Perdita. For I have heard it said,
There is an art, which, in their piedness, shares
With great creating nature.
Polixenes. Say, there be;
Yet nature is made better by no mean,
But nature makes that mean: so, o'er that art,
Which, you say, adds to nature, is an art
That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
A gentler scion to the wildest stock;
And make conceive a bark of baser kind
By bud of nobler race; This is an art
Which does mend nature, -- change it rather: but
The art itself is nature.
The Winter's Tale IV.3
"But Constantinus," said Silenus, "are you not offering us mere gardens of Adonis as exploits?"
"What do you mean," he asked, "by gardens of Adonis"?
"I mean", said Silenus, "those that women plant in pots, in honour of the lover of Aphrodite, by scraping together a little earth for a garden bed. They bloom for a little space and fade forthwith." At this Constantinus blushed, for he realised that this was exactly his own performance.
Emperor Julian (the Apostate)