Friday, September 20, 2013

Timeless Shakespeare for a Historic Park

These are three of Austin's finest actors who declaimed some modified Shakespeare as an invocation to the ceremonies at the Reopening of Wooldridge Square Park last Friday.  

Here is what they said:

A: What city, friend, is this?

B: This is Austin, lady. In first days christened Waterloo, Which, in the Commentaries Caesar writ, Is term'd the civil'st place of this state: Sweet is the country, because full of riches; The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy.

A: I doubt not but this populous city will yield many scholars.

C: They say this town is full of cozenage, As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye, Dark-working sorcerers that change the mind, Soul-killing witches that deform the body, Disguised cheaters, prating mountebanks, And many such-like liberties of sin: If it prove so, I will be gone the sooner.

B: Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming, The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked, I cried to dream again.

A: Here is everything advantageous to life. How lush and lusty the grass looks! how green! Had I plantation of this isle, my lord, And were the queen on't, what would I do? I' the commonwealth I would by contraries Execute all things; for no kind of traffic Would I admit; no name of magistrate; Letters should not be known; riches, poverty, And use of service, none; contract, succession, Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none; No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil; No occupation; all folk idle, all; No sovereignty; All things in common nature should produce Without sweat or endeavour: treason, felony, Sword, pike, knife, gun, or need of any engine, Would I not have; but nature should bring forth, Of its own kind, all foison, all abundance, To feed my innocent people.

B: This Austin, o'er which we have the government, A city on whom plenty holds full hand, For riches strew herself even in the streets; Whose towers bear heads so high they kiss the clouds, And strangers ne'er behold but wonder at; Whose men and dames so jetted and adorn'd, Like one another's glass to trim them by: Their tables are stored full, to glad the sight, And not so much to feed on as delight.

All: This earth of majesty, this seat of Muses, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set on the silver lake, This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this Austin, This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land, Dear for her reputation through the world.

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