ACT IV
Scene 4
 

Bohemia. The SHEPHERD'S cottage

Enter FLORIZEL and PERDITA

FLORIZEL
These your unusual weeds to each part of you
Do give a life- no shepherdess, but Flora
Peering in April's front. This your sheep-shearing
Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
And you the Queen on't.

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 obscur'd
With a swain's wearing; and me, poor lowly maid,
Most goddess-like prank'd up. But that our feasts
In every mess have folly, and the feeders
Digest it with a custom, I should blush
To see you so attir'd; 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 us'd 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 bellow'd; the green Neptune
A ram and bleated; and the fire-rob'd 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
Oppos'd, as it must be, by th' pow'r 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 forc'd 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 any thing
That you behold the while. Your guests are coming.
Lift up your countenance, as it were the day
Of celebration of that nuptial which
We two have sworn shall come.

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, with OTHERS

SHEPHERD
Fie, daughter! When my old wife liv'd, upon
This day she was both pantler, butler, cook;
Both dame and servant; welcom'd all; serv'd 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 flow'rs 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 flow'rs of winter.

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

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 flow'rs for you:
Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;
The marigold, that goes to bed wi' th' sun,
And with him rises weeping; these are flow'rs
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. Now, my fair'st friend,
I would I had some flow'rs o' th' spring that might
Become your time of day- and yours, and yours,
That wear upon your virgin branches yet
Your maidenheads growing. O Proserpina,
From 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 flow'r-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 flow'rs.
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 unstain'd shepherd,
With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
You woo'd 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 green-sward; 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]

Here 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 gaz'd 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 any thing; 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 a 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-mouth'd 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 talkest 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 she-angel, he so chants to the
sleeve-hand 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

Lawn as white as driven snow;
Cypress black as e'er was crow;
Gloves as sweet as damask roses;
Masks for faces and for noses;
Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
Perfume for a lady's chamber;
Golden quoifs and stomachers,
For my lads to give their dears;
Pins and poking-sticks of steel-
What maids lack from head to heel.
Come, buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry.
Come, buy.

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

MOPSA
I was promis'd them against the feast; but they come not too
late now.

DORCAS
He hath promis'd you more than that, or there be liars.

MOPSA
He hath paid you all he promis'd 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
off these secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling before all our
guests? 'Tis well they are whisp'ring. Clammer your tongues, and
not a word more.

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

CLOWN
Have I not told thee how I was cozen'd 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
long'd to eat adders' heads and toads carbonado'd.

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 moe 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 turn'd into a cold
fish for she would not exchange flesh with one that lov'd 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
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.

SONG

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 goest 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 goest? 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.

Exit AUTOLYCUS, 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.

Re-enter SERVANT

SERVANT
Master, there is three carters, three shepherds, three
neat-herds, three swineherds, that have made themselves all men
of hair; they call themselves Saltiers, and they have 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 danc'd
before the King; and not the worst of the three but jumps twelve
foot and a half by th' squier.

SHEPHERD
Leave your prating; since these good men are pleas'd, let
them come in; but quickly now.

SERVANT
Why, they stay at door, sir.

Exit

Here a dance of twelve SATYRS

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 ransack'd
The pedlar's silken treasury and have pour'd it
To her acceptance: you have let him go
And nothing marted with him. If your lass
Interpretation should abuse and call this
Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
For a reply, at least if you make a care
Of happy holding her.

FLORIZEL
Old sir, I know
She prizes not such trifles as these are.
The gifts she looks from me are pack'd and lock'd
Up in my heart, which I have given already,
But not deliver'd. O, hear me breathe my life
Before this ancient sir, whom, it should seem,
Hath sometime lov'd. I take thy hand- this hand,
As soft as dove's down and as white as it,
Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd snow that's bolted
By 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 crown'd the most imperial monarch,
Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth
That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge
More than was ever man's, I would not prize them
Without her love; for her employ them all;
Commend them and condemn them to her service
Or to their own perdition.

POLIXENES
Fairly offer'd.

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 alt'ring 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
[Discovering himself] Mark your divorce, young sir,
Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base
To be acknowledg'd- 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 scratch'd with briers 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,
Farre 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 self-same 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 diest.

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 liv'd
To die when I desire.

Exit

FLORIZEL
Why look you so upon me?
I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd,
But nothing alt'red. 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 advis'd.

FLORIZEL
I am- and by my fancy; if my reason
Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;
If not, my senses, better pleas'd 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 glean'd, for all the sun sees or
The close earth wombs, or the profound seas hides
In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath
To this my fair belov'd. Therefore, I pray you,
As you have ever been my father's honour'd friend,
When he shall miss me- as, in faith, I mean not
To see him any more- cast your good counsels
Upon his passion. Let myself and Fortune
Tug for the time to come. This you may know,
And so deliver: I am put to sea
With her who here I cannot hold on shore.
And most opportune to her need I have
A vessel rides fast by, but not prepar'd
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.

[Takes her aside]

[To CAMILLO] I'll hear you by and by.

CAMILLO
He's irremovable,
Resolv'd 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 deserv'd. It is my father's music
To speak your deeds; not little of his care
To have them recompens'd 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 there '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 course more promising
Than a wild dedication of yourselves
To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores, most certain
To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
But as you shake off one to take another;
Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
Do their best office if they can but stay you
Where you'll be loath to be. Besides, you know
Prosperity's the very bond of love,
Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
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 o' 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 furnish'd 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]

Re-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 rememb'red. 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 pinch'd a placket, it was senseless; 'twas nothing to geld a
codpiece of a purse; I would have fil'd 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 pick'd and
cut most of their festival purses; and had not the old man come
in with whoobub against his daughter and the King's son and
scar'd 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. [Giving money]

AUTOLYCUS
I am a poor fellow, sir. [Aside] I know ye well
enough.

CAMILLO
Nay, prithee dispatch. The gentleman is half flay'd
already.

AUTOLYCUS
Are you in camest, 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.

[Giving it to PERDITA]

Come, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.

AUTOLYCUS
Adieu, sir.

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

[They converse apart]

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' sea-side.

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
cut-purse; 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.

Re-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 punish'd 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
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.
[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, that 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 the 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 will not disdain.

CLOWN
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
remov'd 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 ston'd; but that
death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne into a
sheep-cote!- all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.

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 flay'd 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 recover'd 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
smil'd 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 consider'd, 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- ston'd and flay'd
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. 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 flay'd out of it.

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

CLOWN
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. 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 sea-side; go on
the right-hand; I will but look upon the hedge, and follow you.

CLOWN
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