« PreviousContinue »
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 not he bed-rid? and again does nothing
But what he did, being childish?
No, good sir;
FLO. He has his health, and ampler strength indeed Than most have of his age.
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
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.
Let him know't.
Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was Thereof most worthy; were I the fairest youth
And handed love as you do, I was wont
To load my she with knacks: I would have ransack'd
The pedler's silken treasury, and have pour'd it
Old sir, I know
She prizes not such trifles as these are:
The gifts she looks from me are pack'd and lock'd
As soft as dove's down, and as white as it,
How prettily the young swain seems to wash
More than was ever man's, --I would not prize them,
SHEP. Let him, my son; he shall not need to
I mean thou shalt) we'll bar thee from succession ;
I was not much afeard: for once or twice
I told you what would come of this: beseech you,
I cannot speak, nor think, Nor dare to know that which I know.-O, Sir, [To FLORIZEL.
You have undone a man of fourscore three,
To mingle faith with him!-Undone ! undone !
[Exit. Why look you so upon me? I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd,
He neither does nor shall. But nothing alter'd: what I was, I am;
POL. Methinks a father.
That best becomes the table. Pray you, once more;
Gracious my lord,
This is desperate, sir.
FLO. 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 hide
In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath
With her, whom here I cannot hold on shore;
A vessel rides fast by, but not prepar'd
For this design. What course I mean to hold
O, my lord,
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.
But undergo this flight,-make for Sicilia ;
The partner of your bed. Methinks, I see
I am bound to you:
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. FLO. There is some sap in this. CAM. 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 loth to be: besides, you know, Prosperity's the very bond of love,
Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
One of these is true :
I think affliction may subdue the cheek,
Your pardon, sir; for this
CAM. I cannot say, 'tis pity She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress To most that teach. PER. I'll blush you thanks. FLO. 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.
Fear none of this: I think you know my fortunes
AUT. 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 riband, glass, pomander, brooch, table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, hornring, 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 cod-piece 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 whoobub 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. [CAM., FLO., and PER. come forward. CAM. Nay, but my letters, by this means being
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 the other senses. I see this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive. What an exchange had this been without boot! what a boot is here with this exchange! Sure, the gods do this year connive at us, and we may do 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. --Aside, aside !—here is more matter for a hot brain every lane's end, every shop, church, session, hanging, yields a careful man work.
Enter Clown and Shepherd.
CLO. 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 hear me. CLO. Nay, but hear me. SHEP. Go to, then.
CLO. She being none of your flesh and blood, So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt. your flesh and blood has not offended the king; and FLO. And those that you'll procure from king so your flesh and blood is not to be punished by him. LeontesCAM. Shall satisfy your father. PER.
All that you speak shows fair. CAM.
Happy be you! Who have we here?— [Seeing AUTOLYCUS. We'll make an instrument of this; omit Nothing may give us aid.
AUT. [Aside.] If they have overheard me now, -why, hanging.
CAM. How now, good fellow! why shakest thou so? Fear not, man; here's no harm intended to thee.
AUT. I am a poor fellow, sir.
CAM. 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. AUT. I am a poor fellow, sir. [Aside.] I know ye well enough.
CAM. Nay, pr'ythee, dispatch the gentleman is half flayed already.
AUT. Are you in earnest, sir?-[Aside.] I smell the trick on't.
FLO. Dispatch, I pr'ythee.
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.
SHEP. 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.
CLO. 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. AUT. [Aside.] Very wisely, puppies! SHEP. Well, let us to the king; there is that in this fardel 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 palace.
AUT. Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance :-let me pocket up my pedler's excrement.-[Aside. Taking off his false beard.] How now, rustics! whither are you bound ?
SHEP. To the palace, an it like your worship. AUT. 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. CLO. We are but plain fellows, sir.
AUT. A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me have no lying; it becomes none but tradesmen, and AUT. Indeed, I have had earnest; but I cannot they often give us soldiers the lie but we pay them with conscience take it.
for it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; therefore they do not give us the lie.
CLO. Your worship had like to have given us one, if you had not taken yourself with the manner. SHEP. Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir? AUT. Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier. See'st 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 ? Thinkest thou, for that I insinuate, or toze from thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier? I am courtier cap-a-pè: and one that will either push on or pluck back thy business there: whereupon I command thee to open thy affair.
SHEP. My business, sir, is to the king.
CLO. [Aside to the Shepherd.] Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant; say, you have none. SHEP. None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor
AUT. How bless'd are we that are not simple
Yet nature might have made me as these are,
CLO. This cannot be but a great courtier. SHEP. His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomely.
CLO. He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical: : a great man, I'll warrant; I know by the picking on's teeth.
AUT. The fardel there? what's i' the fardel? Wherefore that box?
SHEP. 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 the speech of him.
AUT. Age, thou hast lost thy labour.
AUT. 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.
SHEP. So 'tis said, sir,---about his son, that should have married a shepherd's daughter.
AUT. 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
CLO. Think you so, sir?
AUT. 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 sheepwhistling rogue, a ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into grace! Some say, he shall be stoned; but that death is too soft for him, say I: draw our throne into a sheep-cote! all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.
CI.O. Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an't like you, sir?
AUT. 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 aquavitæ, or some other hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and in the hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall 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.
CLO. 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!
SHEP. 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.
AUT. After I have done what I promised?
AUT. Well, give me the moiety.-Are you a party
in this business?
CLO. In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it. AUT. O, that's the case of the shepherd's son ;hang him, he'll be made an example.
CLO. 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.
AUT. 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.
CLO. We are blessed in this man, as I may say, even blessed.
SHEP. Let's before, as he bids us : he was provided to do us good. [Exeunt Shepherd and Clown. AUT. 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.
Enter LEONTES, CLEOMENES, DION, PAULINA, and others.
CLEO. Sir, you have done enough, and have perform'd
A saint-like sorrow: no fault could you make,
True, too true, my lord: If, one by one, you wedded all the world, Or from the all that are took something good, To make a perfect woman, she, you kill'd, Would be unparallel'd.
I think so.
Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
For has not the divine Apollo said,
Is't not the tenor of his oracle,
That king Leontes shall not have an heir
Till his lost child be found? which that it shall,
Is all as monstrous to our human reason,
As my Antigonus to break his grave,
Had squar'd me to thy counsel !-then, even now,
And left them More rich for what they yielded. LEON. Thou speak'st truth. No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse,
To see her in your arms.
My true Paulina, We shall not marry till thou bidd'st us.
Will have your tongue too. This is a creature,
How! not women?
GENT. Women will love her, that she is a
More worth than any man; men, that she is
LEON. Pr'ythee, no more; cease; thou know'st, He dies to me again when talk'd of: sure, When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches Will bring me to consider that which may Unfurnish me of reason. -They are come.
CLEO. Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil.
Shall be when your first queen's again in breath; Never till then.
Enter a Gentleman.
GENT. One that gives out himself prince Florizel,
His very air, that I should call you brother,
What with him? he comes not And your fair princess,-goddess !-O, alas!
That e'er the sun shone bright on.
O, Hermione, As every present time doth boast itself Above a better gone, so must thy grave Give way to what's seen now. Sir, you yourself Have said, and writ so, (but your writing now Is colder than that theme,) She had not been, Nor was not to be equall'd;-thus your verse Flow'd with her beauty once; 'tis shrewdly ebb'd, To say you have seen a better.
Pardon, madam; The one I have almost forgot; (your pardon) The other, when she has obtain'd your eye,
I lost a couple, that 'twixt heaven and earth
His wish'd ability, he had himself
The lands and waters 'twixt your throne and his
So rarely kind, are as interpreters
Of my behind-hand slackness !-Welcome hither,
She came from Libya. LEON.
Good my lord, Where the warlike Smalus, That noble honour'd lord, is fear'd and lov'd?
FLO. Most royal sir, from thence; from him, whose daughter
His tears proclaim'd his, parting with her: thence
I have from your Sicilian shores dismiss'd;
Who for Bohemia bend, to signify
But my arrival, and my wife's, in safety
Do climate here! You have a holy father,
A graceful gentleman; against whose person,
For which the heavens, taking angry note,
[speed, by your good father's I am sorry,
Most sorry, you have broken from his liking,
SCENE II.-The same. Before the Palace of
Enter AUTOLYCUS and a Gentleman. AUT. Beseech you, sir, were you present at this relation?
GENT. I was by at the opening of the fardel; heard the old shepherd deliver the manner how he found it whereupon, after a little amazedness, we were all commanded out of the chamber; only this, methought I heard the shepherd say he found the child.
AUT. I would most gladly know the issue of it. GENT. I make a broken delivery of the business; -but the changes I perceived in the king and Camillo were very notes of admiration: they seemed almost, with staring on one another, to tear the cases of their eyes; there was speech in their dumbness, language in their very gesture; they looked as they had heard of a world ransomed, or one destroyed: a notable passion of wonder appeared in them; but the wisest beholder, that knew no more but seeing, could not say if the importance were joy or sorrow, -but in the extremity of the one it must needs be. -Here comes a gentleman that happily knows more: Enter ROGERO.
How goes it now, sir? this news, which is called true, is so like an old tale, that the verity of it is in strong suspicion: has the king found his heir?
STEW. Most true, if ever truth were pregnant by circumstance: that which you hear you'll swear you see, there is such unity in the proofs. The mantle of queen Hermione's ;-her jewel about the neck of it; --the letters of Antigonus, found with it, which they know to be his character;-the majesty of the crea ture, in resemblance of the mother;-the affection of nobleness, which nature shows above her breeding; --and many other evidences, proclaim her with all certainty to be the king's daughter. Did you see the meeting of the two kings?
STEW. Then have you lost a sight, which was to be seen, cannot be spoken of. There might you have beheld one joy crown another, so and in such manner, that it seemed sorrow wept to take leave of them,for their joy waded in tears. There was casting up of eyes, holding up of hands, with countenance of such distraction, that they were to be known by gar ment, not by favour. Our king, being ready to leap out of himself for joy of his found daughter, as if that joy were now become a loss, cries, O, thy mother, thy mother! then asks Bohemia forgiveness; then embraces his son-in-law; then again worries he his daughter with clipping her; now he thanks the old shepherd, which stands by like a weather-bitten conduit of many kings' reigns. I never heard of such another encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undoes description to do it.
ROG. What, pray you, became of Antignous, that carried hence the child?
STEW. Like an old tale still, which will have matter to rehearse, though credit be asleep, and not an ear open. He was torn to pieces with a bear: this avouches the shepherd's son; who has not only his innocence (which seems much) to justify him, but a handkerchief and rings of his, that Paulina knows.
GENT. What became of his bark and his followers?
STEW. Wrecked the same instant of their master's death, and in the view of the shepherd: so that all the instruments which aided to expose the child, were even then lost when it was found. But, O, the noble combat that, 'twixt joy and sorrow, was fought in Paulina! She had one eye declined for the loss of her husband, another elevated that the oracle was fulfilled she lifted the princess from the earth; and so locks her in embracing, as if she would pin her to her heart, that she might no more be in danger of losing.
GENT. The dignity of this act was worth the audience of kings and princes; for by such was it acted.
STEW. One of the prettiest touches of all, and that which angled for mine eyes, (caught the water,