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Scene Study (Male-Female)


These your unusual weeds to each part of you

Does give a life; no shepherdess, but Flora

Peering in April’s front. This your sheep-shearing

Is as a meeting of the petty gods,

And you the queen on’t.


Sir, my gracious lord,

To chide at your extremes it not becomes me.

O, pardon, that I name them! Your high self,

The gracious mark o’ th’ land, you have obscur’d

With a swain’s wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,

Most goddess-like prank’d up. But that our feasts

In every mess have folly, and the feeders

Digest ’t with a custom, I should blush

To see you so attir’d—sworn, I think,

To show myself a glass.


I bless the time

When my good falcon made her flight across

Thy father’s ground.


Now Jove afford you cause!

To me the difference forges dread; your greatness

Hath not been us’d to fear. Even now I tremble

To think your father, by some accident,

Should pass this way as you did. O, the Fates!

How would he look to see his work, so noble,

Vildly bound up? What would he say? Or how

Should I, in these my borrowed flaunts, behold

The sternness of his presence?



Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves

(Humbling their deities to love) have taken

The shapes of beasts upon them. Jupiter

Became a bull and bellow’d; the green Neptune

A ram and bleated; and the fire-rob’d god,

Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,

As I seem now. Their transformations

Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,

Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires

Run not before mine honor, nor my lusts

Burn hotter than my faith.


O but, sir,

Your resolution cannot hold when ’tis

Oppos’d (as it must be) by th’ pow’r of the King.

One of these two must be necessities,

Which then will speak, that you must change this purpose,

Or I my life.


Thou dear’st Perdita,

With these forc’d thoughts I prithee darken not

The mirth o’ th’ feast. Or I’ll be thine, my fair,

Or not my father’s; for I cannot be

Mine own, nor any thing to any, if

I be not thine. To this I am most constant,

Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle!

Strangle such thoughts as these with any thing

That you behold the while. Your guests are coming:

Lift up your countenance, as it were the day

Of celebration of that nuptial, which

We two have sworn shall come.


O Lady Fortune,

Stand you auspicious!


See, your guests approach,

Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,

And let’s be red with mirth.


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