Well Being

Shakespeare and the garden

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I have spent the day thinking and writing about politics, but this evening as I wandered through the garden I remembered Shakespear's wonderful metaphor in which gardenes talk about how a nation should be managed. It was in Shakespeare's Richard II. The gardeners knew more than the Queen. Making their way humbly through the gardens and courtyards of a great palace, they wondered why their monarch hadn't take the same care of the kingdom as they did of the garden.

An under-gardener asks his master:

“Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
Keep law, and form, and due proportion,
Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers chok'd up,
Her fruit trees all unprun'd, her hedges ruin'd,
Her knots disorder'd and her wholesome herbs swarming with caterpillars?”

He never really gets an answer, but the gardeners presumably keep on gardening as in the larger garden, kings are deposed and crowned, murdered and made.