The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 4

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To CAMILLO
To Camillo
You’re welcome, sir.
Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
85For you there’s rosemary and rue; these keep
Seeming and savour all the winter long:
Grace and remembrance be to you both,
And welcome to our shearing!
You are welcome here, sir. Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Honored sirs, for you there are

rosemary and rue

Rosemary is an herb that symbolizes remembrance, while rue is an herb that symbolizes repentance and grace.

rosemary and rue
, which keep their appearance and scent all through the winter. May you both have grace and remembrance, and welcome to our shearing!

POLIXENES

Shepherdess,
90A fair one are you—well you fit our ages
With flowers of winter.

POLIXENES

PERDITA

Sir, the year growing ancient,
Not yet on summer’s death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fairest
95flowers o’ the season
Are our carnations and streak’d gillyvors,
Which some call nature’s bastards: of that kind
Our rustic garden’s barren; and I care not
To get slips of them.

PERDITA

Sir, the year is growing old, with the summer not yet over and the winter not yet starting. The fairest flowers of this season are carnations and two-toned gillyflowers, which some call nature’s bastards. But we don’t have any of those flowers in our garden, and I don’t care to get any cuttings of them.

POLIXENES

100Wherefore, gentle maiden,
Do you neglect them?

POLIXENES

Kind maiden, why do you reject them?

PERDITA

For I have heard it said
There is an art which in their piedness shares
With great creating nature.

PERDITA

Because I’ve heard that their many colors are due as much to cross-breeding as to nature.