• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 The tempest
 A midsummer night's dream
 The winter's tale
 Much ado about nothing
 As you like it
 The two gentlemen of Verona
 The merchant of Venice
 Cymbeline
 King Lear
 Macbeth
 All's well that ends well
 The taming of the shrew
 The comedy of errors
 Measure for measure
 Twelfth night; or, What you...
 Timon of Athens
 Romeo and Juliet
 Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
 Othello
 Pericles, Prince of Tyre
 Back Cover
 Spine






Title: Tales from Shakespeare
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00086660/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tales from Shakespeare
Physical Description: 324 p. : front. pls. ;
Language: English
Creator: Lamb, Charles, 1775-1834
Lamb, Mary, 1764-1847
Price, Norman M ( Illustrator )
T.C. and E.C. Jack ( Publisher )
Publisher: Jack
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburgh
Publication Date: [19--]
 Subjects
Subject: Juvenile literature -- 1900
Bldn -- 1900
Genre: Juvenile literature
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: illustrated by Norman M. Price.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00086660
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001649010
oclc - 08535936
notis - AHW0576

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page i
    Half Title
        Page ii
    Frontispiece
        Page iii
    Title Page
        Page iv
    Preface
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Table of Contents
        Page ix
        Page x
    List of Illustrations
        Page xi
        Page xii
    The tempest
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 10a
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    A midsummer night's dream
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    The winter's tale
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Much ado about nothing
        Page 42
        Page 42a
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 56a
    As you like it
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
    The two gentlemen of Verona
        Page 76
        Page 76a
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
    The merchant of Venice
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
    Cymbeline
        Page 108
        Page 108a
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    King Lear
        Page 124
        Page 124a
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
    Macbeth
        Page 142
        Page 142a
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 154a
    All's well that ends well
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
    The taming of the shrew
        Page 170
        Page 170a
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 182a
    The comedy of errors
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
    Measure for measure
        Page 200
        Page 200a
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
    Twelfth night; or, What you will
        Page 218
        Page 218a
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
    Timon of Athens
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
    Romeo and Juliet
        Page 250
        Page 250a
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 270a
    Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
    Othello
        Page 290
        Page 290a
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
        Page 305
    Pericles, Prince of Tyre
        Page 306
        Page 307
        Page 308
        Page 309
        Page 310
        Page 311
        Page 312
        Page 313
        Page 314
        Page 315
        Page 316
        Page 317
        Page 318
        Page 319
        Page 320
        Page 321
        Page 322
        Page 323
        Page 324
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
Full Text






I


The Baldemn Lr~r3r


r _


- ,,


1









JI~L~C~LCICIV.






















TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE















... ..


TITANIA SLEEPS

(A Midsummer-Night's Dream-Act II. Scene 2)








TALES FROM
SHAKESPEARE
BY, C HARLE S
O,'MARY
LAMB

ILLUSTRATED
BY
NORMAN M-PRICE



LONDON
*-EDINBURGH
-T- CAND'E-CIACK-












PREFACE


THE following Tales are meant to be submitted to the
young reader as an introduction to the study of Shak-
speare, for which purpose his words are used whenever it
seemed possible to bring them in; and in whatever has
been added to give them the regular form of a connected
story, diligent care has been taken to select such words as
might least interrupt the effect of the beautiful English
tongue in which he wrote: therefore, words introduced
into our language since his time have been as far as
possible avoided.
In those tales which have been taken from the
Tragedies, the young readers will perceive, when they
come to see the source from which these stories are de-
rived, that Shakspeare's own words, with little alteration,
recur very frequently in the narrative as well as in the
dialogue; but in those made from the Comedies the
writers found themselves scarcely ever able to turn his
words into the narrative form : therefore it is feared that,
in them, dialogue has been made use of too frequently for
young people not accustomed to the dramatic form of
writing. But this fault, if it be a fault, has been caused
V





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
by an earnest wish to give as much of Shakspeare's own
words as possible: and if the 'He sazd' and She said,'
the question and the reply, should sometimes seem tedi-
ous to their young ears, they must pardon it, because it
was the only way in which could be given to them a few
hints and little foretastes of the great pleasure which
awaits them in their elder years, when they come to the
rich treasures from which these small and valueless coins
are extracted; pretending to no other merit than as faint
and imperfect stamps of Shakspeare's matchless image.
Faint and imperfect images they must be called, because
the beauty of his language is too frequently destroyed by
the necessity of changing many of his excellent words
into words far less expressive of his true sense, to make it
read something like prose; and even in some few places,
where his blank verse is given unaltered, as hoping from
its simple plainness to cheat the young readers into the
belief that they are reading prose, yet still his language
being transplanted from its own natural soil and wild
poetic garden, it must want much of its native beauty.
It has been wished to make these Tales easy reading
for very young children. To the utmost of their ability
the writers have constantly kept this in mind; but the
subjects of most of them made this a very difficult task.
It was no easy matter to give the histories of men and
women in terms familiar to the apprehension of a very
young mind. For young ladies too, it has been the in-
tention chiefly to write; because boys being generally
vi





PREFACE
permitted the use of their fathers' libraries at a much
earlier age than girls are, they frequently have the best
scenes of Shakspeare by heart before their sisters are
permitted to look into this manly book; and, therefore,
instead of recommending these Tales to the perusal of
young gentlemen who can read them so much better in
the originals, their kind assistance is rather requested in
explaining to their sisters such parts as are hardest for
them to understand: and when they have helped them
to get over the difficulties, then perhaps they will read
to them (carefully selecting what is proper for a young
sister's ear) some passage which has pleased them in one
of these stories, in the very words of the scene from which
it is taken; and it is hoped they will find that the beautiful
extracts, the select passages, they may choose to give
their sisters in this way will be much better relished and
understood from their having some notion of the
general story from one of these imperfect abridgments;
-which if they be fortunately so done as to prove
delightful to any of the young readers, it is hoped
that no worse effect will result than to make them
wish themselves a little older, that they may be
allowed to read the Plays at full length (such a wish
will be neither peevish nor irrational). When time and
leave of judicious friends shall put them into their hands,
they will discover in such of them as are here abridged
(not to mention almost as many more, which are left un-
touched) many surprising events and turns of fortune,
vii





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
which for their infinite variety could not be contained in
this little book, besides a world of sprightly and cheerful
characters, both men and women, the humour of which it
was feared would be lost if it were attempted to reduce
the length of them.
What these Tales shall have been to the young
readers, that and much more it is the writers' wish that the
true Plays of Shakspeare may prove to them in older
years-enrichers of the fancy, strengtheners of virtue, a
withdrawing from all selfish and mercenary thoughts, a
lesson of all sweet and honourable thoughts and actions,
to teach courtesy, benignity, generosity, humanity: for
of examples, teaching these virtues, his pages are full.















CONTENTS


THE TEMPEST *

A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM .

THE WINTER'S TALE .

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

AS YOU LIKE IT .

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

CYMBELINE .

KING LEAR .

MACBETH .

ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS

MEASURE FOR MEASURE

TWELFTH NIGHT; OR, WHAT YOU WILL

TIMON OF ATHENS .

ROMEO AND JULIET .

HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK

OTHELLO. .

PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE


* 16

29

42

67

* 76

S 92

S 108

124

142

S 155

S. 170

S 183

S o 200

S 218

234

250

271

290

306














LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


TITANIA SLEEPS Frontispiece
(A Midsummer Night's Dream)

THE FEAST VANISHED AWAY toface page 10
(The Tempest)

BEATRICE AND BENEDICK 42
(Much Ado About Nothing)

ROSALIND AND CELIA IN THE FOREST OF ARDEN 86
(As You Like It)

VALENTINE, 'I dare thee but to breathe upon my love' ,, 76
(The Two Gentlemen of Verona)

IMOGEN'S BED-CHAMBER ,, 108
(Oymbeline)

LEAR, 'Cordelia, Cordelia ,, 124
(King Lear)

THE WEIRD SISTERS ,, 142
(Macbeth)
KING, 'Why, then, young Bertram, take her: she's thy wife' ,, 154
(AlU' Well That Ends Well)
THE GENTLE KATHERINE 170
(The Taming of the Shrew)
DROMEO OF EPHESUS, 'Let my master in 1' 182
(The Comedy qf Error#)
xi






TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
ISABEL'S PLEADING toface page 200
(Measurefor Measure)
OLIVIA, But we will draw the curtain and show you the picture' ,, 218
(The Twelfth Night)

ROMEO AND JULIET ,, 250

KING, 'Give me some light! away I' ,, 270
(Hamlet, Prince of Denmark)
OTHELLO, She loved me for the dangers I had passed' 290












THE TEMPEST


THERE was a certain island in the sea, the only inhabi-
tants of which were an old man, whose name was Prospero,
and his daughter Miranda, a very beautiful young lady.
She came to this island so young, that she had no memory
of having seen any other human face than her father's.
They lived in a cave or cell, made out of a rock; it
was divided into several apartments, one of which Pros-
pero called his study; there he kept his books, which
chiefly treated of magic, a study at that time much
affected by all learned men: and the knowledge of this
art he found very useful to him; for being thrown by a
strange chance upon this island, which had been enchanted
by a witch called Sycorax, who died there a short time
before his arrival, Prospero, by virtue of his art, released
many good spirits that Sycorax had imprisoned in the
bodies of large trees, because they had refused to execute
her wicked commands. These gentle spirits were ever
after obedient to the will of Prospero. Of these Ariel
was the chief.
The lively little sprite Ariel had nothing mischievous
in his nature, except that he took rather too much
pleasure in tormenting an ugly monster called Caliban,
for he owed him a grudge because he was the son of his
old enemy Sycorax. This Caliban, Prospero found in
the woods, a strange misshapen thing, far less human in
form than an ape: he took him home to his cell, and





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
taught him to speak; and Prospero would have been very
kind to him, but the bad nature which Caliban inherited
from his mother Sycorax, would not let him learn any-
thing good or useful: therefore he was employed like a
slave, to fetch wood, and do the most laborious offices;
and Ariel had the charge of compelling him to these
services.
When Caliban was lazy and neglected his work, Ariel
(who was invisible to all eyes but Prospero's) would come
slily and pinch him, and sometimes tumble him down in
the mire; and then Ariel, in the likeness of an ape, would
make mouths at him. Then swiftly changing his shape,
in the likeness of a hedgehog, he would lie tumbling in
Caliban's way, who feared the hedgehog's sharp quills
would prick his bare feet. With a variety of such-like
vexatious tricks Ariel would often torment him, whenever
Caliban neglected the work which Prospero commanded
him to do.
Having these powerful spirits obedient to his will,
Prospero could by their means command the winds, and
the waves of the sea. By his orders they raised a violent
storm, in the midst of which, and struggling with the wild
sea-waves that every moment threatened to swallow it up,
he showed his daughter a fine large ship, which he told
her was full of living beings like themselves. O my
dear father,' said she, if by your art you have raised this
dreadful storm, have pity on their sad distress. See I the
vessel will be dashed to pieces. Poor souls I they will all
perish. If I had power, I would sink the sea beneath
the earth, rather than the good ship should be destroyed,
with all the precious souls within her.'
'Be not so amazed, daughter Miranda,' said Prospero;
'there is no harm done. I have so ordered it, that no
person in the ship shall receive any hurt. What I have





THE TEMPEST
done has been in care of you, my dear child. You are
ignorant who you are, or where you came from, and you
know no more of me, but that I am your father, and live
in this poor cave. Can you remember a time before you
came to this cell? I think you cannot, for you were not
then three years of age.'
'Certainly I can, sir,' replied Miranda.
SBy what ?' asked Prospero; by any other house or
person? Tell me what you can remember, my child.'
Miranda said, It seems to me like the recollection of
a dream. But had I not once four or five women who
attended upon me?'
Prospero answered, 'You had, and more. How is it
that this still lives in your mind? Do you remember
how you came here ?'
'No, sir,' said Miranda, 'I remember nothing more.'
'Twelve years ago, Miranda,' continued Prospero, I
was duke of Milan, and you were a princess, and my only
heir. I had a younger brother, whose name was Antonio,
to whom I trusted everything; and as I was fond of
retirement and deep study, I commonly left the manage-
ment of my state affairs to your uncle, my false brother
S(for so indeed he proved). I, neglecting all worldly ends,
buried among my books, did dedicate my whole time to
the bettering of my mind. My brother Antonio being
thus in possession of my power, began to think himself
the duke indeed. The opportunity I gave him of making
himself popular among my subjects awakened in his bad
nature a proud ambition to deprive me of my dukedom:
This he soon effected with the aid of the king of Naples, a
powerful prince, who was my enemy.'
'Wherefore,' said Miranda, 'did they not that hour
Destroy us ?'
'My child,' answered her father, 'they durst not, so





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
dear was the love that my people bore me. Antonio
carried us on board a ship, and when we were some
leagues out at sea, he forced us into a small boat, without
either tackle, sail, or mast: there he left us, as he thought,
to perish. But a kind lord of my court, one Gonzalo,
who loved me, had privately placed in the boat, water,
provisions, apparel, and some books which I prize above
my dukedom.'
0 my father,' said Miranda, 'what a trouble must I
have been to you then 1'
No, my love,' said Prospero, you were a little cherub
that did preserve me. Your innocent smiles made me
bear up against my misfortunes. Our food lasted till we
landed on this desert island, since when my chief delight
has been in teaching you, Miranda, and well have you
profited by my instructions.'
'Heaven thank you, my dear father,' said Miranda.
'Now pray tell me, sir, your reason for raising this sea-
storm ?'
Know then,' said her father, that by means of this
storm, my enemies, the king of Naples, and my cruel
brother, are cast ashore upon this island.'
Having so said, Prospero gently touched his daughter
with his magic wand, and she fell fast asleep; for the
spirit Ariel just then presented himself before his master,
to give an account of the tempest, and how he had dis-
posed of the ship's company, and though the spirits were
always invisible to Miranda, Prospero did not choose she
should hear him holding converse (as would seem to her)
with the empty air.
'Well, my brave spirit,' said Prospero to Ariel, 'how
have you performed your task ?'
Ariel gave a lively description of the storm, and of the
terrors of the mariners; and how the king's son, Ferdi-





THE TEMPEST
nand, was the first who leaped into the sea; and his father
thought he saw his dear son swallowed up by the waves
and lost. 'But he is safe,' said Ariel, in a corner of the
isle, sitting with his arms folded, sadly lamenting the loss
of the king, his father, whom he concludes drowned.
Not a hair of his head is injured, and his princely gar-
ments, though drenched in the sea-waves, look fresher
than before.'
'That's my delicate Ariel,' said Prospero. 'Bring
him hither: my daughter must see this young prince.
Where is the king, and my brother ?'
'I left them,' answered Ariel, 'searching for Ferdi-
nand, whom they have little hopes of finding, thinking
they saw him perish. Of the ship's crew not one is
missing; though each one thinks himself the only one
saved: and the ship, though invisible to them, is safe in
the harbour.'
'Ariel,' said Prospero, 'thy charge is faithfully per-
formed: but there is more work yet.'
Is there more work ?' said Ariel. Let me remind
you, master, you have promised me my liberty. I pray,
remember, I have done you worthy service, told you no
lies, made no mistakes, served you without grudge or
grumbling.'
'How now said Prospero. You do not recollect
what a torment I freed you from. Have you forgot the
wicked witch Sycorax, who with age and envy was almost
bent double ? Where was she born ? Speak; tell me.'
Sir, in Algiers,' said Ariel.
'0, was she so?' said Prospero. 'I must recount
what you have been, which I find you do not remember.
This bad witch, Sycorax, for her witchcrafts, too terrible
to enter human hearing, was banished from Algiers, and
here left by the sailors; and because you were a spirit too
5





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
delicate to execute her wicked commands, she shut you
up in a tree, where I found you howling. This torment,
remember, I did free you from.'
'Pardon me, dear master,' said Ariel, ashamed to
seem ungrateful; I will obey your commands.'
Do so,' said Prospero, 'and I will set you free.' He
then gave orders what further he would have him do;
and away went Ariel, first to where he had left Ferdi-
nand, and found him still sitting on the grass in the same
melancholy posture.
my young gentleman,' said Ariel, when he saw
him, I will soon move you. You must be brought, I
find, for the Lady Miranda to have a sight of your pretty
person. Come, sir, follow me.' He then began singing,
Full fathom five thy father lies:
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark now I hear them,-Ding-dong, bell.'

This strange news of his lost father soon roused the
prince from the stupid fit into which he had fallen. He
followed in amazement the sound of Ariel's voice, till it
led him to Prospero and Miranda, who were sitting under
the shade of a large tree. Now Miranda had never seen
a man before, except her own father.
Miranda,' said Prospero, 'tell me what you are look-
ing at yonder.'
father,' said Miranda, in a strange surprise, 'surely
that is a spirit. Lord! how it looks about I Believe me,
sir, it is a beautiful creature. Is it not a spirit?'
'No, girl,' answered her father; it eats, and sleeps,
6





THE TEMPEST
and has senses such'as we have. This young man
you see was in the ship. He is somewhat altered by
grief, or you might call him a handsome person. He
has lost his companions, and is wandering about to find
them.'
Miranda, who thought all men had grave faces and
grey beards like her father, was delighted with the appear-
ance of this beautiful young prince; and Ferdinand,
seeing such a lovely lady in this desert place, and from
the strange sounds he had heard, expecting nothing but
wonders, thought he was upon an enchanted island, and
that Miranda was the goddess of the place, and as such he
began to address her.
She timidly answered, she was no goddess, but a
simple maid, and was going to give him an account of
herself, when Prospero interrupted her. He was well
pleased to find they admired each other, for he plainly
perceived they had (as we say) fallen in love at first
sight: but to try Ferdinand's constancy, he resolved to
throw some difficulties in their way: therefore advancing
forward, he addressed the prince with a stern air, telling
him, he came to the island as a spy, to take it from him
who was the lord of it. 'Follow me,' said he, 'I will tie
you neck and feet together. You shall drink sea-water;
shell-fish, withered roots, and husks of acorns shall be
your food.' 'No,' said Ferdinand, 'I will resist such
entertainment, till I see a more powerful enemy,' and
drew his sword; but Prospero, waving his magic wand,
fixed him to the spot where he stood, so that he had no
power to move.
Miranda hung upon her father, saying, 'Why are you
so ungentle ? Have pity, sir; I will be his surety. This
is the second man I ever saw, and to me he seems a true
one.'





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
'Silence,' said the father: 'one word more will make
me chide you, girl I What I an advocate for an impostor I
You think there are no more such fine men, having seen
only him and Caliban. I tell you, foolish girl, most men
as far excel this, as he does Caliban.' This he said to
prove his daughter's constancy; and she replied, 'My
affections are most humble. I have no wish to see a
goodlier man.'
Come on, young man,' said Prospero to the Prince;
'you have no power to disobey me.'
'I have not indeed,' answered Ferdinand; and not
knowing that it was by magic he was deprived of all
power of resistance, he was astonished to find himself so
strangely compelled to follow Prospero: looking back on
Miranda as long as he could see her, he said, as he went
after Prospero into the cave, 'My spirits are all bound
up, as if I were in a dream; but this man's threats, and
the weakness which I feel, would seem light to me if
from my prison I might once a day behold this fair
maid.'
Prospero kept Ferdinand not long confined within
the cell: he soon brought out his prisoner, and set him a
severe task to perform, taking care to let his daughter
know the hard labour he had imposed on him, and then
pretending to go into his study, he secretly watched them
both.
Prospero had commanded Ferdinand to pile up some
heavy logs of wood. Kings' sons not being much used to
laborious work, Miranda soon after found her lover almost
dying with fatigue. 'Alas said she, 'do not work so
hard; my father is at his studies, he is safe for these three
hours; pray rest yourself.'
0 my dear lady,' said Ferdinand, I dare not. I
must finish my task before I take my rest.'





THE TEMPEST
SIf you will sit down,' said Miranda, I will carry your
logs the while.' But this Ferdinand would by no means
agree to. Instead of a help Miranda became a hindrance,
for they began a long conversation, so that the business of
log-carrying went on very slowly.
Prospero, who had enjoined Ferdinand this task
merely as a trial of his love, was not at his books, as his
daughter supposed, but was standing by them invisible,
to overhear what they said.
Ferdinand inquired her name, which she told, saying
it was against her father's express command she did so.
Prospero only smiled at this first instance of his
daughter's disobedience, for having by his magic art
caused his daughter to fall in love so suddenly, he was not
angry that she showed her love by forgetting to obey his
commands. And he listened well pleased to a long
speech of Ferdinand's, in which he professed to love her
above all the ladies he ever saw.
In answer to his praises of her beauty, which he said
exceeded all the women in the world, she replied,' I do
not remember the face of any woman, nor have I seen
any more men than you, my good friend, and my dear
father. How features are abroad, I know not; but,
believe me, sir, I would not wish any companion in the
world but you, nor can my imagination form any shape
but yours that I could like. But, sir, I fear I'talk to you
too freely, and my father's precepts I forget.'
At this Prospero smiled, and nodded his head, as
much as to say,' This goes on exactly as I could wish;
my girl will be queen of Naples.'
And then Ferdinand, in another fine long speech (for
young princes speak in courtly phrases), told the innocent
Miranda he was heir to the crown of Naples, and that she
should be his queen.





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
'Ah I sir,' said she, I am a fool to weep at what I am
glad of. I will answer you in plain and holy innocence.
I am your wife if you will marry me.'
Prospero prevented Ferdinand's thanks by appearing
visible before them.
'Fear nothing, my child,' said he; I have overheard,
and approve of all you have said. And, Ferdinand, if I
have too severely used you, I will make you rich amends,
by giving you my daughter. All your vexations were
but trials of your love, and you have nobly stood the test.
Then as my gift, which your true love has worthily pur-
chased, take my daughter, and do not smile that I boast
she is above all praise.' He then, telling them that he
had business which required his presence, desired they
would sit down and talk together till he returned; and
this command Miranda seemed not at all disposed to
disobey.
When Prospero left them, he called his spirit Ariel,
who quickly appeared before him, eager to relate what he
had done with Prospero's brother and the king of Naples.
Ariel said he had left them almost out of their senses
with fear, at the strange things he had caused them to
see and hear. When fatigued with wandering about, and
famished for want of food, he had suddenly set before
them a delicious banquet, and then, just as they were
going to eat, he appeared visible before them in the shape
of a harpy, a voracious monster with wings, and the feast
vanished away. Then, to their utter amazement, this
seeming harpy spoke to them, reminding them of their
cruelty in driving Prospero from his dukedom, and leav-
ing him and his infant daughter to perish in the sea;
saying, that for this cause these terrors were suffered to
afflict them.
The king of Naples, and Antonio the false brother,
IO0















































































THE FEAST VANISHED AWAY

(The Tempest-Act III. Scene 3)





THE TEMPEST
repented the injustice they had done to Prospero; and
Ariel told his master he was certain their penitence was
sincere, and that he, though a spirit, could not but pity
them.
Then bring them hither, Ariel,' said Prospero: 'if
you, who are but a spirit, feel for their distress, shall not I,
who am a human being like themselves, have compassion
on them ? Bring them, quickly, my dainty Ariel.'
Ariel soon returned with the king, Antonio, and old
Gonzalo in their train, who had followed him, wondering
at the wild music he played in the air to draw them on
to his master's presence. This Gonzalo was the same
who had so kindly provided Prospero formerly with books
and provisions, when his wicked brother left him, as he
thought, to perish in an open boat in the sea.
Grief and terror had so stupefied their senses, that
they did not know Prospero. He first discovered himself
to the good old Gonzalo, calling him the preserver of his
life; and then his brother and the king knew that he was
the injured Prospero.
Antonio with tears, and sad words of sorrow and true
repentance, implored his brother's forgiveness, and the
king expressed his sincere remorse for having assisted
Antonio to depose his brother: and Prospero forgave
them; and, upon their engaging to restore his dukedom,
he said to the king of Naples, I have a gift in store
for you too'; and opening a door, showed him his son
Ferdinand playing at chess with Miranda
Nothing could exceed the joy of the father and the son
at this unexpected meeting, for they each thought the
other drowned in the storm.
0 wonder said Miranda, 'what noble creatures
these are I It must surely be a brave world that has such
people in it.'





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
The king of Naples was almost as much astonished at
the beauty and excellent graces of the young Miranda, as
his son had been. Who is this maid ?' said he; she
seems the goddess that has parted us, and brought us
thus together.' 'No, sir,' answered Ferdinand, smiling
to find his father had fallen into the same mistake that
he had done when he first saw Miranda, she is a mortal,
but by immortal Providence she is mine; I chose her
when I could not ask you, my father, for your consent,
not thinking you were alive. She is the daughter to this
Prospero, who is the famous duke of Milan, of whose
renown I have heard so much, but never saw him till
now: of him I have received a new life: he has made
himself to me a second father, giving me this dear lady.'
Then I must be her father,' said the king; 'but oh I
how oddly will it sound, that I must ask my child
forgiveness.'
No more of that,' said Prospero: 'let us not remember
our troubles past, since they so happily have ended.' And
then Prospero embraced his brother, and again assured
him of his forgiveness; and said that a wise over-ruling
Providence had permitted that he should be driven from
his [poor dukedom of Milan, that his daughter might
inherit the crown of Naples, for that by their meeting in
this desert island, it had happened that the king's son had
loved Miranda.
These kind words which Prospero spoke, meaning to
comfort his brother, so filled Antonio with shame and
remorse, that he wept and was unable to speak; and the
kind old Gonzalo wept to see this joyful reconciliation,
and prayed for blessings on the young couple.
Prospero now told them that their ship was safe in
the harbour, and the sailors all on board her, and that he
and his daughter would accompany them home the next
12





THE TEMPEST
morning. 'In the meantime,' says he, 'partake of such
refreshments as my poor cave affords; and for your
evening's entertainment I will relate the history of my
life from my first landing in this desert island.' He then
called for Caliban to prepare some food, and set the
cave in order; and the company were astonished at the
uncouth form and savage appearance of this ugly monster,
who (Prospero said) was the only attendant he had to
wait upon him.
Before Prospero left the island, he dismissed Ariel
from his service, to the great joy of that lively little
spirit; who, though he had been a faithful servant to his
master, was always longing to enjoy his free liberty, to
wander uncontrolled in the air, like a wild bird, under
green trees, among pleasant fruits, and sweet-smelling
flowers. 'My quaint Ariel,' said Prospero to the little
sprite when he made him free, 'I shall miss you; yet you
shall have your freedom.' Thank you, my dear master,'
said Ariel; 'but give me leave to attend your ship home
with prosperous gales, before you bid farewell to the
assistance of your faithful spirit; and then, master, when
I am free, how merrily I shall live Here Ariel sung
this pretty song:
'Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie:
There I crouch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.'
Prospero then buried deep in the earth his magical
books and wand, for he was resolved never more to make
use of the magic art. And having thus overcome his
enemies, and being reconciled to his brother and the king
I3





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
of Naples, nothing now remained to complete his happi-
ness, but to revisit his native land, to take possession of
his dukedom, and to witness the happy nuptials of his
daughter and Prince Ferdinand, which the king said
should be instantly celebrated with great splendour on
their return to Naples. At which place, under the safe
convoy of the spirit Ariel, they, after a pleasant voyage.
soon arrived.





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM


A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

THERE was a law in the city of Athens which gave to its
citizens the power of compelling their daughters to marry
whomsoever they pleased; for upon a daughter's refusing
to marry the man her father had chosen to be her husband,
the father was empowered by this law to cause her to be
put to death; but as fathers do not often desire the
death of their own daughters, even though they do
happen to prove a little refractory, this law was seldom
or never put in execution, though perhaps the young
ladies of that city were not unfrequently threatened by
their parents with the terrors of it.
There was one instance, however, of an old man,
whose name was Egeus, who actually did come before
Theseus (at that time the reigning Duke of Athens), to
complain that his daughter Hermia, whom he had com-
manded to marry Demetrius, a young man of a noble
Athenian family, refused to obey him, because she loved
another young Athenian, named Lysander. Egeus
demanded justice of Theseus, and desired that this cruel
law might be put in force against his daughter.
Hermia pleaded in excuse for her disobedience, that
Demetrius had formerly professed love for her dear friend
Helena, and that Helena loved Demetrius to distraction;
but this honourable reason, which Hermia gave for not
obeying her father's command, moved not the stern Egeus.
Theseus, though a great and merciful prince, had no
15





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
power to alter the laws of his country; therefore he could
only give Hermia four days to consider of it: and at the
end of that time, if she still refused to marry Demetrius,
she was to be put to death.
When Hermia was dismissed from the presence of the
duke, she went to her lover Lysander, and told him the
peril she was in, and that she must either give him up
and marry Demetrius, or lose her life in four days.
Lysander was in great affliction at hearing these evil
tidings; but recollecting that he had an aunt who lived
at some distance from Athens, and that at the place
where she lived the cruel law could not be put in force
against Hermia (this law not extending beyond the
boundaries of the city), he proposed to Hermia that she
should steal out of her father's house that night, and go
with him to his aunt's house, where he would marry her.
'I will meet you,' said Lysander, 'in the wood a few
miles without the city; in that delightful wood where we
have so often walked with Helena in the pleasant month
of May.'
To this proposal Hermia joyfully agreed; and she
told no one of her intended flight but her friend Helena.
Helena (as maidens will do foolish things for love) very
ungenerously resolved to go and tell this to Demetrius,
though she could hope no benefit from betraying her
friend's secret, but the poor pleasure of following her
faithless lover to the wood; for she well knew that
Demetrius would go thither in pursuit of Hermia.
The wood in which Lysander and Hermia proposed
to meet, was the favourite haunt of those little beings
known by the name of Fairies.
Oberon the king, and Titania the queen of the Fairies,
with all their tiny train of followers, in this wood held
their midnight revels.
x16





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Between this little king and queen of sprites there
happened, at this time, a sad disagreement; they never
met by moonlight in the shady walks of this pleasant
wood, but they were quarrelling, till all their fairy elves
would creep into acorn-cups and hide themselves for
fear.
The cause of this unhappy disagreement was Titania's
refusing to give Oberon a little changeling boy, whose
mother had been Titania's friend; and upon her death
the fairy queen stole the child from its nurse, and brought
him up in the woods.
The night on which the lovers were to meet in this
wood, as Titania was walking with some of her maids of
honour, she met Oberon attended by his train of fairy
courtiers.
Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania,' said the fairy
king. The queen replied, 'What, jealous Oberon, is it
you ? Fairies, skip hence; I have forsworn his company.'
'Tarry, rash fairy,' said Oberon; 'am not I thy lord?
Why does Titania cross her Oberon? Give me your
little changeling boy to be my page.'
Set your heart at rest,' answered the queen; 'your
whole fairy kingdom buys not the boy of me.' She then
left her lord in great anger. Well, go your way,' said
Oberon: before the morning dawns I will torment you
for this injury.'
Oberon then sent for Puck, his chief favourite and
privy counsellor.
Puck (or as he was sometimes called, Robin Good-
fellow) was a shrewd and knavish sprite, that used to
play comical pranks in the neighboring villages; some-
times getting into the dairies and skimming the milk,
sometimes plunging his light and airy form into the
butter-churn, and while he was dancing his fantastic
B 17





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
shape in the churn, in vain the dairy-maid would labour
to change her cream into butter: nor had the village
swains any better success; whenever Puck chose to play
his freaks in the brewing copper, the ale was sure to be
spoiled. When a few good neighbours were met to drink
some comfortable ale together, Puck would jump into the
bowl of ale in the likeness of a roasted crab, and when
some old goody was going to drink he would bob against
her lips, and spill the ale over her withered chin; and
presently after, when the same old dame was gravely
seating herself to tell her neighbours a sad and melancholy
story, Puck would slip her three-legged stool from under
her, and down toppled the poor old woman, and then the
old gossips would hold their sides and laugh at her, and
swear they never wasted a merrier hour.
'Come hither, Puck,' said Oberon to this little merry
wanderer of the night; fetch me the flower which maids
call Love in Idleness; the juice of that little purple flower
laid on the eyelids of those who sleep, will make them,
when they awake, dote on the first thing they see. Some
of the juice of that flower I will drop on the eyelids of
my Titania when she is asleep; and the first thing she
looks upon when she opens her eyes she will fall in love
with, even though it be a lion or a bear, a meddling
monkey, or a busy ape; and before I will take this charm
from off her sight, which I can do with another charm I
know of, I will make her give me that boy to be my
page.
Puck, who loved mischief to his heart, was highly
diverted with this intended frolic of his master, and ran
to seek the flower; and while Oberon was waiting the
return of Puck, he observed Demetrius and Helena enter
the wood: he overheard Demetrius reproaching Helena
for following him, and after many unkind words on his
18





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
part, and gentle expostulations from Helena, reminding
him of his former love and professions of true faith to her,
he left her (as he said) to the mercy of the wild beasts,
and she ran after him as swiftly as she could.
The fairy king, who was always friendly to true lovers,
felt great compassion for Helena; and perhaps, as
Lysander said they used to walk by moonlight in this
pleasant wood, Oberon might have seen Helena in those
happy times when she was beloved by Demetrius.
However that might be, when Puck returned with the
little purple flower, Oberon said to his favourite,' Take
a part of this flower; there has been a sweet Athenian
lady here, who is in love with a disdainful youth; if you
find him sleeping, drop some of the love-juice in his eyes,
but contrive to do it when she is near him, that the first
thing he sees when he awakes may be this despised lady.
You will know the man by the Athenian garments which
he wears.' Puck promised to manage this matter very
dexterously: and then Oberon went, unperceived by
Titania, to her bower, where she was preparing to go
to rest. Her fairy bower was a bank, where grew wild
thyme, cowslips, and sweet violets, under a canopy of
wood-bine, musk-roses, and eglantine. There Titania
always slept some part of the night; her coverlet the
enamelled skin of a snake, which, though a small mantle,
was wide enough to wrap a fairy in.
He found Titania giving orders to her fairies, how they
were to employ themselves while she slept. 'Some of
you,' said her majesty, 'must kill cankers in the musk-
rose buds, and some wage war with the bats for their
leather wings, to make my small elves coats; and some
of you keep watch that the clamorous owl, that nightly
hoots, come not near me: but first sing me to sleep.
Then they began to sing this song :-





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
SYou spotted snakes with double tongue,
Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
Newts and blind-worms do no wrong,
Come not near our Fairy Queen.
Philomel, with melody,
Sing in our sweet lullaby,
Lulla, lulla, lullaby; lulla, lulla, lullaby;
Never harm, nor spell, nor charm,
Come our lovely lady nigh;
So good night with lullaby.'
When the fairies had sung their queen asleep with
this pretty lullaby, they left her to perform the important
services she had enjoined them. Oberon then softly
drew near his Titania, and dropped some of the love-
juice on her eyelids, saying,-
What thou seest when thou dost wake,
Do it for thy true-love take.'
But to return to Hermia, who made her escape out
of her father's house that night, to avoid the death she
was doomed to for refusing to marry Demetrius. When
she entered the wood, she found her dear Lysander
waiting for her, to conduct her to his aunt's house; but
before they had passed half through the wood, Hermia
was so much fatigued, that Lysander, who was very
careful of this dear lady, who had proved her affection
for him even by hazarding her life for his sake, persuaded
her to rest till morning on a bank of soft moss, and lying
down himself on the ground at some little distance, they
soon fell fast asleep. Here they were found by Puck,
who, seeing a handsome young man asleep, and perceiv-
ing that his clothes were made in the Athenian fashion,
and that a pretty lady was sleeping near him, concluded
that this must be the Athenian maid and her disdainful
lover whom Oberon had sent him to seek; and he natur-
ally enough conjectured that, as they were alone together,
20





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
she must be the first thing he would see when he awoke:
so, without more ado, he proceeded to pour some of the
juice of the little purple flower into his eyes. But it so
fell out, that Helena came that way, and, instead of
Hermia, was the first object Lysander beheld when he
opened his eyes; and strange to relate, so powerful was
the love-charm, all his love for Hermia vanished away,
and Lysander fell in love with Helena.
Had he first seen Hermia when he awoke, the blunder
Puck committed would have been of no consequence,
for he could not love that faithful lady too well; but for
poor Lysander to be forced by a fairy love-charm to
forget his own true Hermia, and to run after another
lady, and leave Hermia asleep quite alone in a wood at
midnight, was a sad chance indeed.
Thus this misfortune happened. Helena, as has been
before related, endeavoured to keep pace with Demetrius
when he ran away so rudely from her; but she could
not continue this unequal race long, men being always
better runners in a long race than ladies. Helena soon
lost sight of Demetrius; -and as she was wandering
about, dejected and forlorn, she arrived at the place
where Lysander was sleeping. 'Ahl' said she, 'this is
Lysander lying on the ground: is he dead or asleep?'
Then, gently touching him, she said, 'Good sir, if you
are alive, awake.' Upon this Lysander opened his eyes,
and (the love-charm beginning to work) immediately
addressed her in terms of extravagant love and admira-
tion; telling her she as much excelled Hermia in beauty
as a dove does a raven, and that he would run through
fire for her sweet sake; and many more such lover-like
speeches. Helena, knowing Lysander was her friend
Hermia's lover, and that he was solemnly engaged to
marry her, was in the utmost rage when she heard her-
21





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
self addressed in this manner; for she thought (as well
she might) that Lysander was making a jest of her.
'OhI' said she, 'why was I born to be mocked and
scorned by every one? Is it not enough, is it not
enough, young man, that I can never get a sweet look
or a kind word from Demetrius; but you, sir, must
pretend in this disdainful manner to court me? I
thought, Lysander, you were a lord of more true gentle-
ness.' Saying these words in great anger, she ran away;
and Lysander followed her, quite forgetful of his own
Hermia, who was still asleep.
When Hermia awoke, she was in a sad fright at find-
ing herself alone. She wandered about the wood, not
knowing what was become of Lysander, or which way
to go to seek for him. In the meantime Demetrius not
being able to find Hermia and his rival Lysander, and
fatigued with his fruitless search, was observed by
Oberon fast asleep. Oberon had learnt by some ques-
tions he had asked of Puck, that he had applied the
love-charm to the wrong person's eyes; and now having
found the person first intended, he touched the eyelids
of the sleeping Demetrius with the love-juice, and he
instantly awoke; and the first thing he saw being Helena,
he, as Lysander had done before, began to address love-
speeches to her; and just at that moment Lysander,
followed by Hermia (for through Puck's unlucky mis-
take it was now become Hermia's turn to run after her
lover), made his appearance; and then Lysander and
Demetrius, both speaking together, made love to Helena,
they being each one under the influence of the same
potent charm.
The astonished Helena thought that Demetrius,
Lysander, and her once dear friend Hermia, were all in
a plot together to make a jest of her.
22





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
Hermia was as much surprised as Helena: she knew
not why Lysander and Demetrius, who both before loved
her, were now become the lovers of Helena; and to
Hermia the matter seemed to be no jest.
The ladies, who before had always been the dearest
of friends, now fell to high words together.
'Unkind Hermia,' said Helena, 'it is you have set
Lysander on to vex me with mock praises; and your
other lover Demetrius, who used almost to spurn me
with his foot, have you not bid him call me Goddess,
Nymph, rare, precious, and celestial? He would not
speak thus to me, whom he hates, if you did not set him
on to make a jest of me. Unkind Hermia, to join with
men in scorning your poor friend. Have you forgot our
school-day friendship? How often, Hermia, have we
two, sitting on one cushion, both singing one song, with
our needles working the same flower, both on the same
sampler wrought; growing up together in fashion of a
double cherry, scarcely seeming parted I Hermia, it is
not friendly in you, it is not maidenly to join with men
in scorning your poor friend.'
I am amazed at your passionate words,' said Hermia:
'I scorn you not; it seems you scorn me.' 'Ay, do,'
returned Helena, 'persevere, counterfeit serious looks,
and make mouths at me when I turn my back; then
wink at each other, and hold the sweet jest up. If you
had any pity, grace, or manners, you would not use me
thus.'
While Helena and Hermia were speaking these angry
words to each other, Demetrius and Lysander left them,
to fight together in the wood for the love of Helena.
When they found the gentlemen had left them, they
departed, and once more wandered weary in the wood in
search of their lovers.





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
As soon as they were gone, the fairy king, who with
little Puck had been listening to their quarrels, said to
him, This is your negligence, Puck; or did you do this
wilfully?' 'Believe me, king of shadows,' answered
Puck, it was a mistake; did not you tell me I should
know the man by his Athenian garments? However,
I am not sorry this has happened, for I think their jang-
ling makes excellent sport.' 'You heard,' said Oberon,
'that Demetrius and Lysander are gone to seek a con-
venient place to fight in. I command you to overhang
the night with a thick fog, and lead these quarrelsome
lovers so astray in the dark, that they shall not be able
to find each other. Counterfeit each of their voices to
the other, and with bitter taunts provoke them to follow
you, while they think it is their rival's tongue they hear.
See you do this, till they are so weary they can go no
farther; and when you find they are asleep, drop the
juice of this other flower into Lysander's eyes, and when
he awakes he will forget his new love for Helena, and
return to his old passion for Hermia; and then the two
fair ladies may each one be happy with the man she
loves, and they will think all that has passed a vexatious
dream. About this quickly, Puck, and I will go and see
what sweet love my Titania has found.'
Titania was still sleeping, and Oberon seeing a clown
near her, who had lost his way in the wood, and was
likewise asleep: 'This fellow,' said he, 'shall be my
Titania's true love'; and clapping an ass's head over the
clown's, it seemed to fit him as well as if it had grown
upon his own shoulders. Though Oberon fixed the ass's
head on very gently, it awakened him, and rising up,
unconscious of what Oberon had done to him, he went
towards the bower where the fairy queen slept.
'Ah! what angel is that I see?' said Titania, open-
24





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
ing her eyes, and the juice of the little purple flower
beginning to take effect: 'are you as wise as you are
beautiful?'
'Why, mistress,' said the foolish clown, 'if I have
wit enough to find the way out of this wood, I have
enough to serve my turn.'
Out of the wood do not desire to go,' said the en-
amoured queen. I am a spirit of no common rate. I
love you. Go with me, and I will give you fairies to
attend upon you.'
She then called four of her fairies: their names were,
Pease-blossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustard-seed.
'Attend,' said the queen, 'upon this sweet gentle-
man; hop in his walks, and gambol in his sight; feed
him with grapes and apricots, and steal for him the
honey-bags from the bees. Come, sit with me,' said she
to the clown,' and let me play with your amiable hairy
cheeks, my beautiful ass I and kiss your fair large ears,
my gentle joy I'
Where is Pease-blossom ?' said the ass-headed clown,
not much regarding the fairy queen's courtship, but very
proud of his new attendants.
'Here, sir,' said little Pease-blossom.
'Scratch my head,' said the clown. Where is Cob-
web?'
'Here, sir,' said Cobweb.
'Good Mr. Cobweb,' said the foolish clown,' kill me
the red humble bee on the top of that thistle yonder;
and, good Mr. Cobweb, bring me the honey-bag. Do
not fret yourself too much in the action, Mr. Cobweb,
and take care the honey-bag break not; I should be
sorry to have you overflown with a honey-bag. Where
is Mustard-seed ?'
'Here, sir,' said Mustard-seed: 'what is your will?'
25





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
'Nothing,' said the clown, 'good Mr. Mustard-seed,
but to help Mr. Pease-blossom to scratch; I must go to
a barber's, Mr. Mustard-seed, for methinks I am marvel-
lous hairy about the face.'
'My sweet love,' said the queen, what will you have
to eat? I have a venturous fairy shall seek the squirrel's
hoard, and fetch you some new nuts.'
I had rather have a handful of dried pease,' said the
clown, who with his ass's head had got an ass's appetite.
'But, I pray, let none of your people disturb me, for
I have a mind to sleep.'
'Sleep, then,' said the queen, and I will wind you
in my arms. 0 how I love you I how I dote upon
you '
When the fairy king saw the clown sleeping in the
arms of his queen, he advanced within her sight, and
reproached her with having lavished her favours upon
an ass.
This she could not deny, as the clown was then
sleeping within her arms, with his ass's head crowned by
her with flowers.
When Oberon had teased her for some time, he again
demanded the changeling boy; which she, ashamed of
being discovered by her lord with her new favourite, did
not dare to refuse him.
Oberon, having thus obtained the little boy he had so
long wished for to be his page, took pity on the disgrace-
ful situation into which, by his merry contrivance, he had
brought his Titania, and threw some of the juice of the
other flower into her eyes; and the fairy queen im-
mediately recovered her senses, and wondered at her late
dotage, saying how she now loathed the sight of the
strange monster.
Oberon likewise took the ass's head from off the
26





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
clown, and left him to finish his nap with his own fool's
head upon his shoulders.
Oberon and his Titania being now perfectly reconciled,
he related to her the history of the lovers, and their
midnight quarrels; and she agreed to go with him and
see the end of their adventures.
The fairy king and queen found the lovers and their
fair ladies, at no great distance from each other, sleeping
on a grass-plot; for Puck, to make amends for his former
mistake, had contrived with the utmost diligence to bring
them all to the same spot, unknown to each other; and
he had carefully removed the charm from off the eyes of
Lysander with the antidote the fairy king gave to him.
Hermia first awoke, and finding her lost Lysander
asleep so near her, was looking at him and wondering at
his strange inconstancy. Lysander presently opening
his eyes, and seeing his dear Hermia, recovered his reason
which the fairy charm had before clouded, and with his
reason, his love for Hermia; and they began to talk over
the adventures of the night, doubting if these things had
really happened, or if they had both been dreaming the
same bewildering dream.
Helena and Demetrius were by this time awake; and
a sweet sleep having quieted Helena's disturbed and
angry spirits, she listened with delight to the professions
of love which Demetrius still made to her, and which, to
her surprise as well as pleasure, she began to perceive
were sincere.
These fair night-wandering ladies, now no longer
rivals, became once more true friends; all the unkind
words which had passed were forgiven, and they calmly
consulted together what was best to be done in their
present situation. It was soon agreed that, as Demetrius
had given up his pretensions to Hermia, he should en-





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
deavour to prevail upon her father to revoke the cruel
sentence of death which had been passed against her.
Demetrius was preparing to return to Athens for this
friendly purpose, when they were surprised with the sight
of Egeus, Hermia's father, who came to the wood in
pursuit of his runaway daughter.
When Egeus understood that Demetrius would not
now marry his daughter, he no longer opposed her
marriage with Lysander, but gave his consent that they
should be wedded on the fourth day from that time,
being the same day on which Hermia had been condemned
to lose her life; and on that same day Helena joyfully
agreed to marry her beloved and now faithful Demetrius.
The fairy king and queen, who were invisible spec-
tators of this reconciliation, and now saw the happy
ending of the lovers' history, brought about through the
good offices of Oberon, received so much pleasure, that
these kind spirits resolved to celebrate the approaching
nuptials with sports and revels throughout their fairy
kingdom.
And now, if any are offended with this story of fairies
and their pranks, as judging it incredible and strange,
they have only to think that they have been asleep and
dreaming, and that all these adventures were visions
which they saw in their sleep: and I hope none of my
readers will be so unreasonable as to be offended with a
pretty harmless Midsummer Night's Dream.





THE WINTER'S TALE


THE WINTER'S TALE

LEONTES, king of Sicily, and his queen, the beautiful and
virtuous Hermione, once lived in the greatest harmony
together. So happy was Leontes in the love of this
excellent lady, that he had no wish ungratified, except
that he sometimes desired to see again, and to present to
his queen, his old companion and school-fellow, Polixenes,
king of Bohemia. Leontes and Polixenes were brought
up together from their infancy, but being, by the death
of their fathers, called to reign over their respective
kingdoms, they had not met for many years, though they
frequently interchanged gifts, letters, and loving embassies.
At length, after repeated invitations, Polixenes came
from Bohemia to the Sicilian court, to make his friend
Leontes a visit.
At first this visit gave nothing but pleasure to
Leontes. He recommended the friend of his youth to
the queen's particular attention, and seemed in the
presence of his dear friend and old companion to have his
felicity quite completed. They talked over old times;
their school-days and their youthful pranks were remem-
bered, and recounted to Hermione, who always took a
cheerful part in these conversations.
When, after a long stay, Polixenes was preparing to
depart, Hermione, at the desire of her husband, joined
her entreaties to his that Polixenes would prolong his
visit.





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
And now began this good queen's sorrow; for
Polixenes refusing to stay at the request of Leontes, was
won over by Hermione's gentle and persuasive words to
put off his departure for some weeks longer. Upon this,
although Leontes had so long known the integrity and
honourable principles of his friend Polixenes, as well as
the excellent disposition of his virtuous queen, he was
seized with an ungovernable jealousy. Every attention
Hermione showed to Polixenes, though by her husband's
particular desire, and merely to please him, increased the
unfortunate king's jealousy; and from being a loving and
a true friend, and the best and fondest of husbands,
Leontes became suddenly a savage and inhuman monster.
Sending for Camillo, one of the lords of his court, and
telling him of the suspicion he entertained, he commanded
him to poison Polixenes.
Camillo was a good man; and he, well knowing that
the jealousy of Leontes had not the slightest foundation
in truth, instead of poisoning Polixenes, acquainted him
with the king his master's orders, and agreed to escape
with him out of the Sicilian dominions; and Polixenes,
with the assistance of Camillo, arrived safe in his own
kingdom of Bohemia, where Camillo lived from that
time in the king's court, and became the chief friend and
favourite of Polixenes.
The flight of Polixenes enraged the jealous Leontes
still more; he went to the queen's apartment, where the
good lady was sitting with her little son Mamillius, who
was just beginning to tell one of his best stories to amuse
his mother, when the king entered, and taking the child
away, sent Hermione to prison.
Mamillius, though but a very young child, loved his
mother tenderly; and when he saw her so dishonoured,
and found she was taken from him to be put into a prison,
30





THE WINTER'S TALE
he took it deeply to heart, and drooped and pined away
by slow degrees, losing his appetite and his sleep, till it
was thought his grief would kill him.
The king, when he had sent his queen to prison, com-
manded Cleomenes and Dion, two Sicilian lords, to go to
Delphos, there to inquire of the oracle at the temple of
Apollo, if his queen had been unfaithful to him.
When Hermione had been a short time in prison, she
was brought to bed of a daughter; and the poor lady
received much comfort from the sight of her pretty baby,
and she said to it, 'My poor little prisoner, I am as
innocent as you are.'
Hermione had a kind friend in the noble-spirited
Paulina, who was the wife of Antigonus, a Sicilian lord;
and when the lady Paulina heard her royal mistress was
brought to bed, she went to the prison where Hermione
was confined; and she said to Emilia, a lady who attended
upon Hermione, I pray you, Emilia, tell the good queen,
if her majesty dare trust me with her little babe, I will
carry it to the king, its father; we do not know how he
may soften at the sight of his innocent child.' Most
worthy madam,' replied Emilia, 'I will acquaint the
queen with your noble offer; she was wishing to-day
that she had any friend who would venture to present the
child to the king.' 'And tell her,' said Paulina, 'that I
will speak boldly to Leontes in her defence.' May you
be for ever blessed,' said Emilia, 'for your kindness to
our gracious queen Emilia then went to Hermione,
who joyfully gave up her baby to the care of Paulina, for
she had feared that no one would dare venture to present
the child to its father.
Paulina took the new-born infant, and forcing herself
into the king's presence, notwithstanding her husband,
fearing the king's anger, endeavoured to prevent her, she
31





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
laid the babe at its father's feet, and Paulina made a noble
speech to the king in defence of Hermione, and she
reproached him severely for his inhumanity, and implored
him to have mercy on his innocent wife and child. But
Paulina's spirited remonstrances only aggravated Leontes'
displeasure, and he ordered her husband Antigonus to
take her from his presence.
When Paulina went away, she left the little baby at
its father's feet, thinking when he was alone with it, he
would look upon it, and have pity on its helpless inno-
cence.
The good Paulina was mistaken: for no sooner was
she gone than the merciless father ordered Antigonus,
Paulina's husband, to take the child, and carry it out to
sea, and leave it upon some desert shore to perish.
Antigonus, unlike the good Camillo, too well obeyed
the orders of Leontes; for he immediately carried the
child on ship-board, and put out to sea, intending to
leave it on the first desert coast he could find.
So firmly was the king persuaded of the guilt of
Hermione, that he would not wait for the return of
Cleomenes and Dion, whom he had sent to consult the
oracle of Apollo at Delphos; but before the queen was
recovered from her lying-in, and from her grief for the
loss of her precious baby, he had her brought to a public
trial before all the lords and nobles of his court. And
when all the great lords, the judges, and all the nobility
of the land were assembled together to try Hermione,
and that unhappy queen was standing as a prisoner be-
fore her subjects to receive their judgment, Cleomenes
and Dion entered the assembly, and presented to the
king the answer of the oracle, sealed up; and Leontes
commanded the seal to be broken, and the words of the
oracle to be read aloud, and these were the words:-
32





THE WINTER'S TALE
' Hermione is innocent, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true
subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant, and the king shall live
without an heir if that which is lost be not found.' The
king would give no credit to the words of the oracle: he
said it was a falsehood invented by the queen's friends,
and he desired the judge to proceed in the trial of the
queen; but while Leontes was speaking, a man entered
and told him that the prince Mamillius, hearing his
mother was to be tried for her life, struck with grief and
shame, had suddenly died.
Hermione, upon hearing of the death of this dear
affectionate child, who had lost his life in sorrowing for
her misfortune, fainted; and Leontes, pierced to the heart
by the news, began to feel pity for his unhappy queen,
and he ordered Paulina, and the ladies who were her
attendants, to take her away, and use means for her
recovery. Paulina soon returned, and told the king that
Hermione was dead.
When Leontes heard that the queen was dead, he
repented of his cruelty to her; and now that he thought
his ill-usage had broken Hermione's heart, he believed
her innocent; and now he thought the words of the
oracle were true, as he knew 'if that which was lost was
not found,' which he concluded was his young daughter,
he should be without an heir, the young prince Mamillius
being dead; and he would give his kingdom now to
recover his lost daughter: and Leontes gave himself up
to remorse, and passed many years in mournful thoughts
and repentant grief.
The ship in which Antigonus carried the infant prin-
cess out to sea was driven by a storm upon the coast of
Bohemia, the very kingdom of the good king Polixenes.
Here Antigonus landed, and here he left the little baby.
Antigonus never returned to Sicily to tell Leontes





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
where he had left his daughter, for as he was going back
to the ship, a bear came out of the woods, and tore him
to pieces; a just punishment on him for obeying the
wicked order of Leontes.
The child was dressed in rich clothes and jewels; for
Hermione had made it very fine when she sent it to
Leontes, and Antigonus had pinned a paper to its mantle,
and the name of Perdita written thereon, and words
obscurely intimating its high birth and untoward fate.
This poor deserted baby was found by a shepherd.
He was a humane man, and so he carried the little
Perdita home to his wife, who nursed it tenderly; but
poverty tempted the shepherd to conceal the rich prize
he had found; therefore he left that part of the country,
that no one might know where he got his riches, and
with part of Perdita's jewels he bought herds of sheep,
and became a wealthy shepherd. He brought up Per-
dita as his own child, and she knew not she was any
other than a shepherd's daughter.
The little Perdita grew up a lovely maiden; and
though she had no better education than that of a shep-
herd's daughter, yet so did the natural graces she
inherited from her royal mother shine forth in her un-
tutored mind, that no one from her behaviour would
have known she had not been brought up in her father's
court.
Polixenes, the king of Bohemia, had an only son,
whose name was Florizel. As this young prince was
hunting near the shepherd's dwelling, he saw the old
man's supposed daughter; and the beauty, modesty, and
queen-like deportment of Perdita caused him instantly to
fall in love with her. He soon, under the name of
Doriles, and in the disguise of a private gentleman,
became a constant visitor at the old shepherd's house.





THE WINTER'S TALE
Florizel's frequent absences from court alarmed Polixenes;
and setting people to watch his son, he discovered his
love for the shepherd's fair daughter.
Polixenes then called for Camillo, the faithful Camillo,
who had preserved his life from the fury of Leontes, and
desired that he would accompany him to the house of the
shepherd, the supposed father of Perdita.
Polixenes and Camillo, both in disguise, arrived at the
old shepherd's dwelling while they were celebrating the
feast of sheep-shearing; and though they were strangers,
yet at the sheep-shearing every guest being made wel-
come, they were invited to walk in, and join in the
general festivity.
Nothing but mirth and jollity was going forward.
Tables were spread, and great preparations were making
for the rustic feast. Some lads and lasses were dancing
on the green before the house, while others of the young
men were buying ribands, gloves, and such toys, of a
pedlar at the door.
While this busy scene was going forward, Florizel and
Perdita sat quietly in a retired corner, seemingly more
pleased with the conversation of each other, than desirous
of engaging in the sports and silly amusements of those
around them.
The king was so disguised that it was impossible his
son could know him: he therefore advanced near enough
to hear the conversation. The simple yet elegant manner
in which Perdita conversed with his son did not a little
surprise Polixenes: he said to Camillo, 'This is the
prettiest low-born lass I ever saw; nothing she does or
says but looks like something greater than herself, too
noble for this place.'
Camillo replied, 'Indeed she is the very queen of curds
and cream.'





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
'Pray, my good friend,' said the king to the old shep-
herd,' what fair swain is that talking with your daughter?'
'They call him Doricles,' replied the shepherd. 'He
says he loves my daughter; and, to speak truth, there is
not a kiss to choose which loves the other best. If young
Doricles can get her, she shall bring him that he little
dreams of'; meaning the remainder of Perdita's jewels;
which, after he had bought herds of sheep with part of
them, he had carefully hoarded up for her marriage
portion.
Polixenes then addressed his son. How now, young
man I' said he: 'your heart seems full of something that
takes off your mind from feasting. When I was young,
I used to load my love with presents; but you have let
the pedlar go, and have bought your lass no toy.'
The young prince, who little thought he was talking
to the king his father, replied, 'Old sir, she prizes not
such trifles; the gifts which Perdita expects from me are
locked up in my heart.' Then turning to Perdita, he said
to her,' O hear me, Perdita, before this ancient gentle-
man, who it seems was once himself a lover; he shall
hear what I profess.' Florizel then called upon the old
stranger to be a witness to a solemn promise of marriage
which he made to Perdita, saying to Polixenes, I pray
you, mark our contract.'
'Mark your divorce, young sir,' said the king, dis-
covering himself. Polixenes then reproached his son for
daring to contract himself to this low-born maiden, calling
Perdita 'shepherd's-brat, sheep-hook,' and other dis-
respectful names; and threatening, if ever she suffered
his son to see her again, he would put her, and the old
shepherd her father, to a cruel death.
The king then left them in great wrath, and ordered
Camillo to follow him with prince FlorizeL
36





THE WINTER'S TALE
When the king had departed, Perdita, whose royal
nature was roused by Polixenes' reproaches, said, 'Though
we are all undone, I was not much afraid; and once or
twice I was about to speak, and tell him plainly that the
selfsame sun which shines upon his palace, hides not his
face from our cottage, but looks on both alike.' Then
sorrowfully she said, But now I am awakened from this
dream, I will queen it no further. Leave me, sir; I will
go milk my ewes and weep.'
The kind-hearted Camillo was charmed with the spirit
and propriety of Perdita's behaviour; and perceiving
that the young prince was too deeply in love to give up
his mistress at the command of his royal father, he
thought of a way to befriend the lovers, and at the same
time to execute a favourite scheme he had in his mind.
Camillo had long known that Leontes, the king of
Sicily, was become a true penitent; and though Camillo
was now the favoured friend of king Polixenes, he could
not help wishing once more to see his late royal master
and his native home. He therefore proposed to Florizel
and Perdita that they should accompany him to the
Sicilian court, where he would engage Leontes should
protect them, till, through his mediation, they could
obtain pardon from Polixenes, and his consent to their
marriage.
To this proposal they joyfully agreed; and Camillo,
who conducted everything relative to their flight, allowed
the old shepherd to go along with them.
The shepherd took with him the remainder of Perdita's
jewels, her baby clothes, and the paper which he had
found pinned to her mantle.
After a prosperous voyage, Florizel and Perdita,
Camillo and the old shepherd, arrived in safety at the
court of Leontes. Leontes, who still mourned his dead
37





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
Hermione and his lost child, received Camillo with great
kindness, and gave a cordial welcome to prince Florizel.
But Perdita, whom Florizel introduced as his princess,
seemed to engross all Leontes' attention: perceiving a
resemblance between her and his dead queen Hermione,
his grief broke out afresh, and he said, such a lovely
creature might his own daughter have been, if he had not
so cruelly destroyed her. 'And then, too,' said he to
Florizel, I lost the society and friendship of your brave
father, whom I now desire more than my life once again
to look upon.'
When the old shepherd heard how much notice the
king had taken of Perdita, and that he had lost a
daughter, who was exposed in infancy, he fell to com-
paring the time when he found the little Perdita, with
the manner of its exposure, the jewels and other tokens
of its high birth; from all which it was impossible for
him not to conclude that Perdita and the king's lost
daughter were the same.
Florizel and Perdita, Camillo and the faithful Paulina,
were present when the old shepherd related to the king
the manner in which he had found the child, and also the
circumstance of Antigonus' death, he having seen the
bear seize upon him. He showed the rich mantle in
which Paulina remembered Hermione had wrapped the
child; and he produced a jewel which she remembered
Hermione had tied about Perdita's neck, and he gave up
the paper which Paulina knew to be the writing of her
husband; it could not be doubted that Perdita was
Leontes' own daughter: but oh I the noble struggles of
Paulina, between sorrow for her husband's death, and joy
that the oracle was fulfilled, in the king's heir, his long-
lost daughter being found. When Leontes heard that
Perdita was his daughter, the great sorrow that he felt
38





THE WINTER'S TALE
that Hermione was not living to behold her child, made
him that he could say nothing for a long time, but,' O
thy mother, thy mother 1'
Paulina interrupted this joyful yet distressful scene,
with saying to Leontes, that she had a statue newly
finished by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano, which
was such a perfect resemblance of the queen, that would
his majesty be pleased to go to her house and look upon
it, he would be almost ready to think it was Hermione
herself. Thither then they all went; the king anxious to
see the semblance of his Hermione, and Perdita longing
to behold what the mother she never saw did look like.
When Paulina drew back the curtain which concealed
this famous statue, so perfectly did it resemble Hermione,
that all the king's sorrow was renewed at the sight: for a
long time he had no power to speak or move.
'I like your silence, my liege,' said Paulina, 'it the
more shows your wonder. Is not this statue very like
your queen?'
At length the king said, '0, thus she stood, even
with such majesty, when I first wooed her. But yet,
Paulina, Hermione was not so aged as this statue looks.'
Paulina replied, So much the more the carver's excel-
lence, who has made the statue as Hermione would have
looked had she been living now. But let me draw the
curtain, sire, lest presently you think it moves.'
The king then said, 'Do not draw the curtain. Would
I were dead See, Camillo, would you not think it
breathed? Her eye seems to have motion in it.' 'I
must draw the curtain, my liege,' said Paulina. 'You
are so transported, you will persuade yourself the statue
lives.' '0, sweet Paulina,' said Leontes, 'make me
think so twenty years together I Still methinks there is
an air comes from her. What fine chisel could ever yet





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
cut breath ? Let no man mock me, for I will kiss her.'
' Good my lord, forbear I' said Paulina. 'The ruddiness
upon her lip is wet; you will stain your own with oily
painting. Shall I draw the curtain?' 'No, not these
twenty years,' said Leontes.
Perdita, who all this time had been kneeling, and
beholding in silent admiration the statue of her matchless
mother, said now, 'And so long could I stay here,
looking upon my dear mother.'
'Either forbear this transport,' said Paulina to
Leontes, and let me draw the curtain; or prepare your-
self for more amazement. I can make the statue move
indeed; ay, and descend from off the pedestal, and take
you by the hand. But then you will think, which I
protest I am not, that I am assisted by some wicked
powers.
What you can make her do,' said the astonished king,
'I am content to look upon. What you can make her
speak, I am content to hear; for it is as easy to make her
speak as move.'
Paulina then ordered some slow and solemn music,
which she had prepared for the purpose, to strike up; and
to the amazement of all the beholders, the statue came
down from off the pedestal, and threw its arms around
Leontes' neck. The statue then began to speak, praying
for blessings on her husband, and on her child, the newly-
found Perdita.
No wonder that the statue hung upon Leontes' neck,
and blessed her husband and her child. No wonder; for
the statue was indeed Hermione herself, the real, the
living queen.
Paulina had falsely reported to the king the death of
Hermione, thinking that the only means to preserve her
royal mistress' life; and with the good Paulina, Hermione
40





THE WINTER'S TALE
had lived ever since, never choosing Leontes should know
she was living, till she heard Perdita was found; for though
she had long forgiven the injuries which Leontes had done
to herself, she could not pardon his cruelty to his infant
daughter.
His dead queen thus restored to life, his lost daughter
found, the long-sorrowing Leontes could scarcely support
the excess of his own happiness.
Nothing but congratulations and affectionate speeches
were heard on all sides. Now the delighted parents
thanked prince Florizel for loving their lowly-seeming
daughter; and now they blessed the good old shepherd
for preserving their child. Greatly did Camillo and
Paulina rejoice that they had lived to see so good an end
of all their faithful services.
And as if nothing should be wanting to complete this
strange and unlooked-for joy, king Polixenes himself now
entered the palace.
When Polixenes first missed his son and Camillo,
knowing that Camillo had long wished to return to Sicily,
he conjectured he should find the fugitives here; and
following them with all speed, he happened to just arrive
at this, the happiest moment of Leontes' life.
Polixenes took a part in the general joy; he forgave
his friend Leontes the unjust jealousy he had conceived
against him, and they once more loved each other with all
the warmth of their first boyish friendship. And there
was no fear that Polixenes would now oppose his son's
marriage with Perdita. She was no sheep-hook' now,
but the heiress of the crown of Sicily.
Thus have we seen the patient virtues of the long-
suffering Hermione rewarded. That excellent lady lived
many years with her Leontes and her Perdita, the happiest
of mothers and of queens.




TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE


MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

THERE lived in the palace at Messina two ladies, whose
names were Hero and Beatrice. Hero was the daughter,
and Beatrice the niece, of Leonato, the governor of
Messina.
Beatrice was of a lively temper, and loved to divert
her cousin Hero, who was of a more serious disposition,
with her sprightly sallies. Whatever was going forward
was sure to make matter of mirth for the light-hearted
Beatrice.
At the time the history of these ladies commences
some young men of high rank in the army, as they were
passing through Messina on their return from a war that
was just ended, in which they had distinguished them-
selves by their great bravery, came to visit Leonato.
Among these were Don Pedro, the Prince of Arragon;
and his friend Claudio, who was a lord of Florence; and
with them came the wild and witty Benedick, and he was
a lord of Padua.
These strangers had been at Messina before, and the
hospitable governor introduced them to his daughter
and his niece as their old friends and acquaintance.
Benedick, the moment he entered the room, began
a lively conversation with Leonato and the prince.
Beatrice, who liked not to be left out of any discourse,
interrupted Benedick with saying, I wonder that you
will still be talking, signior Benedick: nobody marks
42

















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BEATRICE AND BENEDICK
(Much Ado About Nothing-Act IV. Ecene 1)


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MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
you.' Benedick was just such another rattlebrain as
Beatrice, yet he was not pleased at this free salutation ; he
thought it did not become a well-bred lady to be so flip-
pant with her tongue; and he remembered, when he was
last at Messina, that Beatrice used to select him to make
her merry jests upon. And as there is no one who so
little likes to be made a jest of as those who are apt to
take the same liberty themselves, so it was with Benedick
and Beatrice; these two sharp wits never met in former
times but a perfect war of raillery was kept up between
them, and they always parted mutually displeased with
each other. Therefore when Beatrice stopped him in the
middle of his discourse with telling him nobody marked
what he was saying, Benedick, affecting not to have ob-
served before that she was present, said, 'What, my dear
lady Disdain, are you yet living ?' And now war broke
out afresh between them, and a long jangling argument
ensued, during which Beatrice, although she knew he had
so well approved his valour in the late war, said that she
would eat all he had killed there: and observing the
prince take delight in Benedick's conversation, she called
him the prince's jester.' This sarcasm sunk deeper into
the mind of Benedick than all Beatrice had said before.
The hint she gave him that he was a coward, by saying
she would eat all he had killed, he did not regard, know-
ing himself to be a brave man; but there is nothing that
great wits so much dread as the imputation of buffoonery,
because the charge comes sometimes a little too near the
truth : therefore Benedick perfectly hated Beatrice when
she called him the prince's jester.'
The modest lady Hero was silent before the noble
guests; and while Claudio was attentively observing the
improvement which time had made in her beauty, and
was contemplating the exquisite graces of her fine figure




TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
(for she was an admirable young lady), the prince was
highly amused with listening to the humorous dialogue
between Benedick and Beatrice; and he said in a whisper
to Leonato, 'This is a pleasant-spirited young lady. She
were an excellent wife for Benedick.' Leonato replied to
this suggestion,' 0 my lord, my lord, if they were but a
week married, they would talk themselves mad.' But
though Leonato thought they would make a discordant
pair, the prince did not give up the idea of matching these
two keen wits together.
When the prince returned with Claudio from the
palace, he found that the marriage he had devised between
Benedick and Beatrice was not the only one projected in
that good company, for Claudio spoke in such terms of
Hero, as made the prince guess at what was passing in his
heart; and he liked it well, and he said to Claudio, Do
you affect Hero ?' To this question Claudio replied, O
my lord, when I was last at Messina, I looked upon her
with a soldier's eye, that liked, but had no leisure for
loving; but now, in this happy time of peace, thoughts of
war have left their places vacant in my mind, and in their
room come thronging soft and delicate thoughts, all
prompting me how fair young Hero is, reminding me that
I liked her before I went to the wars.' Claudio's con-
fession of his love for Hero so wrought upon the prince,
that he lost no time in soliciting the consent of Leonato
to accept of Claudio for a son-in-law. Leonato agreed to
this proposal, and the prince found no great difficulty in
persuading the gentle Hero herself to listen to the suit of
the noble Claudio, who was a lord of rare endowments,
and highly accomplished, and Claudio, assisted by his
kind prince, soon prevailed upon Leonato to fix an
early day for the celebration of his marriage with Hero.
Claudio was to wait but a few days before he was to
44





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
be married to his fair lady; yet he complained of the
interval being tedious, as indeed most young men are im-
patient when they are waiting for the accomplishment of
any event they have set their hearts upon: the prince,
therefore, to make the time seem short to him, proposed
as a kind of merry pastime that they should invent some
artful scheme to make Benedick and Beatrice fall in love
with each other. Claudio entered with great satisfaction
into this whim of the prince, and Leonato promised them
his assistance, and even Hero said she would do any
modest office to help her cousin to a good husband.
The device the prince invented was, that the gentle-
men should make Benedick believe that Beatrice was
in love with him, and that Hero should make Beatrice
believe that Benedick was in love with her.
The prince, Leonato, and Claudio began their opera-
tions first: and watching upon an opportunity when
Benedick was quietly seated reading in an arbour, the
prince and his assistants took their station among the
trees behind the arbour, so near that Benedick could not
choose but hear all they said ; and after some careless talk
the prince said, 'Come hither, Leonato. What was it
you told me the other day-that your niece Beatrice was
in love with signior Benedick ? I did never think that
lady would have loved any man.' 'No, nor I neither, my
lord,' answered Leonato. 'It is most wonderful that she
should so dote on Benedick, whom she in all outward
behaviour seemed ever to dislike.' Claudio confirmed all
this with saying that Hero had told him Beatrice was so
in love with Benedick, that she would certainly die of
grief, if he could not be brought to love her; which
Leonato and Claudio seemed to agree was impossible, he
having always been such a railer against all fair ladies,
and in particular against Beatrice.





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
The prince affected to hearken to all this with great
compassion for Beatrice, and he said, 'It were good that
Benedick were told of this.' 'To what end?' said
Claudio; he would but make sport of it, and torment the
poor lady worse.' And if he should,' said the prince,' it
were a good deed to hang him; for Beatrice is an excel-
lent sweet lady, and exceeding wise in everything but in
loving Benedick.' Then the prince motioned to his com-
panions that they should walk on, and leave Benedick to
meditate upon what he had overheard.
Benedick had been listening with great eagerness to
this conversation; and he said to himself when he heard
Beatrice loved him, 'Is it possible? Sits the wind in
that corner ?' And when they were gone, he began to
reason in this manner with himself: 'This can be no
trick I they were very serious, and they have the truth
from Hero, and seem to pity the lady. Love me I Why,
it must be requited I I did never think to marry. But
when I said I should die a bachelor, I did not think I
should live to be married. They say the lady is virtuous
and fair. She is so. And wise in everything but loving
me. Why, that is no great argument of her folly. But
here comes Beatrice. By this day, she is a fair lady. I
do spy some marks of love in her.' Beatrice now ap-
proached him, and said with her usual tartness, 'Against
my will I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.'
Benedick, who never felt himself disposed to speak so
politely to her before, replied, Fair Beatrice, I thank you
for your pains': and when Beatrice, after two or three
more rude speeches, left him, Benedick thought he ob-
served a concealed meaning of kindness under the uncivil
words she uttered, and he said aloud, If I do not take
pity on her, I am a villain. If I do not love her, I am a
Jew. I will go get her picture.'
46





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
The gentleman being thus caught in the net they
had spread for him, it was now Hero's turn to play
her part with Beatrice; and for this purpose she sent
for Ursula and Margaret, two gentlewomen who
attended upon her, and she said to Margaret, 'Good
Margaret, run to the parlour; there you will find my
cousin Beatrice talking with the prince and Claudio.
Whisper in her ear, that I and Ursula are walking in
the orchard, and that our discourse is all of her. Bid
her steal into that pleasant arbour, where honeysuckles,
ripened by the sun, like ungrateful minions, forbid the sun
to enter.' This arbour, into which Hero desired Margaret
to entice Beatrice, was the very same pleasant arbour
where Benedick had so lately been an attentive listener.
I will make her come, I warrant," presently,' said
Margaret.
Hero, then taking Ursula with her into the orchard,
said to her, 'Now, Ursula, when Beatrice comes, we
will walk up and down this alley, and our talk must
be only of Benedick, and when I name him, let it be
your part to praise him more than ever man did merit.
My talk to you must be how Benedick is in love with
Beatrice. Now begin; for look where Beatrice like a
lapwing runs close by the ground, to hear our con-
ference.' They then began; Hero saying, as if in answer
to something which Ursula had said, No, truly, Ursula.
She is too disdainful; her spirits are as coy as wild birds
of the rock.' 'But are you sure,' said Ursula, 'that
Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely?' Hero replied,
'So says the prince, and my lord Claudio, and they
entreated me to acquaint her with it; but I persuaded
them, if they loved Benedick, never to let Beatrice
know of it.' 'Certainly,' replied Ursula, 'it were
not good she knew his love, lest she made sport of it.'
47





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
'Why, to say truth,' said Hero, 'I never yet saw
a man, how wise soever, or noble, young, or rarely
featured, but she would dispraise him.' 'Sure, sure,
such carping is not commendable,' said Ursula. 'No,'
replied Hero, but who dare tell her so ? If I should
speak, she would mock me into air.' O1 you wrong
your cousin,' said Ursula; she cannot be so much with-
out true judgment, as to refuse so rare a gentleman as
signior Benedick.' 'He hath an excellent good name,'
said Hero: 'indeed, he is the first man in Italy, always
excepting my dear Claudio.' And now, Hero giving her
attendant a hint that it was time to change the dis-
course, Ursula said, 'And when are you to be married,
madam?' Hero then told her, that she was to be
married to Claudio the next day, and desired she would
go in with her, and look at some new attire, as she
wished to consult with her on what she would wear on
the morrow. Beatrice, who had been listening with
breathless eagerness to this dialogue, when they went
away, exclaimed,' What fire is in mine ears? Can this
be true? Farewell, contempt and scorn, and maiden
pride, adieu I Benedick, love on I I will requite you,
taming my wild heart to your loving hand.'
It must have been a pleasant sight to see these old
enemies converted into new and loving friends, and
to behold their first meeting after being cheated into
mutual liking by the merry artifice of the good-humoured
prince. But a sad reverse in the fortunes of Hero must
now be thought of. The morrow, which was to have
been her wedding-day, brought sorrow on the heart of
Hero and her good father Leonato.
The prince had a half-brother, who came from the
wars along with him to Messina. This brother (his name
was Don John) was a melancholy, discontented man,
48





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
whose spirits seemed to labour in the contriving of
villanies. He hated the prince his brother, and he hated
Claudio, because he was the prince's friend, and deter-
mined to prevent Claudio's marriage with Hero, only for
the malicious pleasure of making Claudio and the prince
unhappy; for he knew the prince had set his heart upon
this marriage, almost as much as Claudio himself; and to
effect this wicked purpose, he employed one Borachio, a
man as bad as himself, whom he encouraged with the
offer of a great reward. This Borachio paid his court to
Margaret, Hero's attendant; and Don John, knowing
this, prevailed upon him to make Margaret promise to
talk with him from her lady's chamber window that
night, after Hero was asleep, and also to dress herself in
Hero's clothes, the better to deceive Claudio into the
belief that it was Hero; for that was the end he meant to
compass by this wicked plot.
Don John then went to the prince and Claudio, and
told them that Hero was an imprudent lady, and that
she talked with men from her chamber window at mid-
night. Now this was the evening before the wedding,
and he offered to take them that night, where they should
themselves hear Hero discoursing with a man from her
window; and they consented to go along with him, and
Claudio said, 'If I see anything to-night why I should
not marry her, to-morrow in the congregation, where I
intended to wed her, there will I shame her.' The prince
also said, And as I assisted you to obtain her, I will join
with you to disgrace her.'
When Don John brought them near Hero's chamber
that night, they saw Borachio standing under the
window, and they saw Margaret looking out of Hero's
window, and heard her talking with Borachio; and
Margaret being dressed in the same clothes they had seen
D 49





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
Hero wear, the prince and Claudio believed it was the
lady Hero herself.
Nothing could equal the anger of Claudio, when he
had made (as he thought) this discovery. All his love
for the innocent Hero was at once converted into hatred,
and he resolved to expose her in the church, as he had
said he would, the next day; and the prince agreed
to this, thinking no punishment could be too severe
for the naughty lady, who talked with a man from her
window the very night before she was going to be married
to the noble Claudio.
The next day, when they were all met to celebrate
the marriage, and Claudio and Hero were standing before
the priest, and the priest, or friar, as he was called, was
proceeding to pronounce the marriage ceremony, Claudio,
in the most passionate language, proclaimed the guilt of
the blameless Hero, who, amazed at the strange words
he uttered, said meekly, Is my lord well, that he does
speak so wide ?'
Leonato, in the utmost horror, said to the prince,
'My lord, why speak not you ? 'What should I speak ?'
said the prince; 'I stand dishonoured, that have gone
about to link my dear friend to an unworthy woman.
Leonato, upon my honour, myself, my brother, and this
grieved Claudio, did see and hear her last night at mid-
night talk with a man at her chamber window.'
Benedick, in astonishment at what he heard, said,
'This looks not like a nuptial.'
'True, O God 1' replied the heart-struck Hero; and
then this hapless lady sunk down in a fainting fit, to all
appearance dead. The prince and Claudio left the
church, without staying to see if Hero would recover, or
at all regarding the distress into which they had thrown
Leonato. So hard-hearted had their anger made them.
50





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Benedick remained, and assisted Beatrice to recover
Hero from her swoon, saying, 'How does the lady?'
'Dead, I think,' replied Beatrice in great agony, for she
loved her cousin; and knowing her virtuous principles,
she believed nothing of what she had heard spoken
against her. Not so the poor old father; he believed the
story of his child's shame, and it was piteous to hear him
lamenting over her, as she lay like one dead before him,
wishing she might never more open her eyes.
But the ancient friar was a wise man, and full of
observation on human nature, and he had attentively
marked the lady's countenance when she heard herself
accused, and noted a thousand blushing shames to start
into her face, and then he saw an angel-like whiteness bear
away those blushes, and in her eye he saw a fire that did
belie the error that the prince did speak against her
maiden truth, and he said to the sorrowing father, Call
me a fool; trust not my reading, nor my observation;
trust not my age, my reverence, nor my calling, if this
sweet lady lie not guiltless here under some biting error.'
When Hero had recovered from the swoon into
which she had fallen, the friar said to her, 'Lady, what
man is he you are accused of?' Hero replied, 'They know
that do accuse me; I know of none': then turning to
Leonato, she said,' O my father, if you can prove that
any man has ever conversed with me at hours unmeet,
or that I yesternight changed words with any creature,
refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.'
'There is,' said the friar, 'some strange misunder-
standing in the prince and Claudio'; and then he coun-
selled Leonato, that he should report that Hero was
dead; and he said that the death-like swoon in which
they had left Hero would make this easy of belief; and
he also advised him that he should put on mourning,
51





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
and erect a monument for her, and do all rites that apper-
tain to a burial. 'What shall become of this?' said
Leonato; what will this do ?' The friar replied, This
report of her death shall change slander into pity: that is
some good; but that is not all the good I hope for.
When Claudio shall hear she died upon hearing his
words, the idea of her life shall sweetly creep into his
imagination. Then shall he mourn, if ever love had
interest in his heart, and wish that he had not so accused
her; yea, though he thought his accusation true.'
Benedick now said,' Leonato, let the friar advise you;
and though you know how well I love the prince and
Claudio, yet on my honour I will not reveal this secret
to them.'
Leonato, thus persuaded, yielded; and he said sorrow-
fully, 'I am so grieved, that the smallest twine may lead
me.' The kind friar then led Leonato and Hero away to
comfort and console them, and Beatrice and Benedick
remained alone; and this was the meeting from which
their friends, who contrived the merry plot against them,
expected so much diversion; those friends who were now
overwhelmed with affliction, and from whose minds all
thoughts of merriment seemed for ever banished.
Benedick was the first who spoke, and he said, Lady
Beatrice, have you wept all this while ?' 'Yea, and I
will weep a while longer,' said Beatrice. 'Surely,' said
Benedick, I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.' 'Ah!'
said Beatrice, how much might that man deserve of me
who would right her i' Benedick then said,' Is there any
way to show such friendship? I do love nothing in the
world so well as you: is not that strange?' 'It were
as possible,' said Beatrice, for me to say I loved nothing
in the world so well as you; but believe me not, and
yet I lie not. I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. I
52





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
am sorry for my cousin.' 'By my sword,' said Benedick,
'you love me, and I protest I love you. Come, bid me
do anything for you.' 'Kill Claudio,' said Beatrice.
* Ha not for the wide world,' said Benedick; for he
loved his friend Claudio, and he believed he had been
imposed upon. 'Is not Claudio a villain, that has
slandered, scorned, and dishonoured my cousin?' said
Beatrice: O that I were a man I' Hear me, Beatrice I'
said Benedick. But Beatrice would hear nothing in
Claudio's defence; and she continued to urge on Bene-
dick to revenge her cousin's wrongs: and she said,' Talk
with a man out of the window; a proper saying I Sweet
Hero I she is wronged; she is slandered; she is undone.
O that I were a man for Claudio's sake 1 or that I had
any friend, who would be a man for my sake I but valour
is melted into courtesies and compliments. I cannot be
a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with
grieving.' 'Tarry, good Beatrice,' said Benedick: 'by
this hand I love you.' Use it for my love some other
way than swearing by it,' said Beatrice. Think you on
your soul that Claudio has wronged Hero ?' asked Bene-
dick. 'Yea,' answered Beatrice; 'as sure as I have a
thought, or a soul.' 'Enough,' said Benedick; 'I am
engaged; I will challenge him. I will kiss your hand,
and so leave you. By this hand, Claudio shall render me
a dear account I As you hear from me, so think of me.
Go, comfort your cousin.'
While Beatrice was thus powerfully pleading with
Benedick, and working his gallant temper by the spirit of
her angry words, to engage in the cause of Hero, and fight
even with his dear friend Claudio, Leonato was challenging
the prince and Claudio to answer with their swords the
injury they had done his child, who, he affirmed, had
died for grief. But they respected his age and his sorrow,
53





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
and they said, 'Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old
man.' And now came Benedick, and he also challenged
Claudio to answer with his sword the injury he had done
to Hero; and Claudio and the prince said to each other,
'Beatrice has set him on to do this.' Claudio never-
theless must have accepted this challenge of Benedick,
had not the justice of Heaven at the moment brought to
pass a better proof of the innocence of Hero than the
uncertain fortune of a duel
While the prince and Claudio were yet talking of the
challenge of Benedick, a magistrate brought Borachio as
a prisoner before the prince. Borachio had been over-
heard talking with one of his companions of the mischief
he had been employed by Don John to do.
Borachio made a full confession to the prince in
Claudio's hearing, that it was Margaret dressed in her
lady's clothes that he had talked with from the window,
whom they had mistaken for the lady Hero herself; and
no doubt continued on the minds of Claudio and the
prince of the innocence of Hero. If a suspicion had
remained it must have been removed by the flight of Don
John, who, finding his villanies were detected, fled from
Messina to avoid the just anger of his brother.
The heart of Claudio was sorely grieved when he
found he had falsely accused Hero, who, he thought, died
upon hearing his cruel words; and the memory of his
beloved Hero's image came over him, in the rare semblance
that he loved it first; and the prince asking him if what
he heard did not run like iron through his soul, he
answered, that he felt as if he had taken poison while
Borachio was speaking.
And the repentant Claudio implored forgiveness of
the old man Leonato for the injury he had done his child;
and promised, that whatever penance Leonato would lay





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
upon him for his fault in believing the false accusation
against his betrothed wife, for her dear sake he would
endure it.
The penance Leonato enjoined him was, to marry the
next morning a cousin of Hero's, who, he said, was now
his heir, and in person very like Hero. Claudio, regard-
ing the solemn promise he made to Leonato, said, he
would marry this unknown lady, even though she were
an Ethiop: but his heart was very sorrowful, and he
passed that night in tears, and in remorseful grief, at the
tomb which Leonato had erected for Hero.
When the morning came, the prince accompanied
Claudio to the church, where the good friar, and Leonato
and his niece, were already assembled, to celebrate a
second nuptial; and Leonato presented to Claudio his
promised bride; and she wore a mask, that Claudio might
not discover her face. And Claudio said to the lady in
the mask,' Give me your hand, before this holy friar; I
am your husband, if you will marry me.' And when
I lived I was your other wife,' said this unknown lady;
and, taking off her mask, she proved to be no niece (as
was pretended), but Leonato's very daughter, the lady
Hero herself. We may be sure that this proved a most
agreeable surprise to Claudio, who thought her dead, so
that he could scarcely for joy believe his eyes; and the
prince, who was equally amazed at what he saw, exclaimed,
'Is not this Hero, Hero that was dead?' Leonato
replied, She died, my lord, but while her slander lived.'
The friar promised them an explanation of this seeming
miracle, after the ceremony was ended; and was pro-
ceeding to marry them, when he was interrupted by
Benedick, who desired to be married at the same time to
Beatrice. Beatrice making some demur to this match,
and Benedick challenging her with her love for him, which
55





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
he had learned from Hero, a pleasant explanation took
place; and they found they had both been tricked into
a belief of love, which had never existed, and had become
lovers in truth by the power of a false jest: but the
affection, which a merry invention had cheated them into,
was grown too powerful to be shaken by a serious
explanation; and since Benedick proposed to marry, he
was resolved to think nothing to the purpose that the
world could say against it; and he merrily kept up the
jest, and swore to Beatrice, that he took her but for pity,
and because he heard she was dying of love for him; and
Beatrice protested, that she yielded but upon great
persuasion, and partly to save his life, for she heard he
was in a consumption. So these two mad wits were
reconciled, and made a match of it, after Claudio and
Hero were married; and to complete the history, Don
John, the contriver of the villany, was taken in his flight,
and brought back to Messina; and a brave punishment it
was to this gloomy, discontented man, to see the joy and
feastings which, by the disappointment of his plots, took
place in the p 'ace in Messina.




















































































ROSALIND AND CELIA IN THE FOREST OF ARDEN

(As You Like It-Act II. Scene 4'





AS YOU LIKE IT


AS YOU LIKE IT

DURING the time that France was divided into provinces
(or dukedoms as they were called) there reigned in one of
these provinces an usurper, who had deposed and banished
his elder brother, the lawful duke.
The duke, who was thus driven from his dominions,
retired with a few faithful followers to the forest of
Arden; and here the good duke lived with his loving
friends, who had put themselves into a voluntary exile
for his sake, while their land and revenues enriched the
false usurper; and custom soon made the life of careless
ease they led here more sweet to them than the pomp and
uneasy splendour of a courtier's life. Here they lived like
the old Robin Hood of England, and to this forest many
noble youths daily resorted from the court, and did fleet
the time carelessly, as they did who lived in the golden
age. In the summer they lay along under the fine shade
of the large forest trees, marking the playful sports of the
wild deer; and so fond were they of these poor dappled
fools, who seemed to be the native inhabitants of the
forest, that it grieved them to be forced to kill them to
supply themselves with venison for their food. When
the cold winds of winter made the duke feel the change
of his adverse fortune, he would endure it patiently, and
say,' These chilling winds which blow upon my body are
true counsellors; they do not flatter, but represent truly
to me my condition; and though they bite sharply, their
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tooth is nothing like so keen as that of unkindness and
ingratitude. I find that howsoever men speak against
adversity, yet some sweet uses are to be extracted from
it; like the jewel, precious for medicine, which is taken
from the head of the venomous and despised toad.' In
this manner did the patient duke draw a useful moral
from everything that he saw; and by the help of this
moralising turn, in that life of his, remote from public
haunts, he could find tongues in trees, books in the
running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in every-
thing.
The banished duke had an only daughter, named
Rosalind, whom the usurper, duke Frederick, when he
banished her father, still retained in his court as a com-
panion for his own daughter Celia. A strict friendship
subsisted between these ladies, which the disagreement
between their fathers did not in the least interrupt, Celia
striving by every kindness in her power to make amends
to Rosalind for the injustice of her own father in deposing
the father of Rosalind; and whenever the thoughts of
her father's banishment, and her own dependence on the
false usurper, made Rosalind melancholy, Celia's whole
care was to comfort and console her.
One day, when Celia was talking in her usual kind
manner to Rosalind, saying, I pray you, Rosalind, my
sweet cousin, be merry,' a messenger entered from the
duke, to tell them that if they wished to see a wrestling
match, which was just going to begin, they must come
instantly to the court before the palace; and Celia,
thinking it would amuse Rosalind, agreed to go and
see it.
In those times wrestling, which is only practised now
by country clowns, was a favourite sport even in the
courts of princes, and before fair ladies and princesses.
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AS YOU LIKE IT
To this wrestling match, therefore, Celia and Rosalind
went. They found that it was likely to prove a very
tragical sight; for a large and powerful man, who had
been long practised in the art of wrestling, and had slain
many men in contests of this kind, was just going to
wrestle with a very young man, who, from his extreme
youth and inexperience in the art, the beholders all
thought would certainly be killed.
When the duke saw Celia and Rosalind, he said,
'How now, daughter and niece, are you crept hither to
see the wrestling ? You will take little delight in it,
there is such odds in the men: in pity to this young man,
I would wish to persuade him from wrestling. Speak to
him, ladies, and see if you can move him.'
The ladies were well pleased to perform this humane
office, and first Celia entreated the young stranger that
he would desist from the attempt; and then Rosalind
spoke so kindly to him, and with such feeling considera-
tion for the danger he was about to undergo, that instead
of being persuaded by her gentle words to forego his
purpose, all his thoughts were bent to distinguish himself
by his courage in this lovely lady's eyes. He refused the
request of Celia and Rosalind in such graceful and modest
words, that they felt still more concern for him; he
concluded his refusal with saying, 'I am sorry to deny
such fair and excellent ladies anything. But let your fair
eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial, wherein if
I be conquered there is one shamed that was never
gracious; if I am killed, there is one dead that is willing
to die; I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have none
to lament me; the world no injury, for in it I have
nothing; for I only fill up a place in the world which
may be better supplied when I have made it empty.'
And now the wrestling match began. Celia wished
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the young stranger might not be hurt; but Rosalind felt
most for him. The friendless state which he said he was
in, and that he wished to die, made Rosalind think that
he was like herself, unfortunate; and she pitied him so
much, and so deep an interest she took in his danger
while he was wrestling, that she might almost be said at
that moment to have fallen in love with him.
The kindness shown this unknown youth by these fair
and noble ladies gave him courage and strength, so that
he performed wonders; and in the end completely con-
quered his antagonist, who was so much hurt, that for
a while he was unable to speak or move.
The duke Frederick was much pleased with the
courage and skill shown by this young stranger; and
desired to know his name and parentage, meaning to take
him under his protection.
The stranger said his name was Orlando, and that he
was the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys.
Sir Rowland de Boys, the father of Orlando, had been
dead some years; but when he was living, he had been
a true subject and dear friend of the banished duke:
therefore, when Frederick heard Orlando was the son of
his banished brother's friend, all his liking for this brave
young man was changed into displeasure, and he left the
place in very ill humour. Hating to hear the very name
of any of his brother's friends, and yet still admiring the
valour of the youth, he said, as he went out, that he
wished Orlando had been the son of any other man.
Rosalind was delighted to hear that her new favourite
was the son of her father's old friend; and she said to
Celia, 'My father loved Sir Rowland de Boys, and if I
had known this young man was his son, I would have
added tears to my entreaties before he should have
ventured.'
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AS YOU LIKE IT
The ladies then went up to him; and seeing him
abashed by the sudden displeasure shown by the duke,
they spoke kind and encouraging words to him; and
Rosalind, when they were going away, turned back to
speak some more civil things to the brave young son of
her father's old friend; and taking a chain from off her
neck, she said, Gentleman, wear this for me. I am out
of suits with fortune, or I would give you a more valuable
present.'
When the ladies were alone, Rosalind's talk being
still of Orlando, Celia began to perceive her cousin had
fallen in love with the handsome young wrestler, and she
said to Rosalind, 'Is it possible you should fall in love
so suddenly?' Rosalind replied, 'The duke, my father,
loved his father dearly.' But,' said Celia, does it there-
fore follow that you should love his son dearly ? for then
I ought to hate him, for my father hated his father; yet
I do not hate Orlando.'
Frederick being enraged at the sight of Sir Rowland
de Boys' son, which reminded him of the many friends
the banished duke had among the nobility, and having
been for some time displeased with his niece, because the
people praised her for her virtues, and pitied her for her
good father's sake, his malice suddenly broke out against
her; and while Celia and Rosalind were talking of
Orlando, Frederick entered the room, and with looks full
of anger ordered Rosalind instantly to leave the palace,
and follow her father into banishment; telling Celia, who
in vain pleaded for her, that he had only suffered Rosalind
to stay upon her account. I did not then,' said Celia,
'entreat you to let her stay, for I was too young at that
time to value her; but now that I know her worth, and
that we so long have slept together, rose at the same
instant, learned, played, and eat together, I cannot live
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TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
out of her company.' Frederick replied, 'She is too
subtle for you; her smoothness, her very silence, and her
patience speak to the people, and they pity her. You
are a fool to plead for her, for you will seem more bright
and virtuous when she is gone; therefore open not your
lips in her favour, for the doom which I have passed upon
her is irrevocable.'
When Celia found she could not prevail upon her
father to let Rosalind remain with her, she generously
resolved to accompany her; and leaving her father's
palace that night, she went along with her friend to seek
Rosalind's father, the banished duke, in the forest of
Arden.
Before they set out, Celia considered that it would be
unsafe for two young ladies to travel in the rich clothes
they then wore; she therefore proposed that they should
disguise their rank by dressing themselves like country
maids. Rosalind said it would be a still greater protec-
tion if one of them was to be dressed like a man; and so
it was quickly agreed on between them, that as Rosalind
was the tallest, she should wear the dress of a young
countryman, and Celia should be habited like a country
lass, and that they should say they were brother and
sister, and Rosalind said she would be called Ganymede,
and Celia chose the name of Aliena.
In this disguise, and taking their money and jewels to
defray their expenses, these fair princesses set out on their
long travel; for the forest of Arden was a long way off,
beyond the boundaries of the duke's dominions.
The lady Rosalind (or Ganymede as she must now be
called) with her manly garb seemed to have put on a
manly courage. The faithful friendship Celia had shown
in accompanying Rosalind so many weary miles, made
the new brother, in recompense for this true love, exert





AS YOU LIKE IT
a cheerful spirit, as if he were indeed Ganymede, the
rustic and stout-hearted brother of the gentle village
maiden, Aliena.
When at last they came to the forest of Arden, they
no longer found the convenient inns and good accommo-
dations they had met with on the road; and being in
want of food and rest, Ganymede, who had so merrily
cheered his sister with pleasant speeches and happy
remarks all the way, now owned to Aliena that he was so
weary, he could find in his heart to disgrace his man's
apparel, and cry like a woman; and Aliena declared she
could go no farther; and then again Ganymede tried to
recollect that it was a man's duty to comfort and console
a woman, as the weaker vessel; and to seem courageous
to his new sister, he said, 'Come, have a good heart, my
sister Aliena; we are now at the end of our travel, in the
forest of Arden.' But feigned manliness and forced
courage would no longer support them; for though they
were in the forest of Arden, they knew not where to find
the duke: and here the travel of these weary ladies might
have come to a sad conclusion, for they might have lost
themselves, and perished for want of food; but provi-
dentially, as they were sitting on the grass, almost dying
with fatigue and hopeless of any relief, a countryman
chanced to pass that way, and Ganymede once more tried
to speak with a manly boldness, saying, 'Shepherd, if
love or gold can in this desert place procure us entertain-
ment, I pray you bring us where we may rest ourselves;
for this young maid my sister, is much fatigued with
travelling, and faints for want of food.'
The man replied that he was only a servant to a
shepherd, and that his master's house was just going to
be sold, and therefore they would find but poor entertain-
ment; but that if they would go with him, they should
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be welcome to what there was. They followed the man,
the near prospect of relief giving them fresh strength;
and bought the house and sheep of the shepherd, and
took the man who conducted them to the shepherd's
house to wait on them; and being by this means so
fortunately provided with a neat cottage, and well sup-
plied with provisions, they agreed to stay here till they
could learn in what part of the forest the duke dwelt.
When they were rested after the fatigue of their
journey, they began to like their new way of life, and
almost fancied themselves the shepherd and shepherdess
they feigned to be; yet sometimes Ganymede remembered
he had once been the same lady Rosalind who had so
dearly loved the brave Orlando, because he was the son
of old Sir Rowland, her father's friend; and though
Ganymede thought that Orlando was many miles distant,
even so many weary miles as they had travelled, yet it
soon appeared that Orlando was also in the forest of
Arden: and in this manner this strange event came to
pass.
Orlando was the youngest son of Sir Rowland de
Boys, who, when he died, left him (Orlando being then very
young) to the care of his eldest brother Oliver, charging
Oliver on his blessing to give his brother a good educa-
tion, and provide for him as became the dignity of their
ancient house. Oliver proved an unworthy brother; and
disregarding the commands of his dying father, he never
put his brother to school, but kept him at home untaught
and entirely neglected. But in his nature and in the
noble qualities of his mind Orlando so much resembled
his excellent father, that without any advantages of
education he seemed like a youth who had been bred with
the utmost care; and Oliver so envied the fine person
and dignified manners of his untutored brother, that at
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AS YOU LIKE IT
last he wished to destroy him; and to effect this he set
on people to persuade him to wrestle with the famous
wrestler, who, as has been before related, had killed so
many men. Now, it was this cruel brother's neglect of
him which made Orlando say he wished to die, being so
friendless.
When, contrary to the wicked hopes he had formed,
his brother proved victorious, his envy and malice knew
no bounds, and he swore he would burn the chamber
where Orlando slept. He was overheard making this
vow by one that had been an old and faithful servant to
their father, and that loved Orlando because he resembled
Sir Rowland. This old man went out to meet him when
he returned from the duke's palace, and when he saw
Orlando, the peril his dear young master was in made
him break out into these passionate exclamations: 0
my gentle master, my sweet master, O you memory of
old Sir Rowland I why are you virtuous? why are you
gentle, strong, and valiant? and why would you be so
fond to overcome the famous wrestler? Your praise is
come too swiftly home before you.' Orlando, wondering
what all this meant, asked him what was the matter.
And then the old man told him how his wicked brother,
envying the love all people bore him, and now hearing
the fame he had gained by his victory in the duke's
palace, intended to destroy him, by setting fire to his
chamber that night; and in conclusion, advised him to
escape the danger he was in by instant flight; and know-
ing Orlando had no money, Adam (for that was the good
old man's name) had brought out with him his own little
hoard, and he said, 'I have five hundred crowns, the
thrifty hire I saved under your father, and laid by to be
provision for me when my old limbs should become
unfit for service; take that, and he that doth the ravens





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
feed be comfort to my age I Here is the gold; all this I
give to you: let me be your servant; though I look old
I will do the service of a younger man in all your business
and necessities.' O good old man I' said Orlando, 'how
well appears in you the constant service of the old world I
You are not for the fashion of these times. We will go
along together, and before your youthful wages are spent,
I shall light upon some means for both our maintenance.'
Together then this faithful servant and his loved
master set out; and Orlando and Adam travelled on,
uncertain what course to pursue, till they came to the
forest of Arden, and there they found themselves in the
same distress for want of food that Ganymede~and Aliena
had been. They wandered on, seeking some human
habitation, till they were almost spent with hunger and
fatigue. Adam at last said, O my dear master, I die
for want of food, I can go no farther He then laid
himself down, thinking to make that place his grave, and
bade his dear master farewell. Orlando, seeing him in this
weak state, took his old servant up in his arms, and
carried him under the shelter of some pleasant trees; and
he said to him, 'Cheerly, old Adam, rest your weary
limbs here awhile, and do not talk of dying I'
Orlando then searched about to find some food, and
he happened to arrive at that part of the forest where the
duke was; and he and his friends were just going to eat
their dinner, this royal duke being seated on the grass,
under no other canopy than the shady covert of some
large trees.
Orlando, whom hunger had made desperate, drew his
sword, intending to take their meat by force, and said,
'Forbear and eat no more; I must have your food '
The duke asked him, if distress had made him so bold, or
if he were a rude despiser of good manners? On this
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Orlando said, he was dying with hunger; and then the
duke told him he was welcome to sit down and eat with
them. Orlando hearing him speak so gently, put up his
sword, and blushed with shame at the rude manner in
which he had demanded their food. Pardon me, I pray
you,' said he: I thought that all things had been savage
here, and therefore I put on the countenance of stern
command; but whatever men you are, that in this desert,
under the shade of melancholy boughs, lose and neglect
the creeping hours of time; if ever you have looked on
better days; if ever you have been where bells have
knolled to church; if you have ever sat at any good man's
feast; if ever from your eyelids you have wiped a tear,
and know what it is to pity or be pitied, may gentle
speeches now move you to do me human courtesy' The
duke replied,' True it is that we are men (as you say) who
have seen better days, and though we have now our habi-
tation in this wild forest, we have lived in towns and cities,
and have with holy bell been knolled to church, have sat
at good men's feasts, and from our eyes have wiped the
drops which sacred pity has engendered; therefore sit you
down, and take of our refreshment as much as will minister
to your wants.' There is an old poor man,' answered
Orlando, 'who has limped after me many a weary step in
pure love, oppressed at once with two sad infirmities, age
and hunger; till he be satisfied, I must not touch a bit.'
'Go, find him out, and bring him hither,' said the duke;
'we will forbear to eat till you return.' Then Orlando
went like a doe to find its fawn and give it food; and
presently returned, bringing Adam in his arms; and the
duke said, Set down your venerable burthen; you are
both welcome'; and they fed the old man, and cheered
his heart, and he revived, and recovered his health and
strength again.





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
The duke inquired who Orlando was; and when he
found that he was the son of his old friend, Sir Rowland
de Boys, he took him under his protection, and Orlando
and his old servant lived with the duke in the forest.
Orlando arrived in the forest not many days after
Ganymede and Aliena came there, and (as has been
before related) bought the shepherd's cottage.
Ganymede and Aliena were strangely surprised to
find the name of Rosalind carved on the trees, and love-
sonnets, fastened to them, all addressed to Rosalind; and
while they were wondering how this could be, they met
Orlando, and they perceived the chain which Rosalind
had given him about his neck.
Orlando little thought that Ganymede was the fair
princess Rosalind, who, by her noble condescension and
favour, had so won his heart that he passed his whole
time in carving her name upon the trees, and writing
sonnets in praise of her beauty: but being much pleased
with the graceful air of this pretty shepherd-youth, he
entered into conversation with him, and he thought he
saw a likeness in Ganymede to his beloved Rosalind, but
that he had none of the dignified deportment of that
noble lady; for Ganymede assumed the forward manners
often seen in youths when they are between boys and
men, and with much archness and humour talked to
Orlando of a certain lover, who,' said he, haunts our
forest, and spoils our young trees with carving Rosalind
upon their barks; and he hangs odes upon hawthorns,
and elegies on brambles, all praising this same Rosalind.
If I could find this lover, I would give him some good
counsel that would soon cure him of his love.'
Orlando confessed that he was the fond lover of whom
he spoke, and asked Ganymede to give him the good
counsel he talked of. The remedy Ganymede proposed,
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and the counsel he gave him, was that Orlando should
come every day to the cottage where he and his sister
Aliena dwelt: 'And then,' said Ganymede, I will feign
myself to be Rosalind, and you shall feign to court me in
the same manner as you would do if I was Rosalind, and
then I will imitate the fantastic ways of whimsical ladies
to their lovers, till I make you ashamed of your love;
and this is the way I propose to cure you.' Orlando had
no great faith in the remedy, yet he agreed to come
every day to Ganymede's cottage, and feign a playful
courtship; and every day Orlando visited Ganymede and
Aliena, and Orlando called the shepherd Ganymede his
Rosalind, and every day talked over all the fine words and
flattering compliments which young men delight to use
when they court their mistresses. It does not appear,
however, that Ganymede made any progress in curing
Orlando of his love for Rosalind.
Though Orlando thought all this was but a sportive
play (not dreaming that Ganymede was his very Rosa-
lind), yet the opportunity it gave him of saying all the
fond things he had in his heart, pleased his fancy almost
as well as it did Ganymede's, who enjoyed the secret jest
in knowing these fine love-speeches were all addressed to
the right person.
In this manner many days passed pleasantly on with
these young people; and the good-natured Aliena, seeing
it made Ganymede happy, let him have his own way,
and was diverted at the mock-courtship, and did not
care to remind Ganymede that the lady Rosalind had not
yet made herself known to the duke her father, whose
place of resort in the forest they had learnt from Orlando.
Ganymede met the duke one day, and had some talk
with him, and the duke asked of what parentage he came.
Ganymede answered that he came of as good parentage
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as he did, which made the duke smile, for he did not
suspect the pretty shepherd boy came of royal lineage.
Then seeing the duke look well and happy, Ganymede
was content to put off all further explanation for a few
days longer.
One morning, as Orlando was going to visit Gany-
mede, he saw a man lying asleep on the ground, and a
large green snake had twisted itself about his neck. The
snake, seeing Orlando approach, glided away among the
bushes. Orlando went nearer, and then he discovered a
lioness lie crouching, with her head on the ground, with
a cat-like watch, waiting until the sleeping man awaked
(for it is said that lions will prey on nothing that is dead
or sleeping). It seemed as if Orlando was sent by
Providence to free the man from the danger of the snake
and lioness; but when Orlando looked in the man's face,
he perceived that the sleeper who was exposed to this
double peril, was his own brother Oliver, who had so
cruelly used him, and had threatened to destroy him by
fire; and he was almost tempted to leave him a prey to
the hungry lioness; but brotherly affection and the
gentleness of his nature soon overcame his first anger
against his brother; and he drew his sword, and attacked
the lioness, and slew her, and thus preserved his brother's
life both from the venomous snake and from the furious
lioness; but before Orlando could conquer the lioness,
she had torn one of his arms with her sharp claws.
While Orlando was engaged with the lioness, Oliver
awaked, and perceiving that his brother Orlando, whom
he had so cruelly treated, was saving him from the
fury of a wild beast at the risk of his own life, shame
and remorse at once seized him, and he repented of his
unworthy conduct, and besought with many tears his
brother's pardon for the injuries he had done him.
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Orlando rejoiced to see him so penitent, and readily
forgave him: they embraced each other; and from that
hour Oliver loved Orlando with a true brotherly affection,
though he had come to the forest bent on his destruction.
The wound in Orlando's arm having bled very much,
he found himself too weak to go to visit Ganymede, and
therefore he desired his brother to go and tell Ganymede,
'whom,' said Orlando,' I in sport do call my Rosalind,'
the accident which had befallen him.
Thither then Oliver went, and told to Ganymede and
Aliena how Orlando had saved his life: and when he had
finished the story of Orlando's bravery, and his own pro-
vidential escape, he owned to them that he was Orlando's
brother, who had so cruelly used him; and then he told
them of their reconciliation.
The sincere sorrow that Oliver expressed for his
offences made such a lively impression on the kind heart
of Aliena, that she instantly fell in love with him; and
Oliver observing how much she pitied the distress he told
her he felt for his fault, he as suddenly fell in love with
her. But while love was thus stealing into the hearts of
Aliena and Oliver, he was no less busy with Ganymede,
who hearing of the danger Orlando had been in, and that
he was wounded by the lioness, fainted; and when he
recovered, he pretended that he had counterfeited the
swoon in the imaginary character of Rosalind, and Gany-
mede said to Oliver, 'Tell your brother Orlando how
well I counterfeited a swoon.' But Oliver saw by the
paleness of his complexion that he did really faint, and
much wondering at the weakness of the young man, he
said,' Well, if you did counterfeit, take a good heart, and
counterfeit to be a man.' So I do,' replied Ganymede,
truly, 'but I should have been a woman by right'
Oliver made this visit a very long one, and when at
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last he returned back to his brother, he had much news
to tell him; for besides the account of Ganymede's faint-
ing at the hearing that Orlando was wounded, Oliver told
him how he had fallen in love with the fair shepherdess
Aliena, and that she had lent a favourable ear to his suit,
even in this their first interview; and he talked to his
brother, as of a thing almost settled, that he should marry
Aliena, saying, that he so well loved her, that he would
live here as a shepherd, and settle his estate and house at
home upon Orlando.
'You have my consent,' said Orlando. 'Let your
wedding be to-morrow, and I will invite the duke and his
friends. Go and persuade your shepherdess to agree to
this: she is now alone; for look, here comes her brother.'
Oliver went to Aliena; and Ganymede, whom Orlando
had perceived approaching, came to inquire after the
health of his wounded friend.
When Orlando and Ganymede began to talk over the
sudden love which had taken place between Oliver and
Aliena, Orlando said he had advised his brother to
persuade his fair shepherdess to be married on the
morrow, and then he added how much he could wish to
be married on the same day to his Rosalind.
Ganymede, who well approved of this arrangement,
said that if Orlando really loved Rosalind as well as he
professed to do, he should have his wish; for on the
morrow he would engage to make Rosalind appear in her
own person, and also that Rosalind should be willing to
marry Orlando.
This seemingly wonderful event, which, as Ganymede
was the lady Rosalind, he could so easily perform, he
pretended he would bring to pass by the aid of magic,
which he said he had learnt of an uncle who was a famous
magician.
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The fond lover Orlando, half believing and half doubt-
ing what he heard, asked Ganymede if he spoke in sober
meaning. By my life I do,' said Ganymede; therefore
put on your best clothes, and bid the duke and your
friends to your wedding; for if you desire to be married
to-morrow to Rosalind, she shall be here.'
The next morning, Oliver having obtained the consent
of Aliena, they came into the presence of the duke, and
with them also came Orlando.
They being all assembled to celebrate this double
marriage, and as yet only one of the brides appearing,
there was much of wondering and conjecture, but they
mostly thought that Ganymede was making a jest of
Orlando.
The duke, hearing that it was his own daughter that
was to be brought in this strange way, asked Orlando if
he believed the shepherd-boy could really do what he had
promised; and while Orlando was answering that he
knew not what to think, Ganymede entered, and asked
the duke, if he brought his daughter, whether he would
consent to her marriage with Orlando. That I would,'
said the duke, 'if I had kingdoms to give with her.'
Ganymede then said to Orlando, 'And you say you will
marry her if I bring her here ?' 'That I would,' said
Orlando, if I were king of many kingdoms.'
Ganymede and Aliena then went out together, and
Ganymede throwing off his male attire, and being once
more dressed in woman's apparel, quickly became
Rosalind without the power of magic; and Aliena
changing her country garb for her own rich clothes,
was with as little trouble transformed into the lady
Celia.
While they were gone, the duke said to Orlando,
that he thought the shepherd Ganymede very like his
73




TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
daughter Rosalind; and Orlando said, he also had
observed the resemblance.
They had no time to wonder how all this would end,
for Rosalind and Celia in their own clothes entered; and
no longer pretending that it was by the power of magic
that she came there, Rosalind threw herself on her knees
before her father, and begged his blessing. It seemed so
wonderful to all present that she should so suddenly
appear, that it might well have passed for magic; but
Rosalind would no longer trifle with her father, and told
him the story of her banishment, and of her dwelling in
the forest as a shepherd-boy, her cousin Celia passing as
her sister.
The duke ratified the consent he had already given to
the marriage; and Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and
Celia, were married at the same time. And though their
wedding could not be celebrated in this wild forest with
any of the parade or splendour usual on such occasions,
yet a happier wedding-day was never passed: and while
they were eating their venison under the cool shade of
the pleasant trees, as if nothing should be wanting to
complete the felicity of this good duke and the true
lovers, an unexpected messenger arrived to tell the duke
the joyful news, that his dukedom was restored to him.
The usurper, enraged at the flight of his daughter
Celia, and hearing that every day men of great worth
resorted to the forest of Arden to join the lawful duke in
his exile, much envying that his brother should be so
highly respected in his adversity, put himself at the head
of a large force, and advanced towards the forest, intend-
ing to seize his brother, and put him with all his faithful
followers to the sword; but, by a wonderful interposition
of Providence, this bad brother was converted from his
evil intention; for just as he entered the skirts of the




AS YOU LIKE IT
wild forest, he was met by an old religious man, a hermit,
with whom he had much talk, and who in the end
completely turned his heart from his wicked design.
Thenceforward he became a true penitent, and re-
solved, relinquishing his unjust dominion, to spend
the remainder of his days in a religious house. The first
act of his newly-conceived penitence was to send a
messenger to his brother (as has been related) to offer
to restore to him his dukedom, which he had usurped so
long, and with it the lands and revenues of his friends,
the faithful followers of his adversity.
This joyful news, as unexpected as it was welcome,
came opportunely to heighten the festivity and rejoicings
at the wedding of the princesses. Celia complimented
her cousin on this good fortune which had happened to
the duke, Rosalind's father, and wished her joy very
sincerely, though she herself was no longer heir to the
dukedom, but by this restoration which her father had
made, Rosalind was now the heir: so completely was the
love of these two cousins unmixed with anything of
jealousy or of envy.
The duke had now an opportunity of rewarding those
true friends who had stayed with him in his banishment;
and these worthy followers, though they had patiently
shared his adverse fortune, were very well pleased to
return in peace and prosperity to the palace of their
lawful duke.





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE


THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

THERE lived in the city of Verona two young gentlemen,
whose names were Valentine and Proteus, between whom
a firm and uninterrupted friendship had long subsisted.
They pursued their studies together, and their hours of
leisure were always passed in each other's company,
except when Proteus visited a lady he was in love with;
and these visits to his mistress, and this passion of
Proteus for the fair Julia, were the only topics on which
these two friends disagreed; for Valentine, not being
himself a lover, was sometimes a little weary of hearing
his friend for ever talking of his Julia, and then he would
laugh at Proteus, and in pleasant terms ridicule the
passion of love, and declare that no such idle fancies
should ever enter his head, greatly preferring (as he said)
the free and happy life he led, to the anxious hopes and
fears of the lover Proteus.
One morning Valentine came to Proteus to tell him
that they must for a time be separated, for that he was
going to Milan. Proteus, unwilling to part with his
friend, used many arguments to prevail upon Valentine
not to leave him: but Valentine said, 'Cease to persuade
me, my loving Proteus. I will not, like a sluggard, wear
out my youth in idleness at home. Home-keeping
youths have ever homely wits. If your affection were
not chained to the sweet glances of your honoured Julia,
I would entreat you to accompany me, to see the wonders
76





















































































VALENTINE, "I dare thee but to breathe upon my love"

;TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA-Act V. Scene 4)





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
of the world abroad; but since you are a lover, love on
still, and may your love be prosperous I'
They parted with mutual expressions of unalterable
friendship. 'Sweet Valentine, adieu I' said Proteus;
' think on me, when you see some rare object worthy of
notice in your travels, and wish me partaker of your
happiness.'
Valentine began his journey that same day towards
Milan; and when his friend had left him, Proteus sat
down to write a letter to Julia, which he gave to her
maid Lucetta to deliver to her mistress.
Julia loved Proteus as well as he did her, but she
was a lady of a noble spirit, and she thought it did not
become her maiden dignity too easily to be won; there-
fore she affected to be insensible of his passion, and gave
him much uneasiness in the prosecution of his suit.
And when Lucetta offered the letter to Julia, she
would not receive it, and chid her maid for taking letters
from Proteus, and ordered her to leave the room. But
she so much wished to see what was written in the letter,
that she soon called in her maid again; and when Lu-
cetta returned, she said,' What o'clock is it ?' Lucetta,
who knew her mistress more desired to see the letter
than to know the time of day, without answering her
question, again offered the rejected letter. Julia, angry
that her maid should thus take the liberty of seeming to
know what she really wanted, tore the letter in pieces,
and threw it on the floor, ordering her maid once more
out of the room. As Lucetta was retiring, she stopped
to pick up the fragments of the torn letter; but Julia,
who meant not so to part with them, said, in pretended
anger, 'Go, get you gone, and let the papers lie; you
would be fingering them to anger me.'
Julia then began to piece together as well as she
77





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
could the torn fragments. She first made out these
words, 'Love-wounded Proteus'; and lamenting over
these and such like loving words, which she made out
though they were all torn asunder, or, she said wounded
(the expression Love-wounded Proteus' giving her that
idea), she talked to these kind words, telling them she
would lodge them in her bosom as in a bed, till their
wounds were healed, and that she would kiss each several
piece, to make amends.
In this manner she went on talking with a pretty
lady-like childishness, till finding herself unable to make
out the whole, and vexed at her own ingratitude in
destroying such sweet and loving words, as she called
them, she wrote a much kinder letter to Proteus than
she had ever done before.
Proteus was greatly delighted at receiving this favour-
able answer to his letter; and while he was reading it,
he exclaimed, Sweet love, sweet lines, sweet life 1' In
the midst of his raptures he was interrupted by his
father. 'How now said the old gentleman; 'what
letter are you reading there ?'
'My lord,' replied Proteus, 'it is a letter from my
friend Valentine, at Milan.'
'Lend me the letter,' said his father: 'let me see
what news.'
'There are no news, my lord,' said Proteus, greatly
alarmed, 'but that he writes how well beloved he is of
the duke of Milan, who daily graces him with favours;
and how he wishes me with him, the partner of his
fortune.'
And how stand you affected to his wish ?' asked the
father.
'As one relying on your lordship's will, and not
depending on his friendly wish,' said Proteus.
78





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
Now it had happened that Proteus' father had just
been talking with a friend on this very subject: his
friend had said, he wondered his lordship suffered his
son to spend his youth at home, while most men were
sending their sons to seek preferment abroad; 'some,'
said he, 'to the wars, to try their fortunes there, and
some to discover islands far away, and some to study in
foreign universities; and there is his companion Valen-
tine, he is gone to the duke of Milan's court. Your son
is fit for any of these things, and it will be a great dis-
advantage to him in his riper age not to have travelled
in his youth.'
Proteus' father thought the advice of his friend was
very good, and upon Proteus telling him that Valentine
' wished him with him, the partner of his fortune,' he at
once determined to send his son to Milan; and without
giving Proteus any reason for this sudden resolution, it
being the usual habit of this positive old gentleman to
command his son, not reason with him, he said, 'My
will is the same as Valentine's wish'; and seeing his son
look astonished, he added, Look not amazed, that I so
suddenly resolve you shall spend some time in the duke
of Milan's court; for what I will I will, and there is
an end. To-morrow be in readiness to go. Make no
excuses; for I am peremptory.'
Proteus knew it was of no use to make objections to
his father, who never suffered him to dispute his will;
and he blamed himself for telling his father an untruth
about Julia's letter, which had brought upon him the sad
necessity of leaving her.
Now that Julia found she was going to lose Proteus
for so long a time, she no longer pretended indifference;
and they bade each other a mournful farewell, with
many vows of love and constancy. Proteus and Julia





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
exchanged rings,"which they both promised to keep for
ever in remembrance of each other; and thus, taking a
sorrowful leave, Proteus set out on his journey to Milan,
the abode of his friend Valentine.
Valentine was in reality what Proteus had feigned to
his father, in high favour with the duke of Milan; and
another event had happened to him, of which Proteus
did not even dream, for Valentine had given up the
freedom of which he used so much to boast, and was
become as passionate a lover as Proteus.
She who had wrought this wondrous change in Valen-
tine was the lady Silvia, daughter of the duke of Milan,
and she also loved him; but they concealed their love
from the duke, because although he showed much kind-
ness for Valentine, and invited him every day to his
palace, yet he designed to marry his daughter to a young
courtier whose name was Thurio. Silvia despised this
Thurio, for he had none of the fine sense and excellent
qualities of Valentine.
These two rivals, Thurio and Valentine, were one
day on a visit to Silvia, and Valentine was entertaining
Silvia with turning everything Thurio said into ridicule,
when the duke himself entered the room, and told Valen-
tine the welcome news of his friend Proteus' arrival.
Valentine said, 'If I had wished a thing, it would have
been to have seen him here And then he highly
praised Proteus to the duke, saying, 'My lord, though
I have been a truant of my time, yet hath my friend
made use and fair advantage of his days, and is com-
plete in person and in mind, in all good grace to grace
a gentleman.'
Welcome him then according to his worth,' said the
duke. 'Silvia, I speak to you, and you, Sir Thurio;
for Valentine, I need not bid him do so.' They were
80o





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
here interrupted by the entrance of Proteus, and Valen
tine introduced him to Silvia, saying, Sweet lady, enter-
tain him to be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.'
When Valentine and Proteus had ended their visit,
and were alone together, Valentine said, 'Now tell me
how all does from whence you came? How does your
lady, and how thrives your love ?' Proteus replied, 'My
tales of love used to weary you. I know you joy not in
a love discourse.'
'Ay, Proteus,' returned Valentine, 'but that life is
altered now. I have done penance for condemning love.
For in revenge of my contempt of love, love has chased
sleep from my enthralled eyes. O gentle Proteus, Love
is a mighty lord, and hath so humbled me, that I con-
fess there is no woe like his correction, nor no such joy
on earth as in his service. I now like no discourse except
it be of love. Now I can break my fast, dine, sup, and
sleep, upon the very name of love.'
This acknowledgment of the change which love had
made in the disposition of Valentine was a great triumph
to his friend Proteus. But 'friend' Proteus must be
called no longer, for the same all-powerful deity Love,
of whom they were speaking (yea, even while they were
talking of the change he had made in Valentine), was
working in the heart of Proteus; and he, who had till
this time been a pattern of true love and perfect friend-
ship, was now, in one short interview with Silvia, become
a false friend and a faithless lover; for at the first sight
of Silvia all his love for Julia vanished away like a dream,
nor did his long friendship for Valentine deter him from
endeavouring to supplant him in her affections; and
although, as it will always be, when people of dispositions
naturally good become unjust, he had many scruples
before he determined to forsake Julia, and become the
F 81





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
rival of Valentine; yet he at length overcame his sense
of duty, and yielded himself up, almost without remorse,
to his new unhappy passion.
Valentine imparted to him in confidence the whole
history of his love, and how carefully they had concealed
it from the duke her father, and told him, that, despair-
ing of ever being able to obtain his consent, he had
prevailed upon Silvia to leave her father's palace that
night, and go with him to Mantua; then he showed
Proteus a ladder of ropes, by help of which he meant
to assist Silvia to get out of one of the windows of the
palace after it was dark.
Upon hearing this faithful recital of his friend's dearest
secrets, it is hardly possible to be believed, but so it was,
that Proteus resolved to go to the duke, and disclose the
whole to him.
This false friend began his tale with many artful
speeches to the duke, such as that by the laws of friend-
ship he ought to conceal what he was going to reveal,
but that the gracious favour the duke had shown him,
and the duty he owed his grace, urged him to tell that
which else no worldly good should draw from him. He
then told all he had heard from Valentine, not omitting
the ladder of ropes, and the manner in which Valentine
meant to conceal them under a long cloak.
The duke thought Proteus quite a miracle of in-
tegrity, in that he preferred telling his friend's intention
rather than he would conceal an unjust action, highly
commended him, and promised him not to let Valentine
know from whom he had learnt this intelligence, but
by some artifice to make Valentine betray the secret
himself. For this purpose the duke awaited the coming
of Valentine in the evening, whom he soon saw hurrying
towards the palace, and he perceived somewhat was
82




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