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“Because, my child Don't you understand P’ ‘No,' said Diana, stoutly, while her heart began to grow cold.
‘We must part, my dear,’ he said simply, ‘and there will be— pain.' “Then, she asked slowly, ‘you don't love me?’ He smiled. “I love you,' was all, he said. “Then you will marry me, and I shall have the right to stay with you always, and there shall be no parting and no pain.' ‘No, dearest,’ he answered, ‘I can't do that.” Her hands grew cold in his. He stroked them gently while he spoke, his eyes upon the cloudy sky, for he was afraid to see her face. ‘I know now that it isn't as I thought at first—that a noble impulse had carried you away; but, none the less, I cannot allow you to take a step which would mean the sacrifice of your whole life to one object.’ ‘Surely I can judge about that,' she said, as she tried to pull away her hands. But he held them firmly. “I love you so much, he continued, striving to keep his voice steady, “that I could not bear to see you lead the life which would be yours. It would hurt me to see you bound to—to myself.” “But if it is for my happiness P’ she pleaded. ‘You cannot love me as I love you, or you would not feel so.” ‘Perhaps not,’ he repeated softly. ‘Perhaps I do not love you as I love myself. I believe that there is a good deal of selfishness mixed up in my feeling. Perhaps, he repeated dreamily, and now he looked at her, straight into her eyes, “perhaps, indeed, I do not love you.’ She hid her face on the arm of his chair, for she felt that this was not true. & She made one last desperate effort. “I can't go back now to the old life l’ ‘You must go back to it,' he answered, “as I am going back to it. It will never be quite the old life again. To me it will be more blessed, because of this. Why, Di, my dear, you are crying ! You mustn't cry;-you mustn't cry !’ He tenderly smoothed her hair. He knew that he had conquered, and the knowledge almost broke his heart. Presently she raised her head, and, in answer to his anxious, questioning look, tried bravely to Smile,
He lifted her hand to his lips, but she stooped and kissed him on the forehead, and, without another word, passed from ‘the 1’OOIII]. On the stairs she met Francie, in an immense flutter of eager excitement. ‘Well?’ she inquired hurriedly, with bated breath. “Is it all right?' Diana gave a rather hysterical little laugh. “I suppose it is all right, she answered ; and added softly, “he has-rejected
IN SHAKESPEARE'S ORCHARDS.
IN one of Marlowe's plays, Dido, thinking she is stealing
AEneas' child, Ascanius, tells the nurse to carry him off into the
country; but Venus has already substituted Cupid for Ascanius,
so that it is really the small God of Love who is beguiled by
the old dame to go with her to the house with the pretty
garden and the fish-pond with waterfowl on it, and the orchard ‘That hath store of plums,
Brown almonds, services, ripe figs, and dates,
In one of Ben Jonson's plays, a pretty woman with a velvet cap on (then very fashionable) is described as having ‘a strawberry breath, cherry lips, apricot cheeks, and a soft, velvet head, like a melicotton, the last of the fruits named being a late variety of peach.
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, the Queen of the Fairies tells her elves to feed Bottom
“With apricocks and dewberries,
Within these three quotations, we find included the complete list of Shakespeare's orchard fruits—the quince and gooseberry alone excepted. But he has very little to say of them. Indeed, Shakespeare says very little about actual eating of any kind; and if we take Falstaff and his acquaintances away, it would not be easy to construct a single decent meal out of the forty plays that remain. Marlowe, on the other hand, whenever he gets the chance, makes everybody ‘feast,’ and from Ben Jonson's works the menu for a month of dinners might easily be drawn up. w Nor, if it is fair to judge from what he says of fruits, did Shakespeare seem to care much about them. Titania evidently must have thought those which she mentioned delicious, or she would not have selected them as refreshment for the ass-headed weaver, with whom she has fallen suddenly in love—apricots and dewberries, purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries.' We may, if we like, fancy that these were also the poet's own favourites. But he never again refers to any one of them as being nice to eat. Once he uses a ‘ripest 'mulberry as a simile, and once, in a metaphor, speaks of a ‘Sweet' grape, but there is nothing else to suggest that, when he mentioned them, he thought of their taste. This is thoroughly characteristic of Shakespeare. He leaves us to infer, from what he says, what he thought ; he never tells us what he thought. Every other writer, given the opportunity, says, if only by an epithet, what he thinks about, say, a fruit that he mentions. But not Shakespeare; he seldom explains. * Once only he mentions apricots as growing in a garden and ‘dangling, and “Like unruly children making their sire Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight;" but it is an interesting reference as showing either that the apricot was then grown as a ‘standard,' or that Shakespeare did not mean apricots. It was usually, of course, grown on a wall. Thus, in Every Man in His Humour, Ben Jonson has the lines, ‘Leave thy vigilant father alone to number his green apricots, evening and morning, on the north-west wall.' The introduction of the dewberry into Marlowe's list of orchard-fruits is curious, but in A Midsummer Night's Dream, where everything is topsy-turvy (where squirrels, for instance, have miraculously hoarded ‘new nuts' in May), and the speaker is a fairy talking to fairies, this fruit is sufficiently appropriate. For it is exactly in such a hawthorn brake as Quince found so ‘marvellously convenient’ for the rehearsal of ‘the most lamentable comedy of Pyramus and Thisby,' that the dewberry grows; and it is indeed a fruit for the fairies. I remember that as a boy I used to give as much time and trouble to the hunting for a handful of dewberries as would have sufficed to fill a basket with ordinary blackberries. They are as luscious and as piquant as mulberries, but seldom found in perfect shape, for the drupes, though much larger than those of blackberries, are very irregular in number and arrangement. Their bramble is a low-growing one, and so feebly prickled, that I recollect we used, for the prettiness of them, to pick the fruit on the stalk. The dewberry has a blue plum bloom on it, and,
ripening in the shade, is always deliciously cool, when the more vulgar, but sweeter blackberry, sweltering in the full sunlight, is as often as not half-cooked. Figs of English growth were common enough, to judge from their frequency in Elizabethan writers, in Shakespeare's day, to be one of the ordinary dessert fruits; indeed, perhaps more common than to-day, when the “white' figs of home growth are, as a rule, only for the tables of the rich. The ‘purple’ grape that Titania speaks of (though she was then living in ‘a wood near Athens’) may also have been of British origin, for it is one of the most curious ‘industrial ' facts of the past, that in Shakespeare's day there were numerous vineyards in England, and yielding, according to some writers of the time, excellent wine. To the vine as producing the grape, and the grape as producing wine, Shakespeare has many allusions, but he never again refers to the fruit as a fruit for eating—except in the fable of the fox and the grapes; and when Touchstone says, “The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, would open his lips when he put it into his mouth ; meaning thereby that grapes were made to eat and lips to open.’ The mulberry, from one special circumstance, stands apart from all other fruit. Shakespeare planted a mulberry in his garden at New Place. This he would hardly have done without some reason, and though some may prefer to think that Shakespeare did it in the hope of introducing the silk-industry into Stratford, a project that certainly occupied the attention of King James, and one that, from the prodigious profits reported to be possible, may have attracted the poet (for Shakespeare was curiously ‘practical' in pecuniary matters), it is quite as likely that he planted the mulberry tree for the sake of the fruit alone. In Coriolanus he speaks of ‘the ripest mulberry that will not bear the handling '-a touch of such direct description as he gives to scarcely any other fruit; and in Wenus and Adonis, the goddess, speaking of her dead lover, says— ‘When he was by, the birds such pleasure took That some would sing, some others in their bills
Would bring him mulberries and ripe-red cherries.
This is Shakespeare's only suggestion that cherries were like the philosopher's grapes—“made to eat.’ g Gloster, wishing to get the Bishop of Ely out of the way