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Home > Winter's Tale > ACT IV - SCENE IV. The Shepherd's cottage.

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ACT IV - SCENE IV. The Shepherd's cottage.

1    These your unusual weeds to each part of you
2    Do give a life: no shepherdess, but Flora
3    Peering in April's front. This your sheep-shearing
4    Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
5    And you the queen on't.
6    Sir, my gracious lord,
7    To chide at your extremes it not becomes me:
8    O, pardon, that I name them! Your high self,
9    The gracious mark o' the land, you have obscured
10   With a swain's wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
11   Most goddess-like prank'd up: but that our feasts
12   In every mess have folly and the feeders
13   Digest it with a custom, I should blush
14   To see you so attired, sworn, I think,
15   To show myself a glass.
16   I bless the time
17   When my good falcon made her flight across
18   Thy father's ground.
19   Now Jove afford you cause!
20   To me the difference forges dread; your greatness
21   Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble
22   To think your father, by some accident,
23   Should pass this way as you did: O, the Fates!
24   How would he look, to see his work so noble
25   Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how
26   Should I, in these my borrow'd flaunts, behold
27   The sternness of his presence?
28   Apprehend
29   Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
30   Humbling their deities to love, have taken
31   The shapes of beasts upon them: Jupiter
32   Became a bull, and bellow'd; the green Neptune
33   A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god,
34   Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,
35   As I seem now. Their transformations
36   Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,
37   Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires
38   Run not before mine honour, nor my lusts
39   Burn hotter than my faith.
40   O, but, sir,
41   Your resolution cannot hold, when 'tis
42   Opposed, as it must be, by the power of the king:
43   One of these two must be necessities,
44   Which then will speak, that you must
45   change this purpose,
46   Or I my life.
47   Thou dearest Perdita,
48   With these forced thoughts, I prithee, darken not
49   The mirth o' the feast. Or I'll be thine, my fair,
50   Or not my father's. For I cannot be
51   Mine own, nor any thing to any, if
52   I be not thine. To this I am most constant,
53   Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle;
54   Strangle such thoughts as these with any thing
55   That you behold the while. Your guests are coming:
56   Lift up your countenance, as it were the day
57   Of celebration of that nuptial which
58   We two have sworn shall come.
59   O lady Fortune,
60   Stand you auspicious!
61   See, your guests approach:
62   Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
63   And let's be red with mirth.
64   Fie, daughter! when my old wife lived, upon
65   This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
66   Both dame and servant; welcomed all, served all;
67   Would sing her song and dance her turn; now here,
68   At upper end o' the table, now i' the middle;
69   On his shoulder, and his; her face o' fire
70   With labour and the thing she took to quench it,
71   She would to each one sip. You are retired,
72   As if you were a feasted one and not
73   The hostess of the meeting: pray you, bid
74   These unknown friends to's welcome; for it is
75   A way to make us better friends, more known.
76   Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
77   That which you are, mistress o' the feast: come on,
78   And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
79   As your good flock shall prosper.
80    Sir, welcome:
81   It is my father's will I should take on me
82   The hostess-ship o' the day.
83   You're welcome, sir.
84   Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
85   For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
86   Seeming and savour all the winter long:
87   Grace and remembrance be to you both,
88   And welcome to our shearing!
89   Shepherdess,
90   A fair one are you--well you fit our ages
91   With flowers of winter.
92   Sir, the year growing ancient,
93   Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth
94   Of trembling winter, the fairest
95   flowers o' the season
96   Are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors,
97   Which some call nature's bastards: of that kind
98   Our rustic garden's barren; and I care not
99   To get slips of them.
100  Wherefore, gentle maiden,
101  Do you neglect them?
102  For I have heard it said
103  There is an art which in their piedness shares
104  With great creating nature.
105  Say there be;
106  Yet nature is made better by no mean
107  But nature makes that mean: so, over that art
108  Which you say adds to nature, is an art
109  That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
110  A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
111  And make conceive a bark of baser kind
112  By bud of nobler race: this is an art
113  Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
114  The art itself is nature.
115  So it is.
116  Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,
117  And do not call them bastards.
118  I'll not put
119  The dibble in earth to set one slip of them;
120  No more than were I painted I would wish
121  This youth should say 'twere well and only therefore
122  Desire to breed by me. Here's flowers for you;
123  Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
124  The marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun
125  And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
126  Of middle summer, and I think they are given
127  To men of middle age. You're very welcome.
128  I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,
129  And only live by gazing.
130  Out, alas!
131  You'd be so lean, that blasts of January
132  Would blow you through and through.
133  Now, my fair'st friend,
134  I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might
135  Become your time of day; and yours, and yours,
136  That wear upon your virgin branches yet
137  Your maidenheads growing: O Proserpina,
138  For the flowers now, that frighted thou let'st fall
139  From Dis's waggon! daffodils,
140  That come before the swallow dares, and take
141  The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
142  But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes
143  Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses
144  That die unmarried, ere they can behold
145  Bight Phoebus in his strength--a malady
146  Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and
147  The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,
148  The flower-de-luce being one! O, these I lack,
149  To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
150  To strew him o'er and o'er!
151  What, like a corse?
152  No, like a bank for love to lie and play on;
153  Not like a corse; or if, not to be buried,
154  But quick and in mine arms. Come, take your flowers:
155  Methinks I play as I have seen them do
156  In Whitsun pastorals: sure this robe of mine
157  Does change my disposition.
158  What you do
159  Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet.
160  I'ld have you do it ever: when you sing,
161  I'ld have you buy and sell so, so give alms,
162  Pray so; and, for the ordering your affairs,
163  To sing them too: when you do dance, I wish you
164  A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do
165  Nothing but that; move still, still so,
166  And own no other function: each your doing,
167  So singular in each particular,
168  Crowns what you are doing in the present deed,
169  That all your acts are queens.
170  O Doricles,
171  Your praises are too large: but that your youth,
172  And the true blood which peepeth fairly through't,
173  Do plainly give you out an unstain'd shepherd,
174  With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
175  You woo'd me the false way.
176  I think you have
177  As little skill to fear as I have purpose
178  To put you to't. But come; our dance, I pray:
179  Your hand, my Perdita: so turtles pair,
180  That never mean to part.
181  I'll swear for 'em.
182  This is the prettiest low-born lass that ever
183  Ran on the green-sward: nothing she does or seems
184  But smacks of something greater than herself,
185  Too noble for this place.
186  He tells her something
187  That makes her blood look out: good sooth, she is
188  The queen of curds and cream.
189  Come on, strike up!
190  Mopsa must be your mistress: marry, garlic,
191  To mend her kissing with!
192  Now, in good time!
193  Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.
194  Come, strike up!
195  Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
196  Which dances with your daughter?
197  They call him Doricles; and boasts himself
198  To have a worthy feeding: but I have it
199  Upon his own report and I believe it;
200  He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter:
201  I think so too; for never gazed the moon
202  Upon the water as he'll stand and read
203  As 'twere my daughter's eyes: and, to be plain.
204  I think there is not half a kiss to choose
205  Who loves another best.
206  She dances featly.
207  So she does any thing; though I report it,
208  That should be silent: if young Doricles
209  Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
210  Which he not dreams of.
Enter Servant

211  O master, if you did but hear the pedlar at the
212  door, you would never dance again after a tabour and
213  pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you: he sings
214  several tunes faster than you'll tell money; he
215  utters them as he had eaten ballads and all men's
216  ears grew to his tunes.
217  He could never come better; he shall come in. I
218  love a ballad but even too well, if it be doleful
219  matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant thing
220  indeed and sung lamentably.
221  He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes; no
222  milliner can so fit his customers with gloves: he
223  has the prettiest love-songs for maids; so without
224  bawdry, which is strange; with such delicate
225  burthens of dildos and fadings, 'jump her and thump
226  her;' and where some stretch-mouthed rascal would,
227  as it were, mean mischief and break a foul gap into
228  the matter, he makes the maid to answer 'Whoop, do me
229  no harm, good man;' puts him off, slights him, with
230  'Whoop, do me no harm, good man.'
231  This is a brave fellow.
232  Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable conceited
233  fellow. Has he any unbraided wares?
234  He hath ribbons of an the colours i' the rainbow;
235  points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can
236  learnedly handle, though they come to him by the
237  gross: inkles, caddisses, cambrics, lawns: why, he
238  sings 'em over as they were gods or goddesses; you
239  would think a smock were a she-angel, he so chants
240  to the sleeve-hand and the work about the square on't.
241  Prithee bring him in; and let him approach singing.
242  Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words in 's tunes.
Exit Servant

243  You have of these pedlars, that have more in them
244  than you'ld think, sister.
245  Ay, good brother, or go about to think.
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing

246  Lawn as white as driven snow;
247  Cyprus black as e'er was crow;
248  Gloves as sweet as damask roses;
249  Masks for faces and for noses;
250  Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
251  Perfume for a lady's chamber;
252  Golden quoifs and stomachers,
253  For my lads to give their dears:
254  Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
255  What maids lack from head to heel:
256  Come buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
257  Buy lads, or else your lasses cry: Come buy.
258  If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou shouldst take
259  no money of me; but being enthralled as I am, it
260  will also be the bondage of certain ribbons and gloves.
261  I was promised them against the feast; but they come
262  not too late now.
263  He hath promised you more than that, or there be liars.
264  He hath paid you all he promised you; may be, he has
265  paid you more, which will shame you to give him again.
266  Is there no manners left among maids? will they
267  wear their plackets where they should bear their
268  faces? Is there not milking-time, when you are
269  going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle off these
270  secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling before all
271  our guests? 'tis well they are whispering: clamour
272  your tongues, and not a word more.
273  I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry-lace
274  and a pair of sweet gloves.
275  Have I not told thee how I was cozened by the way
276  and lost all my money?
277  And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad;
278  therefore it behoves men to be wary.
279  Fear not thou, man, thou shalt lose nothing here.
280  I hope so, sir; for I have about me many parcels of charge.
281  What hast here? ballads?
282  Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad in print o'
283  life, for then we are sure they are true.
284  Here's one to a very doleful tune, how a usurer's
285  wife was brought to bed of twenty money-bags at a
286  burthen and how she longed to eat adders' heads and
287  toads carbonadoed.
288  Is it true, think you?
289  Very true, and but a month old.
290  Bless me from marrying a usurer!
291  Here's the midwife's name to't, one Mistress
292  Tale-porter, and five or six honest wives that were
293  present. Why should I carry lies abroad?
294  Pray you now, buy it.
295  Come on, lay it by: and let's first see moe
296  ballads; we'll buy the other things anon.
297  Here's another ballad of a fish, that appeared upon
298  the coast on Wednesday the four-score of April,
299  forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this
300  ballad against the hard hearts of maids: it was
301  thought she was a woman and was turned into a cold
302  fish for she would not exchange flesh with one that
303  loved her: the ballad is very pitiful and as true.
304  Is it true too, think you?
305  Five justices' hands at it, and witnesses more than
306  my pack will hold.
307  Lay it by too: another.
308  This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.
309  Let's have some merry ones.
310  Why, this is a passing merry one and goes to
311  the tune of 'Two maids wooing a man:' there's
312  scarce a maid westward but she sings it; 'tis in
313  request, I can tell you.
314  We can both sing it: if thou'lt bear a part, thou
315  shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.
316  We had the tune on't a month ago.
317  I can bear my part; you must know 'tis my
318  occupation; have at it with you.

319  Get you hence, for I must go
320  Where it fits not you to know.
321  Whither?
322  O, whither?
323  Whither?
324  It becomes thy oath full well,
325  Thou to me thy secrets tell.
326  Me too, let me go thither.
327  Or thou goest to the orange or mill.
328  If to either, thou dost ill.
329  Neither.
330  What, neither?
331  Neither.
332  Thou hast sworn my love to be.
333  Thou hast sworn it more to me:
334  Then whither goest? say, whither?
335  We'll have this song out anon by ourselves: my
336  father and the gentlemen are in sad talk, and we'll
337  not trouble them. Come, bring away thy pack after
338  me. Wenches, I'll buy for you both. Pedlar, let's
339  have the first choice. Follow me, girls.
Exit with DORCAS and MOPSA

340  And you shall pay well for 'em.
Follows singing
341  Will you buy any tape,
342  Or lace for your cape,
343  My dainty duck, my dear-a?
344  Any silk, any thread,
345  Any toys for your head,
346  Of the new'st and finest, finest wear-a?
347  Come to the pedlar;
348  Money's a medler.
349  That doth utter all men's ware-a.

Re-enter Servant

350  Master, there is three carters, three shepherds,
351  three neat-herds, three swine-herds, that have made
352  themselves all men of hair, they call themselves
353  Saltiers, and they have a dance which the wenches
354  say is a gallimaufry of gambols, because they are
355  not in't; but they themselves are o' the mind, if it
356  be not too rough for some that know little but
357  bowling, it will please plentifully.
358  Away! we'll none on 't: here has been too much
359  homely foolery already. I know, sir, we weary you.
360  You weary those that refresh us: pray, let's see
361  these four threes of herdsmen.
362  One three of them, by their own report, sir, hath
363  danced before the king; and not the worst of the
364  three but jumps twelve foot and a half by the squier.
365  Leave your prating: since these good men are
366  pleased, let them come in; but quickly now.
367  Why, they stay at door, sir.

Here a dance of twelve Satyrs

368  O, father, you'll know more of that hereafter.
369  Is it not too far gone? 'Tis time to part them.
370  He's simple and tells much.
371  How now, fair shepherd!
372  Your heart is full of something that does take
373  Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
374  And handed love as you do, I was wont
375  To load my she with knacks: I would have ransack'd
376  The pedlar's silken treasury and have pour'd it
377  To her acceptance; you have let him go
378  And nothing marted with him. If your lass
379  Interpretation should abuse and call this
380  Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
381  For a reply, at least if you make a care
382  Of happy holding her.
383  Old sir, I know
384  She prizes not such trifles as these are:
385  The gifts she looks from me are pack'd and lock'd
386  Up in my heart; which I have given already,
387  But not deliver'd. O, hear me breathe my life
388  Before this ancient sir, who, it should seem,
389  Hath sometime loved! I take thy hand, this hand,
390  As soft as dove's down and as white as it,
391  Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd
392  snow that's bolted
393  By the northern blasts twice o'er.
394  What follows this?
395  How prettily the young swain seems to wash
396  The hand was fair before! I have put you out:
397  But to your protestation; let me hear
398  What you profess.
399  Do, and be witness to 't.
400  And this my neighbour too?
401  And he, and more
402  Than he, and men, the earth, the heavens, and all:
403  That, were I crown'd the most imperial monarch,
404  Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth
405  That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge
406  More than was ever man's, I would not prize them
407  Without her love; for her employ them all;
408  Commend them and condemn them to her service
409  Or to their own perdition.
410  Fairly offer'd.
411  This shows a sound affection.
412  But, my daughter,
413  Say you the like to him?
414  I cannot speak
415  So well, nothing so well; no, nor mean better:
416  By the pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
417  The purity of his.
418  Take hands, a bargain!
419  And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to 't:
420  I give my daughter to him, and will make
421  Her portion equal his.
422  O, that must be
423  I' the virtue of your daughter: one being dead,
424  I shall have more than you can dream of yet;
425  Enough then for your wonder. But, come on,
426  Contract us 'fore these witnesses.
427  Come, your hand;
428  And, daughter, yours.
429  Soft, swain, awhile, beseech you;
430  Have you a father?
431  I have: but what of him?
432  Knows he of this?
433  He neither does nor shall.
434  Methinks a father
435  Is at the nuptial of his son a guest
436  That best becomes the table. Pray you once more,
437  Is not your father grown incapable
438  Of reasonable affairs? is he not stupid
439  With age and altering rheums? can he speak? hear?
440  Know man from man? dispute his own estate?
441  Lies he not bed-rid? and again does nothing
442  But what he did being childish?
443  No, good sir;
444  He has his health and ampler strength indeed
445  Than most have of his age.
446  By my white beard,
447  You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
448  Something unfilial: reason my son
449  Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason
450  The father, all whose joy is nothing else
451  But fair posterity, should hold some counsel
452  In such a business.
453  I yield all this;
454  But for some other reasons, my grave sir,
455  Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
456  My father of this business.
457  Let him know't.
458  He shall not.
459  Prithee, let him.
460  No, he must not.
461  Let him, my son: he shall not need to grieve
462  At knowing of thy choice.
463  Come, come, he must not.
464  Mark our contract.
465  Mark your divorce, young sir,
Discovering himself
466  Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base
467  To be acknowledged: thou a sceptre's heir,
468  That thus affect'st a sheep-hook! Thou old traitor,
469  I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
470  But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece
471  Of excellent witchcraft, who of force must know
472  The royal fool thou copest with,--
473  O, my heart!
474  I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briers, and made
475  More homely than thy state. For thee, fond boy,
476  If I may ever know thou dost but sigh
477  That thou no more shalt see this knack, as never
478  I mean thou shalt, we'll bar thee from succession;
479  Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
480  Far than Deucalion off: mark thou my words:
481  Follow us to the court. Thou churl, for this time,
482  Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
483  From the dead blow of it. And you, enchantment.--
484  Worthy enough a herdsman: yea, him too,
485  That makes himself, but for our honour therein,
486  Unworthy thee,--if ever henceforth thou
487  These rural latches to his entrance open,
488  Or hoop his body more with thy embraces,
489  I will devise a death as cruel for thee
490  As thou art tender to't.

491  Even here undone!
492  I was not much afeard; for once or twice
493  I was about to speak and tell him plainly,
494  The selfsame sun that shines upon his court
495  Hides not his visage from our cottage but
496  Looks on alike. Will't please you, sir, be gone?
497  I told you what would come of this: beseech you,
498  Of your own state take care: this dream of mine,--
499  Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch farther,
500  But milk my ewes and weep.
501  Why, how now, father!
502  Speak ere thou diest.
503  I cannot speak, nor think
504  Nor dare to know that which I know. O sir!
505  You have undone a man of fourscore three,
506  That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea,
507  To die upon the bed my father died,
508  To lie close by his honest bones: but now
509  Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me
510  Where no priest shovels in dust. O cursed wretch,
511  That knew'st this was the prince,
512  and wouldst adventure
513  To mingle faith with him! Undone! undone!
514  If I might die within this hour, I have lived
515  To die when I desire.

516  Why look you so upon me?
517  I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd,
518  But nothing alter'd: what I was, I am;
519  More straining on for plucking back, not following
520  My leash unwillingly.
521  Gracious my lord,
522  You know your father's temper: at this time
523  He will allow no speech, which I do guess
524  You do not purpose to him; and as hardly
525  Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear:
526  Then, till the fury of his highness settle,
527  Come not before him.
528  I not purpose it.
529  I think, Camillo?
530  Even he, my lord.
531  How often have I told you 'twould be thus!
532  How often said, my dignity would last
533  But till 'twere known!
534  It cannot fail but by
535  The violation of my faith; and then
536  Let nature crush the sides o' the earth together
537  And mar the seeds within! Lift up thy looks:
538  From my succession wipe me, father; I
539  Am heir to my affection.
540  Be advised.
541  I am, and by my fancy: if my reason
542  Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;
543  If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,
544  Do bid it welcome.
545  This is desperate, sir.
546  So call it: but it does fulfil my vow;
547  I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
548  Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may
549  Be thereat glean'd, for all the sun sees or
550  The close earth wombs or the profound sea hides
551  In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath
552  To this my fair beloved: therefore, I pray you,
553  As you have ever been my father's honour'd friend,
554  When he shall miss me,--as, in faith, I mean not
555  To see him any more,--cast your good counsels
556  Upon his passion; let myself and fortune
557  Tug for the time to come. This you may know
558  And so deliver, I am put to sea
559  With her whom here I cannot hold on shore;
560  And most opportune to our need I have
561  A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared
562  For this design. What course I mean to hold
563  Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
564  Concern me the reporting.
565  O my lord!
566  I would your spirit were easier for advice,
567  Or stronger for your need.
568  Hark, Perdita
Drawing her aside
569  I'll hear you by and by.
570  He's irremoveable,
571  Resolved for flight. Now were I happy, if
572  His going I could frame to serve my turn,
573  Save him from danger, do him love and honour,
574  Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia
575  And that unhappy king, my master, whom
576  I so much thirst to see.
577  Now, good Camillo;
578  I am so fraught with curious business that
579  I leave out ceremony.
580  Sir, I think
581  You have heard of my poor services, i' the love
582  That I have borne your father?
583  Very nobly
584  Have you deserved: it is my father's music
585  To speak your deeds, not little of his care
586  To have them recompensed as thought on.
587  Well, my lord,
588  If you may please to think I love the king
589  And through him what is nearest to him, which is
590  Your gracious self, embrace but my direction:
591  If your more ponderous and settled project
592  May suffer alteration, on mine honour,
593  I'll point you where you shall have such receiving
594  As shall become your highness; where you may
595  Enjoy your mistress, from the whom, I see,
596  There's no disjunction to be made, but by--
597  As heavens forefend!--your ruin; marry her,
598  And, with my best endeavours in your absence,
599  Your discontenting father strive to qualify
600  And bring him up to liking.
601  How, Camillo,
602  May this, almost a miracle, be done?
603  That I may call thee something more than man
604  And after that trust to thee.
605  Have you thought on
606  A place whereto you'll go?
607  Not any yet:
608  But as the unthought-on accident is guilty
609  To what we wildly do, so we profess
610  Ourselves to be the slaves of chance and flies
611  Of every wind that blows.
612  Then list to me:
613  This follows, if you will not change your purpose
614  But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia,
615  And there present yourself and your fair princess,
616  For so I see she must be, 'fore Leontes:
617  She shall be habited as it becomes
618  The partner of your bed. Methinks I see
619  Leontes opening his free arms and weeping
620  His welcomes forth; asks thee the son forgiveness,
621  As 'twere i' the father's person; kisses the hands
622  Of your fresh princess; o'er and o'er divides him
623  'Twixt his unkindness and his kindness; the one
624  He chides to hell and bids the other grow
625  Faster than thought or time.
626  Worthy Camillo,
627  What colour for my visitation shall I
628  Hold up before him?
629  Sent by the king your father
630  To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,
631  The manner of your bearing towards him, with
632  What you as from your father shall deliver,
633  Things known betwixt us three, I'll write you down:
634  The which shall point you forth at every sitting
635  What you must say; that he shall not perceive
636  But that you have your father's bosom there
637  And speak his very heart.
638  I am bound to you:
639  There is some sap in this.
640  A cause more promising
641  Than a wild dedication of yourselves
642  To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores, most certain
643  To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
644  But as you shake off one to take another;
645  Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
646  Do their best office, if they can but stay you
647  Where you'll be loath to be: besides you know
648  Prosperity's the very bond of love,
649  Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
650  Affliction alters.
651  One of these is true:
652  I think affliction may subdue the cheek,
653  But not take in the mind.
654  Yea, say you so?
655  There shall not at your father's house these
656  seven years
657  Be born another such.
658  My good Camillo,
659  She is as forward of her breeding as
660  She is i' the rear our birth.
661  I cannot say 'tis pity
662  She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress
663  To most that teach.
664  Your pardon, sir; for this
665  I'll blush you thanks.
666  My prettiest Perdita!
667  But O, the thorns we stand upon! Camillo,
668  Preserver of my father, now of me,
669  The medicine of our house, how shall we do?
670  We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's son,
671  Nor shall appear in Sicilia.
672  My lord,
673  Fear none of this: I think you know my fortunes
674  Do all lie there: it shall be so my care
675  To have you royally appointed as if
676  The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,
677  That you may know you shall not want, one word.
They talk aside


678  Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, his
679  sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I have sold
680  all my trumpery; not a counterfeit stone, not a
681  ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table-book, ballad,
682  knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring,
683  to keep my pack from fasting: they throng who
684  should buy first, as if my trinkets had been
685  hallowed and brought a benediction to the buyer:
686  by which means I saw whose purse was best in
687  picture; and what I saw, to my good use I
688  remembered. My clown, who wants but something to
689  be a reasonable man, grew so in love with the
690  wenches' song, that he would not stir his pettitoes
691  till he had both tune and words; which so drew the
692  rest of the herd to me that all their other senses
693  stuck in ears: you might have pinched a placket, it
694  was senseless; 'twas nothing to geld a codpiece of a
695  purse; I could have filed keys off that hung in
696  chains: no hearing, no feeling, but my sir's song,
697  and admiring the nothing of it. So that in this
698  time of lethargy I picked and cut most of their
699  festival purses; and had not the old man come in
700  with a whoo-bub against his daughter and the king's
701  son and scared my choughs from the chaff, I had not
702  left a purse alive in the whole army.

703  Nay, but my letters, by this means being there
704  So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.
705  And those that you'll procure from King Leontes--
706  Shall satisfy your father.
707  Happy be you!
708  All that you speak shows fair.
709  Who have we here?
710  We'll make an instrument of this, omit
711  Nothing may give us aid.
712  If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.
713  How now, good fellow! why shakest thou so? Fear
714  not, man; here's no harm intended to thee.
715  I am a poor fellow, sir.
716  Why, be so still; here's nobody will steal that from
717  thee: yet for the outside of thy poverty we must
718  make an exchange; therefore discase thee instantly,
719  --thou must think there's a necessity in't,--and
720  change garments with this gentleman: though the
721  pennyworth on his side be the worst, yet hold thee,
722  there's some boot.
723  I am a poor fellow, sir.
724  I know ye well enough.
725  Nay, prithee, dispatch: the gentleman is half
726  flayed already.
727  Are you in earnest, sir?
728  I smell the trick on't.
729  Dispatch, I prithee.
730  Indeed, I have had earnest: but I cannot with
731  conscience take it.
732  Unbuckle, unbuckle.
FLORIZEL and AUTOLYCUS exchange garments
733  Fortunate mistress,--let my prophecy
734  Come home to ye!--you must retire yourself
735  Into some covert: take your sweetheart's hat
736  And pluck it o'er your brows, muffle your face,
737  Dismantle you, and, as you can, disliken
738  The truth of your own seeming; that you may--
739  For I do fear eyes over--to shipboard
740  Get undescried.
741  I see the play so lies
742  That I must bear a part.
743  No remedy.
744  Have you done there?
745  Should I now meet my father,
746  He would not call me son.
747  Nay, you shall have no hat.
Giving it to PERDITA
748  Come, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.
749  Adieu, sir.
750  O Perdita, what have we twain forgot!
751  Pray you, a word.
752   What I do next, shall be to tell the king
753  Of this escape and whither they are bound;
754  Wherein my hope is I shall so prevail
755  To force him after: in whose company
756  I shall review Sicilia, for whose sight
757  I have a woman's longing.
758  Fortune speed us!
759  Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.
760  The swifter speed the better.

761  I understand the business, I hear it: to have an
762  open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is
763  necessary for a cut-purse; a good nose is requisite
764  also, to smell out work for the other senses. I see
765  this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive.
766  What an exchange had this been without boot! What
767  a boot is here with this exchange! Sure the gods do
768  this year connive at us, and we may do any thing
769  extempore. The prince himself is about a piece of
770  iniquity, stealing away from his father with his
771  clog at his heels: if I thought it were a piece of
772  honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would not
773  do't: I hold it the more knavery to conceal it;
774  and therein am I constant to my profession.
Re-enter Clown and Shepherd
775  Aside, aside; here is more matter for a hot brain:
776  every lane's end, every shop, church, session,
777  hanging, yields a careful man work.
778  See, see; what a man you are now!
779  There is no other way but to tell the king
780  she's a changeling and none of your flesh and blood.
781  Nay, but hear me.
782  Nay, but hear me.
783  Go to, then.
784  She being none of your flesh and blood, your flesh
785  and blood has not offended the king; and so your
786  flesh and blood is not to be punished by him. Show
787  those things you found about her, those secret
788  things, all but what she has with her: this being
789  done, let the law go whistle: I warrant you.
790  I will tell the king all, every word, yea, and his
791  son's pranks too; who, I may say, is no honest man,
792  neither to his father nor to me, to go about to make
793  me the king's brother-in-law.
794  Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest off you
795  could have been to him and then your blood had been
796  the dearer by I know how much an ounce.
797   Very wisely, puppies!
798  Well, let us to the king: there is that in this
799  fardel will make him scratch his beard.
800   I know not what impediment this complaint
801  may be to the flight of my master.
802  Pray heartily he be at palace.
803   Though I am not naturally honest, I am so
804  sometimes by chance: let me pocket up my pedlar's excrement.
Takes off his false beard
805  How now, rustics! whither are you bound?
806  To the palace, an it like your worship.
807  Your affairs there, what, with whom, the condition
808  of that fardel, the place of your dwelling, your
809  names, your ages, of what having, breeding, and any
810  thing that is fitting to be known, discover.
811  We are but plain fellows, sir.
812  A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me have no
813  lying: it becomes none but tradesmen, and they
814  often give us soldiers the lie: but we pay them for
815  it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; therefore
816  they do not give us the lie.
817  Your worship had like to have given us one, if you
818  had not taken yourself with the manner.
819  Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?
820  Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier. Seest
821  thou not the air of the court in these enfoldings?
822  hath not my gait in it the measure of the court?
823  receives not thy nose court-odor from me? reflect I
824  not on thy baseness court-contempt? Thinkest thou,
825  for that I insinuate, or toaze from thee thy
826  business, I am therefore no courtier? I am courtier
827  cap-a-pe; and one that will either push on or pluck
828  back thy business there: whereupon I command thee to
829  open thy affair.
830  My business, sir, is to the king.
831  What advocate hast thou to him?
832  I know not, an't like you.
833  Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant: say you
834  have none.
835  None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor hen.
836  How blessed are we that are not simple men!
837  Yet nature might have made me as these are,
838  Therefore I will not disdain.
839  This cannot be but a great courtier.
840  His garments are rich, but he wears
841  them not handsomely.
842  He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical:
843  a great man, I'll warrant; I know by the picking
844  on's teeth.
845  The fardel there? what's i' the fardel?
846  Wherefore that box?
847  Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and box,
848  which none must know but the king; and which he
849  shall know within this hour, if I may come to the
850  speech of him.
851  Age, thou hast lost thy labour.
852  Why, sir?
853  The king is not at the palace; he is gone aboard a
854  new ship to purge melancholy and air himself: for,
855  if thou beest capable of things serious, thou must
856  know the king is full of grief.
857  So 'tis said, sir; about his son, that should have
858  married a shepherd's daughter.
859  If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly:
860  the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall
861  feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.
862  Think you so, sir?
863  Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy
864  and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to
865  him, though removed fifty times, shall all come
866  under the hangman: which though it be great pity,
867  yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue a
868  ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into
869  grace! Some say he shall be stoned; but that death
870  is too soft for him, say I draw our throne into a
871  sheep-cote! all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.
872  Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear. an't
873  like you, sir?
874  He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then
875  'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a
876  wasp's nest; then stand till he be three quarters
877  and a dram dead; then recovered again with
878  aqua-vitae or some other hot infusion; then, raw as
879  he is, and in the hottest day prognostication
880  proclaims, shall be be set against a brick-wall, the
881  sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he
882  is to behold him with flies blown to death. But what
883  talk we of these traitorly rascals, whose miseries
884  are to be smiled at, their offences being so
885  capital? Tell me, for you seem to be honest plain
886  men, what you have to the king: being something
887  gently considered, I'll bring you where he is
888  aboard, tender your persons to his presence,
889  whisper him in your behalfs; and if it be in man
890  besides the king to effect your suits, here is man
891  shall do it.
892  He seems to be of great authority: close with him,
893  give him gold; and though authority be a stubborn
894  bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold: show
895  the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand,
896  and no more ado. Remember 'stoned,' and 'flayed alive.'
897  An't please you, sir, to undertake the business for
898  us, here is that gold I have: I'll make it as much
899  more and leave this young man in pawn till I bring it you.
900  After I have done what I promised?
901  Ay, sir.
902  Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in this business?
903  In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitiful
904  one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.
905  O, that's the case of the shepherd's son: hang him,
906  he'll be made an example.
907  Comfort, good comfort! We must to the king and show
908  our strange sights: he must know 'tis none of your
909  daughter nor my sister; we are gone else. Sir, I
910  will give you as much as this old man does when the
911  business is performed, and remain, as he says, your
912  pawn till it be brought you.
913  I will trust you. Walk before toward the sea-side;
914  go on the right hand: I will but look upon the
915  hedge and follow you.
916  We are blest in this man, as I may say, even blest.
917  Let's before as he bids us: he was provided to do us good.
Exeunt Shepherd and Clown

918  If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune would
919  not suffer me: she drops booties in my mouth. I am
920  courted now with a double occasion, gold and a means
921  to do the prince my master good; which who knows how
922  that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring
923  these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him: if he
924  think it fit to shore them again and that the
925  complaint they have to the king concerns him
926  nothing, let him call me rogue for being so far
927  officious; for I am proof against that title and
928  what shame else belongs to't. To him will I present
929  them: there may be matter in it.

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