Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Galathea (Modern)
  • Editor: David Bevington

  • Copyright David Bevington. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: John Lyly
    Editor: David Bevington
    Peer Reviewed

    Galathea (Modern)

    [Enter] Cupid [and a] Nymph of Diana.
    Cupid Fair nymph, are you strayed from your company by chance, or love you to wander solitarily on purpose?
    85Nymph Fair boy, or god, or whatever you be, I would you knew these woods are to me so well known that I cannot stray though I would, and my mind so free that to be melancholy I have no cause. There is none of Diana's train that any can train, either out of their way or out of their wits.
    Cupid What is that Diana, a goddess? What her nymphs, virgins? What her pastimes, hunting?
    90Nymph A goddess? Who knows it not? Virgins? Who thinks it not? Hunting? Who loves it not?
    Cupid I pray thee, sweet wench, amongst all your sweet troop is there not one that followeth the sweetest thing, sweet love?
    Nymph Love, good sir? What mean you by it? Or what do you call it?
    Cupid A heat full of coldness, a sweet full of bitterness, a pain full of pleasantness, which maketh thoughts have eyes and hearts ears, bred by desire, nursed by delight, weaned 95by jealousy, killed by dissembling, buried by ingratitude; and this is love. Fair lady, will you any?
    Nymph If it be nothing else, it is but a foolish thing.
    Cupid Try, and you shall find it a pretty thing.
    Nymph I have neither will nor leisure, but I will follow Diana in the chase, whose virgins are all chaste, delighting in the bow that wounds the swift hart in the 100forest, not fearing the bow that strikes the soft heart in the chamber. This difference is between my mistress Diana and your mother (as I guess) Venus: that all her nymphs are amiable and wise in their kind, the other amorous and too kind for their sex. And so farewell, little god.
    Cupid Diana, and thou, and all thine, shall know that Cupid is a great god. I will practice awhile in these woods, and play such pranks with these nymphs that, while 105they aim to hit others with their arrows, they shall be wounded themselves with their own eyes.