The Winter's Tale By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 4

PERDITA.
So it is.

POLIXENES.
Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,
And do not call them bastards.

PERDITA.
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, 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're 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 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. — O Proserpina,
From the flowers now, that, frighted, thou lett'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!

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
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: each your doing,
So singular in each particular,
Crowns what you are 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 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.

CLOWN.
Come on, strike up.

DORCAS.
Mopsa must be your mistress; marry, garlic,
To mend her kissing with!

MOPSA.
Now, in good time!

CLOWN.
Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners. —
Come, strike up.

[Music. Here a dance Of Shepherds and Shepherdesses.]

POLIXENES.
Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
Which dances with your daughter?

SHEPHERD.
They call him Doricles; and boasts himself
To have a worthy feeding; but I have it
Upon his own report, and I believe it:
He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter:
I think so too; for never gaz'd the moon
Upon the water as he'll stand, and read,
As 'twere, my daughter's eyes: and, to be plain,
I think there is not half a kiss to choose
Who loves another best.

POLIXENES.
She dances featly.

SHEPHERD.
So she does anything; though I report it,
That should be silent; if young Doricles
Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
Which he not dreams of.

[Enter a SERVANT.]

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