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 alone in nymph's apparel, and Neptune listening.
    Now, Cupid, under the shape of a silly girl show the power of a mighty god. Let Diana and all her coy nymphs know that there is no heart so 275chaste but thy bow can wound, nor eyes so modest but thy brands can kindle, nor thoughts so staid but thy shafts can make wavering, weak, and wanton. Cupid, though he be a child, is no baby. I will make their pains my pastimes, and so confound their loves in their own sex that they shall dote in their desires, delight in their affections, and practice only impossibilities. Whilst I truant from my mother, I will use some tyranny in these woods, and so shall 280their exercise in foolish love be my excuse for running away. I will see whether fair faces be always chaste, or Diana's virgins only modest; else will I spend both my shafts and shifts; and then, ladies, if you see these dainty dames entrapped in love, say softly to yourselves, we may all love.
    Do silly shepherds go about to deceive great Neptune in putting on man's attire upon women, and Cupid, to make sport, deceive them all by using a woman's apparel upon 285a god? Then, Neptune, that hast taken sundry shapes to obtain love, stick not to practice some deceit to show thy deity, and, having often thrust thyself into the shape of beasts to deceive men, be not coy to use the shape of a shepherd to show thyself a god. Neptune cannot be overreached by swains. Himself is subtle, and, if Diana be overtaken by craft, Cupid is wise. I will into these woods and mark all, and in the end will mar all.