| Winter's Tale
| Act 4, Scene 4
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Enter FLORIZEL and PERDITAFLORIZEL
These your unusual weeds to each part of youPERDITA
Do give a life: no shepherdess, but Flora
Peering in April's front. This your sheep-shearing
Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
And you the queen on't.
Sir, my gracious lord,FLORIZEL
To chide at your extremes it not becomes me:
O, pardon, that I name them! Your high self,
The gracious mark o' the land, you have obscured
With a swain's wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
Most goddess-like prank'd up: but that our feasts
In every mess have folly and the feeders
Digest it with a custom, I should blush
To see you so attired, sworn, I think,
To show myself a glass.
I bless the timePERDITA
When my good falcon made her flight across
Thy father's ground.
Now Jove afford you cause!FLORIZEL
To me the difference forges dread; your greatness
Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble
To think your father, by some accident,
Should pass this way as you did: O, the Fates!
How would he look, to see his work so noble
Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how
Should I, in these my borrow'd flaunts, behold
The sternness of his presence?
Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
Humbling their deities to love, have taken
The shapes of beasts upon them: Jupiter
Became a bull, and bellow'd; the green Neptune
A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god,
Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,
As I seem now. Their transformations
Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,
Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires
Run not before mine honour, nor my lusts
Burn hotter than my faith.
O, but, sir,FLORIZEL
Your resolution cannot hold, when 'tis
Opposed, as it must be, by the power of the king:
One of these two must be necessities,
Which then will speak, that you must
change this purpose,
Or I my life.
Thou dearest Perdita,PERDITA
With these forced thoughts, I prithee, darken not
The mirth o' the feast. Or I'll be thine, my fair,
Or not my father's. For I cannot be
Mine own, nor any thing to any, if
I be not thine. To this I am most constant,
Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle;
Strangle such thoughts as these with any thing
That you behold the while. Your guests are coming:
Lift up your countenance, as it were the day
Of celebration of that nuptial which
We two have sworn shall come.
O lady Fortune,FLORIZEL
Stand you auspicious!
See, your guests approach:Shepherd
Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
And let's be red with mirth.
Enter Shepherd, Clown, MOPSA, DORCAS, and others, with POLIXENES and CAMILLO disguised
Fie, daughter! when my old wife lived, uponPERDITA
This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
Both dame and servant; welcomed all, served all;
Would sing her song and dance her turn; now here,
At upper end o' the table, now i' the middle;
On his shoulder, and his; her face o' fire
With labour and the thing she took to quench it,
She would to each one sip. You are retired,
As if you were a feasted one and not
The hostess of the meeting: pray you, bid
These unknown friends to's welcome; for it is
A way to make us better friends, more known.
Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
That which you are, mistress o' the feast: come on,
And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
As your good flock shall prosper.
[To POLIXENES] Sir, welcome:POLIXENES
It is my father's will I should take on me
The hostess-ship o' the day.
To CAMILLOYou're welcome, sir.
Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,
For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep
Seeming and savour all the winter long:
Grace and remembrance be to you both,
And welcome to our shearing!
A fair one are you--well you fit our ages
With flowers of winter.
Sir, the year growing ancient,POLIXENES
Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fairest
flowers o' the season
Are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors,
Which some call nature's bastards: of that kind
Our rustic garden's barren; and I care not
To get slips of them.
Wherefore, gentle maiden,PERDITA
Do you neglect them?
For I have heard it saidPOLIXENES
There is an art which in their piedness shares
With great creating nature.
Say there be;PERDITA
Yet nature is made better by no mean
But nature makes that mean: so, over 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.
So it is.POLIXENES
Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,PERDITA
And do not call them bastards.
I'll not putCAMILLO
The dibble in earth to set one slip of them;
No more than were I painted I would wish
This youth should say 'twere well and only therefore
Desire to breed by me. Here's flowers for you;
Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun
And with him rises weeping: these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age. You're very welcome.
I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,PERDITA
And only live by gazing.
You'd be so lean, that blasts of January
Would blow you through and through.
Now, my fair'st friend,
I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might
Become your time of day; and yours, and yours,
That wear upon your virgin branches yet
Your maidenheads growing: O Proserpina,
For the flowers now, that frighted thou let'st fall
From Dis's waggon! daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes
Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bight Phoebus in his strength--a malady
Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and
The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,
The flower-de-luce being one! O, these I lack,
To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
To strew him o'er and o'er!
What, like a corse?PERDITA
No, like a bank for love to lie and play on;FLORIZEL
Not like a corse; or if, not to be buried,
But quick and in mine arms. Come, take your flowers:
Methinks I play as I have seen them do
In Whitsun pastorals: sure this robe of mine
Does change my disposition.
What you doPERDITA
Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet.
I'ld have you do it ever: when you sing,
I'ld have you buy and sell so, so give alms,
Pray so; and, for the ordering your affairs,
To sing them too: when you do dance, I wish you
A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that; move still, still so,
And own no other function: each your doing,
So singular in each particular,
Crowns what you are doing in the present deed,
That all your acts are queens.
Your praises are too large: but that your youth,
And the true blood which peepeth fairly through't,
Do plainly give you out an unstain'd shepherd,
With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
You woo'd me the false way.
I think you havePERDITA
As little skill to fear as I have purpose
To put you to't. But come; our dance, I pray:
Your hand, my Perdita: so turtles pair,
That never mean to part.
I'll swear for 'em.POLIXENES
This is the prettiest low-born lass that everCAMILLO
Ran on the green-sward: nothing she does or seems
But smacks of something greater than herself,
Too noble for this place.
He tells her somethingClown
That makes her blood look out: good sooth, she is
The queen of curds and cream.
Come on, strike up!DORCAS
Mopsa must be your mistress: marry, garlic,MOPSA
To mend her kissing with!
Now, in good time!Clown
Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.POLIXENES
Come, strike up!
Music. Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses
Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is thisShepherd
Which dances with your daughter?
They call him Doricles; and boasts himselfPOLIXENES
To have a worthy feeding: but I have it
Upon his own report and I believe it;
He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter:
I think so too; for never gazed the moon
Upon the water as he'll stand and read
As 'twere my daughter's eyes: and, to be plain.
I think there is not half a kiss to choose
Who loves another best.
She dances featly.Shepherd
So she does any thing; though I report it,Servant
That should be silent: if young Doricles
Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
Which he not dreams of.
O master, if you did but hear the pedlar at theClown
door, you would never dance again after a tabour and
pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you: he sings
several tunes faster than you'll tell money; he
utters them as he had eaten ballads and all men's
ears grew to his tunes.
He could never come better; he shall come in. IServant
love a ballad but even too well, if it be doleful
matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant thing
indeed and sung lamentably.
He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes; noPOLIXENES
milliner can so fit his customers with gloves: he
has the prettiest love-songs for maids; so without
bawdry, which is strange; with such delicate
burthens of dildos and fadings, 'jump her and thump
her;' and where some stretch-mouthed rascal would,
as it were, mean mischief and break a foul gap into
the matter, he makes the maid to answer 'Whoop, do me
no harm, good man;' puts him off, slights him, with
'Whoop, do me no harm, good man.'
This is a brave fellow.Clown
Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable conceitedServant
fellow. Has he any unbraided wares?
He hath ribbons of an the colours i' the rainbow;Clown
points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can
learnedly handle, though they come to him by the
gross: inkles, caddisses, cambrics, lawns: why, he
sings 'em over as they were gods or goddesses; you
would think a smock were a she-angel, he so chants
to the sleeve-hand and the work about the square on't.
Prithee bring him in; and let him approach singing.PERDITA
Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words in 's tunes.Clown
You have of these pedlars, that have more in themPERDITA
than you'ld think, sister.
Ay, good brother, or go about to think.AUTOLYCUS
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing
Lawn as white as driven snow;Clown
Cyprus black as e'er was crow;
Gloves as sweet as damask roses;
Masks for faces and for noses;
Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
Perfume for a lady's chamber;
Golden quoifs and stomachers,
For my lads to give their dears:
Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
What maids lack from head to heel:
Come buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
Buy lads, or else your lasses cry: Come buy.
If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou shouldst takeMOPSA
no money of me; but being enthralled as I am, it
will also be the bondage of certain ribbons and gloves.
I was promised them against the feast; but they comeDORCAS
not too late now.
He hath promised you more than that, or there be liars.MOPSA
He hath paid you all he promised you; may be, he hasClown
paid you more, which will shame you to give him again.
Is there no manners left among maids? will theyMOPSA
wear their plackets where they should bear their
faces? Is there not milking-time, when you are
going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle off these
secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling before all
our guests? 'tis well they are whispering: clamour
your tongues, and not a word more.
I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry-laceClown
and a pair of sweet gloves.
Have I not told thee how I was cozened by the wayAUTOLYCUS
and lost all my money?
And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad;Clown
therefore it behoves men to be wary.
Fear not thou, man, thou shalt lose nothing here.AUTOLYCUS
I hope so, sir; for I have about me many parcels of charge.Clown
What hast here? ballads?MOPSA
Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad in print o'AUTOLYCUS
life, for then we are sure they are true.
Here's one to a very doleful tune, how a usurer'sMOPSA
wife was brought to bed of twenty money-bags at a
burthen and how she longed to eat adders' heads and
Is it true, think you?AUTOLYCUS
Very true, and but a month old.DORCAS
Bless me from marrying a usurer!AUTOLYCUS
Here's the midwife's name to't, one MistressMOPSA
Tale-porter, and five or six honest wives that were
present. Why should I carry lies abroad?
Pray you now, buy it.Clown
Come on, lay it by: and let's first see moeAUTOLYCUS
ballads; we'll buy the other things anon.
Here's another ballad of a fish, that appeared uponDORCAS
the coast on Wednesday the four-score of April,
forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this
ballad against the hard hearts of maids: it was
thought she was a woman and was turned into a cold
fish for she would not exchange flesh with one that
loved her: the ballad is very pitiful and as true.
Is it true too, think you?AUTOLYCUS
Five justices' hands at it, and witnesses more thanClown
my pack will hold.
Lay it by too: another.AUTOLYCUS
This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.MOPSA
Let's have some merry ones.AUTOLYCUS
Why, this is a passing merry one and goes toMOPSA
the tune of 'Two maids wooing a man:' there's
scarce a maid westward but she sings it; 'tis in
request, I can tell you.
We can both sing it: if thou'lt bear a part, thouDORCAS
shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.
We had the tune on't a month ago.AUTOLYCUS
I can bear my part; you must know 'tis myAUTOLYCUS
occupation; have at it with you.
Get you hence, for I must goDORCAS
Where it fits not you to know.
It becomes thy oath full well,DORCAS
Thou to me thy secrets tell.
Me too, let me go thither.MOPSA
Or thou goest to the orange or mill.DORCAS
If to either, thou dost ill.AUTOLYCUS
Thou hast sworn my love to be.MOPSA
Thou hast sworn it more to me:Clown
Then whither goest? say, whither?
We'll have this song out anon by ourselves: myAUTOLYCUS
father and the gentlemen are in sad talk, and we'll
not trouble them. Come, bring away thy pack after
me. Wenches, I'll buy for you both. Pedlar, let's
have the first choice. Follow me, girls.
Exit with DORCAS and MOPSA
And you shall pay well for 'em.Servant
Follows singingWill you buy any tape,
Or lace for your cape,
My dainty duck, my dear-a?
Any silk, any thread,
Any toys for your head,
Of the new'st and finest, finest wear-a?
Come to the pedlar;
Money's a medler.
That doth utter all men's ware-a.
Master, there is three carters, three shepherds,Shepherd
three neat-herds, three swine-herds, that have made
themselves all men of hair, they call themselves
Saltiers, and they have a dance which the wenches
say is a gallimaufry of gambols, because they are
not in't; but they themselves are o' the mind, if it
be not too rough for some that know little but
bowling, it will please plentifully.
Away! we'll none on 't: here has been too muchPOLIXENES
homely foolery already. I know, sir, we weary you.
You weary those that refresh us: pray, let's seeServant
these four threes of herdsmen.
One three of them, by their own report, sir, hathShepherd
danced before the king; and not the worst of the
three but jumps twelve foot and a half by the squier.
Leave your prating: since these good men areServant
pleased, let them come in; but quickly now.
Why, they stay at door, sir.POLIXENES
Here a dance of twelve Satyrs
O, father, you'll know more of that hereafter.FLORIZEL
To CAMILLOIs it not too far gone? 'Tis time to part them.
He's simple and tells much.
To FLORIZELHow now, fair shepherd!
Your heart is full of something that does take
Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
And handed love as you do, I was wont
To load my she with knacks: I would have ransack'd
The pedlar's silken treasury and have pour'd it
To her acceptance; you have let him go
And nothing marted with him. If your lass
Interpretation should abuse and call this
Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
For a reply, at least if you make a care
Of happy holding her.
Old sir, I knowPOLIXENES
She prizes not such trifles as these are:
The gifts she looks from me are pack'd and lock'd
Up in my heart; which I have given already,
But not deliver'd. O, hear me breathe my life
Before this ancient sir, who, it should seem,
Hath sometime loved! I take thy hand, this hand,
As soft as dove's down and as white as it,
Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd
snow that's bolted
By the northern blasts twice o'er.
What follows this?FLORIZEL
How prettily the young swain seems to wash
The hand was fair before! I have put you out:
But to your protestation; let me hear
What you profess.
Do, and be witness to 't.POLIXENES
And this my neighbour too?FLORIZEL
And he, and morePOLIXENES
Than he, and men, the earth, the heavens, and all:
That, were I crown'd the most imperial monarch,
Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth
That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge
More than was ever man's, I would not prize them
Without her love; for her employ them all;
Commend them and condemn them to her service
Or to their own perdition.
This shows a sound affection.Shepherd
But, my daughter,PERDITA
Say you the like to him?
I cannot speakShepherd
So well, nothing so well; no, nor mean better:
By the pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
The purity of his.
Take hands, a bargain!FLORIZEL
And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to 't:
I give my daughter to him, and will make
Her portion equal his.
O, that must beShepherd
I' the virtue of your daughter: one being dead,
I shall have more than you can dream of yet;
Enough then for your wonder. But, come on,
Contract us 'fore these witnesses.
Come, your hand;POLIXENES
And, daughter, yours.
Soft, swain, awhile, beseech you;FLORIZEL
Have you a father?
I have: but what of him?POLIXENES
Knows he of this?FLORIZEL
He neither does nor shall.POLIXENES
Methinks a fatherFLORIZEL
Is at the nuptial of his son a guest
That best becomes the table. Pray you once more,
Is not your father grown incapable
Of reasonable affairs? is he not stupid
With age and altering rheums? can he speak? hear?
Know man from man? dispute his own estate?
Lies he not bed-rid? and again does nothing
But what he did being childish?
No, good sir;POLIXENES
He has his health and ampler strength indeed
Than most have of his age.
By my white beard,FLORIZEL
You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
Something unfilial: reason my son
Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason
The father, all whose joy is nothing else
But fair posterity, should hold some counsel
In such a business.
I yield all this;POLIXENES
But for some other reasons, my grave sir,
Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
My father of this business.
Let him know't.FLORIZEL
He shall not.POLIXENES
Prithee, let him.FLORIZEL
No, he must not.Shepherd
Let him, my son: he shall not need to grieveFLORIZEL
At knowing of thy choice.
Come, come, he must not.POLIXENES
Mark our contract.
Mark your divorce, young sir,Shepherd
Discovering himselfWhom son I dare not call; thou art too base
To be acknowledged: thou a sceptre's heir,
That thus affect'st a sheep-hook! Thou old traitor,
I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece
Of excellent witchcraft, who of force must know
The royal fool thou copest with,--
O, my heart!POLIXENES
I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briers, and madePERDITA
More homely than thy state. For thee, fond boy,
If I may ever know thou dost but sigh
That thou no more shalt see this knack, as never
I mean thou shalt, we'll bar thee from succession;
Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
Far than Deucalion off: mark thou my words:
Follow us to the court. Thou churl, for this time,
Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
From the dead blow of it. And you, enchantment.--
Worthy enough a herdsman: yea, him too,
That makes himself, but for our honour therein,
Unworthy thee,--if ever henceforth thou
These rural latches to his entrance open,
Or hoop his body more with thy embraces,
I will devise a death as cruel for thee
As thou art tender to't.
Even here undone!CAMILLO
I was not much afeard; for once or twice
I was about to speak and tell him plainly,
The selfsame sun that shines upon his court
Hides not his visage from our cottage but
Looks on alike. Will't please you, sir, be gone?
I told you what would come of this: beseech you,
Of your own state take care: this dream of mine,--
Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch farther,
But milk my ewes and weep.
Why, how now, father!Shepherd
Speak ere thou diest.
I cannot speak, nor thinkFLORIZEL
Nor dare to know that which I know. O sir!
You have undone a man of fourscore three,
That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea,
To die upon the bed my father died,
To lie close by his honest bones: but now
Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me
Where no priest shovels in dust. O cursed wretch,
That knew'st this was the prince,
and wouldst adventure
To mingle faith with him! Undone! undone!
If I might die within this hour, I have lived
To die when I desire.
Why look you so upon me?CAMILLO
I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd,
But nothing alter'd: what I was, I am;
More straining on for plucking back, not following
My leash unwillingly.
Gracious my lord,FLORIZEL
You know your father's temper: at this time
He will allow no speech, which I do guess
You do not purpose to him; and as hardly
Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear:
Then, till the fury of his highness settle,
Come not before him.
I not purpose it.CAMILLO
I think, Camillo?
Even he, my lord.PERDITA
How often have I told you 'twould be thus!FLORIZEL
How often said, my dignity would last
But till 'twere known!
It cannot fail but byCAMILLO
The violation of my faith; and then
Let nature crush the sides o' the earth together
And mar the seeds within! Lift up thy looks:
From my succession wipe me, father; I
Am heir to my affection.
I am, and by my fancy: if my reasonCAMILLO
Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;
If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,
Do bid it welcome.
This is desperate, sir.FLORIZEL
So call it: but it does fulfil my vow;CAMILLO
I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may
Be thereat glean'd, for all the sun sees or
The close earth wombs or the profound sea hides
In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath
To this my fair beloved: therefore, I pray you,
As you have ever been my father's honour'd friend,
When he shall miss me,--as, in faith, I mean not
To see him any more,--cast your good counsels
Upon his passion; let myself and fortune
Tug for the time to come. This you may know
And so deliver, I am put to sea
With her whom here I cannot hold on shore;
And most opportune to our need I have
A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared
For this design. What course I mean to hold
Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
Concern me the reporting.
O my lord!FLORIZEL
I would your spirit were easier for advice,
Or stronger for your need.
Drawing her asideI'll hear you by and by.
Resolved for flight. Now were I happy, if
His going I could frame to serve my turn,
Save him from danger, do him love and honour,
Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia
And that unhappy king, my master, whom
I so much thirst to see.
Now, good Camillo;CAMILLO
I am so fraught with curious business that
I leave out ceremony.
Sir, I thinkFLORIZEL
You have heard of my poor services, i' the love
That I have borne your father?
Have you deserved: it is my father's music
To speak your deeds, not little of his care
To have them recompensed as thought on.
Well, my lord,FLORIZEL
If you may please to think I love the king
And through him what is nearest to him, which is
Your gracious self, embrace but my direction:
If your more ponderous and settled project
May suffer alteration, on mine honour,
I'll point you where you shall have such receiving
As shall become your highness; where you may
Enjoy your mistress, from the whom, I see,
There's no disjunction to be made, but by--
As heavens forefend!--your ruin; marry her,
And, with my best endeavours in your absence,
Your discontenting father strive to qualify
And bring him up to liking.
May this, almost a miracle, be done?
That I may call thee something more than man
And after that trust to thee.
Have you thought onFLORIZEL
A place whereto you'll go?
Not any yet:CAMILLO
But as the unthought-on accident is guilty
To what we wildly do, so we profess
Ourselves to be the slaves of chance and flies
Of every wind that blows.
Then list to me:FLORIZEL
This follows, if you will not change your purpose
But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia,
And there present yourself and your fair princess,
For so I see she must be, 'fore Leontes:
She shall be habited as it becomes
The partner of your bed. Methinks I see
Leontes opening his free arms and weeping
His welcomes forth; asks thee the son forgiveness,
As 'twere i' the father's person; kisses the hands
Of your fresh princess; o'er and o'er divides him
'Twixt his unkindness and his kindness; the one
He chides to hell and bids the other grow
Faster than thought or time.
What colour for my visitation shall I
Hold up before him?
Sent by the king your fatherFLORIZEL
To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,
The manner of your bearing towards him, with
What you as from your father shall deliver,
Things known betwixt us three, I'll write you down:
The which shall point you forth at every sitting
What you must say; that he shall not perceive
But that you have your father's bosom there
And speak his very heart.
I am bound to you:CAMILLO
There is some sap in this.
A cause more promisingPERDITA
Than a wild dedication of yourselves
To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores, most certain
To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
But as you shake off one to take another;
Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
Do their best office, if they can but stay you
Where you'll be loath to be: besides you know
Prosperity's the very bond of love,
Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
One of these is true:CAMILLO
I think affliction may subdue the cheek,
But not take in the mind.
Yea, say you so?FLORIZEL
There shall not at your father's house these
Be born another such.
My good Camillo,CAMILLO
She is as forward of her breeding as
She is i' the rear our birth.
I cannot say 'tis pityPERDITA
She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress
To most that teach.
Your pardon, sir; for thisFLORIZEL
I'll blush you thanks.
My prettiest Perdita!CAMILLO
But O, the thorns we stand upon! Camillo,
Preserver of my father, now of me,
The medicine of our house, how shall we do?
We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's son,
Nor shall appear in Sicilia.
Fear none of this: I think you know my fortunes
Do all lie there: it shall be so my care
To have you royally appointed as if
The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,
That you may know you shall not want, one word.
They talk aside
Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, hisCAMILLO
sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I have sold
all my trumpery; not a counterfeit stone, not a
ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table-book, ballad,
knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring,
to keep my pack from fasting: they throng who
should buy first, as if my trinkets had been
hallowed and brought a benediction to the buyer:
by which means I saw whose purse was best in
picture; and what I saw, to my good use I
remembered. My clown, who wants but something to
be a reasonable man, grew so in love with the
wenches' song, that he would not stir his pettitoes
till he had both tune and words; which so drew the
rest of the herd to me that all their other senses
stuck in ears: you might have pinched a placket, it
was senseless; 'twas nothing to geld a codpiece of a
purse; I could have filed keys off that hung in
chains: no hearing, no feeling, but my sir's song,
and admiring the nothing of it. So that in this
time of lethargy I picked and cut most of their
festival purses; and had not the old man come in
with a whoo-bub against his daughter and the king's
son and scared my choughs from the chaff, I had not
left a purse alive in the whole army.
CAMILLO, FLORIZEL, and PERDITA come forward
Nay, but my letters, by this means being thereFLORIZEL
So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.
And those that you'll procure from King Leontes--CAMILLO
Shall satisfy your father.PERDITA
Happy be you!CAMILLO
All that you speak shows fair.
Who have we here?AUTOLYCUS
Seeing AUTOLYCUSWe'll make an instrument of this, omit
Nothing may give us aid.
If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.CAMILLO
How now, good fellow! why shakest thou so? FearAUTOLYCUS
not, man; here's no harm intended to thee.
I am a poor fellow, sir.CAMILLO
Why, be so still; here's nobody will steal that fromAUTOLYCUS
thee: yet for the outside of thy poverty we must
make an exchange; therefore discase thee instantly,
--thou must think there's a necessity in't,--and
change garments with this gentleman: though the
pennyworth on his side be the worst, yet hold thee,
there's some boot.
I am a poor fellow, sir.CAMILLO
AsideI know ye well enough.
Nay, prithee, dispatch: the gentleman is halfAUTOLYCUS
Are you in earnest, sir?FLORIZEL
AsideI smell the trick on't.
Dispatch, I prithee.AUTOLYCUS
Indeed, I have had earnest: but I cannot withCAMILLO
conscience take it.
FLORIZEL and AUTOLYCUS exchange garmentsFortunate mistress,--let my prophecy
Come home to ye!--you must retire yourself
Into some covert: take your sweetheart's hat
And pluck it o'er your brows, muffle your face,
Dismantle you, and, as you can, disliken
The truth of your own seeming; that you may--
For I do fear eyes over--to shipboard
I see the play so liesCAMILLO
That I must bear a part.
Have you done there?
Should I now meet my father,CAMILLO
He would not call me son.
Nay, you shall have no hat.AUTOLYCUS
Giving it to PERDITACome, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.
O Perdita, what have we twain forgot!CAMILLO
Pray you, a word.
[Aside] What I do next, shall be to tell the kingFLORIZEL
Of this escape and whither they are bound;
Wherein my hope is I shall so prevail
To force him after: in whose company
I shall review Sicilia, for whose sight
I have a woman's longing.
Fortune speed us!CAMILLO
Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.
The swifter speed the better.AUTOLYCUS
Exeunt FLORIZEL, PERDITA, and CAMILLO
I understand the business, I hear it: to have anClown
open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is
necessary for a cut-purse; a good nose is requisite
also, to smell out work for the other senses. I see
this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive.
What an exchange had this been without boot! What
a boot is here with this exchange! Sure the gods do
this year connive at us, and we may do any thing
extempore. The prince himself is about a piece of
iniquity, stealing away from his father with his
clog at his heels: if I thought it were a piece of
honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would not
do't: I hold it the more knavery to conceal it;
and therein am I constant to my profession.
Re-enter Clown and ShepherdAside, aside; here is more matter for a hot brain:
every lane's end, every shop, church, session,
hanging, yields a careful man work.
See, see; what a man you are now!Shepherd
There is no other way but to tell the king
she's a changeling and none of your flesh and blood.
Nay, but hear me.Clown
Nay, but hear me.Shepherd
Go to, then.Clown
She being none of your flesh and blood, your fleshShepherd
and blood has not offended the king; and so your
flesh and blood is not to be punished by him. Show
those things you found about her, those secret
things, all but what she has with her: this being
done, let the law go whistle: I warrant you.
I will tell the king all, every word, yea, and hisClown
son's pranks too; who, I may say, is no honest man,
neither to his father nor to me, to go about to make
me the king's brother-in-law.
Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest off youAUTOLYCUS
could have been to him and then your blood had been
the dearer by I know how much an ounce.
[Aside] Very wisely, puppies!Shepherd
Well, let us to the king: there is that in thisAUTOLYCUS
fardel will make him scratch his beard.
[Aside] I know not what impediment this complaintClown
may be to the flight of my master.
Pray heartily he be at palace.AUTOLYCUS
[Aside] Though I am not naturally honest, I am soShepherd
sometimes by chance: let me pocket up my pedlar's excrement.
Takes off his false beardHow now, rustics! whither are you bound?
To the palace, an it like your worship.AUTOLYCUS
Your affairs there, what, with whom, the conditionClown
of that fardel, the place of your dwelling, your
names, your ages, of what having, breeding, and any
thing that is fitting to be known, discover.
We are but plain fellows, sir.AUTOLYCUS
A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me have noClown
lying: it becomes none but tradesmen, and they
often give us soldiers the lie: but we pay them for
it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; therefore
they do not give us the lie.
Your worship had like to have given us one, if youShepherd
had not taken yourself with the manner.
Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?AUTOLYCUS
Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier. SeestShepherd
thou not the air of the court in these enfoldings?
hath not my gait in it the measure of the court?
receives not thy nose court-odor from me? reflect I
not on thy baseness court-contempt? Thinkest thou,
for that I insinuate, or toaze from thee thy
business, I am therefore no courtier? I am courtier
cap-a-pe; and one that will either push on or pluck
back thy business there: whereupon I command thee to
open thy affair.
My business, sir, is to the king.AUTOLYCUS
What advocate hast thou to him?Shepherd
I know not, an't like you.Clown
Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant: say youShepherd
None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor hen.AUTOLYCUS
How blessed are we that are not simple men!Clown
Yet nature might have made me as these are,
Therefore I will not disdain.
This cannot be but a great courtier.Shepherd
His garments are rich, but he wearsClown
them not handsomely.
He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical:AUTOLYCUS
a great man, I'll warrant; I know by the picking
The fardel there? what's i' the fardel?Shepherd
Wherefore that box?
Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and box,AUTOLYCUS
which none must know but the king; and which he
shall know within this hour, if I may come to the
speech of him.
Age, thou hast lost thy labour.Shepherd
The king is not at the palace; he is gone aboard aShepard
new ship to purge melancholy and air himself: for,
if thou beest capable of things serious, thou must
know the king is full of grief.
So 'tis said, sir; about his son, that should haveAUTOLYCUS
married a shepherd's daughter.
If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly:Clown
the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall
feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.
Think you so, sir?AUTOLYCUS
Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavyClown
and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to
him, though removed fifty times, shall all come
under the hangman: which though it be great pity,
yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue a
ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into
grace! Some say he shall be stoned; but that death
is too soft for him, say I draw our throne into a
sheep-cote! all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.
Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear. an'tAUTOLYCUS
like you, sir?
He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; thenClown
'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a
wasp's nest; then stand till he be three quarters
and a dram dead; then recovered again with
aqua-vitae or some other hot infusion; then, raw as
he is, and in the hottest day prognostication
proclaims, shall be be set against a brick-wall, the
sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he
is to behold him with flies blown to death. But what
talk we of these traitorly rascals, whose miseries
are to be smiled at, their offences being so
capital? Tell me, for you seem to be honest plain
men, what you have to the king: being something
gently considered, I'll bring you where he is
aboard, tender your persons to his presence,
whisper him in your behalfs; and if it be in man
besides the king to effect your suits, here is man
shall do it.
He seems to be of great authority: close with him,Shepherd
give him gold; and though authority be a stubborn
bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold: show
the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand,
and no more ado. Remember 'stoned,' and 'flayed alive.'
An't please you, sir, to undertake the business forAUTOLYCUS
us, here is that gold I have: I'll make it as much
more and leave this young man in pawn till I bring it you.
After I have done what I promised?Shepherd
Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in this business?Clown
In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitifulAUTOLYCUS
one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.
O, that's the case of the shepherd's son: hang him,Clown
he'll be made an example.
Comfort, good comfort! We must to the king and showAUTOLYCUS
our strange sights: he must know 'tis none of your
daughter nor my sister; we are gone else. Sir, I
will give you as much as this old man does when the
business is performed, and remain, as he says, your
pawn till it be brought you.
I will trust you. Walk before toward the sea-side;Clown
go on the right hand: I will but look upon the
hedge and follow you.
We are blest in this man, as I may say, even blest.Shepherd
Let's before as he bids us: he was provided to do us good.AUTOLYCUS
Exeunt Shepherd and Clown
If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune would
not suffer me: she drops booties in my mouth. I am
courted now with a double occasion, gold and a means
to do the prince my master good; which who knows how
that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring
these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him: if he
think it fit to shore them again and that the
complaint they have to the king concerns him
nothing, let him call me rogue for being so far
officious; for I am proof against that title and
what shame else belongs to't. To him will I present
them: there may be matter in it.
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