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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087554/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tales from Shakespeare
Series Title: Temple classics for young people
Physical Description: xi, 362 p., 3 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Lamb, Charles, 1775-1834
Lamb, Mary, 1764-1847
Rackham, Arthur, 1867-1939
J. M. Dent & Co
Turnbull & Spears
Publisher: J.M. Dent & Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Turnbull and Spears
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Chidren's stories -- 1899   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- 1899   ( rbgenr )
Genre: Chidren's stories
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Charles & Mary Lamb ; with twelve illustrations by A. Rackham.
General Note: Colored title page and frontispiece.
General Note: Pictorial front cover and spine.
General Note: The illustration that is not included in the pagination is on the recto of a leaf following p. 320. Instead of following (p. 309-310) it have been tipped in on p. 321.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 48546884
ocm48546884
Classification: lcc - PR2877 .L3 1899b
ddc - 823.7
System ID: UF00087554:00001

Full Text

















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The Baldwi Library

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THE
TEMPLE
CLASSICS






FOR
YOUNG
PEOPLE








TALES


SHAKESPLARW
BY
CLa_%..LE5 6- MAR~Y



X-\.PkCKHAM


LONDON:
J :1 DEN[ f Z COMPANY

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PREFACE


THE following Tales are meant to be submitted
to the young reader as an introduction to the
study of Shakspeare, 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 derived, 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 them-
selves 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 by an earnest wish to give as much of
Shakspeare's own words as possible: and if the
" He said," and She said," the question and the
reply, should sometimes seem tedious to their young





PREFACE


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 im-
perfect 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 plain-
ness 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 intention
chiefly to write; because boys being generally per-
mitted 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





PREFACE


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 under-
stand: 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 them-
selves 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 al-
most as many more, which are left untouched)
many surprising events and turns of fortune, 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





viii PREFACE

of virtue, a withdrawing from all selfish and mer-
cenary thoughts, a lesson of all sweet and honour-
able thoughts and actions, to teach courtesy,
benignity, generosity, humanity: for of examples,
teaching these virtues, his pages are full.













CONTENTS

PAGE
THE TEMPEST I
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 15
THE WINTER'S TALE 3
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 47
As You LIKE IT 63
THE Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. 86
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE 102
CYMBELINE 12
KING LEAR 139
MACBETH 160
ALL'S WELL THAT END'S WELL 176
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW I. 9
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS 207
MEASURE FOR MEASURE 225
TWELFTH NIGHT; OR, WHAT YOU WILL 244
TIMON OF ATHENS z26
ROMEO AND JULIET 279
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK 302
OTHELLO 324
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE 341













LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


WHEN CALIBAN WAS LAZY AND NEGLECTED HIS
WORK, ARIEL WOULD COME SLILY AND PINCH
HIM (p. ) Frontispiece
WHERE IS PEASE-BLOSSOM? p. 27
WHEN PAULINA DREW BACK THE CURTAIN WHICH
CONCEALED THIS FAMOUS STATUE 43
GANYMEDE ASSUMED THE FORWARD MANNERS OFTEN
SEEN IN YOUTHS WHEN THEY ARE BETWEEN BOYS
AND MEN 77
SHYLOCK WAS SHARPENING A LONG KNIFE 113
IMOGEN'S TWO BROTHERS THEN CARRIED HER TO A
SHADY COVERT 133
THERE UPON A HEATH, EXPOSED TO THE FURY OF
THE STORM IN A DARK NIGHT, DID KING LEAR
WANDER OUT 153
THEY WERE STOPPED BY THE STRANGE APPEARANCE
OF THREE FIGURES 161
PBTRUCHIO, PRETENDING TO FIND FAULT WITH EVERY
DISH, THREW THE MEAT ABOUT THE FIOOR 199
SIE BEGAN TO THINK OF CONFESSING THAT SHE WAS
A WOMAN 55
AT THE CELL OF FRIAR LAWRENCE 287
TO THIS BROOK OPHELIA CAME ONE DAY WHEN SHE
WAS UNWATCHED 321












THE TEMPEST


T HERE was a certain island in the sea, the only
inhabitants 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 Prospero 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 im-
prisoned 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 mis-
chievous 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
z





2 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 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 anything 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 Pros-
pero 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. "0 my
dear father," said she, "if by your art you have
raised this dreadful storm, have pity on their sad
distress. See the vessel will be dashed to pieces.
Poor souls! they will all perish. If I had power,
I would sink the sea beneath the earth, rather than





THE TEMPEST


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 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.
"By what ?" asked Prospero; by any other
house or person? Tell me what you can re-
member, my child."
Miranda said, "It seems to me like the re-
collection 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 Pros-
pero, "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 retire-
ment and deep study, I commonly left the manage-
ment of my state affairs to your uncle, my false
brother (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





TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE


of my power, began to think himself the duke in-
deed. 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 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 !"
"No, my love," said Prospero, "you were a
little cherub that did preserve me. Your innocent
smiles made me to 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."





THE TEMPEST


Having so said, Prospero gently touched his
daughter with his magic wand, and she fell fast
asleep; for the spirit Ariel just then presented him-
self before his master, to give an account of the
tempest, and how he had disposed of the ship's
company, and though the spirits were always in-
visible 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, Ferdinand, 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
garments, 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
Ferdinand, 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 him-
self the only one saved: and the ship, though in-
visible to them, is safe in the harbour."
Ariel," said Prospero, thy charge is faithfully
performed : but there is more work yet."
"Is there more work ? said Ariel. Let me





6 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE.

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 re-
count 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 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 Ferdinand, and found him still sitting
on the grass in the same melancholy posture.
0 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,





THE .TEMPEST


But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark I 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
Ariels 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 looking at yonder."
0 father," said Miranda, in a strange surprise,
"surely that is a spirit. Lord! how it looks
about! Believe me, sir, it is a beautiful creature.
Is it not a spirit ?"
"No, girl," answered her father; "it eats, and
sleeps, and has senses such as we have. This
young man you see was in the ship. He is some-
what 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 appearance 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





8 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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."
Silence," said the father: "one word more
will make me chide you, girl! What! an advocate
for an impostor! 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 affec-
tions 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





THE TEMPEST


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 weak-
ness 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."
"If 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





Io TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 for-
getting 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 1 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.
"Ah 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 ap-
pearing 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.





THE TEMPEST


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 purchased, 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 re-
turned; 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 leaving 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, 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,





12 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 dis-
covered 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! It must surely be a brave
world that has such people in it."
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."





THE TEMPEST


"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! 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, mean-
ing 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 morning. "In the mean-
time," says he, "partake of such refreshments as





14 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

my poor cave affords; and for your evening's enter-
tainment 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 couch 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 of Naples, nothing now





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 15

remained to complete his happiness, 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

T HERE 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 commanded 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.





16 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Hermia pleaded in excuse for her disobedience,
that Demetrius had formerly professed love for her
dear friend Helena, and that Helena loved De-
metrius 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 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





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 17

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 pro-
posed 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.
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 change-
ling 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,





i8 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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
Goodfellow) was a shrewd and knavish sprite, that
used to play comical pranks in the neighboring
villages; sometimes 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 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 neigbours 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





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 19

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 wait-
ing 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 part, and gentle expos-
tulations 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 per-
haps, as Lysander said they used to walk by moon-
light 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,





20 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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:-
You 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.





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 21

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 perceiving that his clothes were made in the
Athenian fashion, and that a pretty lady was sleep-
ing near him, concluded that this must be the
Athenian maid and her disdainful lover whom
Oberon had sent him to seek; and he naturally
enough conjectured that, as they were alone to-
gether, she must be the first thing he would see
when he awoke; so, without more ado, he pro-
ceeded 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





22 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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.
"'Ah!" 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) immedi-
ately addressed her in terms of extravagant love
and admiration; 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 herself ad-
dressed in this manner; for she thought (as well
she might) that Lysander was making a jest of her.
" Oh 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 gentleness." Saying these words in
great anger, she ran away; and Lysander followed
her, quite forgetful of his own Hermia, who was
still asleep.





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 23

When Hermia awoke, she was in a sad fright at
finding 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 mean-
time 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 questions 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 mistake it was now become Hermia's turn
to run after her lover) made his appearance; and
then Lysander and Demetrius, both speaking to-
gether, 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.
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




24 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 ? 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.
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





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 25

this has happened, for I think their jangling makes
excellent sport." "You heard," said Oberon,
",that Demetrius and Lysander are gone to seek a
convenient 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,
opening 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





26 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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
enamoured 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
gentleman; hop in his walks, and gambol in his
sight; feed him with grapes and apricots, and steal
for hinm 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 beauti-
ful ass! and kiss your fair large ears, my gentle
joy! "
"Where is Pease-blossom ? said the ass-headed
clown, not much regarding the fairy queen's court-
ship, but very proud of his new attendants.
"Here, sir," said little Pease-blossom.
"Scratch my head," said the clown. Where
is Cobweb?"
"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 over-
flown with a honey-bag. Where is Mustard-seed ?"
"Here, sir," said Mustard-seed : "what is your
will ? "
Nothing," said the clown, "good Mr Mustard-
seed, but to help Mr Pease-blossom to scratch; I





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 29

Must go to a barber's, Mr Mustard-seed, for me-
thinks I am marvellous hairy about the face."
My sweet love," said the queen, what will
Iyou 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 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 disgraceful 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 immediately 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
clown, and left him to finish his nap with his own
fool's head upon his shoulders.





30 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 wonder-
ing 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 un-
kind 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





A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM 31

that, as Demetrius had given up his pretensions to
Hermia, he should endeavour to prevail upon her
father to revoke the cruel sentence of death which
had been passed against her. Demetrius was pre-
paring 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 be-
loved and now faithful Demetrius.
The fairy king and queen, who were invisible
spectators 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 harm-
less Midsummer Night's Dream.





32 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE


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 qeeen,
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 youth-
ful pranks were remembered, 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.
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





THE WINTER'S TALE


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 dis-
position of his virtuous queen, he was seized with
an ungovernable jealousy. Every attention Her-
mione 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 apart-
ment, where the good lady was sitting with her
little son Mamillus, 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.
Mamillus, though but a very young child, loved
his mother tenderly; and when he saw her so dis-
honoured, and found she was taken from him to be





34 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

put into a prison, 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,
commanded 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





THE WINTER'S TALE


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 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 innocence.
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,




36 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

and that unhappy queen was standing as a prisoner
before 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:-" Hermione is
innocent, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true subject,
Leontes a jealous tyrant, and the king shall live with-
out 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
Mamillus, 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 Mamillus being dead; and





THE WINTER'S TALE


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
princess 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
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 there-
on, and words obscurely intimating its high birth
and untoward fate.
This poor deserted baby was found by a shep-
herd. 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
shepherd's daughter, yet so did the natural graces
she inherited from her royal mother shine forth in





38 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

her untutored 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 Doricles, and in the dis-
guise of a private gentleman, became a constant
visitor at the old shepherd's house. Florizel's fre-
quent 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 welcome, they were invited to
walk in, and join in the general festivity.
Nothing but mirth and jolity 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,





THE WINTER'S TALE


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 conversion. 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."
"Pray, my good friend," said the king to the
old shepherd, "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 !" 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, 0 hear





40 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

me, Perdita, before this ancient gentleman, 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,
discovering 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 disrespectful 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.
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 sorrow-
fully 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





THE WINTER'S TALE


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 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 en-
gross all Leontes' attention : perceiving a resem-
blance 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
a king had taken of Perdita, and that he had lost
a daughter, who was exposed in infancy, he fell to
comparing the time when he found the little Perdita,
with the manner of its exposure, the jewels and





42 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 re-
lated 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 re-
membered 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 !
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 that
Hermione was not living to behold her child, made
him that he could say nothing for a long time, but,
" 0 thy mother, thy mother !"
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





THE WINTER'S TALE


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, 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 excellence, 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 per-
suade yourself the statue lives." 0, sweet
Paulina," said Leontes, "make me think so twenty
years together! Still methinks there is an air
comes from her. What fine chisel could ever yet
cut breath? Let no man mock me, for I will kiss
her." "Good, my lord, forbear 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





46 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

yourself 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 aston-
ished 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 be-
holders, 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 her-
self, 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 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 de-
lighted parents thanked prince Florizel for loving





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 47

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 fugi-
tives here; and, following them with all speed, he
happened to arrive just 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 excel-
lent lady lived many years with her Leontes and
her Perdita, the happiest of mothers and of queens.


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





48 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 dis-
tinguished themselves 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 you." Benedick was
just such another rattle-brain as Beatrice, yet he
was not pleased at this free salutation ; he thought
it did not become a well-bred lady to be so flippant
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 them-
selves, 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,





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 49

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 observed 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 Bene-
dick 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,
knowing himself to be a brave man; but there is
nothing that great wits so much dread as the im-
putation 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 (for she was an admirable
young lady), the prince was highly amused with
listening to the humorous dialogue between Bene-
dick 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




go TALES FROM SHAKSPEARi

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,
" 0 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 throng-
ing 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 be married to his fair lady; yet he com-
plained of the interval being tedious, as indeed
most young men are impatient when they are





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 51

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
gentlemen 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
operations 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




52 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

against all fair ladies, and in particular against
Beatrice.
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 excellent
sweet lady, and exceeding wise in everything but in
loving Benedick." Then the prince motioned to
his companions that they should walk on, and leave
Benedick to meditate upon what he had overheard.
SBenedick 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 they were very
serious, and they have the truth from Hero, and
seem to pity the lady. Love me! Why it must
be requited! I did never think to marry. But
when I said 1 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
approached 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,





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 53

left him, Benedick thought he observed 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."
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 gentle-
women 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 conference."
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





54 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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."
" 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." "0! you wrong your cousin,"
said Ursula: "she cannot be so much without
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 discourse, 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! Benedick,
love on! I will requite you, taming my wild
heart to your loving hand."
It must have been a pleasant sight to see these





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 55

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, dis-
contented man, 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 determined to prevent
Claudio's marriage with Hero, only for the mali-
cious 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 midnight. Now this was the evening





56 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 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 con-
verted 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
verynight before she was going to be married to
the noble Claudio.
The next day, when they were all met to cele-
brate 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 ? "





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 57

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, my-
self, my brother, and this grieved Claudio, did see
and hear her last night at midnight 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! 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 Leonata. So
hard-hearted had their anger made them.
Benedick remained, and assisted Beatrice to re-
cover 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 atten-
tively marked the lady's countenance when she
heard herself accused, and noted a thousand blush-
ing 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





58 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 re-
plied, "they know that do accuse me; I know of
none:" then turning to Leonato, she said, "0 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 mis-
understanding in the prince and Claudio; and then
he counselled 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, and erect a monument
for her, and do all rites that appertain 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





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 59

prince and Claudio, yet on my honour I will not
reveal this secret to them."
Leonato, thus persuaded, yielded; and he said
sorrowfully, 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, ex-
pected 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, be-
lieve your fair cousin is wronged." "Ah!" said
Beatrice, how much might that man deserve of
me who would right her!" Benedick then said,
"Is there any way to show such friendship? 1
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 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: "0 Othat I were a man "





60 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

" Hear me, Beatrice said Benedick. But
Beatrice would hear nothing in Claudio's defence;
and she continued to urge on Benedick to revenge
her cousin's wrongs: and she said, "Talk with a
man out of the window; a proper saying! Sweet
Hero! she is wronged; she is slandered; she is
undone. O that I were a man for Claudio's sake!
or that I had any friend, who would be a man
for my sake 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 Benedick. "Yea," an-
swered 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! 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,
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





MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING 61

prince said to each other, "Beatrice has set him
on to do this." Claudio nevertheless 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 overheard talking with one of his com-
panions 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 rependant Claudio implored forgiveness
of the old man Leonato for the injury he had done
his child; and promised, that whatever penance
Leonato would lay upon him for his fault in





62 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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, regarding the solemn promise he
made to Leonato, said, he would marry this un-
known 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 accom-
panied 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 dis-
cover 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, ex-
claimed, "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 cere-
mony was ended; and was proceeding to marry
them, when he was interrupted by Benedick, who
desired to be married at the same time to Beatrice.




AS YOU LIKE IT


Beatrice making some demur to this match, and
Benedick challenging her with her love for him,
which 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 re-
solved 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 palace in Messina.


AS YOU LIKE IT

D URING 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





64 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 them-
selves 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 coun-
sellors; they do not flatter, but represent truly to
me my condition; and though they bite sharply,
their tooth is nothing like so keen as that of un-
kindness 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 every-
thing 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 everything.




-AS YOU LIKE IT


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 companion 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 depend-
ence on the false usurper, made Rosalind melan-
choly, Celia's whole care was to comfort and
console her.
One day, when Celia was talking in her usual
kind manner to Rosalind, saying, "1 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. 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.





66 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 consideration for the danger he
was about to undergo, that instead of being per-
suaded 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 any-
thing. 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 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, un-
fortunate; and she pitied him so much, and so





AS YOU LIKE IT


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 conquered 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."
The ladies then went up to him; and seeing him





68 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 therefore
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 banish-
ment; 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




AS YOU LIKE IT


her worth, and that we so long have slept together,
rose at the same instant, learned, played, and eat
together, I cannot live 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 protection 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.





70 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 friend-
ship Celia had shown in accompanying Rosalind
so many weary miles, made the new brother, in
recompense for this true love, exert 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
accommodations 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 providentially, as they were sitting
on the grass, almost dying with fatigue and hope-
less 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





AS YOU LIKE IT


or gold can in this desert place procure us enter-
tainment, 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 entertainment; but that if they would go
with him, they should 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 supplied 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





72 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

brother Oliver, charging Oliver on his blessing to
give his brother a good education, and provide for
him as became the dignity of their ancient house.
Oliver proved an unworthy brother; and disre-
garding 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
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 re-
turned 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 exclama-
tions: "0 my gentle master, my sweet master,
O you memory of old Sir Rowland! 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





AS YOU LIKE IT


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 con-
clusion, advised him to escape the danger he was
in by instant flight; and knowing 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 feed be comfort to my age !
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." 0 good old man said Orlando,
"how well appears in you the constant service of
the old world You are not for the fashion of
these times. We will go along together, and be-
fore your youthful wages are spent, 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 them-
selves 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, 0 my dear master, I die for want of
food, I 'can go no farther He then laid him-





74 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

self down, thinking to make that place his grave,
and bade his dear master farewell. Orlando, see-
ing 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! "
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 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




AS YOU LIKE IT


replied, "True it is that we are men (as you say)
who have seen better days, and though we have now
our habitation 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," an-
swered 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.
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 per-





76 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

ceived the chain which Rosalind had given him
about his neck.
: Orlando little thought that Ganymede was the
fair princess Rosalind, who, by her noble con-
descension 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, 1 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 Gany-
mede proposed, 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 Rosa-
lind, 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,





AS YOU LIKE IT 79

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 Rosa-
lind, 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
Rosalind), yet the.opportunity it gave him of say-
ing 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. Gany-
mede 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 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
Ganymede, he saw a man lying asleep on the
ground, and a large green snake had twisted itself





80 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

about his neck. The snake, seeing Orlando ap-
proach, 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 con-
duct, and besought with many tears his brother's
pardon for the injuries he had done him. 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.





AS YOU LIKE IT


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 providential escape, he owned to them
that he was Orlando's brother, who had so cruelly
used him; and then he told them of their re-
conciliation.
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 Ganymede 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 counter-
feit to be a man." "So I do," replied Gany-
mede, truly, but I "should have been a woman by
right."
Oliver made this visit a very long one, and when





82 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

at last he returned back to his brother, he had
much news to tell him; for besides the account of
Ganymede's fainting 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 shep-
herdess to agree to this: she is now alone;. for
look, here comes her brother." Oliver went to
Aliena; and Ganymede, whom Orlando had per-
ceived 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 arrange-
ment, 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





AS. YOU LIKE IT


pass by the aid of magic, which he said he had
learnt of an uncle who was a famous magician.
The fond lover Orlando, half believing and half
doubting 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 Rosa-
lind,: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 appear-
ing, 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





84 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 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





AS YOU LIKE IT


brother should be so highly respected in his ad-
versity, put himself at the head of a large force,
and advanced towards the forest, intending to
seize his brother, and put him with all his faithful
followers to the sword; but, by a wonderful inter-
position of Providence, this bad brother was con-
verted from his evil intention; for just as he entered
the skirts of the 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 resolved, 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 wel-
come, 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 restora-
tion 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.





86 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE


THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF
VERONA

T HERE 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 he 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 of the world abroad; but





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA 87

since you are a lover, love on still, and may your
love be prosperous!"
They parted with mutual expressions of unalter-
able friendship. "Sweet Valentine, adieu!" 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 to-
wards 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; therefore 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 Lucetta 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





88 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

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 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 lov-
ing 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
favourable answer to his letter; and while he was
reading it, he exclaimed, Sweet love, sweet lines,
sweet life 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."





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA 89

"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.
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 menwere sending their sons to seek prefer-
ment 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 Valentine,
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 disadvantage to him in his riper age not to
have travelled in his youth."
SProteus' 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 com-
mand 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 objec-
tions to his father, who never suffered him to
dispute his will; and he blamed himself for telling





90 TALES FROM- SHAKSPEARE

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 pre-
tended indifference; and they bade each other a
mournful farewell, with many vows of love and
constancy. Proteus and Julia 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
Valentine 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 kindness for Valentine, and in-
vited 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 Valentine the welcome news of
his friend Proteus' arrival. Valentine said, "If





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA 91

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
complete 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 here interrupted by the entrance
of Proteus, and Valentine introduced him to Silvia,
saying, Sweet lady, entertain 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 dis-
course."
"Ay, Proteus," returned Valentine, "but that
life is altered now.. I have done penance for con-
demning love. For in revenge of my contempt of
love, love has chased sleep from my enthralled
eyes. 0 gentle Proteus, Love is a mighty lord,
and hath so humbled me, that I confess 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
G





92 TALES PROM SHAKSPEARE

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
friendship, 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 en-
deavouring 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 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, despairing 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
friendship he ought to conceal what he was going





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA 93

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
integrity, 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 wrapped
within his cloak, which he concluded was the
rope-ladder.
The duke upon- this stopped him, saying,
Whither away so fast, Valentine ? "-" May it
please your grace," said Valentine, "there is a
messenger that stays to bear my letters to my
friends, and I am going to deliver them." Now this
falsehood of Valentine's had no better success in
the event than the untruth Proteus told.his father.
Be they of much import ?i" said the duke.
"No more, my lord," said Valentine, "than to
tell my father I am well and happy at your grace's
court."
"Nay then," said the duke, "no matter; stay
with me a while. I wish your counsel about some
affairs that concern me nearly." He then told
Valentine an artful story, as a prelude to draw
his secret from him, saying that Valentine knew





94 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

he wished to match his daughter with Thurio, but
that she was stubborn and disobedient to his com-
mands, "neither regarding," said he, that she is
my child, nor fearing me as if I were her father.
And I may say to thee, this pride of hers has
drawn my love from her. I had. thought my age
should have been cherished by her childlike duty.
I now am resolved to take a wife, and turn her out
to whosoever will take her in. Let her beauty be
her wedding dower, for me and my possessions she
esteems not."
Valentine, wondering where all this would end,
made answer, "And what would your grace have
me to do in all this ? "
"Why," said the duke, "the lady I would wish
to marry is nice and coy, and does not much
esteem my aged eloquence. Besides, the fashion
of courtship is much changed since I was young:
now I would willingly have you to be my tutor to
instruct me how I am to woo."
Valentine gave him a general idea of the modes
of courtship then practised by young men, when
they wished to win a fair lady's love, such as
presents, frequent visits, and the like.
The duke replied to this, that the lady did re-
fuse a present which he sent her, and that she was
so strictly kept by her father, that no man might
have access to her by day.
"Why then," said Valentine, you must visit
her by night."
But at night," said the artful duke, who was
now coming to the drift of his discourse, her
doors are fast locked."
Valentine then unfortunately proposed that the
duke should get into the lady's chamber at night by





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF-VERONA 95

means of a ladder of ropes, saying he would procure
him one fitting for that purpose; and in conclusion
advised him to conceal this ladder of ropes under
such a cloak as that which he now wore. Lend
me your cloak," said the duke, who had feigned
this long story on purpose to have a pretence to
get off the cloak; so upon saying these words, he
caught hold of Valentine's cloak, and throwing it
back, he discovered not only the ladder of ropes,
but also a letter of Silvia's, which he instantly
opened and read ; and this letter contained a full
account of their intended elopement. The duke,
after upbraiding Valentine for his ingratitude in
thus returning the favour he had shown him, by
endeavouring to steal away his daughter, banished
him from the court and city of Milan for ever;
and Valentine was forced to depart that night,
without even seeing Silvia.
While Proteus at Milan was thus injuring
Valentine, Julia at Verona was regretting the ab-
sence of Proteus; and her regard for him at last
so far overcame her sense of propriety, that she
resolved to leave Verona, and seek her lover at
Milan; and to secure herself from danger on the
road, she dressed her maiden Lucetta and herself
in men's clothes, and they set out in this disguise,
and arrived at Milan soon after .Valentine was
banished from that city through the treachery of
Proteus.
Julia entered Milan about noon, and she took
up her abode at an inn; and her thoughts being
all on her dear Proteus, she entered into con-
versation with the innkeeper, or host, as he was
called, thinking by that means to learn some news
of Proteus,





96 .TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

The host was greatly pleased that this handsome
young gentleman (as he took her to be), who from
his appearance, he concluded was of high rank,
spoke so familiarly to him; and being a good-
natured man, he was sorry to see him look so
melancholy; and to amuse his young guest, he
offered to take him to hear some fine music, with
which he said, a gentleman that evening was going
to serenade his mistress...
The reason Julia looked so very melancholy was,
that she did not well know what Proteus would
think of the imprudent step she had taken; for she
knew he had loved her for her noble maiden pride
and dignity of character, and she feared she should
lower herself:in his esteem: and this it was that
made her wear a sad and thoughtful- countenance.
She gladly accepted the offer of the host to go
with him, and hear the music; for she secretly
hoped she might meet Proteus by the way.
But when she came to the palace whither the
host conducted her, a very different effect was
produced to what the kind host intended; for
there, to her heart's sorrow, she beheld her lover,
the inconstant Proteus, serenading the lady Silvia
with music, and addressing discourse of love and
admiration to her. And Julia overheard Silvia
from a window talk with Proteus,. and reproach
him for forsaking his own true lady, and for his
ingratitude to his friend Valentine; and then Silvia
left the window, not choosing to listen to his music
and his fine speeches; for she was a faithful lady
to her banished Valentine, and abhorred the un-
generous conduct of his false friend Proteus.
Though Julia was in despair at what she had just
witnessed, yet did she still love the truant Proteus;





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA 97

and hearing that he had lately parted with a servant,
she contrived with the assistance of her host, the
friendly innkeeper, to hire herself to Proteus as a
page; and Proteus knew not she was Julia, and
he sent her with letters and presents to her rival
Silvia, and he even sent by her the very ring she
gave him as a parting gift at Verona.
When she went to that lady with the ring, she
was most glad to find that Silvia utterly rejected the
suit of Proteus; and Julia, or the page Sebastian
as she was called, entered into conversation with
Silvia about Proteus' first love, the forsaken lady
Julia. She putting in (as one may say) a good
word for herself, said she knew Julia; as well she
might, being herself the Julia of whom she spoke;
telling how fondly Julia loved her master Proteus,
and how his unkind neglect would grieve her: and
then she with a pretty equivocation went on: "Julia
is about my height, and of my complexion, the
colour of her eyes and hair the same as mine:" and
indeed Julia looked a most beautiful youth in her
boy's attire. Silvia was moved to pity this lovely
lady, who was so sadly forsaken by the man she
loved; and when Julia offered the ring which
Proteus had sent, refused it, saying, "The more
shame for him that he sends me that ring; I will
not take it; for I have often heard him say his
Julia gave it to him. I love thee, gentle youth, for
pitying her, poor lady! Here is a purse; I give
it you for Julia's sake." These comfortable words
coming from her kind rival's tongue cheered the
drooping heart of the disguised lady.
But to return to the banished Valentine; who
scarce knew which way to bend his .course, being
unwilling to return hore to his father a disgraced





98 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

and banished man: as he was wandering over a
lonely forest, not far distant from Milan, where
he had left his heart's dear treasure, the lady Silvia,
he was set upon by robbers, who demanded his
money.
Valentine told them that he was a man crossed
by adversity, that he was going into banishment,
and that he had no money, the clothes he had on
being all his riches.
The robbers, hearing that he was a distressed
man, and being struck with his noble air and manly
behaviour, told him if he would live with them,
and be their chief, or captain, they would put them-
selves under his command ; but ;that if he refused
to accept their offer, they would kill him.
Valentine, who cared little what became of him-
self, said he would consent to live with them and
be their captain, provided they did no outrage on
women or poor passengers.
Thus the noble Valentine became, like Robin
Hood, of whom we read in ballads, a captain of
robbers and outlawed banditti; and in this situation
he was found by Silvia, and in this manner it came
to pass.
Silvia, to avoid a marriage with Thurio, whom
her father insisted upon her no longer refusing,
came at last to the resolution of following Valentine
to Mantua, at which place she had heard her lover
had taken refuge; but in this account she was
misinformed, for he still lived in the forest among
the robbers, bearing the name of their captain, but
taking no part in their depredations, and using the
authority which they had imposed upon him in no
other way than to compel them to show. compassion
to the travellers they robbed.





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA 99

Silvia contrived to effect her escape from her
father's palace in company with a worthy old
gentleman, whose name was Eglamour, whom she
took along with her for protection on the road.
She had to pass through the forest where Valentine
and the banditti dwelt; and one of these robbers
seized on Silvia, and would also have taken Egla-
mour, but he escaped.
The robber who had taken Silvia, seeing the
terror she was in, bid her not be alarmed, for
that he was only going to carry her to a cave
where his captain lived, and that she need not be
afraid, for their captain had an honourable mind,
and always showed humanity to women. Silvia
found little comfort in hearing she was going to be
carried as a prisoner before the captain of a lawless
banditti. "0 Valentine," she cried, "this I en-
dure for thee "
But as the robber was conveying her to the cave
of his captain, he was stopped by Proteus, who,
still attended by Julia in the disguise of a page,
having heard of the flight of Silvia, had traced her
steps to this forest. Proteus now rescued her from
the hands of the robber; but scarce had she time
to thank him for the service he had done her,
before he began to distress her afresh with his love
suit; and while he was rudely pressing her to con-
sent to marry him, and his page (the forlorn Julia)
was standing beside him in great anxiety of mind,
fearing lest the great service which Proteus had
just done to Silvia should win her to show him
some favour, they were all strangely surprised with
the sudden appearance of Valentine, who, having
heard his robbers had taken a lady prisoner, came
to console and relieve her,





ioo TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Proteus was courting Silvia, and he was so
much ashamed of being caught by his friend, that
he was all at once'seized with penitence and re-
morse; and he expressed such a lively sorrow for
the injuries he had done to Valentine, that Valen-
tine, whose nature was noble and generous, even
to a romantic degree, not only forgave and restored
him to his former place in his friendship, but in a
sudden flight of heroism he said, I freely do
forgive you; and all the interest I have in Silvia,
I give it up to you." Julia, who was standing
beside her master as a page, hearing this strange
offer, and fearing Proteus would not be able with
this new-found virtue to refuse.Silvia, fainted, and
they were all employed in recovering her: else
would Silvia have been offended at being thus made
over to Proteus, though she could scarcely think
that Valentine would long persevere in this over-
strained and too generous act of friendship. When
Julia recovered from the fainting fit, she said, "I
had forgot, my master ordered me to deliver this
ring to Silvia." Proteus, looking upon the ring,
saw that it was the one he gave to Julia, in return
for that which he received from her, and which he
had sent by the supposed page to Silvia. "How
is this said he, this is Julia's ring : how came
you by it, boy ?" Julia answered, "Julia herself
did give it me, and Julia. herself hath brought it
hither."
Proteus, now looking earnestly upon her, plainly
perceived that the page Sebastian was no other
than the lady Julia herself; and the proof she had
given of her constancy and true love so wrought
in. him, that his love for her returned into his heart,
and he took again his own dear lady, and joyfully





THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA o10

resigned all pretentions to the lady Silvia to Valen-
tine, who had so well deserved her.
Proteus and Valentine were expressing their
happiness in their reconciliation, and in the love
of their faithful ladies when they were surprised
with the sight of the duke of Milan and Thurio,
who came there in pursuit of Silvia.
Thurio first approached, and attempted to seize
Silvia, saying, "Silvia is mine." Upon this
Valentine said to him in a very spirited manner,
"Thurio, keep back: if once again you say that
Silvia is yours, you shall embrace your death.
Here she stands, take but possession of her with a
torch I dare you but to breathe upon my love."
Hearing this threat, Thurio, who was a great
coward, drew back, and said he cared not for her,
and that none but a fool would fight for a girl who
loved him not.
The duke, who was a very brave man himself,
said now in great anger, "The more base and
degenerate in you to take such means for her as
you have done, and leave her on such slight con-
ditions." Then turning to Valentine, he said, "I
do applaud your spirit, Valentine, and think you
worthy of an empress' love. You shall have Silvia,
for you have well deserved her." Valentine then
with great humility kissed the duke's hand, and
accepted the noble present which he had made
him of his daughter with becoming thankfulness:
taking occasion of this joyful minute to entreat the
good-humoured duke to pardon the thieves with
whom he had associated in the forest, assuring him,
that when reformed and restored to society,:there
would be found among them many good, and fit for
great employment; for the most of them had been





o02 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

banished, like Valentine, for state offences, rather
than for any black crimes they had been guilty of.
To this the ready duke consented: and now
nothing remained but that Proteus, the false
friend, was ordained, by way of penance:for his
love-prompted faults, to be present at the recital
of the whole story of his loves and falsehoods
before the duke; and the shame of the recital to
his awakened conscience was judged sufficient
punishment:: which being done, the lovers, all four
returned back to Milan, and their nuptials were
solemnised in the presence of the duke, with high
triumphs and;feasting.


THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

SHYLOCK, the Jew, lived at Venice: he was
an usurer, who had amassed an immense
fortune by lending money at great interest to
Christian merchants. Shylock, being a hard-
hearted man, exacted the payment of the money
he lent with such severity that he was much dis-
liked by all good men, and particularly by Antonio,
a young merchant of Venice; and Shylock as much
hated Antonio, because he used to lend money to
people in distress, and would never take any interest
for: the money he lent; therefore there was great
enmity between this covetous Jew and the generous
merchant Antonio. Whenever Antonio met Shy-
lock on the Rialto (or Exchange), he used to
reproach him with his usuries and hard dealings,
which the Jew would bear with seeming patience,
while he secretly meditated revenge.
Antonio was the kindest man that lived, the best





MERCHANT OF VENICE


conditioned, and had the most unwearied spirit in
doing courtesies; indeed, he was one in.whom the
ancient Roman honour more appeared than in any
that drew breath in Italy. He was greatly beloved
by all his fellow-citizens; but the friend who: was
nearest and dearest to his heart was Bassanio, a
noble Venetian, who, having but a small patrimony,
had nearly exhausted his little fortune by living in
too expensive a manner for his slender means,
as young men of high rank with small fortunes are
too apt to do. Whenever Bassanio wanted money,
Antonio assisted him; and it seemed as if they
had but one heart and one purse between them.
One day Bassanio came to Antonio, and told
him that he wished to repair his fortune by a
wealthy .marriage with a lady whom he dearly
loved, whose father, that was lately dead,-had left
her sole heiress to a large estate; and that in her
father's lifetime he used to visit at her house, when
he thought he had observed this lady had sometimes
from her eyes sent speechless messages, that seemed
to say he would be no unwelcome suitor; but not
having money to furnish himself with an appearance
befitting the lover of so rich an heiress, he besought
Antonio to add to the many favours he .had shown
him, by lending him three thousand ducats.
Antonio had no money by him at that time to
lend his friend; but expecting soon to have some
ships come home laden with merchandise, he said
he would go to Shylock, the rich money-lender,
and borrow the money upon the credit of those
ships.
Antonio and Bassanio went together to Shylock,
and Antonio asked the Jew to lend him three
thousand ducats upon any interest he should re-





o04 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

quire, to be paid out of the merchandise contained
in his ships at sea. On this, Shylock thought
within himself, If I can once catch him on the
hip, I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him;
he hates our Jewish nation; he lends out money
gratis, and among the merchants he rails at me and
my well-earned bargains, which he calls interest.
Cursed be my tribe if I forgive him! Antonio
finding he was musing within himself and did not
answer, and being impatient for the money, said,
"Shylock, do you hear? will you lend the
money?" To this question the Jew replied,
"Signior Antonio, on the Rialto many a time and
often you have railed at me about my monies and
my usuries, and I have borne it with a patient
shrug, for sufference is the badge of all our tribe;
and then you have called me unbeliever, cut-throat
dog, and spit upon my Jewish garments, and
spurned at me with your foot, as if I was a cur.
Well then, it now appears you need my help;
and you come to me, and say, Shylock, lend me
monies. Has a dog money ? Is it possible a cur
should lend three thousand ducats ? Shall I bend
low and say, Fair .sir, you spit upon me on
Wednesday last, another time you called me dog,
and for these courtesies I am to lend you monies."
Antonio replied, I am as like to call you so again,
to spit on you again, and spurn you too. If you will
lend me this money, lend it not to me as to a friend,
but rather lend it to me as to an enemy, that, if I
break, you may with better face exact the penalty."
-"Why, look you," said Shylock, "how you
storm! I would be friends with you, and have
your love. .I-will forget the shames you have put
upon me. I will supply your wants, and take no





MERCHANT OF VENICE


interest for my money." This seemingly kind offer
greatly surprised Antonio; and then Shylock, still
pretending kindness, and that all he did was to gain
Antonio's love, again said he would lend him the
three thousand ducats, and take no interest for his
money; only Antonio should go with him to a
lawyer, and there sign in.merry sport a bond, that
if he did not repay the money by a certain day, he
would forfeit a pound of flesh, to be cut off from
any part of his body that Shylock pleased.
"Content," said Antonio: "I will sign to this
bond, and say there is much kindness in the Jew."
Bassanio said Antonio should not sign to such
a bond for him; but still Antonio insisted that he
would sign it, for that before the day of payment
came, his ships would return laden with many times
the value of the money.
Shylock, hearing this debate, exclaimed, 0,
father Abraham, what suspicious people these'
Christians are! Their own hard dealings teach
them to suspect the thoughts of others. I pray
you tell me this, Bassanio : if he should break his
day, what should I gain by the exaction of the
forfeiture ? A pound of man's flesh, taken from a
man, is not so estimable, nor profitable neither, as
the flesh of mutton or beef. I say, to buy his
favour I offer this friendship : if he will take it, so;
if not, adieu."
At last, against the advice of Bassanio, who, not-
withstanding all the Jew had said of his kind
intentions, did not like his friend should run the
hazard of this shocking penalty for his sake,
Antonio signed the bond, thinking it really was
(as the Jew said) merely in sport.
The rich heiress that Bassanio wished to marry





o16 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

lived near Venice, at a place called Belmont: her
namewas Portia, and in the graces of her person
and her mind she was nothing inferior to that Portia,
of' whom we read, who was Cato's daughter, and
the wife of Brutus.
Bassanio being so kindly supplied with money
by his friend Antonio, .at the hazard of his life,
set out for Belmont with a splendid train, and
attended.by a gentleman of the name of Gratiano.
Bassanio proving successful in his suit, Portia
in a short time consented to accept of him for a
husband.
Bassanio confessed to Portia that he had no
fortune, and that his high birth and noble ancestry
was.all that he could boast of; she, who loved
him for his worthy qualities, and had riches enough
not to regard wealth in a husband, answered with
a graceful modesty, that she would wish herself a
thousand times more fair, and ten thousand times
more rich, to be more worthy of him; and then
the accomplished Portia prettily dispraised herself,
and said she was an unlessoned girl, unschooled,
unpractised, yet not so old but that she could, learn,
and that she would commit her gentle spirit to be
directed and governed by him in all things; and
she said, "Myself and what is mine, to you and
yours is nowiconverted. But yesterday, Bassanio,
I was the lady of this fair mansion, queen of myself,
and mistress over these servants; and now this
house, these servants, and myself, are yours, my
lord; I give them with this ring; presenting a
ring to Bassanio.
Bassanio was so overpowered with gratitude and
wonder at the gracious manner in which the rich
and noble Portia accepted of.a man of his humble





MXERCliANT OF.VENICE'


fortunes, that ::he could ;not express his joy. and
reverence to the dear lady who so honoured him,
by anything but broken words of love and thankful-
ness; and taking the ring, he 'vowed never to -part
with it.:: ; '. .' :: .
Gratiano and Nerissa,' Portia's waitiig-maid,
were in attendance upon their-lord and lady, when
Portia so gracefully 'promised to become, the
obedient wife -of Bassanio ; and Gratiano, wishing
Bassanio and the generous lady joy, desired per-
mission to be married at the same time.
With all iy heart, Gratiano," said Bassanio,
"if'you can get a wife." ,
-Gratiano then said that he loved the lady Portiasg
fair waiting gentlewoman Nerissa," and that she had
promised to be his wife; if her lady married Bassanio
Portia asked Neiitsa "if this was- true. Nerissa
replied,: "Madami, it is so, if you approve. of it.?
Portia willingly 'cnsenting, Bassanio pleasantly
said' "-Then our wedding-feast shall- be much
honoured by- your marriage, Grat'iano;" -
The happiness of these lovers was sadly crossed
at'this moment by the: entrance :of a messenger,
who brought a letter from Antonio 'containing
fearful tidings. -When Bassanio read ,Antonio's
letter- Portia 'feared it;was to tell himn:ff thezdnath
of- som dear: friend, he looked :so ,pale ; and in-
quiring what was- the news which had~'o distressed
him, he said, O sweet Portia, here are a- few 'of
the unpleasantest words that ever-blotted paper;
gentle 'ii,, when I first imparted my love to you,
I freely told you all' the wealth' I had ran in: my
veins; but I should have told you ihat I :had less
thati nothing, being in' debt." i: Bassanio then told
Portia what 'hasg been -here related, of'his borrowing
H





io8 TALES .FROM SHAKSPEARE

the money: of Antonio, and of Antonio's procuring
it of Shylock the Jew, and of the bond by,which
Antonio had. engaged.to forfeit a pound of flesh, if
it: was: not -repaid :by a certain .day;: and -then
Bassanio read Antonio's letter; the words of which
were, '"Sweet- Bassanio, my ships are all lost, my bond
to the Jew is forfeited,, and since in, paying it is
impossible I should live, I could wish to see you at my
death ; notwithstanding, use your pleasure ; if your
love for. me do not persuade you to come, let not my
letter." my dear love," said Portia, despatchch
all business, and begone; you shall have -gold to
pay the money twenty times, over, before. this kind
friend shall lose a hair by my- Bassanio's fault; and
as you are so dearly bought, I will dearly love you."
Portia then said, she would be. married to Bassanio
before he set out,.to give him a4 legal right to her
money; and that same day they were married, :and
Gratianb was also.married:to. Nrissa; and Bassanio
and.Gratiano,. the instait,'they were: married, .set
out -in great haste for Venice, where :Bassanio
found Antonio in prison. : .
The day of payment being past, the cruel-: Jew
would .not accept of.the money which Bassanio
offered& him, but insisted upon .having a pound of
Antonio's flesh. A- day was appointed to try trhi
shocking cause before,, the Duke of Venice,: and
'Bassanio awaited in dreadful suspense the;.event:of
the trial. : : -
W.hen Portia parted.with her husband, she.spoke
cheeringly to him, and bade him bring .his dear
friend along, with him-when he returned; yet she
feared. it would go hard with Antonio, and when
;she was left alone, she .beganto think and. consider
within herself, if she .could by any means b instreu





MERCHANT OF VENICE.


mental; in saving the life of her dear. Bassanio's
friend; and notwithstanding when she wished to
honour her Bassanio, she had said to him with such
a meek and wife-like grace, that she would submit
in all things to be governed by hii superior wisdom;
yet being now called:forth into action by the peril
of her honoured husband's friend, she- did nothing
doubt.:her own powers, and by the sole-guidance
of her owntrue and perfect judgment, at. once
resolved to go herself to Venice, and speak in
Antonio's defence.
Portia had a relation who was a counsellor in the
law; to this gentleman, whose name was Bellario,
shewrote, and stating the case to him, desired his
opinion, and that with his advice he would also
send her the dress worn by a counsellor. When
the messenger returned, he brought letters from
Bellario.of advice how to proceed, and-also every-
thing necessary for her equipment. -
Portia dressed herself and her maid-Nerissa in
men's apparel, and putting on the robes- of a
counsellor, she took Nerissa along with :her -as
her: clerk; 'and setting out immediately, they
arrived at Venice on the very day of the trial.
The, cause was just going to be heard before the
duke.,and senators of Venice in the senate-house,
when.Portia entered this high court of justice, and
presented a letter from Bellario, in :which: that
learned counsellor wrote. to the duke, saying, he
would have come himself to plead for Antonio, but
that he was prevented by-sickness, and. he requested
that, the learned young doctor Balthasar, (so he
called Portia) might be permitted to plead in his
stead. This: the -duke .granted, much wondering
at the youthful appearance of the stranger, who





Ino TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

was prettily disguised by her counsellor's robes and
her large wig.
And now began this important trial. Portia
looked around her, and she saw the merciless Jew;
and she saw Bassanio, but he knew her not in her
disguise. He -was standing beside Antonio, in an
agony of distress and fear for his friend.
The importance of the arduous task Portia had
engaged in gave this tender lady courage, and she
boldly proceeded -in the duty she had undertaken
to perform: and first of all she addressed herself
to Shylock; and allowing that he had a right by
the Venetian law to have the forfeit expressed in
the bond, she spoke-so sweetly of the noble quality
of mercy, as would have softened any heart but the
unfeeling Shylock's ; saying, that it dropped as the
gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath;
and how mercy was a double blessing, it blessed
him that gave, and him that received it;'and how
it became monarchs better than their crowns, being
an attribute of God himself; and that earthly power
came :nearest to God's, in proportion as mercy
tempered justice; and she bid Shylock remember
that as:we all pray for mercy, that same prayer
should teach us to show mercy. Shylock only an-
swered her by desiring to have the penalty forfeited
in the bond.- "Is he not able to pay the money ? '
asked Portia. Bassanio then offered the Jew the
payment of the three' thousand ducats as many times
over as he should desire; which Shylock refusing,
and still insisting upon having a pound of Antonio's
flesh, Bassanio begged the learned young counsellor
would endeavour- to wrest the law a little, to save
Antonio's life. But Portia gravely answered, that
laws once established must never be altered. Shy-




MERCHANT; OF. VENICE Ur


lock hearing. Portia say. that the law might not
be altered, it. seemed to him that she was. pleading
in..his favour, and he said, "A Daniel is come
to judgment! O wise young judge, how I; do
honour you! How much elder are you than your
looks ?
Portia now desired Shylock to let her look at
the bond; and when she had read it, she said,
"This bond is forfeited, and by this the Jew. may
lawfully claim a pound of flesh, to be by him cut
off nearest Antonio's heart." Then she said ;to
Shylock, ":Be merciful: take the. money, arid bid
me tear the bond." But no mercy would the cruel
Shylock show;. arid he said, "By my soul I swear,
there is. no power in the tongue of man to alter
me."-t" Why then, Antonio," said Portia, "you
must prepare your bosom for the knife: and while
Shylock was sharpening a long knife with great
eagerness to cut off the pound of flesh, Portia said
to Antonio, "Have you anything to say '" Antonio
with as calm resignation replied, that he had but
little to say, for.that he had prepared his mind for
death.. Then he said to Bassanio, Give me your
hand,. Bassanio! Fare you well! Grieve not
that I am fallen into this misfortune for you.
Commend.me to your honourable wife, and.tell her
how I have loved you! Bassanio in the deepest
affliction, replied, "Antonio, I am married to a
wife, who is as dear to me as life itself; but life
itself, my wife, and all the world, are not esteemed
with me above your:life: I would lose all, I would
sacrifice all to this devil here, to deliver you."
Portia hearing this, though the kind-hearted lady
was not at all offended with her husband for ex-
pressing the love he owed to so true a friend as





r12 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Antonio in these strong terms, yet could not help
answering;, Your wife would give you little thanks,
if she were present, to hear yoi make this offer."
And then Gratiano, who loved to copy what his
lord did, thought he must make a speech like
Bassanio's, and he said, in Nerissa's hearing, who
was writing in her clerk's dress by the side of
Portia," I. have a wife, whom I protest I love;
I wish she were in heaven, if she could but entreat
some power there to change the cruel temper of
this currishh Jew." "It is well you wish this
behind her back,-else you would have but an. uin-
quiet house," said Nerissa.
.Shylock now cried out impatiently, "We trifle
time; I pray pronounce the sentence." And now'
all was awful expectation in the court, and every
heart was full of grief for Antonio.
:.Portia asked if the scales were ready to weigh
the flesh; and she said to the Jew, Shylock, you
must have some surgeon by, lest he bleed to death."
Shylock, whose whole intent was that Antonio
shouldibleed to death, said, "It is not so named in
the bond." Portia replied, It is not so named in
the bond, but what of that ? It were good you
did so much for charity." To this all the answer
Shylock would make was, I cannot find it; it is
not in the bond." "Then," said Portia, "a pound
of Antonio's flesh is thine. The law allows it, and
the court awards it. .And you: may cut this flesh
from off his breast. The law allows it and the
court awards it." Again Shylock exclaimed, 0
wise and upright judge! A Daniel is come to
judgment!" And then he sharpened his long
knife, again, and looking eagerly on Antonio, he
said,:" Come, prepare! .




MERCHANT O VENICE


"Tarry a little, Jew,": said Portia p "there is
something else. This bond here give -you .no drop
of blood:; .the words expressly.are, 'a pound-of
flesh.' If in the cutting off the. pound of flesh you
shed one drop of Christian blood, your :lands and
goods are by the law to. be confiscated'to.the state
of Venice." Now as it was utterly.impossible for
Shylock to cut off the pound of flesh without
shedding some of Antonio's, blood, this wise dis-
covery. of. Portia's, that. it was flesh and: not:'blood
that was named in ithe bond, saved; the life -of
Antonio; and all. admiring, the wonderful sagacity
of the young counsellor, who had so happily thought
of this .expedient, plaudits resounded, from every
part. of the senate-house; and Gratiano exclaimed,
in. the words which Shylock had used,' wise
and upright judge! mark, Jew, a Daniel is come
to judgment! "
Shylock, finding himself defeated in his cruel
intent, said with a disappointed look,,that he wuild
take.the money; and Bassanio,: rejoiced' beyond
measure at-Antonio's unexpected deliverance, cried
out, "Here is the money "- But Portia stopped.
him, :saying, ." Softly; there is -no haste.;, the
Jew.shall have nothing but-.the penalty : therefore
prepare, Shylock, :to cut off the. flesh;.- but mind
you shed no blood: nor do not cut off more nor
less than just a pound; be it more or less by one
poor scruple, nay if the scale turn -but;by the weight
of a single hair,: you are: condemned by the laws. of
Venice to die, and all your wealth is forfeited to
the senate." .. "Give. me my money, and' let me
go," said; Shylock.. I have it ready,"' said
Bassanio;: ."'here it is." :
..Shylock. was going to .take the money,: when





i16 TALES- FROM SHAKSPEARE

Portia:again stopped him, saying, l' Tarry,-Jew; I
have yet .another hold upon you. By the laws of
Venice, your wealth is forfeited, to the state; for
having::conspired against the life 'of one of its
citizens, and your life lie.; at: the mercy of the
duke; .therefore, down on your khees, and:ask him
to pardon you."!
The duke then said to Shylock, "That you may
see the difference of our Christian. spirit, I pardon
you your life before you ask, it; half youi wealth be-
longs to Antonio, the other half comes to the state."
The generous Antonio; then said that he would
give up his share, of Shylock's wealth, if Shylock:
would sign a deed,:to make it over at his death
to hisdaughter and her husband; for Antonio knew
that the Jew had.an only daughter who had lately
married against his consent to a young Christian,
named Lorenzo, a friend of Antonio's, which'had
so:offended Shylock, that he had disinherited, her.
SThe Jew agreed, to this: and being thus disap-
pointed in his revenge, and despoiled of his. riches,
he said,'' I am ill. Let me go home; send the
deed after:me, and I will sign over half my riches
to my daughter."-" Get thee gone, then," said;the
duke, and sign it; and if you repent your cruelty
and turn Christian, the state will forgive you the
fine of the other half of your riches.'"
, The duke now released* Antonio, and dismissed
the court. .He;;then highly praised the wisdom and
ingenuity of theyoung counsellor, and invited him
home to-dinner.:. Portia,, who meant to return; to
Belniont before her husband, replied, '"I humbly
thank'your grace, but I must away.directly," The
duke said he was sorry he had not leisure tostay
and dine: with him; .and turning to Antonio, he





: MERCHANT OF VENICE:


added, Reward this gentleman; for: in my mind
you are much indebted to him." : :-,
i The duke and his. senators left, the court;
and then Bassanio said to Portia, Most worthy
gentleman, I and my friend Antonio have by
your wisdom been this day acquitted of grievous
penalties, and I beg you will- accept of the three
thousand ducats due unto the Jew." "And we
shall stand indebted to you over and above," said
Antonio, "in love and service evermore." '.'
:Portia could not be prevailed:upon to accept the
money; but upon Bassanio still pressing, her :to
accept of some reward,.she said, Give me your
gloves; I will wear them for-your-sake; and:then
Bassanio taking off his. gloves, she espied the ring
which she had given him upon his finger: 'now it
was the ring .he wily lady wanted to get from him
to make a merry jest when she saw her Bassanio
again, that made her ask him for his gloves; and
she said, when she saw the ring, "and for your
love I :will take this ring from you."' Bassanio
was sadly: distressed that the counsellor should ask
him for the. only thing he: could not part with, and
he replied in great confusion, that he could not
give;, him that ring, because it was:his wife's gift,
and he had vowed never to part with it; but that
he would give him the most valuable ring in
Venice, and find it out by proclamation. On this
Portia affected to be affronted, and left the:court,
saying, "You teach me, sir, how a beggar should
be answered." ... -
"Dear Bassanio," said Antonio, "let him have
the ring; let my love and the great'service he:has
done for me be valued against your wife's dis-
pleasure." Bassanio, ashamed to appear so un-





ix8 TALES, FROM SHAKSPEARE

grateful, yielded, and sent Gratiano after Portia
with the ring; and' then the clerk Nerissa who
had also: given Gratiano; a ring, she begged his
ring, and Gratiano (not choosing to be outdone
in generosity, by his lord) gave it to her. And
there was laughing among these ladies to think,
when they got home, how they would tax their
husbands with giving away their rings, and swear
that they had given them as a present to some
woman.
Portia, when she returned, was in that happy
temper of mind which never fails to attend the con-
sciousness of having performed a good action; her
cheerful spirits enjoyed e'cr.;,ir ig she saw: the
moon, never seemed to shine. so bright before; and
when that pleasant moon was hid behind a cloud,
then a light which she saw from her house at
Belmont as well pleased her charmed fancy, and
she said to Nerissa, "That light we see is burning
in my-hall.; how far that little candle throws its
beams, so shines a good deed in a naughty world; "
and hearing the sound of music from her house, she
said, Methinks that.. music sounds much sweeter
than by:day."' .
And now Portia:and Nerissa entered the house,
and dressing themselves in their own apparel, they
awaited the arrival of their husbands, who soon
followed them with Antonio; and Bassanio pre-
senting his dear friend to the lady Portia, the con-
gratulations and welcomings of that lady were
hardly over, when they perceived Nerissa and:her
husband quarrelling in a corner of the room. "A
quarrel .already ? said Portia. ".What is the
matter?" Gratiano replied, "Lady, it is about a
paltry-gilt ring that.Nerissa gave me, with words





MERCHANT OF VENICE


upon it like the poetry on a: cutler's-knife ; Love
me, and leave me not."
S" What does the poetry or the value of the ring
signify ?" said Nerissa. You swore-to me when
I gave it to you, that you would keep it till the
hour of death; and now you say you gave it to
the lawyer's'-clerk. I know you gave it to a
wdman."-"-By this hand," replied Gratiano, "I'
gave it to a- youth, a kind of boy, a little scrubbed
boy, no higher than yourself; he was clerk to the
young counsellor that by his wise pleading saved
Antonio's life : this prating boy begged it for a
fee, and I could not for my life deny him." Portia
said, "You were to blame, Gratiano, to pirt with
your wife's first gift. I gave my lord Bassanio a
ring, and I am sure he would not part with it for
all the world." Gratiano,-in excuse for his fault,
now said, "My lord Bassanio gave his ring away to
the counsellor, and then the boy, his 'clerk, -that
took some pains in writing, he begged my ring."
Portia, hearing this, seemed very angry, and
reproached Bassanio for giving away her- ring;
and she said, Nerissa had taught her what to' be-
lieve, and that she knew some woman had the ring.
Bassanio was very unhappy to have so offended his
dear lady, and he said with great earnestness, "No,
by my honour, no-woman had it, but a civil doctor,
who refused three thousand ducats of me, and
begged the ring, which when: I denied him, he
went displeased away. What could I do, sweet
Portia ? I was so beset with shame for my seem-
ing ingratitude, that I was forced to send the ring
after him. Pardon me, good lady; had you been
there, I think you would have begged the ring of
me to give the worthy doctor."





120 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

.''Ah! said Antonio, I am the unhappy cause
of these quarrels."
Portia bid Antonio not to grieve at that, for
that he,:was welcome notwithstanding; and then
Antonio said, '"I once did lend my body for
Bassanio's sake;: and but for him to whom your
husband gave the, ring, I should have now been
dead.,. I dare be bound again, my soul upon the
forfeit, your lord will never more break his faith
with you."--" Then you shall be his surety,".said
Portia; ."give him this ring, and bid him keep it
better than the other." .
When Bassanio looked at this :ring, he was
strangely surprised to find it was the same he gave
away; and then Portia told him how she was the
young counsellor, and.Nerissa was her clerk; and
Bassanio -found, to his :unspeakable wonder and
delight, that .it was by the noble courage and
wisdom of his wife that Antonio's life was saved. ::
And Portia again welcomed Antonio, and gave
him letters which by some chance had fallen into
her hands, which contained an account of Antonio's
ships, that were supposed lost, being safely arrived
in the. harbour. --So .these tragical beginnings of
this rich merchant's story were all forgotten in the
unexpected good fortune which ensued; and there
was leisure to laugh at the comical adventure of
the rings, and the husbands that did not know their
own wives: Gratianp. merrily swearing, in a sort of
rhyming speech, that
--while he lived, he'd fear no other thing
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.





CYMBELINE


CYMBELINE

D URING the time of Augustus Casar, Emperor
L of Rome, there reigned- in England (which
was then, called Britain): a king-whose nanie was
Cymbeline.
: Cymbeline's first wife died when his three
children (two sons. and a daughter): were very
young.: .Imogen,, the eldest of these children, was
brought up.in her father's court; but:by a-strange
chance the two sons of Cymbeline were stolen out
of their nursery, when the-,eldest was but ,.three
years of age, and the youngest- quite an infant.;
and Cymbeline could never ..discover, what was
become. of. them, or by whom they were conveyed
away.
. Cymbeline was twice married : his second wife
was a wicked, plotting woman, and .a cruel step-
mother to Imogen, Cymbeline's :daughter. by his
first wife. :,
The queen, though she hated Imogen, yet wished
her to marry a son uf her own by. a former husband
(she also having been.twice married) : for by this
means she hoped upon the death .ofCymbeline to
place the crown of Britain upon ithe head of her
son .Cloten ; for she knew that, if the :king's sons
were.not found, the princess: Imogen must be the
'king's: heir. But .:this design was prevented by
Imogen herself, whoe married without the consent
or even knowledge of her father or the; queen.
Posthumus: (for that was the name of Imogen's
husband) was the best scholar and most accomplished
gentleman .of that age. His father died fighting in
the. wags;if'. Cymbeline,, and soon after his birth





122 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

his mother died also for grief at the loss of her
husband.
Cymbeline, pitying the helpless state of this
orphan, took Posthumus (Cymbelie- having given
him: that nname, because he was born after his
father's death), and educated himr in his own court.
Imogen and Posthumus were both taught by
the same masters, and were playfellows from.their
infancy;: they loved each other tenderly .when they
were children, and their affection continuing to
increase with their years, when they grew up they
privately married.
;'I-The.disappointed queen soon learnt this secret,
for she kept spies constantly in watch upon the
actions of her daughter-in-law, and she irhmediately
told- the king of: the marriage of Imogen with
Posthumus.
'N6thing could exceed the wrath of Cymbeline,
when he heard-that, his daughter had been so for-
getful of -her high dignity as to marry a subject.
He commanded Posthumus to leave Britain, and
banished him from his native country for ever. :
:The queen, who pretended: to pity Imogen for
the grief she suffered atlosing her husband, offered
to procure them a private meeting before Posthumus
set out on hisi journey to' Rome, which placehe
had chosen for-his residence in his banishment:
this seeming kindness she showed, the better to
succeed in her future designs in regard.to her- son
Cloer n; for she meant to persuade Imogen, when
her husband was gone, that her marriage was not
lawful,: being contracted without the consent-of the
king. : :
SImogen and Posthumus took a most affectionate
leave of each other. Imogen gave herihusband a





CYMBELINE


diamond ring, which had been her mother's, and
Posthumus promised never to part with the ring;
and he fastened a bracelet on the arm of his wife,
which he begged she would preserve with great
care, as a token of his love; they then bid each
other farewell, with many vows of everlasting love
and fidelity.
Imogen remained a solitary and dejected lady
in her father's court, and Posthumus arrived at
Rome, the place he had chosen for his banishment.
Posthumus fell into company at Rome with
some gay young men of different nations, who
were talking freely of ladies: each one praising the
ladies of his own country, and his own mistress.
Posthumus, who had ever his own dear lady in his
mind, affirmed that his wife, the fair Imogen, was
the most virtuous, wise, and constant lady in the
world.
One of those gentlemen, whose name was
Tachimo, being offended that a lady of Britain
should be so praised above the Roman ladies, his
country-women, provoked Posthumus by seeming
to doubt the constancy of his so highly-praised
wife; and at length, after much altercation, Pos-
thumus consented to a proposal of lachimo's, that
he (lachimo) should go to Britain, and endeavour
to gain the love of the married Imogen. They
then laid a wager, that if Iachimo did not succeed
in this wicked design, he was to forfeit a large sum
of money; but if he could win Imogen's favour,
and prevail upon her to give him the bracelet
which Posthumus had so earnestly desired she
would keep as a token of his love, then the wager
was to terminate with Posthumus giving to lachimo
the ring, which was Imogen's love present when





124 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

she parted with her husband. Such firm faith had
Posthumus in the fidelity of Imogen, that he
thought he ran no hazard in this trial of her honour.
Iachimo, on his arrival in Britain, gained ad-
mittance, and a courteous welcome from Imogen,
as a friend of her husband; but when he began
to make professions of love to her, she repulsed
him with disdain, and he soon found that he could
have no hope of succeeding in his dishonourable
design.
The desire lachimo had to win the wager made
him now have' recourse to a stratagem to impose
upon Posthumus, and for this purpose he bribed
some of Imogen's attendants, and was by them con-
veyed into her bedchamber, concealed in a large
trunk, where he remained shut up till Imogen was
retired to rest, and had fallen asleep; and then
getting out of the trunk, he examined the chamber
with great attention, and wrote down everything he
saw there, and particularly noticed a mole which he
observed upon Imogen's neck, and then softly un-
loosing the bracelet from her arm, which Pos-
thumus had given to her, he retired into the chest
again; and the next day he set off for Rome with
great expedition, and boasted to Posthumus that
Imogen had given him the bracelet, and likewise
permitted him to pass a night in her chamber:
and in this manner Iachimo told his false tale:
"Her bed chamber," said he, "was hung with
tapestry of silk and silver, the story was the proud
Cleopatra when she met her Anthony, a piece of work
most bravely wrought."
"This is true," said Posthumus; "but this you
might have heard spoken of without seeing."
"Then the chimney," said Iachimo, is south




CYMBELINE


of the chamber, and the chimney-piece is Diana
bathing; never saw I figures livelier expressed."
This is a thing you might have likewise heard,"
said Posthumus; "for it is much talked of."
lachimo as accurately described the roof of the
chamber; and added, I had almost forgot her
andirons; they were two winking Cupids made of
silver, each on one foot standing." He then took
out the bracelet, and said, Know you this jewel,
sir ? She gave me this. She took it from her arm.
I see her yet; her pretty action did outsell her gift,
and yet enriched it too. She gave it me, and said,
she prized it once." He last of all described the
mole he had observed upon her neck.
Posthumus, who had heard the whole of this art-
ful recital in an agony of doubt, now broke out into
the most passionate exclamations against Imogen.
He delivered up the diamond ring to lachimo,
which he had agreed to forfeit to him, if he obtained
the bracelet from Imogen.
Posthumus then in a jealous rage wrote to
Pisanio, a gentleman of Britain, who was one of
Imogen's attendants, and had long been a faithful
friend to Posthumus; and after telling him what
proof he had of his wife's disloyalty, he desired
Pisanio would take Imogen to Milford-Haven, a
seaport of Wales, and there kill her. And at the
same time he wrote a deceitful letter to Imogen,
desiring her to go with Pisanio, for that finding he
could live no longer without seeing her, though he
was forbidden upon pain of death to return to
Britain, he would come to Milford-Haven, at which
place he begged she would meet him. She, good
unsuspecting lady, who loved her husband above
all things, and desired more than her life to see





126 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

him, hastened her departure with Pisanio, and the
same night she received the letter she set out.
When their journey was nearly at an end, Pisanio
who, though faithful to Posthumus, was not faithful
to serve him in an evil deed, disclosed to Imogen
the cruel order he had received.
Imogen, who, instead of meeting a loving and
beloved husband, found herself doomed by that
husband to suffer death, was afflicted beyond
measure.
Pisanio persuaded her to take comfort, and wait
with patient fortitude for the time when Posthumus
should see and repent his injustice : in the mean-
time, as she refused in her distress to return to her
father's court, he advised her to dress herself in
boy's clothes for more security in travelling; to
which advice she agreed, and thought in that
disguise she would go over to Rome, and see her hus-
band, whom, though he had used her so barbarously,
she could not forget to love.
When Pisanio had provided her with her new
apparel, he left her to her uncertain fortune, being
obliged to return to court; but before he departed
he gave her a phial of cordial, which he said the
queen had given him as a sovereign remedy in all
disorders.
The queen, who hated Pisanio because he was
a friend to Imogen and Posthumus, gave him this
phial, which she supposed contained poison, she
having ordered her physician to give her some
poison, to try its effects (as she said) upon animals;
but the physician, knowing her malicious disposi-
tion, would not trust her with real poison, but gave
her a drug which would do no other mischief than
causing a person to sleep with every appearance of





CYMBELINE


death for a few hours. This mixture, which
Pisanio thought a choice cordial, he gave to
Imogen, desiring her, if she found herself ill upon
the road, to take it; and so, with blessings and
prayers for her safety and happy deliverance from
her undeserved troubles, he left her.
Providence strangely directed Imogen's steps to
the dwelling of her two brothers, who had been
stolen away in their infancy. Bellarius, who stole
them away, was a lord in the court of Cymbeline,
and having been falsely accused to the king of
treason, and banished from the court, in revenge he
stole away the two sons of Cymbeline, and brought
them up in a forest, where he lived concealed in a
cave. He stole them through revenge, but he soon
loved them as tenderly as if they had been his own
children, educated them carefully, and they grew
up fine youths, their princely spirits leading them to
bold and daring actions; and as they subsisted by
hunting, they were active and hardy, and were
always pressing their supposed father to let them
seek their fortune in the wars.
At the cave where these youths dwelt it was
Imogen's fortune to arrive. She had lost her way
in a large forest, through which her road lay to
Milford-Haven (from which she meant to embark
for Rome) ; and being unable to find any place
where she could purchase food, she was with weari-
ness and hunger almost dying; for it is not merely
putting on a man's apparel that will enable a young
lady, tenderly brought up, to bear the fatigue of
wandering about lonely forests like a man. Seeing
this cave, she entered, hoping to find some one
within of whom she could procure food. She
found the cave empty, but looking about she dis-





128 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

covered some cold meat, and her hunger was so
pressing, that she could not wait for an invitation,
but sat down and began to eat. "Ah," said she,
talking to herself, I see a man's life is a tedious
one; how tired am I for two nights together I
have made the ground my bed: my resolution helps
me, or I should be sick. When Pisanio showed
me Milford-Haven from the mountain top, how
near it seemed Then the thoughts of her
husband and his cruel mandate came across her,
and she said, My dear Posthumus, thou art a
false one! "
The two brothers of Imogen, who had been
hunting with their reputed father, Bellarius, were
by this time returned home. Bellarius had given
them the names of Polydore and Cadwal, and they
knew no better, but supposed that Bellarius was
their father; but the real names of these princes
were Guiderius and Arviragus.
Bellarius entered the cave first, and seeing Imogen,
stopped them, saying, Come not in yet; it eats
our victuals, or I should think it was a fairy."
"What is the matter, sir ? said the young
men. By Jupiter," said Bellarius again, "' there
is an angel in the cave, or if not, an earthly paragon."
So beautiful did Imogen look in her boy's apparel.
She, hearing the sound of voices, came forth
from the cave, and addressed them in these words:
" Good masters, do not harm me; before I entered
your cave, I had thought to have begged or bought
what I have eaten. Indeed I have stolen nothing,
nor would I, though I had found gold strewed on
the floor. Here is money for my meat, which I
would have left on the board when I had made my
meal, and parted with prayers for the provider."





CYMBELINE


They refused her money with great earnestness.
" I see you are angry with me," said the timid
Imogen; but, sirs, if you kill me for my fault,
know that I should have died if I had not made
it."
"Whither are you bound?" asked Bellarius,
" and what is your name ? "
Fidele is my name," answered Imogen. I
have a kinsman, who is bound for Italy; he em-
barked at Milford-Haven, to whom being going,
almost spent with hunger, I am fallen into this
offence."
Prithee, fair youth," said old Bellarius, "do
not think us churls, nor measure our good minds by
this rude place we live in. You are well en-
countered ; it is almost night. You shall have
better cheer before you depart, and thanks to stay
and eat it. Boys, bid him welcome."
The gentle youths, her brothers, then welcomed
Imogen to their cave with many kind expressions,
saying they would love her (or, as they said, him)
as a brother; and they entered the cave, where
(they having killed venison when they were hunt-
ing) Imogen delighted them with her neat house-
wifery, assisting them in preparing their supper;
for though it is not the custom now for young
women of high birth to understand cookery, it was
then, and Imogen excelled in this useful art; and,
as her brothers prettily expressed it, Fidele cut
their roots in characters, and sauced their broth,
as if Juno had been sick, and Fidele were her
dieter. "And then," said Polydore to his brother,
"how angel-like he sings !"
They also remarked to each other, that though
Fidele smiled so sweetly, yet so sad a melancholy





130 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

did overcloud his lovely face, as if grief and patience
had together taken possession of him.
For these her gentle qualities (or perhaps it was
their near relationship, though they knew it not)
Imogen (or, as the boys called her, Fidele) became
the doting-piece of her brothers, and she scarcely
less loved them, thinking that but for the memory
of her dear Posthumus, she could live and die in
the cave with these wild forest youths; and she
gladly consented to stay with them, till she was
enough rested from the fatigue of travelling to
pursue her way to Milford-Haven.
When the venison they had taken was all eaten,
and they were going out to hunt for more, Fidele
could not accompany them because she was unwell.
Sorrow, no doubt, for her husband's cruel usage, as
well as the fatigue of wandering in the forest, was
the cause of her illness.
They then bid her farewell, and went to their
hunt, praising all the way the noble parts and
graceful demeanour of the youth Fidele.
Imogen was no sooner left alone than she re-
collected the cordial Pisanio had given her, and
drank it off, and presently fell into a sound and
deathlike sleep.
When Bellarius and her brothers returned from
hunting, Polydore went first into the cave, and
supposing her asleep, pulled off his heavy shoes, that
he might tread softly and not awake her; so did
true gentleness spring up in the minds of these
princely foresters; but he soon discovered that
she could not be awakened by any noise, and con-
cluded her to be dead, and Polydore lamented over
her with dear and brotherly regret, as if they had
never from their infancy been parted.





CYMBELINE


Bellarius also proposed to carry her out into the
forest, and there celebrate her funeral with songs
and solemn dirges, as was then the custom.
Imogen's two brothers then carried her to a shady
covert, and there laying her gently on the grass,
they sang repose to her departed spirit, and cover-
ing her over with leaves and flowers, Polydore said,
" While summer lasts and I live here, Fidele, I will
daily strew thy grave. The pale primrose, that
flower most like thy face; the blue-bell, like thy
clear veins; and the leaf of eglantine, which is
not sweeter than was thy breath; all these will
I strew over thee. Yea, and the furred moss in
winter, when there are no flowers to cover thy
sweet corse."
When they had finished her funeral obsequies
they departed very sorrowful.
Imogen had not been long left alone, when, the
effect of the sleepy drug going off, she awaked,
and easily shaking off the slight covering of leaves
and flowers they had thrown over her, she arose,
and imagining she had been dreaming, she said,
"I thought I was a cave-keeper, and cook to honest
creatures; how came I here covered with flowers?"
Not being able to find her way back to the cave,
and seeing nothing of her new companions, she
concluded it was certainly all a dream ; and once
more Imogen set out on her weary pilgrimage,
hoping at last she should find her way to Milford-
Haven, and thence get a passage in some ship
bound for Italy; for all her thoughts were still
with her husband Posthumus, whom she intended
to seek in the disguise of a page.
But great events were happening at this time,
of which Imogen knew nothing; for a war had





132 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

suddenly broken out between the Roman emperor
Augustus Cxesar and Cymbeline, the king of Britain;
and a Roman army had landed to invade Britain,
and was advanced into the very forest over which
Imogen was journeying. With this army came
Posthumus.
Though Posthumus came over to Britain with
the Roman army, he did not mean to fight on their
side against his own countrymen, but intended to
join the army of Britain, and fight in the cause of
his king who had banished him.
He still believed Imogen false to him; yet the
death of her he had so fondly loved, and by his
own orders too (Pisanio having written him a letter
to say he had obeyed his command, and that Imogen
was dead), sat heavy on his heart, and therefore
he returned to Britain, desiring either to be slain
in battle, or to be put to death by Cymbeline for
returning home from banishment.
Imogen, before she reached Milford-Haven, fell
into the hands of the Roman army; and her presence
and deportment recommending her, she was made a
page to Lucius, the Roman general.
Cymbeline's army now advanced to meet the
enemy, and when they entered this forest, Polydore
and Cadwal joined the king's army. The young
men were eager to engage in acts of valour, though
they little thought they were going to fight for their
own royal father: and old Bellarius went with them
to the battle. He had long since repented of the
injury he had done to Cymbeline in carrying away
his sons; and having been a warrior in his youth,
he gladly joined the army to fight for the king he
had so injured.
And now a great battle commenced between the





CYMBELINE


two armies, and the Britons would have been de-
feated, and Cymbeline himself killed, but for the
extraordinary valour of Posthumus and Bellarius,
and the two sons of Cymbeline. They rescued
the king, and saved his life, and so entirely turned
the fortune of the day, that the Britons gained the
victory.
When the battle was over, Posthumus, who had
not found the death he sought for, surrendered him-
self up to one of the officers of Cymbeline, willing
to suffer the death which was to be his punishment
if he returned from banishment.
Imogen and the master she served were taken
prisoners, and brought before Cymbeline, as was
also her old enemy Iachimo, who was an officer in
the Roman army; and when these prisoners were
before the king, Posthumus was brought in to re-
ceive his sentence of death; and at this strange
juncture of time, Bellarius with Polydore and
Cadwal were also brought before Cymbeline, to
receive the rewards due to the great services they
had by their valour done for the king. Pisanio,
being one of the king's attendants, was likewise
present.
Therefore there were now standing in the king's
presence (but with very different hopes and fears)
Posthumus and Imogen, with her new master the
Roman general; the faithful servant Pisanio, and
the false friend lachimo; and likewise the two lost
sons of Cymbeline, with Bellarius, who had stolen
them away.
The Roman general was the first who spoke;
the rest stood silent before the king, though there
was many a beating heart among them.
Imogen saw Posthumus, and knew him, though





136 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

he was in the disguise of a peasant; but he did
not know her in her male attire: and she knew
Iachimo, and she saw a ring on his finger which
she perceived to be her own, but she did not know
him as yet to have been the author of all her
troubles: and she stood before her own father a
prisoner of war.
Pisanio knew Imogen, for it was he who had
dressed her in the garb of a boy. "It is my
mistress," thought he; since she is living, let
the time run on to good or bad." Bellarius knew
her too, and softly said to Cadwel, Is not this
boy revived from death ? "-" One sand," replied
Cadwal, "does not more resemble another than
that sweet rosy lad is like the dead Fidele."-
"The same dead thing alive," said Polydore.
"Peace, peace," said Bellarius; "if it were he,
I am sure he would have spoken to us."-" But
we saw him dead," again whispered Polydore.
" Be silent," replied Bellarius.
Posthumus waited in silence to hear the welcome
sentence of his own death; and he resolved not
to disclose to the king that he had saved his life
in the battle, lest that should move Cymbeline to
pardon him.
Lucius, the Roman general, who had taken
Imogen under his protection as his page, was the
first (as has been before said) who spoke to the
king. He was a man of high courage and noble
dignity, and this was his speech to the king :-
I hear you take no ransom for your prisoners,
but doom them all to death : I am a Roman, and
with a Roman heart will suffer death. But there
is one thing for which I would entreat." Then
bringing Imogen before the king, he said, "This





CYMBELINE


boy is a Briton born. Let him be ransomed. He
is my page. Never master had a page so kind, so
duteous, so diligent on all occasions, so true, so
nurse-like. He hath done no Briton wrong, though
he hath served a Roman. Save him, if you spare
no one beside."
Cymbeline looked earnestly on his daughter
Imogen. He knew her not in that disguise; but
it seemed that all-powerful Nature spake in his
heart, for he said, "I have surely seen him, his
face appears familiar to me. I know not why or
wherefore I say, Live, boy; but I give you your
life, and ask of me what boon you will, and I will
grant it you. Yea, even though it be the life of the
noblest prisoner I have."
I humbly thank your highness," said Imogen.
What was then called granting a boon was the
same as a promise to give any one thing, whatever
it might be, that the person on whom that favour
was conferred chose to ask for. They all were
attentive to hear what thing the page would ask
for; and Lucius her master said to her, "I do
not beg my life, good lad, but I know that is what
you will ask for."-" No, no, alas !" said Imogen,
"I have other work in hand, good master; your
life I cannot ask for."
This seeming want of gratitude in the boy
astonished the Roman general.
Imogen then, fixing her eye on lachimo, de-
manded no other boon than this: that Iachimo
should be made to confess whence he had the ring
he wore on his finger.
Cymbeline granted her this boon, and threatened
lachimo with the torture if he did not confess how
he came by the diamond ring on his finger.





138 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Iachimo then made a full acknowledgment of all
his villany, telling, as has been before related, the
whole story of his wager with Posthumus, and how
he had succeeded in imposing upon his credulity.
What Posthumus felt at hearing this proof of
the innocence of his lady cannot be expressed. He
instantly came forward, and confessed to Cymbeline
the cruel sentence which he had enjoined Pisanio
to execute upon the princess; exclaiming wildly,
"0 Imogen, my queen, my life, my wife! 0
Imogen, Imogen, Imogen! "
Imogen could not see her beloved husband in
this distress without discovering herself, to the un-
utterable joy of Posthumus, who was thus relieved
from a weight of guilt and woe, and restored to
the good graces of the dear lady he had so cruelly
treated.
Cymbeline, almost as much overwhelmed as he
with joy, at finding his lost daughter so strangely
recovered, received her to her former place in his
fatherly affection, and not only gave her husband
Posthumus his life, but consented to acknowledge
him for his son-in-law.
Bellarius chose this time of joy and reconciliation
to make his confession. He presented Polydore
and Cadwal to the king, telling him they were his
two lost sons, Guiderius and Arviragus.
Cymbeline forgave old Bellarius; for who could
think of punishments at a season of such universal
happiness ? To find his daughter living, and his
lost sons in the persons of his young deliverers,
that he had seen so bravely fight in his defence,
was unlooked-for joy indeed!
Imogen was now at leisure to perform good
services for her late master, the Roman general





KING LEAR


Lucius, whose life the king her father readily
granted at her request; and by the mediation of
the same Lucius a peace was concluded between the
Romans and the Britons, which was kept inviolate
many years.
How Cymbeline's wicked queen, through despair
of bringing her projects to pass, and touched with
remorse of conscience, sickened and died, having
first lived to see her foolish son Cloten slain in a
quarrel which he had provoked, are events too
tragical to interrupt this happy conclusion by more
than merely touching upon. It is sufficient that all
were made happy who were deserving; and even
the treacherous lachimo, in consideration of his
villany having missed its final aim, was dismissed
without punishment.


KING LEAR

LEAR, king of Britain, had three daughters;
Goneril, wife to the duke of Albany; Regan,
wife to the duke of Cornwall; and Cordelia, a
young maid, for whose love the king of France and
duke of Burgundy were joint suitors, and were at
this time making stay for that purpose in the court
of Lear.
The old king, worn out with age and the fatigues
of government, he being more than fourscore years
old, determined to take no further part in state
affairs, but to leave the management to younger
strengths, that he might have time to prepare for
death, which must at no long period ensue. With
this intent he called his three daughters to him, to
know from their own lips which of them loved him
K





140 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

best, that he might part his kingdom among them
in such proportions as their affection for him should
seem to deserve.
Goneril, the eldest, declared that she loved her
father more than words could give out, that he was
dearer to her than the light of her own eyes, dearer
than life and liberty, with a deal of such professing
stuff, which is easy to counterfeit where there is no
real love, only a few fine words delivered with
confidence being wanted in that case. The king,
delighted to hear from her own mouth this assur-
ance of her love, and thinking truly that her heart
went with it, in a fit of fatherly fondness bestowed
upon her and her husband one third of his ample
kingdom.
Then calling to him his second daughter, he
demanded what she had to say. Regan, who was
made of the same hollow metal as her sister, was
not a whit behind in her professions, but rather
declared that what her sister had spoken came
short of the love which she professed to bear for
his highness; insomuch that she found all other
joys dead, in comparison with the pleasure which
she took in the love of her dear king and father.
Lear blessed himself in having such loving
children, as he thought; and could do no less,
after the handsome assurances which Regan had
made, than bestow a third of his kingdom upon
her and her husband, equal in size to that which
he had already given away to Goneril.
Then turning to his youngest daughter Cordelia,
whom he called his joy, he asked what she had to
say, thinking no doubt that she would glad his ears
with the same loving speeches which her sisters had
uttered, or rather that her expressions would be so





KING LEAR


much stronger than theirs, as she had always been
his darling, and favoured by him above either of
them. But Cordelia, disgusted with the flattery of
her sisters, whose hearts she knew were far from
their lips, and seeing that all their coaxing speeches
were only intended to wheedle the old king out of
his dominions, that they and their husbands might
reign in his lifetime, made no other reply but this,
-that she loved his majesty according to her duty,
neither more nor less.
The king, shocked with this appearance of
ingratitude in his favourite child, desired her to
consider her words, and to mend her speech, lest
it should mar her fortunes.
Cordelia then told her father, that he was her
father, that he had given her breeding, and loved
her; that she returned those duties back as was
most fit, and did obey him, love him, and most
honour him. But that she could not frame her
mouth to such large speeches as her sisters had
done, or promise to love nothing else in the world.
Why had her sisters husbands, if (as they said) they
had no love for anything but their father ? If she
should ever wed, she was sure the lord to whom
she gave her hand would want half her love, half
of her care and duty; she should never marry like
her sisters, to love her father all.
Cordelia, who in earnest loved her old father
even almost as extravagantly as her sisters pre-
tended to do, would have plainly told him so at
any other time, in more daughter-like and loving
terms, and without these qualifications, which did
indeed sound a little ungracious; but after the
crafty flattering speeches of her sisters, which she
had seen drawn such extravagant rewards, she





142 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

thought the handsomest thing she could do was
to love and be silent. This put her affection out
of suspicion of mercenary ends, and showed that
she loved, but not for gain; and that her pro-
fessions, the less ostentatious they were, had so
much the more of truth and sincerity than her
sisters'.
This plainness of speech, which Lear called
pride, so enraged the old monarch-who in his best
of times always showed much of spleen and rashness,
and in whom the dotage incident to old age had
so clouded over his reason, that he could not dis-
cern truth from flattery, nor a gay painted speech
from words that came from the heart-that in a
fury of resentment he retracted the third part of
his kingdom which yet remained, and which he
had reserved for Cordelia, and gave it away from
her, sharing it equally between her two sisters and
their husbands, the dukes of Albany and Cornwall;
whom he now called to him, and in presence of all
his courtiers bestowing a coronet between them,
invested them jointly with all the power, revenue,
and execution of government, only retaining to
himself the name of king; all the rest of royalty
he resigned; with this reservation, that himself,
with a hundred knights for his attendants, was to
be maintained by monthly course in each of his
daughters' palaces in turn.
So preposterous a disposal of his kingdom, so
little guided by reason, and so much by passion,
filled all his courtiers with astonishment and sorrow;
but none of them had the courage to interpose
between this incensed king and his wrath, except
the earl of Kent, who was beginning to speak a
good word for Cordelia, when the passionate Lear





KING LEAR


on pain of death commanded him to desist; but
the good Kent was not so to be repelled. He had
been ever loyal to Lear, whom he had honoured
as a king, loved as a father, followed as a master;
and he had never esteemed his life further than as
a pawn to wage against his royal master's enemies,
nor feared to lose it when Lear's safety was the
motive; nor now that Lear was most his own
enemy, did this faithful servant of the king forget
his old principles, but manfully opposed Lear, to
do Lear good; and was unmannerly only because
Lear was mad. He had been a most faithful
counsellor in times past to the king, and he be-
sought him now, that he would see with his eyes
(as he had done in many weighty matters), and go
by his advice still; and in his best consideration
recall this hideous rashness: for he would answer
with his life, his judgment that Lear's youngest
daughter did not love him least, nor were those
empty-hearted whose low sound gave no token of
hollowness. When power bowed to flattery, honour
was bound to plainness. For Lear's threats, what
could he do to him, whose life was already at his
service ? That should not hinder duty from
speaking.
The honest freedom of this good earl of Kent
only stirred up the king's wrath the more, and like
a frantic patient who kills his physician, and. loves
his mortal disease, he banished this true servant,
and allotted him but five days to make his pre-
parations for departure; but if on the sixth his
hated person was found within the realm of Britain,
that moment was to be his death. And Kent
bade farewell to the king, and said, that since he
chose to show himself in such fashion, it was but





144 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

banishment to stay there; and before he went, he
recommended Cordelia to the protection of the
gods, the maid who had so rightly thought, and
so discreetly spoken; and only wished that her
sisters' large speeches might be answered with
deeds of love; and then he went, as he said, to
shape his old course to a new country.
The king of France and duke of Burgundy
were now called in to hear the determination of
Lear about his youngest daughter, and to know
whether they would persist in their courtship to
Cordelia, now that she was under her father's dis-
pleasure, and had no fortune but her own person
to recommend her: and the duke of Burgundy
declined the match, and would not take her to
wife upon such conditions; but the king of France,
understanding what the nature of the fault had
been which had lost her the love of her father,
that it was only a tardiness of speech, and the not
being able to frame her tongue to flattery like her
sisters, took this young maid by the hand, and
saying that her virtues were a dowry above a
kingdom, bade Cordelia to take farewell of her
sisters and of her father, though he had been un-
kind, and she should go with him, and be queen
of him and of fair France, and reign over fairer
possessions than her sisters: and he called the
duke of Burgundy in contempt a waterish duke,
because his love for this young maid had in a
moment run all away like water.
Then Cordelia with weeping eyes took leave of
her sisters, and besought them to love their father
well, and make good their professions: and they
sullenly told her not to prescribe to them, for they
knew their duty; but to strive to content her





KING LEAR


husband, who had taken her (as they tauntingly
expressed it) as Fortune's alms. And Cordelia
with a heavy heart departed, for she knew the
cunning of her sisters, and she wished her father
in better hands than she was about to leave him
in.
Cordelia was no sooner gone, than the devilish
dispositions of her sisters began to show themselves
in their true colours. Even before the expiration
of the first month, which Lear was to spend by
agreement with his eldest daughter Goneril, the
old king began to find out the difference between
promises and performances. This wretch having
got from her father all that he had to bestow, even
to the giving away of the crown from off his head,
began to grudge even those small remnants of
royalty which the old man had reserved to him-
self, to please his fancy with the idea of being still
a king. She could not bear to see him and his
hundred knights. Every time she met her father,
she put on a frowning countenance; and when the
old man wanted to speak with her, she would feign
sickness, or anything to get rid of the sight of him ;
for it was plain that she esteemed his old age a
useless burden, and his attendants an unnecessary
expense : not only she herself slackened in her ex-
pressions of duty to the king, but by her example,
and (it is to be feared) not without her private
instructions, her very servants affected to treat him
with neglect, and would either refuse to obey his
orders, or still more contemptuously pretend not to
hear them. Lear could not but perceive this
alteration in the behaviour of his daughter, but he
shut his eyes against it as long as he could, as
people commonly are unwilling to believe the un-




146 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

pleasant consequences which their own mistakes and
obstinacy have brought upon them.
True love and fidelity are no more to be es-
tranged by ill, than falsehood and hollow-hearted-
ness can be conciliated by good, usage. This
eminently appears in the instance of the good earl
of Kent, who, though banished by Lear, and his
life made forfeit if he were found in Britain, chose
to stay and abide all consequences, as long as
there was a chance of his being useful to the king
his master. See to what mean shifts and disguises
poor loyalty is forced to submit sometimes; yet it
counts nothing base or unworthy, so as it can but
do service where it owes an obligation In the
disguise of a serving man, all his greatness and
pomp laid aside, this good earl proffered his services
to the king, who, not knowing him to be Kent
in that disguise, but pleased with a certain plain-
ness, or rather bluntness in his answers, which the
earl put on (so different from that smooth oily
flattery which he had so much reason to be sick
of, having found the effects not answerable in his
daughter), a bargain was quickly struck, and Lear
took Kent into his service by the name of Caius,
as he called himself, never suspecting him to be
his once great favourite, the high and mighty earl
of Kent.
This Caius quickly found means to show his
fidelity and love to his royal master: for Goneril's
steward that same day behaving in a disrespectful
manner to Lear, and giving him saucy looks and
language, as no doubt he was secretly encouraged
to do by his mistress, Caius, not enduring to hear
so open an affront put upon his majesty, made no
more ado but presently tripped up his heels, and





KING LEAR


laid the unmannerly slave in the kennel; for which
friendly service Lear became more and more at-
tached to him.
Nor was Kent the only friend Lear had. In his
degree, and as far as so insignificant a personage
could show his love, the poor fool, or jester, that
had been of his palace while Lear had a palace,
as it was the custom of kings and great personages
at that time to keep a fool (as he was called) to
make them sport after serious business: this poor
fool clung to Lear after he had given away his
crown, and by his witty sayings would keep up his
good humour, though he could not refrain some-
times from jeering at his master for his imprudence
in uncrowning himself, and giving all away to his
daughters; at which time, as he rhymingly ex-
pressed it, these daughters
For sudden joy did weep
And he for sorrow sung,
That such a king should play bo-peep,
And go the fools among.
And in such wild sayings, and scraps of songs,
of which he had plenty, this pleasant honest fool
poured out his heart even in the presence of
Goneril herself, in many a bitter taunt and jest
which cut to the quick: such as comparing the
king to the hedge-sparrow, who feeds the young
of the cuckoo till they grow old enough, and then
has its head bit off for its pains; and saying, that
an ass may know when the cart draws the horse
(meaning that Lear's daughters, that ought to go
behind, now ranked before their father) ; and that
Lear was no longer Lear, but the shadow of Lear:
for which free speeches he was once or twice
threatened to be whipped.


i47 "





* 148 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

The coolness and falling off of respect which
Lear had begun to perceive, were not all which
this foolish fond father was to suffer from his un-
worthy daughter: she now plainly told him that
his staying in her palace was inconvenient so long
as he insisted upon keeping up an establishment of
a hundred knights; that this establishment was
useless and expensive, and only served to fill her
court with riot and feasting ; and she prayed him
that he would lessen their number, and keep none
but old men about him, such as himself, and fitting
his age.
Lear at first could not believe his eyes or ears,
nor that it was his daughter who spoke so unkindly.
He could not believe that she who had received a
crown from him could seek to cut off his train, and
grudge him the respect due to his old age. But
she persisting in her undutiful demand, the old
man's rage was so excited, that he called her a
detested kite, and said that she spoke an untruth;
and so indeed she did, for the hundred knights
were all men of choice behaviour and sobriety of
manners, skilled in all particulars of duty, and not
given to rioting or feasting, as she said. And he
bid his horses to be prepared, for he would go to
his other daughter, Regan, he and his hundred
knights; and he spoke of ingratitude, and said it
was a marble-hearted devil, and showed more
hideous in a child than the sea-monster. And he
cursed his eldest daughter Goneril so as was terrible
to hear; praying that she might never have a child,
or if she had, that it might live to return that scorn
and contempt upon her which she had shown to
him: that she might feel how sharper than a
serpent's tooth it was to have a thankless child.





KING LEAR


And Goneril's husband, the duke of Albany,
beginning to excuse himself for any share which
Lear might suppose he had in the unkindness,
Lear would not hear him out, but in a rage ordered
his horses to be saddled, and set out with his
followers for the abode of Regan, his other daughter.
And Lear thought to himself how small the fault
of Cordelia (if it was a fault) now appeared, in
comparison with her sister's, and he wept; and
then he was ashamed that such a creature as
Goneril should have so much power over his man-
hood as to make him weep.
Regan and her husband were keeping their court
in great pomp and state at their palace; and Lear
despatched his servant Caius with letters to his
daughter, that she might be prepared for his recep-
tion, while he and his train followed after. But it
seems that Goneril had been beforehand with him,
sending letters also to Regan, accusing her father
of waywardness and ill humours, and advising her
not to receive so great a train as he was bringing
with him. This messenger arrived at the same
time with Caius, and Caius and he met: and who
should it be but Caius's old enemy the steward,
whom he had formerly tripped up by the heels for
his saucy behaviour to Lear. Caius not liking the
fellow's look, and suspecting what he came for,
began to revile him, and challenged him to fight,
which the fellow refusing, Caius, in a fit of honest
passion, beat him soundly, as such a mischief-maker
and carrier of wicked messages deserved; which
coming to the ears of Regan and her husband, they
ordered Caius to be put in the stocks, though he
was a messenger from the king her father, and in
that character demanded the highest respect: so





150 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

that the first thing the king saw when he entered
the castle, was his faithful servant Caius sitting in
that disgraceful situation.
This was but a bad omen of the reception which
he was to expect; but a worse followed, when,
upon inquiry for his daughter and her husband, he
was told they were weary with travelling all night,
and could not see him; and when lastly, upon his
insisting in a positive and angry manner to see
them, they came to greet him, whom should he
see in their company but the hated Goneril, who
had come to tell her own story, and set her sister
against the king her father !
This sight much moved the old man, and still
more to see Regan take her by the hand ; and he
asked Goneril if she was not ashamed to look
upon his old white beard. And Regan advised
him to go home again with Goneril, and live with
her peaceably, dismissing half of his attendants,
and to ask her forgiveness; for he was old and
wanted discretion, and must be ruled and led by
persons that had more discretion than himself.
And Lear showed how preposterous that would
sound, if he were to go down on his knees, and
beg of his own daughter for food and raiment, and
he argued against such an unnatural dependence,
declaring his resolution never to return with her,
but to stay where he was with Regan, he and his
hundred knights; for he said that she had not
forgot the half of the kingdom which he had
endowed her with, and that her eyes were not
fierce like Goneril's, but mild and kind. And
he said that rather than return to Goneril, with
half his train cut off, he would go over to France,
and beg a wretched pension of the king there,





KING LEAR


who had married his youngest daughter without a
portion.
But he was mistaken in expecting kinder treat-
ment of Regan than he had experienced from her
sister Goneril. As if willing to outdo her sister in
unfilial behaviour, she declared that she thought
fifty knights too many to wait upon him: that five-
and-twenty were enough. Then Lear, nigh heart-
broken, turned to Goneril, and said that he would
go back with her, for her fifty doubled five-and-
twenty, and so her love was twice as much as
Regan's. But Goneril excused herself, and said,
what need of so many as five-and-twenty ? or even
ten? or five? when he might be waited upon by
her servants, or her sister's servants ? So these two
wicked daughters, as if they strove to exceed each
other in cruelty to their old father, who had been
so good to them, by little and little would have
abated him of all his train, all respect (little enough
for him that once commanded a kingdom), which
was left him to show that he had once been a king !
Not that a splendid train is essential to happiness,
but from a king to a beggar is a hard change, from
commanding millions to be without one attendant;
and it was the ingratitude in his daughters' deny-
ing it, more than what he would suffer by the want
of it, which pierced this poor king to the heart;
insomuch, that with this double ill-usage, and
vexation for having so foolishly given away a
kingdom, his wits began to be unsettled, and
while he said he knew not what, he vowed revenge
against those unnatural hags, and to make examples
of them that should be a terror to the earth !
While he was thus idly threatening what his weak
arm could never execute, night came on, and a





152 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

loud storm of thunder and lightning with rain ; and
his daughters still persisting in their resolution not
to admit his followers, he called for his horses, and
chose rather to encounter the utmost fury of the
storm abroad, than stay under the same roof with
these ungrateful daughters: and they, saying that
the injuries which wilful men procure to themselves
are their just punishment, suffered him to go in
that condition and shut their doors upon him.
The winds were high, and the rain and storm
increased, when the old man sallied forth to combat
with the elements, less sharp than his daughters'
unkindness. For many miles about there was
scarce a bush; and there upon a heath, exposed to
the fury of the storm in a dark night, did king Lear
wander out, and defy the winds and the thunder;
and he bid the winds to blow the earth into the sea,
or swell the waves of the sea till they drowned the
earth, that no token might remain of any such un-
grateful animal as man. The old king was now
left with no other companion than the poor fool,
who still abided with him, with his merry conceits
striving to outjest misfortune, saying it was but a
naughty night to swim in, and truly the king had
better go in and ask his daughter's blessing:-
But he that has a little tiny wit,
With high ho, the wind and the rain !
Must make content with his fortunes fit,
Though the rain it raineth every day:
and swearing it was a brave night to cool a lady's
pride.
Thus poorly accompanied, this once great monarch
was found by his ever-faithful servant the good earl
of Kent, now transformed to Caius, who ever fol-
lowed close at his side, though the king did not





KING LEAR


know him to be the earl; and he said, Alas! sir,
are you here ? creatures that love night, love not
such nights as these. This dreadful storm has
driven the beasts to their hiding places. Man's
nature cannot endure the affliction or the fear."
And Lear rebuked him and said, these lesser evils
were not felt, where a greater malady was fixed.
When the mind is at ease, the body has leisure to
be delicate, but the tempest in his mind did take
all feeling else from his senses, but of that which
beat at his heart. And he spoke of filial ingratitude,
and said it was all one as if the mouth should tear
the hand for lifting food to it; for parents were
hands and food and everything to children.
But the good Caius still persisting in his en-
treaties that the king would not stay out in the open
air, at last persuaded him to enter a little wretched
hovel which stood upon the heath, where the fool
first entering, suddenly ran back terrified, saying
that he had seen a spirit. But upon examination
this spirit proved to be nothing more than a poor
Bedlam beggar, who had crept into this deserted
hovel for shelter, and with his talk about devils
frighted the fool, one of those poor lunatics who
are either mad, or feign to be so, the better to ex-
tort charity from the compassionate country people,
who go about the country, calling themselves poor
Tom and poor Turlygood, saying, "Who gives
anything to poor Tom ? sticking pins and nails
and sprigs of rosemary into their arms to make
them bleed; and with such horrible actions, partly
by prayers, and partly with lunatic curses, they
move or terrify the ignorant country-folks into
giving them alms. This poor fellow was such a
one; and the king seeing him in so wretched a





156 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

plight, with nothing but a blanket about his loins
to cover his nakedness, could not be persuaded but
that the fellow was some father who had given
all away to his daughters, and brought himself to
that pass: for nothing he thought could bring a
man to such wretchedness but the having unkind
daughters.
And from this and many such wild speeches
which he uttered, the good Caius plainly perceived
that he was not in his perfect mind, but that his
daughters' ill usage had really made him go mad.
And now the loyalty of this worthy earl of Kent
showed itself in more essential services than he had
hitherto found opportunity to perform. For with
the assistance of some of the king's attendants who
remained loyal, he had the person of his royal
master removed at day-break to the castle of Dover,
where his own friends and influence, as earl of Kent,
chiefly lay; and himself embarking for France,
hastened to the court of Cordelia, and did there in
such moving terms represent the pitiful condition
of her royal father, and set out in such lively
colours the inhumanity of her sisters, that this
good and loving child with many tears besought
the king her husband that he would give her leave
to embark for England, with a sufficient power to
subdue these cruel daughters and their husbands,
and restore the old king her father to his throne;
which being granted, she set forth, and with a royal
army landed at Dover.
Lear having by some chance escaped from the
guardians which the good earl of Kent had put over
him to take care of him in his lunacy, was found
by some of Cordelia's train, wandering about the
fields near Dover,. in a pitiable condition, stark mad,





KING LEAR


and singing aloud to himself, with a crown upon
his head which he had made of straw, and nettles,
and other wild weeds that he had picked up in the
corn-fields. By the advice of the physicians, Cor-
delia, though earnestly desirous of seeing her father,
was prevailed upon to put off the meeting, till by
sleep and the operation of herbs which they gave
him, he should be restored to greater composure.
By the aid of these skilful physicians, to whom
Cordelia promised all her gold and jewels for the
recovery of the old king, Lear was soon in a
condition to see his daughter.
A tender sight it was to see the meeting between
this father and daughter ; to see the struggles be-
tween the joy of this poor old king at beholding
again his once darling child, and the shame at
receiving such filial kindness from her whom he
had cast off for so small a fault in his displeasure;
both these passions struggling with the remains of
his malady, which in his half-crazed brain some-
times made him that he scarce remembered where
he was, or who it was that so kindly kissed him
and spoke to him: and then he would beg the
standersby not to laugh at him, if he were mistaken
in thinking this lady to be his daughter Cordelia!
And then to see him fall on his knees to beg pardon
of his child; and she, good lady, kneeling all the
while to ask a blessing of him, and telling him that
it did not become him to kneel, but it was her
duty, for she was his child, his true and veiy child
Cordelia! and she kissed him (as she said) to kiss
away all her sisters' unkindness, and said that they
might be ashamed of themselves, to turn their old
kind father with his white beard out into the cold
air, when her enemy's dog, though it had bit her





158 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

(as she prettily expressed it), should have stayed
by her fire such a night as that, and warmed him-
self. And she told her father how she had come
from France with purpose to bring him assistance;
and he said that she must forget and forgive, for
he was old and foolish, and did not know what
he did; but that to be sure she had great cause
not to love him, but her sisters had none. And
Cordelia said that she had no cause, no more than
they had.
So we will leave this old king in the protection
of his dutiful and loving child, where, by the help
of sleep and medicine, she and her physicians at
length succeeded in winding up the untuned and
jarring senses which the cruelty of his other
daughters had so violently shaken. Let us return
to say a word or two about those cruel daughters.
These monsters of ingratitude, who had been so
false to their old father, could not be expected to
prove more faithful to their own husbands. They
soon grew tired of paying even the appearance of
duty and affection, and in an open way showed
they had fixed their loves upon another. It hap-
pened that the object of their guilty loves was the
same. It was Edmund, a natural son of the late
Earl of Gloucester, who by his treacheries had
succeeded in disinheriting his brother Edgar, the
lawful heir, from his earldom, and by his wicked
practices was now earl himself; a wicked man, and
a fit object for the love of such wicked creatures
as Goneril and Regan. It falling out about this
time that the Duke of Cornwall, Regan's husband,
died, Regan immediately declared her intention of
wedding this earl of Gloucester, which rousing the
jealousy of her sister, to whom as well as to Regan





KING LEAR


this wicked earl had at sundry times professed
love, Goneril found means to make away with her
sister by poison; but being detected in her practices,
and imprisoned by her husband, the duke of
Albany, for this deed, and for her guilty passion
for the earl which had come to his ears, she, in a
fit of disappointed love and rage, shortly put an
end to her own life. Thus the justice of Heaven
at last overtook these wicked daughters.
While the eyes of all men were upon this event,
admiring the justice displayed in* their deserved
deaths, the same eyes were suddenly taken off from
this sight to admire at the mysterious ways of the
same power in the melancholy fate of the young
and virtuous daughter, the lady Cordelia, whose
good deeds did seem to deserve a more fortunate
conclusion : but it is an awful truth, that innocence
and piety are not always successful in this world.
The forces which Goneril and Regan had sent out
under the command of the bad earl of Gloucester
were victorious, and Cordelia, by the practices of
this wicked earl, who did not like that any should
stand between him and the throne, ended her life
in prison. Thus, Heaven took this innocent lady
to itself in her young years, after showing her to
the world an illustrious example of filial duty.
Lear did not long survive this kind child.
Before he died, the good Earl of Kent, who had
still attended his old master's steps from the first
of his daughters' ill usage to this sad period of his
decay, tried to make him understand that it was
he who had followed him under the name of Caius;
but Lear's care-crazed brain at that time could not
comprehend how that could be, or how Kent and
Caius could be the same person : so Kent thought





16o TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

it needless to trouble him with explanations at such
a time; and Lear soon after expiring, this faithful
servant to the king, between age and grief for his
old master's vexations, soon followed him to the
grave.
How the judgment of Heaven overtook the bad
earl of Gloucester, whose reasons were discovered,
and himself slain in single combat with his brother,
the lawful earl; and how Goneril's husband, the
duke of Albany, who was innocent of the death of
Cordelia, and had never encouraged his lady in her
wicked proceedings against her father, ascended
the throne of Britain after the death of Lear, is
needless here to narrate; Lear and his Three
Daughters being dead, whose adventures alone
concern our story.


MACBETH

WHEN Duncan the Meek reigned king of
Scotland, there lived a great thane, or
lord, called Macbeth. This Macbeth was a near
kinsman to the king, and in great esteem at court
for his valour and conduct in the wars ; an example
of which he had lately given, in defeating a rebel
army assisted by the troops of Norway in terrible
numbers.
The two Scottish generals, Macbeth and Banquo,
returning victorious from this great battle, their way
lay over a blasted heath, where they were stopped
by the strange appearance of three figures like
women, except that they had beards, and their
withered skins and wild attire made them look not
like any earthly creatures. Macbeth first addressed





MACBETH


them, when they, seemingly offended, laid each one
her choppy finger upon her skinny lips, in token of
silence; and the first of them saluted Macbeth with
the title of thane of Glamis. The general was not
a little startled to find himself known by such
creatures; but how much more, when the second
of them followed up that salute by giving him the
title of thane of Cawdor, to which honour he had
no pretensions; and again the third bid him "All
hail! king that shalt be hereafter Such a pro-
phetic greeting might well amaze him, who knew
that while the king's sons lived he could not hope
to succeed to the throne. Then turning to Banquo,
they pronounced him, in a sort of riddling terms,
to be lesser than Macbeth and greater not so happy,
but much happier and prophesied that though he
should never reign, yet his sons after him should
be kings in Scotland. They then turned into air,
and vanished: by which the generals knew them
to be the weird sisters, or witches.
While they stood pondering on the strangeness
of this adventure, there arrived certain messengers
from the king, who were empowered by him to
confer upon Macbeth the dignity of thane of
Cawdor: an event so miraculously correspond-
ing with the prediction of the witches astonished
Macbeth, and he stood wrapped in amazement, un-
able to make reply to the messengers; and in that
point of time swelling hopes arose in his mind
that the prediction of the third witch might in like
manner have its accomplishment, and that he should
one day reign king in Scotland.
Turning to Banquo, he said, Do you not hope
that your children shall be kings, when what the
witches promised to me has so wonderfully come to





164 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

pass?" That hope," answered the general,
" might enkindle you to aim at the throne; but
oftentimes these ministers of darkness tell us truths
in little things, to betray us into deeds of greatest
consequence."
But the wicked suggestions of the witches had
sunk too deep into the mind of Macbeth to allow
him to attend to the warnings of the good Banquo.
From that time he bent all his thoughts how to
compass the throne of Scotland.
Macbeth had a wife, to whom he communicated
the strange prediction of the weird sisters, and its
partial accomplishment. She was a bad, ambitious
woman, and so as her husband and herself could
arrive at greatness, she cared not much by what
means. She spurred on the reluctant purpose of
Macbeth, who felt compunction at the thoughts of
blood, and did not cease to represent the murder
of the king as a step absolutely necessary to the
fulfilment of the flattering prophecy.
It happened at this time that the king, who out
of his royal condescension would oftentimes visit
his principal nobility upon gracious terms, came to
Macbeth's house, attended by his two sons, Malcolm
and Donalbain, and a numerous train of thanes and
attendants, the more to honour Macbeth for the
triumphal success of his wars.
The castle of Macbeth was pleasantly situated,
and the air about it was sweet and wholesome,
which appeared by the nests which the martlet, or
swallow, had built under all the jutting friezes and
buttresses of the building, wherever it found a. place
of advantage; for where those birds most breed and
haunt, the air is observed to be delicate. The king
entered well-pleased with the place, and not less so




MACBETH


with the attentions and respect of his honoured
hostess, lady Macbeth, who had the art of covering
treacherous purposes with smiles; and could look
like the innocent flower, while she was indeed the
serpent under it.
The king being tired with his journey, went early
to bed, and in his state-room two grooms of his
chamber (as was the custom) slept beside him.
He had been unusually pleased with his reception,
and had made presents before he retired to his
principal officers; and among the rest, had sent a
rich diamond to lady Macbeth, greeting her by the
name of his most kind hostess.
Now was the middle of night, when over half
the world nature seems dead, and wicked dreams
abuse men's minds asleep, and none but the wolf
and the murderer is abroad. This was the time
when lady Macbeth waked to plot the murder of
the king. She would not have undertaken a deed
so abhorrent to her sex, but that she feared her
husband's nature, that it was too full of the milk of
human kindness, to do a contrived murder. She
knew him to be ambitious, but withal to be
scrupulous, and not yet prepared for that height
of crime which commonly in the end accompanies
inordinate ambition. She had won him to consent
to the murder, but she doubted his.resolution ; and
she feared that the natural tenderness of his dis-
position (more humane than her own) would come
between, and defeat the purpose. So with her own
hands armed with a dagger, she approached the
king's bed; having taken care to ply the grooms of
his chamber so with wine, that they slept intoxicated,
and careless of their charge. There lay Duncan in
a sound sleep after the fatigues of his journey, and





166 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

as she viewed him earnestly, there was something
in his face, as he slept, which resembled her own
father; and she had not the courage to proceed.
She returned to confer with her husband. His
resolution had begun to stagger. He considered
that there were strong reasons against the deed. In
the first place, he was not only a subject, but a near
kinsman to the king; and he had been his host and
entertainer that day, whose duty, by the laws of
hospitality, it was to shut the door against his
murderers, not bear the knife himself. Then he
considered how just and merciful a king this Duncan
had been, how clear of offence to his subjects, how
loving to his nobility, and in particular to him;
that such kings are the peculiar care of Heaven,
and their subjects doubly bound to revenge their
deaths. Besides, by the favors of the king,
Macbeth stood high in the opinion of all sorts
of men, and how would those honours be stained
by the reputation of so foul a murder !
In these conflicts of the mind lady Macbeth
found her husband inclining to the better part, and
resolving to proceed no further. But she being
a woman not easily shaken from her evil purpose,
began to pour in at his ears words which infused
a portion of her own spirit into his mind, assigning
reason upon reason why he should not shrink from
what he had undertaken; how easy the deed was;
how soon it would be over; and how the action of
one short night would give to all their nights and
days to come sovereign sway and royalty! Then
she threw contempt on his change of purpose, and
accused him of fickleness and cowardice; and
declared that she had given suck, and knew how
tender it was to love the babe that milked her;




MACBETH


but she would, while it was smiling in her face,
have plucked it from her breast, and dashed its
brains out, if she had so sworn to do it, as he had
sworn to perform that murder. Then she added,
how practicable it was to lay the guilt of the deed
upon the drunken sleepy grooms. And with the
valour of her tongue she so chastised his sluggish
resolutions, that he once more summoned up courage
to the bloody business.
So, taking the dagger in his hand, he softly stole
in the dark to the room where Duncan lay; and
as he went, he thought he saw another dagger in
the air, with the handle towards him, and on the
blade and at the point of it drops of blood; but
when he tried to grasp at it, it was nothing but air,
a mere phantasm proceeding from his own hot
and oppressed brain and the business he had in
hand.
Getting rid of this fear, he entered the king's
room, whom he despatched with one stroke of his
dagger. Just as he had done the murder, one of
the grooms, who slept in the chamber, laughed in
his sleep, and the other cried, Murder," which
woke them both; but they said a short prayer;
one of them said, "God bless us and the other
answered "Amen; and addressed themselves to
sleep again. Macbeth, who stood listening to
them, tried to say, "Amen," when the fellow said,
" God bless us !" but, though he had most need of
a blessing, the word stuck in his throat, and he
could not pronounce it.
Again he thought he heard a voice which cried,
"Sleep no more: Macbeth doth murder sleep, the
innocent sleep, that nourishes life." Still it cried,
Sleep no more," to all the house. Glamis hath





168 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor shall sleep
no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more."
With such horrible imaginations Macbeth re-
turned to his listening wife, who began to think he
had failed of his purpose, and that the deed was
somehow frustrated. He came in so distracted a
state, that she reproached him with his want of
firmness, and sent him to wash his hands of the
blood which stained them, while she took his
dagger, with purpose to stain the cheeks of the
grooms with blood, to make it seem their guilt.
Morning came, and with it the discovery of the
murder, which could not be concealed; and though
Macbeth and his lady made great show of grief,
and the proofs against the grooms (the dagger being
produced against them and their faces smeared
with blood) were sufficiently strong, yet the entire
suspicion fell upon Macbeth, whose inducements
to such a deed were so much more forcible than
such poor silly grooms could be supposed to have;
and Duncan's two sons fled. Malcolm, the eldest,
sought for refuge in the English court; and the
youngest, Donalbain, made his escape to Ireland.
The king's sons, who should have succeeded
him, having thus vacated the throne, Macbeth as
next heir was crowned king, and thus the predic-
tion of the weird sisters was literally accomplished.
Though placed so high, Macbeth and his queen
could not forget the prophecy of the weird sisters,
that, though Macbeth should be king, yet not his
children, but the children of Banquo, should be
kings after him. The thought of this, and that
they had defiled their hands with blood, and done
so great crimes, only to place the posterity of
Banquo upon the throne, so rankled within them,





MACBETH


that they determined to put to death both Banquo
and his son, to make void the predictions of the
weird sisters, which in their own case had been so
remarkably brought to pass.
For this purpose they made a great supper, to
which they invited all the chief thanes; and, among
the rest, with marks of particular respect, Banquo
and his son Fleance were invited. The way by
which Banquo was to pass to the palace at night
was beset by murderers appointed by Macbeth, who
stabbed Banquo; but in the scuffle Fleance escaped.
From that Fleance descended a race of monarchs
who afterwards filled the Scottish throne, ending
with James the Sixth of Scotland and the First of
England, under whom the two crowns of England
and Scotland were united.
At supper, the queen, whose manners were in
the highest degree affable and royal, played the
hostess with a gracefulness and attention which
conciliated every one present, and Macbeth dis-
coursed freely with his thanes and nobles, saying,
that all that was honourable in the country was
under his roof, if he had but his good friend
Banquo present, whom yet he hoped he should
rather have to chide for neglect, than to lament
for any mischance. Just at these words the ghost
of Banquo, whom he had caused to be murdered,
entered the room and placed himself on the chair
which Macbeth was about to occupy. Though
Macbeth was a bold man, and one that could have
faced the devil without trembling, at this horrible
sight his cheeks turned white with fear, and he
stood quite unmanned with his eyes fixed upon the
ghost. His queen and all the nobles, who saw
nothing, but perceived him gazing (as they thought)





170 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

upon an empty chair, took it for a fit of distrac-
tion; and she reproached him, whispering that it
was but the same fancy which made him see the
dagger in the air, when he was about to kill Duncan.
But Macbeth continued to see the ghost, and gave
no heed to all they could say, while he addressed
it with distracted words, yet so significant, that his
queen, fearing the dreadful secret would be dis-
closed, in great haste dismissed the guests, excus-
ing the infirmity of Macbeth as a disorder he was
often troubled with.
To such dreadful fancies Macbeth was subject.
His queen and he had their sleeps afflicted with
terrible dreams, and the blood of Banquo troubled
them not more than the escape of Fleance, whom
now they looked upon as father to a line of kings
who should keep their posterity out of the throne.
With these miserable thoughts they found no
peace, and Macbeth determined once more to seek
out the weird sisters, and know from them the
worst.
He sought them in a cave upon the heath,
where they, who knew by foresight of his coming,
were engaged in preparing their dreadful charms,
by which they conjured up infernal spirits to reveal
to them futurity. Their horrid ingredients were
toads, bats, and serpents, the eye of a newt, and
the tongue of a dog, the leg of a lizard, and the
wing of the night-owl, the scale of a dragon, the
tooth of a wolf, the maw of the ravenous salt-sea
shark, the mummy of a witch, the root of the
poisonous hemlock (this to have effect must be
digged in the dark), the gall of a goat, and the
liver of a Jew, with slips of the yew tree that roots
itself in graves, and the finger of a dead child:





MACBETH I7

all these were set on to boil in a great kettle, or
cauldron, which, as fast as it grew too hot, was
cooled with a baboon's blood: to these they poured
in the blood of a sow that had eaten her young,
and they threw into the flame the grease that had
sweaten from a murderer's gibbet. By these charms
they bound the infernal spirits to answer their
questions.
It was demanded of Macbeth, whether he would
have his doubts resolved by them, or by their
masters, the spirits. He, nothing daunted by the
dreadful ceremonies which he saw, boldly answered,
" Where are they? let me see them." And they
called the spirits, which were three. And the first
arose in the likeness of an armed head, and he
called Macbeth by name, and bid him beware of
the thane of Fife; for which caution Macbeth
thanked him; for Macbeth had entertained a
jealousy of Macduff, the thane of Fife.
And the second spirit arose in the likeness of a
bloody child, and he called Macbeth by name, and
bid him have no fear, but laugh to scorn the power
of man, for none of woman born should have power
to hurt him; and he advised him to be bloody, bold,
and resolute. "Then live, Macduff! cried the
king; what need I fear of thee ? but yet I will
make assurance doubly sure. Thou shalt not live;
that I may tell pale-hearted Fear it lies, and sleep
in spite ofthunder."
That spirit being dismissed, a third arose in the
form of a child crowned, with a tree in his hand.
He called Macbeth by name, and comforted him
against conspiracies, saying, that he should never
be vanquished, until the wood of Birnam to
Dunsinane Hill should come against him. Sweet





172 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

bodements good cried Macbeth; "who can
unfix the forest, and move it from its earth-bound
roots ? I see I shall live the usual period of man's
life, and not be cut off by a violent death. But
my heart throbs to know one thing. Tell me, if
your art can fell so much, if Banquo's issue shall
ever reign in this kingdom ?" Here the cauldron
sank into the ground, and a noise of music was
heard, and eight shadows, like kings, passed -by
Macbeth, and Banquo last, who bore a glass which
showed the figures of many more, and Banquo
all bloody smiled upon Macbeth, and pointed to
them; by which Macbeth knew that these were
the posterity of Banquo, who should reign after
him in Scotland; and the witches, with a sound
of soft music, and with dancing, making a show
of duty and welcome to Macbeth, vanished. And
from this time the thoughts of Macbeth were all
bloody and dreadful.
The first thing he heard when he got out of
the witches' cave, was that Macduff, thane of Fife,
had fled to England, to join the army which was
forming against him under Malcolm, the eldest
son of the late king, with intent to displace
Macbeth, and set Malcolm, the right heir, upon
the throne. Macbeth, stung with rage, set upon
the castle of Macduff, and put his wife and children,
whom the thane had left behind, to the sword, and
extended the slaughter to all who claimed the least
relationship to Macduff.
These and such-like deeds alienated the minds
of all his chief nobility from him. Such as could,
fled to join with Malcolm and Macduff, who were
now approaching with a powerful army, which they
had raised in England; and the rest secretly





MACBETH


wished success to their arms, though for fear of
Macbeth they could take no active part. His
recruits went on slowly. Everybody hated the
tyrant; nobody loved or honoured him; but all
suspected him, and he began to envy the condition
of Duncan, whom he had murdered, who slept
soundly in his grave, against whom treason had
done its worst: steel nor poison, domestic malice
nor foreign levies, could hurt him any longer.
While these things were acting, the queen, who
had been the sole partner in his wickedness, in
whose bosom he could sometimes seek a momentary
repose from those terrible dreams which afflicted
them both nightly, died, it is supposed, by her own
hands, unable to bear the remorse of guilt, and
public hate; by which event he was left alone,
without a soul to love or care for him, or a friend
to whom he could confide his wicked purposes.
He grew careless of life, and wished for death;
but the near approach of Malcolm's army roused
in him what remained of his ancient courage, and
he determined to die (as he expressed it), "with
armour on his back." Besides this, the hollow
promises of the witches had filled him with a false
confidence, and he remembered the sayings of the
spirits, that none of woman born was to hurt him,
and that he was never to be vanquished till Birnam
wood should come to Dunsinane, which he thought
could never be. So he shut himself up in his
castle, whose impregnable strength was such as
defied a siege: here he sullenly waited the ap-
proach of Malcolm. When, upon a day, there
came a messenger to him, pale and shaking with
fear, almost unable to report that which he had
seen; for he averred, that as he stood upon his





174 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

watch on the hill, he looked towards Birnam, and
to his thinking the wood began to move "Liar
and slave !" cried Macbeth; "if thou speakest
false, thou shalt hang alive upon the next tree, till
famine end thee. If thy tale be true, I care not
if thou dost as much by me: for Macbeth now
began to faint in resolution, and to doubt the
equivocal speeches of the spirits. He was not to
fear till Birnam wood should come to Dunsinane;
and now a wood did move! "However," said he,
"if this which he avouches be true, let us arm and
out. There is no flying hence, nor staying here.
I begin to be weary of the sun, and wish my life
at an end." With these desperate speeches he
sallied forth upon the besiegers, who had now
come up to the castle.
The strange appearance, which had given the
messenger an idea of a wood moving is easily
solved. When the besieging army marched through
the wood of Birnam, Malcolm, like a skilful
general, instructed his soldiers to hew down every
one a bough and bear it before him, by way of
concealing the true numbers of his host. This
marching of the soldiers with boughs had at a
distance the appearance which had frightened the
messenger.. Thus were the words. of the spirit
brought to pass, in a sense different from that in
which Macbeth had understood them, and one
great hold of his confidence was gone.
And now a severe skirmishing took place, in
which Macbeth, though feebly supported by those
who called themselves his friends, but in reality
hated the tyrant and inclined to the party of
Malcolm and Macduff, yet fought with the ex-
treme of rage and valour, cutting to pieces all who




MACBETH


were opposed to him, till he came to where
Macduff was fighting. Seeing Macduff, and re-
membering the caution of the spirit who had
counselled him to avoid Macduff, above all men,
he would have turned, but Macduff, who had been
seeking him through the whole fight, opposed his
turning, and a fierce contest ensued; Macduff giv-
ing him many foul reproaches for the murder of
his wife and children. Macbeth, whose soul was
charged enough with blood of that family already,
would still have declined the combat; but Macduff
still urged him to it, calling him tyrant, murderer,
hell-hound, and villain.
Then Macbeth remembered the words of the
spirit, how none of woman born should hurt him;
and smiling confidently he said to Macduff, Thou
losest thy labour, Macduff. As easily thou mayest
impress the air with thy sword, as make me vulner-
able. I bear a charmed life, which must not yield
to one of woman born."
"Despair thy charm," said Macduff, "and let
that lying spirit whom thou hast served, tell thee,
that Macduff was never born of woman, never as
the ordinary manner of men is to be born, but was
untimely taken from his mother."
"Accursed be the tongue which tells me so,"
said the trembling Macbeth, who felt his last hold
of confidence give way; "and let never man in
future believe the lying equivocations of witches
and juggling spirits, who deceive us in words which
have double senses, and while they keep their
promise literally, disappoint our hopes with a
different meaning. I will not fight with thee."
'" Then live said the scornful Macduff; we
will have a show of thee, as men show monsters,




176 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

and a painted board, on which shall be written,
'Here men may see the tyrant! "
Never," said Macbeth, whose courage returned
with despair; "I will not live to kiss the ground
before young Malcolm's feet, and to be baited with
the curses of the rabble. Though Birnam wood
be come to Dunsinane, and thou opposed to me,
who wast never born of woman, yet will I try
the last." With these frantic words he threw
himself upon Macduff, who, after a severe struggle,
in the end overcame him, and cutting off his head,
made a present of it to the young and lawful king,
Malcolm; who took upon him the government
which, by the machinations of the usurper, he had
so long been deprived of, and ascended the throne
of Duncan the Meek, amid the acclamations of
the nobles and the people.


ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL

BERTRAM, count of Rousillon, had newly
come to his title and estate, by the death of his
father. The king of France loved the father of
Bertram, and when he heard of his death, he sent
for his son to come immediately to his royal court
in Paris, intending, for the friendship he bore the
late count, to grace young Bertram with his especial
favour and protection.
Bertram was living with his mother, the widowed
countess, when Lafeu, an old lord of the French
court, came to conduct him to the king. The
king of France was an absolute monarch, and the
invitation to court was in the form of a royal
mandate, or positive command, which no subject,




ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL 177

of what high dignity soever, might disobey; there-
fore though the countess, in parting with this dear
son, seemed a second time to bury her husband,
whose loss she had so lately mourned, yet she
dared not to keep him a single day, but. gave
instant orders for his departure. Lafeu, who came
to fetch him, tried to comfort the countess for the
loss of her late lord, and her son's sudden absence;
and he said, in a courtier's flattering manner, that
the king was so kind a prince, she would find in
his majesty a husband, and that he would be a
father to her son; meaning only, that the good
king would befriend the fortunes of Bertram.
Lafeu told the countess that the king had fallen
into a sad malady, which was pronounced by his
physicians to be incurable. The lady expressed
great sorrow on hearing this account of the king's
ill health, and said, she wished the father of Helena
(a young gentlewoman who was present in attend-
ance upon her) were living, for that she doubted
not he could have cured his majesty of his disease.
And she told Lafeu something of the history of
Helena, saying she was the only daughter of the
famous physician Gerard de Narbon, and that he
had recommended his daughter to her care when
he was dying, so that since his death she had taken
Helena under her protection; then the countess
praised the virtuous disposition and excellent
qualities of Helena, saying she inherited these
virtues from her worthy father. While she was
speaking, Helena wept in sad and mournful silence,
which made the countess gently reprove her for
too much grieving for her father's death.
Bertram now bade his mother farewell. The
countess parted with this dear son with tears and





178 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

many blessings, and commended him to the care of
Lafeu, saying, Good, my lord, advise him, for he
is an unseasoned courtier."
Bertram's last words were spoken to Helena,
but they were words of mere civility, wishing
her happiness; and he concluded his short fare-
well to her with saying, "Be comfortable to
my mother, your mistress, and make much of
her:"
Helena had long loved Bertram, and when she
wept in sad and mournful silence, the tears she
shed were not for Gerard de Narbon. Helena
loved her father, but in the present feeling of a
deeper love, the object of which she was about to
lose, she had forgotten the very form and features
of her dead father, her imagination presenting no
image to her mind but Bertram's.
Helena had long loved Bertram, yet she always
remembered that he was the count of Rousillon,
descended from the most ancient family in France.
She of humble birth. Her parents of no note at
all. His ancestors all noble. And therefore she
looked up to the high-born Bertram as to her
master and to her dear lord, and dared not form
any,wish but to live his servant, and so living to
die his vassal. So great the distance seemed to
her between his height of dignity and her lowly
fortunes, that she would say, "It were all one that
I should love a bright particular star, and think to
wed it, Bertrami is so far above me."
Bertram's absence filled her eyes with tears and
her heart with sorrow; for though she loved with-
out hope, yet it was a pretty comfort to her to see
him every hour, and Helena would sit and look
upon his dark eye, his arched brow, and the curls





ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL 179

of his fine hair, till she seemed to draw his portrait
on the tablet of her heart, that heart too capable of
retaining the memory of every line in the features
of that loved face.
Gerard de Narbon, when he died, left her no
other portion than some prescriptions of rare and
well-proved virtue, which by deep study and long
experience in medicine he had collected as sovereign
and almost infallible remedies. Among the rest,
there was one set down as an approved medicine
for the disease.under which Lafeu said the king at
that time languished: and when Helena heard of
the king's complaint, she, who till now had been
so humble and so hopeless, formed an ambitious
project in her mind to go herself to Paris, and
undertake the cure of the king. But though
Helena was the possessor of this choice prescrip-
tion, it was unlikely, as the king as well as his
physicians was of opinion that his disease was
incurable, that they would give: credit to a poor
unlearned virgin, if she should offer to perform a
cure. The firm hopes that Helena had of suc-
ceeding, if she might be permitted to make the
trial, seemed more than even her father's skill
warranted, though he was the most famous physician
of his time; for she felt a strong faith that this good
medicine was sanctified by all the luckiest stars in
heaven to be the legacy that should advance her
fortune, even to the high dignity of being count
Rousillon's wife.
Bertram had not been long gone, when the
countess was informed by her steward, that he had
overheard Helena talking to herself, and that he
understood from some words. she uttered, she was
in love with Bertram, and thought of following





18o TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

him to Paris. The countess dismissed the steward
with thanks, and desired him to tell Helena she
wished to speak with her. What she had just heard
of Helena brought the remembrance of days long
past into the mind of the countess; those days
probably when her love for Bertram's father first
began; and she said to herself, "Even so it was
with me when I was young. Love is a thorn that
belongs to the rose of youth; for in the season of
youth, if ever we are nature's children, these faults
are ours, though then we think not they are faults."
While the countess was thus meditating on the
loving errors of her own youth, Helena entered,
and she said to her, "Helena, you know I am a
mother to you." Helena replied, "You are my
honourable mistress." "You are my daughter,"
said the countess again: "I say I am your mother.
Why do you start and look pale at my words ? "
With looks of alarm and confused thoughts, fear-
ing the countess suspected her love, Helena still
replied, "Pardon me, madam, you are not my
mother; the count Rousillon cannot be my brother,
nor I your daughter." "Yet, Helena," said the
countess, "you might be my daughter-in-law; and
I am afraid that is what you mean to be, the words
mother and daughter so disturb you. Helena, do
you love my son ?" "Good madam, pardon me,"
said the affrighted Helena. Again the countess
repeated her question, "Do you love my son ?"
"Do not you love him, madam ?" said Helena.
The countess replied, Give me not this evasive
answer, Helena. Come, come, disclose the state of
your affections, for yourlove has to the full appeared."
Helena on her knees now owned her love, and
with shame and terror implored the pardon of her





ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL 181

noble mistress; and with words expressive of the
sense she had of the inequality between their for-
tunes, she protested Bertram did not know she
loved him, comparing her humble unaspiring love
to a poor Indian, who adores the sun that looks
upon his worshipper, but knows of him no more.
The countess asked Helena if she had not lately
an intent to go to Paris? Helena owned the
design she had formed in her mind, when she
heard Lafeu speak of the king's illness. "This
was your motive for wishing to go to Paris," said
the countess, "was it? Speak truly." Helena
honestly answered, "My lord your son made me
to think of this; else Paris, and the medicine, and
the king, had from the conversation of my thoughts
been absent then." The countess heard the whole
of this confession without saying a word either of
approval or of blame, but she strictly questioned
Helena as to the probability of the medicine being
useful to the king. She found that it was the most
prized by Gerard de Narbon of all he possessed,
and that he had given it to his daughter on his
deathbed; and remembering the solemn promise
she had made at that awful hour in regard to this
young maid, whose destiny, and the life of the king
himself, seemed to depend on the execution of a
project (which though conceived by the fond sugges-
tions of a loving maiden's thoughts, the countess
knew not but it might be the unseen workings of
Providence to bring to pass the recovery of the
king, and to lay the foundation of the future for-
tunes of Gerard de Narbon's daughter), free leave
she gave to Helena to pursue her own way, and
generously furnished her with ample means and
suitable attendants; and Helena set out for Paris





182 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

with the blessings of the countess, and her kindest
wishes for her success.
Helena arrived at Paris, and by the assistance
of her friend the old lord Lafeu, she obtained an
audience of the king. She had still many difficulties
to encounter, for the king was not easily prevailed
on to try the medicine offered him by this fair young
doctor. But she told him she was Gerard de Nar-
bon's daughter (with whose fame the king was well
acquainted), and she offered the precious medicine
as the darling treasure which contained the essence
of all her father's long experience and skill, and she
boldly engaged to forfeit her life, if it failed to
restore his majesty to perfect health in the space
of two days. The king at length consented to try
it, and in two days' time Helena was to lose her
life if the king did not recover; but if she suc-
ceeded, he promised to give her the choice of any
man throughout all France (the princes only ex-
cepted) whom she could like for a husband; the
choice of a husband being the fee Helena demanded
if she cured the king of his disease.
Helena did not deceive herself in the hope she
conceived of the efficacy of her father's medicine.
Before two days were at an end, the king was re-
stored to perfect health, and he assembled all the
young noblemen of his court together, in order to
confer the promised reward of a husband upon his
fair physician; and he desired Helena to look
round on this youthful parcel of noble bachelors,
and choose her husband. Helena was not slow to
make her choice, for among these young lords she
saw the count Rousillon, and turning to Bertram,
she said, "This is the man. I dare not say, my
lord, I take you, but I give me and my service ever





ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL 183

whilst I live into your guiding power." Why,
then," said the king, "young Bertram, take her;
she is your wife." Bertram did not hesitate to
declare his dislike to this present of the king's of
the self-offered Helena, who, he said, was a poor
physician's daughter, bred at his father's charge,
and.now living a dependent on his mother's bounty.
Helena heard him speak these words of rejection
and of scorn, and she said to the king, That you
are well, my lord, I am glad. Let the rest go."
But the king would not suffer his royal command
to be so slighted; for the power of bestowing their
nobles in marriage was one of the many privileges
of the kings of France; and that same day Bertram
was married to Helena, a forced and uneasy
marriage to Bertram, and of no promising hope to
the poor lady, who, though she gained the noble
husband she had hazarded her life to obtain,
seemed to have won but a splendid blank, her
husband's love not being a gift in the power of the
king of France to bestow.
Helena was no sooner married, than she was de-
sired by Bertram to apply to the king for him for
leave of absence from court; and when she brought
him the king's permission for his departure, Bertram
told her that he was not prepared for this sudden
marriage, it had much unsettled him, and therefore
she must not wonder at the course he should pursue.
If Helena wondered not, she grieved when she
found it was his intention to leave her. He ordered
her to go home to his mother. When Helena
heard this unkind command, she replied, "Sir, I
can nothing say to this, but that I am your most
obedient servant, and shall ever with true observance
seek to eke out that desert, wherein my homely stars





184 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

have failed to equal my great fortunes." But this
humble speech of Helena's did not at all move the
haughty Bertram to pity his gentle wife, and he
parted from her without even the common civility
of a kind farewell.
Back to the countess then Helena returned.
She had accomplished the purport of her journey,
she had preserved the life of the king, and she had
wedded her heart's dear lord, the count Rousillon;
but she returned back a dejected lady to her noble
mother-in-law, and as soon as she entered the house
she received a letter from Bertram which almost
broke her heart.
The good countess received her with a cordial
welcome, as if she had been her son's own choice,
and a lady of a high degree, and she spoke kind
words to comfort her for the unkind neglect of
Bertram in sending his wife home on her bridal day
alone. But this gracious reception failed to cheer
the sad mind of Helena, and she said, Madam, my
lord is gone, for ever gone." She then read these
words out of Bertram's letter: When you can get the
ring from my finger, which never shall come of, then
call me husband, but in such a Then I write a Never.
"This is a dreadful sentence! said Helena. The
countess begged her to have patience, and said;
now Bertram was gone, she should be her child,
and that she deserved a lord that twenty such rude
boys as Bertram might tend upon, and hourly call
her mistress. But in vain by respectful condescen-
sion and kind flattery this matchless mother tried
to soothe the sorrows of her daughter-in-law.
Helena still kept her eyes fixed upon the letter,
and cried out in an agony of grief, Till I have no
wife, I have nothing in France. The countess asked





ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL 185

her if she found those words in the letter? "Yes,
madam," was all poor Helena could answer.
The next morning Helena was missing. She
left a letter to be delivered to the countess after
she was gone, to acquaint her with the reason of
her sudden absence: in this letter she informed
her that she was so much grieved at having driven
Bertram from his native country and his home, that
to atone for her offence, she had undertaken a
pilgrimage to the shrine of St Jaques le Grand,
and concluded with requesting the countess to in-
form her son that the wife he so hated had left his
house for ever.
Bertram, when he left Paris, went to Florence,
and there became an officer in the duke of
Florence's army, and after a successful war, in
which he distinguished himself by many brave
actions, Bertram received letters from his mother,
containing the acceptable tidings that Helena
would no more disturb him; and he was preparing
to return home, when Helena herself, clad in her
pilgrim's weeds, arrived at the city of Florence.
Florence was a city through which the pilgrims
used to pass on their way to St Jaques le Grand;
and when Helena arrived at this city, she heard
that a hospitable widow dwelt there, who used to
receive into her house the female pilgrims that were
going to visit the shrine of that saint, giving them
lodging and kind entertainment. To this good
lady, therefore, Helena went, and the widow gave
:her a courteous welcome, and invited her to see
whatever was curious in that famous city, and told
'her that if she would like to see the duke's army,
:she would take her where she might have a full
view of it. "And you will see a countryman of




186 TALES. FROM SHAKSPEARE

yours," said the widow; "his name is Count
Rousillon, who has done worthy service in the
duke's wars." Helena wanted no second invita-
tion, when she found Bertram was to make part
of the show. She accompanied her hostess; and
a sad and mournful pleasure it was to her to look
once more upon her dear husband's face. Is
he not a handsome man ?" said the widow. "I
like him well," replied Helena, with great truth.
All the way they walked, the talkative widow's dis-
course was all of Bertram: she told Helena the
story of Bertram's marriage, and how he had
deserted the poor lady his wife, and entered into
the duke's army to avoid living with her. To this
account of her own misfortunes Helena patiently
listened, and when it was ended, the history of
Bertram was not yet done, for then the widow began
another tale, every word of which sank deep into
the mind of Helena; for the story she now told
was of Bertram's love for her daughter.
Though Bertram did not like the marriage forced
on him by the king, it seems he was not insensible
to love, for since he had been stationed with the
army at Florence, he had fallen in love with Diana,
a fair young gentlewoman, the daughter of this
widow who was Helena's hostess; and every night,
with music of all sorts, and songs composed. in
praise of Diana's beauty, he would come under her
window, and solicit her love; and all his suit: to
her was, that she would permit him to visit her by
stealth after the family were retired to rest; but
Diana would by no means be persuaded to grant
this improper request, nor give any encouragement
to his suit, knowing him to be a married man;
for Diana had been brought up under the counsels





ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL 187

of a prudent mother, who, though she was now in
reduced circumstances, was well born, and descended
from the noble family of the Capulets.
All this the good lady related to Helena, highly
praising the virtuous principles of her discreet
daughter, which she said were entirely owing to
the excellent education and good advice she had
given her; and she further said, that Bertram had
been particularly importunate with Diana to admit
him to the visit he so. much desired that night,
because he was going to leave Florence early the
next morning.
Though it grieved Helena to hear of Bertram's
love for the widow's daughter, yet from this story
the ardent mind of Helena conceived a project
(nothing discouraged at the ill success of her former
one) to recover her truant lord. She disclosed to
the widow that she was Helena, the deserted wife
of Bertram, and requested that her kind hostess
and her daughter would suffer this visit from
Bertram to take place, and allow her to pass
herself upon Bertram for Diana; telling them,
her chief motive for desiring to have this secret
meeting with her husband, was to get a ring from
him, which he had said, if ever she was in
possession of he would acknowledge her as his
wife.
The widow and her daughter promised to assist
her in this affair, partly moved by pity for this un-
happy forsaken wife, and partly won over to her
interest by the promises of reward which Helena
made them, giving them a purse of money in
earnest of her future favour. In the course of
that day Helena caused information to be sent to
Bertram that she was dead; hoping that when he-





188 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

thought himself free to make a second choice by
the news of her death, he would offer marriage to
her in her feigned character of Diana. And if
she could obtain the ring and this promise too, she
doubted not she should make some future good
come of it.
In the evening, after it was dark, Bertram was
admitted into Diana's chamber, and Helena was
there ready to receive him. The flattering com-
pliments and love discourse he addressed to Helena
were precious sounds to her, though she knew
they were meant for Diana; and Bertram was so
well pleased with her, that he made her a solemn
promise to be her husband, and to love her for
ever; which she hoped would be prophetic of a
real affection, when he should know it was his own
wife, the despised Helena, whose conversation had
so delighted him.
Bertram never knew how sensible a lady Helena
was, else perhaps he would not have been so re-
gardless of her; and seeing her every day, he had
entirely overlooked her beauty; a face we are
accustomed to see constantly, losing the effect
which is caused by the first sight either of beauty
or of plainness; and of her understanding it was
impossible he should judge, because she felt such
reverence, mixed with her love for him, that she
was always silent in his presence: but now that
her feature fate, and the happy ending of all her
love-projects, seemed to depend on her leaving a
favourable impression on the mind of Bertram
from this night's interview, she exerted all her wit
to please him; and the simple graces of her lively
conversation and the endearing sweetness of her
manners so charmed Bertram, that he vowed she





ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL 189

should be his wife. Helena begged the ring from
off his finger as- a token of his regard, and he gave
it to her; and in return for this ring, which it was
of such importance to her to possess, she gave him
another ring, which was one the king had made
her a present of. Before it was light in the
morning, she sent Bertram away; and he immedi-
ately set out on his journey towards his mother's
house.
Helena prevailed on the widow and Diana to
accompany her to Paris, their further assistance
being necessary to the full accomplishment of the
plan she had formed. When they arrived there,
they found the king was gone upon a visit to the
countess of Rousillon, and Helena followed the
king with all the speed she could make.
The king was still in perfect health, and .his
gratitude to her who had been the means of his
recovery was so lively in his mind, that the moment
he saw the countess of Rousillon, he began to talk.of
Helena, calling her a precious jewel that was lost by
the folly of her son; but seeing the subject distressed
the countess, who sincerely lamented the death of
Helena, he said, "My good lady, I have forgiven
and forgotten all." Butthe good-natured old Lafeu,
who was present, and could not bear that the
memory of his favourite Helena should be so lightly
passed over, said, This I must say, the young lord
did great offence to his majesty, his mother, and his
lady; but to himself he did the greatest wrong of
all, for he has lost a wife whose beauty astonished
all eyes, whose words took all ears captive, whose
deep perfection made all hearts wish to serve her."
The king said, "Praising what is lost makes the
remembrance dear. Well-call him hither;"





19o TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

meaning Bertram, who now presented himself before
the king: and, on his expressing deep sorrow for the
injuries he had done to Helena, the king, for his
dead father's and his admirable mother's sake, par-
doned him and restored him once more to his favour.
But the gracious countenance of the king was soon
changed towards him, for he perceived that Bertram
wore the very ring upon his finger which he had
given to Helena: and he well remembered that
Helena had called all the saints in heaven to witness
she would never part with that ring, unless she sent
it to the king himself-upon some great disaster be-
falling her; and Bertram, on the king's questioning
him how he came by the ring told an improbable
story of a lady throwing it to him out of a window,
and denied ever having seen Helena since the day of
their marriage. The king, knowing Bertram's dis-
like to his wife, feared he had destroyed her : and
he ordered his guards to seize Bertram, saying, "I
am wrapt in dismal thinking, for I fear the life of
Helena was foully snatched." At this moment
Diana and her mother entered, and presented a
petition to the king, wherein they begged his
majesty to exert his royal power to compel Bertram
to marry Diana, he having made her a solemn
promise of marriage. Bertram, fearing the king's
anger, denied he had made any such promise; and
then Diana produced the ring (which Helena had
put into her hands) to confirm the truth of her
words; and she said that she had given Bertram
the ring he then wore, in exchange for that, at the
time he vowed to marry her. On hearing this, the
king ordered the guards to seize her also; and her
account of the ring differing from Bertram's, the
king's suspicions were confirmed : and he said, if





ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL 191

they did not confess how they came by this ring of
Helena's, they should be both put to death. Diana
requested her mother might be permitted to fetch
the jeweller of whom she bought the ring, which
being granted, the widow,.went out, and presently
returned leading in Helena herself.
The good countess, who in silent grief had beheld
her son's danger, and had even dreaded that the
suspicion of his having destroyed his wife might
possibly be true, finding her dear Helena, whom
she loved with even a maternal affection, was still
living, felt a delight she was hardly able to support;
and the king, scarce believing for joy that it was
Helena, said, "Is this indeed the wife of Bertram
that I see ?" Helena, feeling herself yet an un-
acknowledged wife, replied, "No, my good lord, it
is but the shadow of a wife you see, the name and
not the thing." Bertram cried out, "Both, both !
O pardon "-" O my lord," said Helena, "when
I personated this fair maid, I found you wondrous
kind; and look, here is your letter! reading to
him in a joyful tone those words which she had
once repeated so sorrowfully, When from my finger
you can get this ring,-" This is done; it was to
me you gave the ring. Will you be mine, now you
are doubly won ?" Bertram replied, "If you can
make it plain that you.were the lady I talked with
that night, 1 will love you dearly ever, ever dearly."
This was no difficult task, for the widow and Diana
came with Helena to prove this fact; and the king
was so well pleased with Diana, for the friendly
assistance she had rendered the dear lady he so
truly valued for the service she had done him, that
he promised her also a noble husband: Helena's
history giving him a hint, that it was a suitable




192 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

reward for kings to bestow upon fair ladies when
they perform notable services.
Thus Helena at last found that her father's
legacy was indeed sanctified by the luckiest stars in
heaven; for she was now the beloved wife of her
dear Bertram, the daughter-in-law of her noble
mistress, and herself the countess of Rousillon.


THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

K ATHARINE, the Shrew, was the eldest
daughter of Baptista, a rich gentleman of
Padua. She was a lady of such an ungovernable
spirit and fiery temper, such a loud-tongued scold,
that she was known in Padua by no other name
than Katharine the Shrew. It seemed very unlikely,
indeed impossible, that any gentleman would ever be
found who would venture to marry this lady, and
therefore Baptista was much blamed for deferring
his consent to many excellent offers that were made
to her gentle sister Bianca, putting off all Bianca's
suitors with this excuse, that when the eldest sister
was fairly off his hands, they should have free leave
to address young Bianca.
It happened, however, that a gentleman, named
Petruchio, came to Padua, purposely to look out for
a wife, who, nothing discouraged by these reports
of Katharine's temper, and hearing she was rich
and handsome, resolved upon marrying this famous
termagant, and taming her into a meek and manage-
able wife. And truly none was so fit to set about
this herculean labour as Petruchio, whose spirit was
as high as Katharine's, and he was a witty and most
happy-tempered humorist, and withal so wise, and





TAMING OF THE SHREW


of such a true judgment, that he well knew how to
feign a passionate and furious deportment, when his
spirits were so calm that himself could have laughed
merrily at his own angry feigning, for his natural
temper was careless and easy; the boisterous airs he
assumed when he became the husband of Katharine
being but in sport, or more properly speaking, affected
by his excellent discernment, as the only means to
overcome, in her own way, the passionate ways of
the furious Katharine.
A courting then Petruchio went to Katharine
the Shrew; and first of all he applied to Baptista
her father, for leave to woo his gentle daughter
Katharine, as Petruchio called her, saying archly,
that having heard of her bashful modesty and mild
behaviour, he had come from Verona to solicit her
love. Her father, though he wished her married,
was forced to confess Katharine would ill answer this
character, it being soon apparent of what manner of
gentleness she was composed, for her music-master
rushed into the room to complain that the gentle
Katharine, his pupil, had broken his head with her
lute, for presuming to find fault with her performance ;
which, when Petruchio heard, he said, "It is a
brave wench ; I love her more than ever, and long
to have some chat with her; and hurrying the old
gentleman for a positive answer, he said, "My
business is in haste, signior Baptista, I cannot come
every day to woo. You knew my father: he is
dead, and has left me heir to all his lands and goods.
Then tell me, if I get your daughter's love, what
dowry you will give with her." Baptista thought
his manner was somewhat blunt for a lover; but
being glad to get Katharine married, he answered
that he would give her twenty thousand crowns for





194 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

her dowry, and half his estate at his death: so this
odd match: was quickly agreed on, and Baptista
went to apprise his shrewish daughter of her lover's
addresses, and sent her in to Petruchio to listen to
his suit.
In the mean time Petruchio was settling with
himself the mode of courtship he should pursue;
and he said, I will woo her with some spirit when
she comes. If she rails at me, why then I will tell
her she sings as sweetly as a nightingale; and if
she frowns, I will say she looks as clear as roses
newly washed with dew. If she will not speak a
word, I will praise the eloquence of her language;
and if she bids me leave her, I will give her thanks
as if she bid me stay with her a week." Now the
stately Katharine entered, and Petruchio first
addressed her with Good morrow, Kate, for that
is your name, I hear." Katharine, not liking this
plain salutation, said disdainfully, "They call me
Katharine who do speak to me." You lie,"
replied the lover ; for you are called plain Kate,
and bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the Shrew :
but, Kate, you are the prettiest Kate in Christendom,
and therefore, Kate, hearing your mildness praised
in every town, I am come to woo you for my wife."
A strange courtship they made of it. She in
loud and angry terms showing him how justly she
had gained the name of Shrew, while he still praised
her sweet and courteous words, till at length, hear-
ing her father coming, he said (intending to make
as quick a wooing as possible), Sweet Katharine,
let us set this idle chat aside, for your father has
consented that you shall be my wife, your dowry is
agreed on, and whether you will or no, I will marry
you,"





TAMING OF THE SHREW


And now Baptista entering, Petruchio told him
his daughter had received him kindly, and that she
had promised to be married the next. Sunday.
This Katharine denied, saying she woqld rather
see him hanged on Sunday, and reproached her
father for wishing to wed her to such a mad-cap
ruffian as Petruchio. Petruchio desired. her father
not to regard her angry words, for they had agreed
she should seem reluctant before him, but that
when they were alone he had found her very fond
and loving; and he said to her, Give me your
hand, Kate; I will go to Venice to buy you fine
apparel against our wedding day. Provide the
feast, father, and bid the wedding guests. I will
be sure to bring rings, fine array, and rich clothes,
that my Katharine may be fine; and kiss me,
Kate, for we will be married on Sunday."
On the Sunday all the wedding guests were
assembled, but they waited long before Petruchio
came, and Katharine wept for vexation to think
that Petruchio had only been making a jest of her.
At last, however, he appeared; but he brought
none of the bridal finery he had promised
Katharine, nor was he dressed himself like a bride-
groom, but in strange disordered attire, as if he
meant to make a sport of the serious business he
came about; and his servant and the very horses
on which they rode were in like manner in mean
and fantastic fashion habited.
Petruchio could not be persuaded to change his
dress; he said Katharine was to be married to
him, and not to his clothes; and finding it was in
vain to argue with him, to the church they went,
he still behaving in the same mad way, for when
the priest asked Petruchio if Katharine should be





196 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

his wife, he swore so loud that she should, that,
all amazed, the priest let fall his book, and as he
stooped to take it up, this mad-brained bridegroom
gave him such a cuff, that down fell the priest and
his book again. And all the while they were being
married he stamped and swore so, that the high-
spirited Katharine trembled and shook with fear.
After the ceremony was over, while they were yet
in the church, he called for wine, and drank a loud
health to the company, and threw a sop which was
at the bottom of the glass full in the sexton's face,
giving no other reason for this strange act, than
that the sexton's beard grew thin and hungerly,
and seemed to ask the sop as he was drinking.
Never sure was there such a mad marriage; but
Petruchio did but put this wildness on, the better
to succeed in the plot he had formed to tame his
shrewish wife.
Baptista had provided a sumptuous marriage feast,
but when they returned from church, Petruchio,
taking hold of Katharine, declared his intention of
carrying his wife home instantly : and no remon-
strance of his father-in-law, or angry words of the
enraged Katharine, could make him change his
purpose. He claimed a husband's right to dis-
pose of his wife as he pleased, and away he hurried
Katharine off: he seeming so daring and resolute
that no one dared attempt to stop him.
Petruchio mounted his wife upon a miserable
horse, lean and lank, which he had picked out for
the purpose, and himself and his servant no better
mounted; they journeyed on through rough and
miry ways, and ever when this horse of Katharine's
stumbled, he would storm and swear at the poor
jaded beast, who could scarce crawl under his





TAMING OF THE SHREW


burthen, as if he had been the most passionate man
alive.
At length, after a weary journey, during which
Katharine had heard nothing but the wild ravings of
Petruchio at the servant and the horses, they arrived
at his house. Petruchio welcomed her kindly to her
home, but he resolved she should have neither rest
nor food that night. The tables were spread, and
supper soon served; but Petruchio, pretending to
find fault with every dish, threw the meat about
the floor, and ordered the servants to remove it
away; and all this he did, as he said, in love for
his Katharine, that she might not eat meat that
was not well dressed. And when Katharine,
weary and supperless, retired to rest, he found the
same fault with the bed, throwing the pillows and
bed-clothes about the room, so that she was forced
to sit down in a chair, where if she chanced to
drop asleep, she was presently awakened by the
loud voice of her husband, storming at the servants
for the ill-making of his wife's bridal-bed.
The next day Petruchio pursued the same course,
still speaking kind words to Katharine, but when
she attempted to eat, finding fault with everything
that was set before her, throwing the breakfast on
the floor as he had done the supper; and Katharine,
the haughty Katharine, was fain to beg the servants
would bring her secretly a morsel of food ; but they
being instructed by Petruchio, replied, they dared
not give her anything unknown to their master.
" Ah," said she, "did he marry me to famish me ?
Beggars that come to my father's door have food
given them. But I, who never knew what it was to
entreat for anything, am starved for want of food,
giddy for want of sleep, with oaths kept waking, and





198 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

with brawling fed; and that which vexes me more
than all, he does it under the name of perfect love,
pretending that if I sleep or eat, it were present
death to me." Here the soliloquy was interrupted
by the entrance of Petruchio: he, not meaning she
should be quite starved, had brought her a small
portion of meat, and he said to her, "How fares my
sweet Kate ? Here, love, you see how diligent I am,
I have dressed your meat myself. I am sure this
kindness merits thanks. What, not a word ? Nay,
then you love not the meat, and all the pains I
have taken is to no purpose." He then ordered the
servant to take the dish away. Extreme hunger,
which had abated the pride of Katharine, made her
say, though angered to the heart, I pray you let it
stand." But this was not all Petruchio intended to
bring her to, and he replied, "The poorest service
is repaid with thanks, and so shall mine before you
touch the meat." On this Katharine brought out a
reluctant "I thank you, sir." And now he suffered
her to make a slender meal, saying, Much good
may it do your gentle heart, Kate; eat apace! And
now, my honey love, we will return to your father's
house, and revel it as bravely as the best, with silken
coats and caps and golden rings, with ruffs and
scarfs and fans and double change of finery; and
to make her believe he really intended to give her
these gay things, he called in a tailor and a haber-
dasher, who brought some new clothes he had
ordered for her, and then giving her plate to the
servant to take away, before she had half satisfied
her hunger, he said, :"What, have you dined?"
The haberdasher presented a cap, saying, "Here is
the cap your worship bespoke;" on which Petruchio
began to storm afresh, saying the cap was moulded





TAMING OF THE SHREW


in a porringer, and that it was no bigger than a
cockle-or walnut shell, desiring the haberdasher to
take it away and make it bigger. Katharine said,
" I will have this; all gentlewomen wear such caps
as these."-"When you are gentle," replied Petru-
chio, "you shall have one too, and not till then."
The meat Katharine had eaten had a little revived
her fallen spirits, and she said, "Why, sir, I trust
I may have leave to speak, and speak I will: I am
no child, no babe; your betters have endured to
hear me say my mind; and if you cannot, you had
better stop your ears." Petruchio would not hear
these angry words, for he had happily discovered a
better way of managing his wife than keeping up a
jangling argument with her; therefore his answer was,
" Why, you say true; it is a paltry cap, and I love
you for not liking it."-" Love me, or love me not,"
said Katharine, "I like the cap, and I will have
this cap or none."-"You say you wish to see the
gown," said Petruchio, still affecting to misunder-
stand her. The tailor then came forward and
showed her a fine gown he had made for her.
Petruchio, whose intent was thlt she should have
neither cap nor gown, found as much fault with
that. 0 mercy, Heaven! said he, what stuff
is here! What, do you call this a sleeve? it is
like a demi-cannon, carved up and down like an
apple tart." The tailor said, "You bid me make
it according to the fashion. of the times;" and
Katharine said, she never saw a better fashioned
gown. This was enough for Petruchio, and
privately desiring these people might be paid for
their goods, and excuses made to them for the
seemingly strange treatment he bestowed upon
them, he with fierce words and furious gestures





202 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

drove the tailor and the haberdasher out of the
room; and then, turning to Katharine, he said,
" Well, come, my Kate, we will go to your father's
even in these mean garments we now wear." And
then he ordered his horses, affirming they should
reach Baptista's house by dinner-time, for that it
was but seven o'clock. Now it was not early
morning, but the very middle of the day, when he
spoke this; therefore Katharine ventured to say,
though modestly, being almost overcome by the
vehemence of his manner, "I dare assure you, sir,
it is two o'clock, and will be supper-time before
we get there." But Petruchio meant that she
should be so completely subdued, that she should
assent to everything he said, before he carried her
to her father; and therefore, as if he were lord
even of the sun, and could command the hours, he
said it.should be what time he pleased to have it,
before he set forward ; "For," he said, whatever
I say or do, you still are crossing it. I will not
go to-day, and when I go, it shall be what o'clock
I say it is." Another day Katharine was forced
to practise her newly-found obedience, and not till
he had brought her proud spirit to such a perfect
subjection, that she dared not remember there was
such a word as contradiction, would Petruchio
allow her to go to her father's house; and even
while they were upon their journey thither, she
was in danger of being turned back again, only
because she happened to hint it was the sun, when
he affirmed the moon shone brightly at noonday.
"Now, by my mother's son," said he, "and that
is myself, it shall be the moon, or stars, or what
I list, before I journey to your father's house."
He then made as if he were going back again;




TAMING OF THE SHREW


but Katharine, no longer Katharine the Shrew,
but the obedient wife, said, Let us go forward,
I pray, now we have come so far, and it shall be
the sun, or moon, or what you please, and if you
please to call it a rush candle henceforth, I vow it
shall be so for me." This he was resolved to prove,
therefore he said again, I say, it is the moon."
-" I know it is the moon," replied Katharine.
" You lie, it is the blessed sun," said Petruchio.
"Then it is the blessed sun," replied Katharine;
"but sun it is not, when you say it is.not. What
you will have it named, even so it is, and so it ever
shall be for Katharine." Now then he suffered
her to proceed on her journey; but further to try
if this yielding humour would last, he addressed
an -old gentleman they met on the road as if he
had been a young woman, saying to him, "Good
morrow, gentle mistress; and asked Katharine if
she had ever beheld a fairer gentlewoman, praising
the red and white of the old man's cheeks, and
comparing his eyes to two bright stars; and again
he addressed him, saying, Fair lovely maid, once
more good day to you! and said to his wife,
" Sweet Kate, embrace her for her beauty's sake."
The now completely vanquished Katharine quickly
adopted her husband's opinion, and made her
speech in like sort to the old gentleman, saying to
him, "Young budding virgin, you are fair, and
fresh, and sweet: whither are you going, and
where is your dwelling? Happy are the parents
of so fair a child."-" Why, how now, Kate,"
said Petruchio; "I hope you are not mad. This
is a man, old and wrinkled, faded and withered,
and not a maiden, as you say he is." On this
Katharine said, "Pardon me, old gentleman; the





204 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

sun has so dazzled my eyes, that everything I look
on seemeth green. Now I perceive you are a
reverend father: I hope you will pardon me for
my sad mistake."-" Do, good old grandsire,"
said Petruchio, "and tell us which way you are
travelling. We shall be glad of your good com-
pany, if you are going our way." The old gentle-
man.replied, "Fair sir, and you, my merry mistress,
your strange encounter has much amazed me. My
name is Vincentio, and I am going to visit a son of
mine who lives at Padua." Then Petruchio knew
the old gentleman to be the-father of Lucentio,
a young gentleman who was to be married to
Baptista's younger daughter, Bianca, and he made
Vincentio very happy, by telling him the rich
marriage his son was about to make: and they all
journeyed on pleasantly together till they came to
Baptista's house, where there was a large company
assembled to celebrate the wedding of Bianca and
Lucentio, Baptista having willingly consented to
the marriage of Bianca when he had got Katharine
off his hands.
When they entered, Baptista welcomed them to
the wedding feast, and there was present also another
newly married pair.
Lucentio, Bianca's husband, and Hortensio, the
other new married man, could not forbear sly jests,
which seemed to hint at the shrewish disposition
of Petruchio's wife, and these fond bridegrooms
seemed highly pleased with the mild tempers of
the ladies they had chosen, laughing at Petruchio
for his less fortunate choice. Petruchio took little
notice of their jokes till the ladies were retired
after dinner, and then he perceived Baptista him-
self joined in the laugh against him: for when





TAMING OF THE SHREW


Petruchio affirmed that his wife would prove more
obedient than theirs, the father of Katharine said,
" Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio, I fear you
have got the veriest shrew of all." "Well," said
Petruchio, I say no, and therefore for assurance
that I speak the truth, let us each one send for
his wife, and he whose wife is most obedient to
come at first when she is sent for, shall win a
wager which we will propose." To this the other
two husbands willingly consented, for they were
quite confident that their gentle wives would prove
more obedient than the headstrong Katharine;
and they proposed a wager of twenty crowns, but
Petruchio merrily said, he would lay as much as
that upon his hawk or hound, but twenty times as
much upon his wife. Lucentio and Hortensio
raised the wager to a hundred crowns, and Lucentio
first sent his servant to desire Bianca would come
to him. But the servant returned, and said, Sir,
my mistress sends you word she is busy and can-
not come."-" How," said Petruchio, does she
say she is busy and cannot come? Is that an
answer for a wife? Then they laughed at him,
and said, it would be well if Katharine did not
send him a worse answer. And now it was
Hortensio's turn to send for his wife; and he said
to his servant, Go, and entreat my wife to come
to me." "Oh ho! entreat her! said Petruchio.
"Nay, then, she needs must come."--"I am
afraid, sir," said Hortensio, your wife will not be
entreated." But presently this civil husband
looked a little blank, when the servant returned
without his mistress; and he said to him, "How
now Where is my wife ? "-" Sir," said the
servant, my mistress says, you have some goodly





206 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

jest in hand, and therefore she will not come.
She bids you come to her."-" Worse and worse "
said Petruchio; and then he sent his servant, say-
ing, Sirrah, go to your mistress, and tell her I
command her to come to me." The company had
scarcely time to think she would not obey this
summons, when Baptista, all in amaze, exclaimed,
" Now, by my holidame, here comes Katharine! "
and she entered, saying meekly to Petruchio,
"What is your will, sir, that you send for me? "-
",Where is your sister and Hortensio's wife ?" said
he. Katharine replied, "They sit conferring by
the parlour fire."-" Go, fetch them hither said
Petruchio. Away went Katharine without reply
to perform her husband's command. "Here is a
wonder," said Lucentio, "if you talk of a wonder."
-" And so it is," said Hortensio; I marvel
what it bodes."-" Marry, peace it bodes," said
Petruchio, "and love, and quiet life, and right
supremacy; and, to be short, everything that is
sweet and happy." Katharine's father, overjoyed
to see this reformation in his daughter, said, Now,
fair befall thee, son Petruchio you have won the
wager, and I will add another twenty thousand
crowns to her dowry, as if she were another
daughter, for she is changed as if she had never
been."-"- Nay," said Petruchio, "I will win the
wager better yet, and show more signs of her new-
built virtue and obedience." Katharine now
entering with the two ladies, he continued, See
where she comes, and brings your froward wives
as prisoners to her womanly persuasion. Katha-
rine, that cap of yours does not become you; off
with that bauble, and throw it under foot."
Katharine instantly took off her cap, and threw it





THE COMEDY OF ERRORS


down. Lord said Hortensio's wife, may I
never have a cause to sigh till I am brought to
such a silly pass!" And Bianca, she too said,
" Fie, what foolish duty call you this ? On this
Bianca's husband said to her, I wish your duty
were as foolish too The wisdom of your duty,
fair Bianca, has cost me a hundred crowns since
dinner-time."-"The more fool you," said Bianca,
"for laying on my duty."-" Katharine," said
Petruchio, I charge you tell these headstrong
women what duty they owe their lords and hus-
bands." And to the wonder of all present, the
reformed shrewish lady spoke as eloquently in
praise of the wifelike duty of obedience, as she had
practised it implicitly in a ready submission to
Petruchio's will. And Katharine once more be-
came famous in Padua, not as heretofore, as
Katharine the Shrew, but as Katharine the most
obedient and duteous wife in Padua.


THE COMEDY OF ERRORS

THE states of Syracuse and Ephesus being at
variance, there was a cruel law made at
Ephesus, ordaining that if any merchant of Syracuse
was seen in the city of Ephesus, he was to be put
to death, unless he could pay a thousand marks
for the ransom of his life.
.Egeon, an old merchant of Syracuse, was dis-
covered in the streets of Ephesus, and brought
before the duke, either to pay this heavy fine, or to
receive sentence of death.
JEgeon had no money to pay the fine, and the
duke, before he pronounced the sentence of death





208 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

upon him, desired him to relate the history of his
life, and to tell for what cause he had ventured to
come to the city of Ephesus, which it was death
for any Syracusan merchant to enter.
IEgeon said, that he did not fear to die, for
sorrow had made him weary of his life, but that a
heavier task could not have been imposed upon
him than to relate the events of his unfortunate life.
He then began his own history, in the following
words:
I was born at Syracuse, and brought up to the
profession of a merchant. I married a lady, with
whom I lived very happily, but being obliged to
go to Epidamnum, I was detained there by my
business six months, and then, finding I should be
obliged to stay some time longer, I sent for my
wife, who, as soon as she arrived, was brought to
bed of two sons, and what was very strange, they
were both so exactly alike, that it was impossible
to distinguish the one from the other. At the
same time that my wife was brought to bed of these
twin boys, a poor woman in the inn where my wife
lodged was brought to bed of two sons, and these
twins were as much like each other as my two sons
were. The parents of these children being exceed-
ing poor, I bought the two boys, and brought them
up to attend upon my sons.
My sons were very fine children, and my wife
was not a little proud of two such boys: and she
daily wishing to return home, I unwillingly agreed,
and in an evil hour we got on shipboard; for we
had not sailed above a league from Epidamnum
before a dreadful storm arose, which continued with
such violence, that the sailors seeing no chance of
saving the ship, crowded into the boat to save their





THE COMEDY OF ERRORS


own lives, leaving us alone in- the ship,, which we
every moment expected would be destroyed by the
fury of the storm.
The incessant weeping of my wife, and the
piteous complaints of the pretty babes, who, not
knowing what to fear, wept for fashion, because
they saw their mother weep, filled me with terror
for them, though I did not for myself fear death;
and all my thoughts were bent to contrive means
for their safety. I tied my youngest son to the
end of a small spare mast, such as seafaring men
provide against storms; at the other. end I bound
the youngest of the twin slaves, and at the same
time I directed my wife how to fasten the other
children in like manner to another mast. She
thus having the care of the .two eldest children,
and I of the two younger, we bound ourselves
separately to these masts with the children; and
but for this contrivance we had all been lost, for
the ship split on a mighty rock, and was dashed
in pieces; and we,-clinging to these slender masts,
were supported above the water, where I, having
the care of two children, was unable to assist my
wife, who with the other children was soon separ-
ated from. me; but while they were yet in my
sight, they were taken up by a boat of fishermen,
from Corinth (as I supposed), and seeing them in
safety, I had no care but to struggle with the wild
sea-waves, to preserve my dear son and the youngest
slave. At length we, in our turn, were taken up
by a ship, and the sailors, knowing me, gave us
kind welcome and assistance, and landed, us in
safety at Syracuse; but from that sad hour I have
never known what became of my wife and eldest
child.





210 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

My youngest son, and now my only care, when
he was eighteen years of age, began to be inquisitive
after his mother and his brother, and often impor-
tuned me that he might take his attendant, the young
slave, who had also lost his brother, and go in search
of them: at length I unwillingly gave consent, for
though I anxiously desired to hear tidings of my
wife and eldest son, yet in sending my younger one
to find them, I hazarded the loss of him also. It
is now seven years since my son left me; five years
have I passed in travelling through the world in
search of him : I have been in farthest Greece,
and through the bounds of Asia, and coasting home-
wards, I landed here in Ephesus, being unwilling to
leave any place unsought that harbours men; but
this day must end the story of my life, and happy
should I think myself in my death, if I were assured
my wife and sons were living."
Here the hapless JEgeon ended the account of
his misfortunes; and the duke, pitying this unfor-
tunate father, who had brought upon himself this
great peril by his love for his lost son, said, if it
were not against the laws, which his oath and
dignity did not permit him to alter, he would freely
pardon him; yet, instead of dooming him to in-
stant death, as the strict letter of the law required,
he would give him that day to try if he could beg
or borrow the money to pay the fine.
This day of grace did seem no great favour to
/Egeon, for not knowing any man in Ephesus,
there seemed to him but little chance that any
stranger would lend or give him a thousand marks
to pay the fine; and helpless and hopeless of any
relief, he retired from the presence of the duke in
the custody of a jailor.





THE COMEDY OF ERRORS


.ZEgeon supposed he knew no person in Ephesus;
but at the very time he was in danger of losing his
life through the careful search he was making after
his youngest son, that son and his eldest son also
were both in the city of Ephesus.
.ZEgeon's sons, besides being exactly alike in
face and person, were both named alike, being
both called Antipholus, and the two twin slaves
were also both named Dromio. ZEgeon's youngest
son, Antipholus of Syracuse, he whom the old man
had come to Ephesus to seek, happened to arrive
at Ephesus with his slave Dromio that very same
day that _Egeon did; and he being also a mer-
chant of Syracuse, he would have been in the same
danger that his father was, but by good fortune he
met a friend who told him the peril an old mer-
chant of Syracuse was in, and advised him to pass
for a merchant of Epidamnum; this Antipholus
agreed to do, and he was sorry to hear one of his
own countrymen was in this danger, but he little
thought this old merchant was his own father.
The eldest son of _Egeon (who must be called
Antipholus of Ephesus, to distinguish him from his
brother Antipholus of Syracuse) had lived at
Ephesus twenty years, and, being a rich man, was
well able to have paid the money for the ransom of
his father's life; but Antipholus knew nothing of his
father, being so young when he was taken out of the
sea with his mother by the fishermen that he only
remembered he had been so preserved, but he had
no recollection of either his father or his mother;
the fishermen who took up this Antipholus and his
mother and the young slave Dromio, having carried
the two children away from her (to the great grief
of that unhappy lady), intending to sell them.


211





212 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Antipholus and Dromio were sold by them to
duke Menaphon, a famous warrior, who was uncle
to the duke of Ephesus, and he carried the boys to
Ephesus when he went to visit the duke his nephew.
The duke of Ephesus taking a liking to young
Antipholus, when he grew up, made him an officer
in his army, in which he distinguished himself by
his great bravery in the wars, where he saved the
life of his patron the duke, who rewarded his
merit by marrying him to Adriana, a rich lady
of Ephesus; with whom he was living (his slave
Dromio still attending him) at the time his father
came there.
Antipholus of Syracuse, when he parted with his
friend, who advised him to say he came from
Epidamnum, gave his slave Dromio some money to
carry to the inn where he intended to dine, and in
the mean time he said he would walk about and view
the city, and observe the manners of the people.
Dromio was a pleasant fellow, and when Anti-
pholus was dull and melancholy he used to divert
himself with the odd humours and merry jests of
his slave, so that the freedoms of speech he allowed
in. Dromio were greater than is usual between
masters and their servants.
When Antipholus of Syracuse had sent Dromio
away, he stood awhile thinking over his solitary
wanderings in search of his mother and his brother,
of whom in no place where he landed could he
hear the least tidings; and he said sorrowfully to
himself, I am like a drop of water in the ocean,
which seeking to find its fellow drop, loses itself in
the wide sea. So I unhappily, to find a mother and
a brother, do lose myself."
While he was thus meditating on his weary





THE COMEDY OF ERRORS


travels, which had hitherto been so useless, Dromio
(as he thought) returned. Antipholus, wondering
that he came back so soon, asked him where he
had left the money. Now it was not his own
Dromio, but the twin-brother that lived with Anti-
pholus of Ephesus, that he spoke to. The two
Dromios and the two Antipholuses were still as
much alike as 1-Egeon had said they were in their
infancy; therefore no wonder Antipholus thought
it was his own slave returned, and asked him why
he came back so soon. Dromio replied, My
mistress sent me to bid you come to dinner. The
capon burs, and the pig falls from the spit, and the
meat will be all cold if you do not come home."
" These jests are out of season," said Antipholus:
"where did you leave the money?" Dromio still
answering, that his mistress had sent him to fetch
Antipholus to dinner : "What mistress ?" said
Antipholus. "Why, your worship's wife, sir,"
replied Dromio. Antipholus having no wife, he
was very angry with Dromio, and said, Because
I familiarly sometimes chat with you, you presume
to jest with me in this free manner. I am not
in a sportive humour now: where is the money ?
we being strangers here, how dare you trust so
great a charge from your own custody ?" Dromio
hearing his master, as he thought him, talk of
their being strangers, supposing Antipholus was
jesting, replied merrily, "I pray you, sir, jest as
you sit at dinner. I had no charge but to fetch
you home, to dine with my mistress and her sister."
Now Antipholus lost all patience, and beat Dromio
who ran home, and told his mistress that his master
had refused to come to dinner, and said that he
had no wife.





214 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Adriana, the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, was
very angry when she heard that her husband said
he had no wife; for she was of a jealous temper,
and she said her husband meant that he loved
another lady better than herself; and she began
to fret, and say unkind words of jealousy and re-
proach of her husband; and her sister Luciana, who
lived with her, tried in vain to persuade her out of
her groundless suspicions.
Antipholus of Syracuse went to the inn, and
found Dromio with the money in safety there, and
seeing his own Dromio, he was going again to chide
him for his free jests, when Adriana came up to
him, and not doubting but it was her husband she
saw, she began to reproach him for looking strange
upon her (as well he might, never having seen this
angry lady before); and then she told him how
well he loved her before they were married, and
that now he loved some other lady instead of her.
"How comes it now, my husband," said she, 0
how comes it that I have lost your love ? "-" Plead
you to me, fair dame ?" said the astonished Anti-
pholus. It was in vain he told her he was not her
husband, and that he had been in Ephesus but two
hours; she insisted on his going home with her,
and Antipholus at last, being unable to get away,
went with her to his brother's house, and dined with
Adriana and her sister, the one calling him husband,
and the other brother, he, all amazed, thinking he
must have been married to her in his sleep, or that
he was sleeping now. And Dromio, who followed
them, was no less surprised, for the cook-maid,
who was his brother's wife, also claimed him for
her husband.
While Antipholus of Syracuse-was dining with





THE COMEDY OF ERRORS


his brother's wife, his brother, the real husband,
returned home to dinner with his slave Dromio;
but the servants would not open the door, because
their mistress had ordered them not to admit any
company; and when they repeatedly knocked, and
said they were Antipholus and Dromio, the maids
laughed at them, and said that Antipholus was at
dinner with their mistress, and Dromio was in the
kitchen; and though they almost knocked the door
down, they could not gain admittance, and at last
Antipholus went away very angry, and strangely
surprised at hearing a gentleman was dining with
his wife.
When Antipholus of Syracuse had finished his
dinner, he was so perplexed at the lady's still per-
sisting in calling him husband, and at hearing that
Dromio had also been claimed by the cook-maid,
that he left the house, as soon as he could find any
pretence to get away; for though he was very much
pleased with Luciana, the sister, yet the jealous-
tempered Adriana he disliked very much, nor was
Dromio at all better satisfied with his fair wife in
the kitchen : therefore both master and man were
glad to get away from their.new wives as fast as
they could.
The moment Antipholus of Syracuse had left
the house, he was met by a goldsmith, who mis-
taking him, as Adriana had done, for Antipholus of
Ephesus, gave him a gold chain, calling him by his
name; and when Antipholus would have refused
the chain, saying it did not belong to him, the
goldsmith replied he made it by his own orders;
and went away, leaving the chain in the hands of
Antipholus, who ordered his man Dromio to get
his things on board a ship, not choosing to stay in





216 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

a place any longer, where he- met with such strange
adventures that he surely thought himself bewitched.
The goldsmith who had given the chain to the
wrong Antipholus, was arrested immediately after
for a sum of money he owed; and Antipholus, the
married brother, to whom the goldsmith thought he
had given the chain, happened to come to the place
where the officer was arresting the goldsmith, who,
when he saw Antipholus, asked him to pay for the
gold chain he had just delivered to him, the price
amounting to nearly the same sum as that for which
he had been -arrested. Antipholus denying the
having received the chain, and the goldsmith per-
sisting to declare that he had but a few minutes
before given it to him, they disputed this matter a
long time, both thinking they were right: for
Antipholus knew the goldsmith never gave him
the chain, and so like were the two brothers, the
goldsmith was as certain he had delivered the chain
into his hands, till at last the officer took the gold-
smith away to prison for the debt he owed, and at
the same time the goldsmith made the officer arrest
Antipholus for the price of the chain; so that at
the conclusion of their dispute, Antipholus and the
merchant were both taken away to prison together.
As Antipholus was going to prison, he met
Dromio of Syracuse, his brother's slave, and mis-
taking him for his own, he ordered him to go to
Adriana his wife, and tell her to send the money
for which he was arrested. Dromio wondering
that his master should send him back to the
strange house where he dined, and from which he
had just before been in such haste to depart, did not
dare to reply, though he came to tell his master
the ship was ready to sail: for he saw Antipholus





-THE COMEDY OF ERRORS


was in no humour to be jested with. Therefore
he went away, grumbling within himself, that he
must return to Adriana's house, "Where," said
he, "Dowsabel claims me for a husband: but I
must go, for servants must obey their masters'
commands."
Adriana gave him the money, and as Dromio
was returning, he met Antipholus of Syracuse, who
was still in amaze at the surprising adventures he
met with; for his brother being well known in
Ephesus, there was hardly a man he met in the
streets but saluted him as an old acquaintance:
some offered him money which they said was owing
to him, some invited him to come and see them, and
some gave him thanks for kindnesses they said he
had done them, all mistaking him for his brother.
A tailor showed him some silks he had bought for
him, and insisted upon taking measure of him for
some clothes.
Antipholus began to think he was among a nation
of sorcerers and witches, and Dromio did not at all
relieve his master from his bewildered thoughts, by
asking him how he got free from the officer who
was carrying him to prison, and giving him the
purse of gold which Adriana had sent to pay the
debt with. This talk of Dromio's of the arrest
and of a prison, and of the money he had brought
from Adriana, perfectly confounded Antipholus,
and he said, "This fellow Dromio is certainly dis-
tracted, and we wander here in illusions; and
quite terrified at his own confused thoughts, he
cried out, "Some blessed power deliver us from
this strange place "
And now another stranger came up to him, and
she was a lady, and she too called him Antipholus,




218 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

and told him he had dined with her that day, and
asked him for a gold chain which she said he had
promised to give her. Antipholus now lost all
patience, and calling her a sorceress, he denied that
he had ever promised her a chain, or dined with
her, or had even seen her face before that moment.
The lady persisted in affirming he had dined with
her, and had promised her a chain, which Antipholus
still denying, she further said, that she had given
him a valuable ring, and if he would not give her
the gold chain, she insisted upon having her own
ring again. On this Antipholus became quite frantic,
and again calling her sorceress and witch, and
denying all knowledge of her or her ring, ran away
from her, leaving her astonished at his words and
his wild looks, for nothing to her appeared more
certain than that he had dined with her, and that
she had given him a ring, in consequence of his
promising to make her a present of a gold chain.
But this lady had fallen into the same mistake the
others had done, for she had taken him for his
brother: the married Antipholus had done all the
things she taxed this Antipholus with.
When the married Antipholus was denied entrance
into his own house (those within supposing him to
Sbe already there), he had gone away very angry,
believing it to be one of his wife's jealous freaks, to
which she was very subject, and remembering that
she had often falsely accused him of visiting other
ladies, he, to be revenged on her for shutting him
out of his own house, determined to go and dine
with this lady, and she receiving him with great
civility, and his wife having so highly offended him,
Antipholus promised to give her a gold chain, which
he had intended as a present for his wife; it was





THE COMEDY OF ERRORS.


the same chain which the goldsmith by mistake had
given to his brother. The lady liked so well the
thoughts of having a fine gold chain, that she gave
the married Antipholus a ring; which when as she
supposed (taking his brother for him), he denied,
and said he did not know her, and left her in such
a wild passion, she began to think he was certainly
out of his senses; and presently she resolved to go
and tell Adriana that her husband was mad. And
while she was telling it to Adriana, he came,
attended by the jailor (who allowed him to come
home to get the money to pay the debt), for the
purse of money, which Adriana had sent by Dromio,
and he had delivered to the other Antipholus.
Adriana believed the story the lady told her of
her husband's madness must be true, when he re-
proached her for shutting him out of his own house;
and remembering how he had protested all dinner-
time that he was not her husband, and had never
been in Ephesus till that day, she had no doubt
that he was mad ; she therefore paid the jailor the
money, and having discharged him, she ordered
her servants to bind her husband with ropes, and
had him conveyed into a dark room, and sent for
a doctor to come and cure him of his madness:
Antipholus all the while hotly exclaiming against
this false accusation, which the exact likeness he
bore to his brother had brought upon him. But
his rage only the more confirmed them in the
belief that he was mad; and Dromio persisting in
the same story, they bound him also, and took him
away along with his master.
Soon after Adriana had put her husband into con-
finement, a servant came to tell her that Antipholus
and Dromio must .have broken loose from their





220 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

keepers, for that they were both walking at liberty
in the next street. On hearing this, Adriana ran
out to fetch him home, taking some people with her
to secure her husband again; and her sister went
along with her. When they. came to the gates of
a convent in their neighbourhood, there they saw
Antipholus and Dromio, as they thought, being again
deceived by the likeness of the twin-brothers.
Antipholus of Syracuse was still beset with the
perplexities this likeness had brought upon him.
The chain which the goldsmith had given him was
about his neck, and the goldsmith was reproaching
him for denying that he had it, and refusing to pay
for it, and Antipholus was protesting that the gold-
smith freely gave him the chain in the morning,
and that from that hour he had never seen the
goldsmith again.
And now Adriana came up to him and claimed
him as her lunatic husband, who had escaped from
his keepers; and the men she brought with her
were going to lay violent hands on Antipholus
and Dromio; but they ran into the convent, and
Antipholus begged the abbess to give him shelter
in her house.
And now came out the lady abbess herself to
inquire into the cause of this disturbance. She was
a grave and venerable lady, and wise to judge of
what she saw, and she would not too hastily give
up the man who had sought protection in her house;
so she strictly questioned the wife about the story
she told of her husband's madness, and she said,
"What is the cause of this sudden distemper of
your husband's? Has he lost his wealth at sea?
Or is it the death of some dear friend that has
disturbed his mind ?" Adriana replied, that no such





THE COMEDY OF ERRORS


things as these had been the cause. Perhaps,"
said the abbess, "he has fixed his affections on
some other lady than you his wife; and that has
driven him to this state." Adriana said she had
long thought the love of some other lady was the
cause of his frequent absences from home. Now
it was not his love for another, but the teasing
jealousy of his wife's temper, that often obliged
Antipholus to leave his home; and (the abbess
suspecting this from the vehemence of Adriana's
manner) to learn the truth, she said, You should
have reprehended him for this."-" Why, so I did,"
replied Adriana. "Ay," said the abbess, "but
perhaps not enough." Adriana, willing to convince
the abbess that she had said enough to Antipholus
on this subject, replied, It was the constant subject
of our conversation : in bed I would not let him
sleep for speaking of it. At table I would not let
him eat for speaking of it. When I was alone
with him, I talked of nothing else; and in company
I gave him frequent hints of it. Still all my talk
was how vile and bad it was in him to love any
lady better than me."
The lady abbess, having drawn this full con-
fession from the jealous Adriana, now said, And
therefore comes it that your husband is mad. The
venomous clamour of a jealous woman is a more
deadly poison than a mad dog's tooth. It seems
his sleep was hindered by your railing; no wonder
that his head is light: and his meat was sauced
with your upbraidings; unquiet meals make ill
digestions, and that has thrown him into this fever.
You say his sports were disturbed by your brawls;
being debarred from the enjoyment of society and
recreation, what 'could ensue but dull melancholy





222 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE


and comfortless despair ? The consequence is then,
that your jealous fits have made your husband mad."
Luciana would have excused her sister, saying,
she always reprehended her husband mildly; and
she said to her sister, "Why do you hear these
rebukes without answering them ?" But the abbess
had made her so plainly perceive her fault, that she
could only answer, "She has betrayed me to my
own reproof."
Adriana, though ashamed of her own conduct,
still, insisted on having her husband delivered up
to her; but the abbess would suffer no person to
enter her house, nor would she deliver up this un-
happy man to the care of the jealous wife, deter-
mining herself to use gentle means for his recovery,
and she retired into her house again, and ordered
her gates to be shut against them.
During the course of this eventful day, in which
so many errors had happened from the likeness the
twin brothers bore to each other, old -Egeon's day
of grace was passing away, it being now near sun-
set; and at sunset he was doomed to die, if he
could not pay the money.
The place of his execution was near this convent,
and here he arrived just as the abbess retired into
the convent; the duke attending in person, that if
any offered to pay the money,.he might be present
to pardon him.
Adriana stopped this melancholy procession, and
cried out to the duke for justice, telling him that
the abbess had refused to deliver up her lunatic
husband to her care. While she was speaking, her
real husband and his servant Dromio, who had got
loose, came before the duke to demand justice,
complaining that his wife had confined him on a





THE COMEDY OF ERRORS


false charge of lunacy; and telling in what manner
he had broken his bands, and eluded the vigilance
of his keepers. Adriana was strangely surprised to
see her husband, when she thought he had been
within the convent.
Egeon, seeing his son, concluded this was the
son who had left him to go in search of his mother
and his brother; and he felt secure that this dear
son would readily pay the money demanded for his
ransom. He therefore spoke to Antipholus in
words of fatherly affection, with joyful hope that he
should now be released. But to the utter astonish-
ment of /Egeon, his son denied all knowledge of
him, as well he might, for this Antipholus had never
seen his father since they were separated in the
storm in his infancy; but while the poor old .Egeon
was in vain endeavouring to make his son acknow-
ledge him, thinking surely that either his griefs and
the anxieties he had suffered had so strangely
altered him that his son did not know him, or else
that he was ashamed to acknowledge his father in
his misery; in the midst of this perplexity, the lady
abbess and the other Antipholus and Dromio came
out, and the wondering Adriana saw two husbands
and two Dromios standing before her.
And now these riddling errors, which had so per-
plexed them all, were clearly made out. When the
duke saw the two Antipholuses and the two Dromios
both so exactly alike, he at once conjectured aright
of these seeming mysteries, for he remembered the
story 1Egeon had told him in the morning; and
he said, these men must be the two sons of lEgeon
and their twin slaves.
But now an unlooked-for joy indeed completed
the history of JEgeon; and the tale he had in the





224 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

morning told in sorrow, and under sentence of
death, before the setting sun went down was
brought to a happy conclusion, for the venerable
lady abbess made herself known to be the long-lost
wife of JEgeon, and the fond mother of the two
Antipholuses.
When the fishermen took the eldest Antipholus
and Dromio away from her, she entered a nunnery,
and by her wise and virtuous conduct, she was at
length made lady abbess of this convent, and in
discharging the rites of hospitality to an unhappy
stranger she had unknowingly protected her own
son.
Joyful congratulations and affectionate greetings
between these long separated parents and their
children made them for a while forget that _Egeon
was yet under sentence of death; but when they
were become a little calm, Antipholus of Ephesus
offered the duke the ransom money for his father's
life; but the duke freely pardoned .iEgeon, and
would not take the money. And the duke went with
the abbess and her newly-found husband and children
into the convent, to hear this happy family discourse
at leisure of the blessed ending of their adverse for-
tunes. And the two Dromios' humble joy must
not be forgotten; they had their congratulations
and greetings too, and each Dromio pleasantly com-
plimented his brother on his good looks, being well
pleased to see his own person (as in a glass) show
so handsome in his brother.
SAdriana had so well profited by the good coun-
.sel of her mother-in-law, that she never after
cherished unjust suspicions, or was jealous of her
husband.
SAntipholus of Syracuse married the fair Luciana,





MEASURE FOR MEASURE


the sister of his brother's wife; and the good old
lEgeon, with his wife and sons, lived at Ephesus
many years. Nor did the unravelling of these per-
plexities so entirely remove every ground of mis-
take for the future, but that sometimes, to remind
them of adventures past, comical blunders would
happen, and the one Antipholus, and the one
Dromio, be mistaken for the other, making alto-
gether a pleasant and diverting Comedy of Errors.


MEASURE FOR MEASURE

J N the city of Vienna there once reigned a duke
of such a mild and gentle temper, that he
suffered his subjects to neglect the laws with im-
punity; and there was in particular one law, the
existence of which was almost forgotten, the duke
never having put it in force during his whole reign.
This was a law dooming any man to the punishment
of death, who should live with a woman that was
not his wife; and this law, through the lenity of
the duke, being utterly disregarded, the holy in-
stitution of marriage became neglected, and com-
plaints were every day made to the duke by the
parents of the young ladies in Vienna, that their
daughters had been seduced from their protection,
and were living as the companions of single men.
The good duke perceived with sorrow this grow-
ing evil among his subjects; but he thought that
a sudden- change in himself from the indulgence he
had hitherto shown, to the strict severity requisite
to check this abuse, would make his people (who
had hitherto loved him) consider him as a tyrant;
therefore he determined to absent himself a while





226 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

from his dukedom, and depute another to the full
exercise of his power, that the law against these
dishonourable lovers might be put in effect, with-
out giving offence by an unusual severity in his own
person.
Angelo, a man who bore the reputation of a
saint in Vienna for his strict and rigid life, was
chosen by the duke as a fit person to undertake
this important charge; and when the duke imparted
his design to lord Escalus, his chief counsellor,
Escalus said, If any man in Vienna be of worth
to undergo such ample grace and honour, it is lord
Angelo." And now the duke departed from Vienna
under pretence of making a journey into Poland,
leaving Angelo to act as the lord deputy in his
absence; but the duke's absence was only a feigned
one, for he privately returned to Vienna, habited
like a friar, with the intent to watch unseen the
conduct of the saintly-seeming Angelo.
It happened just about the time that Angelo
was invested with his new dignity, that a gentle-
man, whose name was Claudio, had seduced a
young lady from her parents ; and for this offence,
by command of the new lord deputy, Claudio was
taken up and committed:to prison, and by virtue of
the old law which had been so long neglected,
Angelo sentenced Claudio to be beheaded. Great
interest was made for the pardon of young Claudio,
and the good old lord Escalus himself interceded
for him. "Alas," said he, "this gentleman whom
I would save had an honourable father, for whose
sake I pray you pardon the young man's transgres-
sion." But Angelo replied, "We must not make
a scare-crow of the law, setting it up to frighten
birds of prey, till custom, finding it harmless, makes





MEASURE FOR MEASURE


it their perch, and not their terror. Sir, he must
die."
Lucio, the friend of Claudio, visited him in the
prison, and Claudio said to him, "1 pray you,
Lucio, do me this kind service. Go to my sister
Isabel, who this day proposes to enter the convent
of Saint Clare; acquaint her with the danger of
my state ; implore her that she make friends with
the strict deputy; bid her go herself to Angelo.
I have great hopes in that; for she can discourse
with prosperous art, and well she can persuade;
besides, there is a speechless dialect in youthful
sorrow, such as moves men."
Isabel, the sister of Claudio, had, as he said,
that day entered upon her noviciate in the convent,
and it was her intent, after passing through her
probation as a novice, to take the veil, and she was
inquiring of a nun concerning the rules of the con-
vent, when they heard the voice of Lucio, who, as
he entered that religious house, said, Peace be
in this place "-"1 Who is it that speaks?" said
Isabel. "It is a man's voice," replied the nun:
" Gentle Isabel, go to him, and learn his business;
you may, I may not. When you have taken the
veil, you must not speak with men but in the pre-
sence of the prioress; then if you speak you must
not show your face, or if you show your face, you
must not speak."-" And have you nuns no further
privileges?" said Isabel. Are not these large
enough?" replied the nun. "Yes, truly," said
Isabel: "I speak not as desiring more, but rather
wishing a more strict restraint upon the sisterhood,
the votarists of Saint Clare." Again they heard
the voice of Lucio, and the nun said, He calls
again. I pray you answer him." Isabel then went




228 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

out to Lucio, and in answer to his salutation, said,
"Peace and Prosperity! Who is it that calls?"
Then Lucio, approaching her with reverence, said,
" Hail, virgin, if such you be, as the roses on your
cheeks proclaim you are no less! can you bring
me to the sight of Isabel, a novice of this place,
and the fair sister to her unhappy brother Claudio ?"
-"' Why her unhappy brother ?" said Isabel, "let
me ask! for I am that Isabel, and his sister."-
"Fair and gentle lady," he replied, "your brother
kindly greets you by me; he is in prison."-" Woe
is me for what?" said Isabel. Lucio then told
her, Claudio was imprisoned for seducing a young
maiden. Ah," said she, "I fear it is my cousin
Juliet." Juliet and Isabel were not related, but
they called each other cousin in remembrance of
their school days' friendship; and as Isabel knew
that Juliet loved Claudio, she feared she had been
led by her affection for him into this transgression.
"She it is," replied Lucio. "Why then, let my
brother marry Juliet," said Isabel. Lucio replied
that Claudio would gladly marry Juliet, but that
the lord deputy had sentenced him to die for his
offence; "Unless," said he, "you have the grace
by your fair prayer to soften Angelo, and that is
my business between you and your poor brother."
-" Alas! said Isabel, what poor ability is there
in me to do him good? I doubt I have no power
to move Angelo."-" Our doubts are traitors," said
Lucio, "and make us lose the good we might often
win, by fearing to attempt it. Go to lord Angelo!
When maidens sue, and kneel, and weep, men give
like gods."-" I will see what I can do," said
Isabel: "I will but stay to give the prioress notice
of the affair, and then I will go to Angelo. Comn-





MEASURE FOR MEASURE


mend me to my brother: soon at night I will
send him word of my success."
Isabel hastened to the palace, and threw herself
on her knees before Angelo, saying, "I am a woful
suitor to your honour, if it will please your honour
to hear me."-"Well, what is your suit?" said
Angelo. She then made her petition in the most
moving terms for her brother's life. But Angelo
said, "Maiden, there is no remedy; your brother
is sentenced, and he must die."-" 0 just, but
severe law," said Isabel : I had a brother then
-Heaven keep your honour and she was about.
to depart. But Lucio, who had accompanied her,
said, "Give it not over so; return to him again,
entreat him, kneel down before him,. hang upon his
gown. You are too cold; if you should,need a
pin, you could not with a more tame tongue desire
it." Then again Isabel on her knees implored for
mercy. He is sentenced," said Angelo: "iit.is
too late."-" Too late said Isabel: "Why, no:
I that do speak a word may call it back again.
Believe this, my lord, no ceremony that to great
ones belongs, not the king's crown, nor the deputed
sword, the marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's
robe, becomes them with one half so good a grace
as mercy does."-" Pray you begone," said Angelo.
But still Isabel entreated; and she said, If my
brother had been as you, and you as he, you might
have slipped like him, but he, like you, would not
have been so stern. I would to heaven I had
your power, and you were Isabel. Should it then
be thus? No, I would tell you what it were to be
a judge, and what a prisoner."-" Be content, fair
maid said Angelo: it is the law, not I, con-
demns your brother. Were he my kinsman, my





230 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

brother, or my son, it should be thus with him.
He must die to-morrow."-" To-morrow? said
Isabel; Oh, that is sudden: spare him, spare
him; he is not prepared for death. Even for our
kitchens we kill the fowl in season; shall we serve
Heaven with less respect than we minister to our
gross selves? Good, good, my lord, bethink you,
none have died for my brother's offence, though
many have committed it. So you would be the
first that gives this sentence, and he the first that
suffers it. Go to your own bosom, my lord;
knock there, and ask your heart what it does know
that is like my brother's fault; if it confess a natural
guiltiness such as his is, let it not sound a thought
against my brother's life Her last words more
moved Angelo than all she had before said, for the
beauty of Isabel had raised a guilty passion in his
heart, and he began to form thoughts of dishonour-
able love, such as Claudio's crime had been; and
the conflict in his mind made him to turn away
from Isabel; but she called him back, saying,
"Gentle my lord, turn back; hark, how I will
bribe you. Good my lord, turn back! "-9" How,
bribe me! "' said Angelo, astonished that she
should think of offering him a bribe. "Ay," said
Isabel, with such gifts that Heaven itself shall
share with you; not with golden treasures, or those
glittering stones, whose price is either rich or poor
as fancy values them, but with true prayers that
shall be up to Heaven before sunrise,-prayers
from preserved souls, from fasting maids whose
minds are dedicated to nothing temporal."-" Well,
come to me to-morrow," said Angelo. And for
this short respite of her brother's life, and for this
permission that she might be heard again, she left





MEASURE FOR MEASURE


him with the joyful hope that she should at last
prevail over his stern nature: and as she went
away she said, Heaven keep your honour safe!
Heaven save your honour Which when Angelo
heard, he said within his heart, "Amen, I would
be saved from thee and from thy virtues:" and
then, affrighted at his own evil thoughts, he said,
"Whatis this? What is this? Do I love her,
that I desire to hear her speak again, and feast
upon her eyes? What is it I dream on ? The
cunning enemy of mankind, to catch a saint, with
saints does bait the hook. Never could.an im-
modest woman once stir my temper, but this
virtuous woman subdues me quite. Even till now,
when men were fond, I smiled and wondered at
them."
In the guilty conflict in his mind Angelo suffered
more that night than the prisoner he had so severely
sentenced; for in the prison Claudio was visited by
the good duke, who, in his friar's habit, taught the
young man the way to heaven, preaching to him the
words of penitence and peace. But Angelo felt all
the pangs of irresolute guilt: now wishing to seduce
Isabel from the paths of innocence and honour, and
now suffering remorse and horror for a crime as yet
but intentional But in the end his evil thoughts
prevailed;, and he who had so lately started at the
offer of a bribe, resolved to tempt this maiden with
so high a bribe, as she might not be able to resist,
even with the precious gift of her dear brother's
life.
When Isabel came in the morning, Angelo de-
sired she might be admitted alone to his:presence:
and being there, he said to her, if she would yield
to him her virgin honour and transgress even as





232 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Juliet had done with Claudio, he would give her
her brother's life; For," said he, I love you,
Isabel."-" My brother," said Isabel, "did so love
Juliet, and yet you tell me he shall die for it."-
" But," said Angelo, "Claudio shall not die, if
you will consent to visit me by stealth at night,
even as Juliet left her father's house at night to
come to Claudio." Isabel, in amazement at his
words, that he should tempt her to the same fault
for which he passed sentence upon her brother,
said, "I would do as much for my poor brother
as for myself; that is, were I under sentence of
death, the impression of keen whips I would wear
as rubies, and go to my death as to a bed that
longing I had been sick for, ere I would yield my-
self up to this shame." And then she told him,
she hoped he only spoke these words to try her
virtue. But he said, Believe me, on my honour,
my words express my purpose." Isabel, angered
to the heart to hear him use the word Honour to
express such dishonourable purposes, said, Ha!
little honour to be much believed; and most per-
nicious purpose. I will proclaim thee, Angelo,
look for it! Sign me a present pardon for my
brother, or I will tell the world aloud what man
thou art! "-" Who will believe you, Isabel ?"
said Angelo; my unsoiled name, the austereness
of my life, my word vouched against yours, will
outweigh your accusation. Redeem your brother
by yielding to my will, or he shall die to-morrow.
As for you, say what you can, my false will over-
weigh your true story. Answer me to-morrow."
To whom should I complain ? Did I tell this,
who would believe me?" said Isabel, as she went
towards the dreary prison where her brother was





MEASURE FOR MEASURE


confined. When she arrived there, her brother was
in pious conversation with the duke, who, in his
friar's habit had also visited Juliet, and brought both
these guilty lovers to a proper sense of their fault;
and unhappy Juliet with tears and a true remorse
confessed that she was more to blame than Claudio,
in that she willingly consented to his dishonourable
solicitations.
As Isabel entered the room where Claudio was
confined, she said, Peace be here, grace, and good
company I "-" Who is there ? said the disguised
duke; come in; the wish deserves a welcome."-
" My business is a word or two with Claudio," said
Isabel. Then the duke left them together, and
desired the provost, who had the charge of the
prisoners, to place him where he might overhear
their conversation.
"Now, sister, what is the comfort ?" said Claudio.
Isabel told him he must prepare for death on the
morrow. "Is there no remedy?" said Claudio.
-"Yes, brother," replied Isabel, "there is; but
such a one, as if you consented to it would strip
your honour from you, and leave you naked."-"Let
me. know the point," said Claudio. O, I do fear
you Claudio !" replied his sister; "and I quake,
lest you should wish to live, and more respect the
trifling term of six or seven winters added to your
life, than your perpetual honour Do you dare to
die? The sense of death is most in apprehension,
and the poor beetle that we tread upon, feels a pang
as great as when a giant dies." "Why do you
give me this shame ? said Claudio. Think you,
I can fetch a resolution from flowery tenderness?
If I must die, I will encounter darkness as a bride,
and hug it in my arms,"--' There spoke my





234 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

brother," said Isabel; there my father's grave did
utter forth a voice. Yes, you must die; yet would
you think it, Claudio this outward sainted deputy,
if I would yield to him my virgin honour, would
grant your life. 0, were it but my life, I would lay
it down for your deliverance as frankly as a pin !"
-",Thanks, dear Isabel," said Claudio. "Be
ready to die to-morrow," said Isabel. "Death is a
fearful'thing," said Claudio. "And shamed life a
hateful," replied his sister. But the thoughts of
death now overcame the constancy of Claudio's
temper, and terrors, such as the guilty only at their
deaths do know, assailing him, he cried out, Sweet
sister, let me live! The sin you do to save a
brother's life, nature dispenses with the deed so far,
that it becomes a virtue."-" 0 faithless coward !
O dishonest wretch!" said Isabel; "would you
preserve your life by your sister's shame ? 0 fie,
fie, fie! I thought, my brother, you had in you
such a mind of honour, that had you twenty heads
to render up on twenty blocks, you would have
yielded them up all, before your sister should stoop
to such dishonour." Nay, hear me, Isabel! said
Claudio. .But what he would have said in defence
of his weakness, in desiring to live by the dishonour
of his virtuous sister, was interrupted by the entrance
of the duke; who said, "Claudio, I have over-
heard what has passed between you and your sister.
Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her;
what he said, has only been to make trial of her
virtue. She having the truth of honour in her, has
given him that gracious denial which he is most
glad to receive. There is no hope that he will
pardon you; therefore pass your hours in prayer,
and make ready for death." Then Claudio re-





MEASURE FOR MEASURE


pented of his weakness, and said, Let me ask
my sister's pardon I am 'so out of love with life,
that I will sue to be rid of it." And Claudio re-
tired, overwhelmed with shame and sorrow for his
fault.
The duke being now alone with Isabel, com-
mended her virtuous resolution, saying, The hand
that made you fair, has made you good."-" O,"
said Isabel, how much is the good duke deceived
in Angelo! if ever he return, and I can speak to
him, I will discover his government." Isabel knew
not that she was even now making the discovery
she threatened. The duke replied, "That shall
not be much amiss; yet as the matter now stands,
Angelo will repel your accusation; therefore lend
an attentive ear to my advisings. I believe that
you may most righteously do a poor wronged lady
a merited benefit, redeem your brother from the
angry law, do no stain to your own most gracious
person, and much please the absent duke, if per-
adventure he shall ever return to have notice of
this business." Isabel said, she had a spirit to do
anything he desired, provided it was nothing wrong.
"-Virtue is bold, and never fearful," said the duke:
and then he asked her, if she had ever heard of
Mariana, the sister of Frederick, the great soldier
who was drowned at sea. "I have heard of the
lady," said Isabel, "and good words went with her
name."-" This lady," said the duke, "is the wife
of Angelo'; -but her marriage dowry was on board
the vessel in which her brother perished, and mark
how heavily this befell to the poor gentlewoman!
for, beside the loss of a most noble and renowned
brother, who in his love towards her was ever most
kind and natural, in the wreck of her fortune she
Q





236 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

lost the affections of her husband, the well-seeming
Angelo; who pretending to discover some dis-
honour in this honourable lady (though the true
cause was the loss of her dowry) left her in her
tears, and dried not one of them with his comfort.
His unjust unkindness, that in all reason should
have quenched her love, has, like an impediment
in the current, made it more unruly, and Mariana
loves her cruel husband with the full continuance
of her first affection." The duke then more plainly
unfolded his plan. It was, that Isabel should go
to lord Angelo, and seemingly consent to come to
him as he desired at midnight; that by this means
she would obtain the promised pardon; and that
Mariana should go in her stead to the appointment,
and pass herself upon Angelo in the dark for Isabel.
"Nor, gentle daughter," said the feigned friar,
"fear you to do this thing; Angelo is her husband,
and to bring.them thus together is no sin." Isabel
being pleased with this project, departed to do as
he directed her; and he went to apprise Mariana
of their intention. He had before this time visited
this unhappy lady in his assumed character, giving
her religious instruction and friendly consolation,
at which times he had learned her sad story from
her own lips; and now she, looking upon him as a
holy man, readily consented to be directed by him
in this undertaking.
When Isabel returned from her interview with
Angelo, to the house of Mariana, where the duke
had appointed her to meet him, he said, "Well
met, and in good time; what is the news from this
good deputy ? Isabel related the manner in which
she had settled the affair. "Angelo," said she,
"has a garden surrounded with a brick wall, on





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the western side of which is a vineyard, and to that
vineyard is a.gate." And then she showed to the
duke and Mariana two keys that Angelo had given
her; and she said, "This bigger key opens the vine-
yard gate-;t this other a little door which leads from
the vineyard to the garden. There I have made
my promise at the dead of the night to call upon
him, and have got from him his word of assurance
for my brother's life. I have taken a due and
wary note of the place; .and with whispering and'
most guilty diligence he showed me the way twice
over."-"' Are there no other tokens agreed upon
between you, that Mariana must observe ?" said
the duke. "No, none," said Isabel, "only to go
when it is dark.' I have told him my'time can be
but short; for I have made him think a servant
comes along with me, and that this servant is per-
suaded I come about my brother." The duke
commended her discreet management, and she,
turning to Mariana, said, "Little have you to say
to Angelo, when you depart from him, but soft and
low, Remember now, my brother !"
Mariana was that night conducted to the ap-
pointed place by Isabel, who rejoiced that she had,
as she supposed, by this device preserved both her
brother's life and her own honour. But that her
brother's life was safe the duke was not well satisfied,
and therefore at midnight he again repaired-to the
prison, and it was well for Claudio that he did so,
else would Claudio have that night been beheaded:;
for soon after the duke entered the prison, an order
came from the cruel deputy, commanding that
Claudio should be beheaded, and his head sent to
him by five o'clock in the morning. But the duke
persuaded the provost to put off the execution of





238 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Claudio, and to deceive Angelo, by sending him
the head of a man who died that morning in the
prison. And to prevail upon the provost to agree
to this, the duke, whom still the provost suspected
not to be anything more or greater than he seemed,
showed the provost a letter written with the duke's
hand, and sealed with his seal, which when the
provost saw, he concluded this friar must have some
secret order from the absent duke, and therefore
he consented to spare Claudio; and he cut off the
dead man's head, and carried it to Angelo. -
Then the duke in his own.name, wrote to Angelo
a letter, saying, that certain accidents had put-a
stop to his journey, and that he should be in Vienna
by the following morning, requiring Angelo to meet
him at the entrance of the city, there to deliver up
his authority; and the duke also commanded it to
be proclaimed, that if any of his subjects craved
redress for injustice, they should exhibit their peti-
tions in the street on his first entrance into the city.
Early in the morning Isabel came to the prison,
and the duke, who there awaited her coming, for
secret reasons thought it good to tell her that
Claudio was beheaded; therefore when- Isabel in-
quired if Angelo had sent the pardon for her
brother, he said, "'Angelo has released Claudio
from this world. His head is off, and sent to the
deputy." The much-grieved sister cried out, 0
unhappy Claudio, wretched Isabel, injurious world,
most wicked Angelo! The seeming friar bid
her take comfort, and when she was become a
little calm, he acquainted her with the near prospect
of the duke's return, and told her in what manner
she should proceed .in preferring her complaint
against Angelo; and he bade her not fear if the





MEASURE FOR MEASURE


cause should:seem to go against her for a while.
Leaving Isabel sufficiently instructed, he next went
to Mariana, and gave her counsel :in what manner
she also should act.
Then the duke laid aside his friar's habit, and in
his own royal robes, amidst a joyful crowd of his
faithful subjects, assembled to greet his arrival,
entered the city of Vienna, where he was met by
Angelo, who delivered up his authority in the
proper form. And there came Isabel, in the
manner of a petitioner for redress, and said,
" Justice, most royal duke! I am the sister of one
Claudio, who, for the seducing-a young maid, was
condemned to lose his head. I made my suit to
lord Angelo for my brother's pardon. It were
needless to tell your grace how I prayed :and
kneeled, how he repelled me, and how I replied;
for this was of much length. The vile conclusion I
now begin with grief and shame to utter. Angelo
would not but by my yielding to his dishonourable
love release my brother; and after much debate
within myself, my sisterly remorse overcame my
virtue, and I did yield to him. But the next morn-
ing betimes, Angelo, forfeiting his promise, sent a
warrant for my poor brother's head !" The duke
affected to disbelieve her story; and Angelo said
that grief for her brother's death, who had suffered
by the due course of the law, had disordered her
senses. And now another suitor approached, which
was Mariana; and Mariana said, "Noble prince,
as there comes light from heaven, and truth from
breath, as there is sense in truth and truth in
virtue, I am this man's wife, and, my good lord,
the words of Isabel are false; for the night she
says she was with Angelo, I passed that night with





240 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

him in the garden-house. As this is true, let me
in safety rise, or else for ever be fixed here a marble
monument." Then did Isabel appeal for the truth
of what she had said to friar Lodowick, that being
the .name the duke had assumed. in his disguise.
Isabel and Mariana had both obeyed his instruc-
tions in what they said, the duke intending that
the innocence of Isabel should be plainly proved
in that public manner before the whole city of
Vienna; but Angelo little thought that it was
from such a cause that they thus differed in their
story, and he hoped from their contradictory evidence
to be able to clear himself from the accusation of
Isabel; and he said, assuming the look of offended
innocence, "I did but smile till now; but, good my
lord, my patience here is touched, and I perceive
these poor distracted women are but the instru-
ments of some greater one, who sets them- on.
Let me have way, my lord, to find this practice
out."-"Ay, with all my heart," said the duke,
" and punish them to the height of your pleasure.
You, lord Escalus, sit with lord Angelo, lend: him
your pains to discover this abuse; the friar is sent
for that set them on, and when he comes, do with
your injuries as may seem best in any chastise-
ment. I for a while will leave you, but stir not
you, lord Angelo, till you have well determined
upon this slander." The duke then went away,
leaving Angelo well pleased to be deputed judge
and umpire in his own cause. But the duke was
absent only while he threw off his royal robes and
put on his friar's habit; and in that disguise again
he presented himself before Angelo and Escalus :
and the good old Escalus, who thought Angelo
had been falsely accused, said to the. supposed




MEASURE FOR MEASURE


friar, "Come, sir, did you set these women on to
slander lord Angelo?" He replied, Where is
the duke ? It is he should hear me speak."
Escalus said, The duke: is in us, and we will hear
you. Speak justly."-" Boldly at least," retorted
the friar; and then he blamed the duke for leaving
the cause of Isabel in the hands of him she had
accused, and spoke so freely of many corrupt
practices he had observed, while, as he said, he
had been a looker-on in Vienna, that Escalus
threatened him with the torture for speaking words
against the state, and for censuring the conduct of
the duke, and ordered him to be taken away to
prison. Then, to the amazement of all present,
and to the utter confusion of Angelo, the supposed
friar threw off his disguise, and they saw it was the
duke himself.
The duke first addressed Isabel. He said to
her, Come hither, Isabel. Your friar is now your
prince, but with my habit I have not changed
my heart. I am still devoted to your service."
SO0 give me pardon," said Isabel, that I, your
vassal, have employed and troubled your unknown
sovereignty." He answered that he had most
need of forgiveness from her, for not having pre-
vented the death of her brother-for not yet would
he tell her that Claudio was living; meaning first
to make a further trial of her goodness. Angelo
now knew the duke had been a secret witness of
his bad deeds, and he said, "0 my dread lord, I
should be guiltier than my guiltiness, to think I
can be undiscernible, when I perceive your grace,
like power divine, has looked upon my actions.
Then, good prince, no longer prolong my shame,
but let my trial be my own confession. Immediate





242 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

sentence..and death is all the grace I beg.'" The
duke replied, "Angelo, thy faults are manifest.
We do condemn thee to the very block where
Claudio stooped to death; and :with like :haste
away with him; and for his possessions, Mariana,
we.do instate and widow you withal, to buy you a
better husband."-" 0 my dear lord," said Mariana,
"I crave no other, nor no better man:" and then
on her knees, even as Isabel had begged the life of
Claudio, did this kind wife of an ungrateful husband
beg the life of Angelo; and she said, Gentle my
liege, 0 good my. lord! Sweet Isabel, take my
part! Lend me your knees, and all my life to
come.I will lend you all my life, to do you service!"
The duke said, "Against all sense you importune
her. Should Isabel kneel down to beg for mercy,
her brother's ghost would break his paved bed, and
take her hence in. horror." Still Mariana: said,
"Isabel, sweet Isabel, do but kneel by me, hold
up your hand, say nothing! I will speak all.
They say, best men are moulded out of faults, and
for the most part become much the better for
being a little bad. So may my husband. Oh,
Isabel,.will you not lend a knee ?" The duke then
.said, "He dies for Claudio." But much pleased
was the good duke, when his own Isabel, from
whom he expected all gracious and honourable
acts, kneeled down before him, and said, Most
bounteous sir, look, if it please you, on this man
condemned, as if my-brother lived. I partly think
a due sincerity governed his deeds, till he did look
on me. Since it is so, let him not die My
brother had but justice, in that he did the thing for
which he died." ,
The duke, as the best reply he could make to





MEASURE: FOR MEASURE


this noble petitioner for her enemy's life, sending
for Claudio from his pi:risn-houte, where he lay
doubtful of his destiny,: presented to her this
lamented brother living; and he said to Isabel,
" Give me your hand, Isabel; for your lovely sake
I pardon Claudio. Say you will be mine, and he
shall be my brother too." By this time lord
Angelo perceived he was safe; and the duke,
observing his eye to brighten up a little, said,
"Well, Angelo, look that you love your wife;
her worth has obtained your pardon: joy to you,
Mariana! Love her, Angelo! I have confessed
her, and know her virtue." Angelo remembered,
when dressed in a little brief authority, how hard
his heart had been, and felt how sweet is mercy.
The duke commanded Claudio to marry Juliet,
and offered himself again to the acceptance of Isabel,
whose virtuous and noble conduct had won her
prince's heart. Isabel, not having taken the veil,
was free to marry; and the friendly offices, while
.hid under the disguise of a humble friar, which the
noble duke had done for her, made her with grate-
ful joy accept the honour he offered her; and when
she became duchess of Vienna, the excellent ex-
ample of the virtuous Isabel worked such a complete
reformation among the young ladies of that city,
that from that time none ever fell into the
transgression of Juliet, the repentant wife of the
reformed Claudio. And the mercy-loving duke
long reigned with. his beloved Isabel, the happiest
of husbands and of princes.


__ _





244 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE


TWELFTH NIGHT; OR,
WHAT-YOU WILL

SEBASTIAN and his sister Viola, a-young
gentleman and lady of Messaline, were twins,
and (which was accounted a great wonder) from
their birth they so much resembled each other,
that, but for the difference in their dress, they could
not be known apart. They were both born in one
hour, and in one hour they were both in danger of
perishing, for they were shipwrecked on the coast
of Illyria, as they were making a sea-voyage to-
gether. The ship, on board of which they were,
split on a rock in a violent storm, and a very small
number of the ship's company escaped with their
lives. The captain of the vessel, with a few of the
sailors that were saved, got to land in a small boat,
and with them they brought Viola safe on shore,
where she, poor lady, instead of rejoicing at her
own deliverance, began to lament her brother's loss;
but the captain comforted her with the assurance
that he had seen her brother, when the ship split,
fasten himself to a strong mast, on which, as long
as he could see anything of him for the distance,
he perceived him borne up above the waves. Viola
was much consoled by the hope this account gave
her, and now considered how she was to dispose
of herself in a strange country, so far from home;
and she asked the captain if he knew anything of
Illyria. Ay, very well, madam," replied the cap-
tain, "for I was born not three hours' travel from
this place."-" Who governs here ? said Viola.
The captain told her, Illyria was governed by
Orsino, a duke noble in nature as well as dignity.





TWELFTH NIGHT


Viola said, she had heard her father speak of Orsino,
and that he was unmarried then. "And he is so
now," said the captain; or was so very lately, for,
but a month ago, I went from here, and then it was
the general talk (as you know what great ones do,
the people will prattle of) that Orsino sought the
love of fair Olivia, a virtuous maid, the daughter of
a count who died twelve months ago, leaving Olivia
to the protection of her brother, who shortly after
died also; and for the love of this dear brother,
they say, she has abjured the sight and company
of men." Viola, who was herself in such a sad
affliction for her brother's loss, wished she could
live with this lady, who so tenderly mourned a
brother's death. She asked the captain if he could
introduce her to Olivia, saying she would willingly
serve this lady. But he replied, this would be a
hard thing to accomplish, because the Lady Olivia
would admit no person into her house since her
brother's death, not even the duke himself. Then
Viola formed another project in her mind, which
was, in a man's habit, to serve the duke Orsino
as a page. It was a strange fancy in a young lady
to put on -male attire, and pass for a boy; but the
forlorn and unprotected state of Viola, who was
young and of uncommon beauty, alone, and in a
foreign land, must plead her excuse.
She having observed a fair behaviour in the
captain, and that he showed a friendly concern for
her welfare, entrusted him with her design, and
he readily engaged to assist her. Viola gave him
money, and directed him to furnish her with suit-
able apparel, ordering her clothes to be made of
the same dolour and, in the same fashion her brother
Sebastian used to wear, and when she was dressed





-246 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

in her manly garb, she looked so exactly:like her
brother that some strange errors happened by means
of their being mistaken for each other; for, as
will afterwards appear, Sebastian was also saved.
Viola's good friend, the captain, when he had
transformed this pretty lady into a gentleman, having
some interest at court, got her presented to Orsino
under the feigned name of Cesario. The duke
was wonderfully pleased with the address and
graceful deportment of this handsome youth, and
made Cesario one of his pages, that being the
office Viola wished to obtain: and she so well
fulfilled the duties of her new station, and showed
such a ready observance and faithful attachment to
her lord, that she soon became his most favoured
attendant. To Cesario Orsino confided the whole
history of his love for the lady Olivia. To Cesario
he told the long and unsuccessful suit he had made
to one who, rejecting his long services, and des-
pising his person, refused to admit him to her
presence; and for the love of this lady who had
so unkindly treated him, the noble Orsino, for-
saking the sports of the field and all manly
exercises in which he used to delight, passed his
hours in ignoble sloth, listening to the effeminate
sounds of soft music, gentle airs, and passionate
love-songs; and neglecting the company of the
wise and learned lords with whom he used to
associate, he was now all day long conversing with
young Cesario. Unmeet companion no doubt his
grave courtiers thought Cesario was for their once
noble master, the great duke Orsino.
It is a dangerous matter for young maidens to be
the confidants of handsome young dukes; which
Viola too soon found to her sorrow, for all that




TWELFTH NIGHT


Orsino told her he endured for Olivia, she presently
perceived she suffered for thelove of him; and much
it moved her wonder, that Olivia could be so re-
gardless of this her peerless lord and master, whom
she thought no one could behold without the
deepest admiration, and she ventured gently to
hint to Orsino, that it was:a pity he should affect
a lady who was so blind to his worthy qualities;
and she said, "If a lady were to love you, my
lord, as you love Olivia (and perhaps there may
be one who does), if you could not love her in
return, would you not tell her that you could not
love, and must she not be content with this
answer?" But Orsino would not admit of this
reasoning, for he denied that it was possible for
any woman to love as he did; He said, no
woman's heart was big enough to hold so much
love, and therefore it was unfair to compare the
love of any lady for him, to his love for Olivia.
Now, :hucgh Viola had the utmost deference for
the duke's opinions, she could not help thinking
this was not quite true, for she thought her heart
had full as much love in it as Orsino's had; and
she said, Ah, but I know, my lord."-" What
do you know, Cesario ?" said Orsino. "Too well
I know," replied Viola, "what love women may
owe to men. T he are as true of heart as we
are. My father had a daughter loved a man, as I
perhaps, were I a woman, should love your lord-
ship."-" And what is her history?" said Orsino.
"A blank, my lord," replied Viola: "she never
told her love, but let concealment, like a worm-in
the bud, feed on her damask cheek She pined in
thought, and with a green and yellow melancholy,
she sat like Patience on a monument, smiling at





248 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Grief." The duke inquired if this lady died of
her love, but to this question Viola returned an
evasive answer; as probably she had feigned the
story, to speak words expressive of the secret love
and silent grief she suffered for Orsino.
-While they were talking, a gentleman entered
whom the duke had sent to Olivia, and he said,
" So please you, my lord, I might not be admitted
to the lady, but by her handmaid she returned you
this answer : Until seven years hence, the element
itself shall not behold her face; but like a cloistress
she will walk veiled, watering her chamber with
her tears for the sad remembrance of her dead
brother." On hearing this, the duke exclaimed,
" 0 she that has a heart of this fine frame, to pay
this debt of love to a dead brother, how will she love,
when the rich golden shaft has touched her heart !"
And then he said to Viola, You know, Cesario,
I have told you all the secrets of my heart; there-
fore, good youth, go to Olivia's house. Be not
denied access; stand at her doors, and tell her, there
your fixed foot shall grow till you have audience."
-"And if I do speak to her, my lord, what
then ?" said Viola. O then," replied Orsino,
"unfold to her the passion of my love. Make a long
discourse to her of my dear faith. It will well
become you to act my woes, for she .will attend
more to you than to one of graver aspect."
Away then went Viola; but not willingly did she
undertake this courtship, for she was to woo a lady
to become a wife to him she wished to marry : but
having undertaken the affair, she performed it with
fidelity; and Olivia soon heard that a youth was at
her door who insisted upon being admitted to her
presence. I told him," said the servant, "that





TWELFTH NIGHT


you were sick: he said he knew you were, and
therefore he came to speak with you. I told him
that you were asleep: he seemed to have a fore-
knowledge of that too, and said, that therefore he
must speak with you. What is to be said to him,
lady ? for he seems fortified against all denial, and
will speak with you, whether you will or no."
Olivia, curious to see who this peremptory messenger
might be, desired he might be admitted; and throw-
ing her veil over her face, she said she would once
more hear Orsino's embassy, not doubting but that
he came from the duke, by his importunity. Viola,
entering, put on the most manly air she could assume,
and affecting the fine courtier language of great men's
pages, she said to the veiled lady, "Most radiant,
exquisite, and matchless beauty, I pray you tell me
if you are the lady of the house; for I should be
sorry to cast away my speech upon another; for
besides that it is excellently well penned, I have taken
great pains to learn it."-" Whence come you, sir ?"
said Olivia. "I can say little more than I have
studied," replied Viola; "and that question is out
of my part."--"Are you a comedian ?" said Olivia.
"No," replied Viola; "and yet I am not that
which I play;" meaning that she, being a woman,
feigned herself to be a man. And again she asked
Olivia if she were.the lady of the house. Olivia
said she was; and then Viola, having more curiosity
to see her rival's features, than haste to deliver her
master's message, said, Good madam, let me see
your face." With this bold request Olivia was not
averse to comply; for this haughty beauty, whom
the duke Orsino had loved so long in vain, at first
sight conceived a passion for the supposed page,
the humble Cesario.





250 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

When Viola asked to see her face, Olivia said,
"Have you any commission from your lord and
master to negotiate with my face? And then,
forgetting her determination to go veiled for seven
long years, she drew aside her veil, saying, "But I
will draw the curtain and show the picture. Is it
not well done?" Viola replied, "It is beauty
truly mixed; the red and white upon your cheeks
is by Nature's own cunning hand laid on. You are
the most cruel lady living, if you will lead these
graces to the grave, and leave the world no copy."
-- 0, sir," replied Olivia, I will not be so cruel.
The world may have an inventory of my beauty.
As, item, two lips, indifferent red; item, two grey
eyes, with lids to them; one neck; one chin; and
so forth. Were you sent here to praise me ?"
Viola replied, "I see what you are: you are too
proud, but you are fair. My lord and master loves
you. 0 such a love could but be recompensed,
though you were crowned the queen of beauty: for
Orsino loves you with adoration and with tears,
with groans that thunder love, and sighs of fire."-
"Your lord," said Olivia, "knows well my mind.
I cannot love him; yet I doubt not he is vir-
tuous; I know him to be noble and of high estate,
of fresh and spotless youth. All voices proclaim
him learned, courteous, and valiant; yet I cannot
love him, he might have taken his answer long.
ago."-" If I did love you as my master does,"
said Viola, "I would make me a willow cabin at
your gates, and call upon your name, I would write
complaining sonnets on Olivia, and sing them in
the dead of the night; your name should sound
among the hills, and I would make Echo, the
babbling gossip of the air, cry out Olivia. 0 you





TWELFTH NIGHT


should not rest between the elements of earth and
air, but you should pity me."-"You might do
much," said Olivia: "what is your parentage?"
Viola replied, "Above my fortunes, yet my state
is well. I am a gentleman." Olivia now re-
luctantly dismissed Viola, saying, "Go to your
master, and tell him, I cannot love him. Let him
send no more, unless perchance you come again to
tell me how he takes it." And Viola departed,
bidding the lady farewell by the name of Fair
Cruelty. When she was gone, Olivia repeated the
words, Above myfortunes, yet my state is well. I
am a gentleman. And she said aloud, I will be
sworn he is; his tongue, his face, his limbs, action,
and spirit, plainly show he is a gentleman." And
then she wished Cesario was the duke; and per-
ceiving the fast hold he had taken on her affections,
she blamed herself for her sudden love: but the
gentle blame which people lay upon their own
faults has no deep root; and presently the noble
lady Olivia so far forgot the inequality between her
fortunes and those of this seeming page, as well as
the maidenly reserve which is the chief ornament
of a lady's character, that she resolved to court the
love of young Cesario, and sent a servant after
him with a diamond ring, under the pretence that
he had left it with her as a present from Orsino.
She hoped by thus artfully making Cesario a present
of the ring, she should give him some intimation
of her design; and truly it did make Viola suspect;
for knowing that Orsino had sent no ring by her,
she began to recollect that Olivia's looks and
manner were expressive of admiration, and she
presently guessed her master's mistress had fallen
in love with her. "Alas," said she, "the poor
R





252 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

lady might as well love a dream. Disguise I see
is wicked, for it has caused Olivia to breathe as
fruitless sighs for me as I do for Orsino."
Viola returned to Orsino's palace, and related: to
her lord the ill success of the negotiation, repeating
the command of Olivia, that the duke should trouble
her no more. Yet still the duke persisted in hoping
that the gentle Cesario would in time be able to
persuade her to show some pity, and therefore he
bade him he should go to her again the next day.
In the mean time, to pass away the tedious interval,
he commanded a song which he loved to be sung;
and he said, "My good Cesario, when I heard
that song last night, methought it did relieve my
passion much. Mark it, Cesario, it is old and
plain. The spinsters and the knitters when they
sit in the sun, and the young maids that weave
their thread with bone, chant this song. It is silly,
yet I love it, for it tells of the innocence of love
in the old times."
SONG
Come away, come away, Death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath,
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white stuck all with yew, 0 prepare it I
My part of death no one so true did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strewn:
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown.
A thousand thousand sighs to save, lay me 0 where
Sad true lover never find my grave, to weep there I

Viola did not fail to mark the words of the old
song, which in such true simplicity described the
pangs of unrequited love, and she bore testimony





TWELFTH NIGHT


in her countenance of feeling what the song ex-
pressed. Her sad looks were observed by Orsino,
who said to her, My life upon it, Cesario, though
you are so young, your eye has looked upon some
face that it loves: has it not, boy ?"-"A little,
with your leave," replied Viola; "And what kind
of woman, and of what age is she ?" said Orsino.
" Of your age and of your complexion, my lord," said
Viola; which made the duke smile to hear this fair
young boy loved a woman so much older than him-
self, and of a man's dark complexion ; but Viola
secretly meant Orsino, and not a woman like him.
When Viola made her second visit to Olivia, she
found no difficulty in gaining access to her. Servants
soon discover when their ladies delight to converse
with handsome young messengers; and the instant
Viola arrived, the gates were thrown wide open,
and the duke's page was shown into Olivia's apart-
ment with great respect; and when Viola told
Olivia that she was come once more to plead in
her lord's behalf, this lady said, "I desired you
never to speak of him again; but if you would
undertake another suit, I had rather hear you solicit,
than music from the spheres." This was pretty
plain speaking, but Olivia soon explained herself
still more plainly, and openly confessed her love;
and when she saw displeasure with perplexity ex-
pressed in Viola's face, she said, 0 what a deal
of scorn looks beautiful in the contempt and anger
of his lip! Cesario, by the roses of the spring, by
maidhood, honour, andj by truth, I love you so,
that, in spite of your pride, I have neither wit nor
reason to conceal my passion." But in vain the
lady wooed; Viola hastened from her presence,
threatening never more to come to plead Orsino's





254 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

love; and all the reply she made to Olivia's fond
solicitation was, a declaration of a resolution Never
to love any woman.
No sooner had Viola left the lady than a claim
was made upon her valour. :A gentleman, a re-
jected suitor of Olivia, who had learned how that
lady had favoured the duke's messenger, challenged
him to fight a duel. What should poor Viola do,
who, though she carried a manlike outside, had a
true woman's heart, and feared to look on her own
sword ?
When she saw her formidable rival advancing
towards her with his sword drawn, she began to
think of confessing that she was a woman; but she
wa- relieved at once from her terror, and the shame
of such a discovery, by a stranger that was passing
by, who made up to them, and as if he had been
long known to her, and were her dearest friend,
said to her opponent, "If this young gentleman has
done offence, I will take the fault on me; and if
you offend him, I will for his sake defy you."
Before Viola had time to thank him for his
protection, or to inquire the reason of his kind
interference, her new friend met with an enemy
where his bravery was of no use to him; for the
officers of justice coming up in that instant, appre-
hended the stranger in the duke's name, to answer
for an offence he had committed some years before:
and he said to Viola, This comes with seeking
you:" and then he asked her for a purse, saying,
" Now my necessity makes me ask for my purse,
and it grieves me much more for what I cannot do
for you, than for what befalls myself. You stand
amazed, but be of comfort." His words did indeed
amaze Viola, and she protested she knew him not,




TWELFTH NIGHT


nor had ever received a purse from him; but for
the kindness he had just shown her, she offered him
a small sum of money, being nearly the whole she
possessed. And now the stranger spoke severe
things, charging her with ingratitude and unkind-
ness. He said, "This youth, whom you see here,
I snatched from the jaws of death, and for his sake
alone I came to Illyria, and have fallen into this
danger." But the officers cared little for hearken-
ing to the complaints of their prisoner, and they
hurried him off, saying, "What is that to us? "
And as he was carried away, he called Viola by
the name of Sebastian, reproaching the supposed
Sebastian for disowning his friend, as long as he
was within hearing. When Viola heard herself
called Sebastian, though the stranger was taken
away too hastily for her to ask an explanation, she
conjectured that this seeming mystery might arise
from her being mistaken for her brother ; and she
began to cherish hopes that it was her brother whose
life this man said he had preserved. And so indeed
it was. The stranger, whose name was Antonio,
was a sea-captain. He had taken Sebastian up into
his ship, when, almost exhausted with fatigue, he
was floating on the mast to which he had fastened
himself in the storm. Antonio conceived such a
friendship for Sebastian, that he resolved to accom-
pany him whithersoever he went; and when the
youth expressed a curiosity to visit Orsino's court,
Antonio, rather than part from him, came to Illyria,
though he knew, if his person should be known
there, his life would be in danger, because in a sea-
fight he had once dangerously wounded the duke
Orsino's nephew. This was the offence for which
he was now made a prisoner.





258 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Antonio and Sebastian had landed together but
a few hours before Antonio met Viola. He had
given his purse to Sebastian, desiring him to use it
freely if he saw anything he wished to purchase,
telling him he would wait at the inn, while Sebastian
went to view the town; but Sebastian not returning
at the time appointed, Antonio had ventured out
to look for him, and Viola being dressed the same,
and in face so exactly resembling her brother,
Antonio drew his sword (as he thought) in defence
of the youth he had saved, and when Sebastian
(as he supposed) disowned him, and denied him
his own purse, no wonder he accused him of
ingratitude.
Viola, when Antonio was gone, fearing a second
invitation to fight, slunk home as fast as she could.
She had not been long gone, when her adversary
thought he saw her return; but it was her brother
Sebastian, who happened to arrive at this place,
and he said, "Now, sir, have I met with you
again? There's for you;" and struck him a blow.
Sebastian was no coward ; he returned the blow
with interest, and drew his sword.
A lady now put a stop to this duel, for Olivia
came out of the house, and she too mistaking
Sebastian for Cesario, invited him to come into her
house, expressing much sorrow at the rude attack
he had met with. Though Sebastian was as much
surprised at the courtesy of this lady as at the
rudeness of his unknown foe, yet he went very
willingly into the house, and Olivia was delighted
to find Cesario (as she thought him) become more
sensible of her attentions; for though their features
were exactly the same, there was none of the
contempt and anger to be seen in his face, which





TWELFTH NIGHT


she had complained of when she told her love to
Cesario.
SSebastian did not at all object to the fondness
the lady lavished on him. He seemed to take it
in very good part, yet he wondered how it had come
to pass, and he was rather inclined to think Olivia
was not in her right senses; but perceiving that she
was mistress of a fine house, and that she ordered
her affairs and seemed to govern her family dis-
creetly, and that in all but her sudden love for him
she appeared in the full possession of her reason,
he well approved of the courtship; and Olivia
finding Cesario in this good humour, and fearing
he might change his mind, proposed that, as she
had a priest in the house, they should be instantly
married. Sebastian assented to this proposal; and
when the marriage ceremony was over, he left his
lady for a short time, intending to go and tell his
friend Antonio the good fortune that he had met
with. In the meantime Orsino came to visit
Olivia: and at the moment he arrived before
Olivia's house, the officers of justice brought their
prisoner, Antonio, before the duke. Viola was
with Orsino, her master; and when Antonio saw
Viola, whom he still imagined to be Sebastian, he
told the duke in what manner he had rescued this
youth from the perils of the sea; and after fully
relating all the kindness he had really shown to
Sebastian, he ended his complaint with saying, that
for three months, both day and night, this ungrate-
ful youth had been with him. But now the lady
Olivia coming forth from her house, the duke could
no longer attend to Antonio's story; and he said,
"Here comes the countess: now Heaven walks on
earth but for thee, fellow, thy words are madness.





260 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Three months has this youth attended on me:"
and then he ordered Antonio to be taken aside.
But Orsino's heavenly countess soon gave the duke
cause to accuse Cesario as much of ingratitude as
Antonio had done, for all the words he could hear
Olivia speak were words of kindness to Cesario:
and when he found his page had obtained this high
place in Olivia's favour, he threatened him with all
the terrors of his just revenge; and as he was going
to depart, he called Viola to follow him, saying,
" Come, boy, with me. My thoughts are ripe for
mischief." Though it seemed in his jealous rage
he was going to doom Viola to instant death, yet
her love made her no longer a coward, and she
said she would most joyfully suffer death to give
her master ease. But Olivia would not so lose her
husband, and she cried, Where goes my Cesario ? "
Viola replied, "After him I love more than my
life. Olivia, however, prevented their departure
by loudly proclaiming that Cesario was her hus-
band, and sent for the priest, who declared that
not two hours had passed since he had married the
lady Olivia to this young man. In vain Viola
protested she was not married to Olivia; the evi-
dence of that lady and the priest made Orsino
believe that his page had robbed him of the
treasure he prized above his life. But thinking
that it was past recall, he was bidding farewell
to his faithless mistress, and the young dissembler,
her husband, as he called Viola, warning her never
to come in his sight again, when (as it seemed to
them) a miracle appeared! for another Cesario
entered, and addressed Olivia as his wife. This
new Cesario was Sebastian, the real husband of
Olivia; and when their wonder had a little ceased





TWELFTH NIGHT .


at seeing two persons with the same face, the same
voice, and the same habit, the brother and sister
began to question each other; for Viola could
scarce be persuaded that her brother was living,
and Sebastian knew not how to account for the
sister he supposed drowned being found in the
habit of a young man. But Viola presently ac-
knowledged that she was indeed Viola, and his
sister, under that disguise.
When all the errors were cleared up which the
extreme likeness between this twin brother and
sister had occasioned, they laughed at the lady
Olivia for the pleasant mistake she had made in
falling in love with a woman; and Olivia showed
no dislike to her exchange, when she found she
had wedded the brother instead of the sister.
The hopes of Orsino were for ever at an end by
this marriage of Olivia, and with his hopes, all his
fruitless love seemed to vanish away, and all his
thoughts were fixed on the event of his favourite,
young Cesario, being changed into a fair lady. He
viewed Viola with great attention, and he remem-
bered how very handsome he had always thought
Cesario was, and he concluded she would look very
beautiful in a woman's attire; and then he remem-
bered how often she had said she loved him, which
at the time seemed only the dutiful expressions of a
faithful page; but now he guessed that something
more was meant, for many of her pretty sayings,
which were like riddles to him, came now into his
mind, and he no sooner remembered all these things
than he resolved to make Viola his wife; and he
said to her (he still could not help calling her
Gesario and boy), "Boy, you have said to me a
thousand times that you should never love a woman





262 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

like to me, and for the faithful service you have
done for me so much beneath your soft and tender
breeding, and since you have called me master so
long, you shall now be your master's mistress, and
Orsino's true duchess."
Olivia, perceiving Orsino was making over that
heart, which she had so ungraciously rejected, to
Viola, invited them to enter her house, and offered
the assistance of the good priest, who had married
her to Sebastian in the morning, to perform the
same ceremony in the remaining part of the day for
Orsino and Viola. Thus the twin brother and sister
were both wedded on the same day: the storm and
shipwreck, which had separated them, being the
means of bringing to pass their high and mighty
fortunes. Viola was the wife of Orsino, the duke
of Illyria, and Sebastian the husband of the rich
and noble countess, the lady Olivia.


TIMON OF ATHENS

T IMON, a lord of Athens, in the enjoyment of
a princely fortune, affected a humour of
liberality which knew no limits. His almost infinite
wealth could not flow in so fast, but he poured it
out faster upon all sorts and degrees of people.
Not the poor only tasted of his bounty, but great
lords did not disdain to rank themselves among his
dependants and followers. His table was resorted
to by all the luxurious feasters, and his house was
open to all comers and goers at Athens. His large
wealth combined with his free and prodigal nature
to subdue all hearts to his love; men of all minds
and dispositions tendered their services to lord





TIMON OF ATHENS


Timon, from the glass-faced flatterer, whose face
reflects as in. a mirror the present humour of his
patron, to the rough and unbending cynic, who
affecting a contempt of men's persons, and an in-
difference to worldly things, yet could not stand out
against the gracious manners and munificent soul
of lord Timon, but would come (against his nature)
to partake of his royal entertainments, and return
most rich in his own estimation if he had received
a nod or a salutation from Timon.
If a poet had composed a work which wanted a
recommendatory introduction to the world, he had
no more to do but to dedicate it to lord Timon,
and the poem was sure of sale, besides a present
purse from the patron, and daily access to his house
and table. If a painter had a picture to dispose
of, he had only to take it to lord Timon, and pre-
tend to consult his taste as to the merits of it;
nothing more was wanting to persuade the liberal-
hearted lord to buy it. If a jeweller had a stone
of price, or a mercer rich costly stuffs, which for
their costliness lay upon his hands, lord Timon's
house was a ready mart always open, where they
might get off their wares or their jewellery at any
price, and the good-natured lord would thank them
into the bargain, as if they had done him a piece
of courtesy in letting him have the refusal of such
precious commodities. So that by this means his
house was thronged with superfluous purchases, of
no use but to swell uneasy and ostentatious pomp;
and his person was still more inconveniently beset
with a crowd of these idle visitors, lying poets,
painters, sharking tradesmen, lords, ladies, needy
courtiers, and expectants, who continually filled his
lobbies, raining their fulsome flatteries in whispers





264 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

in his ears, sacrificing to him with adulation as to
a God, making sacred.the very stirrup by which he
mounted his horse, and seeming as though they
drank the free air but through his permission and
bounty.
Some of these daily dependants were young men
of birth, who (their means not answering to their
extravagance) had been put in prison by creditors,
and redeemed thence by lord Timon; these young
prodigals thenceforward fastened upon his lordship,
as if by common sympathy he were necessarily
endeared to all such spendthrifts and loose livers,
who, not being able to follow him in his wealth,
found it easier to copy him in prodigality and
copious spending of what was their own. One
of these flesh-flies was Ventidius, for whose debts,
unjustly contracted, Timon but lately had paid down
the sum of five talents.
But among this confluence, this great flood of
visitors, none were more conspicuous than the makers
of presents and givers of gifts. It was fortunate for
these men if Timon took a fancy to a dog or a
horse, or any piece of cheap furniture which was
theirs. The thing so praised, whatever it was,
was sure to be sent the next morning with the com-
pliments of the giver for lord Timon's acceptance,
and apologies for the unworthiness of the gift; and
this dog or horse, or whatever it might be, did not
fail to produce from Timon's bounty, who would
not be outdone in gifts, perhaps twenty dogs or
horses, certainly presents of far richer worth, as
these pretended donors knew well enough, and that
their false presents were but the putting out of so
much money at large and speedy interest. In this
way. lord Lucius had lately sent to Timon a present





TIMON. OF ATHENS


of four milk-white horses trapped in silver, which
this cunning lord had observed Timon upon some
occasion to commend; and another lord, Lucullus,
had bestowed upon him in the same pretended way
of free gift a brace of greyhounds, whose make
and fleetness Timon had been heard to admire;
these presents the easy-hearted lord accepted with-
out suspicion of the dishonest views of the pre-
senters; and the givers of course were rewarded
with some rich return, a diamond or some jewel of
twenty times the value of their false and mercenary
donation.
Sometimes these creatures would go to work in
a more direct way, and with gross and palpable
artifice, which yet the credulous Timon was too
blind to see, would affect to admire and praise
something that Timon possessed, a bargain that he
had bought, or some late purchase, which was sure
to draw from this yielding and soft-hearted lord a
gift of the thing commended, for no service in the
world done for it but the easy expense of a little
cheap and obvious flattery. In this way Timon
but the other day had given to one of these mean
lords the bay courser which he himself rode upon,
because his lordship had been pleased to say that
it was a handsome beast and went well; and
Timon knew that no man ever justly praised what
he did not wish to possess. For lord Timon
weighed his friends' affection with his own, and so
fond was he of bestowing, that he could have dealt
kingdoms to these supposed friends, and never have
been weary.
Not that Timon's wealth all went to enrich these
wicked flatterers; he could do noble and praise-
worthy actions; and when a servant of his once





266 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

loved the daughter of a rich Athenian, but could
not hope to obtain her by reason that in wealth
and rank the maid was so far above him, lord
Timon freely bestowed upon his servant three
Athenian talents, to make his fortune equal with
the dowry which the father of the young maid
demanded of him who should be her husband.
But for the most part, knaves and parasites had
the command of his fortune, false friends whom he
did not know to be such, but, because they flocked
around his person, he thought they must needs love
him; and because they smiled and flattered him,
he thought surely that his conduct was approved
by all the wise and good. And when he was
feasting in the midst of all these flatterers and mock
friends, when they were eating him up, and draining
his fortunes dry with large draughts of richest wines
drunk to his health and prosperity, he could not
perceive the difference of a friend from a flatterer,
but to his deluded eyes (made proud with the
sight) it seemed a precious comfort to have so
many like brothers commanding one another's
fortunes (though it was his own fortune which
paid all the costs), and with joy they would run
over at the spectacle of such, as it appeared to him,
truly festive and fraternal meeting.
But while he thus outwent the very heart of
kindness, and poured out his bounty, as if Plutus,
the god of gold, had been but his steward; while
thus he proceeded without care or stop, so senseless
of expense that he would neither inquire how he
could maintain it, nor cease his wild flow of riot;
his riches, which were not infinite, must needs melt
away before a prodigality which knew no limits.
But who should tell him so ? his flatterers ? they had





TIMON OF ATHENS


an interest in shutting his eyes. In vain did his
honest steward Flavius try to represent to him his
condition, laying his accounts before him,'begging
of him, praying of him, with an importunity that on
any other occasion would have been unmannerly in
a servant, beseeching him with tears to look into
the state of his affairs. Timon would still put him
off, and turn the discourse to something else; for
nothing is so deaf to remonstrance as riches turned
to poverty, nothing is so unwilling to believe its
situation, nothing so incredulous to its own true
state, and hard to give credit to a reverse.- Often
had this good steward, this honest creature, when
all the rooms of Timon's great house have been
choked up with riotous feeders at his master's cost,
when the floors have wept with drunken spilling of
wine, and every apartment has blazed with lights
and resounded with music and feasting, often had
he retired by himself to some solitary spot, aid
wept faster than the wine ran from the wasteful
casks within, to see the mad bounty of his lord,
and to think, when the means were gone which
brought him praises from all sorts of people, how
quickly the breath would be gone of which the
praise was made; praises won in feasting would be
lost in fasting, and at one cloud of winter-showers
these flies would disappear.
But now the time was come that Timon could
shut his ears no longer to the representations of this
faithful steward. Money must be had; and when
he ordered Flavius to sell some of his land for that
purpose, Flavius informed him, what he had in vain
endeavoured at several times before to make him
listen to, that most of his land was already sold or
forfeited, and that all he possessed at present was




268 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

not enough to pay the one half of what he owed.
Struck with wonder at this presentation, Timon
hastily replied, "My lands extend from Athens to
Lacedaemon." O my good lord," said Flavius,
"the world is but a world, and has bounds; were
it all yours to give in a breath, how quickly were
it gone! "
Timon consoled himself that no villanous bounty
had yet come from him, that if he had given his
wealth away unwisely, it had not been bestowed to
feed his vices, but to cherish his friends; and he
bade the kind-hearted steward (who was weeping)
to take comfort in the assurance that his master
could never lack means, while he had so many
noble friends; and this infatuated lord persuaded
himself that he had nothing to do but to send and
borrow, to use every man's fortune (that had ever
tasted his bounty) in this extremity, as freely as his
own. Then with a cheerful look, as if confident
of the trial, he severally despatched messengers
to lord Lucius, to lords Lucullus and Sempronius,
men upon whom he had lavished his gifts in past
times without measure or moderation; and to
Ventidius, whom he had lately released out of
prison by paying his debts, and who, by the death
of his father, was now come into the possession of
an ample fortune, and well enabled to requite
Timon's courtesy: to request of Ventidius the return
of those five talents which he had paid for him, and
of each of those noble lords the loan of fifty talents;
nothing doubting that their gratitude would supply
his wants (if he needed it) to the amount of five
hundred times fifty talents.
Lucullus was the first applied to. This mean
lord had been dreaming overnight of a silver bason




TIMON OF ATHENS


and cup, and when Timon's servant was announced,
his sordid mind suggested to him that this was
surely a making out of his dream, and that Timon
had sent him such a present: but when he under-
stood the truth of the matter, and that Timon
wanted money, the quality of his faint and watery
friendship showed itself, for with many protestations
he vowed to the servant that he had long foreseen
the ruin of his master's affairs, and many a time
had he come to dinner to tell him of it, and had
come again to supper to try to persuade him to
spend less, but he would take no counsel nor
warning by his coming: and true it was that he
had been a constant attender (as he said) at Timon's
feasts, as he had in greater things tasted his bounty;
but that he ever came with that intent, or gave
good counsel or reproof to Timon, was a base un-
worthy lie, which he suitably followed up with
meanly offering the servant a bribe, to go home to
his master and tell him that he had not found
Lucullus at home.
As little success had the messenger who was
sent to lord Lucius. This lying lord, who was full
of Timon's meat, and enriched almost to bursting
with Timon's costly presents, when he found the
wind changed, and the fountain of so much bounty
suddenly stopped, at first could hardly believe it;
but on its being confirmed, he affected great regret
that he should not have it in his power to serve
lord Timon, for unfortunately (which was a base
falsehood) he had made a great purchase the day
before, which had quite disfurnished him of the
means at present, the more beast he, he called
himself, to put it out of his power to serve so good
a friend; and he counted it one of his greatest





270 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

afflictions that his ability should fail him to pleasure
such an honourable gentleman.
Who can call any man friend that dips in the same
dish with him? just of this metal is every flatterer.
In the recollection of everybody Timon had been a
father to this Lucius, had kept up his credit with
his purse; Timon's money had gone to pay the
wages of his servants, to, pay the hire of the
labourers who had sweat to build the fine houses
which Lucius's pride had made necessary to him:
yet, oh! the monster which man makes himself
when he proves ungrateful! this Lucius now denied
to Timon a sum, which, in respect of what Timon
had bestowed on him, was less than charitable
men afford to beggars.
I Sempronius, and every one of these mercenary
lords to whom Timon applied in their turn, returned
the same evasive answer or direct denial; even
Ventidius, the redeemed and now rich Ventidius,
refused to assist him with the loan of those five
talents which Timon had not lent but generously
given him in his distress.
Now was Timon as much avoided in his poverty
as he had been courted and resorted to in his riches.
Now the same tongues which had been loudest in
his praises, extolling him as bountiful, liberal, and
open handed, were not ashamed to censure that
very bounty as folly, that liberality as profuseness,
though it had shown itself folly in nothing so truly
as in the selection of such unworthy creatures as
themselves for its objects. Now was Timon's
princely mansion forsaken, and become a shunned
and hated place, a place for men to pass by, not a
place, as formerly, where every passenger must stop
and taste of his wine and good cheer; now, instead





TIMON OF ATHENS


of being thronged with feasting and tumultuous
guests, it was beset with impatient and clamorous
creditors, usurers, extortioners, fierce and intolerable
in their demands, pleading bonds, interest, mort-
gages; iron-hearted men that would take no denial
nor putting off, that Timon's house was now his
jail, which he could not pass, nor go in nor out for
them; one demanding his due of fifty talents,
another bringing in a bill of five thousand crowns,
which if he would tell out his blood by drops, and
pay them so, he had not enough in his body to
discharge, drop by drop.
In this desperate and irremediable state (as it
seemed) of his affairs, the eyes of all men were
suddenly surprised at a new and incredible lustre
which this setting sun put forth. Once more lord
Timon proclaimed a feast, to which he invited his
accustomed guests, lords, ladies, all that was great or
fashionable in Athens. Lord Lucius and Lucullus
came, Ventidius, Sempronius, and the rest. Who
more sorry now than these fawning wretches, when
they found (as they thought) that lord Timon's
poverty was all pretence, and had been only put
on to make trial of their loves, to think that they
should not have seen through the artifice at the
time, and have had the cheap credit of obliging
his lordship? yet who more glad to find the fountain
of that noble bounty, which they had thought
dried up, still fresh and running? They came dis-
sembling, protesting, expressing deepest sorrow and
shame, that when his lordship sent to them, they
should have been so unfortunate as to want the
present means to oblige so honourable a friend.
But Timon begged them not to give such trifles a
thought, for .he had altogether forgotten it. And





272 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

these base fawning lords, though they had denied
him money in his adversity, yet could not refuse
their presence at this new blaze of his returning
prosperity. For the swallow follows not summer
more willingly than men of these dispositions follow
the good fortunes of the great, nor more willingly
leaves winter than these shrink from the first
appearance of a reverse; such summer birds are
men. But now with music and state the banquet
of smoking dishes was served up; and when the
guests had a little done admiring whence the
bankrupt Timon could find means to furnish so
costly a feast, some doubting whether the scene
which they saw was real, as scarce trusting their
own eyes; at a signal given, the dishes were un-
covered, and Timon's drift appeared: instead of
those varieties and far-fetched dainties which they
expected, that Timon's epicurean table in past
times had so liberally presented, now appeared under
the covers of these dishes a preparation more suitable
to Timon's poverty, nothing but a little smoke and
lukewarm water, fit feast for this knot of mouth-
friends, whose professions were indeed smoke, and
their hearts lukewarm and slippery as the water
with which Timon welcomed his astonished guests,
bidding them, "Uncover, dogs, and lap;" and
before they could recover their surprise, sprinkling
it in their faces, that they might have enough, and
throwing dishes and all after them, who now ran
huddling out, lords, ladies, with their caps snatched
up in haste, a splendid confusion, Timon pursuing
them, still calling them what they were, "smooth
smiling parasites, destroyers under the mask of
courtesy, affable wolves, meek bears, fools of fortune,
feast friends, time-flies." They, crowding out to





TIMON OF ATHENS


avoid him, left the house more willingly than they
had entered it; some losing their gowns and caps,
and some their jewels in the hurry, all glad to
escape out of the presence of such a mad lord, and
from the ridicule of his mock banquet.
This was the last feast which ever Timon made,
and in it he took farewell of Athens and the society
of men; for, after that, he betook himself to the
woods, turning his back upon the hated city and
upon all mankind, wishing the walls of that detest-
able city might sink, and the houses fall upon their
owners, wishing all plagues which infest humanity,
war, outrage, poverty, diseases, might fasten upon
its inhabitants, praying the just gods to confound
all Athenians, both young and old, high and low;
so wishing, he went to the woods, where he said he
should find the unkindest beast much kinder than
mankind. He stripped himself naked, that he
might retain no fashion of a man, and dug a cave
to live in, and lived solitary in the manner of a
beast, eating the wild roots, and drinking water,
flying from the face of his kind, and choosing rather
to herd with wild beasts, as more harmless and
friendly than man.
What a change from lord Timon the rich, lord
Timon the delight of mankind, to Timon the naked,
Timon the man-hater! Where were his flatterers
now? Where were his attendants and retinue?
Would the bleak air, that boisterous servitor, be his
chamberlain, to put his shirt on warm ? Would
those stiff trees that had outlived the eagle, turn
young and airy pages to him, to skip on his errands
when he bade them ? Would the cool brook, when
it was iced with winter, administer to him his warm
broths and caudles when sick of an overnight's





274 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

surfeit? Or would the creatures that lived in
those wild woods come and lick his hand and
fatter him?
Here on a day, when he was digging for roots,
his poor sustenance, his spade struck against some-
thing heavy, which proved to be gold, a great heap
which some miser had probably buried in a time of
alarm, thinking to have come again, and taken it
from its prison, but died before the opportunity had
arrived, without making any man privy to the con-
cealment; so it lay, doing neither good nor harm,
in the bowels of the earth, its mother, as if it had
never come from thence, till the accidental striking
of Timon's spade against it once more brought it
to light.
Here was a mass of treasure which, if Timon had
retained his old mind, was enough to have purchased
him friends and flatterers again; but Timon was
sick of the false world, and the sight of gold was
poisonous to his eyes; and he would have restored
it to the earth, but that, thinking of the infinite
calamities which by means of gold happen to man-
kind, how the lucre of it causes robberies, oppression,
injustice, briberies, violence, and murder, among
men, he had a pleasure in imagining (such a rooted
hatred did he bear to his species) that out of this
heap, which in digging he had discovered, might
arise some mischief to plague mankind. And some
soldiers passing through the woods near to his cave
at that instant, which proved to be a part of the
troops of the Athenian captain Alcibiades, who
upon some disgust taken against the senators of
Athens (the Athenians were ever noted to be a
thankless and ungrateful people, giving disgust to
their generals and best friends), was marching at the





TIMON OF ATHENS


head of the same triumphant army which he had
formerly headed in their defence, to war against
them; Timon, who liked their business well,
bestowed upon their captain the gold to pay his
soldiers, requiring no other service from him, than
that he should with his conquering army lay Athens
level with the ground, and burn, slay, kill all her
inhabitants; not sparing the old men for their
white beards, for (he said) they were usurers, nor
the young children for their seeming innocent
smiles, for those (he said) would live, if they grew
up, to be traitors; but to steel his eyes and ears
against any sights or sounds that might awaken
compassion; and not to let the cries of virgins, babes,
or mothers, hinder him from making one universal
massacre of the city, but to confound them all in
his conquest; and when he had conquered, he
prayed that the gods would confound him also, the
conqueror: so thoroughly did Timon hate Athens,
Athenians, and all mankind.
While he lived in this forlorn state, leading a life
more brutal than human, he was suddenly surprised
one day with the appearance of a man standing in
an admiring posture at the door of his cave. It
was Flavius, the honest steward, whom love and
zealous affection to his master had led to seek him
out at his wretched dwelling, and to offer his
services; and the first sight of his master, the once
noble Timon, in that abject condition, naked as he
was born, living in the manner of a beast among
beasts, looking like his own sad ruins and a monu-
ment of decay, so affected this good servant, that
he stood speechless, wrapped up in horror, and con-
founded. And when he found utterance at last to
his words, they were so choked with tears, that





276 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Timon had much ado to know him again, or to
make out who it was that had come (so contrary to
the experience he had had of mankind) to offer him
service in extremity. And being in the form and
shape of a man, he suspected him for a traitor, and
his tears for false; but the good servant by so many
tokens confirmed the truth of his fidelity, and made
it clear that nothing but love and zealous duty to
his once dear master had brought him there, that
Timon was forced to confess that the world con-
tained one honest man; yet, being in the shape and
form of a man, he could not look upon his man's
face without abhorrence, or hear words uttered
from his man's lips without loathing; and this
singly honest man was forced to depart, because he
was a man, and because, with a heart more gentle
and compassionate than is usual to man, he bore
man's detested form and outward feature.
But greater visitants than a poor steward were
about to interrupt the savage quiet of Timon's
solitude. For now the day was come when the
ungrateful lords of Athens sorely repented the in-
justice which they had done to the noble Timon.
For Alcibiades, like an incensed wild boar, was
raging at the walls of their city, and with his hot
siege threatened to lay fair Athens in the dust.
And now the memory of lord Timon's former
prowess and military conduct came fresh into their
forgetful minds, for Timon had been their general
in past times, and a valiant and expert soldier, who
alone of all the Athenians was deemed able to cope
with a besieging army such as then threatened
them, or to drive back the furious approaches of
Alcibiades.
A deputation of the senators was chosen in this





TIMON OF ATHENS


emergency to wait upon Timon. To him they come
in their extremity, to whom, when he was in ex-
tremity, they had shown but small regard; as if they
presumed upon his gratitude whom they had dis-
obliged, and had derived a claim to his courtesy
from their own most discourteous and unpiteous
treatment.
Now they earnestly beseech him, implore him
with tears, to return and save that city, from which
their ingratitude had so lately driven him; now they
offer him riches, power, dignities, satisfaction for
past injuries, and public honours, and the public
love; their persons, lives, and fortunes, to be at
his disposal, if he will but come back and save them.
But Timon the naked, Timon the man-hater, was
no longer lord Timon, the lord of bounty, the flower
of valour, their defence in war, their ornament in
peace. If Alcibiades killed his countrymen, Timon
cared not. If he sacked fair Athens, and slew her
old men and her infants, Timon would rejoice. So
he told them; and that there was not a knife in
the unruly camp which he did not prize above the
reverendest throat in Athens.
This was all the answer he vouchsafed to the
weeping disappointed senators; only at parting he
bade them commend him to his countrymen, and
tell them, that to ease them of their griefs and
anxieties, and to prevent the consequences of fierce
Alcibiades' wrath, there was yet a way left, which
he would teach them, for he had yet so much affec-
tion left for his dear countrymen as to be willing
to do them a kindness before his death. These
words a little revived the senators, who hoped that
his kindness for their city was returning. Then
Timon told them that he had a tree, which grew





278 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

near his cave, which he should shortly have occa-
sion to cut down, and he invited all his friends in
Athens, high or low, of what degree soever, who
wished to shun affliction, to come and take a taste
of his tree before he cut it down; meaning, that
they might come and hang themselves on it, and
escape affliction that way.
And this was the last courtesy, of all his noble
bounties, which Timon showed to mankind, and this
the last sight of him which his countrymen had: for
not many days after, a poor soldier, passing by the
sea-beach, which was at a little distance from the
woods which Timon frequented, found a tomb on
the verge of the sea, with an inscription upon it,
purporting that it was the grave of Timon the man-
hater, who While he lived, did hate all living men,
and dying wished a plague might consume all caitiffs
left!"
Whether he finished his life by violence, or
whether mere distaste of life and the loathing he
had for mankind brought Timon to his conclusion,
was not clear, yet all men admired the fitness of
his epitaph, and the consistency of his end; dying,
as he had lived, a hater of mankind: and some
there were who fancied a conceit in the very choice
which he had made of the sea-beach for his place of
burial, where the vast sea might weep for ever upon
his grave, as in contempt of the transient and
shallow tears of hypocritical and deceitful mankind.





ROMEO AND JULIET


ROMEO AND JULIET

THE two chief families in Verona were the rich
Capulets and the Montagues. There had
been an old quarrel between these families, which
was grown to such a height, and so deadly was
the enmity between them, that it extended to the
remotest kindred, to the followers and retainers of
both sides, insomuch that a servant of the house
of Montague could not meet a servant of the house
of Capulet, nor a Capulet encounter with a Mon-
tague by chance, but fierce words and sometimes
bloodshed ensued; and frequent were the brawls
from such accidental meetings, which disturbed the
happy quiet of Verona's streets.
Old lord Capulet made a great supper, to which
many fair ladies and many noble guests were invited.
All the admired beauties of Verona were present,
and all comers were made welcome if they were
not of the house of Montague. At this feast of
Capulets, Rosaline, beloved of Romeo, son to the
old lord Montague, was present; and though it
was dangerous for a Montague to be seen in this
assembly, yet Benvolio, a friend of Romeo, per-
suaded the young lord to go to this assembly in
the disguise of a mask, that he might see his
Rosaline, and seeing her, compare her with some
choice beauties of Verona, who (he said) would
make him think his swan a crow. Romeo had
small faith in Benvolio's words; nevertheless, for
the love of Rosaline, he was persuaded to go. For
Romeo was a sincere and passionate lover, and one
that lost his sleep for love, and fled society to be
alone, thinking on Rosaline, who disdained him,





280 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

and never requited his love, with the least show of
courtesy or affection; and Benvolio wished to cure
his friend of this love by showing him diversity of
ladies and company. To this feast of Capulets
then young Romeo with Benvolio and their friend
Mercutio went masked. Old Capulet bid them
welcome, and told them that ladies who had their
toes unplagued with corns would dance with them.
And the old man was light hearted and merry, and
said that he had worn a mask when he was young,
and could have told a whispering tale in a fair
lady's ear. And they fell to dancing, and Romeo
was suddenly struck with the exceeding beauty of
a lady who danced there, who seemed to him to
teach the torches to burn bright, and her beauty to
show by night like a rich jewel worn by a black-
amoor; beauty too rich for use, too dear for earth !
like a snowy dove trooping with crows (he said),
so richly did her beauty and perfections shine above
the ladies her companions. .While he uttered
these praises, he was overheard by Tybalt, a
nephew of lord Capulet, who knew him by his
voice to be Romeo. And this Tybalt, being of
a fiery and passionate temper, could not endure
that a Montague should come under cover of a
mask, to fleer and scorn (as he said) at their
solemnities. And he stormed and raged exceed-
ingly, and would have struck young Romeo dead.
But his uncle, the old lord Capulet, would not
suffer him to do any injury at that time, both out of
respect to his guests, and because Romeo had
borne himself like a gentleman, and all tongues in
Verona bragged of him to be a virtuous and well-
governed youth. Tybalt, forced to be patient
against his will, restrained himself, but swore that





ROMEO AND JULIET


this vile Montague should at another time dearly
pay for his intrusion.
The dancing being done, Romeo watched the
place where the lady stood; and under favour of
his masking habit, which might seem to excuse
in part the liberty, he presumed in the gentlest
manner to take her by the hand, calling it a shrine,
which if he profaned by touching it, he was a
blushing pilgrim, and would kiss it for atonement.
" Good pilgrim," answered the lady, your devotion
shows by far too mannerly and too courtly: saints
have hands, which pilgrims may touch, but kiss
not."-" Have not saints lips, and pilgrims too ? "
said Romeo. "Ay," said the lady, "lips which
they must use in prayer."-" 0 then, my dear
saint," said Romeo, "hear my prayer, and grant
it, lest I despair." In such like allusions and
loving conceits they were engaged, when the lady
was called away to her mother. And Romeo
inquiring who her mother was, discovered that the
lady whose peerless beauty he was so much struck
with, was young Juliet, daughter and heir to the
lord Capulet, the great enemy of the Montagues;
and that he had unknowingly engaged his heart to
his foe, This troubled him, but it could not
dissuade hiih from loving. As little rest had
Juliet, when she found that the gentleman that she
had been talking with was Romeo and a Montague,
for she had been suddenly smit with the same
hasty and inconsiderate passion for Romeo, which
he had conceived for her; and a prodigious birth
of love it seemed to her, that she must: love her
enemy, and that her affections should settle there,
where family considerations should induce her
chiefly to hate.





282 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

It being midnight, Romeo with his companions
departed; but they soon missed him, for, unable
to stay away from the house where he had left his
heart, he leaped the wall of an orchard which was
at the back of Juliet's house. Here he had not
been long, ruminating on his new love, when Juliet
appeared above at a window, through which her
exceeding beauty seemed to break like the light
of the sun in the east; and the moon, which shone
in the orchard with a faint light, appeared to Romeo
as if sick and pale with grief at the superior lustre
of this new sun. And she, leaning her cheek upon
her hand, he passionately wished himself a glove
upon that hand, that he might touch her cheek.
She all this while thinking herself alone, fetched a
deep sigh, and exclaimed, Ah me!" Romeo,
enraptured to hear her speak, said softly, and un-
heard by her, 0 speak again, bright angel, for
such you appear, being over my head, like a winged
messenger from heaven whom mortals fall back to
gaze upon." She, unconscious of being overheard,
and full of the new passion which that night's ad-
venture had given birth to, called upon her lover by
name (whom she supposed absent) : "0 Romeo,
Romeo said she, "wherefore art thou, Romeo ?
Deny thy father, and refuse thy name, for my sake;
or if thou wilt not, be but my sworn love, and I
no longer will be a Capulet." Romeo, having this
encouragement, would fain have spoken, but he was
desirous of hearing more; and the lady continued
her passionate discourse with herself (as she thought)
still chiding Romeo for being Romeo and a Mon-
tague, and wishing him some other name, or that
he would put away that hated name, and for that
name which was no part of himself, he should take





ROMEO AND JULIET 283

all herself. At this loving word Romeo could
no longer refrain, but taking up the dialogue as if
her words had been addressed to him personally,
and not merely in fancy, he bade her call him
Love, or by whatever other name she pleased, for
he was no longer Romeo, if that name was dis-
pleasing to her. Juliet, alarmed to hear a man's
voice in the garden, did not at first know who it
was, that by favour of the night and darkness had
thus stumbled upon the discovery of her secret;
but when he spoke again, though her ears had not
yet drunk a hundred words of that tongue's utter-
ing, yet so nice is a lover's hearing, that she
immediately knew him to be young Romeo, and
she expostulated with him on the danger to which
he had exposed himself by climbing the orchard
walls, for if any of her kinsmen should find him
there, it would be death to him, being a Montague.
" Alack," said Romeo, there is more peril in your
eye, than in twenty of their swords. Do you but
look kind upon me, lady, and I am proof against
their enmity. Better my life should be ended by
their hate, than that hated life should be prolonged,
to live without your love."-" How came you into
this place," said Juliet, and by whose direction ? "
--" Love directed me," answered Romeo : I am
no pilot, yet wert thou as far apart from me, as that
vast shore which is washed with the farthest sea,
I should venture for such merchandise." A crimson
blush came over Juliet's face, yet unseen by Romeo
by reason of the night, when she reflected upon the
discovery which she had made, yet not meaning to
make it, of her love to Romeo. She would fain
have recalled her words, but that was impossible :
fain would she have stood upon form, and have
T





284 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

kept her lover at a distance, as the custom of dis-
creet ladies is, to frown and be perverse, and give
their suitors harsh denials at first; to stand off, and
affect a coyness or indifference, where they most
love, that their lovers may not think them too lightly
or too easily won; for the difficulty of attainment
increases the value of the object. But there was
no room in her case for denials, or putting off, or
any of the customary arts of delay and protracted
courtship. Romeo had heard from her own tongue,
when she did not dream that he was near her, a
confession of her love. So with an honest frank-
ness, which the novelty of her situation excused, she
confirmed the truth of what he had before heard,
and addressing him by the name of fair Montague
(love can sweeten a sour name), she begged him
not to impute her easy yielding to levity or an un-
worthy mind, but that he must lay the fault of it
(if it were a fault) upon the accident of the night
which had so strangely discovered her thoughts.
And she added, that though her behaviour to him
might not be sufficiently prudent, measured by the
custom of her sex, yet that she would prove more
true than many whose prudence was dissembling,
and their modesty artificial cunning.
Romeo was beginning to call the heavens- to
witness, that nothing was farther from his thoughts
than to impute a shadow of dishonour to such an
honoured lady, when she stopped him, begging him
not to swear; for although she joyed in him, yet
she had no joy of that night's contract: it was too
rash, too unadvised, too sudden. But he being
urgent with her to exchange a vow of love with him
that:night, she said that she already had given him
hers before he requested it; meaning, when he





ROMEO :AND JULIET 285

overheard her confession; but she would retract
what she then bestowed, for the pleasure of giving
it again, for her bounty was as infinite as the sea,
and her love as deep. From this loving conference
she was called away by her nurse, who slept with
her, and thought it time for her to be in bed, for
it was near to daybreak; but hastily returning, she
said three or four words more to Romeo, the purport
of which was, that if his love was indeed honour-
able, and his purpose marriage, she would send a
messenger to him to-morrow, to appoint a time for
their marriage, when she would lay all her fortunes
at his feet, and follow him as her lord through the
world. While they were settling this point, Juliet
was repeatedly called for by her nurse,, and went in
and returned, and went and returned again, for she
seemed as jealous of Romeo going from her, as a
young girl of her bird, which she will let hop a
little from her hand, and pluck it back with a
silken thread ; and Romeo was as loath to part as
she; for the sweetest music to lovers is the sound
of each other's tongues at night. But at last they
Spared, wishing mutually sweet sleep and rest for
that night.
The day was breaking when they parted, and
Romeo, who was too full of thoughts of his mistress
and that blessed meeting to allow him to sleep, in-
stead of going home, bent his course to a monastery
hard by, to find friar Lawrence. The good friar
was already up at his devotions, but seeing young
Romeo abroad so early, he conjectured rightly that
he had not been abed that night, but that some
distemper of youthful affection had kept him waking.
He was right iti imputing the cause of Romeo's
wakefulness to love, but he made a wrong guess at




286 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

the object, for he thought that his love for Rosaline
had kept him waking. But when Romeo revealed
his new passion for Juliet, and requested the assist-
ance of the friar to marry'them that day, the holy
man lifted up his eyes and hands in a sort of wonder
at the sudden change in Romeo's affections, for he
had been privy to all Romeo's love for Rosaline,
and his many complaints of her disdain: and he
said, that young men's love lay not truly in their
hearts, but in their eyes. But Romeo replying, that
he himself had often chidden him for doting on
Rosaline, who could not love him again, whereas
Juliet both loved and was beloved by him, the friar
assented in some measure to his reasons; and think-
ing that a matrimonial alliance between young Juliet
and Romeo might happily be the means of making
up the long breach between the Capulets and the
Montagues; which no one more lamented than this
good friar, who was a friend to both the families
and had often interposed his mediation to make up
the quarrel without effect; partly moved by policy,
and partly by his fondness for young Romeo, to
whom he could deny nothing, the old man con-.
sented to join their hands in marriage.
Now was Romeo blessed indeed, and Juliet, who
knew his intent from a messenger which she had
despatched according to promise, did not fail to be
early at the cell of friar Lawrence, where their hands
were joined in holy marriage; the good friar pray-
ing the heavens to smile upon that act, and in the
union of this young Montague and young Capulet
to bury the old strife and long dissensions of their
families.
The ceremony being over, Juliet hastened home,
where she stayed impatient for the coming of night,





ROMEO AND JULIET.


at which: time Romeo promised to come and meet
her in the orchard, where they had met the night
before; and the time between seemed as tedious to
her, as the night before some great festival seems to
an impatient child, that has got new finery which it
may not put on till the morning.
That same day, about noon, Romeo's friends,
Benvolio and Mercutio, walking through the streets
of Verona, were met by a party of the Capulets
with the impetuous Tybalt at their head. This
was the same angry Tybalt who would have fought
with Romeo at old lord Capduet's feast. He,
seeing Mercutio, accused him bluntly of associating
with Romeo, a Montague. Mercutio, who had as
much fire and youthful blood in him as Tybalt,
replied to this accusation with some sharpness; and
in spite of all Benvolio could say to moderate their
wrath, a quarrel was beginning, when Romeo him-
self passing that way, the fierce Tybalt turned from
Mercutio to Romeo, and gave him the disgraceful
appellation of villain. Romeo wished to avoid a
quarrel with Tybalt above all men, because he was
the kinsman of Juliet, and much beloved by her;
besides, this young Montague had never thoroughly
entered into the family quarrel, being by nature
wise and gentle, and the name of a Capulet, which
was his dear lady's name, was now rather a charm
to allay resentment, than a watchword to excite
fury. So he tried to reason with Tybalt, whom he
saluted mildly by the name of good Capulet, as if
he, though a Montague, had some secret pleasure
in uttering that name: but Tybalt, who hated all
Montagues as he hated hell, would hear no reason,
but drew his weapon; and Mercutio, who knew
not of Romeo's secret motive for desiring peace





290 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

with Tybalt, but looked upon his present forbear-
ance as a sort of calm dishonourable submission,
with many disdainful words provoked Tybalt to
the prosecution of his first quarrel with him; and
Tybalt and Mercutio fought, till Mercutio fell,
receiving his death's wound while Romeo and
Benvolio were vainly endeavouring to part the
combatants. Mercutio being dead, Romeo kept
his temper no longer, but returned the scornful
appellation of villain which Tybalt had given him ;
and they fought till Tybalt was slain by Romeo.
This deadly broil falling out in the midst of Verona
at noonday, the news of it quickly brought a crowd
of citizens to the spot, and among them the old
lords Capulet and Montague, with their wives; and
soon after arrived the prince himself, who being
related to Mercutio, whom Tybalt had slain, and
having had the peace of his government often
disturbed by these brawls of Montagues and
Capulets, came determined to put the law in
strictest force against those who should be found
to be offenders. Benvolio, who had been eye-
witness to the fray, was commanded by the prince
to relate the origin of it; which he did, keeping
as near the truth as he could without injury to
Romeo, softening and excusing the part which his
friends took in it. Lady Capulet, whose extreme
grief for the loss of her kinsman Tybalt made her
keep no bounds in her revenge, exhorted the prince
to do strict justice upon his murderer, and to pay
no attention to Benvolio's representation, who, being
Romeo's friend and a Montague, spoke partially.
Thus. she pleaded. against her new son-in-law, but
she knew not yet that he was her son-in-law and
Juliet's husband. On the other hand was to be





ROMEO AND JULIET


seen Lady Montague pleading for her child's life,
and arguing with some justice that Romeo had done
nothing worthy of punishment in taking the life of
Tybalt, which was already forfeited to the law by
his having slain Mercutio. The prince, unmoved
by the passionate exclamations of these women, on
a careful examination of the facts, pronounced his
sentence, and by that sentence Romeo was banished
from Verona.
SHeavy news to young Juliet, who had been but
a few hours a bride, and now by this decree seemed
everlastingly divorced When the tidings reached
her, she at first gave way to rage against Romeo,
who had slain her dear cousin : she called him a
beautiful tyrant, a fiend angelical, a ravenous dove,
a lamb with a wolf's nature, a serpent-heart hid
with a flowering face, and other like contradictory
names, which denoted the struggles in her mind
between her love and her resentment: but in the
end love got the mastery, and the tears which she
shed for grief that Romeo had slain her cousin,
turned to drops of joy that her husband lived whom
Tybalt would have slain. Then came fresh tears,
and they were altogether of grief for Romeo's
banishment. That word was more terrible to her
than the death of many Tybalts.
Romeo, after the fray, had taken refuge in friar
Lawrence's cell, where he was first made acquainted
with the prince's sentence, which seemed to him
far more terrible than death. To him it appeared
there was no world out of Verona's walls, no living
out of the sight of Juliet. Heaven was there where
Juliet lived, and all beyond was purgatory, torture,
hell. The good friar would have apphed the con-
solation of philosophy to his griefs: but this frantic





292 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

young man would hear of none, but like a madman
he tore his hair, and threw himself all along upon
the ground, as he said, to take the measure of his
grave. From this unseemly state he was roused by
a message from his dear lady, which a little revived
him; and then the friar took the advantage to ex-
postulate with him on the unmanly weakness which
he had shown. He had slain Tybalt, but would he
also slay himself, slay his dear lady, who lived but
in his life ? The noble form of man, he said, was
but a shape of wax, when it wanted the courage
which should keep it firm. The law had been
lenient to him, that instead of death, which he had
incurred, had pronounced by the prince's mouth
only banishment. He had slain Tybalt, but Tybalt
would have slain him: there was a sort of happi-
ness in that. Juliet was alive, and (beyond all
hope) had become his dear wife; therein he was
most happy. All these blessings, as the friar made
them out to be, did Romeo put from him like a
sullen misbehaved wench. And the friar bade him
beware, for such as despaired (he said) died miser-
able. Then when Romeo was a little calmed, he
counselled him that he should go that night and
secretly take his leave of Juliet, and thence proceed
straightways to Mantua, at which place he should
sojourn, till the friar found fit occasion to publish
his marriage, which might be a joyful means of
reconciling their families; and then.he did not
doubt but the prince would be moved to pardon
him, and he would return with twenty times more
joy than he went forth with grief. Romeo was
convinced, by these wise counsels of the friar, and
took his leave to go and seek his lady, proposing to
stay with her that night, and by daybreak pursue





SROMEO AND JULIET 293

'his journey alone to Mantua; to which place the
-good friar promised to send him letters from time
to time, acquainting him with the state of affairs at
home.
That night Romeo passed with his dear wife,
gaining secret admission to her chamber,.from the
orchard in which he had heard her confession of
love the night before. That had been a night of
unmixed joy and rapture; but the pleasures of -this
night, and the delight which these lovers took in
each other's society, were sadly allayed with the
prospect of parting, and the fatal adventures of the
past day. The unwelcome daybreak seemed to
come too soon, and when Juliet heard the morning
song of the lark, she would have persuaded herself
that it was the nightingale, which sings .by night;
but it was too truly the lark which sang, and a
discordant and unpleasing note it seemed to her;
and the streaks of day in the east too certainly
pointed out that it was time for these lovers to part.
Romeo took his leave of his dear wife with a heavy
heart, promising to write to her from Mantua every
hour in the day ; and when he had descended from
her chamber-window, as he stood below her on the
ground, in that sad foreboding state of mind in
which she was, he appeared to her eyes as one dead
in the bottom of a tomb. Romeo's mind misgave
him in like manner: but now he was forced hastily
to depart, for it was death for him to be found
within the walls of Verona after daybreak.
This was but the beginning of the tragedy of this
pair of star-crossed lovers. Romeo had not been
gone many days, before the old lord Capulet pro-
posed a match for Juliet. The husband he had
chosen for her, not dreaming that she was married





294 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

already, was count Paris, a gallant, young, and
noble gentleman, no unworthy suitor to the young
Juliet, if she had never seen Romeo.
The terrified Juliet was in a sad perplexity at her
father's offer. She pleaded her youth unsuitable to
marriage, the recent death of Tybalt, which had left
her spirits too weak to meet a husband with any
face of joy, and how indecorous it would show for
the family of the Capulets to be celebrating a nuptial
feast, when his funeral solemnities were hardly over:
she pleaded every reason against the match, but the
true one, namely, that she was married already.
But lord Capulet was deaf to all her excuses, and in
a peremptory manner ordered her to get ready, for
by the following Thursday she should be married to
Paris: and having found her a husband, rich, young,
and noble, such as the proudest maid in Verona
might joyfully accept, he could not bear that out
of an affected coyness, as he construed her denial,
she should oppose obstacles to her own good
fortune.
In this extremity Juliet applied to the friendly
friar, always her counsellor in distress, and he
asking her. if she had resolution to undertake a
desperate remedy, and she answering that she would
go into the grave alive rather than marry Paris, her
own dear husband living; he directed her to go
home, and appear merry, and give her consent to
marry Paris, according to her father's desire, and
on the next night, which was the night before the
marriage, to drink off the contents of a phial which
he then gave her, the effect of which would be that
for two-and-forty hours after drinking it she should
appear cold and lifeless; and when the bridegroom
came to fetch her in the morning, he would find her





ROMEO AND JULIET


to appearance dead; that then she would be borne,
as the manner in that country was, uncovered on a
bier, to be buried in the family vault; that if she
could put off womanish fear, and consent to this
terrible trial, in forty-two hours after swallowing the
liquid (such was its certain operation) she would be
sure to awake, as from a dream; and before she
should awake, he would let her husband know their
drift, and he should come in the night, and bear her
thence to Mantua. Love, and the dread of marry-
ing Paris, gave young Juliet strength to undertake
this horrible adventure; and she took the phial of
the friar, promising to observe his directions.
Going from the monastery, she met the young
count Paris, and modestly dissembling, promised to
become his bride. This was joyful news to the lord
Capulet and his wife. It seemed to put youth into
the old man; and Juliet, who had displeased him
exceedingly, by her refusal of the count, was his
darling again, now she promised to be obedient.
All things in the house were in a bustle against the
approaching nuptials. No cost was spared to pre-
pare such festival rejoicings as Verona had never
before witnessed.
On the Wednesday night Juliet drank off the
potion. She had many misgivings lest the friar, to
avoid the blame which might be imputed to him
for marrying her to Romeo, had given her poison;
but then he was always known for a holy man:
then lest she should awake before the time that
Romeo was to come for her; whether the terror
of the place, a vault full of dead Capulets' bones,
and where Tybalt, all bloody, lay festering in his
shroud, would not be enough-to drive her distracted :
again she thought of all the stories she had heard





296 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

of spirits haunting the places where their bodies
were bestowed. But then her love for Romeo,
and her aversion for Paris returned, and she
desperately swallowed the draught, and became
insensible.
When young Paris came early in the morning
with music to awaken his bride, instead of a living
Juliet, her chamber presented the dreary spectacle
of a lifeless corse. What death to his hopes!
What confusion then reigned through the whole
house! Poor Paris lamenting his bride, whom
most detestable death had beguiled him of, had di-
vorced from him even before their hands were joined.
But still more piteous it was to hear the mourning
of the old lord and lady Capulet, who having but
this one, one poor loving child to rejoice and solace
in, cruel death had snatched her from their sight,
just as these careful parents were on the point of
seeing her advanced (as they thought) by a pro-
mising and advantageous match. Now all things
that were ordained for the festival were turned
from their properties to do the office of a black
funeral. The wedding cheer served for a sad
burial feast, the bridal hymns were changed for
sullen dirges, the sprightly instruments to melancholy
bells, and the flowers that should have been strewed
in the bride's path, now served but to strew her
corse. Now, instead of a priest to marry her, a
priest was needed to bury her; and she was borne
to church indeed, not to augment the cheerful hopes
of the living, but to swell the dreary numbers of
the dead.
Bad news, which always travels faster than good,
now brought the dismal story of his Juliet's death
to Romeo, at Mantua, before the messenger could





ROMEO AND JULIET


arrive, who was sent from friar Lawrence to apprise
him that these were mock funerals only, and but
the shadow and representation of death, and that
his dear lady lay in the tomb but for a short while,
expecting when Romeo would come to release her
from that dreary mansion. Just before, Romeo
had been unusually joyful and light-hearted. He
had dreamed in the night that he was dead (a
strange dream, that gave a dead man leave to think),
and that his lady came and found him dead, and
breathed such life with kisses in his lips, that
he revived, and was an emperor And now that
a messenger came from Verona, he thought surely
it was to confirm some good news which his
dreams had presaged. But when the contrary to
this flattering vision appeared, and that it was his
lady who was dead in truth, whom he'could not
revive by any kisses, he ordered horses to be got
ready, for he determined that night to visit Verona,
and to see his lady in her tomb. And as mischief
is swift to enter into the thoughts of desperate men,
he called to mind a poor apothecary, whose shop.
in Mantua he had lately passed, and from the.
beggarly appearance of the man, who seemed
famished, and the wretched show in his shop of
empty boxes ranged on dirty shelves, and other
tokens of extreme wretchedness, he had said at
the time (perhaps having some misgivings that his
own disastrous life might haply meet with a con-
clusion so desperate), "If a man were to need
poison, which by the law of Mantua it is death to
sell, here lives a poor wretch who would sell it him."
These words of his now came into his mind, and he
sought out the apothecary, who after some pretended
scruples, Romeo offering him gold, which his poverty





298 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

could not resist, sold him a poison, which, if he
swallowed, he told him, if he had the strength of
twenty men, would quickly despatch him.
With this poison he set out for Verona, to have
a sight of his dear lady in her tomb, meaning,
when he had satisfied his sight, to swallow the
poison, and be buried by her side. He reached
Verona at midnight, and found the churchyard, in
the midst of which was situated the ancient tomb
of the Capulets. He had provided a light, and a
spade, and wrenching iron, and was proceeding to
break open the monument, when he was interrupted
by a voice, which by the name of vile Montague,
bade him desist from his unlawful business. It was
the young count Paris, who had come to the tomb
of Juliet at that unseasonable time of night, to strew
flowers and to weep over the grave of her that should
have been his bride. He knew not what an interest
Romeo had in the dead, but knowing him to be a
Montague, and (as he supposed) a sworn foe to all
the Capulets, he judged that he was come by night
to do some villanous shame to the dead bodies;
therefore in an angry tone he bade him desist; and
as a criminal, condemned by the laws of Verona
to die if he were found within the walls of the city,
he would have apprehended him. Romeo urged
Paris to leave him, and warned him by the fate of
Tybalt, who lay buried there, not to provoke his
anger, or draw down another sin upon his head,
by forcing him to kill him. But the count in scorn
refused his warning, and laid hands on him as a
felon, which Romeo resisting, they fought, and
Paris fell. When Romeo, by the help of a light,
came to see who it was that he had slain, that. it
was Paris, who (he learned in his way from Mantua)





ROMEO AND JULIET


should have married Juliet, he took the dead youth
by the hand, as one whom misfortune had made a
companion, and said that he would bury him in a
triumphal grave, meaning in Juliet's grave, which
he now opened: and there lay his lady, as one
whom death had no power upon to change a
feature or complexion in her matchless beauty; or
as if Death were amorous, and the lean abhorred
monster kept her there for his delight; for she lay
yet fresh and blooming, as she had fallen to
sleep when she swallowed that benumbing potion;
and near her lay Tybalt in his bloody shroud,
whom Romeo seeing, begged pardon of his lifeless
corse, and for Juliet's sake called him cousin, and
said that he was about to do him a favour by putting
his enemy to death. Here Romeo took his last
leave of his lady's lips, kissing them; and here
he shook the burden of his cross stars from his
weary body, swallowing that poison which the
apothecary had sold him, whose operation was
fatal, and real, not like that dissembling potion
which Juliet had swallowed, the effect of which
was now nearly expiring, and she about to awake
to complain that Romeo had not kept his time, or
that he had come too soon.
For now the hour was arrived at which the friar
had promised. that she should awake; and he,
having learned that his letters which he had sent
to Mantua, by some unlucky detention of the
messenger, had never reached Romeo, came himself,
provided with a pickaxe and lantern, to deliver the
lady from her confinement; but he was surprised to
find a light already burning in the Capulets' monu-
ment, and to see swords and blood near it, and
Romeo and Paris lying breathless by the monument.





300 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Before he could entertain a conjecture, to imagine
how these fatal accidents had fallen out, Juliet
awoke out of her trance, and seeing the friar near
her, she remembered the place where she was, and
the occasion of her being there, and asked for
Romeo, but the friar, hearing a noise, bade her
come out of that place of death, and of unnatural
sleep, for a greater power than they could con-
tradict had thwarted their intents; and being
frightened by the noise of people coming, he
fled: but when Juliet saw the cup closed in her
true love's hands, she guessed that poison had been
the cause of his end, and she would have swallowed
the dregs if any had been left, and she kissed his still
warm lips to try if any poison yet did hang upon
them; then hearing a nearer noise of people coming,
she quickly unsheathed a dagger which she wore,
and stabbing herself, died by her true Romeo's side.
The watch by this time had come up to the
place. A page belonging to count Paris, who had
witnessed the fight between his master and Romeo,
had given the alarm, which had spread among the
citizens, who went up and down the streets of
Verona confusedly exclaiming, A Paris! a Romeo !
a Juliet! as the rumour had imperfectly reached
them, till the uproar brought lord Montague and lord
Capulet out of their beds, with the prince, to inquire
into the causes of the disturbance. The friar had
been apprehended by some of the watch, coming
from the churchyard, trembling, sighing, and weep-
ing, in a suspicious manner. A great multitude
being assembled at the Capulets' monument, the
friar was demanded by the prince to deliver what
he knew of these strange and disastrous accidents.
And there, in the presence of the old lords





ROMEO AND JULIET 301

Montague and Capulet, he faithfully related the
story of their children's fatal love, the part he took
in promoting their marriage, in the hope in that
union to end the long quarrels between their
families: how Romeo, there dead, was husband to
Juliet; and Juliet there dead, was Romeo's faithful
wife; how before he could find a fit opportunity
to divulge their marriage, another match was pro-
jected for Juliet, who, to avoid the crime of a
second marriage, swallowed the sleeping draught
(as he advised), and all thought her dead; how
meantime he wrote to Romeo, to come and take
.her thence when the force of the potion should
cease, and by what unfortunate miscarriage of the
messenger the letters never reached Romeo: further
than this the friar could not follow the story, nor
knew more than that coming himself, to deliver
Juliet from that place of death, he found the count
Paris and Romeo slain. The remainder of the
transactions was supplied by the narration of the
page who had seen Paris and Romeo fight, and by
the servant who came with Romeo from Verona,
to whom this faithful lover had given letters to be
delivered to his father in the event of his death,
which made good the friar's words, confessing his
marriage with Juliet, imploring the forgiveness of
his parents, acknowledging the buying of the poison
of the poor apothecary, and his intent in coming
to the monument, to die, and lie with Juliet. All
these circumstances agreed together to clear the
friar from any hand he could be supposed to have
in these complicated slaughters, further than as the
unintended consequences of his own well meant,
yet too artificial and subtle contrivances.
And the prince, turning to these old lords,





302. TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Montague and Capulet, rebuked them for their
brutal and irrational enmities, and showed them
what.a scourge Heaven had laid upon such offences,
that it had found means even through the love of
their children to punish their unnatural hate. And
these old rivals, no longer enemies, agreed to bury
their long strife in their children's graves ; and lord
Capulet requested lord Montague to give him his
hand, calling him by the name of brother, as if in
acknowledgment of the union of their families, by
the marriage of the young Capulet and Montague;
and saying that lord Montague's hand (in token
of reconcilement) was all he demanded for his
daughter's jointure: but lord Montague said he
would give him more, for he would raise her a
statue of pure gold, that while Verona kept its name,
no figure should be so esteemed for its richness and
workmanship as that of the true and faithful Juliet.
And lord Capulet in return said that he would raise
another statue to Romeo. So did these poor old
lords, when it was too late, strive to outgo each
other in mutual courtesies: while so deadly had been
their rage and enmity in past times, that nothing but
the fearful overthrow of their children (poor sacri-
fices to their quarrels and dissensions) could remove
the rooted hates and jealousies of the noble families.


HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK

GERTRUDE, queen of Denmark, becoming a
widow by the sudden death of King Hamlet,
in less than two months after his death married his
brother Claudius, which was noted by all people at
the time for a strange act of indiscretion, or unfeel-





HAMLET


ingness, or worse: for this Claudius did no ways
resemble her late husband in the qualities of his
person or his mind, but was as contemptible in out-
ward appearance, as he was base and unworthy in
disposition; and suspicions did not fail to arise in
the minds of some, that he had privately made
away with his brother, the late king, with the view
of marrying his widow, and ascending the throne
of Denmark, to the exclusion of young Hamlet, the
son of the buried king, and lawful successor to the
throne.
But upon no one did this unadvised action of
the queen make such impression as upon this young
prince, who loved and venerated the memory of his
dead father almost to idolatry, and being of a nice
sense of honour, and a most exquisite practiser of
propriety himself, did sorely take to heart this un-
worthy conduct of his mother Gertrude: insomuch
that, between grief for his father's death and shame
for his mother's marriage, this young prince was
overclouded with a deep melancholy, and lost all his
mirth and all his good looks; all his customary
pleasure in books forsook him, his princely exercises
and sports, proper to his youth, were no longer
acceptable; he grew weary of the world, which
seemed to him an unweeded garden, where all the
wholesome flowers were choked up, and nothing but
weeds could thrive. Not that the prospect of ex-
clusion from the throne, his lawful inheritance,
weighed so much upon his spirits, though that to a
young and high-minded prince was a bitter wound
and a sore indignity; but what so galled him, and
took away all his cheerful spirits, was, that his
mother had shown herself so forgetful to his father's
memory : and such a father I who had been to her





304 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

so loving and so gentle a husband and then she
always appeared as loving and obedient a wife .to
him, and would hang upon him as if her affection
grew to him: and now within two months, or as it
seemed to young Hamlet, less than two months, she
had married again, married his uncle, her dear
husband's brother, in itself a highly improper and
unlawful marriage, from the nearness of relationship,
but made much more so by the indecent haste with
which it was concluded, and the unkingly character
of the man whom she had chosen to be the partner
of her throne and bed. This it was, which more
than the loss of ten kingdoms, dashed the spirits and
brought a cloud over the mind of this honourable
young prince.
In vain was all that his mother Gertrude or the
king could do to contrive to divert him; he still
appeared in court in a suit of deep black, as mourn-
ing for the king his father's death, which mode of
dress he had never laid aside, not even in compli-
ment to his mother upon the day she was married,
nor could he be brought to join in any of the
festivities or rejoicings of that (as appeared to him)
disgraceful day.
What mostly troubled him was an uncertainty
about the manner of his father's death. It was
given out by Claudius that a serpent had stung him;
but young Hamlet had shrewd suspicions that
Claudius himself was the serpent; in plain English,
that he had murdered him for his crown, and that
the serpent who stung his father did now sit on the
throne.
How far he was right in this conjecture, and
what he ought to think of his mother, how far she
was privy to this murder, and whether by her con-





HAMLET


sent- or knowledge, or without, it came to pass,
were the doubts which continually harassed and
distracted him.
A rumour had reached the ear of young Hamlet,
than an apparition, exactly resembling the dead king
his father, had been seen by the soldiers upon watch,
on the platform before the palace at midnight,
for two or three nights successively. The figure
came constantly clad in the same suit of armour,
from head to foot, which the dead king was known
to have worn: and they who saw it (Hamlet's
bosom friend Horatio was one) agreed in their
testimony as to the time and manner of its ap-
pearance: that it came just as the clock struck
twelve; that it looked pale, with a face more of
sorrow than of anger; that its beard was grisly,
and the colour a sable silvered, as they had seen it
in his lifetime: that it made no answer when they
spoke to it; yet once they thought it lifted up its
head, and addressed itself to motion, as if it were
about to speak; but in that moment the morning
cock crew, and it shrunk in haste away, and
vanished out of their sight.
The young prince, strangely amazed at their
relation, which was too consistent and agreeing
with itself to disbelieve, concluded that it was his
father's ghost which they had seen, and determined
to take his watch with the soldiers that night, that
he might have a chance of seeing it; for he reasoned
with himself, that such an appearance did not come
for nothing, but that the ghost had something to
impart, and though it had been silent hitherto, yet
it would speak to him. And he waited with im-
patience for the coming of night.
When night came he took his stand with Horatio,





3o6 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

and Marcellus, one of the guard, upon the platform,
where this apparition was accustomed to walk : and
it being a cold night, and the air unusually raw and
nipping, Hamlet and Horatio and their companion
fell into some talk about the coldness of the night,
which was suddenly broken off by Horatio an-
nouncing that the ghost was coming.
At the sight of his father's spirit, Hamlet was
struck with a sudden surprise and fear. He at first
called upon the angels and heavenly ministers to
defend them, for he knew not whether it were a
good spirit or bad; whether it came for good or
evil: but he gradually assumed more courage; and
his father (as it seemed to him) looked upon him
so piteously, and as it were desiring to have con-
versation with him, and did in all respects appear
so like himself as he was when he lived, that
Hamlet could not help addressing him: he called
him by his name, Hamlet, King, Father! and
conjured him that he would tell the reason why he
had left his grave, where they had seen him quietly
bestowed, to come again and visit the earth and
the moonlight: and besought him that he would
let them know if there was anything which they
could do to give peace to his spirit. And the
ghost beckoned to Hamlet, that he should go with
him to some more removed place, where they might
be alone; and Horatio and Marcellus would have
dissuaded the young prince from following it, for
they feared lest it should be some evil spirit, who
would tempt him to the neighboring sea, or to the
top of some dreadful cliff, and there put on some
horrible shape which might deprive the prince of
his reason. But their counsels and entreaties could
not alter Hamlet's determination, who cared too





HAMLET


little about life to fear the losing of it; and as to
his soul, he said, what could the spirit do to that,
being a thing immortal as itself? And he felt as
hardy as a lion, and bursting from them, who did
all they could to hold him, he followed whitherso-
ever the spirit led him.
And when they were alone together, the spirit
broke silence, and told him that he was the ghost
of Hamlet, his father, who had been cruelly
murdered, and he told the manner of it; that it
was done by his own brother Claudius, Hamlet's
uncle, as Hamlet had already but too much sus-
pected, for the hope of succeeding to his bed and
crown. That as he was sleeping in his garden, his
custom always in the afternoon, his treasonous
brother stole upon him in his sleep, and poured the
juice of poisonous henbane into his ears, which has
such an antipathy to the life of man, that swift as
quicksilver it courses through all the veins of the
body, baking up the blood, and spreading a crust-
like leprosy all over the skin : thus sleeping, by a
brother's hand he was cut off at once from his
crown, his queen, and his life: and he adjured
Hamlet, if he did ever his dear father love, that he
would revenge his foul murder. And the ghost
lamented to his son, that his mother should so fall
off from virtue, as to prove false to the wedded love
of her first husband, and to marry his murderer;
but he cautioned Hamlet, howsoever he proceeded
in his revenge against his wicked uncle, by no means
to act any violence against the person of his mother,
but to leave her to heaven, and to the strings and
thorns of conscience. And Hamlet promised to
observe the ghost's direction in all things, and the
ghost vanished.





308 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

And when Hamlet was left alone, he took up a
solemn resolution, that all he had in his memory,
all that he had ever learned by books or observa-
tion, should be instantly forgotten by him, and
nothing live in his brain but the memory of what the
ghost had told him, and enjoined him to do. And
Hamlet related the particulars of the conversation
which had passed to none but his dear friend Horatio;
and he enjoined both to him and Marcellus the
strictest secrecy as to what they had seen that night.
The terror which the sight of the ghost had left
upon the senses of Hamlet, he being weak and
dispirited before, almost unhinged his mind, and
drove him beside his reason. And he, fearing that
it would continue to have this effect, which might
subject him to observation, and set his uncle upon
his guard, if he suspected that he was meditating
anything against him, or that Hamlet really knew
more of his father's death than he professed, took
up a strange resolution, from that time to counter-
feit as if he were really and truly mad; thinking
that he would be less an object of suspicion when
his uncle should believe him incapable of any serious
project, and that his real perturbation of mind would
be best covered and pass concealed under a disguise
of pretended lunacy.
From this time Hamlet affected a certain wild-
ness and strangeness in his apparel, his speech, and
behaviour, and did so excellently counterfeit the
madman, that the king and queen were both
deceived, and not thinking his grief for his father's
death a sufficient cause to produce such a distemper,
for they knew not of the appearance of the ghost,
they concluded that his malady was love, and they
thought they had found out the object.





Pages
309-310
Missing
From
Original




HAMLET


Before Hamlet fell into the melancholy way
which has been related, he had dearly loved a fair
maid called Ophelia, the daughter of Polonius, the
king's chief counsellor in affairs of state. He had
sent her letters and rings, and made many tenders
of his affection to her, and importuned her with love
in honourable fashion: and she had given belief to
his vows and importunities. But the melancholy
which he fell into latterly had made him neglect
her, and from the time he conceived the project of
counterfeiting madness, he affected to treat her with
unkindness, and a sort of rudeness: but she, good
lady, rather than reproach him with being false to
her, persuaded herself that it was nothing but the
disease in his mind, and no settled unkindness,
which had made him less observant of her than
formerly; and she compared the faculties of his
once noble mind and excellent understanding,
impaired as they were with the deep melancholy
that oppressed him, to sweet bells which in them-
selves are capable of most exquisite music, but when
jangled out of tune, or rudely handled, produce only
a harsh and unpleasing sound.
Though the rough business which Hamlet had
in hand, the revenging of his father's death upon
his murderer, did not suit with the playful state of
courtship, or admit of the society of so idle a passion
as love now seemed to him, yet it could not hinder
but that soft thoughts of his Ophelia would come
between, and in one of these moments, when he
thought that his treatment of this gentle lady had
been unreasonably harsh, he wrote her a letter full
of wild starts of passion, and in extravagant terms,
such as agreed with his supposed: madness, but
mixed with some gentle touches of affection, which





312 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

could not but show to this honoured lady that a
deep love for her yet lay at the bottom of his
heart. He bade her to doubt the stars were fire,
and to doubt that the sun did move, to doubt truth
to be a liar, but never to doubt that he loved; with
more of such extravagant phrases.. This letter
Ophelia dutifully showed to her father, and the old
man thought himself bound to communicate it to
the king and queen, who from that time supposed
that the true cause of Hamlet's madness was love.
And the queen wished that the good beauties of
Ophelia might be the happy cause of his wildness,
for so she hoped that her virtues might happily
restore him to his accustomed way again, to both
their honours.
But Hamlet's malady lay deeper than she supposed,
or than could be so cured. His father's ghost, which
he had seen, still haunted his imagination, and the
sacred injunction to revenge his murder gave. him
no rest till it was accomplished. Every hour of
delay seemed to him a sin, and a violation of his
father's commands. Yet how to compass the death
of the king, surrounded as he constantly was with
his guards, was no easy matter. Or if it had been,
the presence of the queen, Hamlet's mother, who
was generally with the king, was a restraint upon
his purpose, which he could not break through.
Besides, the very circumstance that the usurper was
his mother's husband filled him with some remorse,
and still blunted the edge of his purpose. The
mere act of putting a fellow-creature to death was
in itself odious and terrible to a disposition naturally
so gentle as Hamlet's was. His very melancholy,
and the dejection of spirits he had so long been in,
produced an irresoluteness and wavering of purpose,





HAMLET


which kept him from proceeding to extremities.
Moreover, he could not help having some scruples
upon his mind, whether the spirit which he had
seen was indeed his father, or whether it might not
be the devil who he had heard has power to take
any form he pleases, and who might have assumed
his father's shape only to take advantage of his
weakness and his melancholy, to drive him to the
doing of so desperate an act as murder. And he
determined that he would have more certain grounds
to go upon than a vision, or apparition, which might
be a delusion.
While he was in this irresolute mind there came
to the court certain players, in whom Hamlet
formerly used to take delight, and particularly to
hear one of them speak a tragical speech, describing
the death of old Priam, King of Troy, with the
grief of Hecuba his queen. Hamlet welcomed his
old friends, the players, and remembering how that
speech had formerly given him pleasure, requested
the player to repeat it; which he did in so lively a
manner, setting forth the cruel murder of the feeble
old king, with the destruction of his people and
city by fire, and the mad grief of the old queen,
running barefoot up and down the palace, with a
poor clout upon that head where a crown had been,
and with nothing but a blanket upon her loins,
snatched up in haste, where she had worn a royal
robe; that not only it drew tears from all that
stood by, who thought they saw the real scene, so
lively was it represented, but even the player him-
self delivered it with a broken voice and real tears.
This put Hamlet upon thinking, if that player could
so work himself up to passion by a mere fictitious
speech, to weep for one that he had never seen, for





314 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Hecuba, that had been dead so many hundred years,
how dull was he, who having a real motive and
cue for passion, a real king and a dear father
murdered, was yet so little moved, that his revenge
all.this while had seemed to have slept in dull and
muddy forgetfulness! and while he meditated on
actors and acting, and the powerful effects which a
good play, represented to the life, has upon the
spectator, he' remembered the instance of some
murderer, who seeing a murder on the stage, was
by the mere force of the scene and resemblance of
circumstances so affected, that on the spot he con-
fessed the crime which he had committed. And
he determined that these players should play some-
thing like the murder of his father before his uncle,
and he would watch narrowly what effect it might
have upon him, and from his looks he would be
able to gather with more certainty if he were the
murderer or not. To this effect he ordered a play
to be prepared, to- the representation of which he
invited the king and queen.
The story of the play was of a murder done in
Vienna upon a duke. The duke's name was
Gonzago, his wife Baptista. The play showed
how one Lucianus, a near relation to the duke,
poisoned him in his garden for his estate, and how
the murderer in a short time after got the love of
Gonzago's wife.
At the representation of this play, the king, who
did not know the trap which was laid for him, was
present, with his queen and the whole court:
Hamlet sitting attentively near him to observe his
looks. The play began with a conversation between
Gonzago and his wife, in which the lady made
many protestations of love, and of never marrying





HAMLET


a second husband, if she should outlive Gonzago;
wishing she might be accursed if she ever took a
second husband, and adding that no Ooman did
so, but those wicked women who kill their first
husbands. Hamlet observed the king his uncle
change colour at this expression, and that it was
as bad as wormwood both to him and to the queen.
But when Lucianus, according to the story, came to
poison Gonzago sleeping in the garden, the strong
resemblance which it bore to 'his own wicked act
upon the late king, his brother, whom he had
poisoned in his garden, so struck upon the con-
science of this usurper, that he was unable to sit
out the rest of the play, but on a sudden calling
for lights to his chamber, and affecting or partly
feeling a sudden sickness, he abruptly left the
theatre. The king being departed, the play was
given over. Now Hamlet had seen enough to be
satisfied that the words of the ghost were true,
and no illusion; and in a fit of gaiety, like that
which comes over a man who suddenly has some
great doubt or scruple resolved, he swore to
Horatio, that he would take the ghost's word for a
thousand pounds. But before he could make up
his resolution as to what measures of revenge he
should take, now he was certainly informed that
his uncle was his father's murderer, he was sent
for by the queen, his mother, to a private conference
in her closet.
It was by desire of the king that the queen sent
for Hamlet, that she might signify to her son how
much his late behaviour had displeased them both,
and the king, wishing to know all* that passed at
that conference, and thinking that the too partial
report of a mother might let slip some part of
x





316 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Hamlet's words, which it might much import the
king to know, Polonius, the old counsellor of state,
was ordered to plant himself behind the hangings
in the queen's closet, where he might unseen hear
all that passed. This artifice was particularly
adapted to the disposition of Polonius, who was
a man grown old in crooked maxims and policies
of state, and delighted to get at the knowledge of
matters in an indirect and cunning way.
Hamlet being come to his mother, she began to
tax him in the roundest way with his actions and
behaviour, and she told him that he had given
great offence to his father, meaning the king, his
uncle, whom, because he had married her, she called
Hamlet's father. Hamlet, sorely indignant that she
should give so dear and honoured a name as father
seemed to him, to a wretch who was indeed no
better than the murderer of his true father, with
some sharpness replied, Mother, you have much
offended my father." The queen said that was
but an idle answer. "As good as the question
deserved," said Hamlet. The queen asked him if
he had forgotten who it was he was speaking to ?
"Alas! replied Hamlet, "I wish I could forget.
You are the queen, your husband's brother's wife;
and you are my mother: I wish you were not what
you are." "Nay, then," said the queen, "if you
show me so little respect, I will set those to you
that can speak," and was going to send the king or
Polonius to him. But Hamlet would not let her
go, now he had her alone, till he had tried if his
words could not bring her to some sense of her
wicked life; and, taking her by the wrist, he held
her fast, and made her sit down. She, affrighted
at his earnest manner, and fearful lest in his lunacy





HAMLET


he should do her a mischief, cried out; and a voice
was heard from behind the hangings, "Help, help,
the queen!" which Hamlet hearing, and verily
thinking that it was the king himself there con-
cealed, he drew his sword and stabbed at the place
where the voice came from, as he would have
stabbed a rat that ran there, till the voice ceasing,
he concluded the person to be dead. But when
he dragged forth the body, it was not the king,
but Polonius, the old officious counsellor, that had
planted himself as a spy behind the hangings.
" Oh me!" exclaimed the queen, what a rash
and bloody deed have you done! "A bloody
deed, mother," replied Hamlet, but not so bad as
yours, who killed a king, and married his brother."
Hamlet had gone too far to leave off here. He
was now in the humour to speak plainly to his
mother, and he pursued it. And though the faults
of parents are to be tenderly treated by their
children, yet in the case of great crimes the son
may have leave to speak even to his own mother
with some harshness, so as that harshness is meant
for her good, and to turn her from her wicked
ways, and not done for the purpose of upbraiding.
And now this virtuous prince did in moving terms
represent to the queen the heinousness of her
offence, in being so forgetful of the dead king, his
father, as in so short a space of time to marry with
his brother and reputed murderer: such an act as,
after the vows which she had sworn to her first
husband, was enough to make all vows of women
suspected, and all virtue to be accounted hypocrisy,
wedding contracts to be less than gamester's oaths,
and religion to be a mockery and a mere form of
words. He said she had done such a deed, that





318 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

the heavens blushed at it, and the earth was sick
of her because of it. And he showed her two
pictures, the one of the late king, her first husband,
and the other of the present king, her second
husband, and he bade her mark the difference;
what a grace was on the brow of his father, how
like a god he looked! the curls of Apollo, the
forehead of Jupiter, the eye of Mars, and a posture
like to Mercury newly alighted on some heaven-
kissing hill this man, he said, had been her husband.
And then he showed her whom she had got in his
stead: how like a blight or a mildew he looked,
for so he had blasted his wholesome brother. And
the queen was sore ashamed that he should so turn
her eyes inward upon her soul, which she now saw
so black and deformed. And he asked her how
she could continue to live with this man, and be a
wife to him, who had murdered her first husband,
and got the crown by as false means as a thief
--- and just as he spoke, the ghost of his father,
such as he was in his lifetime, and such as he had
lately seen it, entered the room, and Hamlet, in
great terror, asked what it would have; and the
ghost said that it came to remind him of the
revenge he had promised, which Hamlet seemed to
have forgot; and the ghost bade him speak to his
mother, for the grief and terror she was in would
else kill her. It then vanished, and was seen by
none but Hamlet, neither could he by pointing to
where it stood, or by any description, make his
mother perceive it; who was terribly frightened
all this while to hear him conversing, as it seemed
to her, with nothing; and she imputed it to the
disorder of his mind. But Hamlet begged her not
to flatter her wicked soul in such a manner as to






think that it was his madness, and not her own
offences, which had brought his father's spirit again
on the earth. And he bade her feel his pulse,
how temperately it beat, not like a madman's.
And he begged of her with tears, to confess her-
self to heaven for what was past, and for the future
to avoid the company of the king, and be no more
as a wife to him: and when she should show her-
self a mother to him, by respecting his father's
memory, he would ask a blessing of her as a son.
And she promising to observe his directions, the
conference ended.
And now Hamlet was at leisure to consider
who it was that in his unfortunate rashness he had
killed: and when he came to see that it was
Polonius, the father of the lady Ophelia, whom he
so dearly loved, he drew apart the dead body, and,
his spirits being now a little quieter, he wept for
what he had done.
The unfortunate death of Polonius gave the king
a pretence for sending Hamlet out of the kingdom.
He would willingly have put him to death, fearing
him as dangerous; but he dreaded the people, who
loved Hamlet, and the queen,, who, with all her
faults, doted upon the prince, her son. So this
subtle king, under pretence of providing for Ham-
let's safety, that he might not be called to account
for Polonius' death, caused him to be conveyed on
board a ship bound for England, under the care of
two courtiers, by whom he despatched letters to
the English court, which in that time was in sub-
jection and paid tribute to Denmark, requiring for
special reasons there pretended, that Hamlet should
be put to death as soon as he landed on English
ground. Hamlet, suspecting some treachery, in


HAMLET


319





320 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

the night-time secretly got at the letters, and skil-
fully erasing his own name, he in the stead of it
put in the names of those two courtiers, who had
the charge of him, to be put to death: then sealing
up the letters, he put them into their place again.
Soon after the ship was attacked by pirates, and a
sea-fight commenced; in- the course of which
Hamlet, desirous to show his valour, with sword
in hand singly boarded the enemy's vessel; while
his own ship, in a cowardly manner, bore away,
and leaving him to his fate, the two courtiers made
the best of their way to England, charged with
those letters the sense of which Hamlet had altered
to their own deserved destruction.
The pirates, who had the prince in their power,
showed themselves gentle enemies; and knowing
whom they had got prisoner, in the hope that the
prince might do them a good turn at court in
recompense for any favour they might show him,
they set Hamlet on shore at the nearest port in
Denmark. From that place Hamlet wrote to the
king, acquainting him with the strange chance
which had brought him back to his own country,
and saying that on the next day he should present
himself before his majesty. When he got home,
a sad spectacle offered itself the first thing to his
eyes.
This was the funeral of the young and beautiful
Ophelia, his once dear mistress. The wits of this
young lady had begun to turn ever since her poor
father's death. That he should die a violent death,
and by the hands of the prince whom she loved, so
affected this tender young maid, that in a little time
she grew perfectly distracted, and would go about
giving flowers away to the ladies of the court, and





HAMLET


saying that they were for her father's burial, sing-
ing songs about love and about death, and some-
times such as had no meaning at all, as if she had
no memory of what happened to her. There was
a willow which grew slanting over a brook, and
reflected its leaves on the stream. To this brook
she came one day when she was unwatched, with
garlands she had been making, mixed up of daisies
and nettles, flowers and weeds together, and clamber-
ing up to hang her garland upon the boughs of the
willow, a bough broke, and precipitated this fair
young maid, garland, and all that she had gathered,
into the water, where her clothes bore her up for
a while, during which she chanted scraps of old
tunes, like one insensible to her own distress, or as
if she were a creature natural to that element: but
long it was not before her garments, heavy with the
wet, pulled her in from her melodious singing to a
muddy and miserable death. It was the funeral of
this fair maid which her brother Laertes was cele-
brating, the king and queen and whole court being
present, when Hamlet arrived. He knew not what
all this show imported, but stood on one side, not
inclining to interrupt the ceremony. He saw the
flowers strewed upon her grave, as the custom was
in maiden burials, which the queen herself threw
in; and as she threw them she said, Sweets to
the sweet! I thought to have decked thy bride-
bed, sweet maid, not to have strewed thy grave.
Thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife." And
he heard her brother wish that violets might spring
from her grave: and he saw him leap into the grave
all frantic with grief, and bid the attendants pile
mountains of earth upon him, that he might be
buried with her. And Hamlet's love for this fair





322 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

maid came back to him, and he could not bear
that a brother should show so much transport of
grief, for he thought that he loved Ophelia better
than forty thousand brothers. Then discovering
himself, he leaped into the grave where Laertes was,
all as frantic or more frantic than he, and Laertes
knowing him to be Hamlet, who had been the cause
of his father's and his sister's death, grappled him
by the throat as an enemy, till the attendants parted
them: and Hamlet, after the funeral, excused his
hasty act in throwing himself into the grave as if
to brave Laertes; but he said he could not bear
that any one should seem to outgo him in grief for
the death of the fair Ophelia. And for the time
these two noble youths seemed reconciled.
But out of the grief and anger of Laertes for the
death of his father and Ophelia, the king, Hamlet's
wicked uncle, contrived destruction for Hamlet.
He set on Laertes, under cover of peace and re-
conciliation, to challenge Hamlet to a friendly trial
of skill at fencing, which Hamlet accepting, a day
was appointed to try the match. At this match all
the court was present, and Laertes, by direction of
the king, prepared a poisoned weapon. Upon this
match great wagers were laid by the courtiers, as
both Hamlet and Laertes were known to excel at
this sword play; and Hamlet taking up the foils
chose one, not at all suspecting the treachery of
Laertes, or being careful to examine Laertes'
weapon, who, instead of a foil or blunted sword,
which the laws of fencing require, made use of one
with a point, and poisoned. At first Laertes did
but play with Hamlet, and suffered him to gain some
advantages, which the dissembling king magnified
and extolled beyond measure, drinking to Hamlet's





HAMLET


success, and wagering rich bets upon the issue: but
after a few pauses, Laertes growing warm made a
deadly thrust at Hamlet with his poisoned weapon,
and gave him a mortal blow. Hamlet incensed, but
not knowing the whole of the treachery, in the scuffle
exchanged his own innocent weapon for Laertes'
deadly one, and with a thrust of Laertes' own sword
repaid Laertes home, who was thus justly caught
in his own treachery. In this instant the queen
shrieked out that she was poisoned. She had in-
advertently drunk out of a bowl which the king
had prepared for Hamlet, in case, that being warm
in fencing, he should call for drink: into this the
treacherous king had infused a deadly poison, to
make sure of Hamlet, if Laertes had failed. He
had forgotten to warn the queen of the bowl, which
she drank of, and immediately died, exclaiming
with her last breath that she was poisoned. Hamlet,
suspecting some treachery, ordered the doors to be
shut, while he sought it out. Laertes told him to
seek no farther, for he was the traitor; and feeling
his life go away with the wound which Hamlet had
given him, he made confession of the treachery he
had used, and how he had fallen a victim to it:
and he told Hamlet of the envenomed point, and
said that Hamlet had not half an hour to live, for no
medicine could cure him; and begging forgiveness of
Hamlet, he died, with his last words accusing the
king of being the contriver of the mischief. When
Hamlet saw his end draw near, there being yet
some venom left upon the sword, he suddenly
turned upon his false uncle, and thrust the point of
it to his heart, fulfilling the promise which he had
made to his father's spirit, whose injunction was
now accomplished, and his foul murder revenged





324 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

upon the murderer. Then Hamlet, feeling his
breath fail and life departing, turned to his dear
friend Horatio, who had been spectator of this fatal
tragedy; and with his dying breath requested him
that he would live to tell his story to the world (for
Horatio had made a motion as if he would slay
himself to accompany the prince in death), and
Horatio promised that he would make a true report,
as one that was privy to all the circumstances.
And, thus satisfied, the noble heart of Hamlet
cracked; and Horatio and the bystanders with many
tears commended the spirit of this sweet prince to
the guardianship of angels. For Hamlet was a
loving and a gentle prince, and greatly beloved for
his many noble and princelike qualities; and if he
had lived, would no doubt have proved a most royal
and complete king to Denmark.


OTHELLO

B RABANTIO, the rich senator of Venice,
had a fair daughter, the gentle Desdemona.
She was sought to by divers suitors, both on
account of her many virtuous qualities, and for her
rich expectations. But among the suitors of her
own clime and complexion, she saw none whom
she could affect: for this noble lady, who regarded
the mind more than the features of men, with a
singularity rather to be admired than imitated, had
chosen for the object of her affections, a Moor, a
black, whom her father loved, and often invited to
his house.
Neither is Desdemona to be altogether con-
demned for the unsuitableness of the person whom





OTHELLO 325

she selected for her lover. Bating that Othello
was black, the noble Moor wanted nothing which
might recommend him to the affections of the
greatest lady. He was a soldier, and a brave one;
and by his conduct in bloody wars against the
Turks, had risen to the rank of general in the
Venetian service, and was esteemed and trusted by
the state.
He had been a traveller, and Desdemona (as is
the manner of ladies) loved to hear him tell the
story of his adventures, which he would run through
from his earliest recollection; the battles, sieges,
and encounters, which he had passed through; the
perils he had been exposed to by land and by
water; his hair-breadth escapes, when he had
entered a breach, or marched up to the mouth of
a cannon; and how he had been taken prisoner
by the insolent enemy, and sold to slavery; how
he demeaned himself in that state, and how he
escaped: all these accounts, added to the narra-
tion of the strange things *he had seen in foreign
countries, the vast wilderness and romantic caverns,
the quarries, the rocks and mountains, whose heads
are in the clouds; of the savage nations, the
cannibals who are man-eaters, and a race of people
in Africa whose heads do grow beneath their
shoulders: these travellers' stories would so enchain
the attention of Desdemona, that if she were called
off at any time by household affairs, she would
despatch with all haste that business, and return,
and with a greedy ear devour Othello's discourse.
And once he took advantage of a pliant hour, and
drew from her a prayer, that he would tell her the
whole story of his life at large, of which she had
heard so much, but only by parts: to which he





326 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

consented, and beguiled her of many a tear, when
he spoke of some distressful stroke which his youth
had suffered.
His story being done, she gave him for his
pains a world of sighs: she swore a pretty oath,
that it was all passing strange, and pitiful,
wondrous pitiful: she wished (she said) she had
not heard it, yet she wished that heaven had
made her such a man; and then she thanked him,
and told him, if he had a friend who loved
her, he had only to teach him how to tell his
story, and that would woo her. Upon this hint,
delivered not with more frankness than modesty,
accompanied with certain bewitching prettiness,
and blushes, which Othello could not but under-
stand, he spoke more openly of his love, and in
this golden opportunity gained the consent of the
generous lady Desdemona privately to marry
him.
Neither Othello's colour nor his fortune were
such that it could be hoped Brabantio would accept
him for a son-in-law. He had left his daughter
free; but he did expect that, as the manner of
noble Venetian ladies was, she would choose ere
long a husband of senatorial rank or expectations;
but in this he was deceived; Desdemona loved
the Moor, though he was black, and devoted her
heart and fortunes to his valiant parts and qualities;
so was her heart subdued to an implicit devotion to
the man she had selected for a husband, that his
very colour, which to all but this discerning lady
would have proved an insurmountable objection,
was by her esteemed above all the white skins and
clear complexions of the young Venetian nobility,
her suitors.





OTHELLO


Their marriage, which, though privately carried,
could not long be kept a secret, came to the ears
of the old man, Brabantio, who appeared in a
solemn council of the senate, as an accuser of the
Moor Othello, who by spells and witchcraft (he
maintained) had seduced the affections of the fair
Desdemona to marry him, without the consent
of her father, and against the obligations of
hospitality.
At this juncture of time it happened that the
state of Venice had immediate need of the services
of Othello, news having arrived that the Turks
with mighty preparation had fitted out a fleet, which
was bending its course to the island of Cyprus, with
intent to regain that strong post from the Venetians,
who then held it; in this emergency the state turned
its eyes upon Othello, who alone was deemed ade-
quate to conduct the defence of Cyprus against the
Turks. So that Othello, now summoned before
the senate, stood in their presence at once as a
candidate for a great state employment, and as a
culprit, charged with offences which by the laws of
Venice were made capital.
The age and senatorial character of old Brabantio,
commanded a most patient hearing from that grave
assembly; but the incensed father conducted his
accusation with so much intemperance, producing
likelihood and allegations for proofs, that, when
Othello was called upon for his defence, he had only
to relate a plain tale of the course of his love ; which
he did with such an artless eloquence, recounting
the whole story of his wooing, as we have related
it above, and delivered his speech with so noble a
plainness (the evidence of truth), that the duke,
who sat as chief judge, could not help confessing





328 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

that a tale so told would have won his daughter
too: and the spells and conjurations which Othello
had used in his courtship, plainly appeared to have
been no more than the honest arts of men in love;
and the only witchcraft which he had used, the
faculty of telling a soft tale to win a lady's ear.
This statement of Othello was confirmed by the
testimony of the lady Desdemona herself, who ap-
peared in court, and professing a duty to her father
for life and education, challenged leave of him to
profess a yet higher duty to her lord and husband,
even so much as her mother had shown in preferring
him (Brabantio) above her father.
The old senator, unable to maintain his plea, called
the Moor to him with many expressions of sorrow,
and, as an act of necessity, bestowed upon him his
daughter, whom, if he had been free to withhold
her (he told him), he would with all his heart have
kept from him; adding, that he was glad at soul
that he had no other child, for this behaviour of
Desdemona would have taught him to be a tyrant,
and hang clogs on them for her desertion.
This difficulty being got over, Othello, to whom
custom had rendered the hardships of a military life
as natural as food and rest are to other men, readily
undertook the management of the wars in Cyprus:
and Desdemona, preferring the honour of her lord
(though with danger) before the indulgence of
those idle delights in which new-married people
usually waste their time, cheerfully consented to his
going.
No sooner were Othello and his lady landed in
Cyprus, than news arrived, that a desperate tempest
had dispersed the Turkish fleet, and thus the island
was secure from any immediate apprehension of an





OTHELLO


attack. But the war, which Othello was to suffer,
was now beginning; and the enemies, which malice
stirred up against his innocent lady, proved in their
nature more deadly than strangers or infidels.
Among all the general's friends no one possessed
the confidence of Othello more entirely than Cassio.
Michael Cassio was a young soldier, a Florentine,
gay, amorous, and of pleasing address, favourite
qualities with women; he was handsome and elo-
quent, and exactly such a person as might alarm the
jealousy of a man advanced in years (as Othello in
some measure was), who had married a young and
beautiful wife; but Othello was as free from jealousy
as he was noble, and as incapable of suspecting as
of doing a base action. He had employed this
Cassio in his love affair with Desdemona, and Cassio
had been a sort of go-between in his suit: for
Othello, fearing that himself had not those soft parts
of conversation which please ladies, and finding
these qualities in his friend, would often depute
Cassio to go (as he phrased it) a courting for him:
such innocent simplicity being rather an honour than
a blemish to the character of the valiant Moor. So
that no wonder, if next to Othello himself (but at
far distance, as beseems a virtuous wife) the gentle
Desdemona loved and trusted Cassio. Nor had
the marriage of this couple made any difference in
their behaviour to Michael Cassio. He frequented
their house, and his free and rattling talk was no
unpleasing variety to Othello, who was himself of a
more serious temper : for such tempers are observed
often to delight in their contraries, as a relief from
the oppressive excess of their own: and Desdemona
and Cassio would talk and laugh together, as in the
days when he went a courting for his friend.





330 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Othello had lately promoted Cassio to be the
lieutenant, a place of trust, and nearest to the
general's person. This promotion gave great offence
to lago, an older officer who thought he had a
better claim than Cassio, and would often ridicule
Cassio as a fellow fit only for the company'of ladies,
and one that knew no more of the art of war or
how to set an army in array for battle, than a girl.
Iago hated Cassio, and he hated Othello, as well
for favouring Cassio, as for an unjust suspicion, which
he had lightly taken up against Othello, that the
Moor was too fond of lago's wife Emilia. From
these imaginary provocations, the plotting mind of
Iago conceived a horrid scheme of revenge, which
should involve both Cassio, the Moor, and Desde-
mona, in one common ruin.
Iago was artful, and had studied human nature
deeply, and he knew that of all the torments which
afflict the mind of man (and far beyond bodily
torture), the pains of jealousy were the most intoler-
able, and had the sorest sting. If he could succeed
in making Othello jealous of Cassio, he thought it
would be an exquisite plot of revenge, and might
end in the death of Cassio or Othello, or both; he
cared not.
The arrival of the general and his lady, in Cyprus,
meeting with the news of the dispersion of the
enemy's fleet, made a sort of holiday in the island.
Everybody gave themselves up to feasting and
making merry. Wine flowed in abundance, and
cups went round to the health of the black Othello,
and his lady the fair Desdemona.
Cassio had the direction of the guard that night,
with a charge from Othello to keep the soldiers
from excess in drinking, that no brawl might arise,





OTHELLO


to fright the inhabitants, or disgust them with the
new-landed forces. That night Iago began his deep-
laid plans of mischief: under colour of loyalty and
love to the general, he enticed Cassio to make rather
too free with the bottle (a great fault in an officer
upon guard). Cassio for a time resisted, but he
could not long hold out against the honest freedom
which lago knew how to put on, but kept swallow-
ing glass after glass (as lago still plied him with
drink and encouraging songs), and Cassio's tongue
ran over in praise of the lady Desdemona, whom he
again and again toasted, affirming that she was a
most exquisite lady: until at last the enemy which
he put into his mouth stole away his brains; and
upon some provocation given him by a fellow whom
lago had set on, swords were drawn, and Montano,
a worthy officer, who interfered to appease the dis-
pute, was wounded in the scuffle. The riot now
began to be general, and Iago, who had set on foot
the mischief, was foremost in spreading the alarm,
causing the castle-bell to be rung (as if some
dangerous mutiny instead of a slight drunken
quarrel had arisen): the alarm-bell ringing awakened
Othello, who, dressing in a hurry, and coming to
the scene of action, questioned Cassio of the cause.
Cassio was now come to himself, the effect of the
wine having a little gone off, but was too much
ashamed to reply; and Iago, pretending a great
reluctance to accuse Cassio, but, as it were, forced
into it by Othello, who insisted to know the truth,
gave an account of the whole matter (leaving out
his own share in it, which Cassio was too far gone
to remember) in such a manner, as while he seemed
to make Cassio's offence less, did indeed make it
appear greater than it was. The result was, that





332 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
Othello, who was a strict observer of discipline, was
compelled to take away Cassio's place of lieutenant
from him.
Thus did Iago's first artifice succeed completely;
he had now undermined his hated rival, and thrust
him out of his place : but a further use was hereafter
to be made of the adventure of this disastrous night.
Cassio, whom this misfortune had entirely sobered,
now lamented to his seeming friend lago that he
should have been such a fool as to transform him-
self into a beast. He was undone, for how could he
ask the general for his place again ? he would tell
him he was a drunkard. He despised himself.
Iago, affecting to make light of it, said, that he, or
any man living, might be drunk upon occasion; it
remained now to make the best of a bad bargain;
the general's wife was now the general, and could
do anything with Othello; that he were best to
apply to the lady Desdemona to mediate for him
with her lord; that she was of a frank, obliging dis-
position, and would readily undertake a good office
of this sort, and set Cassio right again in the general's
favour; and then this crack in their love would be
mader stronger than ever. A good advice of lago,
if it had not been given for wicked purposes, which
will after appear.
Cassio did as lago advised him, and made appli-
cation to the lady Desdemona, who was easy to be
won over in any honest suit; and she promised
Cassio that she should be his solicitor with her lord,
and rather die than give up his cause. This she
immediately set about in so earnest and pretty a
manner, that Othello, who was mortally offended
with Cassio, could not put her off. When he pleaded
delay, and that it was too soon to pardon such an





OTHELLO


offender, she would not be beat back, but insisted
that it should be the next night, or the morning
after, or the next morning to that at farthest. Then
she showed how penitent and humbled poor Cassio
was, and that his offence did not deserve so sharp a
check. And when Othello still hung back, "What!
my lord," said she, "that I should have so much to
do to plead for Cassio, Michael Cassio, that came a
courting for you, and oftentimes, when I have spoken
in dispraise of you, has taken your part I count
this but a little thing to ask of you. When I mean
to try your love indeed, I shall ask a weighty
matter." Othello could deny nothing to such a
pleader, and only requesting that Desdemona would
leave the time to him, promised to receive Michael
Cassio again in favour.
It happened that Othello and lago had entered
into the room where Desdemona was, just as Cassio,
who had been imploring her intercession, was de-
parting at the opposite door: and lago, who was
full of art, said in a low voice, as if to himself, I
like not that." Othello took no great notice of
what he said; indeed, the conference which im-
mediately took place with his lady put it out of his
head; but he remembered it afterwards. For when
Desdemona was gone, lago, as if for mere satisfac-
tion of his thought, questioned Othello whether
Michael Cassio, when Othello was courting his lady,
knew of his love. To this the general answering
in the affirmative, and adding, that he had gone
between them very often during the courtship, lago
knitted his brow, as if he had got fresh light on
some terrible matter, and cried, Indeed !" This
brought into Othello's mind the words which Iago
had let fall upon entering the room, and seeing





334 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Cassio with Desdemona; and he began to think
there was some meaning in all this : for he deemed
lago to be a just man, and full of love and honesty,
and what in a false knave would be tricks, in him
seemed to be the natural workings of an honest
mind, big with something too great for utterance :
and Othello prayed Iago to speak what he knew,
and to give his worst thoughts words. "And
what," said lago, if some thoughts very vile
should have intruded into my breast, as where is
the palace into which foul things do not enter ?"
Then lago went on to say, what a pity it were,
if any trouble should arise to Othello out of his
imperfect observations; that it would not be for
Othello's peace to know his thoughts; that.people's
good names were not to be taken away for slight
suspicions; and when Othello's curiosity was raised
almost to distraction with these hints and scattered
words, lago, as if in earnest care for Othello's
peace of mind, besought him to beware of jealousy :
with such art did this villain raise suspicions in the
unguarded Othello, by the very caution which he
pretended to give him against suspicion. I know,"
said Othello, that my wife is fair, loves company
and feasting, is free of speech, sings, plays, and
dances well: but where virtue is, these qualities are
virtuous. I must have proof before I think her
dishonest." Then Iago, as if glad that Othello
was slow to believe ill of his lady, frankly declared
that he had no proof, but begged Othello to observe
her behaviour well, when Cassio was by; not to
be jealous nor too secure neither, for that he (lago)
knew the dispositions of the Italian ladies, his
countrywomen, better than Othello could do; and
that in Venice the wives let heaven see many pranks





OTHELLO


they dared not show their husbands. Then he art-
fully insinuated that Desdemona deceived her father
in marrying with Othello, and carried it so closely,
that the poor old man thought that witchcraft had
been used. Othello was much moved with this
argument, which brought the matter home to him,
for if she had deceived her father, why might she
not deceive her husband ?
Iago begged pardon for having moved him; but
Othello, assuming an indifference, while he was
really shaken with inward grief at lago's words,
begged him to go on, which lago did with many
apologies, as if unwilling to produce anything
against Cassio, whom he called his friend: he then
came strongly to the point, and reminded Othello
how Desdemona had refused many suitable matches
of her own clime and complexion, and had married
him, a Moor, which showed unnatural in her, and
proved her to have a headstrong will; and when
her better judgment returned, how probable it was
she should fall upon comparing Othello with the
fine forms and clear white complexions of the
young Italians her countrymen. He concluded
with advising Othello to put off his reconcilement
with Cassio a little longer, and in the meanwhile
to note with what earnestness Desdemona should
intercede in his behalf; for that much would be
seen in that. So mischievously did this artful
villain lay his plots to turn the gentle qualities of
this innocent lady into her destruction, and make
a net for her out of her own goodness to entrap
her : first setting Cassio on to entreat her media-
tion, and then out of that very mediation contriving
stratagems for her ruin.
The conference ended with Iago's begging





336 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Othello to account his wife innocent, until he had
more decisive proof; and Othello promised to be
patient; but from that moment the deceived Othello
never tasted content of mind. Poppy, nor the
juice of mandragora, nor all the sleeping potions
in the world, could ever again restore to him that
sweet rest, which he had enjoyed but yesterday.
His occupation sickened upon him. He.no longer
took delight in arms. His heart, that used to be
roused at the sight of troops, and banners, and
battle-array, and would stir and leap at the sound
of a drum, or a trumpet, or a neighing war-horse,
seemed to have lost all that pride and ambition
which are a soldier's virtue; and his military
ardour and all his old joys forsook him. Some-
times he thought his wife honest, and at times he
thought her not so; sometimes he thought lago
just, and at times he thought him not so; then he
would wish that he had never known of it; he was
not the worse for her loving Cassio, so long as he
knew it not: torn to pieces with these distracting
thoughts, he once laid hold on lago's throat, and
demanded proof of Desdemona's guilt, or threatened
instant death for his having belied her. Iago,
feigning indignation that his honesty should be
taken for a vice, asked Othello, if he had not
sometimes seen a handkerchief spotted with straw-
berries in his wife's hand. Othello answered, that
he had given her such a one, and that it was his
first gift. "That same handkerchief," said lago,
"did I see Michael Cassio this day wipe his face
with." If it be as you say," said Othello, I
will not rest till a wide revenge swallow them up:
and first, for a token of your fidelity, I expect that
Cassio shall be put to death within three days; and





OTHELLO


for that fair devil (meaning his lady), I will with-
draw and devise some swift means of death for
her."
Trifles light as air are to the jealous proofs as
strong as holy writ. A handkerchief of his wife's
seen in Cassio's hand, was motive enough to the
deluded Othello to pass sentence of death upon
them both, without once inquiring how Cassio
came by it. Desdemona had never given such a
present to Cassio, nor would this constant lady have
wronged her lord with doing so naughty a thing
as giving his presents to another man; both Cassio
and Desdemona were innocent of any offence
against Othello : but the wicked lago, whose spirits
never slept in contrivance of villany, had made his
wife (a good, but a weak woman) steal this hand-
kerchief from Desdemona, under pretence of getting
the work copied, but in reality to drop it in Cassio's
way, where he might find it, and give a handle to
Iago's suggestion that it was Desdemona's present.
Othello, soon after meeting his wife, pretended
that he had a headache (as he might indeed with
truth), and desired her to lend him her handker-
chief to hold to his temples. She did so. Not
this," said Othella, but that handkerchief I gave
you." Desdemona had it not about her (for indeed
it was stolen, as we have related). '" How ? said
Othello, "this is a fault indeed. That handker-
chief an Egyptian woman gave to my mother; the
woman was a witch and could read people's
thoughts: she told my mother, while she kept it,
it would make her amiable, and my father would
love her; but, if she lost it, or gave it away, my
father's fancy would turn, and he would loathe her
as much as he had loved her. She dying gave it to





338 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

me, and bade me, if I ever married, to give it to
my wife. I did so; take heed of it. Make it a
darling as precious as your eye." Is it possible ?"
said the frighted lady. "'Tis true; continued
Othello; "it is a magical handkerchief; a sibyl
that had lived in the world two hundred years, in
a fit of prophetic fury worked it; the silkworms
that furnished the silk were hallowed, and it was
dyed in a mummy of maidens' hearts conserved."
Desdemona, hearing the wondrous virtues of the
handkerchief, was ready to die with fear, for she
plainly perceived she had lost it, and with it, she
feared, the affections of her husband. Then Othello
started, and looked as if he were going to do some
rash thing, and still he demanded the handkerchief,
which when she could not produce, she tried to
divert her husband from too serious thoughts, and
cheerfully told him she saw all his talk about the
handkerchief was only to put her off from her suit
about Michael Cassio, whom she went on to
praise (as Iago had foretold), till Othello in perfect
distraction burst out of the room, and then Desde-
mona, though unwillingly, began to suspect that her
lord was jealous.
What cause she could have ministered to him
she knew not, and then she accused herself for
accusing the noble Othello, and thought to be sure
that some untoward news from Venice, or some
state troubles had puddled his spirits, and made
his temper not so sweet as formerly. And she said,
" Men are not gods, and we must not look for that
observance from them when they are married, which
they show us on the bridal day." And she be-
shrewed herself for so unkindly judging of his
unkindness.





OTHELLO


Again Othello and Desdemona met, and he ac-
cused her more plainly of being unfaithful, and of
loving another man, but he did not name whom:
and Othello wept, and Desdemona said, Alas !
the heavy day! why do you weep ?" And Othello
told her, he could have borne all sorts of evils
with fortitude-poverty, and disease, and disgrace;
but her infidelity had broken his heart: and he
called her a weed, that looked so fair, and smelled
so sweet, that the sense ached at it; and wished
she had never been born. And when he had left
her, this innocent lady was so stupefied with wonder
at her lord's untrue suspicion of her, that a weight-
like sleep came over her, and she only desired her
attendant to make her bed, and to lay her wedding-
sheets upon it, saying, that when people teach their
babes, they do it by gentle means and easy tasks,
and Othello might have chid her so; for in good
faith she was but a child when she was chidden.
And this was all the complaint which this gentle
lady made.
Desdemona being retired to bed expecting her
lord would follow her, soon fell into a slumber, the
effect of her troubled spirits, when Othello entered
the chamber, full of the black purpose which he
had meditated of putting his lady to death. But
when he saw her asleep, he thought he would not
shed her blood, nor scar that white skin of hers,
more white than alabaster. But he was resolved
she should die; else (as he said) she would live to
betray more men, as she had done him. Then
he kissed her for the last time (as he said), and
that kiss was so sweet, that he must needs kiss her
again and he wept, but he said they were cruel
tears.





340 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Desdemona was awakened with his kisses, and
she looked upon Othello, and she saw him gnaw
his under lip, and roll his eyes, and she knew he
was always fatal when he looked so: and he bade
her prepare for death, and to say her prayers, for
he would not kill her soul. And this innocent
wife, as she lay at his mercy, begged for compas-
sion, and to know her fault, and then he named
Cassio, and the handkerchief which (he said) she
had given him; and as the guiltless lady was pro-
ceeding to clear herself he suddenly would hear no
more, but covering her up in the bed-clothes, stifled
her till she died.
In this instant of time was brought into the house
Cassio, wounded and bleeding; whom lago had set
one of his creatures on to assassinate; but the
fellow not succeeding in his, attempt to kill Cassio
(whom he wounded, but not mortally), and being
himself killed by lago to prevent discovery, in his
pockets were found certain letters, which made the
guilt of lago, and the innocence of Cassio, clear be-
yond all doubt; and Cassio now came to beg pardon
of Othello, and to ask wherein he had offended
him, that he had employed lago to murder him.
This discovery was as a thunderstroke to Othello,
who now plainly saw that he was no better than a
murderer, and that his wife (poor innocent lady)
had been ever faithful to him; the extreme anguish
of which discovery making life insupportable, he
fell upon his sword, and throwing himself upon the
body of his dear injured lady, expired.
These rash acts raised much passion of horror
and amazement in the bystanders, for Othello had
borne a fair reputation, and till he was wrought
upon by the arts of a villain, which his own noble





PERICLES


nature never gave him leave to suspect, he was a
loving and a doting husband. He had loved not
wisely, but too well; and his manly eyes (when he
learned his mistake), though not used to weep
on every small occasion, dropped tears as fast as
the Arabian trees their gum. And when he was
dead all his former merits and his valiant acts were
remembered. Nothing now remained for his suc-
cessor but to put the utmost censure of the law in
force against lago, who was executed with strict
tortures; and to send word to the state of Venice
of the lamentable death of their renowned general.


PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE

PERICLES, prince of Tyre, became a voluntary
exile from his dominions, to avert the dreadful
calamities which Antiochus, the wicked emperor of
Greece, threatened to bring upon his subjects and
city of Tyre, in revenge for a discovery which the
prince had made of a shocking deed which the
emperor had done in secret; as commonly it proves
dangerous to pry into the hidden crimes of great
ones. Leaving the government of his people in
the hands of his able and honest minister, Helicanus,
Pericles set sail from Tyre, thinking to absent him-
self till the wrath of Antiochus, who was mighty,
should be appeased.
The first place which the prince directed his
course to was Tarsus, and hearing that the city of
Tarsus was at that time suffering under a severe
famine, he took with him store of provisions for its
relief. On his arrival he found the city reduced to
the utmost distress; and, he coming like a messenger





342 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

from heaven with his unhoped-for succour, Cleon,
the governor of Tarsus, welcomed him with bound-
less thanks. Pericles had not been here many days,
before letters came from his faithful minister, warn-
ing him that it was not safe for him to stay at Tarsus,
for Antiochus knew of his abode, and by secret
emissaries despatched for that purpose sought his
life. Upon receipt of these letters Pericles put
out to sea again, amidst the blessings and prayers
of a whole people who had been fed by his bounty.
He had not sailed far, when his ship was over-
taken by a dreadful storm, and every man on board
perished except Pericles, who was cast by the sea-
waves naked on an unknown shore, where he had
not wandered long before he met with some poor
fishermen, who invited him to their homes, giving
him clothes and provisions. The fishermen told
Pericles the name of their country was Pentapolis,
and that their king was Simonides, commonly
called the good Simonides, because of his peace-
able reign and good government. From them he
also learned that king Simonides had a fair young
daughter, and that the following day was her birth-
day, when a grand tournament was to be held at
court, many princes and knights being come from
all parts to try their skill in arms for the love of
Thaisa, this fair princess. While the prince was
listening to this account, and secretly lamenting
the loss of his good armour, which disabled him
from making one among these valiant knights,
another fisherman brought in a complete suit of
armour that he had taken out of the sea with his
fishing-net, which proved to be the very armour he
had lost. When Pericles beheld his own armour,
he said, "Thanks, Fortune; after all my crosses





PERICLES


you give me somewhat to repair myself. This
armour was bequeathed to me by my dead father,
for whose dear sake I have so loved it, that whither-
soever I went, I still have kept it by me, and the
rough sea that parted it from me, having now be-
come calm, hath given it back again, for which I
thank it, for, since I have my father's gift again, I
think my shipwreck no misfortune."
The next day Pericles, clad in his brave father's
armour, repaired to the royal court of Simonides,
where he performed wonders at the tournament,
vanquishing with ease all the brave knights and
valiant princes who contended with him in arms for
the honour of Thaisa's love. When brave warriors.
contended at court-tournaments for the love of
kings' daughters, if one proved sole victor over all
the rest, it was usual for the great lady for whose
sake these deeds of valour were undertaken, to
bestow all her respect upon the conqueror, and
Thaisa did not depart from this custom, for she
presently dismissed all the princes and knights
whom Pericles had vanquished, and distinguished
him by her especial favour and regard, crowning
him with the wreath of victory, as king of that
day's happiness; and Pericles became a most pas-
sionate lover of this beauteous princess from the
first moment he beheld her.
The good Simonides so well approved of the
valour and noble qualities of Pericles, who was
indeed a most accomplished gentleman, and well
learned in all excellent arts, that though he knew
not the rank of this royal stranger (for Pericles for
fear of Antiochus gave out that he was a private
gentleman of Tyre), yet did not Simonides disdain
to accept of the valiant unknown for a son-in-law,





344 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

when he perceived his daughter's affections were
firmly fixed upon him.
Pericles had not been many months married to
Thaisa, before he received intelligence that his
enemy Antiochus was dead; and that his subjects of
Tyre, impatient of his long absence, threatened to
revolt, and talked of placing Helicanus upon his
vacant throne. This news came from Helicanus
himself, who, being a loyal subject to his royal
master, would not accept of the high dignity
offered him, but sent to let Pericles know their
intentions, that he might return home and resume
his lawful right. It was matter of great surprise
.and joy to Simonides, to find that his son-in-law
(the 'obscure knight) was the renowned prince of
Tyre; yet again he regretted that he was not the
private gentleman he supposed him to be, seeing
that he must now part both with his admired son-
in-law and his beloved daughter, whom he feared
to trust to the perils of the sea, because Thaisa
was with child; and Pericles himself wished her
to remain with her father till after her confinement,
but the poor lady so earnestly desired to go with
her husband, that at last they consented, hoping
she would reach Tyre before she was brought to
bed.
The sea was no friendly element to unhappy
Pericles, for long before they reached Tyre another
dreadful tempest arose, which so terrified Thaisa
that she was taken ill, and in a short space of time
her nurse Lychorida came to Pericles with a little
child in her arms, to tell the prince the sad tidings
that his wife died the moment her little babe was
born. She held the babe towards its father, saying,
"Here is a thing too young for such a place. This





PERICLES


is the child of your dead queen." No tongue can
tell the dreadful sufferings of Pericles when he heard
his wife was dead. As soon as he could speak, he
said, 0 you gods, why do you make us love your
goodly gifts, and then snatch those gifts away?"
"Patience, good sir," said Lychorida, "here is all
that is left alive of our dead queen, a little daughter,
and for your child's sake be more manly. Patience,
good sir, even for the sake of this precious charge."
Pericles took the new-born infant in his arms, and
he said to the little babe, "Now may your life be
mild, for a more blusterous birth had never babe!
May your condition be mild and gentle, for you
have had the rudest welcome that ever prince's
child did meet with! May that which follows be
happy, for you have had as chiding a nativity as
fire, air, water, earth, and heaven could make to
herald you from the womb! Even at the first,
your loss," meaning in the death of her mother, "is
more than all the joys, which you shall find upon
this earth to which you are come a new visitor, shall
be able to recompense."
The storm still continuing to rage furiously, and
the sailors having a superstition that while a dead
body remained in the. ship the storm would never
cease, they came to Pericles to demand that his
queen should be thrown overboard ; and they said,
"What courage, sir? God save you!" "Courage
enough," said the sorrowing prince: "I do not fear
the storm; it has done to me its worst; yet for the
love of this poor infant, this fresh new seafarer, I
wish the storm was over." Sir," said the sailors,
"your queen must overboard. The sea works high,
the wind is loud, and the storm will not abate till
the ship be cleared of the dead." Though Pericles





346 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

knew how weak and unfounded this superstition
was, yet he patiently submitted, saying, "As you
think meet. Then she must overboard, most
wretched queen And now this unhappy prince
went to take a last view of his dear wife, and as he
looked on his Thaisa, he said, A terrible childbed
hast thou had, my dear; no light, no fire;. the
unfriendly elements forget thee utterly, nor have I
time to bring thee hallowed to thy grave, but
must cast thee scarcely confined into the sea, where
for a monument upon thy bones the humming
waters must overwhelm thy corpse, lying with simple
shells. O Lychorida, bid Nestor bring me spices,
ink, and paper, my casket and my jewels, and bid
Nicandor bring me the satin coffin. Lay the
babe upon the pillow, and go about this suddenly,
Lychorida, while I say a priestly farewell to my
Thaisa."
They brought Pericles a large chest, in which
(wrapped in a satin shroud) he placed his queen,
and sweet-smelling spices he strewed over her, and
beside her he placed rich jewels, and a written
paper, telling who she was, and praying if haply
any one should find the chest which contained the
body of his wife, they would give her burial: and
then with his own hands, he cast the chest into the
sea. When the storm was over, Pericles ordered
the sailors to make for Tarsus. For," said
Pericles, the babe cannot hold out till we come
to Tyre. At Tarsus I will leave it at careful
nursing."
After that tempestuous night when Thaisa was
thrown into the sea, and while it was yet early
morning, as Cerimon, a worthy gentleman of
Ephesus, and a most skilful physician, was standing





PERICLES


by the sea-side, his servants brought to him a chest,
which they said the sea-waves had thrown on the
land. I never saw," said one of them, so huge
a billow as cast it on our shore." Cerimon ordered
the chest to be conveyed to his own house, and
when it was opened he beheld with wonder the body
of a young and lovely lady; and the sweet-smelling
spices and rich casket of jewels made him conclude
it was some great person who was thus strangely
entombed : searching farther, he discovered a paper,
from which he learned that the corpse which lay as
dead before him had been a queen, and wife to
Pericles, prince of Tyre; and much admiring at
the strangeness of that accident, and more pitying
the husband who had lost this sweet lady, he said,
" If you are living, Pericles, you have a heart that
even cracks with woe." Then observing atten-
tively Thaisa's face, he saw how fresh and unlike
death her looks were, and he said, "They were too
hasty that threw you into the sea: for he did not
believe her to be dead. He ordered a fire to be
made, and proper cordials to be brought, and soft
music to be played, which might help to calm her
amazed spirits if she should revive; and he said to
those who crowded round her, wondering at what
they saw," I pray you, gentlemen, give her air;
this queen will live; she has not been entranced
above five hours; and see, she begins to blow into
life again ; she is alive; behold, her-eyelids move;
this fair creature will live to make us weep to hear
her fate." Thaisa had never died, but after the
birth of her little baby had fallen into a deep swoon,
which made all that saw her conclude her to be
dead; and now by the care of this kind gentleman
she once more revived to light and life; and open-





348 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

ing her eyes, she said, "Where am I ? Where is
my lord? What world is this? By gentle
degrees Cerimon let her understand what had
befallen her; and when he thought she was enough
recovered to bear the sight, he showed her the paper
written by her husband, and the jewels; and she
looked on the paper, and said, It is my lord's
writing. That I was shipped at sea, I well
remember, but whether there delivered of my babe,
by the holy gods I cannot rightly say; but since
my wedded lord I never shall see again, I will put
on a vestal livery, and never more have joy."
" Madam," said Cerimon, "if you purpose as you
speak, the temple of Diana is not far distant from
hence; there you may abide as a vestal. Moreover,
if you please, a niece of mine shall there attend
you." This proposal was accepted with thanks
by Thaisa; and when she was perfectly recovered,
Cerimon placed her in the temple of Diana, where
she became a vestal or priestess of that goddess,
and passed her days in sorrowing for her husband's
supposed loss, and in the most devout exercises of
those times.
Pericles carried his young daughter (whom he
named Marina, because she was born at sea) to
Tarsus, intending to leave her with Cleon, the
governor of that city, and his wife Dionysia, think-
ing, for the good he had done to them at the time of
their famine, they would be kind to his little mother-
less daughter. When Cleon saw prince Pericles,
and heard of the great loss which had befallen him,
he said, 0 your sweet queen, that it had pleased
Heaven you could have brought her hither to have
blessed my eyes with the sight of her Pericles
replied, "We must obey the powers above us.





PERICLES


Should I rage and roar as the sea does in which
my Thaisa lies, yet the end must be as it is. My
gentle babe, Marina here, I must charge your
charity with her. I leave her the infant of your
care, beseeching you to give her princely training."
And then turning to Cleon's wife, Dionysia, he said,
"Good madam, make me blessed in your care in
bringing up my child:" and she answered, "I have
a child myself who shall not be more dear to my
respect than yours, my lord; and Cleon made the
like promise, saying, "Your noble services, prince
Pericles, in feeding my whole people with your corn
(for which in their prayers they daily remember
you) must in your child be thought on. If I should
neglect your child, my whole people that were by
you relieved would force me to my duty; but if to
that I need a spur, the gods revenge it on me and
mine to the end of generation." Pericles, being
thus assured that his child would be carefully
attended to, left her to the protection of Cleon
and his wife Dionysia, and with her he left the
nurse Lychorida. When he went away, the little
Marina knew not her loss, but Lychorida wept sadly
at parting with her royal master. O, no tears,
Lychorida," said Pericles: "no tears; look to your
little mistress, on whose grace you may depend
hereafter."
Pericles arrived in safety at Tyre, and was once
more settled in the quiet possession of his throne,
while his woeful queen, whom he thought dead, re-
mained at Ephesus. Her little babe Marina, whom
this hapless mother had never seen, was brought
up by Cleon in a manner suitable to her high birth.
He gave her the most careful education, so that by
the time Marina attained the age of fourteen years,





350 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE
the most deeply-learned men were not more studied
in the learning of those times than was Marina.
She sang like one immortal, and danced as goddess-
like, and with her needle she was so skilful that she
seemed to compose nature's own shapes, in birds,
fruits, or flowers, the natural roses being scarcely
more like to each other than they were to Marina's
silken flowers. But when she had gained from educa-
tion all these graces, which made her the general
wonder, Dionysia, the wife of Cleon, became her
mortal enemy from jealousy, by reason that her own
daughter, from the slowness of her mind, was not
able to attain to that perfection wherein Marina
excelled: and finding that all praise was bestowed
on Marina, whilst her daughter, who was of the
same age, and had been educated with the same
care as Marina, though not with the same success,
was in comparison disregarded, she formed a project
to remove Marina out of the way, vainly imagining
that her untoward daughter would be more respected
when Marina was no more seen. To encompass
this she employed a man to murder Marina, and
she well timed her wicked design, when Lychorida,
the faithful nurse, had just died. Dionysia was
discoursing with the man she had commanded to
commit this murder, when the young Marina was
weeping over the dead Lychorida. Leonine, the
man she employed to do this bad deed, though he
was a very wicked man, could hardly be persuaded
to undertake it, so had Marina won all hearts to
love her. He said, She is a goodly creature "
" The fitter then the gods should have her," replied
her merciless enemy: "here she comes weeping for
the death of her nurse Lychorida: are you resolved
to obey me ? Leonine, fearing to disobey her,




PERICLES


replied, "I am resolved." And so, in that one
short sentence, was the matchless Marina doomed
to an untimely death. She now approached, with
a basket of flowers in her hand, which she said
she would daily strew over the grave of good
Lychorida. The purple violet and the marigold
should as a carpet hang upon her grave, while
summer days did last. "Alas, for me she said,
"poor unhappy maid, born in a tempest, when my
mother died. This world to me is like a lasting
storm, hurrying me from my friends." How now,
Marina," said the dissembling Dionysia, do you
weep alone? How does it chance my daughter is
not with you? Do not sorrow for Lychorida, you
have a nurse in me. Your beauty is quite changed
with this unprofitable woe. Come, give me your
flowers, the sea-air will spoil them; and walk with
Leonine: the air is fine, and will enliven you.
Come, Leonine, take her by the arm, and walk
with her." "No, madam," said Marina, "I pray
you let me not deprive you of your servant: for
Leonine was one of Dionysia's attendants. "Come,
come," said this artful woman, who wished for a
pretence to leave her alone with Leonine, "I love
the prince, your father, and I love you. We every
day expect your father here; and when he comes,
and finds you so changed by grief from the paragon of
beauty we reported you, he will think we have taken
no care of you. Go, I pray you, walk, and be cheer-
ful once again. Be careful of that excellent com-
plexion, which stole the hearts of old and young."
Marina, being thus importuned, said, "Well, I will
go, but yet I have no desire to it." As Dionysia
walked away, she said to Leonine, Remember
what I have said!"-shocking words, for their





352 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

meaning was that he should remember to kill
Marina.
Marina looked towards the sea, her birthplace,
and said, "Is the wind westerly that blows?"
"South-west," replied Leonine. "When I was
born the wind was north," said she: and then the
storm and tempest, and all her father's sorrows, and
her mother's death, came full into her mind; and
she said, My father, as Lychorida told me, did
never fear, but cried, Courage, good seamen, to the
sailors, galling his princely hands with the ropes,
and, clasping to the masts, he endured a sea that
almost split the deck." "When was this ?" said
Leonine. "When I was born," replied Marina:
"never were wind and waves more violent; and
then she described the storm, the action of the
sailors, the boatswain's whistle, and the loud call
of the master, "which," said she, "trebled the
confusion of the ship." Lychorida had so often
recounted to Marina the story of her hapless birth
that these things seemed ever present to her imagina-
tion. But here Leonine interrupted her with desiring
her to say her prayers. "What mean you ?" said
Marina, who began to fear, she knew not why.
"If you require a little space for prayer, I grant
it," said Leonine; "but be not tedious, the
gods are quick of ear, and I am sworn to do my
work in haste." "Will you kill me?" said Marina:
"alas! why?" "To satisfy my lady," replied
Leonine. "Why would she have me killed ?"
said Marina: "now, as I can remember, I never
hurt her in all my life. I never spake bad word,
nor did any ill turn to any living creature. Believe
me now, I never killed a mouse, nor hurt a fly. I
trod upon a worm once against my will, but I wept





PERICLES


for it. How have I offended?" The murderer
replied, "My commission is not to reason on the
deed, but to do it." And he was just going to kill
her, when certain pirates happened to land at that
very moment, who seeing Marina, bore her off as a
prize to their ship.
The pirate who had made Marina his prize carried
her to Mitylene, and sold her for a slave, where,
though in that humble condition, Marina soon be-
came known throughout the whole city of Mitylene
for her beauty and her virtues; and the person to
whom she was sold became rich by the money she
earned for him. She taught music, dancing, and
fine needleworks, and the money she got by her
scholars she gave to her master and mistress; and
the fame of her learning and her great industry came
to the knowledge of Lysimachus, a young nobleman
who was governor of Mitylene, and Lysimachus
went himself to the house where Marina dwelt, to
see this paragon of excellence, whom all the city
praised so highly. Her conversation delighted
Lysimachus beyond measure, for though he had
heard much of this admired maiden, he did not
expect to find her so sensible a lady, so virtuous,
and so good, as he perceived Marina to be; and
he left her, saying, he hoped she would persevere in
her industrious and virtuous course, and that if ever
she heard from him again it should be for her good.
Lysimachus thought Marina such a miracle for
sense, fine breeding, and excellent qualities, as well
as for beauty and all outward graces, that he wished
to marry her, and notwithstanding her humble situa-
tion, he hoped to find that her birth was noble; but
ever when they asked her parentage she would sit
still and weep.





354 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Meantime, at Tarsus, Leonine, fearing the anger
of Dionysia, told her he had killed Marina; and
that wicked woman gave out that she was dead, and
made a pretended funeral for her, and erected a
stately monument; and shortly after Pericles, ac-
companied by his loyal minister Helicanus, made
a voyage from Tyre to Tarsus, on purpose to see
his daughter, intending to take her home with him:
and he never having beheld her since he left her
an infant in the care of Cleon and his wife, how did
this good prince rejoice at the thought of seeing
this dear child of his buried queen! but when they
told him Marina was dead, and showed the monu-
ment they had erected for her, great was the misery
this most wretched father endured, and not being
able to bear the sight of that country where his last
hope and only memory of his dear Thaisa was en-
tombed, he took ship, and hastily departed from
Tarsus. From the day he entered the ship a dull
and heavy melancholy seized him. He never spoke,
and seemed totally insensible to everything around
him.
Sailing from Tarsus to Tyre, the ship in its
course passed by Mitylene, where Marina dwelt;
the governor of which place, Lysimachus, observing
this royal vessel from the. shore, and desirous of
knowing who was on board, went in a barge to the
side of the ship, to satisfy his curiosity. Helicanus
received him very courteously and told him that
the ship came from Tyre, and that they were con-
ducting thither Pericles, their prince; A man,
sir," said Helicanus, "who has not spoken to any
one these three months, nor taken any sustenance,
but just to prolong his grief; it would be tedious
to repeat the whole ground of his distemper, but





PERICLES


the main springs from the loss of a beloved daughter
and a wife." Lysimachus begged to see this
afflicted prince, and when he beheld Pericles, he
saw he had been once a goodly person, and he said
to him, Sir king, all hail, the gods preserve you,
hail, royal sir But in vain Lysimachus spoke
to him; Pericles made no answer, nor did he
appear to perceive any stranger approached. And
then Lysimachus bethought him of the peerless maid
Marina, that haply with her sweet tongue she might
win some answer from the silent prince: and with
the consent of Helicanus he sent for Marina, and
when she entered the ship in which her own father
sat motionless with grief, they welcomed her on
board as if they had known she was their princess;
and they cried, "She is a gallant lady." Lysi-
machus was well pleased to hear their commenda-
tions, and he said, She is such a one, that were I
well assured she came of noble birth, I would wish
no better choice, and think me rarely blessed in a
wife." And then he addressed her in courtly
terms, as if the lowly-seeming maid had been the
high-born lady he wished to find her, calling her
Fair and beautiful Marina, telling her a great prince
on board that ship had fallen into a sad and mournful
silence; and, as if Marina had the power of con-
ferring health and felicity, he begged she would
undertake to cure the royal stranger of his melan-
choly. "Sir," said Marina, "I will use my
utmost skill in his recovery, provided none but I
and my maid be suffered to come near him."
She, who at Mitylene had so carefully concealed
her birth, ashamed to tell that one of royal ancestry
was now a slave, first began to speak to Pericles of
the wayward changes in her own fate, telling him





356 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

from what a high estate herself had fallen. As if
she had known it was her royal father she stood
before, all the words she spoke were of her own
sorrows; but her reason for so doing was, that she
knew nothing more wins the attention of the unfor-
tunate than the recital of some sad calamity to
match their own. The sound of her sweet voice
aroused the drooping prince; he lifted up his eyes,
which had been so long fixed and motionless; and
Marina, who was the perfect image of her mother,
presented to his amazed sight the features of his
dead queen. The long-silent prince was once
more heard to speak. My dearest wife," said the
awakened Pericles, "was like this maid, and such
a one might my daughter have been. My queen's
square brows, her stature to an inch, as wand-like
straight, as silver-voiced, her eyes as jewel-like.
Where do you live, young maid? Report your
parentage, I think you said you had been tossed
from wrong to injury, and that you thought your
griefs would equal mine, if both were opened."
"Some such thing I said," replied Marina, and
said no more than what my thoughts did warrant
me as likely." "Tell me your story," answered
Pericles; if I find you have known the thousandth
part of my endurance, you have borne your sorrows
like a man, and I have suffered like a girl; yet
you do look like Patience gazing on kings' graves,
and smiling extremity out of act. How lost you
your name, my most kind virgin? Recount your
story I beseech you. Come, sit by me." How
was Pericles surprised when she said her name was
Marina, for he knew it was no usual name, but had
been invented by himself for his own child to
signify seaborn : O, I am mocked," said he, and





PERICLES


you are sent hither by some incensed god to make
the world laugh at me." Patience, good sir," said
Marina, "or I must cease here." "Nay," said
Pericles, "I will be patient; you little know how
you do startle me, to call yourself Marina." The
name," she replied, "was given me by one that
had some power, my father, and a king." How,
a king's daughter!" said Pericles, "and called
Marina! But are you flesh and blood? Are you
no fairy ? Speak on; where were you born ? and
wherefore called Marina?" She replied, "I was
called Marina, because I was born at sea. My
mother was the daughter of a king; she died the
minute I was born, as my good nurse Lychorida
has often told me weeping. The king, my father,
left me at Tarsus, till the cruel wife of Cleon
sought to murder me. A crew of pirates came and
rescued me, and brought me here to Mitylene.
But, good sir, why do you weep ? It may be, you
think me an impostor. But, indeed, sir, I am the
daughter to king Pericles, if good king Pericles be
living." Then Pericles, terrified as he seemed at
his own sudden joy, and doubtful if this could be
real, loudly called for his attendants, who rejoiced
at the sound of their beloved king's voice; and he
said to Helicanus, "0 Helicanus, strike me, give
me a gash, put me to present pain, lest this great
sea of joys rushing upon me, overbear the shores of
my mortality. 0, come hither, thou that wast born
at sea, buried at Tarsus, and found at sea again.
0 Helicanus, down on your knees, thank the holy
gods! This is Marina Now blessings on thee,
my child! Give me fresh garments, mine own
Helicanus! She is not dead at Tarsus as she
should have been by the savage Dionysia. She





358 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

shall tell you all, when you shall kneel to her,
and call her your very princess. Who is this?"
(observing Lysimachus for the first time.) Sir,"
said Helicanus, "it is the governor o" Mitylene,
who, hearing of your melancholy, came to see
you." I embrace you, sir," said Pericles.
"Give me my robes I am well with beholding
-- 0 heaven bless my girl! But hark, what
music is that "-for now, either sent by some
kind god, or by his own delighted fancy deceived,
he seemed to hear soft music. My lord, I hear
none," replied Helicanus. "None?" said Pericles;
"why it is the music of the spheres." As there
was no music to be heard, Lysimachus concluded
that the sudden joy had unsettled the prince's
understanding; and he said, It is not good to
cross him: let him have his way:" and then they
told him they heard the music; and he now com-
plaining of a drowsy slumber coming over him,
Lysimachus persuaded him to rest on a couch, and
placing a pillow under his head, he, quite over-
powered with excess of joy, sank into a sound
sleep, and Marina watched in silence by the couch
of her sleeping parent
While he slept, Pericles dreamed a dream which
made hin resolve to go to Ephesus. His dream
was, that Diana, the goddess of the Ephesians,
appeared to him, and commanded him to go to
her temple at Ephesus, and there before her altar
to declare the story of his life and misfortunes; and
by her silver bow she swore, that if he performed
her injunction, he should meet with some rare
felicity When he awoke, being miraculously re-
freshed, he told his dream, and that his resolution
was to obey the bidding of the goddess.





PERICLES


Then Lysimachus invited Pericles to come on
shore, and refresh himself with such entertainment
as he should find at Mitylene, which courteous offer
Pericles accepting, agreed to tarry with him for the
space of a day or two. During which time we may
well suppose what feastings, what rejoicings, what
costly shows and entertainments the governor made
in Mitylene, to greet the royal father of his dear
Marina, whom in her obscure fortunes he had so
respected. Nor did Pericles frown upon Lysi-
machus's suit, when he understood how he had
honoured his child in the days of her low estate,
and that Marina showed herself not averse to his
proposals; only he made it a condition, before he
gave his consent, that they should visit with him
the shrine of the Ephesian Diana: to whose temple
they shortly after all three undertook a voyage;
and, the goddess herself filling their sails with
prosperous winds, after a few weeks they arrived in
safety at Ephesus.
There was standing near the altar of the goddess,
when Pericles with his train entered the temple,
the good Cerimon (now grown very aged) who had
restored Thaisa, the wife of Pericles, to life; and
Thaisa, now a priestess of the temple, was standing
before the altar; and though the many years he
had passed in sorrow for her loss had much altered
Pericles, Thaisa thought she knew her husband's
features, and when he approached the altar and
began to speak, she remembered his voice, and
listened to his words with wonder and a joyful
amazement. And these were the words that
Pericles spoke before the altar: "Hail, Diana! to
perform thy just commands, I here confess myself
the prince of Tyre, who, frighted from my country,





360 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

at Pentapolis wedded the fair Thaisa: she died at
sea in childbed, but brought forth a maid-child
called Marina. She at Tarsus was nursed with
Dionysia, who at fourteen years thought to kill her,
but her better stars brought her to Mitylene,
by whose shores as I sailed, her good fortunes
brought this maid on board, where by her most
clear remembrance she made herself known to be
my daughter."
Thaisa, unable to bear the transports which his
words had raised in her, cried out, "You are, you
are, 0 royal Pericles "- and fainted. "What
means this woman?" said Pericles: "she dies!
gentlemen, help."-" Sir," said Cerimon, if you
have told Diana's altar true, this is your wife."
" Reverend gentleman, no; said Pericles: "I
threw her over board with these very arms."
Cerimon then recounted how, early one tempestuous
morning, this lady was thrown upon the Ephesian
shore; how, opening the coffin, he found therein
rich jewels, and a paper; how, happily, he re-
covered her, and placed her here in Diana's temple.
And now, Thaisa being restored from her swoon
said, 0 my lord, are you not Pericles? Like him
you speak, like him you are. Did you not name
a tempest, a birth, and death ?" He astonished
said, "The voice of dead Thaisa! That
Thaisa am I," she replied, "supposed dead and
drowned." 0 true Diana !." exclaimed Pericles,
in a passion of devout astonishment. "And now,"
said Thaisa, I know you better. Such a ring as
I see on your finger did the king my father give you,
when we with tears parted from him at Penta-
polis." Enough, you gods! cried Pericles,
"your present kindness makes my past miseries





PERICLES


sport. 0 come, Thaisa, be buried a second time
within these arms."
And Marina said, My heart leaps to be gone
into my mother's bosom." Then did Pericles show
his daughter to her mother, saying, "Look who
kneels here, flesh of thy flesh, thy burthen at sea,
and called Marina, because she was yielded there."
" Blessed and my own said Thaisa: and while
she hung in rapturous joy over her child, Pericles
knelt before the altar, saying, "Pure Diana bless
thee for thy vision. For this, I will offer oblations
nightly to thee." And then and there did Pericles,
with the consent of Thaisa, solemnly affiance their
daughter, the virtuous Marina, to the well-deserving
Lysimachus in marriage.
Thus have we seen in Pericles, his queen, and
daughter, a famous example of virtue assailed by
calamity (through the sufferance of Heaven, to
teach patience and constancy to men), under the
same guidance becoming finally successful, and
triumphing over chance and change. In Helicanus
we have beheld a notable pattern of truth, of faith,
and loyalty, who, when he might have succeeded
to a throne, chose rather to recall the rightful
owner to his possession, than to become great by
another's wrong. In the worthy Cerimon, who
restored Thaisa to life, we are instructed how good-
ness directed by knowledge, in bestowing benefits
upon mankind, approaches to the nature of the
gods. It only remains to be told, that Dionysia,
the wicked wife of Cleon, met with an end propor-
tionable to her deserts; the inhabitants of Tarsus,
when her cruel attempt upon Marina was known,
rising in a body to revenge the daughter of
their benefactor, and setting fire to the palace of





362 TALES FROM SHAKSPEARE

Cleon, burnt both him and her, and their whole
household: the gods seeming well pleased, that so
foul a murder, though but intentional, and never
carried into act, should be punished in a way be-
fitting its enormity.
















THE END


TURNBULL AND SPEARS, PRINTERS, EDINBURGH.