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ERNEST SISTER .
E.P. DUTTrrN ( CO.
TI HE following Tales are meant to be submitted to the young
reader as an introduction to the study of Shakespeare, 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,
as my young readers will perceive when they come to see the
source from which these stories are derived, Shakespeare's own
words, with little alteration, recur very frequently in the narra-
tive as well as in the dialogue; but in those made from the
Comedies I found myself scarcely ever able to turn his words
into the narrative form; therefore I fear in them I have made
use of dialogue too frequently for young people not used to the
dramatic form of writing. But this fault-if it be as I fear
a fault-has been caused by my earnest wish to give as much
of Shakespeare'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 ears, they must pardon it, because
it was the only way I knew of in which I could give them a
few hints and little foretcstes 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 im-
perfect stamps of Shakespeare's matchless image. Faint and
imperfect images they must be called, because the beauty of his
language is too frequently destroyed by the necessity of changing
many of his excellent words into words far less expressive of
his true sense, to make it read something like prose; and even
in some few places where his blank verse is given unaltered,
as hoping from its simple plainness to cheat the young readers
into the belief that they are reading prose, yet still, his language
being transplanted from its own natural soil and wild poetic
garden, it must want much of its native beauty.
I have wished to make these Tales easy reading for very
young children. To the utmost of my ability I have constantly
kept this in my mind; but the subjects of most of them made
this a very difcult task. It was no easy matter to give the
histories of men and women in terms familiar to the appre-
hension of a very young mind. For young ladies, too, it has
been my intention chiefly to write, because boys are generally
permitted the use of their fathers' libraries at a much earlier
age than girls are. They frequently having the best scenes of
Shakespeare by heart before their sisters are permitted to look
into this manly book; and therefore, instead of recommending
these Tales to the perusal of young gentlemen who can read
them so much better in the originals, I must rather beg their
kind assistance in explaining to their sisters such parts as are
hardest for them to understand; and when they have helped
them to get over the diculzties, 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 I trust 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 abridg-
ments, which, if they be fortunately so done as to prove delightful
to any of you, my young readers, I hope will have no worse
effect upon you than to make you wish yourselves a little older,
that you may be allowed to read the Plays at full length: such
a wish will be neither peevish nor irrational. WHhen time and
leave of judicious friends shall put them into your hands, you
will discover in such of them as are here abridged-not to
mention almost as many more which are left untouched-many
surpriising events and turns of fortune, which for their infinite
variety could not be contained in this little book, besides a world
of0 sprightly and cheerful characters, both men and women, the
humour of which I was feafJul of losing if I attempted to
reduce the length of them.
What these Tales have been to you in childhood, that and
much more it is my wish that the true Plays of Shakespeare
may prove to you in older years-enrichers of the fancy,
strengtheners of virtue, a withdrawing from, all selfsh and
mercenary thozgts, a lesson of all sweet and honourable
thoughts and actions, to teach you courtesy, benignity, generosity,
humanity; for of examples teaching these virtues, his pag-es
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM .
THE WINTER'S TALE
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
As You LIKE IT
THE Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
MEASURE FOR MEASURE
TWELFTH NIGHT; OR, WHAT YOU WILL
TIMON OF ATHENS
ROMEO AND JULIET
HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK
PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE
THERE was a certain island
in the sea, the only inhabi-
/ tants of which were an old man,
whose name was Prospero, and
his daughter Miranda, a very
beautiful young lady. She came
had no memory of having seen
any other human face than her
-They lived in a cave or cell,
'''" made out of a rock: it was divided
i 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 en-
chanted by a witch called Sycorax, who died there a short
time before his arrival, Prospero, by virtue of his art, released
many good spirits that Sycorax had imprisoned in the bodies
of large trees because they had refused to execute her wicked
commands. These gentle spirits were ever after obedient to
the will of Prospero. Of these Ariel was the chief.
The lively little sprite Ariel had nothing mischievous in
his nature, except that he took rather too much pleasure in
tormenting an ugly monster called Caliban, for he owed. him
7'2IlL E__S 171, 0J/ /iAISItIE
a grudge because he was the son of his old enemy Sycorax.
This Caliban Prospero found in the woods, a strange mis-
shapen 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
slyly and pinch him, and sometimes tumble him down in the
mire; and then Ariel, in the likeness of an ape, would make
mouths at him. Then swiftly changing his shape, in the
likeness of a hedgehog he would lie tumbling in Caliban's
way, who feared the hedgehog's sharp quills would prick his
bare feet. With a variety of such-like vexatious tricks Ariel
would often torment him, whenever Caliban neglected the
work which Prospero commanded him to do.
Having these powerful spirits obedient to his will, Pros-
pero 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 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 per-
son 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
THE TEM.PE' S.7:
cell ? I think you cannot, for you were not then three years
"Certainly I can, sir," replied Miranda.
"By what?" asked Prospero; "by any other house or
person ? Tell me what you can remember, my child."
Miranda said, "It seems to me like the recollection of a
dream. But had I not once four or five women who attended
upon me ?"
Prospero answered, "You had, and more. How is it that
this still lives in your mind? Do you remember how you
came here ?"
"No, sir," said Miranda, "I remember nothing more."
"Twelve years ago, Miranda," continued Prospero, "I was
Duke of Milan, and you were a princess and my only heir.
I had a younger brother, whose name was Antonio, to whom
I trusted everything; and as I was fond of retirement and
deep study, I commonly left the management 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 of my
power, began to think himself the duke indeed. The op-
portunity 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
"Wherefore," said Miranda, "did they not at that hour
"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."
"O my father," said Miranda, "what a trouble must I have
been to you then I"
TALES PROMA SHAKESPEARE.
"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
"Heaven thank you, my dear father," said Miranda. "Now
pray tell me, sir, your reason for raising this sea-storm ?"
"Know, then," said her father, "that by means of this
storm my enemies, the King of Naples and my cruel brother,
are cast ashore upon this island."
Having so said, Prospero gently touched his daughter with
his magic wand, and she fell fast asleep; for the spirit Ariel
just then presented himself before his master, to give an
account of the tempest, and how he had disposed of the
ship's company; and, though the spirits were always invisible
to Miranda, Prospero did not choose she should hear him
holding converse (as would seem to her) with the empty air.
"Well, my brave spirit," said Prospero to Ariel, "how
have you performed your task?"
Ariel gave a lively description of the storm, and of the
terrors of the mariners; and how the King's son, 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 himself the only one saved; and the ship,
though invisible to them, is safe in the harbour."
"Ariel," said Prospero, "thy charge is faithfully performed;
but there is more work yet."
.., 1- -
Ariel: Full fathom five thy father lies." (P. i.)
7YE 7YE1IPEIST. 5
"Is there more work ?" said Ariel. "Let me remind you,
master, you have promised me my liberty. I pray remember
I have done you worthy service, told you no lies, made no
mistakes, served you without grudge or grumbling."
"How now 1" said Prospero. "You do not recollect what
a torment I freed you from. Have you forgot the wicked
witch Sycorax, who with age and envy was almost bent double ?
Where was she born? Speak: tell me."
"Sir, in Algiers," said Ariel.
"0 was she so ?" said Prospero. "I must recount what
you have been, which I find you do not remember. This
bad witch Sycorax, for her witchcrafts, too terrible to enter
human hearing, was banished from Algiers, and here left by
the sailors; and because you were a spirit too 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
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:
lull fathom hive thy father lies:
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark, now I hear them, ding-dong-bell."
This strange news of his lost father soon roused the prince
from the stupid fit into which he had fallen. He followed in
TALES FROAF SHAKESPEARE.
amazement the sound of Ariel's voice, till it led him to Pros-
pero and Miranda, who were sitting under the shade of a large
tree. Now, Miranda had never seep a man before, except
her own father.
"Miranda," said Prospero, "tell me what you are looking
"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 somewhat altered by grief, or you might
call him a handsome person. He has lost his companions,
and is wandering about to find them."
Miranda, who thought all men had grave faces and grey
beards like her father, was delighted with the 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 pace, and as such he began to address her.
She timidly answered, she was no goddess, but a simple
maid, and was going to give an account of herself, when Pros-
pero interrupted her. He was well pleased to find they
admired each other, for he plainly perceived they had (as we
say) fallen in love at first sight; but to try Ferdinand's con-
stancy, 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
"Silence i" said her 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 affections are most humble.
I have no wish to see a goodlier man."
"Come on, young man," said Prospero to the prince;
"you have no power to disobey me."
"I have not, indeed," answered Ferdinand; and not know-
ing that it was by magic he was deprived of all power of
resistance, he was astonished to find himself so strangely
compelled to follow Prospero. Looking back on Miranda as
long as he could see her, he said, as he went after Prospero
into the cave, "My spirits are all bound up, as if I were in
a dream; but this man's threats, and the weakness which I
feel, would seem light to me if from my prison 1 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 your-
"O 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.
7A4LES FROMI SHAiKESPEARE.
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 him, saying
it was against her father's express command she did so.
Prospero only smiled at this first instance of his daughter's
disobedience, for having by his magic art caused his daughter
to fall in love so suddenly, he was not angry that she showed
her love by forgetting to obey his commands. And he lis-
tened well pleased to a long speech of Ferdinand's, in which
he professed to love her above all the ladies he ever saw.
In answer to his praises of her beauty, which he said
exceeded all the women in the world, she replied, "I do not
remember the face of any woman, nor have I seen any more
men than you, my good friend, and my dear father. How
features are abroad, I know not; but believe me, sir, I would
not wish any companion in the world but you, nor can my
imagination form any shape but yours that I could like. But,
sir, I fear I talk to you too freely, and my father's precepts
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 appearing
visible before them.
"Fear nothing, my child," said he; "I have overheard,
and approve of all you have said. And, Ferdinand, if I have
too severely used you, I will make you rich amends, by giving
you my daughter. All your vexations were but my 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 returned; and this command Miranda seemed
not at all disposed to disobey. )
When Prospero left them, he called his spirit Ariel, who
quickly appeared before him, eager to relate what he had
done with Prospero's brother and the King of Naples. Ariel
said he had left them almost out of their senses with fear
at the strange things he had caused them to see and hear.
When fatigued with wandering about and famished for want
of food, he had suddenly set before them a delicious banquet,
and then, just as they were going to eat, he appeared visible
before them in the shape of a harpy, a voracious monster
with wings, and the feast vanished away. Then, to their
utter amazement, this seeming harpy spoke to them, remind-
ing them of their cruelty in driving Prospero from his duke-
dom, 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, re-
pented the injustice they had done to Prospero; and Ariel
told his master he was certain their penitence was sincere,
and that he, though a spirit, could not but pity them.
"Then bring them hither, Ariel," said Prospero: "if you,
who are but a spirit, feel for their distress, shall. not I, who
am a human being like themselves, have compassion on them ?
Bring them quickly, my dainty Ariel."
Ariel soon returned with the King, Antonio, and old Gon-
zalo in their train, who had followed him, wondering at the
wild music he played in the air to draw them on to his
master's presence. This Gonzalo was the same who had so
kindly provided Prospero formerly with books and provisions,
when his wicked brother left him, as he thought, to perish in
an open boat in the sea.
Grief and terror had so stupefied their senses that they did
not know Prospero. He first discovered himself to the good
old Gonzalo, calling him the preserver of his life; and then
his brother and the King knew he was the injured Prospero.
TALES FROM 1 SHAKESPEARE.
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
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
The King of Naples was almost as much astonished at
the beauty and excellent graces of the young Miranda as
his son had been.
Who is this maid?" said he; "she seems the goddess
that has parted us, and brought us thus together."
"No, sir," answered Ferdinand, smiling to find his father
had fallen into the same mistake that he had done when he
first saw Miranda; "she is a mortal, but by immortal Pro-
vidence 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 forgive-
"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, overruling Providence
had permitted that he should be driven from his poor duke-
dom 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.
THE TEMlPEST. 2
These kind words which Prospero spoke, meaning to com-
fort his brother, so filled Antonio with shame and remorse
that he wept and was unable to speak, and the kind old Gon-
zalo 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 meantime," said he, "partake of such refreshments
as my poor cave affords, and for your evening's entertainment
Ariel: On the bat's back I do fly." (p. 2.)
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 uncon-
TALES FROiL SHAKESPEA RE.
trolled 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
"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 sang 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 remained to complete his happiness but to revisit his
native land, to take possession of his dukedom, and to wit-
ness the happy nuptials of his daughter Miranda 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.
THERE was a law in the city
Sof Athens, which gave to its
S "citizens the power of compelling
their daughters to marry whom-
soever 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 ot 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 De,
metrius, a young man of a noble Athenian family, refused
to obey him, because she loved another young Athenian,
named Lysander. Egeus demanded justice ot Theseus, and
desired that this cruel law might be put in force against his
Hermia pleaded in excuse for her disobedience that
Demetrius had formerly professed love for her dear friend
Helena, and that Helena loved Demetrius to distraction; but
7ALES FRO. 1/ SHAKESPEARE.
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 pleasure of following her faithless lover to the wood;
for she well knew that Demetrius would go thither in pursuit
The wood, in which Lysander and Hermia proposed to
meet, was the favourite haunt of those little beings known
by the name of Fairies.
Oberon the king, and Titania the queen, of the fairies,
with all their tiny train of followers, in this wood held their
Between this little king and queen of sprites there hap-
pened, at this time, a sad disagreement: they never met by
moonlight in the shady walks of this pleasant wood but they
A iAZDSUAFAMER NIGHT'S DREAA.
were quarrelling, till all their fairy elves would creep into
acorn-cups and hide themselves for fear.
The cause of this unhappy disagreement was Titania's
refusing to give Oberon a little changeling boy, whose mother
had been Titania's friend; and upon her death the fairy
queen stole the child from its nurse, and brought him up in
The night on which the lovers were to meet in this wood,
as Titania was walking with some of her maids-of-honour,
she met Oberon attended by his train of fairy courtiers.
"Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania," said the fairy
king. The queen replied, "What! jealous Oberon, is it you?
Fairies, skip hence; I have forsworn his company !" "Tarry,
rash fairy !" said Oberon: "am not I thy lord? Why does
Titania cross her Oberon? Give me your little changeling
boy to be my page."
"Set your heart at rest," answered the queen; "your
whole fairy kingdom buys not the boy of me." She then left
her lord in great anger. "Well, go your way," said Oberon:
"before the morning dawns I will torment you for this injury."
Oberon then sent for Puck, his chief favourite and privy
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 neighbours a sad and melancholy story, Puck would slip
her three-legged stool from under her, and down toppled the
[/1IES IR Oil1 S1L/A A'ESPLU IRE.
poor old woman, and then the old gossips would hold their
sides and laugh at her, and swear they never wasted a merrier
"Come hither, Puck," said Oberon to this little merry
wanderer of the night. "Fetch me the flower which maids
call 'Love in Idleness'; the juice of that little purple flower
laid on the eyelids of those who sleep will make them, when
they awake, dote on the first thing they see. Some of the
juice of that flower I will drop on the eyelids of my Titania
when she is asleep, and the first thing she looks upon when
she opens her eyes she will fall in love with, even though it
be a lion, or a bear, a meddling monkey, or a busy ape; and
before I will take this charm from off her sight, which I can
do with another charm I know of, I will make her give me
that boy to be my page."
Puck, who loved mischief to his heart, was highly diverted
with this intended frolic of his master, and ran to seek the
flower; and while Oberon was waiting the return of Puck,
he observed Demetrius and Helena enter the wood: he
overheard Demetrius reproaching Helena for following him,
and after many unkind words on his 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
The fairy king, who was always friendly to true lovers, felt
great compassion for Helena, and perhaps, as Lysander said
they used to walk by moonlight in this pleasant wood, Oberon
might have seen Helena in those happy times when she was
beloved by Demetrius. However that might be, when Puck
returned with the little purple flower, Oberon said to his
favourite, "Take a part of this flower: there has been a sweet
Athenian lady here who is in love with a disdainful youth;
if you find him sleeping, drop some of the love-juice in his
eyes, but contrive to do it when she is near him, that the
first thing he sees when he awakes may be this despised lady.
You will know the man by the Athenian garments which he
wears." Puck promised to manage this matter very dex-
trously, and then Oberon went, unperceived by Titania, to
A /J.S11E A71G//7`.S flhi'hI. h
her bower, where she was preparing to go to rest. Her fairy
S bower was a bank, where grew wild thyme, cowslips, and
sweet violets, under a canopy of woodbine, musk-roses, and
eglantine. There Titania always slept some part of the nioht;
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;
Sbut first sing me to sleep." Then they began to sing this
"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 your 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
Sshe had enjoined them. Oberon then softly drew near his
Titania, and dropped some of the love-juice on her eyelids,
What thou seest when thou dost wake,
Do it for thy true-love take."
But to return to Hermia, who made her escape out of her
father's house that night to avoid the death she was doomed
Sto for refusing to marry Demetrius. When she entered the
wood she found her dear Lysander waiting for her, to con-
duct her to his aunt's house, but before they had passed half
Through the wood Hermia was so much fatigued that Ly-
sander, who was very careful of this dear lady, who had
proved her affection for him even by hazarding her life for
TALES FROM1 SIHAKESPEARE.
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 sleeping 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 together, she must be
the first thing he would see when he awoke, so without more
ado he proceeded to pour some of the juice of the little
purple flower into his eyes. But it so fell out that Helena
came that way, and, instead of Hermia, was the first object
Lysander beheld when he opened his eyes; and, strange to
relate, so powerful was the love-charm that all his love
for Hermia vanished away, and Lysander fell in love with
Had he first seen Hermia when he awoke, the blunder
Puck committed would have been of no consequence, for he
could not love that faithful lady too well; but for poor
Lysander to be forced by a fairy love-charm to forget his
own true Hermia, and to run after another lady and leave
Hermia asleep quite alone in a wood at midnight, was a sad
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)
immediately 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-
A fMIDSUAMfAER NIGHT'S DREAM
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 addressed
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 everyone? 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 Ly-
sander followed her, quite forgetful of his own Hermia, who
was still asleep.
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
In the meantime Demetrius, not being able to find
Hermia and his rival Lysander, and fatigued with his fruit-
less search, was observed by Oberon fast asleep. Oberon
had learnt by some questions he had asked of Puck that he
had applied the love-chaim 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 ap-
pearance, and then Lysander and Demetrius, both speaking
together, nade 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.
TILES' FZW)I/ 81J1AAIESRSP R-E.
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 Ly-
sander on to vex me with mock praises; and your other lover
Demetrius, who used almost to spurn me with his foot, have
you not bid him call me goddess, nymph, rare, precious, and
celestial ? He would not speak thus to me, whom he hates,
if you did not set him on to make a jest of me. Unkind
Hermia to join with men in scorning your poor friend. Have
you forgot our school-day friendship? How often, Hermia,
have we two, sitting on one cushion, both singing one song,
with our needles working the same flower, both on the same
sampler wrought, growing up together in fashion of a double
cherry, scarcely seeming parted ? 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!" re-
turned 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 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
A AIIDST II1IJ '/ER NIGHT" 'S DRE.A.If.
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,
,i I ,
Titania: Attlend upon this sweet gentlcDian." ( 3.
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 lor Hermia; and then the two, fair ladies may each
one be happy with the man she .loves, and they will think
TALES FR OAf SHAKESPEARE.
all that has passed a vexatious dream. About this quickly,
Puck, and I will go and see what sweet love my Titania
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.
Although 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 have wit
enough to find the way out of this wood, I have enough to
serve my turn."
"Out of the wood do not desire to go," said the en-
amoured queen. "I am a spirit of no common rate. I love
you. Go with me, and I will give you fairies to attend upon
you.". She then called four of her fairies: their names were
Pease-blossom, Cobweb, Moth, and Mustard-seed.
"Attend," said the queen, "upon this sweet gentleman;
hop in his walks, and gambol in his sight; feed him with
grapes and apricots, and steal for him the honey-bags from
the bees. Come, sit with me," said she to the clown, "and
let me play with your amiable hairy cheeks, my beautiful ass !
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 courtship, 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
A AfIDSUAfMAFER NIGHT'S DJREAAi
the honey-bag break not; I should be sorry to have you
overflown with a honey-bag. Where is Mustard-seed?"
"Here, sir," said Mustard-seed. "What is your will?"
"Nothing," said the clown, "good Mr. Mustard-seed, but
to help Mr. Pease-blossom to scratch. I must goto a bar-
ber's, Mr. Mustard-seed, for methinks I am marvellous hairy
about the face."
"My sweet love," said the queen, "what will you have to
eat? I have a venturous fairy shall seek the squirrel's hoard,
and fetch you some new-nuts."
"I had rather have a handful of dried pease," said the
clown, who with his ass's head had
got an ass's appetite; "but, I pray,
let none of your people disturb me,
for I have a mind to sleep." .
"Sleep, then," s'id the queen, W,-'.
"and I will wind you in my arms. .
0 how I love you! How I dote '" '
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.- s
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, Helena.
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 dis-
graceful 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
TALES FR Oil SWHAKESPEARE.
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.
Oberon and his Titania being now perfectly reconciled,
he related to her the history of the lovers, and their midnight
quarrels; and she agreed to go with him and see the end
of their adventures.
The fairy king and queen found the lovers and their fair
ladies, at no great distance from each other, sleeping on a
grass-plot; for Puck, to make amends for his former mistake,
had contrived with the utmost diligence to bring them all to
the same spot unknown to each other; and he had carefully
removed the charm from off the eyes of Lysander with the
antidote the fairy king gave to him.
Hermia first awoke, and finding her lost Lysander asleep
so near her, was looking at him and wondering at his strange
inconstancy. Lysander presently opening his eyes, and seeing
his dear Hermia, recovered his reason which the fairy charm
had before clouded, and with his reason his love for Hermia;
and they began to talk over the adventures of the night,
doubting if these things had really happened, or if they had
both been dreaming the same bewildering dream.
Helena and Demetrius were by this time awake, and a
sweet sleep having quieted Helena's disturbed and angry
spirits, she listened with delight to the professions of love
which Demetrius still made to her, and which, to her surprise
as well as pleasure, she began to perceive were sincere.
These tair night-wandering ladies, now no longer rivals,
became once more true friends; all the unkind words which
had passed were forgiven, and they calmly consulted together
what was best to be done in their present situation. It was
soon agreed that, as Demetrius had given up his pretensions
to Hermia, he should endeavour to prevail upon her father
to revoke the cruel sentence of death which had been passed
against her. Demetrius was preparing to return to Athens
for this friendly purpose, when they were surprised with the
sight of Egeus, Hermia's father, who came to the wood in
pursuit of his runaway daughter.
A M1IDS ILI EL1ER iVGI-7T'S DREAM.
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 unreason-
able as to be offended with a pretty harmless Midsummer
THE WINTER'S TALE.
A LEONTES, King of Sicily,
iand his queen, the beauti-
ful and virtuous Hermione, once
lived in the greatest harmony
together. So happy was Leon-
tes in the love of this excellent
lady that he had no wish
un gratified, except that he some-
times desired to see again, and
to present to his queen, his
old companion and school fellow,
Polixenes, King of Bohemia.
Leontes and Polixenes were
brought up together from their
t infancy; but being, by the
death of their fathers, called
Leontes and Camillo. 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
At first this visit gave nothing but pleasure to Leontes.
He recommended the friend of his youth to the queen's par-
ticular 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 tys and their youthful
pranks were remembered and recounted to Hermione, who
always took a cheerful part in these conversations.
THE WINTER'S TALE.
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 words to put off his de-
parture for some weeks longer. Upon this, although Leontes
had so long known the integrity and honourable principles
of his friend Polixenes, as well as the excellent disposition
of his virtuous queen, he was seized with an ungovernable
jealousy. Every attention Hermione showed to Polixenes,
though by her husband's particular desire, and merely to
please him, increased the unfortunate king's jealousy; and
from being a loving and a true friend, and the best and fond-
est of husbands, Leontes became suddenly a savage and in-
human monster. Sending for Camillo, one of the lords of
his court, and telling h:m of the suspicion he entertained, he
commanded him to poison Polixenes.
Camillo was a gocd 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 \ith him out of the
Sicilian dominions; and Polixenes, with the assistance of
Camillo, arrived sale 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 s'ill
more; he went to the queen's apartment, 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 dishonoured, and found
she was taken from him to be put into a prison, he took it
deeply to heart, and drooped and pined away by slow de-
rees, losing his appetite and his sleep, till it was thought
his grief would kill him.
The king, when he had sent his queen to prison, com-
7LILES F120i/ SIIAJCE>,PEARE.
handed 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 had
a little 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 had a new baby,
she went to the prison where Hermione was confined, and
she said to Emilia, a lady who attended upon Hermione, "I
pray you, Emilia, tell the good queen, if her majesty dare
trust me with her little babe, I will carry it to the king its
father: we do not know how he may soften at the sight of
his innocent child." "Most worthy madam," replied Emilia,
"I will acquaint the queen with your noble offer: she was
wishing to-day that she had any friend who would venture to
present the child to the king." "And tell her," said Paulina,
"that I will speak boldly to Leontes in her defence." "May
you be for ever blessed," said Emilia, "for your kindness to
our gracious queen!" Emilia then went to Hermione, who
joyfully gave up her baby to the care of Paulina, for she had
feared that no one would dare venture to present the child
to its father.
Paulina took the new-born infant, and forcing herself into
the king's presence, notwithstanding her husband, fearing the
king's anger, endeavoured to prevent her, she 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
THE WINTER'S TALE.
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
This focr deserted baby was found bi a shepherd. (P 4)
shipboard, 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 grief
TALES FROMf SHAKESPEARE.
for the loss of her precious baby, he had her brought to a
public trial before all the lords and nobles of his court. And
when all the great lords, the judges, and all the nobility of
the land were assembled together to try Hermione, and that
unhappy queen was standing as a prisoner 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, Ca-
millo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant, and the king
shall live without an heir if that which is lost be not found."
The king would give no credit to the words of the oracle:
he said it was a falsehood invented by the queen's friends,
and he desired the judge to proceed in the trial of the queen;
but while Leontes was speaking, a man entered and told him
that the Prince 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 affec-
tionate child, who had lost his life in sorrowing for her mis-
fortune, 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
he now thought the words of the oracle were true, as he
knew "if that which was lost was not found," which he con-
cluded was his young daughter, he should be without an
heir, the young Prince Mamillus being dead; and he would
give his kingdom now to recover his lost daughter: and
Leontes gave himself up to remorse, and passed many years
in mournful thoughts and repentant grief.
The ship in which Antigonus carried the infant princess
out to sea was driven by a storm upon the coast of Bohemia,
the very kingdom of the good King Polixenes. Here Anti-
gonus landed, and here he lelt the little baby.
A;i~~1~ l Jli~~
I. i ~
7he queen-like deportment of Perdita caused the prince
instalntly to fall in love. (P. )
MIIE HIA1YY_,7YS YALE.;
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 King
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, with the
name of Perdita written thereon, and words obscurely inti-
mating its high birth and untoward fate.
This poor deserted baby was found by a shepherd. He
was a humane man, and so he carried the little Perdita home
to his wife, who nursed it tenderly; but poverty tempted the
shepherd to conceal the rich prize he had found; therefore
he left that part of the country, that no one might know
where he got his riches, and with part of Perdita's jewels
he bought herds of sheep, and became a wealthy shepherd.
He brought up Perdita 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 daugh-
ter, yet so did the natural graces she inherited from her
royal mother shine forth in 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 deport-
ment of Perdita caused him instantly to fall in love with her.
He soon, under the name of Doricles, and in the disguise ot
a private gentleman, became a constant visitor to the old
shepherd's house. Florizel's frequent absences from court
alarmed Polixenes; and, setting people to watch his son, he
discovered his love for the shepherd's fair daughter.
Polixenes then called for Camillo, the faithful Camillo,
who had preserved his life from the fury of Leontes, and
desired that he would accompany him to the house of the
shepherd, the supposed father of Perdita.
TALES FR OJ1 SHA KESPEARE.
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 jollity was going forward. Tables
were spread, and great preparations were making for the
rustic feast. Some lads and lasses were dancing on the green
before the house, while others of the young men were buying
ribands, gloves, and such toys, of a pedlar at the door.
While this busy scene was going forward, Florizel and
Perdita sat quietly in a retired corner, seemingly more pleased
with the conversation of each other than desirous of engaging
in the sports and silly amusements of those around them.
The king was so disguised that it was impossible his son
could know him; he therefore advanced near enough to hear
the conversation. The simple yet elegant manner in which
Perdita conversed with his son did not a little surprise Polix-
enes: 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 cream of curds
"Pray, my good friend," said the king to the old shep-
herd, "what fair swain is that talking with your daughter?"
"They call him Doricles," replied the shepherd. "He says
he loves my daughter; and to speak the 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
THE WINTER'S TALE.
trifles; the gifts which Perdita expects from me are locked
up in my heart." Then turning to Perdita, he said to her,
"0 hear 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
"Mark your divorce, young sir," said the king, discovering
himself. Polixenes then reproached his son for daring to con-
tract himself to this low-born maiden, calling Perdita "shep-
herd'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
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 sellsame sun
which shines upon his palace hides not his face from our
cottage, but looks on both alike." Then sorrowfully she said,
"But now I am awakened from this dream, I will queen it
no further. Leave me, sir; I will go milk my ewes, and
The kind-hearted Camillo was charmed with the spirit
and propriety of Perdita's behaviour; and perceiving that the
young prince was too deeply in love to give up his mistress
at the command of his royal father, he thought of a way
to befriend the lovers, and at the same time to execute a
favourite scheme he had in his mind.
Camillo had long known that Leontes, the King of Sicily,
was become a true penitent; and though Camillo was now
the favoured friend of King Polixenes, he could not help
wishing once more to see his late royal master and his native
home. He therefore proposed to Florizel and Perdita that
they should accompany him to the Sicilian court, where he
would engage Leontes should protect them, till through his
7TALES F 01/ 8O.1/ WAICJSPI-EA RE.
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 engross all
Leontes' attention: perceiving a resemblance between her
and his dead Queen Hermione, his grief broke out afresh,
and he said such a lovely creature might his own daughter
have been, if he had not so cruelly destroyed her. "And
then too," said he to Florizel, I lost the society and friend-
ship of your brave father, whom I now desire more than
my life once again to look upon."
When the old shepherd heard how much notice the king
had taken of Perdita, and that he had lost a daughter, who
was exposed in infancy, he fell to comparing the time when
he found the little Perdita with the manner of its exposure,
the jewels and other tokens of its high birth; from all which
it was impossible for him not to conclude that Perdita and
the king's lost daughter were the same.
Florizel and Perdita, Camillo and the faithful Paulina,
were present when the old shepherd related to the king the
manner in which he had found the child, and also the cir-
cumstance of Antigonus' death, he having seen the bear seize
upon him. He showed the rich mantle in which Paulina
remembered Hermione had wrapped the child; and he pro-
duced 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
LYLE IVJA'iER'S IL.1-3'.
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
"O 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 almost
be ready to think it was Hermione herself. Thither then
they all went, the king anxious to see the semblance of his
Hermione, and Perdita longing to behold what the mother
she never saw did look like.
When Paulina drew back the curtain which concealed
this famous statue, so perfectly did it resemble Hermione
that all the king's sorrow was renewed at the sight: for a
long time he had no power to speak or move.
"I like your silence, my liege," said Paulina; "it the
more shows your wonder. Is not this statue very like your
queen ? "
At length the king said, "Oh, 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 persuade 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
TALES FROJF1 SHAKESPEARE.
stain your own with oily painting. Shall I draw the cur-
tain?" "No, not these twenty years," said Leontes.
Perdita, who all this time had been kneeling and behold-
ing in silent admiration the statue of her matchless mother,
said now, "And so long could I stay here looking upon my
"Either forbear this transport," said Paulina to Leontes,
"and let me draw the curtain, or prepare 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 astonished king,
"I am content to look upon. What you can make her
speak I am content to hear, for it is as easy to make her
speak as move."
Paulina then ordered some slow and solemn music, which
she had prepared for the purpose, to strike up, and, to the
amazement of all the beholders, the statue came down from
off the pedestal and threw its arms around Leontes' neck.
The statue then began to speak, praying for blessings on her
husband, and on her child, the newly-found Perdita.
No wonder that the statue hung upon Leontes' neck and
blessed her husband and her child. No wonder, for the
statue was indeed Hermione herself, the real, the living
Paulina had falsely reported to the king the death of
Hermione, thinking that the only means to preserve her
royal mistress's 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
His dead queen thus restored to life, his lost daughter
found, the long-sorrowing Leontes could scarcely support the
excess of his own happiness.
Nothing but congratulations and affectionate speeches
were heard on all sides. Now the delighted parents thanked
T7E WINTER'S TALE.
Prince Florizel for loving their lowly-seeming daughter, and
now they blessed the good old shepherd for preserving their
child. Greatly did Camillo and Paulina rejoice that they
had lived to see so good an end of all their faithful services.
And as if nothing should be wanting to complete this
strange and unlooked-for joy, King Polixenes himself now
entered the palace.
When Polixenes first missed his son and Camillo, knowing
that Camillo had long wished to return to Sicily, he conjec-
tured he should find the fugitives here; and, following them
with all speed, he happened to arrive just at this, the hap-
piest moment of Leontes' life.
Polixenes took a part in the general joy; he forgave his
friend Leontes the unjust jealousy he had conceived against
him, and they once more loved each other with all the
warmth of their first boyish friendship. And there was no
fear that Polixenes would now oppose his son's marriage
with Perdita. She was no "sheep-hook" now, but the heiress
of the crown of Sicily.
Thus have we seen the patient virtues of the long-suffering
Hermione rewarded. That excellent lady lived many years
with her Leontes and her Perdita, the happiest of mothers
and of queens.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
THERE lived in the palace at Messina
e' two ladies, whose names were
Hero and Beatrice. Hero was the
daughter, and Beatrice the niece, of
Leonato, the Governor of Messina.
Beatrice was of a lively temper,
and loved to divert her cousin Hero,
who was of a more serious disposition,
with her sprightly sallies. Whatever
was going forward was sure to make
matter of mirth for the light-hearted
At the time the history of these
Ladies commences some young men of
high rank in the army, as they were
Benedick. passing through Messina on their return
from a war then just ended, in which
they had distinguished 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 talk-
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOT7IING.
ing, 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 themselves,, so it was
with Benedick and Beatrice: these two sharp wits never
met in former times but a perfect war of raillery was kept
up between them, and they always parted mutually dis-
pleased 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 sank deeper into the mind of
Benedick than all Beatrice had said before. The hint she
gave him that he was a coward, by saying she would eat
all he had killed, he did not regard, knowing himself to be
a brave man; but there is nothing that great wits so much
dread as the imputation of buffoonery, because the charge
comes sometimes a little too near the truth, .therefore Bene-
dick perfectly hated Beatrice when she called him "the
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 ad-
mirable young lady), the prince was highly amused with
listening to the humorous dialogue between Benedick and
Beatrice, and he said in a whisper to Leonato, "This is a
pleasant-spirited young lady. She were an excellent wife for
Benedick." Leonato replied to this suggestion, "0 my lord,
TALES FROiJI SHAKAESPEARE.
my lord, if they were but a week married they would talk
themselves mad." But though Leonato thought they would
make a discordant pair, the prince did not give up the idea
of matching these two keen wits together.
When the prince returned with. Claudio from the palace,
he found that the marriage he had devised between Benedick
and Beatrice was not the only one projected in that good
company, for Claudio spoke in such terms of Hero as made
the prince guess at what was passing in his heart; and he
liked it well, and he said to Claudio, "Do you affect Hero ?"
To this question Claudio replied, "O my lord, when I was
last at Messina, I looked upon her with a soldier's eye, that
liked, but had no leisure for loving; but now, in this happy
time of peace, thoughts of war have left their places vacant
in my mind, and in their room come thronging soft and
delicate thoughts, all prompting me how fair young Hero is,
reminding me that I liked her before I went to the wars."
Claudio's confession 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 diffi-
culty in persuading the gentle Hero herself to listen to the
suit of the noble Claudio, who was a lord of rare endow-
ments 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 complained of the interval
being tedious, as, indeed, most young men are impatient
when they are waiting for the accomplishment of any event
they have set their hearts upon : the prince, therefore, to
make the time seem short to him, proposed, as a kind of
merry pastime, that they should invent some artful scheme
to make Benedick and Beatrice fall in love with each other.
Claudio entered with great satisfaction into this whim of the
prince, and Leonato promised them his assistance; and even
Hero said she would do any modest office to help her cousin
to a good husband.
The device the prince invented was that the gentlemen
/C/Il ADO AB10U7' XT07711MG.
should make Benedick believe that Beatrice was in love with
him, and that Hero should make Beatrice believe that Bene-
dick was in love with her.
The prince, Leonato, and Claudio began their operations
first, and, watching 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 cer-
tainly die of grief if he could not be brought to love her;
which Leonato and Claudio seemed to agree was impossible,
he having always been such a railer against all fair ladies,
and in particular against Beatrice.
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 Bene-
dick." Then the prince motioned to his companions that
they should walk on, and leave Benedick to meditate upon
what he had overheard.
Benedick had been listening with great eagerness to this
conversation, and he said to himself when he heard Beatrice
loved him, "Is it possible? Sits the wind in that corner ?;"
And when they were gone he began to reason in this manner
with himself:-" This can be no trick! they w ere 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 I should die a bachelor
711 fF FROM1/ SI1ESPEA RE
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 in 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 to come in to dinner." Bene-
dick, who never felt himself disposed to speak so politely
to her before, replied, "Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your
pains." And when Beatrice, after two or three more rude
speeches, left him, Benedick thought he observed a con-
cealed 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 gentlewomen who attended upon her; and
she said to Margaret, "Good Margaret, run to the parlour;
there you will find my cousin Beatrice talking with the prince
and Claudio. Whisper in her ear that I and Ursula are
walking in the orchard, and that our discourse is all of her.
Bid her steal into that pleasant arbour where honeysuckles,
ripened by the sun, like ungrateful minions forbid the sun to
enter." This arbour, into which Hero desired Margaret to
entice Beatrice, was the very same pleasant arbour where
Benedick had so lately been an attentive listener. "I will
make her come, I warrant, presently," said Margaret.
Hero, then, taking Ursula with her into the orchard, said
to her, "Now, Ursula, when Beatrice comes we will walk
up and down this alley, and our talk must be only of Bene-
dick, 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 coy as wild
... ?, ,' K "'"' '
. .. .. -',; r .i ,.'
.4 ,-' .9", J
Hero: "Look whJere Beatrice like a lacwing runs close bl
the groundd" (P. 5.)
MAUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
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 the 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." "Oh, you wrong your
cousin," said Ursula; "she cannot be so much without true
judgment as to refuse so rare a gentleman as Signior Bene-
dick." "He hath an excellent good name," said Hero: "in-
deed, 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 breath-
less eagerness to this dialogue, when they went away ex-
claimed, "What fire is in my ears ? Can this be true ? Fare-
well, contempt and scorn, and maiden pride, adieu! Bene-
dick, love on! I will requite you, taming my wild heart
to your loving hand."
It must have been a pleasant sight to see these old enemies
converted into new and loving friends, and to behold their
first meeting after being cheated into mutual liking by the
merry artifice of the good-humoured prince. But a sad re-
verse in the fortunes of Hero must now be thought of. The
morrow, which was to have been her wedding-day, brought
sorrow on the heart of Hero and her good father Leonato.
The prince had a half-brother, who came from the wars
along with him to Messina. This brother (his name was
Don John) was a melancholy, discontented man, whose
spirits seemed to labour in the contriving of villanies. He
TALES FROi SIHAKESPEARE.
hated the prince his brother, and he hated Claudio, because
he was the prince's friend, and he determined to prevent
Claudio's marriage with Hero, only for the malicious pleasure
of making Claudio and the prince unhappy; for he knew
the prince had set his heart upon this marriage almost as
much as Claudio himself; and to effect this wicked purpose,
he employed one Borachio, a man as bad as himself, whom
he encouraged with the offer of a great reward. This Borachio
paid his court to Margaret, Hero's attendant; and Don John,
knowing this, prevailed upon him to make Margaret pro-
mise 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 com-
pass 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 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
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 converted into hatred, and he
resolved to expose her in the church, as he had said he
would, the next day; and the prince agreed to this, thinking
no punishment could be too severe for the naughty lady who
i/(UCHI ADO ABOUT' NOT 77IAG.
talked with a man from her window the very night before
she was going to be married to the noble Claudio.
The next day when they were all met to celebrate the
marriage, and Claudio and Hero were standing before the
priest, and the priest, or friar, as he was called, was pro-
ceeding to pronounce the marriage ceremony, Claudio, in
the most passionate language, proclaimed the guilt of the
blameless Hero, who, amazed at the strange words he uttered,
said meekly, "Is my lord well, that he does speak so wide?"
Leonato, in the utmost horror, said to the prince, "My
lord, why speak not you?" "What should I speak ?" said
the prince; "I stand dishonoured, that I have gone about
to link my dear friend to an unworthy woman. Leonato,
upon my honour, myself, my brother, and this grieved
Claudio did see and hear her last night at 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 sank down in a fainting-fit, to all appear-
ance dead. The prince and Claudio left the church without
staying to see if Hero would recover, or at all regarding
the distress into which they had thrown Leonato. So hard-
hearted had their .anger made them.
Benedick remained, and assisted Beatrice to recover Hero
from her swoon, saying, "How does the lady?" "Dead, I
think," replied Beatrice in great agony, for she loved her
cousin; and knowing her virtuous principles, she believed
nothing of what she had heard spoken against her. Not so
the poor old father; he believed the story of his child's
shame, and it was piteous to hear him lamenting over her,
as she lay like one dead before him, wishing she might
never more open her eyes.
But the ancient friar was a wise man, and full of obser-
vation on human nature, and he had attentively marked the
lady's countenance when she heard herself accused, and
noted a thousand blushing shames to start into her face, and
then he saw an angel-like whiteness bear away those blushes,
and in her eye he saw a fire that did belie the error that
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
the prince did -speak against her maiden truth, and he said
to the sorrowing father, "Call me a fool, trust not my read-
ing 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 recovered from the swoon into which she
had fallen, the friar said to her, "Lady, what man is he you
are accused of?" Hero replied, "They know that do accuse
me; I know of none"; then turning to Leonato, she said,
"O my father, if you can prove that any man has ever
conversed with me at hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
changed words with any creature, refuse me, hate me, torture
me to death."
"There is," said the friar, "some strange misunderstand-
ing 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 that 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 he had nut so accused
her; yea, though he thought his accusation true."
Benedick now said, "Leonato, let the friar advise you;
and though you know how well I love the prince and
Claudio, yet, on my honour, I will not reveal this secret
Leonato, thus persuaded, yielded; and he said sorrow-
fully, "I am so grieved that the smallest twine may lead
me." The kind friar then led Leonato and Hero away to
comfort and console them, and Beatrice and Benedick re-
mained alone; and this was the meeting from which their
friends, who contrived the merry plot against them, expected
so much diversion-those friends who were now overwhelmed
MfUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
with affliction, and from whose minds all thoughts of merri-
ment seemed for ever banished.
SBenedick 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 Bene-
dick, "I do believe 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? I
do love nothing in the world
so much as you; is not that
strange?" "It were as pos-
sible," 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; 'x
for he loved his friend Claudio,
and he believed he had been
imposed upon. "Is not Claudio Beatrice and Benedick.
a villain, that has slandered,
scorned, and dishonoured my cousin?" said Beatrice: "0
that I were a man!" "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 slan-
dered; 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.
TALES FROiM1 SIHAK.ESPEALRE.
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," answered Beatrice; "as sure as I have a thought,
or a soul." "Enough," said Benedick; "I am engaged; I will
challenge him. I will kiss your hand, and so leave you. By
this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account! As you
hear from me, so think of me. Go, comfort your cousin."
While Beatrice was thus powerfully pleading with Bene-
dick, 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 prince said to each other, "Beatrice has set him on to
do this." Claudio nevertheless must have accepted this chal-
lenge 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 ot the
challenge of Benedick, a magistrate brought Borachio as a
prisoner before the prince. Borachio had been overheard
talking with one of his companions of the mischief he had
been employed by Don John to do.
Borachio made a full confession to the prince in Claudio's
hearing, that it was Margaret dressed in her lady's clothes
that he had talked with from the window, whom they had
mistaken for the Lady Hero herself; and no doubt continued
on the minds of Claudio and the prince of the innocence of
Hero. If a suspicion had remained, it must have been re-
moved by the flight of Don John, who, finding his villanies
were detected, fled from Messina to avoid the just anger of
MiUGH ADO ABO UT NOOTHING.
The heart of Claudio was sorely grieved when he found
he had falsely accused Hero, who, he thought, died upon
hearing his cruel words; and the memory of his beloved
Hero's image came over him in the rare semblance that he
loved it first; and the prince asking him if what he heard
did not run like iron through his soul, he answered that he
felt as. if he had taken poison while Borachio was speaking.
And the repentant Claudio implored forgiveness of the
old man Leonato for the injury he had done his child; and
promised, that whatever penance Leonato would lay upon
him for his fault in believing the false accusation against his
betrothed wife, for her dear sake he would endure it.
The penance Leonato enjoined him was to marry the
next morning a cousin of Hero's, who, he said, was now his
heir, and in person very like Hero. Claudio, regarding the
solemn promise he made to Leonato, said he would marry
this unknown lady, even though she were an Ethiop; but
his heart was very sorrowful, and he passed that night in
tears, and in remorseful grief, at the tomb which Leonato
had erected for Hero.
When the morning came, the prince accompanied Claudio
to the church, where the good friar and Leonato and his
niece were already assembled, to celebrate a second nuptial;
and Leonato presented to Claudio his promised bride; and
she wore a mask, that Claudio might not discover her face.
And Claudio said to the lady in the mask, "Give me your
hand, before this holy friar; I am your husband if you will
marry me." "And when I lived I was your other wife," said
this unknown lady; and, taking off her mask, she proved to
be no niece (as was pretended), but Leonato's very daughter,
the Lady Hero herself. We may be sure that this proved
a most agreeable surprise to Claudio, who thought her dead,
so that he could scarcely for joy believe his eyes; and the
prince, who was equally amazed at what he saw, exclaimed,
"Is not this Hero, Hero that was dead?" Leonato replied,
"She died, my lord, but while her slander lived." The friar
promised them an explanation of this seeming miracle, after
the ceremony was ended; and was proceeding to marry them
when he was interrupted by Benedick, who desired to be
TALES FROMl SHAKESPEARE.
married at the same time to Beatrice. 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 explana-
tion; and since Benedick proposed to marry, he was resolved
to think nothing to the purpose that the world could say
against it; and he merrily kept up the jest, and swore to
Beatrice that he took her but for pity, and because he heard
she was dying of love for him; and Beatrice protested that
she yielded 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
at the palace in Messina.
AS YOU LIKE IT.
'DURING the time that France
fwas divided into provinces (or
f dukedoms, as they were called) there
S reigned in one of these provinces
an usurper, who had deposed and
banished his elder brother, the lawlul
from his dominions, retired with a
few faithful followers to the forest
of Arden; and here the good duke
r lived with his loving friends, who
D .i had put themselves into a voluntary
Exile for his sake, while their land
and revenues enriched the false
usurper; and custom soon made the
Orlando and Adam. life of careless ease they led here
more sweet to them than the
pomp and uneasy splendour of a courtier's life. Here they
all 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 food. When the cold
winds of winter made the duke feel the change of his ad-
verse fortune, he would endure it patiently, and say, "These
chilling winds which blow upon my body are true councillors:
TA'LES El? OJ[ Sl-LA7/ESPEARA
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 unkindness and ingratitude. I find that, how-
soever men speak against adversity, yet some sweet uses are
to be extracted from it; like the jewel, precious for medicine,
which is taken from the head of the venomous and despised
toad." In this manner did the patient duke draw a useful
moral from everything that he saw; and by the help of this
moralizing 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.
The banished duke had an only daughter, named Rosa-
lind, 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 means in
her power to make amends to Rosalind for the injustice of
her own father in deposing the father of Rosalind; and when-
ever the thoughts of her father's banishment, and her own
dependence on the false usurper, made Rosalind melancholy,
Celia's whole care was to comfort and console her.
One day, when Celia was talking in her usual kind manner
to Rosalind, saying, "I pray you, Rosalind, my sweet cousin,
be merry," a messenger entered from the duke, to tell them
that if they wished to see a wrestling match, which was just
going to begin, they must come instantly to the court before
the palace; and Celia, thinking it would amuse Rosalind,
agreed to go and see it.
In those times wrestling, which is only practised now by
country clowns, was a favourite sport even in the courts of
princes, and before fair ladies and princesses. To this wrest-
ling 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 long been 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.
AS )Y U LIKE 1T.
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 wish to per-
suade 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 persuaded
by her gentle words to forego his purpose, all his thoughts
were bent to distinguish himself by his courage in this lovely
lady's eyes. He refused the request of Celia and Rosalind
in such graceful and modest words, that they felt still more
concern for him: he concluded his refusal with saying, "I
am sorry to deny such fair and excellent ladies anything. But
let your fair eyes and gentle wishes go with me to my trial,
wherein if I be conquered, there is one shamed that was
never gracious; if I am killed, there is one dead that is
willing to die: I shall do my friends no wrong, for I have
none to lament me; the world no injury, for in' it I have
nothing; for I only fill up a place in the world which may
be better supplied when I have made it empty."
And now the wrestling match began. Celia wished the
young stranger might not be hurt, but Rosalind felt most for
him. The friendless state which he said he was in, and that
he wished to die, made Rosalind think that he was, like
herself, unfortunate; and she pitied him so much, and so
deep an interest she took in his danger while he was wrest-
ling, 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
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
his name and parentage, meaning to take him under his
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 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 Ceiia, "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
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
AS YOU LIKE IT:
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 in-
stantly 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 her worth, and that we so long have slept to-
gether, 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. Rosa-
lind 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 Ganimed, 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.
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
The Lady Rosalind (or Ganimed, as she must now be
called) with her manly garb seemed to have put on a manly
courage. The faithful friendship Celia had shown in accom-
panying Rosalind so many weary miles made the new
brother, in recompense for this true love, exert a cheerful
spirit, as if he were indeed Ganimed, 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, Ganimed, 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
Ganimed tried to recollect that it was a man's duty to com-
fort 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 have perished for want of food; but
providentially, as they were sitting on the grass almost dying
with fatigue and hopeless of any relief, a countryman chanced
to pass that way, and Ganimed once more tried to speak
with a manly boldness, saying, "Shepherd, if love or gold
can in this desert place procure us entertainment, 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 shep-
herd, 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 would be welcome to
what there was. They followed the man, the near prospect
of relief giving them fresh strength, and bought the house
AS YOU LIKE IT. 71
and sheep of the shepherd, and took the man who con-
ducted 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 jour-
ney, they began to like their new way of life, and almost
fancied themselves the shepherd and shepherdess they feigned
to be; yet sometimes Ganimed 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 Ganimed thought that Or-
lando was many miles distant, even so many weary miles
as they had travelled, yet it soon appeared that Orlando
was also in the forest of Arden ; and in this manner this
strange event came to pass:
Orlando was the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Boys,
who, when he died, left him (Orlando being then very
young) to the care of his eldest brother Oliver, charging
Oliver on his blessing to give his brother a good education,
and provide for him as became the dignity of their ancient
house. Oliver proved an unworthy brother; and disregarding
the commands of his dying father, he never put his brother
to school, but kept him at home untaught and entirely ne-
glected. 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 en-
vied 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
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
TALES FRO-M. SHAKESPEARE.
Orlando slept. He was overheard making this vow by one
that had been an old and faithful servant to their father,
and that loved Orlando because he resembled Sir Rowland.
This old man went out to meet him when he returned from
the duke's palace, and when he saw Orlando, the peril his
dear young master was in made him break out into these
passionate exclamations: 0 my gentle master, my sweet
master! 0 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 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 hear-
ing the fame he had gained by his victory in the duke's
palace, intended to destroy him by setting fire to his chamber
that night; and in conclusion, advised him to escape the
danger he was in by instant flight; and 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 before your
youthful wages are spent I shall light upon some means for
both our maintenance."
Together then this faithful servant and his loved master
set out, and Orlando and Adam travelled on, uncertain what
course to pursue, till they came to the forest of Arden, and
there they found themselves in the same distress for want of
food that Ganimed 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
AS TOU LIKE IT. 73
dear master, I die for want of food, I can go no farther !"
He then laid himself down, thinking to make that place his
grave, and bade his dear master farewell. Orlando, seeing
him in this weak state, took his old servant up in his arms,
and carried him under the shelter of some pleasant trees,
and he said to him, "Cheerly, old Adam, rest your weary
limbs here awhile, and do not talk of dying !"
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.
The name of Rosalind carved on the trees. (P. 74.)
Orlando, whom hunger had made desperate, drew his
sword, intending to take their meat by force, and said, "For-
bear, 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,
TALES PROAM SIHAKESPEARE.
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 huriman courtesy!" The
duke replied, "True it is that we are men (as you say) who
have seen better days, and though we have now our habi-
tation in this wild forest, we have lived in towns and cities,
and have with holy bell been knolled to church, have sat at
good men's feasts, and from our eyes have wiped the drops
which sacred pity has engendered: therefore sit you down,
and take of our refreshment as much as will minister to
your wants." "There is an old poor man," answered Or-
lando, "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
Ganimed and Aliena came there and (as has been before
related) bought the shepherd's cottage.
Ganimed and Aliena were strangely surprised to find
the name of Rosalind carved on the trees, and love-sonnets
fastened to them, all addressed to Rosalind; and while they
were wondering how this could be, they met Orlando, and
they perceived the chain which Rosalind had given him
about his neck.
Orlando little thought that Ganimed was the fair Prin-
* .. w
Ganimed: 1 will cigFn myself lo 6 e Ro'salincl. and' Yout
Shiall ferin to cour w." (P.
AS YorU LIKIE 17. 75
cess Rosalind, who, by her noble condescension and favour,
had so won his heart that he passed his whole time in carv-
ing 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 Ganimed to
his beloved Rosalind, but that he had none of the dignified
deportment of that noble lady; for Ganimed assumed the
forward manners often seen in youths when they are be-
tween 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 'Rosa-
lind' upon their barks; and he hangs odes upon hawthorns,
and elegies on brambles, all praising this same Rosalind.
If I could find this lover, I would give him some good counsel
that would soon cure him of his love."
Orlando confessed that he was the fond lover of whom
he spoke, and asked Ganimed to give him the good counsel
he talked of. The remedy Ganimed 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 Ganimed, "I will feign myself to be Rosalind, and you
shall feign to court me in the same manner as you would do
if I was Rosalind, and then I will imitate the fantastic ways
of ladies to their lovers, till I make you ashamed of your love;
and this is the way I propose to cure you." Orlando had no
great faith in the remedy, yet he agreed to come every day
to Ganimed's cottage, and feign a playful courtship; and
every day Orlando visited Ganimed and Aliena, and Orlando
called the shepherd Ganimed his Rosalind, and every day
talked over all the fine words and flattering compliments
which young men delight to use when they court their mis-
tresses. It does not appear, however, that Ganimed made
any progress in curing Orlando of his love for Rosalind.
Though Orlando thought all this was but a sportive
play (not dreaming that Ganimed was his very Rosalind),
yet the opportunity it gave him of saying all the fond
things he had in his heart pleased his fancy almost as
well as it did Ganimed's, who enjoyed the secret jest in
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
knowing these fine love speeches were all addressed to the
In this manner many days passed pleasantly on with these
young people; and the good-natured Aliena, seeing it made
Ganimed happy, let him have his own way, and was diverted
at the mock courtship, and did not care to remind Ganimed
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. Ganimed met the duke one day,
and had some talk with him, and the duke asked of what
parentage he came. Ganimed 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, Ganimed was
content to put off all further explanation for a few days longer.
One morning, as Orlando was going to visit Ganimed, he
saw a man lying asleep on the ground, and a large green
snake had twisted itself about his neck. The snake, seeing
Orlando approach, glided away among the bushes. Orlando
went nearer, and then he discovered a lioness lie couching,
with her head on the ground, with a cat-like watch, waiting
till 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 the furious lioness; but before Orlando could
conquer the lioness she had torn one of his arms with her
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
AS YOU LIKE IT.
Ganimed met the duke one day. (P. 76.)
at the risk of his own life, shame and remorse at once seized
him, and he repented of his unworthy conduct, and besought
with many tears his brother's pardon for the injuries he had
done him. Orlando rejoiced to see him so penitent, and
readily forgave him: they embraced each other; and from
that hour Oliver loved Orlando with a true brotherly affection,
though he had come to the forest bent on his destruction.
The wound in Orlando's arm having bled very much, he
found himself too weak to go to visit Ganimed, and therefore
he desired his brother to go and tell Ganimed, "whom,"
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
said Orlando, "I in sport do call my Rosalind," the accident
which had befallen him.
Thither then Oliver went, and told to Ganimed 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
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 Ganimed, 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 Ganimed said to Oliver, "Tell your brother Orlando how
well I counterfeited a swoon." But Oliver saw by the pale-
ness of his complexion that he did really faint, and much
wondering at the weakness of the young man, he said, "Well,
if you did counterfeit, take a good heart, and counterfeit to
be a man." "So I do," replied Ganimed, truly, "but I should
have been a woman by right."
Oliver made this visit a very long one, and when at last
he returned back to his brother, he had much news to tell
him; for besides the account ol Ganimed's fainting at the hear-
ing 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 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 wed-
ding be to-morrow, and I will invite the duke and his friends.
Go and persuade your shepherdess to agree to this: she is
now alone; for look, here comes her brother." Oliver went
AS TOU LIKE IT.
to Aliena; and Ganimed, whom Orlando had perceived ap-
proaching, came to inquire after the health of his wounded
When Orlando and Ganimed began to talk over the sudden
love which had taken place between Oliver and Aliena, Or-
lando 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
Ganimed, who well approved of this arrangement, said that
if Orlando really loved Rosalind as well as he professed to
do, he should have his wish; for on the morrow he would
engage to make Rosalind appear in her own person, and
also that Rosalind should be willing to marry Orlando.
This seemingly wonderful event, which, as Ganimed was
the Lady Rosalind, he cou:d so easily perform, he pretended
he would bring to pass by the aid of magic, which he said
he had learnt of an uncle who was a famous magician.
The fond lover Orlando, half believing and half doubting
what he heard, asked Ganimed if he spoke in sober meaning.
"By my life I do," said Ganimed; "therefore put on your best
clothes, and bid the duke and your friends to your wedding;
for if you desire to be married to-morrow to Rosalind, she
shall be here."
The next morning, Oliver having obtained the consent of
Aliena, they came into the presence of the duke, and with
them also came Orlando.
They being all assembled to celebrate this double mar-
riage, and as yet only one of the brides appearing, there was
much of wondering and conjecture, but they mostly thought
that Ganimed 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 be-
lieved the shepherd boy could really do what he had pro-
mised; and while Orlando was answering that he knew not
what to think, Ganimed entered, and asked the duke, if he
brought his daughter, whether he would consent to her mar-
riage with Orlando. "That I would," said the duke, "if I
had kingdoms to give with her." Ganimed then said to
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
Orlando, "And you will say you will marry her if I bring her
here?" "That I would," said Orlando, "if I were king of
Ganimed and Aliena then went out together, and Ganimed
throwing off his male attire, and being once more dressed in
woman's apparel, quickly became Rosalind without the power
of magic; and Aliena, changing her country garb for her own
rich clothes, was with as little trouble transformed into the
While they were gone, the duke said to Orlando that he
thought the shepherd Ganimed looked very like his daughter
Rosalind; and Orlando said he also had observed the re-
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 banish-
ment, and of her dwelling in the forest as a shepherd boy,
her cousin Celia passing as her sister.
The duke ratified the consent he had already given to the
marriage, and Orlando and Rosalind, Oliver and Celia, were
married at the same time. And though their wedding could
not be celebrated in this wild forest with any of the parade
or splendour usual on such occasions, yet a happier wedding-
day was never passed; and while they were eating their
venison under the cool shade of the pleasant trees, as if
nothing should be wanting to complete the felicity of this
good duke and the true lovers, an unexpected messenger
arrived to tell the duke the joyful news that his dukedom
was restored to him.
The usurper, enraged at the flight of his daughter Celia,
and hearing that every day men of great worth resorted to
the forest of Arden to join the lawful duke in his exile, much
envying that his brother -should be so highly respected in
his adversity, put himself at the head of a large force, and
AS TO U LIKE IT.
advanced towards the forest, intending to seize his brother,
and put him, with all his faithful followers, to the sword;
but, by a wonderful interposition of Providence, this bad
brother was converted from his evil intention; for just as he
entered the skirts of the wild forest he was met by an old
religious man, a hermit, with whom he had much talk, and
who in the end completely turned his heart from his wicked
design. Thenceforward he became a true penitent, and re-
solved, relinquishing his unjust dominion, to spend the re-
mainder 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
This joyful news, as unexpected as it was welcome, came
opportunely to heighten the festivity and rejoicings at the
wedding of the princesses. Celia complimented her cousin
on th-s good fortune which had happened to the duke, Rosa-
lind's father, and wished joy very sincerely, though she her-
self 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 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 ad-
verse fortune, were very well pleased to return in peace and
prosperity to the palace of their lawful duke.
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
THERE lived in the city of Verona
two young gentlemen, whose
I names were Valentine and Protheus,
between whom a firm and uninter-
rupted friendship had long subsisted.
They pursued their studies together,
and their hours of leisure were
always passed in each other's com-
I pany, except when Protheus visited
a lady he was in love with; and
S these visits to his mistress, and this
passion of Protheus for the fair Julia,
were the only topics on which these
two friends disagreed; for Valentine,
not being himself a lover, was some-
times a little weary of hearing his
Friend for ever talking of his Julia,
I and then he would laugh at Protheus,
and in pleasant terms ridicule the
passion of love, and declare that no
Valentine. 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 Protheus.
One morning Valentine came to Protheus to tell him
that they must for a time be separated, for that he was
going to Milan. Protheus, 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
Protheus. I will not, like a sluggard, wear out my youth in
idleness at home. Home-keeping youths have ever homely
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. 83
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 since you
are a lover, love on still, and may your love be prosperous !"
They parted with mutual expressions of unalterable
friendship. "Sweet Valentine, adieu!" said Protheus; "think
on me when you see some rare object worthy of notice in
your travels, and wish me partaker of your happiness."
Valentine began his journey that same day towards Milan,
and when his friend had left him, Protheus sat down to
write a letter to Julia, which he gave to her maid Lucetta
to deliver to her mistress.
Julia loved Protheus 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
Protheus, 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 re-
tiring, she stooped to pick up the fragments of the torn letter;
but Julia, who meant not so to part with them, said in pre-
tended 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 Protheus"; and lamenting over these and suchlike
loving words which she made out, though they were all torn
asunder, or, she said, wounded (the expression "love-wounded
Protheus" giving her that idea), she talked to these kind
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
words, telling them she would lodge them in her bosom as
in a bed, till their wounds were healed, and that she would
kiss each several piece, to make amends.
In this manner she went on talking with a pretty lady-
like childishness, till finding herself unable to make out the
whole, and vexed at her own ingratitude in destroying such
sweet and loving words, as she called them, she wrote a
much kinder letter to Protheus than she had ever done
Protheus was greatly delighted at receiving this favour-
able answer to his letter, and while he was reading it he
exclaimed, "Sweet love, sweet lines, sweet life 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 Protheus, "it is a letter from my
friend Valentine, at Milan."
"Lend me the letter," said his father: "let me see what
"There are no news, my lord," said Protheus, greatly
alarmed, "but that he writes how well beloved he is of the
Duke of Milan, who daily graces him with favours; and how
he wishes me with him, the partner of his fortune."
"And how stand you affected to his wish?" asked the
"As one relying on your lordship's-will, and not depending
on his friendly wish," said Protheus.
Now it had happened that Protheus' father had just
been talking with a friend on this very subject: his friend
had said he wondered his lordship suffered his son to spend
his youth at home, while most men were sending their sons
to seek preferment abroad; "some," said he, "to the wars,
to try their fortunes there, and some to discover islands far
away, and some to study in foreign universities; and there
is his companion 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."
Protheus' father thought the advice or his friend was
THE TWO GENTLEMEN -OP VERONA.
very good, and upon Protheus 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 Protheus any reason for this sudden resolution, it being
the usual habit of this positive old gentleman to command
his son, not reason with him, he said, "My will is the same
as Valentine's wish"; and seeing his son look astonished,
he added, "Look not amazed, that I so suddenly resolve
you shall spend some time in the Duke of Milan's court,
for what I will I will, and there is an end. To-morrow be
in readiness to go. Make no excuses, for I am peremptory."
Protheus knew it was of no use to make objections to
his father, who never suffered him to dispute his will; and
he blamed himself for telling his father an untruth about
Julia's letter, which had brought upon him the sad necessity
of leaving her.
Now that Julia found she was going to lose Protheus
for so long a time, she no longer pretended indifference; and
they bade each other a mournful
farewell, with many vows of love -
and constancy. Protheus and Julia
exchanged rings, which they both
promised to keep for ever in remem-
brance of each other; and thus,
taking a sorrowful leave, Protheus
set out on his journey to Milan, the
abode of his friend Valentine.
Valentine was in reality what -
Protheus had feigned to his father,
in high favour with the Duke of, '
Milan; and another event had hap-
pened to him, of which Protheus Julia.
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 Protheus.
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,
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE
and invited him every day to his palace, yet he designed to
marry his daughter to a young courtier whose name was
Thurio. Silvia despised this Thurio, for he had none of the
fine sense and excellent qualities of Valentine.
These two rivals, Thurio and Valentine, .were one day
on a visit to Silvia, and Valentine was entertaining Silvia
with turning everything Thurio said into ridicule, when the
duke himself entered the room, and told Valentine the welcome
news of his friend Protheus' arrival. Valentine said, "If I
had wished a thing, it would have been to have seen him
here!" and then he highly praised Protheus 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, and 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 Protheus, and Valentine in-
troduced him to Silvia, saying, "Sweet lady, entertain him
to be my fellow-servant to your ladyship."
When Valentine and Protheus 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?" Protheus replied, "My tales of
love used to weary you. I know you joy not in a love dis-
"Ay, Protheus," returned Valentine, "but that life is
altered now. I have done penance for contemning love;
for in revenge of my contempt of love, Love has chased
sleep from my enthralled eyes. O gentle Protheus, 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 Protheus. But "friend" Protheus must be called no
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. 87
longer, for the same all-powerful deity Love, of whom they
were speaking (yea, even while they were talking of the
change he had made in Valentine), was working in the heart
of Protheus, 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 endeavouring to supplant him in
her affections; and although, as it will always be when people
of dispositions naturally good become unjust, he had many
scruples before he determined to forsake Julia, and become
the 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 Protheus 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 Protheus 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 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
The duke thought Protheus 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,
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE
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 Protheus told his father.
"Be they of much import?" 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 he wished to match his daughter with Thurio, but that
she was stubborn and disobedient to his commands, "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 do in all
"Why," said the duke, "the lady I would wish to marry
is nice and coy, and does not much esteem my aged elo-
quence. 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
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
to win a fair lady's love, such as
presents, frequent visits, and the ': -i.
The duke replied to this, that
the lady did refuse a present which
he sent her, and that she was so
strictly kept by her father that
no man might have access to her ,i
"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, f
by 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 i
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 dis-
covered not only the ladder of
ropes, but also a letter of Silvia's, Protheus and Silvia.
which he instantly opened and read;
and this letter contained a full account of their intended
The duke, after upbraiding Valentine for his ingratitude
in thus returning the favour he had shown him by endea-
vouring to steal away his daughter, banished him from the
TALES FROIf SHAKESPEARE
court and city of Milan for ever; and Valentine was forced
to depart that night, without even seeing Silvia.
While Protheus at Milan was thus injuring Valentine,
Julia at Verona was regretting the absence of Protheus; and
her regard for him at last so far overcame her sense of pro-
priety that she resolved to leave Verona, and seek her lover
at Milan; and to secure herself from danger on the road she
dressed her maid 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
Julia entered Milan about noon, and she took up her
abode at an inn; and her thoughts being all on her dear
Protheus, she entered into conversation with the innkeeper,
or host, as he was called, thinking by that means to learn
some news of Protheus.
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 Protheus 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
Protheus by the way.
But when she came to the palace whither the host con-
ducted her, a very different effect was produced to what the
kind host intended, for there, to her heart's sorrow, she be-
held her lover, the inconstant Protheus, serenading the Lady
Silvia with music, and addressing discourse of love and ad-
miration to her. And Julia overheard Silvia from a window
talk with Protheus, and reproach him for forsaking his own
THE TWO GENTLEMiEN OF VERONA. QI
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 ungenerous conduct of
his false friend Protheus.
Though Julia was in despair at what she had just wit-
nessed, yet did she still love the truant Protheus; 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 Protheus as a page; and Protheus 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 Protheus;
and Julia, or the page Sebastian as she was called, entered
into conversation with Silvia about Protheus' 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 Protheus, 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 Protheus 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
home to his father a disgraced 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
TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE.
Silvia, he was set upon by robbers, who demanded his
Valentine told them that he was a man crossed by ad-
versity, 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 distress-d man, and
being struck with his noble air and manly behaviour, told
him, if he would live with them, and be their chief or cap-
tain, they would put themselves under his command; but
that if he refused to accept their offer they would kill him.
Valentine, who cared little what became of himself,
said he would consent to live with them and be their
captain, provided they did no outrage on women or poor
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, a which place
she had heard her lover had taken refuge: bu : in this ac-
count she was misinformed, for he still lived .n 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
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 fjr 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 Eglamour, but
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,
One of these robbers seized on Silvia. (p. 92)
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. 95
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 endure for thee!"
But as the robber was conveying her to the cave of his
captain, he was stopped by Protheus, 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. Protheus 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 consent to marry him,
and his page (the forlorn Julia) was standing beside him in
great anxiety of mind, fearing lest the great service which
Protheus 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
Protheus 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 remorse; and he expressed
such a lively sorrow for the injuries he had done to Valentine
that Valentine, 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 Protheus 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 Protheus, though she could scarcely
think that Valentine would long persevere in this overstrained
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." Protheus, 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