The Winter's Tale

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Time, the Chorus.

Time.
I that please some, try all: both ioy and terror
Of good, and bad: that makes, and vnfolds error,
Now take vpon me (in the name of Time)
To vse my wings: Impute it not a crime
To me, or my swift passage, that I slide
Ore sixteene yeeres, and leaue the growth vntride
Of that wide gap, since it is in my powre
To orethrow Law, and in one selfe-borne howre
To plant, and ore-whelme Custome. Let me passe
The same I am, ere ancient'st Order was,
Or what is now receiu'd. I witnesse to
The times that brought them in, so shall I do
To th' freshest things now reigning, and make stale
The glistering of this present, as my Tale
Now seemes to it: your patience this allowing,
I turne my glasse, and giue my Scene such growing
As you had slept betweene: Leontes leauing
Th' effects of his fond iealousies, so greeuing
That he shuts vp himselfe. Imagine me
(Gentle Spectators) that I now may be
In faire Bohemia, and remember well,
I mentioned a sonne o'th' Kings, which Florizell
I now name to you: and with speed so pace
To speake of Perdita, now growne in grace
Equall with wond'ring. What of her insues
I list not prophesie: but let Times newes
Be knowne when 'tis brought forth. A shepherds daughter
And what to her adheres, which followes after,
Is th' argument of Time: of this allow,
If euer you haue spent time worse, ere now:
If neuer, yet that Time himselfe doth say,
He wishes earnestly, you neuer may.
Exit.
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Polixenes, and Camillo.

Pol.
I pray thee (good Camillo) be no more
importunate: 'tis a sicknesse denying thee any thing: a
death to grant this.

Cam.
It is fifteene yeeres since I saw my Countrey:
though I haue (for the most part) bin ayred abroad, I
desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent King
(my Master) hath sent for me, to whose feeling sorrowes I
might be some allay, or I oreweene to thinke so) which
is another spurre to my departure.

Pol.
As thou lou'st me (Camillo) wipe not out the
rest of thy seruices, by leauing me now: the neede I haue
of thee, thine owne goodnesse hath made: better not to
haue had thee, then thus to want thee, thou hauing
made me Businesses, (which none (without thee) can
sufficiently manage) must either stay to execute them
thy selfe, or take away with thee the very seruices thou hast
done: which if I haue not enough considered (as too
much I cannot) to bee more thankefull to thee, shall bee my
studie, and my profite therein, the heaping friendshippes. Of
that fatall Countrey Sicillia, prethee speake no more, whose
very naming, punnishes me with the remembrance of that
penitent (as thou calst him) and reconciled King my
brother, whose losse of his most precious Queene &
Children, are euen now to be a-fresh lamented. Say to me,
when saw'st thou the Prince Florizell my son? Kings
are no lesse vnhappy, their issue, not being gracious, then
they are in loosing them, when they haue approued their
Vertues.

Cam.
Sir, it is three dayes since I saw the Prince: what
his happier affayres may be, are to me vnknowne: but I
haue (missingly) noted, he is of late much retyred from
Court, and is lesse frequent to his Princely exercises then
formerly he hath appeared.

Pol.
I haue considered so much (Camillo) and
with some care, so farre, that I haue eyes vnder my seruice,
which looke vpon his remouednesse: from whom I haue
this Intelligence, that he is seldome from the house of a
most homely shepheard: a man (they say) that from very
nothing, and beyond the imagination of his neighbors,
is growne into an vnspeakable estate.

Cam.
I haue heard (sir) of such a man, who hath a
daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended
more, then can be thought to begin from such a cottage

Pol.
That's likewise part of my Intelligence: but (I
feare) the Angle that pluckes our sonne thither. Thou shalt
accompany vs to the place, where we will (not appearing
what we are) haue some question with the shepheard;
from whose simplicity, I thinke it not vneasie to get the
cause of my sonnes resort thether. 'Prethe be my present
partner in this busines, and lay aside the thoughts of
Sicillia.

Cam.
I willingly obey your command.

Pol.
My best Camillo, we must disguise
our selues.
Exit
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Autolicus singing.
When Daffadils begin to peere,
With heigh the Doxy ouer the dale,
Why then comes in the sweet o'the yeere,
For the red blood raigns in ye winters pale.
The white sheete bleaching on the hedge,
With hey the sweet birds, O how they sing:
Doth set my pugging tooth an edge,
For a quart of Ale is a dish for a King.
The Larke, that tirra Lyra chaunts,
With heigh, the Thrush and the Iay:
Are Summer songs for me and my Aunts
While we lye tumbling in the hay.
I haue seru'd Prince Florizell, and in my time / wore
three pile, but now I am out of seruice.
But shall I go mourne for that (my deere)
the pale Moone shines by night:
And when I wander here, and there
I then do most go right.
If Tinkers may haue leaue to liue,
and beare the Sow-skin Bowget,
Then my account I well may giue,
and in the Stockes auouch-it.
My Trafficke is sheetes: when the Kite builds, looke to lesser
Linnen. My Father nam'd me Autolicus, who being (as I
am) lytter'd vnder Mercurie, was likewise a snapper-vp
of vnconsidered trifles: With Dye and drab, I purchas'd
this Caparison, and my Reuennew is the silly Cheate.
Gallowes, and Knocke, are too powerfull on the Highway.
Beating and hanging are terrors to mee: For the life to come, I
sleepe out the thought of it. A prize, a prize.
Enter Clowne.

Clo.
Let me see, euery Leauen-weather toddes, euery tod
yeeldes pound and odde shilling: fifteene hundred shorne,
what comes the wooll too?

Aut.

If the sprindge hold, the Cocke's mine.

Clo.
I cannot do't without Compters. Let mee see, what
am I to buy for our Sheepe-shearing-Feast? Three pound
of Sugar, fiue pound of Currence, Rice: What will this
sister of mine do with Rice? But my father hath made her
Mistris of the Feast, and she layes it on. Shee hath made-
me four and twenty Nose-gayes for the shearers
(three-man song-men, all, and very good ones) but they are
most of them Meanes and Bases; but one Puritan
amongst them, and he sings Psalmes to horne-pipes. I must
haue Saffron to colour the Warden Pies, Mace: Dates,
none: that's out of my note: Nutmegges, seuen; a Race or
two of Ginger, but that I may begge: Foure pound of Prewyns,
and as many of Reysons o'th Sun.

Aut.
Oh, that euer I was
borne.

Clo.
I'th' name of me.

Aut.
Oh helpe me, helpe mee: plucke but off these
ragges: and then, death, death.

Clo.
Alacke poore soule, thou hast need of more rags
to lay on thee, rather then haue these off.

Aut.
Oh sir, the loathsomnesse of them offend mee,
more then the stripes I haue receiued, which are mightie
ones and millions.

Clo.
Alas poore man, a million of beating may come
to a great matter.

Aut.
I am rob'd sir, and beaten: my money, and
apparrell tane from me, and these detestable things put
vpon me.

Clo.
What, by a horse-man, or a foot-man?

Aut.
A footman (sweet sir) a footman.

Clo.
Indeed, he should be a footman, by the garments
he has left with thee: If this bee a horsemans Coate, it hath
seene very hot seruice. Lend me thy hand, Ile helpe thee.
Come, lend me thy hand.

Aut.
Oh good sir, tenderly, oh.

Clo.
Alas poore soule.

Aut.
Oh good sir, softly, good sir: I feare (sir) my
shoulder-blade is out.

Clo.
How now? Canst stand?

Aut.
Softly, deere sir: good
sir, softly: you ha done me a charitable office.

Clo.
Doest lacke any mony? I haue a little mony for
thee.

Aut.
No, good sweet sir: no, I beseech you sir:
I haue a Kinsman not past three quarters of a mile hence,
vnto whome I was going: I shall there haue money, or
anie thing I want: Offer me no money I pray you, that
killes my heart.

Clow.
What manner of Fellow was hee that robb'd you?

Aut.
A fellow (sir) that I haue knowne to goe about
with Troll-my-dames: I knew him once a seruant of the
Prince: I cannot tell good sir, for which of his Vertues it
was, but hee was certainely Whipt out of the Court.

Clo.
His vices you would say: there's no vertue
whipt out of the Court: they cherish it to make it stay
there; and yet it will no more but abide.

Aut.
Vices I would say (Sir.) I know this man well,
he hath bene since an Ape-bearer, then a Processe-seruer
(a Bayliffe) then hee compast a Motion of the Prodigall
sonne, and married a Tinkers wife, within a Mile where my
Land and Liuing lyes; and (hauing flowne ouer many
knauish professions) he setled onely in Rogue: some call
him Autolicus.

Clo.
Out vpon him: Prig, for my life Prig: he haunts
Wakes, Faires, and Beare-baitings.

Aut.
Very true sir: he sir hee: that's the Rogue
that put me into this apparrell.

Clo.
Not a more cowardly Rogue in all Bohemia; If you
had but look'd bigge, and spit at him, hee'ld haue runne.

Aut.
I must confesse to you (sir) I am no fighter:
I am false of heart that way, & that he knew I warrant
him.

Clo.
How do you now?

Aut.
Sweet sir, much better then I was: I can
stand, and walke: I will euen take my leaue of you, &
pace softly towards my Kinsmans.

Clo.
Shall I bring thee on the way?

Aut.
No, good fac'd sir, no sweet sir.

Clo.
Then fartheewell, I must go buy Spices for our
sheepe-shearing.

Aut.
Prosper you sweet sir.
Exit.
Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your Spice:
Ile be with you at your sheepe-shearing too: If I make
not this Cheat bring out another, and the sheerers proue
sheepe, let me be vnrold, and my name put in the booke
of Vertue. Song.
Iog-on, Iog-on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the Stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tyres in a Mile-a.
Exit.
Original text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Florizell, Perdita, Shepherd, Clowne, Polixenes, Camillo,Mopsa, Dorcas, Seruants, Autolicus.

Flo.
These your vnvsuall weeds, to each part of you
Do's giue a life: no Shepherdesse, but Flora
Peering in Aprils front. This your sheepe-shearing,
Is as a meeting of the petty Gods,
And you the Queene on't.

Perd.
Sir: my gracious Lord,
To chide at your extreames, it not becomes me:
(Oh pardon, that I name them:) your high selfe
The gracious marke o'th' Land, you haue obscur'd
With a Swaines wearing: and me (poore lowly Maide)
Most Goddesse-like prank'd vp: But that our Feasts
In euery Messe, haue folly; and the Feeders
Digest with a Custome, I should blush
To see you so attyr'd: sworne I thinke,
To shew my selfe a glasse.

Flo.
I blesse the time
When my good Falcon, made her flight acrosse
Thy Fathers ground.

Perd.
Now Ioue affoord you cause:
To me the difference forges dread (your Greatnesse
Hath not beene vs'd to feare:) euen now I tremble
To thinke your Father, by some accident
Should passe this way, as you did: Oh the Fates,
How would he looke, to see his worke, so noble,
Vildely bound vp? What would he say? Or how
Should I (in these my borrowed Flaunts) behold
The sternnesse of his presence?

Flo.
Apprehend
Nothing but iollity: the Goddes themselues
(Humbling their Deities to loue) haue taken
The shapes of Beasts vpon them. Iupiter,
Became a Bull, and bellow'd: the greene Neptune
A Ram, and bleated: and the Fire-roab'd-God
Golden Apollo, a poore humble Swaine,
As I seeme now. Their transformations,
Were neuer for a peece of beauty, rarer,
Nor in a way so chaste: since my desires
Run not before mine honor: nor my Lusts
Burne hotter then my Faith.

Perd.
O but Sir,
Your resolution cannot hold, when 'tis
Oppos'd (as it must be) by th' powre of the King:
One of these two must be necessities,
Which then will speake, that you must change this purpose,
Or I my life.

Flo.
Thou deer'st Perdita,
With these forc'd thoughts, I prethee darken not
The Mirth o'th' Feast: Or Ile be thine (my Faire)
Or not my Fathers. For I cannot be
Mine owne, 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 comming:
Lift vp your countenance, as it were the day
Of celebration of that nuptiall, which
We two haue sworne shall come.

Perd.
O Lady Fortune,
Stand you auspicious.

Flo.
See, your Guests approach,
Addresse your selfe to entertaine them sprightly,
And let's be red with mirth.

Shep.
Fy (daughter) when my old wife liu'd: vpon
This day, she was both Pantler, Butler, Cooke,
Both Dame and Seruant: Welcom'd all: seru'd all,
Would sing her song, and dance her turne: now heere
At vpper end o'th Table; now, i'th middle:
On his shoulder, and his: her face o' fire
With labour, and the thing she tooke to quench it
She would to each one sip. You are retyred,
As if you were a feasted one: and not
The Hostesse of the meeting: Pray you bid
These vnknowne friends to's welcome, for it is
A way to make vs better Friends, more knowne.
Come, quench your blushes, and present your selfe
That which you are, Mistris o'th' Feast. Come on,
And bid vs welcome to your sheepe-shearing,
As your good flocke shall prosper.

Perd.
Sir, welcome:
It is my Fathers will, I should take on mee
The Hostesseship o'th' day: you're welcome sir.
Giue me those Flowres there (Dorcas.) Reuerend Sirs,
For you, there's Rosemary, and Rue, these keepe
Seeming, and sauour all the Winter long:
Grace, and Remembrance be to you both,
And welcome to our Shearing.

Pol.
Shepherdesse,
(A faire one are you:) well you fit our ages
With flowres of Winter.

Perd.
Sir, the yeare growing ancient,
Not yet on summers death, nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fayrest flowres o'th season
Are our Carnations, and streak'd Gilly-vors,
(Which some call Natures bastards) of that kind
Our rusticke Gardens barren, and I care not
To get slips of them.

Pol.
Wherefore (gentle Maiden)
Do you neglect them.

Perd.
For I haue heard it said,
There is an Art, which in their pidenesse shares
With great creating-Nature.

Pol.
Say there be:
Yet Nature is made better by no meane,
But Nature makes that Meane: so ouer that Art,
(Which you say addes to Nature) is an Art
That Nature makes: you see (sweet Maid) we marry
A gentler Sien, to the wildest Stocke,
And make conceyue a barke of baser kinde
By bud of Nobler race. This is an Art
Which do's mend Nature: change it rather, but
The Art it selfe, is Nature.

Perd.
So it is.

Pol.
Then make you Garden rich in Gilly' vors,
And do not call them bastards.

Perd.
Ile not put
The Dible in earth, to set one slip of them:
No more then were I painted, I would wish
This youth should say 'twer well: and onely therefore
Desire to breed by me. Here's flowres for you:
Hot Lauender, Mints, Sauory, Mariorum,
The Mary-gold, that goes to bed with' Sun,
And with him rises, weeping: These are flowres
Of middle summer, and I thinke they are giuen
To men of middle age. Y'are very welcome.

Cam.
I should leaue grasing, were I of your flocke,
And onely liue by gazing.

Perd.
Out alas:
You'ld be so leane, that blasts of Ianuary
Would blow you through and through. Now my fairst Friend,
I would I had some Flowres o'th Spring, that might
Become your time of day: and yours, and yours,
That weare vpon your Virgin-branches yet
Your Maiden-heads growing: O Proserpina,
For the Flowres now, that (frighted) thou let'st fall
From Dysses Waggon: Daffadils,
That come before the Swallow dares, and take
The windes of March with beauty: Violets dim,
But sweeter then the lids of Iuno's eyes,
Or Cytherea's breath) pale Prime-roses,
That dye vnmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phoebus in his strength (a Maladie
Most incident to Maids:) bold Oxlips, and
The Crowne Imperiall: Lillies of all kinds,
(The Flowre-de-Luce being one.) O, these I lacke,
To make you Garlands of) and my sweet friend,
To strew him o're, and ore.

Flo.
What? like a Coarse?

Perd.
No, like a banke, for Loue to lye, and play on:
Not like a Coarse: or if: not to be buried,
But quicke, and in mine armes. Come, take your flours,
Me thinkes I play as I haue seene them do
In Whitson-Pastorals: Sure this Robe of mine
Do's change my disposition:

Flo.
What you do,
Still betters what is done. When you speake (Sweet)
I'ld haue you do it euer: When you sing,
I'ld haue you buy, and sell so: so giue Almes,
Pray so: and for the ord'ring your Affayres,
To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you
A waue o'th Sea, that you might euer do
Nothing but that: moue still, still so:
And owne no other Function. Each your doing,
(So singular, in each particular)
Crownes what you are doing, in the present deeds,
That all your Actes, are Queenes.

Perd.
O Doricles,
Your praises are too large: but that your youth
And the true blood which peepes fairely through't,
Do plainly giue you out an vnstain'd Shepherd
With wisedome, I might feare (my Doricles)
You woo'd me the false way.

Flo.
I thinke you haue
As little skill to feare, as I haue purpose
To put you to't. But come, our dance I pray,
Your hand (my Perdita:) so Turtles paire
That neuer meane to part.

Perd.
Ile sweare for 'em.

Pol.
This is the prettiest Low-borne Lasse, that euer
Ran on the greene-sord: Nothing she do's, or seemes
But smackes of something greater then her selfe,
Too Noble for this place.

Cam.
He tels her something
That makes her blood looke on't: Good sooth she is
The Queene of Curds and Creame.

Clo.
Come on: strike vp.

Dorcas.
Mopsa must be your Mistris: marry Garlick to
mend her kissing with.

Mop.
Now in good time.

Clo.
Not a word, a word, we stand vpon our manners,
Come, strike vp.
Heere a Daunce of Shepheards and Shephearddesses.

Pol.
Pray good Shepheard, what faire Swaine is this,
Which dances with your daughter?

Shep.
They call him Doricles, and boasts himselfe
To haue a worthy Feeding; but I haue it
Vpon his owne report, and I beleeue it:
He lookes like sooth: he sayes he loues my daughter,
I thinke so too; for neuer gaz'd the Moone
Vpon the water, as hee'l stand and reade
As 'twere my daughters eyes: and to be plaine,
I thinke there is not halfe a kisse to choose
Who loues another best.

Pol.
She dances featly.

Shep.
So she do's any thing, though I report it
That should be silent: If yong Doricles
Do light vpon her, she shall bring him that
Which he not dreames of.
Enter Seruant.

Ser.
O Master: if you did but heare the Pedler at the
doore, you would neuer dance againe after a Tabor and
Pipe: no, the Bag-pipe could not moue you: hee singes
seuerall Tunes, faster then you'l tell money: hee vtters
them as he had eaten ballads, and all mens eares grew to
his Tunes.

Clo.
He could neuer come better: hee shall come in: I
loue a ballad but euen too well, if it be dolefull matter
merrily set downe: or a very pleasant thing indeede, and
sung lamentably.

Ser.
He hath songs for man, or woman, of all sizes:
No Milliner can so fit his customers with Gloues: he has
the prettiest Loue-songs for Maids, so without bawdrie
(which is strange,) with such delicate burthens of Dildo's
and Fadings: Iump-her, and thump-her; and where some
stretch-mouth'd Rascall, would (as it were) meane mischeefe,
and breake a fowle gap into the Matter, hee makes the
maid to answere, Whoop, doe me no harme good man:
put's him off, slights him, with Whoop, doe mee no harme
good man.

Pol.
This is a braue fellow.

Clo.
Beleeue mee, thou talkest of an admirable conceited
fellow, has he any vnbraided Wares?

Ser.
Hee hath Ribbons of all the colours i'th Raine-bow;
Points, more then all the Lawyers in Bohemia, can
learnedly handle, though they come to him by th' grosse:
Inckles, Caddysses, Cambrickes, Lawnes: why he sings em
ouer, as they were Gods, or Goddesses: you would thinke a
Smocke were a shee-Angell, he so chauntes to the sleeue-hand,
and the worke about the square on't.

Clo.
Pre'thee bring him in, and let him approach
singing.

Perd.
Forewarne him, that he vse no scurrilous words
in's tunes.

Clow.
You haue of these Pedlers, that haue more in them,
then youl'd thinke (Sister.)

Perd.
I, good brother, or go about to thinke.
Enter Autolicus singing.
Lawne as white as driuen Snow,
Cypresse blacke as ere was Crow,
Gloues as sweete as Damaske Roses,
Maskes for faces, and for noses:
Bugle-bracelet, Necke-lace Amber,
Perfume for a Ladies Chamber:
Golden Quoifes, and Stomachers
For my Lads, to giue their deers:
Pins, and poaking-stickes of steele.
What Maids lacke from head to heele:
Come buy of me, come: come buy, come buy,
Buy Lads, or else your Lasses cry: Come buy.

Clo.
If I were not in loue with Mopsa, thou shouldst
take no money of me, but being enthrall'd as I am, it
will also be the bondage of certaine Ribbons and Gloues.

Mop.
I was promis'd them against the Feast, but they
come not too late now.

Dor.
He hath promis'd you more then that, or there
be lyars.

Mop.
He hath paid you all he promis'd you: 'May be he
has paid you more, which will shame you to giue him
againe.

Clo.
Is there no manners left among maids? Will they
weare their plackets, where they should bear their faces?
Is there not milking-time? When you are going to bed? Or
kill-hole? To whistle of these secrets, but you must be
tittle-tatling before all our guests? 'Tis well they are
whispring: clamor your tongues, and not a word more.

Mop.
I haue done; Come you promis'd me a tawdry-lace,
and a paire of sweet Gloues.

Clo.
Haue I not told thee how I was cozen'd by the
way, and lost all my money.

Aut.
And indeed Sir, there are Cozeners abroad,
therfore it behooues men to be wary.

Clo.
Feare not thou man, thou shalt lose nothing here

Aut.
I hope so sir, for I haue about me many
parcels of charge.

Clo.
What hast heere? Ballads?

Mop.
Pray now buy some: I loue a ballet in print, a life,
for then we are sure they are true.

Aut.
Here's one, to a very dolefull tune, how a
Vsurers wife was brought to bed of twenty money baggs
at a burthen, and how she long'd to eate Adders heads,
and Toads carbonado'd.

Mop.
Is it true, thinke you?

Aut.
Very true, and but a moneth old..

Dor.
Blesse me from marrying a Vsurer.

Aut.
Here's the Midwiues name to't: one Mist.
Tale-Porter, and fiue or six honest Wiues, that were present.
Why should I carry lyes abroad?

Mop.
'Pray you now buy it.

Clo.
Come-on, lay it by: and let's first see moe Ballads:
Wee'l buy the other things anon.

Aut.
Here's another ballad of a Fish, that appeared
vpon the coast, on wensday the fourescore of April,
fortie thousand fadom aboue water, & sung this ballad
against the hard hearts of maids: it was thought she was
a Woman, and was turn'd into a cold fish, for she wold
not exchange flesh with one that lou'd her: The Ballad
is very pittifull, and as true.

Dor.
Is it true too, thinke you.

Autol.
Fiue Iustices hands at it, and witnesses more
then my packe will hold.

Clo.
Lay it by too; another.

Aut.
This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.

Mop.
Let's haue some merry ones.

Aut.
Why this is a passing merry one, and goes
to the tune of two maids wooing a man: there's
scarse a Maide westward but she sings it: 'tis in request, I
can tell you.

Mop.
We can both sing it: if thou'lt beare a part, thou
shalt heare, 'tis in three parts.

Dor.
We had the tune on't, a month agoe.

Aut.
I can beare my part, you must know 'tis my
occupation: Haue at it with you:
Song

Aut.
Get you hence, for I must goe
Where it fits not you to know.

Dor.
Whether?

Mop.
O whether?

Dor.
Whether?

Mop.
It becomes thy oath full well,
Thou to me thy secrets tell.

Dor:
Me too: Let me go thether:

Mop:
Or thou goest to th' Grange, or Mill,

Dor:
If to either thou dost ill,

Aut:
Neither.

Dor:
What neither?

Aut:
Neither:

Dor:
Thou hast sworne my Loue to be,

Mop:
Thou hast sworne it more to mee.
Then whether goest? Say whether?

Clo.
Wee'l haue this song out anon by our selues: My
Father, and the Gent. are in sad talke, & wee'll not
trouble them: Come bring away thy pack after me,
Wenches Ile buy for you both: Pedler let's haue the
first choice; folow me girles.

Aut.
And you shall pay well for 'em.
Song.
Will you buy any Tape,
or Lace for your Cape?
My dainty Ducke, my deere-a?
Any Silke, any Thred,
any Toyes for your head
Of the news't, and fins't, fins't weare-a.
Come to the Pedler,
Money's a medler,
That doth vtter all mens ware-a.
Exit

Seruant.
Mayster, there is three Carters, three Shep-herds,
three Neat-herds, three Swine-herds yt haue made
themselues all men of haire, they cal themselues
Saltiers, and they haue a Dance, which the Wenches say
is a gally-maufrey of Gambols, because they are not in't:
but they themselues are o'th' minde (if it bee not too rough
for some, that know little but bowling) it will please
plentifully.

Shep.
Away: Wee'l none on't; heere has beene too
much homely foolery already. I know (Sir) wee wearie you.

Pol.
You wearie those that refresh vs: pray let's
see these foure-threes of Heardsmen.

Ser.
One three of them, by their owne report (Sir,)
hath danc'd before the King: and not the worst of the
three, but iumpes twelue foote and a halfe by th' squire.

Shep.
Leaue your prating, since these good men are
pleas'd, let them come in: but quickly now.

Ser.
Why, they stay at doore Sir.
Heere a Dance of twelue Satyres.

Pol.
O Father, you'l know more of that heereafter:
Is it not too farre gone? 'Tis time to part them,
He's simple, and tels much. How now (faire shepheard)
Your heart is full of something, that do's take
Your minde from feasting. Sooth, when I was yong,
And handed loue, as you do; I was wont
To load my Shee with knackes: I would haue ransackt
The Pedlers silken Treasury, and haue powr'd it
To her acceptance: you haue let him go,
And nothing marted with him. If your Lasse
Interpretation should abuse, and call this
Your lacke of loue, or bounty, you were straited
For a reply at least, if you make a care
Of happie holding her.

Flo.
Old Sir, I know
She prizes not such trifles as these are:
The gifts she lookes from me, are packt and lockt
Vp in my heart, which I haue giuen already,
But not deliuer'd. O heare me breath my life
Before this ancient Sir, whom (it should seeme)
Hath sometime lou'd: I take thy hand, this hand,
As soft as Doues-downe, and as white as it,
Or Ethyopians tooth, or the fan'd snow, that's bolted
By th' Northerne blasts, twice ore.

Pol.
What followes this?
How prettily th' yong Swaine seemes to wash
The hand, was faire before? I haue put you out,
But to your protestation: Let me heare
What you professe.

Flo.
Do, and be witnesse too't.

Pol.
And this my neighbour too?

Flo.
And he, and more
Then he, and men: the earth, the heauens, and all;
That were I crown'd the most Imperiall Monarch
Thereof most worthy: were I the fayrest youth
That euer made eye swerue, had force and knowledge
More then was euer mans, I would not prize them
Without her Loue; for her, employ them all,
Commend them, and condemne them to her seruice,
Or to their owne perdition.

Pol.
Fairely offer'd.

Cam.
This shewes a sound affection.

Shep.
But my daughter,
Say you the like to him.

Per.
I cannot speake
So well, (nothing so well) no, nor meane better
By th' patterne of mine owne thoughts, I cut out
The puritie of his.

Shep.
Take hands, a bargaine;
And friends vnknowne, you shall beare witnesse to't:
I giue my daughter to him, and will make
Her Portion, equall his.

Flo.
O, that must bee
I'th Vertue of your daughter: One being dead,
I shall haue more then you can dreame of yet,
Enough then for your wonder: but come-on,
Contract vs fore these Witnesses.

Shep.
Come, your hand:
And daughter, yours.

Pol.
Soft Swaine a-while, beseech you,
Haue you a Father?

Flo.
I haue: but what of him?

Pol.
Knowes he of this?

Flo.
He neither do's, nor shall.

Pol.
Me-thinkes a Father,
Is at the Nuptiall of his sonne, a guest
That best becomes the Table: Pray you once more
Is not your Father growne incapeable
Of reasonable affayres? Is he not stupid
With Age, and altring Rheumes? Can he speake? heare?
Know man, from man? Dispute his owne estate?
Lies he not bed-rid? And againe, do's nothing
But what he did, being childish?

Flo.
No good Sir:
He has his health, and ampler strength indeede
Then most haue of his age.

Pol.
By my white beard,
You offer him (if this be so) a wrong
Something vnfilliall: Reason my sonne
Should choose himselfe a wife, but as good reason
The Father (all whose ioy is nothing else
But faire posterity) should hold some counsaile
In such a businesse.

Flo.
I yeeld all this;
But for some other reasons (my graue Sir)
Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
My Father of this businesse.

Pol.
Let him know't.

Flo.
He shall not.

Pol.
Prethee let him.

Flo.
No, he must not.

Shep.
Let him (my sonne) he shall not need to greeue
At knowing of thy choice.

Flo.
Come, come, he must not:
Marke our Contract.

Pol.

Marke your diuorce (yong sir)
Whom sonne I dare not call: Thou art too base
To be acknowledge. Thou a Scepters heire,
That thus affects a sheepe-hooke? Thou, old Traitor,
I am sorry, that by hanging thee, I can
But shorten thy life one weeke. And thou, fresh peece
Of excellent Witchcraft, whom of force must know
The royall Foole thou coap'st with.

Shep.
Oh my heart.

Pol.
Ile haue thy beauty scratcht with briers & made
More homely then thy state. For thee (fond boy)
If I may euer know thou dost but sigh,
That thou no more shalt neuer see this knacke (as neuer
I meane thou shalt) wee'l barre thee from succession,
Not hold thee of our blood, no not our Kin,
Farre then Deucalion off: (marke thou my words)
Follow vs to the Court. Thou Churle, for this time
(Though full of our displeasure) yet we free thee
From the dead blow of it. And you Enchantment,
Worthy enough a Heardsman: yea him too,
That makes himselfe (but for our Honor therein)
Vnworthy thee. If euer henceforth, thou
These rurall Latches, to his entrance open,
Or hope his body more, with thy embraces,
I will deuise a death, as cruell for thee
As thou art tender to't.
Exit.

Perd.
Euen heere vndone:
I was not much a-fear'd: for once, or twice
I was about to speake, and tell him plainely,
The selfe-same Sun, that shines vpon his Court,
Hides not his visage from our Cottage, but
Lookes on alike. Wilt please you (Sir) be gone?
I told you what would come of this: Beseech you
Of your owne state take care: This dreame of mine
Being now awake, Ile Queene it no inch farther,
But milke my Ewes, and weepe.

Cam.
Why how now Father,
Speake ere thou dyest.

Shep.
I cannot speake, nor thinke,
Nor dare to know, that which I know: O Sir,
You haue vndone a man of fourescore three,
That thought to fill his graue in quiet: yea,
To dye vpon the bed my father dy'de,
To lye close by his honest bones; but now
Some Hangman must put on my shrowd, and lay me
Where no Priest shouels-in dust. Oh cursed wretch,
That knew'st this was the Prince, and wouldst aduenture
To mingle faith with him. Vndone, vndone:
If I might dye within this houre, I haue liu'd
To die when I desire.
Exit.

Flo.
Why looke you so vpon me?
I am but sorry, not affear'd: delaid,
But nothing altred: What I was, I am:
More straining on, for plucking backe; not following
My leash vnwillingly.

Cam.
Gracious my Lord,
You know my Fathers temper: at this time
He will allow no speech: (which I do ghesse
You do not purpose to him:) and as hardly
Will he endure your sight, as yet I feare;
Then till the fury of his Highnesse settle
Come not before him.

Flo.
I not purpose it:
I thinke Camillo.

Cam.
Euen he, my Lord.

Per.
How often haue I told you 'twould be thus?
How often said my dignity would last
But till 'twer knowne?

Flo.
It cannot faile, but by
The violation of my faith, and then
Let Nature crush the sides o'th earth together,
And marre the seeds within. Lift vp thy lookes:
From my succession wipe me (Father) I
Am heyre to my affection.

Cam.
Be aduis'd.

Flo.
I am: and by my fancie, if my Reason
Will thereto be obedient: I haue reason:
If not, my sences better pleas'd with madnesse,
Do bid it welcome.

Cam.
This is desperate (sir.)

Flo.
So call it: but it do's fulfill my vow:
I needs must thinke it honesty. Camillo,
Not for Bohemia, nor the pompe that may
Be thereat gleaned: for all the Sun sees, or
The close earth wombes, or the profound seas, hides
In vnknowne fadomes, will I breake my oath
To this my faire belou'd: Therefore, I pray you,
As you haue euer bin my Fathers honour'd friend,
When he shall misse me, as (in faith I meane not
To see him any more) cast your good counsailes
Vpon his passion: Let my selfe, and Fortune
Tug for the time to come. This you may know,
And so deliuer, I am put to Sea
With her, who heere I cannot hold on shore:
And most opportune to her neede, I haue
A Vessell rides fast by, but not prepar'd
For this designe. What course I meane to hold
Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
Concerne me the reporting.

Cam.
O my Lord,
I would your spirit were easier for aduice,
Or stronger for your neede.

Flo.
Hearke Perdita,
Ile heare you by and by.

Cam.
Hee's irremoueable,
Resolu'd for flight: Now were I happy if
His going, I could frame to serue my turne,
Saue him from danger, do him loue and honor,
Purchase the sight againe of deere Sicillia,
And that vnhappy King, my Master, whom
I so much thirst to see.

Flo.
Now good Camillo,
I am so fraught with curious businesse, that
I leaue out ceremony.

Cam.
Sir, I thinke
You haue heard of my poore seruices, i'th loue
That I haue borne your Father?

Flo.
Very nobly
Haue you deseru'd: It is my Fathers Musicke
To speake your deeds: not little of his care
To haue them recompenc'd, as thought on.

Cam.
Well (my Lord)
If you may please to thinke I loue the King,
And through him, what's neerest to him, which is
Your gracious selfe; embrace but my direction,
If your more ponderous and setled proiect
May suffer alteration. On mine honor,
Ile point you where you shall haue such receiuing
As shall become your Highnesse, where you may
Enioy your Mistris; from the whom, I see
There's no disiunction to be made, but by
(As heauens forefend) your ruine: Marry her,
And with my best endeuours, in your absence,
Your discontenting Father, striue to qualifie
And bring him vp to liking.

Flo.
How Camillo
May this (almost a miracle) be done?
That I may call thee something more then man,
And after that trust to thee.

Cam.
Haue you thought on
A place whereto you'l go?

Flo.
Not any yet:
But as th' vnthought-on accident is guiltie
To what we wildely do, so we professe
Our selues to be the slaues of chance, and flyes
Of euery winde that blowes.

Cam.
Then list to me:
This followes, if you will not change your purpose
But vndergo this flight: make for Sicillia,
And there present your selfe, and your fayre Princesse,
(For so I see she must be) 'fore Leontes;
She shall be habited, as it becomes
The partner of your Bed. Me thinkes I see
Leontes opening his free Armes, and weeping
His Welcomes forth: asks thee there Sonne forgiuenesse,
As 'twere i'th' Fathers person: kisses the hands
Of your fresh Princesse; ore and ore diuides him,
'Twixt his vnkindnesse, and his Kindnesse: th' one
He chides to Hell, and bids the other grow
Faster then Thought, or Time.

Flo.
Worthy Camillo,
What colour for my Visitation, shall I
Hold vp before him?

Cam.
Sent by the King your Father
To greet him, and to giue him comforts. Sir,
The manner of your bearing towards him, with
What you (as from your Father) shall deliuer,
Things knowne betwixt vs three, Ile write you downe,
The which shall point you forth at euery sitting
What you must say: that he shall not perceiue,
But that you haue your Fathers Bosome there,
And speake his very Heart.

Flo.
I am bound to you:
There is some sappe in this.

Cam.
A Course more promising,
Then a wild dedication of your selues
To vnpath'd Waters, vndream'd Shores; most certaine,
To Miseries enough: no hope to helpe you,
But as you shake off one, to take another:
Nothing so certaine, as your Anchors, who
Doe their best office, if they can but stay you,
Where you'le be loth to be: besides you know,
Prosperitie's the very bond of Loue,
Whose fresh complexion, and whose heart together,
Affliction alters.

Perd.
One of these is true:
I thinke Affliction may subdue the Cheeke,
But not take-in the Mind.

Cam.
Yea? say you so?
There shall not, at your Fathers House, these seuen yeeres
Be borne another such.

Flo.
My good Camillo,
She's as forward, of her Breeding, as
She is i'th' reare' our Birth.

Cam.
I cannot say, 'tis pitty
She lacks Instructions, for she seemes a Mistresse
To most that teach.

Perd.
Your pardon Sir, for this,
Ile blush you Thanks.

Flo.
My prettiest Perdita.
But O, the Thornes we stand vpon: (Camillo)
Preseruer of my Father, now of me,
The Medicine of our House: how shall we doe?
We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's Sonne,
Nor shall appeare in Sicilia.

Cam.
My Lord,
Feare none of this: I thinke you know my fortunes
Doe all lye there: it shall be so my care,
To haue you royally appointed, as if
The Scene you play, were mine. For instance Sir,
That you may know you shall not want: one word.
Enter Autolicus.

Aut.
Ha, ha, what a Foole Honestie is? and Trust
(his sworne brother) a very simple Gentleman. I haue sold
all my Tromperie: not a counterfeit Stone, not a Ribbon,
Glasse, Pomander, Browch, Table-booke, Ballad, Knife, Tape,
Gloue, Shooe-tye, Bracelet, Horne-Ring, to keepe my Pack
from fasting: they throng who should buy first, as if my
Trinkets had beene hallowed, and brought a benediction to
the buyer: by which meanes, I saw whose Purse was best
in Picture; and what I saw, to my good vse, I
remembred. My Clowne (who wants but something to be a
reasonable man) grew so in loue with the Wenches Song,
that hee would not stirre his Petty-toes, till he had bothTune
and Words, which so drew the rest of the Heard to me,
that all their other Sences stucke in Eares: you might haue
pinch'd a Placket, it was sence-lesse; 'twas nothing to
gueld a Cod-peece of a Purse: I would haue fill'd Keyes of
that hung in Chaynes: no hearing, no feeling, but my Sirs
Song, and admiring the Nothing of it. So that in this time
of Lethargie, I pickd and cut most of their Festiuall
Purses: And had not the old-man come in with a Whoo-bub
against his Daughter, and the Kings Sonne, and scar'd my
Chowghes from the Chaffe, I had not left a Purse aliue in
the whole Army.

Cam.
Nay, but my Letters by this meanes being there
So soone as you arriue, shall cleare that doubt.

Flo.
And those that you'le procure from King Leontes?

Cam.
Shall satisfie your Father.

Perd.
Happy be you:
All that you speake, shewes faire.

Cam.
Who haue we here?
Wee'le make an Instrument of this: omit
Nothing may giue vs aide.

Aut.
If they haue ouer-heard me now:
why hanging.

Cam.
How now (good Fellow) / Why shak'st thou so?
Feare not (man) / Here's no harme intended to thee.

Aut.
I am a poore Fellow, Sir.

Cam.
Why, be so still: here's no body will steale that
from thee: yet for the out-side of thy pouertie, we must
make an exchange; therefore dis-case thee instantly
(thou must thinke there's a necessitie in't) and change
Garments with this Gentleman: Though the penny-worth
(on his side) be the worst, yet hold thee, there's some
boot.

Aut.
I am a poore Fellow, Sir: (I know ye
well enough.)

Cam.
Nay prethee dispatch: the Gentleman is halfe
fled already.

Aut.
Are you in earnest, Sir? (I smell the
trick on't.)

Flo.
Dispatch, I prethee.

Aut.
Indeed I haue had Earnest, but I cannot
with conscience take it.

Cam.
Vnbuckle, vnbuckle.
Fortunate Mistresse (let my prophecie
Come home to ye:) you must retire your selfe
Into some Couert; take your sweet-hearts Hat
And pluck it ore your Browes, muffle your face,
Dis-mantle you, and (as you can) disliken
The truth of your owne seeming, that you may
(For I doe feare eyes ouer) to Ship-boord
Get vndescry'd.

Perd.
I see the Play so lyes,
That I must beare a part.

Cam.
No remedie:
Haue you done there?

Flo.
Should I now meet my Father,
He would not call me Sonne.

Cam.
Nay, you shall haue no Hat:
Come Lady, come: Farewell (my friend.)

Aut.
Adieu, Sir.

Flo.
O Perdita: what haue we twaine forgot?
'Pray you a word.

Cam.
What I doe next, shall be to tell the King
Of this escape, and whither they are bound;
Wherein, my hope is, I shall so preuaile,
To force him after: in whose company
I shall re-view Sicilia; for whose sight,
I haue a Womans Longing.

Flo.
Fortune speed vs:
Thus we set on (Camillo) to th' Sea-side.

Cam.
The swifter speed, the better.
Exit.

Aut.
I vnderstand the businesse, I heare it: to haue
an open eare, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary
for a Cut-purse; a good Nose is requisite also, to smell out
worke for th' other Sences. I see this is the time that the
vniust man doth thriue. What an exchange had this been,
without boot? What a boot is here, with this exchange?
Sure the Gods doe this yeere conniue at vs, and we may doe
any thing extempore. The Prince himselfe is about a peece
of Iniquitie (stealing away from his Father, with his Clog
at his heeles:) if I thought it were a peece of honestie to
acquaint the King withall, I would not do't: I hold it the
more knauerie to conceale it; and therein am I constant to
my Profession.
Enter Clowne and Shepheard.
Aside, aside, here is more matter for a hot braine: Euery
Lanes end, euery Shop, Church, Session, Hanging, yeelds
a carefull man worke.

Clowne.
See, see: what a man you are now? there is no
other way, but to tell the King she's a Changeling, and
none of your flesh and blood.

Shep.
Nay, but heare me.

Clow.
Nay; but heare me.

Shep.
Goe too then.

Clow.
She being none of your flesh and blood, your
flesh and blood ha's not offended the King, and so your
flesh and blood is not to be punish'd by him. Shew
those things you found about her (those secret things,
all but what she ha's with her:) This being done, let the
Law goe whistle: I warrant you.

Shep.
I will tell the King all, euery word, yea, and
his Sonnes prancks too; who, I may say, is no honest man,
neither to his Father, nor to me, to goe about to make me
the Kings Brother in Law.

Clow.
Indeed Brother in Law was the farthest off you
could haue beene to him, and then your Blood had beene
the dearer, by I know how much an ounce.

Aut.
Very wisely (Puppies.)

Shep.
Well: let vs to the King: there is that in this
Farthell, will make him scratch his Beard.

Aut.
I know not what impediment this
Complaint may be to the flight of my Master.

Clo.
'Pray heartily he be at' Pallace.

Aut.
Though I am not naturally honest, I
am so sometimes by chance: Let me pocket vp my
Pedlers excrement.
How now (Rustiques) whither are you bound?

Shep.
To th' Pallace (and it like your Worship.)

Aut.
Your Affaires there? what? with whom? the
Condition of that Farthell? the place of your dwelling? your
names? your ages? of what hauing? breeding, and
any thing that is fitting to be knowne, discouer?

Clo.
We are but plaine fellowes, Sir.

Aut.
A Lye; you are rough, and hayrie: Let me haue
no lying; it becomes none but Trades-men, and they often
giue vs (Souldiers) the Lye, but wee pay them for it with
stamped Coyne, not stabbing Steele, therefore they doe not
giue vs the Lye.

Clo.
Your Worship had like to haue giuen vs one, if
you had not taken your selfe with the manner.

Shep.
Are you a Courtier, and't like you Sir?

Aut.
Whether it like me, or no, I am a Courtier.
Seest thou not the ayre of the Court, in these enfoldings?
Hath not my gate in it, the measure of the Court?
Receiues not thy Nose Court-Odour from me? Reflect I not
on thy Basenesse, Court-Contempt? Think'st thou, for
that I insinuate, at toaze from thee thy Businesse, I am
therefore no Courtier? I am Courtier Cap-a-pe; and one
that will eyther push-on, or pluck-back, thy Businesse
there: whereupon I command thee to open thy Affaire.

Shep.
My Businesse, Sir, is to the King.

Aut.
What Aduocate ha'st thou to him?

Shep.
I know not (and't like you.)

Clo.
Aduocate's the Court-word for a Pheazant: say
you haue none.

Shep.
None, Sir: I haue no Pheazant Cock, nor Hen.

Aut.
How blessed are we, that are not simple men?
Yet Nature might haue made me as these are,
Therefore I will not disdaine.

Clo.
This cannot be but a great
Courtier.

Shep.
His Garments are rich, but he weares them not
handsomely.

Clo.
He seemes to be the more Noble, in being
fantasticall: A great man, Ile warrant; I know by the picking
on's Teeth.

Aut.
The Farthell there? What's i'th' Farthell? / Wherefore
that Box?

Shep.
Sir, there lyes such Secrets in this Farthell and
Box, which none must know but the King, and which hee
shall know within this houre, if I may come to th' speech
of him.

Aut.
Age, thou hast lost thy labour.

Shep.
Why Sir?

Aut.
The King is not at the Pallace, he is gone
aboord a new Ship, to purge Melancholy, and ayre himselfe:
for if thou bee'st capable of things serious, thou
must know the King is full of griefe.

Shep.
So 'tis said (Sir:) about his Sonne, that should
haue marryed a Shepheards Daughter.

Aut.
If that Shepheard be not in hand-fast, let him
flye; the Curses he shall haue, the Tortures he shall feele,
will breake the back of Man, the heart of Monster.

Clo.
Thinke you so, Sir?

Aut.
Not hee alone shall suffer what Wit can make
heauie, and Vengeance bitter; but those that are Iermaine
to him (though remou'd fiftie times) shall all come vnder
the Hang-man: which, though it be great pitty, yet it is
necessarie. An old Sheepe-whistling Rogue, a Ram-tender,
to offer to haue his Daughter come into grace? Some say
hee shall be ston'd: but that death is too soft for him (say
I:) Draw our Throne into a Sheep-Coat? all deaths are too
few, the sharpest too easie.

Clo.
Ha's the old-man ere a Sonne Sir (doe you heare) and't
like you, Sir?

Aut.
Hee ha's a Sonne: who shall be flayd aliue,
then 'noynted ouer with Honey, set on the head of a
Waspes Nest, then stand till he be three quarters and a
dram dead: then recouer'd againe with Aquavite, or
some other hot Infusion: then, raw as he is (and in the
hotest day Prognostication proclaymes) shall he be set
against a Brick-wall, (the Sunne looking with a South-ward
eye vpon him; where hee is to behold him, with Flyes
blown to death.) But what talke we of these Traitorly-
Rascals, whose miseries are to be smil'd at, their offences
being so capitall? Tell me (for you seeme to be honest
plaine men) what you haue to the King: being something
gently consider'd, Ile bring you where he is aboord,
tender your persons to his presence, whisper him in
your behalfes; and if it be in man, besides the King, to
effect your Suites, here is man shall doe it.

Clow.
He seemes to be of great authoritie: close with
him, giue him Gold; and though Authoritie be a stubborne
Beare, yet hee is oft led by the Nose with Gold: shew the
in-side of your Purse to the out-side of his hand, and no
more adoe. Remember ston'd, and flay'd aliue.

Shep.
And't please you (Sir) to vndertake the Businesse
for vs, here is that Gold I haue: Ile make it as much
more, and leaue this young man in pawne, till I bring it
you.

Aut.
After I haue done what I promised?

Shep.
I Sir.

Aut.
Well, giue me the Moitie:
Are you a partie in this Businesse?

Clow.
In some sort, Sir: but though my case be a pittifull
one, I hope I shall not be flayd out of it.

Aut.
Oh, that's the case of the Shepheards Sonne:
hang him, hee'le be made an example.

Clow.
Comfort, good comfort: We
must to the King, and shew our strange sights: he must
know 'tis none of your Daughter, nor my Sister: wee are
gone else. Sir, I will giue you as much as
this old man do's, when the Businesse is performed, and
remaine (as he sayes) your pawne till it be brought you.

Aut.
I will trust you. Walke before toward the Seaside,
goe on the right hand, I will but looke vpon the
Hedge, and follow you.

Clow.
We are bless'd, in this man: as I
may say, euen bless'd.

Shep.
Let's before, as he bids vs: he was prouided
to doe vs good.

Aut.
If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune
would not suffer mee: shee drops Booties in my mouth. I
am courted now with a double occasion: (Gold, and a
means to doe the Prince my Master good; which, who
knowes how that may turne backe to my aduancement?) I
will bring these two Moales, these blind-ones, aboord
him: if he thinke it fit to shoare them againe, and that the
Complaint they haue to the King, concernes him nothing,
let him call me Rogue, for being so farre officious, for I am
proofe against that Title, and what shame else belongs
to't: To him will I present them, there may be matter
in it.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Time, the Chorus

TIME
I that please some, try all; both joy and terror
Of good and bad; that makes and unfolds error,
Now take upon me, in the name of Time,
To use my wings. Impute it not a crime
To me or my swift passage that I slide
O'er sixteen years, and leave the growth untried
Of that wide gap, since it is in my power
To o'erthrow law, and in one self-born hour
To plant and o'erwhelm custom. Let me pass
The same I am ere ancient'st order was
Or what is now received. I witness to
The times that brought them in; so shall I do
To th' freshest things now reigning, and make stale
The glistering of this present, as my tale
Now seems to it. Your patience this allowing,
I turn my glass, and give my scene such growing
As you had slept between. Leontes leaving –
Th' effects of his fond jealousies so grieving
That he shuts up himself – imagine me,
Gentle spectators, that I now may be
In fair Bohemia; and remember well,
I mentioned a son o'th' King's, which Florizel
I now name to you; and with speed so pace
To speak of Perdita, now grown in grace
Equal with wond'ring. What of her ensues
I list not prophesy; but let Time's news
Be known when 'tis brought forth. A shepherd's daughter,
And what to her adheres, which follows after,
Is th' argument of Time. Of this allow,
If ever you have spent time worse ere now;
If never, yet that Time himself doth say
He wishes earnestly you never may.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Polixenes and Camillo

POLIXENES
I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more
importunate. 'Tis a sickness denying thee anything; a
death to grant this.

CAMILLO
It is fifteen years since I saw my country.
Though I have for the most part been aired abroad, I
desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent King,
my master, hath sent for me; to whose feeling sorrows I
might be some allay – or I o'erween to think so – which
is another spur to my departure.

POLIXENES
As thou lov'st me, Camillo, wipe not out the
rest of thy services by leaving me now. The need I have
of thee thine own goodness hath made. Better not to
have had thee than thus to want thee. Thou, having
made me businesses which none without thee can
sufficiently manage, must either stay to execute them
thyself or take away with thee the very services thou hast
done; which, if I have not enough considered – as too
much I cannot – to be more thankful to thee shall be my
study, and my profit therein the heaping friendships. Of
that fatal country, Sicilia, prithee speak no more, whose
very naming punishes me with the remembrance of that
penitent, as thou call'st him, and reconciled king, my
brother; whose loss of his most precious queen and
children are even now to be afresh lamented. Say to me,
when saw'st thou the Prince Florizel, my son? Kings
are no less unhappy, their issue not being gracious, than
they are in losing them when they have approved their
virtues.

CAMILLO
Sir, it is three days since I saw the Prince. What
his happier affairs may be are to me unknown; but I
have missingly noted he is of late much retired from
court, and is less frequent to his princely exercises than
formerly he hath appeared.

POLIXENES
I have considered so much, Camillo, and
with some care; so far that I have eyes under my service
which look upon his removedness, from whom I have
this intelligence: that he is seldom from the house of a
most homely shepherd – a man, they say, that from very
nothing, and beyond the imagination of his neighbours,
is grown into an unspeakable estate.

CAMILLO
I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a
daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended
more than can be thought to begin from such a cottage.

POLIXENES
That's likewise part of my intelligence, but, I
fear, the angle that plucks our son thither. Thou shalt
accompany us to the place, where we will, not appearing
what we are, have some question with the shepherd;
from whose simplicity I think it not uneasy to get the
cause of my son's resort thither. Prithee be my present
partner in this business, and lay aside the thoughts of
Sicilia.

CAMILLO
I willingly obey your command.

POLIXENES
My best Camillo! We must disguise
ourselves.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Autolycus, singing

AUTOLYCUS
When daffodils begin to peer,
With heigh, the doxy over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o'the year,
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.
The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
With heigh, the sweet birds O, how they sing!
Doth set my pugging tooth an edge,
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
The lark, that tirra-lyra chants,
With heigh, with heigh, the thrush and the jay,
Are summer songs for me and my aunts
While we lie tumbling in the hay.
I have served Prince Florizel, and in my time wore
three-pile; but now I am out of service.
But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?
The pale moon shines by night:
And when I wander here and there
I then do most go right.
If tinkers may have leave to live,
And bear the sow-skin budget,
Then my account I well may give,
And in the stocks avouch it.
My traffic is sheets; when the kite builds, look to lesser
linen. My father named me Autolycus, who, being, as I
am, littered under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up
of unconsidered trifles. With die and drab I purchased
this caparison, and my revenue is the silly cheat.
Gallows and knock are too powerful on the highway:
beating and hanging are terrors to me. For the life to come, I
sleep out the thought of it. A prize! A prize!
Enter Clown

CLOWN
Let me see: every 'leven wether tods, every tod
yields pound and odd shilling; fifteen hundred shorn,
what comes the wool to?

AUTOLYCUS
(aside)
If the springe hold, the cock's mine.

CLOWN
I cannot do't without counters. Let me see: what
am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three pound
of sugar, five pound of currants, rice – what will this
sister of mine do with rice? But my father hath made her
mistress of the feast, and she lays it on. She hath made
me four-and-twenty nosegays for the shearers,
three-man-song men all, and very good ones; but they are
most of them means and bases – but one Puritan
amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. I must
have saffron to colour the warden pies; mace; dates –
none, that's out of my note; nutmegs, seven; a race or
two of ginger, but that I may beg; four pound of prunes,
and as many of raisins o'th' sun.

AUTOLYCUS
(grovelling on the ground) O that ever I was
born!

CLOWN
I'th' name of me!

AUTOLYCUS
O, help me, help me! Pluck but off these
rags; and then, death, death!

CLOWN
Alack, poor soul! Thou hast need of more rags
to lay on thee, rather than have these off.

AUTOLYCUS
O sir, the loathsomeness of them offend me
more than the stripes I have received, which are mighty
ones and millions.

CLOWN
Alas, poor man! A million of beating may come
to a great matter.

AUTOLYCUS
I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and
apparel ta'en from me, and these detestable things put
upon me.

CLOWN
What, by a horseman or a footman?

AUTOLYCUS
A footman, sweet sir, a footman.

CLOWN
Indeed, he should be a footman, by the garments
he has left with thee. If this be a horseman's coat, it hath
seen very hot service. Lend me thy hand, I'll help thee.
Come, lend me thy hand.
He helps him up

AUTOLYCUS
O, good sir, tenderly, O!

CLOWN
Alas, poor soul!

AUTOLYCUS
O, good sir, softly, good sir! I fear, sir, my
shoulder-blade is out.

CLOWN
How now? Canst stand?

AUTOLYCUS
Softly, dear sir; (he picks his pockets) good
sir, softly. You ha' done me a charitable office.

CLOWN
Dost lack any money? I have a little money for
thee.

AUTOLYCUS
No, good, sweet sir; no, I beseech you, sir.
I have a kinsman not past three-quarters of a mile hence,
unto whom I was going. I shall there have money, or
anything I want. Offer me no money, I pray you: that
kills my heart.

CLOWN
What manner of fellow was he that robbed you?

AUTOLYCUS
A fellow, sir, that I have known to go about
with troll-my-dames. I knew him once a servant of the
Prince. I cannot tell, good sir, for which of his virtues it
was, but he was certainly whipped out of the court.

CLOWN
His vices, you would say. There's no virtue
whipped out of the court: they cherish it to make it stay
there; and yet it will no more but abide.

AUTOLYCUS
Vices I would say, sir. I know this man well.
He hath been since an ape-bearer; then a process-server,
a bailiff; then he compassed a motion of the Prodigal
Son, and married a tinker's wife within a mile where my
land and living lies; and having flown over many
knavish professions, he settled only in rogue. Some call
him Autolycus.

CLOWN
Out upon him! Prig, for my life, prig! He haunts
wakes, fairs, and bear-baitings.

AUTOLYCUS
Very true, sir; he, sir, he: that's the rogue
that put me into this apparel.

CLOWN
Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia. If you
had but looked big and spit at him, he'd have run.

AUTOLYCUS
I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter.
I am false of heart that way, and that he knew, I warrant
him.

CLOWN
How do you now?

AUTOLYCUS
Sweet sir, much better than I was: I can
stand and walk. I will even take my leave of you, and
pace softly towards my kinsman's.

CLOWN
Shall I bring thee on the way?

AUTOLYCUS
No, good-faced sir; no, sweet sir.

CLOWN
Then fare thee well. I must go buy spices for our
sheep-shearing.

AUTOLYCUS
Prosper you, sweet sir!
Exit Clown
Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your spice.
I'll be with you at your sheep-shearing too. If I make
not this cheat bring out another, and the shearers prove
sheep, let me be unrolled, and my name put in the book
of virtue! (sings)
Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
And merrily hent the stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Florizel and Perdita

FLORIZEL
These your unusual weeds to each part of you
Does 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.

PERDITA
Sir, my gracious lord,
To chide at your extremes it not becomes me –
O, pardon that I name them: your high self,
The gracious mark o'th' land, you have obscured
With a swain's wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
Most goddess-like pranked up. But that our feasts
In every mess have folly, and the feeders
Digest it with accustom, I should blush
To see you so attired, swoon, I think,
To show myself a glass.

FLORIZEL
I bless the time
When my good falcon made her flight across
Thy father's ground.

PERDITA
Now Jove afford you cause!
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 borrowed flaunts, behold
The sternness of his presence?

FLORIZEL
Apprehend
Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
Humbling their deities to love, have taken
The shapes of beasts upon them: Jupiter
Became a bull, and bellowed; 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.

PERDITA
O, but sir,
Your resolution cannot hold when 'tis
Opposed, as it must be, by th' 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.

FLORIZEL
Thou dearest Perdita,
With these forced thoughts, I prithee, darken not
The mirth o'th' feast. Or I'll be thine, my fair,
Or not my father's. For I cannot be
Mine own, nor anything 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 anything
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.

PERDITA
O lady Fortune,
Stand you auspicious!

FLORIZEL
See, your guests approach.
Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
And let's be red with mirth.
Enter Shepherd, with Polixenes and Camillo, disguised;
Clown, Mopsa, Dorcas, and others

SHEPHERD
Fie, daughter! When my old wife lived, upon
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'th' table, now i'th' 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'th' Feast. Come on,
And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
As your good flock shall prosper.

PERDITA
(to Polixenes)
Sir, welcome.
It is my father's will I should take on me
The hostess-ship o'th' day. (To Camillo) You'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!

POLIXENES
Shepherdess –
A fair one are you – well you fit our ages
With flowers of winter.

PERDITA
Sir, the year growing ancient,
Not yet on summer's death nor on the birth
Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o'th' season
Are our carnations and streaked gillyvors,
Which some call Nature's bastards; of that kind
Our rustic garden's barren, and I care not
To get slips of them.

POLIXENES
Wherefore, gentle maiden,
Do you neglect them?

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 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.

PERDITA
So it is.

POLIXENES
Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,
And do not call them bastards.

PERDITA
I'll not put
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, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed with' sun
And with him rises weeping; these are flowers
Of middle summer, and I think they are given
To men of middle age. Y'are very welcome.

CAMILLO
I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,
And only live by gazing.

PERDITA
Out, alas!
You'd be so lean that blasts of January
Would blow you through and through. (To Florizel)
I would I had some flowers o'th' spring, that might
Become your time of day – (to the Shepherdesses)
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
Bright 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!

FLORIZEL
What, like a corse?

PERDITA
No, like a bank for Love to lie and play on,
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.

FLORIZEL
What you do
Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet,
I'd have you do it ever; when you sing,
I'd have you buy and sell so, so give alms,
Pray so, and, for the ord'ring your affairs,
To sing them too; when you do dance, I wish you
A wave o'th' 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 deeds,
That all your acts are queens.

PERDITA
O Doricles,
Your praises are too large. But that your youth
And the true blood which peeps fairly through't
Do plainly give you out an unstained shepherd,
With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
You wooed me the false way.

FLORIZEL
I think you have
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.

PERDITA
I'll swear for 'em.

POLIXENES
This is the prettiest low-born lass that ever
Ran on the greensward: nothing she does or seems
But smacks of something greater than herself,
Too noble for this place.

CAMILLO
He tells her something
That makes her blood look out. Good sooth, she is
The queen of curds and cream.

CLOWN
Come on, strike up!

DORCAS
Mopsa must be your mistress. Marry, garlic to
mend her kissing with!

MOPSA
Now, in good time!

CLOWN
Not a word, a word: we stand upon our manners.
Come, strike up!
Music. A dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses

POLIXENES
Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
Which dances with your daughter?

SHEPHERD
They call him Doricles, and boasts himself
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.

POLIXENES
She dances featly.

SHEPHERD
So she does anything – though I report it,
That should be silent. If young Doricles
Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
Which he not dreams of.
Enter Servant

SERVANT
O master, if you did but hear the pedlar at the
door, you would never dance again after a tabor 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.

CLOWN
He could never come better; he shall come in. I
love a ballad but even too well, if it be doleful matter
merrily set down; or a very pleasant thing indeed, and
sung lamentably.

SERVANT
He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes:
no 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 burdens 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.’

POLIXENES
This is a brave fellow.

CLOWN
Believe me, thou talk'st of an admirable conceited
fellow. Has he any unbraided wares?

SERVANT
He hath ribbons of all the colours i'th' rainbow;
points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can
learnedly handle, though they come to him by th' 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 sleevehand
and the work about the square on't.

CLOWN
Prithee bring him in, and let him approach
singing.

PERDITA
Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words
in's tunes.
Exit Servant

CLOWN
You have of these pedlars that have more in them
than you'd think, sister.

PERDITA
Ay, good brother, or go about to think.
Enter Autolycus, singing

AUTOLYCUS
Lawn as white as driven snow;
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 coifs 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.

CLOWN
If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou shouldst
take no money of me; but being enthralled as I am, it
will also be the bondage of certain ribbons and gloves.

MOPSA
I was promised them against the feast, but they
come not too late now.

DORCAS
He hath promised you more than that, or there
be liars.

MOPSA
He hath paid you all he promised you; may be he
has paid you more, which will shame you to give him
again.

CLOWN
Is there no manners left among maids? Will they
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 of these secrets, but you must be
tittle-tattling before all our guests? 'Tis well they are
whisp'ring. Clamour your tongues, and not a word more.

MOPSA
I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry-lace
and a pair of sweet gloves.

CLOWN
Have I not told thee how I was cozened by the
way and lost all my money?

AUTOLYCUS
And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad:
therefore it behoves men to be wary.

CLOWN
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 a-life,
for then we are sure they are true.

AUTOLYCUS
Here's one to a very doleful tune, how a
usurer's wife was brought to bed of twenty money-bags
at a burden, and how she longed to eat adders' heads
and toads carbonadoed.

MOPSA
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 Mistress
Taleporter, and five or six honest wives that were present.
Why should I carry lies abroad?

MOPSA
Pray you now, buy it.

CLOWN
Come on, lay it by, and let's first see more ballads;
we'll buy the other things anon.

AUTOLYCUS
Here's another ballad, of a fish that appeared
upon the coast on Wednesday the fourscore 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.

DORCAS
Is it true too, think you?

AUTOLYCUS
Five justices' hands at it, and witnesses more
than my pack will hold.

CLOWN
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
to 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.

MOPSA
We can both sing it. If thou'lt bear a part, thou
shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.

DORCAS
We had the tune on't a month ago.

AUTOLYCUS
I can bear my part: you must know 'tis my
occupation. Have at it with you.
They sing

AUTOLYCUS
Get you hence, for I must go.
Where it fits not you to know.

DORCAS
Whither?

MOPSA
O whither?

DORCAS
Whither?

MOPSA
It becomes thy oath full well
Thou to me thy secrets tell.

DORCAS
Me too; let me go thither.

MOPSA
Or thou go'st to th' grange or mill.

DORCAS
If to either, thou dost ill.

AUTOLYCUS
Neither.

DORCAS
What, neither?

AUTOLYCUS
Neither.

DORCAS
Thou hast sworn my love to be.

MOPSA
Thou hast sworn it more to me.
Then whither go'st? Say, whither?

CLOWN
We'll have this song out anon by ourselves: my
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

AUTOLYCUS
And you shall pay well for 'em.
He follows them, singing
Will 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 fin'st, fin'st wear-a?
Come to the pedlar:
Money's a meddler
That doth utter all men's ware-a.
Exit
Enter Servant

SERVANT
Master, there is three carters, three shepherds,
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'th' mind, if it be not too rough
for some that know little but bowling it will please
plentifully.

SHEPHERD
Away! We'll none on't: here has been too
much homely foolery already. I know, sir, we weary you.

POLIXENES
You weary those that refresh us. Pray, let's
see these four threes of herdsmen.

SERVANT
One three of them, by their own report, sir,
hath danced before the King; and not the worst of the
three but jumps twelve foot and a half by th' square.

SHEPHERD
Leave your prating. Since these good men are
pleased, let them come in; but quickly now.

SERVANT
Why, they stay at door, sir.
He lets in the herdsmen, who perform their satyrs'
dance and depart

POLIXENES
(to Shepherd)
O, father, you'll know more of that hereafter.
(To Camillo) Is it not too far gone? 'Tis time to part them.
He's simple and tells much. (To Florizel) How 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 ransacked
The pedlar's silken treasury, and have poured 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.

FLORIZEL
Old sir, I know
She prizes not such trifles as these are:
The gifts she looks from me are packed and locked
Up in my heart, which I have given already,
But not delivered. O, hear me breathe my life
Before this ancient sir, whom, 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 fanned snow that's bolted
By th' northern blasts twice o'er –

POLIXENES
What follows this?
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.

FLORIZEL
Do, and be witness to't.

POLIXENES
And this my neighbour too?

FLORIZEL
And he, and more
Than he, and men; the earth, the heavens, and all:
That were I crowned 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.

POLIXENES
Fairly offered.

CAMILLO
This shows a sound affection.

SHEPHERD
But, my daughter,
Say you the like to him?

PERDITA
I cannot speak
So well, nothing so well; no, nor mean better.
By th' pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
The purity of his.

SHEPHERD
Take hands, a bargain!
And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to't.
I give my daughter to him, and will make
Her portion equal his.

FLORIZEL
O, that must be
I'th' 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.

SHEPHERD
Come, your hand;
And, daughter, yours.

POLIXENES
Soft, swain, awhile, beseech you.
Have you a father?

FLORIZEL
I have; but what of him?

POLIXENES
Knows he of this?

FLORIZEL
He neither does nor shall.

POLIXENES
Methinks a father
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?

FLORIZEL
No, good sir;
He has his health, and ampler strength indeed
Than most have of his age.

POLIXENES
By my white beard,
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.

FLORIZEL
I yield all this;
But for some other reasons, my grave sir,
Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
My father of this business.

POLIXENES
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 grieve
At knowing of thy choice.

FLORIZEL
Come, come, he must not.
Mark our contract.

POLIXENES
(removing his disguise)
Mark your divorce, young sir,
Whom son I dare not call: thou art too base
To be acknowledged. Thou a sceptre's heir,
That thus affects 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 cop'st with –

SHEPHERD
O, my heart!

POLIXENES
I'll have thy beauty scratched with briars and made
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.
Exit

PERDITA
Even here undone!
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. (To Florizel) 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.

CAMILLO
Why, how now, father!
Speak ere thou die'st.

SHEPHERD
I cannot speak nor think,
Nor dare to know that which I know. (To Florizel) 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. (To Perdita) 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.
Exit

FLORIZEL
Why look you so upon me?
I am but sorry, not afeard; delayed,
But nothing altered: what I was I am;
More straining on for plucking back, not following
My leash unwillingly.

CAMILLO
Gracious my lord,
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.

FLORIZEL
I not purpose it.
I think Camillo?

CAMILLO
Even he, my lord.

PERDITA
How often have I told you 'twould be thus!
How often said my dignity would last
But till 'twere known!

FLORIZEL
It cannot fail but by
The violation of my faith; and then
Let Nature crush the sides o'th' earth together
And mar the seeds within! Lift up thy looks.
From my succession wipe me, father, I
Am heir to my affection.

CAMILLO
Be advised.

FLORIZEL
I am, and by my fancy. If my reason
Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;
If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,
Do bid it welcome.

CAMILLO
This is desperate, sir.

FLORIZEL
So call it, but it does fulfil my vow:
I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may
Be thereat gleaned; 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've e'er been my father's honoured 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 who 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.

CAMILLO
O my lord,
I would your spirit were easier for advice,
Or stronger for your need.

FLORIZEL
Hark, Perdita –
(to Camillo) I'll hear you by and by.
He draws Perdita aside

CAMILLO
He's irremovable,
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.

FLORIZEL
Now, good Camillo,
I am so fraught with curious business that
I leave out ceremony.

CAMILLO
Sir, I think
You have heard of my poor services i'th' love
That I have borne your father?

FLORIZEL
Very nobly
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.

CAMILLO
Well, my lord,
If you may please to think I love the King,
And through him what's 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 forfend! – your ruin; marry her;
And, with my best endeavours in your absence,
Your discontenting father strive to qualify,
And bring him up to liking.

FLORIZEL
How, Camillo,
May this, almost a miracle, be done?
That I may call thee something more than man,
And after that trust to thee.

CAMILLO
Have you thought on
A place whereto you'll go?

FLORIZEL
Not any yet:
But as th' 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.

CAMILLO
Then list to me.
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'th' father's person; kisses the hands
Of your fresh princess; o'er and o'er divides him
'Twixt his unkindness and his kindness: th' one
He chides to hell and bids the other grow
Faster than thought or time.

FLORIZEL
Worthy Camillo,
What colour for my visitation shall I
Hold up before him?

CAMILLO
Sent by the King your father
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.

FLORIZEL
I am bound to you.
There is some sap in this.

CAMILLO
A cause more promising
Than a wild dedication of yourselves
To unpathed waters, undreamed 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
Affliction alters.

PERDITA
One of these is true:
I think affliction may subdue the cheek,
But not take in the mind.

CAMILLO
Yea? Say you so?
There shall not at your father's house these seven years
Be born another such.

FLORIZEL
My good Camillo,
She is as forward of her breeding as
She is i'th' rear' our birth.

CAMILLO
I cannot say 'tis pity
She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress
To most that teach.

PERDITA
Your pardon, sir; for this
I'll blush you thanks.

FLORIZEL
My prettiest Perdita!
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 furnished like Bohemia's son,
Nor shall appear in Sicilia.

CAMILLO
My lord,
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
Enter Autolycus

AUTOLYCUS
Ha, ha, what a fool Honesty is! And Trust,
his 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 would 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 hubbub
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

CAMILLO
Nay, but my letters, by this means being there
So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.

FLORIZEL
And those that you'll procure from King Leontes –

CAMILLO
Shall satisfy your father.

PERDITA
Happy be you!
All that you speak shows fair.

CAMILLO
(seeing Autolycus)
Who have we here?
We'll make an instrument of this, omit
Nothing may give us aid.

AUTOLYCUS
(aside)
If they have overheard me now –
why, hanging.

CAMILLO
How now, good fellow! Why shak'st thou so?
Fear not, man: here's no harm intended to thee.

AUTOLYCUS
I am a poor fellow, sir.

CAMILLO
Why, be so still: here's nobody will steal that
from 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.
He gives him money

AUTOLYCUS
I am a poor fellow, sir. (Aside) I know ye
well enough.

CAMILLO
Nay, prithee, dispatch. The gentleman is half
flayed already.

AUTOLYCUS
Are you in earnest, sir? (Aside) I smell the
trick on't.

FLORIZEL
Dispatch, I prithee.

AUTOLYCUS
Indeed, I have had earnest, but I cannot
with conscience take it.

CAMILLO
Unbuckle, unbuckle.
Florizel and Autolycus exchange garments
Fortunate 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
Get undescried.

PERDITA
I see the play so lies
That I must bear a part.

CAMILLO
No remedy.
Have you done there?

FLORIZEL
Should I now meet my father,
He would not call me son.

CAMILLO
Nay, you shall have no hat.
He gives the hat to Perdita
Come, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.

AUTOLYCUS
Adieu, sir.

FLORIZEL
O Perdita, what have we twain forgot!
Pray you, a word.

CAMILLO
(aside)
What I do next shall be to tell the King
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 re-view Sicilia, for whose sight
I have a woman's longing.

FLORIZEL
Fortune speed us!
Thus we set on, Camillo, to th' seaside.

CAMILLO
The swifter speed the better.
Exeunt Florizel, Perdita, and Camillo

AUTOLYCUS
I understand the business, I hear it. To have
an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand is necessary
for a cutpurse; a good nose is requisite also, to smell out
work for th' 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
anything 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.
Enter Clown and Shepherd
Aside, aside! Here is more matter for a hot brain. Every
lane's end, every shop, church, session, hanging, yields
a careful man work.

CLOWN
See, see, what a man you are now! There is no
other way but to tell the King she's a changeling and
none of your flesh and blood.

SHEPHERD
Nay, but hear me.

CLOWN
Nay, but hear me.

SHEPHERD
Go to, then.

CLOWN
She being none of your flesh and blood, your
flesh 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.

SHEPHERD
I will tell the King all, every word – yea, and
his 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.

CLOWN
Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest off you
could have been to him; and then your blood had been
the dearer by I know not how much an ounce.

AUTOLYCUS
(aside)
Very wisely, puppies!

SHEPHERD
Well, let us to the King. There is that in this
fardel will make him scratch his beard.

AUTOLYCUS
(aside)
I know not what impediment this
complaint may be to the flight of my master.

CLOWN
Pray heartily he be at palace.

AUTOLYCUS
(aside)
Though I am not naturally honest, I
am so sometimes by chance. Let me pocket up my
pedlar's excrement.
He takes off his false beard
How now, rustics! Whither are you bound?

SHEPHERD
To th' palace, an it like your worship.

AUTOLYCUS
Your affairs there, what, with whom, the
condition of that fardel, the place of your dwelling, your
names, your ages, of what having, breeding, and
anything that is fitting to be known, discover.

CLOWN
We are but plain fellows, sir.

AUTOLYCUS
A lie: you are rough and hairy. Let me have
no 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.

CLOWN
Your worship had like to have given us one, if
you had not taken yourself with the manner.

SHEPHERD
Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?

AUTOLYCUS
Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier.
Seest 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-odour from me? Reflect I not
on thy baseness court-contempt? Think'st thou, for
that I insinuate, to 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.

SHEPHERD
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
you have none.

SHEPHERD
None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor hen.

AUTOLYCUS
How blessed are we that are not simple men!
Yet Nature might have made me as these are:
Therefore I'll not disdain.

CLOWN
(aside to Shepherd)
This cannot be but a great
courtier.

SHEPHERD
His garments are rich, but he wears them not
handsomely.

CLOWN
He seems to be the more noble in being
fantastical. A great man, I'll warrant. I know by the picking
on's teeth.

AUTOLYCUS
The fardel there, what's i'th' fardel? Wherefore
that box?

SHEPHERD
Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and
box, which none must know but the King; and which he
shall know within this hour, if I may come to th' speech
of him.

AUTOLYCUS
Age, thou hast lost thy labour.

SHEPHERD
Why, sir?

AUTOLYCUS
The King is not at the palace; he is gone
aboard a new ship, to purge melancholy and air himself:
for, if thou be'st capable of things serious, thou
must know the King is full of grief.

SHEPHERD
So 'tis said, sir: about his son, that should
have married a shepherd's daughter.

AUTOLYCUS
If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him
fly: the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall feel,
will break the back of man, the heart of monster.

CLOWN
Think you so, sir?

AUTOLYCUS
Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make
heavy 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 sheepcote? All deaths are too
few, the sharpest too easy.

CLOWN
Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an't
like you, sir?

AUTOLYCUS
He has a son: who shall be flayed alive;
then, '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 he 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.

CLOWN
He seems to be of great authority. Close with
him, 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!

SHEPHERD
An't please you, sir, to undertake the business
for 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.

AUTOLYCUS
After I have done what I promised?

SHEPHERD
Ay, sir.

AUTOLYCUS
Well, give me the moiety. (To the Clown)
Are you a party in this business?

CLOWN
In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitiful
one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.

AUTOLYCUS
O, that's the case of the shepherd's son.
Hang him, he'll be made an example.

CLOWN
(aside to Shepherd)
Comfort, good comfort! We
must to the King and show our strange sights. He must
know 'tis none of your daughter, nor my sister; we are
gone else. (To Autolycus) 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.

AUTOLYCUS
I will trust you. Walk before toward the seaside;
go on the right hand: I will but look upon the
hedge, and follow you.

CLOWN
(aside to Shepherd)
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.
Exeunt Shepherd and Clown

AUTOLYCUS
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.
Exit
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL