This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,— This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
"In real life when you have a knife in you, you never get to say all those lines you have in your heart, but in Shakespeare you get a beautiful dying speech that takes as long as you like. This is the advantage of literature over life really."
Rosalind and Celia (c. 1854-1858). James Archer (Scottish, 1823-1904). Oil on canvas. Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture.
This work depicts a scene from Shakespeare’s comedy ‘As You Like It.’ In the catalogue for the RSA Annual Exhibition, 1854, the entry for this painting was accompanied by the following quote: “Celia. Why, cousin; why Rosalind! – Cupid have mercy! – not a word? Rosalind. Not one to throw at a dog.” – ‘As You Like It,’ Act I, Scene iii.