The Winter’s Tale - Act 4, scene 4
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Act 4, scene 4
At the sheepshearing feast, Florizell and Perdita declare their love before the disguised Polixenes and Camillo. When Polixenes orders Florizell never to see Perdita again, the two decide to flee. Camillo, for his own ends, advises them to go to Sicilia. The shepherd and his son, seeking the king to protest their innocence, are steered by Autolycus to Florizell’s ship.Enter Florizell ⌜and⌝ Perdita.
1839 These your unusual weeds to each part of you
1840 Does give a life—no shepherdess, but Flora
1841 Peering in April’s front. This your sheep-shearing
1842 Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
1843 5 And you the queen on ’t.
PERDITA 1844 Sir, my gracious lord,
1845 To chide at your extremes it not becomes me;
1846 O, pardon that I name them! Your high self,
1847 The gracious mark o’ th’ land, you have obscured
1848 10 With a swain’s wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
1849 Most goddesslike pranked up. But that our feasts
1850 In every mess have folly, and the feeders
1851 Digest ⌜it⌝ with a custom, I should blush
1852 To see you so attired, ⌜swoon,⌝ I think,
1853 15 To show myself a glass.
FLORIZELL 1854 I bless the time
1855 When my good falcon made her flight across
1856 Thy father’s ground.
PERDITA 1857 Now Jove afford you cause.
1858 20 To me the difference forges dread. Your greatness
1860 To think your father by some accident
1861 Should pass this way as you did. O the Fates,
1862 How would he look to see his work, so noble,
1863 25 Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how
1864 Should I, in these my borrowed flaunts, behold
1865 The sternness of his presence?
FLORIZELL 1866 Apprehend
1867 Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
1868 30 Humbling their deities to love, have taken
1869 The shapes of beasts upon them. Jupiter
1870 Became a bull, and bellowed; the green Neptune
1871 A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god,
1872 Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,
1873 35 As I seem now. Their transformations
1874 Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,
1875 Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires
1876 Run not before mine honor, nor my lusts
1877 Burn hotter than my faith.
PERDITA 1878 40 O, but sir,
1879 Your resolution cannot hold when ’tis
1880 Opposed, as it must be, by th’ power of the King.
1881 One of these two must be necessities,
1882 Which then will speak: that you must change this
1883 45 purpose
1884 Or I my life.
FLORIZELL 1885 Thou dear’st Perdita,
1886 With these forced thoughts I prithee darken not
1887 The mirth o’ th’ feast. Or I’ll be thine, my fair,
1888 50 Or not my father’s. For I cannot be
1889 Mine own, nor anything to any, if
1890 I be not thine. To this I am most constant,
1891 Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle.
1892 Strangle such thoughts as these with anything
1893 55 That you behold the while. Your guests are coming.
1895 Of celebration of that nuptial which
1896 We two have sworn shall come.
PERDITA 1897 O Lady Fortune,
1898 60 Stand you auspicious!
FLORIZELL 1899 See, your guests approach.
1900 Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
1901 And let’s be red with mirth.
⌜Enter⌝ Shepherd, ⌜Shepherd’s Son,⌝ Mopsa, Dorcas,
⌜Shepherds and Shepherdesses,⌝ Servants, ⌜Musicians,
and⌝ Polixenes ⌜and⌝ Camillo ⌜in disguise.⌝
1902 Fie, daughter, when my old wife lived, upon
1903 65 This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
1904 Both dame and servant; welcomed all; served all;
1905 Would sing her song and dance her turn, now here
1906 At upper end o’ th’ table, now i’ th’ middle;
1907 On his shoulder, and his; her face afire
1908 70 With labor, and the thing she took to quench it
1909 She would to each one sip. You are retired
1910 As if you were a feasted one and not
1911 The hostess of the meeting. Pray you bid
1912 These unknown friends to ’s welcome, for it is
1913 75 A way to make us better friends, more known.
1914 Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
1915 That which you are, mistress o’ th’ feast. Come on,
1916 And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
1917 As your good flock shall prosper.
PERDITA, ⌜to Polixenes⌝ 1918 80 Sir, welcome.
1919 It is my father’s will I should take on me
1920 The hostess-ship o’ th’ day. ⌜To Camillo.⌝ You’re
1921 welcome, sir.—
1922 Give me those flowers there, Dorcas.—Reverend
1923 85 sirs,
1925 Seeming and savor all the winter long.
1926 Grace and remembrance be to you both,
1927 And welcome to our shearing.
POLIXENES 1928 90 Shepherdess—
1929 A fair one are you—well you fit our ages
1930 With flowers of winter.
PERDITA 1931 Sir, the year growing ancient,
1932 Not yet on summer’s death nor on the birth
1933 95 Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o’ th’ season
1934 Are our carnations and streaked gillyvors,
1935 Which some call nature’s bastards. Of that kind
1936 Our rustic garden’s barren, and I care not
1937 To get slips of them.
POLIXENES 1938 100 Wherefore, gentle maiden,
1939 Do you neglect them?
PERDITA 1940 For I have heard it said
1941 There is an art which in their piedness shares
1942 With great creating nature.
POLIXENES 1943 105 Say there be;
1944 Yet nature is made better by no mean
1945 But nature makes that mean. So, over that art
1946 Which you say adds to nature is an art
1947 That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
1948 110 A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
1949 And make conceive a bark of baser kind
1950 By bud of nobler race. This is an art
1951 Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
1952 The art itself is nature.
PERDITA 1953 115 So it is.
1954 Then make ⌜your⌝ garden rich in gillyvors,
1955 And do not call them bastards.
PERDITA 1956 I’ll not put
1957 The dibble in earth to set one slip of them,
1959 This youth should say ’twere well, and only
1961 Desire to breed by me. Here’s flowers for you:
1962 Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram,
1963 125 The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ th’ sun
1964 And with him rises weeping. These are flowers
1965 Of middle summer, and I think they are given
1966 To men of middle age. You’re very welcome.
1967 I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,
1968 130 And only live by gazing.
PERDITA 1969 Out, alas!
1970 You’d be so lean that blasts of January
1971 Would blow you through and through. (⌜To
Florizell.⌝) 1972 Now, my fair’st friend,
1973 135 I would I had some flowers o’ th’ spring, that might
1974 Become your time of day, (⌜to the Shepherdesses⌝)
1975 and yours, and yours,
1976 That wear upon your virgin branches yet
1977 Your maidenheads growing. O Proserpina,
1978 140 For the flowers now that, frighted, thou let’st fall
1979 From Dis’s wagon! Daffodils,
1980 That come before the swallow dares, and take
1981 The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
1982 But sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes
1983 145 Or Cytherea’s breath; pale primroses,
1984 That die unmarried ere they can behold
1985 Bright Phoebus in his strength—a malady
1986 Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and
1987 The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,
1988 150 The flower-de-luce being one—O, these I lack
1989 To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
1990 To strew him o’er and o’er.
FLORIZELL 1991 What, like a corse?
1992 No, like a bank for love to lie and play on,
1993 155 Not like a corse; or if, not to be buried,
1994 But quick and in mine arms. Come, take your
1996 Methinks I play as I have seen them do
1997 In Whitsun pastorals. Sure this robe of mine
1998 160 Does change my disposition.
FLORIZELL 1999 What you do
2000 Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet,
2001 I’d have you do it ever. When you sing,
2002 I’d have you buy and sell so, so give alms,
2003 165 Pray so; and for the ord’ring your affairs,
2004 To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you
2005 A wave o’ th’ sea, that you might ever do
2006 Nothing but that, move still, still so,
2007 And own no other function. Each your doing,
2008 170 So singular in each particular,
2009 Crowns what you are doing in the present deeds,
2010 That all your acts are queens.
PERDITA 2011 O Doricles,
2012 Your praises are too large. But that your youth
2013 175 And the true blood which peeps fairly through ’t
2014 Do plainly give you out an unstained shepherd,
2015 With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
2016 You wooed me the false way.
FLORIZELL 2017 I think you have
2018 180 As little skill to fear as I have purpose
2019 To put you to ’t. But come, our dance, I pray.
2020 Your hand, my Perdita. So turtles pair
2021 That never mean to part.
PERDITA 2022 I’ll swear for ’em.
POLIXENES, ⌜to Camillo⌝
2023 185 This is the prettiest lowborn lass that ever
2024 Ran on the greensward. Nothing she does or seems
2025 But smacks of something greater than herself,
2026 Too noble for this place.
2028 190 That makes her blood look ⌜out.⌝ Good sooth, she is
2029 The queen of curds and cream.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Musicians⌝ 2030 Come on, strike up.
2031 Mopsa must be your mistress? Marry, garlic
2032 To mend her kissing with.
MOPSA 2033 195 Now, in good time!
2034 Not a word, a word. We stand upon our manners.—
2035 Come, strike up. ⌜Music begins.⌝
Here a Dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses.
2036 Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
2037 Which dances with your daughter?
2038 200 They call him Doricles, and boasts himself
2039 To have a worthy feeding. But I have it
2040 Upon his own report, and I believe it.
2041 He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter.
2042 I think so too, for never gazed the moon
2043 205 Upon the water as he’ll stand and read,
2044 As ’twere, my daughter’s eyes. And, to be plain,
2045 I think there is not half a kiss to choose
2046 Who loves another best.
POLIXENES 2047 She dances featly.
2048 210 So she does anything, though I report it
2049 That should be silent. If young Doricles
2050 Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
2051 Which he not dreams of.
Enter ⌜a⌝ Servant.
SERVANT 2052 O, master, if you did but hear the peddler at
2053 215 the door, you would never dance again after a tabor
2054 and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you. He
2056 utters them as he had eaten ballads and all men’s
2057 ears grew to his tunes.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2058 220He could never come better. He shall
2059 come in. I love a ballad but even too well if it be
2060 doleful matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant
2061 thing indeed and sung lamentably.
SERVANT 2062 He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes.
2063 225 No milliner can so fit his customers with gloves. He
2064 has the prettiest love songs for maids, so without
2065 bawdry, which is strange, with such delicate burdens
2066 of dildos and fadings, “Jump her and thump
2067 her.” And where some stretch-mouthed rascal
2068 230 would, as it were, mean mischief and break a foul
2069 gap into the matter, he makes the maid to answer
2070 “Whoop, do me no harm, good man”; puts him off,
2071 slights him, with “Whoop, do me no harm, good
POLIXENES 2073 235This is a brave fellow.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2074 Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable
2075 conceited fellow. Has he any unbraided
SERVANT 2077 He hath ribbons of all the colors i’ th’ rainbow;
2078 240 points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia
2079 can learnedly handle, though they come to him by
2080 th’ gross; inkles, caddises, cambrics, lawns—why,
2081 he sings ’em over as they were gods or goddesses.
2082 You would think a smock were a she-angel, he so
2083 245 chants to the sleeve-hand and the work about the
2084 square on ’t.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2085 Prithee bring him in, and let him
2086 approach singing.
PERDITA 2087 Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words
2088 250 in ’s tunes.⌜Servant exits.⌝
SHEPHERD’S SON 2089 You have of these peddlers that have
2090 more in them than you’d think, sister.
Enter Autolycus, ⌜wearing a false beard,⌝ singing.
2092 Lawn as white as driven snow,
2093 255 Cypress black as e’er was crow,
2094 Gloves as sweet as damask roses,
2095 Masks for faces and for noses,
2096 Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
2097 Perfume for a lady’s chamber,
2098 260 Golden coifs and stomachers
2099 For my lads to give their dears,
2100 Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
2101 What maids lack from head to heel,
2102 Come buy of me, come. Come buy, come buy.
2103 265 Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry.
2104 Come buy.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2105 If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou
2106 shouldst take no money of me; but being enthralled
2107 as I am, it will also be the bondage of certain
2108 270 ribbons and gloves.
MOPSA 2109 I was promised them against the feast, but they
2110 come not too late now.
DORCAS 2111 He hath promised you more than that, or there
2112 be liars.
MOPSA 2113 275He hath paid you all he promised you. Maybe
2114 he has paid you more, which will shame you to give
2115 him again.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2116 Is there no manners left among
2117 maids? Will they wear their plackets where they
2118 280 should bear their faces? Is there not milking time,
2119 when you are going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle
2120 of these secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling
2121 before all our guests? ’Tis well they are whisp’ring.
2122 Clamor your tongues, and not a word more.
2124 lace and a pair of sweet gloves.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2125 Have I not told thee how I was cozened
2126 by the way and lost all my money?
AUTOLYCUS 2127 And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad;
2128 290 therefore it behooves men to be wary.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2129 Fear not thou, man. Thou shalt lose
2130 nothing here.
AUTOLYCUS 2131 I hope so, sir, for I have about me many
2132 parcels of charge.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2133 295What hast here? Ballads?
MOPSA 2134 Pray now, buy some. I love a ballad in print
2135 alife, for then we are sure they are true.
AUTOLYCUS 2136 Here’s one to a very doleful tune, how a
2137 usurer’s wife was brought to bed of twenty moneybags
2138 300 at a burden, and how she longed to eat adders’
2139 heads and toads carbonadoed.
MOPSA 2140 Is it true, think you?
AUTOLYCUS 2141 Very true, and but a month old.
DORCAS 2142 Bless me from marrying a usurer!
AUTOLYCUS 2143 305Here’s the midwife’s name to ’t, one Mistress
2144 Taleporter, and five or six honest wives that
2145 were present. Why should I carry lies abroad?
MOPSA, ⌜to Shepherd’s Son⌝ 2146 Pray you now, buy it.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Autolycus⌝ 2147 Come on, lay it by, and
2148 310 let’s first see more ballads. We’ll buy the other
2149 things anon.
AUTOLYCUS 2150 Here’s another ballad, of a fish that appeared
2151 upon the coast on Wednesday the fourscore
2152 of April, forty thousand fathom above water, and
2153 315 sung this ballad against the hard hearts of maids. It
2154 was thought she was a woman, and was turned into
2155 a cold fish for she would not exchange flesh with
2156 one that loved her. The ballad is very pitiful, and as
DORCAS 2158 320Is it true too, think you?
2160 more than my pack will hold.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2161 Lay it by too. Another.
AUTOLYCUS 2162 This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty
2163 325 one.
MOPSA 2164 Let’s have some merry ones.
AUTOLYCUS 2165 Why, this is a passing merry one and goes
2166 to the tune of “Two Maids Wooing a Man.” There’s
2167 scarce a maid westward but she sings it. ’Tis in
2168 330 request, I can tell you.
MOPSA 2169 We can both sing it. If thou ’lt bear a part, thou
2170 shalt hear; ’tis in three parts.
DORCAS 2171 We had the tune on ’t a month ago.
AUTOLYCUS 2172 I can bear my part. You must know ’tis my
2173 335 occupation. Have at it with you.
AUTOLYCUS 2174 Get you hence, for I must go
2175 Where it fits not you to know.
DORCAS 2176 Whither?
MOPSA 2177 O, whither?
DORCAS 2178 340 Whither?
MOPSA 2179 It becomes thy oath full well
2180 Thou to me thy secrets tell.
DORCAS 2181 Me too. Let me go thither.
MOPSA 2182 Or thou goest to th’ grange or mill.
DORCAS 2183 345 If to either, thou dost ill.
AUTOLYCUS 2184 Neither.
DORCAS 2185 What, neither?
AUTOLYCUS 2186 Neither.
DORCAS 2187 Thou hast sworn my love to be.
MOPSA 2188 350 Thou hast sworn it more to me.
2189 Then whither goest? Say whither.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2190 We’ll have this song out anon by
2191 ourselves. My father and the gentlemen are in sad
2193 355 thy pack after me.—Wenches, I’ll buy for you
2194 both.—Peddler, let’s have the first choice.—Follow
2195 me, girls.
⌜He exits with Mopsa, Dorcas, Shepherds and
AUTOLYCUS 2196 And you shall pay well for ’em.
2197 Will you buy any tape,
2198 360 Or lace for your cape,
2199 My dainty duck, my dear-a?
2200 Any silk, any thread,
2201 Any toys for your head,
2202 Of the new’st and fin’st, fin’st wear-a?
2203 365 Come to the peddler.
2204 Money’s a meddler
2205 That doth utter all men’s ware-a.
⌜Enter a Servant.⌝
SERVANT, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2206 Master, there is three carters,
2207 three shepherds, three neatherds, three swineherds,
2208 370 that have made themselves all men of hair.
2209 They call themselves saultiers, and they have a
2210 dance which the wenches say is a gallimaufry of
2211 gambols, because they are not in ’t, but they themselves
2212 are o’ th’ mind, if it be not too rough for
2213 375 some that know little but bowling, it will please
SHEPHERD 2215 Away! We’ll none on ’t. Here has been too
2216 much homely foolery already.—I know, sir, we
2217 weary you.
POLIXENES 2218 380You weary those that refresh us. Pray, let’s
2219 see these four threes of herdsmen.
2221 hath danced before the King, and not the worst of
2222 the three but jumps twelve foot and a half by th’
2223 385 square.
SHEPHERD 2224 Leave your prating. Since these good men
2225 are pleased, let them come in—but quickly now.
SERVANT 2226 Why, they stay at door, sir.
⌜He admits the herdsmen.⌝
Here a Dance of twelve ⌜herdsmen, dressed as⌝ Satyrs.
⌜Herdsmen, Musicians, and Servants exit.⌝
POLIXENES, ⌜to Shepherd⌝
2227 O father, you’ll know more of that hereafter.
2228 390 ⌜Aside to Camillo.⌝ Is it not too far gone? ’Tis time to
2229 part them.
2230 He’s simple, and tells much. ⌜To Florizell.⌝ How now,
2231 fair shepherd?
2232 Your heart is full of something that does take
2233 395 Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
2234 And handed love, as you do, I was wont
2235 To load my she with knacks. I would have ransacked
2236 The peddler’s silken treasury and have poured it
2237 To her acceptance. You have let him go
2238 400 And nothing marted with him. If your lass
2239 Interpretation should abuse and call this
2240 Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
2241 For a reply, at least if you make a care
2242 Of happy holding her.
FLORIZELL 2243 405 Old sir, I know
2244 She prizes not such trifles as these are.
2245 The gifts she looks from me are packed and locked
2246 Up in my heart, which I have given already,
2247 But not delivered. ⌜To Perdita.⌝ O, hear me breathe
2248 410 my life
2249 Before this ancient sir, ⌜who,⌝ it should seem,
2251 As soft as dove’s down and as white as it,
2252 Or Ethiopian’s tooth, or the fanned snow that’s
2253 415 bolted
2254 By th’ northern blasts twice o’er.
POLIXENES 2255 What follows this?—
2256 How prettily th’ young swain seems to wash
2257 The hand was fair before.—I have put you out.
2258 420 But to your protestation. Let me hear
2259 What you profess.
FLORIZELL 2260 Do, and be witness to ’t.
2261 And this my neighbor too?
FLORIZELL 2262 And he, and more
2263 425 Than he, and men—the Earth, the heavens, and
2265 That were I crowned the most imperial monarch,
2266 Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth
2267 That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge
2268 430 More than was ever man’s, I would not prize them
2269 Without her love; for her employ them all,
2270 Commend them and condemn them to her service
2271 Or to their own perdition.
POLIXENES 2272 Fairly offered.
2273 435 This shows a sound affection.
SHEPHERD 2274 But my daughter,
2275 Say you the like to him?
PERDITA 2276 I cannot speak
2277 So well, nothing so well, no, nor mean better.
2278 440 By th’ pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
2279 The purity of his.
SHEPHERD 2280 Take hands, a bargain.—
2281 And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to ’t:
2282 I give my daughter to him and will make
2283 445 Her portion equal his.
2285 I’ th’ virtue of your daughter. One being dead,
2286 I shall have more than you can dream of yet,
2287 Enough then for your wonder. But come on,
2288 450 Contract us fore these witnesses.
SHEPHERD 2289 Come, your hand—
2290 And daughter, yours.
POLIXENES, ⌜To Florizell⌝ 2291 Soft, swain, awhile, beseech
2293 455 Have you a father?
FLORIZELL 2294 I have, but what of him?
2295 Knows he of this?
FLORIZELL 2296 He neither does nor shall.
POLIXENES 2297 Methinks a father
2298 460 Is at the nuptial of his son a guest
2299 That best becomes the table. Pray you once more,
2300 Is not your father grown incapable
2301 Of reasonable affairs? Is he not stupid
2302 With age and alt’ring rheums? Can he speak? Hear?
2303 465 Know man from man? Dispute his own estate?
2304 Lies he not bedrid, and again does nothing
2305 But what he did being childish?
FLORIZELL 2306 No, good sir.
2307 He has his health and ampler strength indeed
2308 470 Than most have of his age.
POLIXENES 2309 By my white beard,
2310 You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
2311 Something unfilial. Reason my son
2312 Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason
2313 475 The father, all whose joy is nothing else
2314 But fair posterity, should hold some counsel
2315 In such a business.
FLORIZELL 2316 I yield all this;
2317 But for some other reasons, my grave sir,
2319 My father of this business.
POLIXENES 2320 Let him know ’t.
2321 He shall not.
POLIXENES 2322 Prithee let him.
FLORIZELL 2323 485 No, he must not.
2324 Let him, my son. He shall not need to grieve
2325 At knowing of thy choice.
FLORIZELL 2326 Come, come, he must not.
2327 Mark our contract.
POLIXENES, ⌜removing his disguise⌝ 2328 490 Mark your divorce,
2329 young sir,
2330 Whom son I dare not call. Thou art too base
2331 To be ⌜acknowledged.⌝ Thou a scepter’s heir
2332 That thus affects a sheep-hook!—Thou, old traitor,
2333 495 I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
2334 But shorten thy life one week.—And thou, fresh
2336 Of excellent witchcraft, whom of force must know
2337 The royal fool thou cop’st with—
SHEPHERD 2338 500 O, my heart!
2339 I’ll have thy beauty scratched with briers and made
2340 More homely than thy state.—For thee, fond boy,
2341 If I may ever know thou dost but sigh
2342 That thou no more shalt see this knack—as never
2343 505 I mean thou shalt—we’ll bar thee from succession,
2344 Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
2345 ⌜Far’r⌝ than Deucalion off. Mark thou my words.
2346 Follow us to the court. ⌜To Shepherd.⌝ Thou, churl,
2347 for this time,
2348 510 Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
2349 From the dead blow of it.—And you, enchantment,
2350 Worthy enough a herdsman—yea, him too,
2352 Unworthy thee—if ever henceforth thou
2353 515 These rural latches to his entrance open,
2354 Or ⌜hoop⌝ his body more with thy embraces,
2355 I will devise a death as cruel for thee
2356 As thou art tender to ’t.He exits.
PERDITA 2357 Even here undone.
2358 520 I was not much afeard, for once or twice
2359 I was about to speak and tell him plainly
2360 The selfsame sun that shines upon his court
2361 Hides not his visage from our cottage but
2362 Looks on alike. ⌜To Florizell.⌝ Will ’t please you, sir,
2363 525 be gone?
2364 I told you what would come of this. Beseech you,
2365 Of your own state take care. This dream of mine—
2366 Being now awake, I’ll queen it no inch farther,
2367 But milk my ewes and weep.
CAMILLO, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2368 530 Why, how now, father?
2369 Speak ere thou diest.
SHEPHERD 2370 I cannot speak, nor think,
2371 Nor dare to know that which I know. ⌜To Florizell.⌝
2372 O sir,
2373 535 You have undone a man of fourscore three,
2374 That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea,
2375 To die upon the bed my father died,
2376 To lie close by his honest bones; but now
2377 Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me
2378 540 Where no priest shovels in dust. ⌜To Perdita.⌝ O
2379 cursèd wretch,
2380 That knew’st this was the Prince, and wouldst
2382 To mingle faith with him!—Undone, undone!
2383 545 If I might die within this hour, I have lived
2384 To die when I desire.He exits.
FLORIZELL, ⌜to Perdita⌝ 2385 Why look you so upon me?
2386 I am but sorry, not afeard; delayed,
2388 550 More straining on for plucking back, not following
2389 My leash unwillingly.
CAMILLO 2390 Gracious my lord,
2391 You know ⌜your⌝ father’s temper. At this time
2392 He will allow no speech, which I do guess
2393 555 You do not purpose to him; and as hardly
2394 Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear.
2395 Then, till the fury of his Highness settle,
2396 Come not before him.
FLORIZELL 2397 I not purpose it.
2398 560 I think Camillo?
CAMILLO, ⌜removing his disguise⌝ 2399 Even he, my lord.
PERDITA, ⌜to Florizell⌝
2400 How often have I told you ’twould be thus?
2401 How often said my dignity would last
2402 But till ’twere known?
FLORIZELL 2403 565 It cannot fail but by
2404 The violation of my faith; and then
2405 Let nature crush the sides o’ th’ Earth together
2406 And mar the seeds within. Lift up thy looks.
2407 From my succession wipe me, father. I
2408 570 Am heir to my affection.
CAMILLO 2409 Be advised.
2410 I am, and by my fancy. If my reason
2411 Will thereto be obedient, I have reason.
2412 If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,
2413 575 Do bid it welcome.
CAMILLO 2414 This is desperate, sir.
2415 So call it; but it does fulfill my vow.
2416 I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
2417 Not for Bohemia nor the pomp that may
2418 580 Be thereat gleaned, for all the sun sees or
2419 The close earth wombs or the profound seas hides
2421 To this my fair beloved. Therefore, I pray you,
2422 As you have ever been my father’s honored friend,
2423 585 When he shall miss me, as in faith I mean not
2424 To see him anymore, cast your good counsels
2425 Upon his passion. Let myself and fortune
2426 Tug for the time to come. This you may know
2427 And so deliver: I am put to sea
2428 590 With her who here I cannot hold on shore.
2429 And most opportune to ⌜our⌝ need I have
2430 A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared
2431 For this design. What course I mean to hold
2432 Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
2433 595 Concern me the reporting.
CAMILLO 2434 O my lord,
2435 I would your spirit were easier for advice
2436 Or stronger for your need.
FLORIZELL 2437 Hark, Perdita.—
2438 600 I’ll hear you by and by.
⌜Florizell and Perdita walk aside.⌝
CAMILLO 2439 He’s irremovable,
2440 Resolved for flight. Now were I happy if
2441 His going I could frame to serve my turn,
2442 Save him from danger, do him love and honor,
2443 605 Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia
2444 And that unhappy king, my master, whom
2445 I so much thirst to see.
FLORIZELL, ⌜coming forward⌝ 2446 Now, good Camillo,
2447 I am so fraught with curious business that
2448 610 I leave out ceremony.
CAMILLO 2449 Sir, I think
2450 You have heard of my poor services i’ th’ love
2451 That I have borne your father?
FLORIZELL 2452 Very nobly
2453 615 Have you deserved. It is my father’s music
2455 To have them recompensed as thought on.
CAMILLO 2456 Well, my
2458 620 If you may please to think I love the King
2459 And, through him, what’s nearest to him, which is
2460 Your gracious self, embrace but my direction,
2461 If your more ponderous and settled project
2462 May suffer alteration. On mine honor,
2463 625 I’ll point you where you shall have such receiving
2464 As shall become your Highness, where you may
2465 Enjoy your mistress—from the whom I see
2466 There’s no disjunction to be made but by,
2467 As heavens forfend, your ruin—marry her,
2468 630 And with my best endeavors in your absence,
2469 Your discontenting father strive to qualify
2470 And bring him up to liking.
FLORIZELL 2471 How, Camillo,
2472 May this, almost a miracle, be done,
2473 635 That I may call thee something more than man,
2474 And after that trust to thee?
CAMILLO 2475 Have you thought on
2476 A place whereto you’ll go?
FLORIZELL 2477 Not any yet.
2478 640 But as th’ unthought-on accident is guilty
2479 To what we wildly do, so we profess
2480 Ourselves to be the slaves of chance, and flies
2481 Of every wind that blows.
CAMILLO 2482 Then list to me.
2483 645 This follows: if you will not change your purpose
2484 But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia,
2485 And there present yourself and your fair princess,
2486 For so I see she must be, ’fore Leontes.
2487 She shall be habited as it becomes
2488 650 The partner of your bed. Methinks I see
2490 His welcomes forth, asks thee, ⌜the⌝ son, forgiveness,
2491 As ’twere i’ th’ father’s person; kisses the hands
2492 Of your fresh princess; o’er and o’er divides him
2493 655 ’Twixt his unkindness and his kindness. Th’ one
2494 He chides to hell and bids the other grow
2495 Faster than thought or time.
FLORIZELL 2496 Worthy Camillo,
2497 What color for my visitation shall I
2498 660 Hold up before him?
CAMILLO 2499 Sent by the King your father
2500 To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,
2501 The manner of your bearing towards him, with
2502 What you, as from your father, shall deliver,
2503 665 Things known betwixt us three, I’ll write you down,
2504 The which shall point you forth at every sitting
2505 What you must say, that he shall not perceive
2506 But that you have your father’s bosom there
2507 And speak his very heart.
FLORIZELL 2508 670 I am bound to you.
2509 There is some sap in this.
CAMILLO 2510 A course more promising
2511 Than a wild dedication of yourselves
2512 To unpathed waters, undreamed shores, most
2513 675 certain
2514 To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
2515 But as you shake off one to take another;
2516 Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
2517 Do their best office if they can but stay you
2518 680 Where you’ll be loath to be. Besides, you know
2519 Prosperity’s the very bond of love,
2520 Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
2521 Affliction alters.
PERDITA 2522 One of these is true.
2523 685 I think affliction may subdue the cheek
2524 But not take in the mind.
2526 There shall not at your father’s house these seven
2528 690 Be born another such.
FLORIZELL 2529 My good Camillo,
2530 She’s as forward of her breeding as she is
2531 I’ th’ rear our birth.
CAMILLO 2532 I cannot say ’tis pity
2533 695 She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress
2534 To most that teach.
PERDITA 2535 Your pardon, sir. For this
2536 I’ll blush you thanks.
FLORIZELL 2537 My prettiest Perdita.
2538 700 But O, the thorns we stand upon!—Camillo,
2539 Preserver of my father, now of me,
2540 The medicine of our house, how shall we do?
2541 We are not furnished like Bohemia’s son,
2542 Nor shall appear in Sicilia.
CAMILLO 2543 705 My lord,
2544 Fear none of this. I think you know my fortunes
2545 Do all lie there. It shall be so my care
2546 To have you royally appointed as if
2547 The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,
2548 710 That you may know you shall not want, one word.
⌜They step aside and talk.⌝
AUTOLYCUS 2549 Ha, ha, what a fool Honesty is! And Trust,
2550 his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I have
2551 sold all my trumpery. Not a counterfeit stone, not a
2552 ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table book, ballad,
2553 715 knife, tape, glove, shoe tie, bracelet, horn ring,
2554 to keep my pack from fasting. They throng who
2555 should buy first, as if my trinkets had been hallowed
2556 and brought a benediction to the buyer; by which
2557 means I saw whose purse was best in picture, and
2559 clown, who wants but something to be a reasonable
2560 man, grew so in love with the wenches’ song that he
2561 would not stir his pettitoes till he had both tune and
2562 words, which so drew the rest of the herd to me that
2563 725 all their other senses stuck in ears. You might have
2564 pinched a placket, it was senseless; ’twas nothing to
2565 geld a codpiece of a purse. I ⌜could⌝ have ⌜filed⌝
2566 keys off that hung in chains. No hearing, no feeling,
2567 but my sir’s song and admiring the nothing of it. So
2568 730 that in this time of lethargy I picked and cut most of
2569 their festival purses. And had not the old man come
2570 in with a hubbub against his daughter and the
2571 King’s son, and scared my choughs from the chaff, I
2572 had not left a purse alive in the whole army.
⌜Camillo, Florizell, and Perdita come forward.⌝
CAMILLO, ⌜to Florizell⌝
2573 735 Nay, but my letters, by this means being there
2574 So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.
2575 And those that you’ll procure from King Leontes—
2576 Shall satisfy your father.
PERDITA 2577 Happy be you!
2578 740 All that you speak shows fair.
CAMILLO, ⌜noticing Autolycus⌝ 2579 Who have we here?
2580 We’ll make an instrument of this, omit
2581 Nothing may give us aid.
2582 If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.
CAMILLO 2583 745How now, good fellow? Why shak’st thou so?
2584 Fear not, man. Here’s no harm intended to thee.
AUTOLYCUS 2585 I am a poor fellow, sir.
CAMILLO 2586 Why, be so still. Here’s nobody will steal that
2587 from thee. Yet for the outside of thy poverty we
2589 instantly—thou must think there’s a necessity in
2590 ’t—and change garments with this gentleman.
2591 Though the pennyworth on his side be the worst,
2592 yet hold thee, there’s some boot.
⌜He hands Autolycus money.⌝
AUTOLYCUS 2593 755I am a poor fellow, sir. ⌜Aside.⌝ I know you
2594 well enough.
CAMILLO 2595 Nay, prithee, dispatch. The gentleman is half
2596 flayed already.
AUTOLYCUS 2597 Are you in earnest, sir? ⌜Aside.⌝ I smell the
2598 760 trick on ’t.
FLORIZELL 2599 Dispatch, I prithee.
AUTOLYCUS 2600 Indeed, I have had earnest, but I cannot
2601 with conscience take it.
CAMILLO 2602 Unbuckle, unbuckle.
⌜Florizell and Autolycus exchange garments.⌝
2603 765 Fortunate mistress—let my prophecy
2604 Come home to you!—you must retire yourself
2605 Into some covert. Take your sweetheart’s hat
2606 And pluck it o’er your brows, muffle your face,
2607 Dismantle you, and, as you can, disliken
2608 770 The truth of your own seeming, that you may—
2609 For I do fear eyes over—to shipboard
2610 Get undescried.
PERDITA 2611 I see the play so lies
2612 That I must bear a part.
CAMILLO 2613 775 No remedy.—
2614 Have you done there?
FLORIZELL 2615 Should I now meet my father,
2616 He would not call me son.
CAMILLO 2617 Nay, you shall have no hat.
⌜He gives Florizell’s hat to Perdita.⌝
2618 780 Come, lady, come.—Farewell, my friend.
AUTOLYCUS 2619 Adieu, sir.
2620 O Perdita, what have we twain forgot?
2621 Pray you, a word.⌜They talk aside.⌝
2622 What I do next shall be to tell the King
2623 785 Of this escape, and whither they are bound;
2624 Wherein my hope is I shall so prevail
2625 To force him after, in whose company
2626 I shall re-view Sicilia, for whose sight
2627 I have a woman’s longing.
FLORIZELL 2628 790 Fortune speed us!—
2629 Thus we set on, Camillo, to th’ seaside.
CAMILLO 2630 The swifter speed the better.
⌜Camillo, Florizell, and Perdita⌝ exit.
AUTOLYCUS 2631 I understand the business; I hear it. To have
2632 an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand is
2633 795 necessary for a cutpurse; a good nose is requisite
2634 also, to smell out work for th’ other senses. I see this
2635 is the time that the unjust man doth thrive. What an
2636 exchange had this been without boot! What a boot
2637 is here with this exchange! Sure the gods do this
2638 800 year connive at us, and we may do anything extempore.
2639 The Prince himself is about a piece of iniquity,
2640 stealing away from his father with his clog at his
2641 heels. If I thought it were a piece of honesty to
2642 acquaint the King withal, I would not do ’t. I hold it
2643 805 the more knavery to conceal it, and therein am I
2644 constant to my profession.
Enter ⌜Shepherd’s Son⌝ and Shepherd, ⌜carrying the
bundle and the box.⌝
2645 Aside, aside! Here is more matter for a hot brain.
2646 Every lane’s end, every shop, church, session, hanging,
2647 yields a careful man work.⌜He moves aside.⌝
2649 you are now! There is no other way but to tell the
2650 King she’s a changeling and none of your flesh and
SHEPHERD 2652 Nay, but hear me.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2653 815Nay, but hear me!
SHEPHERD 2654 Go to, then.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2655 She being none of your flesh and
2656 blood, your flesh and blood has not offended the
2657 King, and so your flesh and blood is not to be
2658 820 punished by him. Show those things you found
2659 about her, those secret things, all but what she has
2660 with her. This being done, let the law go whistle, I
2661 warrant you.
SHEPHERD 2662 I will tell the King all, every word, yea, and
2663 825 his son’s pranks too; who, I may say, is no honest
2664 man, neither to his father nor to me, to go about to
2665 make me the King’s brother-in-law.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2666 Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest
2667 off you could have been to him, and then your
2668 830 blood had been the dearer by I know how much an
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜aside⌝ 2670 Very wisely, puppies.
SHEPHERD 2671 Well, let us to the King. There is that in this
2672 fardel will make him scratch his beard.
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜aside⌝ 2673 835I know not what impediment this
2674 complaint may be to the flight of my master.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2675 Pray heartily he be at’ palace.
AUTOLYCUS, ⌜aside⌝ 2676 Though I am not naturally honest,
2677 I am so sometimes by chance. Let me pocket up my
2678 840 peddler’s excrement. (⌜He removes his false beard.⌝)
2679 How now, rustics, whither are you bound?
SHEPHERD 2680 To th’ palace, an it like your Worship.
AUTOLYCUS 2681 Your affairs there? What, with whom, the
2682 condition of that fardel, the place of your dwelling,
2684 and anything that is fitting to be known, discover!
SHEPHERD’S SON 2685 We are but plain fellows, sir.
AUTOLYCUS 2686 A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me have
2687 no lying. It becomes none but tradesmen, and they
2688 850 often give us soldiers the lie, but we pay them for it
2689 with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; therefore
2690 they do not give us the lie.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2691 Your Worship had like to have given
2692 us one, if you had not taken yourself with the
2693 855 manner.
SHEPHERD 2694 Are you a courtier, an ’t like you, sir?
AUTOLYCUS 2695 Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier.
2696 Seest thou not the air of the court in these enfoldings?
2697 Hath not my gait in it the measure of the
2698 860 court? Receives not thy nose court odor from me?
2699 Reflect I not on thy baseness court contempt?
2700 Think’st thou, for that I insinuate ⌜and⌝ toze from
2701 thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier? I am
2702 courtier cap-a-pie; and one that will either push on
2703 865 or pluck back thy business there. Whereupon I
2704 command thee to open thy affair.
SHEPHERD 2705 My business, sir, is to the King.
AUTOLYCUS 2706 What advocate hast thou to him?
SHEPHERD 2707 I know not, an ’t like you.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜aside to Shepherd⌝ 2708 870Advocate’s the
2709 court word for a pheasant. Say you have none.
SHEPHERD, ⌜to Autolycus⌝ 2710 None, sir. I have no pheasant,
2711 cock nor hen.
2712 How blest are we that are not simple men!
2713 875 Yet Nature might have made me as these are.
2714 Therefore I will not disdain.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2715 This cannot be but a
2716 great courtier.
2718 880 not handsomely.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2719 He seems to be the more noble in
2720 being fantastical. A great man, I’ll warrant. I know
2721 by the picking on ’s teeth.
AUTOLYCUS 2722 The fardel there. What’s i’ th’ fardel?
2723 885 Wherefore that box?
SHEPHERD 2724 Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and
2725 box which none must know but the King, and
2726 which he shall know within this hour if I may come
2727 to th’ speech of him.
AUTOLYCUS 2728 890Age, thou hast lost thy labor.
SHEPHERD 2729 Why, sir?
AUTOLYCUS 2730 The King is not at the palace. He is gone
2731 aboard a new ship to purge melancholy and air
2732 himself, for, if thou beest capable of things serious,
2733 895 thou must know the King is full of grief.
SHEPHERD 2734 So ’tis said, sir—about his son, that should
2735 have married a shepherd’s daughter.
AUTOLYCUS 2736 If that shepherd be not in handfast, let him
2737 fly. The curses he shall have, the tortures he shall
2738 900 feel, will break the back of man, the heart of
SHEPHERD’S SON 2740 Think you so, sir?
AUTOLYCUS 2741 Not he alone shall suffer what wit can
2742 make heavy and vengeance bitter; but those that are
2743 905 germane to him, though removed fifty times, shall
2744 all come under the hangman—which, though it be
2745 great pity, yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling
2746 rogue, a ram tender, to offer to have his daughter
2747 come into grace! Some say he shall be stoned, but
2748 910 that death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne
2749 into a sheepcote? All deaths are too few, the sharpest
2750 too easy.
SHEPHERD’S SON 2751 Has the old man e’er a son, sir, do you
2752 hear, an ’t like you, sir?
2754 ’nointed over with honey, set on the head of a
2755 wasps’-nest; then stand till he be three-quarters and
2756 a dram dead, then recovered again with aqua vitae
2757 or some other hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and
2758 920 in the hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall
2759 he be set against a brick wall, the sun looking with a
2760 southward eye upon him, where he is to behold him
2761 with flies blown to death. But what talk we of these
2762 traitorly rascals, whose miseries are to be smiled at,
2763 925 their offenses being so capital? Tell me—for you
2764 seem to be honest plain men—what you have to the
2765 King. Being something gently considered, I’ll bring
2766 you where he is aboard, tender your persons to his
2767 presence, whisper him in your behalfs; and if it be
2768 930 in man besides the King to effect your suits, here is
2769 man shall do it.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2770 He seems to be of
2771 great authority. Close with him, give him gold; and
2772 though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft
2773 935 led by the nose with gold. Show the inside of your
2774 purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado.
2775 Remember: “stoned,” and “flayed alive.”
SHEPHERD, ⌜to Autolycus⌝ 2776 An ’t please you, sir, to
2777 undertake the business for us, here is that gold I
2778 940 have. I’ll make it as much more, and leave this
2779 young man in pawn till I bring it you.
AUTOLYCUS 2780 After I have done what I promised?
SHEPHERD 2781 Ay, sir.
AUTOLYCUS 2782 Well, give me the moiety. ⌜Shepherd hands
him money.⌝ 2783 945Are you a party in this business?
SHEPHERD’S SON 2784 In some sort, sir; but though my case
2785 be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.
AUTOLYCUS 2786 O, that’s the case of the shepherd’s son!
2787 Hang him, he’ll be made an example.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2788 950Comfort, good comfort.
2790 sights. He must know ’tis none of your daughter nor
2791 my sister. We are gone else.—Sir, I will give you as
2792 much as this old man does when the business is
2793 955 performed, and remain, as he says, your pawn till it
2794 be brought you.
AUTOLYCUS 2795 I will trust you. Walk before toward the
2796 seaside. Go on the right hand. I will but look upon
2797 the hedge, and follow you.
SHEPHERD’S SON, ⌜to Shepherd⌝ 2798 960We are blessed in this
2799 man, as I may say, even blessed.
SHEPHERD 2800 Let’s before, as he bids us. He was provided
2801 to do us good.⌜Shepherd and his son exit.⌝
AUTOLYCUS 2802 If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune
2803 965 would not suffer me. She drops booties in my
2804 mouth. I am courted now with a double occasion:
2805 gold, and a means to do the Prince my master good;
2806 which who knows how that may turn back to my
2807 advancement? I will bring these two moles, these
2808 970 blind ones, aboard him. If he think it fit to shore
2809 them again and that the complaint they have to the
2810 King concerns him nothing, let him call me rogue
2811 for being so far officious, for I am proof against that
2812 title and what shame else belongs to ’t. To him will I
2813 975 present them. There may be matter in it.