation. So, in Coriolanus:

"For they do prank them in authority." Again, in Tom Tyler and his Wife, 1661:

"I pray you go prank you." STEevens.

In every mess have folly, and the feeders
Digest it3 with a custom, I should blush
To see you so attired; sworn, I think,
To show myself a glass.*

3

Digest it-] The word it was inserted by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.

4

sworn, I think,

To show myself a glass.] i. e. one would think that in putting on this habit of a shepherd, you had sworn to put me out of countenance; for in this, as in a glass, you shew me how much below yourself you must descend before you can get upon a level with me. The sentiment is fine, and expresses all the delicacy, as well as humble modesty of the character. WARBURTON.

Dr. Thirlby inclines rather to Sir T. Hanmer's emendation, which certainly makes an easy sense, and is, in my opinion, preferable to the present reading. But concerning this passage I know not what to decide. JOHNSON.

Dr. Warburton has well enough explained this passage ac cording to the old reading. Though I cannot help offering a transposition, which I would explain thus:

But that our feasts

In every mess have folly, and the feeders
Digest it with a custom, (sworn I think,)
To see you so attired, I should blush
To show myself a glass.

i. e. But that our rustick feasts are in every part accompanied with absurdity of the same kind, which custom has authorized, (custom which one would think the guests had sworn to observe,) I should blush to present myself before a glass, which would show me my own person adorned in a manner so foreign to my humble state, or so much better habited than even that of my prince. STEEVENS.

I think she means only to say, that the prince, by the rustick habit that he wears, seems as if he had sworn to show her a glass, in which she might behold how she ought to be attired, instead of being" most goddess-like prank'd up." The passage quoted in p. 329, from King Henry IV. P. II. confirms this interpretation. In Love's Labour's Lost, Vol. VII. p. 72, a forester having given the Princess a true representation of herself, she addresses him:-" Here, good my glass."

Again, in Julius Cæsar:

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 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: O, the fates! How would he look, to see his work, so noble; Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how

66- -I, your glass,

"Will modestly discover to yourself,
"That of yourself," &c.

Again, more appositely, in Hamlet:
he was indeed the glass,

66

"Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves." Florizel is here Perdita's glass. Sir T. Hanmer reads-swoon, instead of sworn. There is, in my opinion, no need of change; and the words "to shew myself" appear to me inconsistent with that reading.

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Sir Thomas Hanmer probably thought the similitude of the words sworn and swoon favourable to his emendation; but he forgot that swoon in the old copies of these plays is always written sound or swound. MALONE.

When my good falcon made her flight across

Thy father's ground.] This circumstance is likewise taken from the novel: " And as they returned, it fortuned that Dorastus (who all that day had been hawking, and killed store of game,) incountered by the way these two maides." MALONE.

• To me the difference forges dread;] Meaning the difference between his rank and hers. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:

"The course of true love never did run smooth,

"But either it was different in blood-." M. MASON.

7

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, he has put with no great propriety into the mouth of a country

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,8 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.

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.

The allusion occurs more than once in Romeo and Juliet:
"This precious booke of love, this unbound lover,
"To beautify him only lacks a cover.”

Again:

"That book in many eyes doth share the glory,
"That in gold clasps locks in the golden story."

STEEVENS.

The gods themselves,

Humbling their deities to love,] This is taken almost literally from the novel: "The Gods above disdaine not to love women beneath. Phœbus liked Daphne; Jupiter Io; and why not I then Fawnia? One something inferior to these in birth, but far superior to them in beauty; born to be a shepherdesse, but worthy to be a goddesse." Again: "And yet, Dorastus, shame not thy shepherd's weed.-The heavenly gods have sometime earthly thought; Neptune became a ram, Jupiter a bull, Apollo a shepherd: they gods, and yet in love;-thou a man, appointed to love." MALONE.

9 Nor in a way-] Read:-Nor any way. RITSON.

Nor in a way so chaste:] It must be remembered that the transformations of Gods were generally for illicit amours; and consequently were not "in a way so chaste" as that of Florizel, whose object was to marry Perdita. A. C.

PER. O but, dear sir,1 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.

Thou dearest Perdita,

2

FLO. 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.

O lady fortune.

PER.
Stand you auspicious!

O but, dear sir,] In the oldest copy the word-dear, is wanting. STEEVENS.

The editor of the second folio reads-O but, dear sir ; to complete the metre. But the addition is unnecessary; burn in the preceding hemistich being used as a dissyllable. Perdita in a former part of this scene addresses Florizel in the same respect, ful manner as here: "Sir, my precious lord," &c. I formerly, not adverting to what has been now stated, proposed to take the word your from the subsequent line; but no change is necessary. MALONE.

I follow the second folio, confessing my inability to readburn, as a word of more than one syllable. STEEVENS.

* With these forc'd thoughts,] That is, thoughts far-fetched, and not arising from the present objects. M. MASON,

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