Page images

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 tu my affection.

Leon. Be advis'd-
Flor' lam, and by my fancy; if my reason
Will thereto be obedient, I have reason ;
If not, my senses, better pleas’d with madness,
Did bid it welcome.

Leon. This is desp'rate, Sir!

Flor. So call it; but it does fulfil my vow;
I needs must think it honesty; my heart
Is anchor'd here, as rooted as the rocks,
Who stand the raging of the roaring deep,
Immoveable, and fix'd let it come on.
I'll brave the tempest !

Perd. Be patient. Doricles

Leon. Passion transports you, prince; be calm a while,
Nor scorn my ear's and council, but attend;
My lowly seeming, and this outward garment,
Butill denote my quality and office
Trust to my words, tho' myst'ry obscures 'em
I know the king your father, and if time,
And many accidents (cease foolish tears)
Have not effac'd my image from his breast,
Perhaps he'll listen to me-l am sorry,
Most sorry, you have broken from his liking,
Where you were ty'd in duty; and as sorry
Your choise is not so rich in worth as heauty,
That you might well enjoy her-Prince, you know
Prosperity's the very bond of love,
Whose fresh complexion, and whose heart together,
AMiction alters.

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

Leon. Yea, say you so ?
There shall not at your father's house, these sev’n years,
Be born another such.

Flor. O reverend Sir! As you

wou'd wish a child of your own youth To meet his happiness in love, speak for me ; Remember, since you ow'd no more to time


Than I do now; and with thought of like affections,
Step forth my advocate.

Leon. You touch me deep,
Deep, to the quick, sweet prince; alas ! alas !
I lost a daughter, that 'twixt heav'n and earth
Might thus have stood begetting wonder, as
You lovely maiden does-of that no more ;-
I'll to the king your father--this our compact
Your honour not o'erthrown by your desires,
I am a friend to them and you.

[Exit Leontes and Cleomines.
Flor. Dear, look up;
Tho' fortune, visible an enemy,
Shou'd chase us with my father; power, no jot
Hath she to change our loves.

Perd, Alas, my lord,
Bethink yourself as I do me, Heav'n knows,
All faults I make, when I do come to know 'em
I do repent-Alas! I've shewn too much
A maiden's simpleness; I have betray'd,
Unwittingly divorc'd a noble prince
From a dear father's love; have caus'd him sell
His present hunour, aud his hop'd reversion.
For a poor sheep-hook, and its lowly mistress,
Of lesser price than that_beseech you, Sir,
Of your own state lake care, drown the remembrance
Of me; my father's cott; and these poor beauties
Wrong'd by your praise too often.

Flor. My Perdita,
How sweetly dost thou plead against thyself?
Let us retire, my love-again I swear,
Not for Bobemia, nor the pomp that may
Bo there. out-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,
To thee, my fair betroth'd with thee I'll fly
From stormy regions and a low'sing sky;
Where no base views our purer minds shall move;
And all our wealth be innocence and love.


[blocks in formation]


'OW fortune drops into the mouth of the diligent

man see, if I be not transform'd courtier again four silken gamesters, who attended the king, and were revelling by themselves, at some distance from the shepherd's, have drank so plenteously, that their weak brains are turn'd topsy turvy I have found one of 'em, an old court comrade of mine, retir'd from the rest, sobering himself with sleep under the shade of a hawthorn; I made use of our antient familiarity to exchange garments with him; the ped. lar's cloaths are on his back, and the pack by his side, as empty as his pockets, for I have sold all my trumpery; not a counterfeit stone, nor a ribband, glass, pomander, browch, table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn; they throng'd who shou'd buy first, as if my trinkets had been hallow'd, 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 remember'd-my good Clown (who wants but something to be a reasonable man) grew so in love with the wenches song, that he wou'd not stir his pettitoes till he had tune and words, which so drew the rest of the herd to me, that all their other senses stuck in ears: no hearing, no feeling, but my Sir's song, and admiring the nothing of it. I pick’d and cut most of their festival purses; and had not the old man come in with a whoo-bub against his daughter and the king's son, and scar'd my choughs from the chaff, had not left a purse alive in the whole army ;-ha, ha, ha, what a fool honesty is ! and trust, his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I see this is the time the unjust man drth thrive; the gods do this year connive at us; and we may do any thing extempore-aside, aside here is more matter for a hot brain. Ev'ry lane's end, ev'ry shop, church, session, hanging, yields a careful man a work. M


Enter Clown and OLD SHEPHERD.

Clown. See, see, what a man you are now there is no other way, but to tell the king she is a changeling, and none of vour flesh and blood.

Old Sbep. Nay, but hear me.
Clown. Nay, but hear me.
Old Sbep. Go to, then--

Clown. Let him know the truth of the matter ; how you found her by the sea-side some eighteen years agone; that there was this bundle with her, with the things and trinkets contained therein; but there was some money too, which being spent in nursing her, you need say nothing about it, together with all the circumstances of the whole affair; do it, I say,

Old Sbep. And what then, think'st thou ?

Clown. Why then, she being none of your flesh and blood, your flesh and blood has not offended the king, and so your flesh and blood is rot to be punish'd by him: shew those things--I say, you found about her, those secret things : this being done, let the law go whistle-1 warrant you.

Old Sbep. 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 cou'd have been to him ; and then your blood had been the dearer, by I know not how much an ounce.

Autol. ( Aside:) Very wisely puppies.

Old Shep. Well, let us to the king; there is that in this fardel, will make him scratch his beard.

Clown Pray heartily he be at the palace.

Autol. (Coming forward.) How now, rusticks, whither are you bound?

Old Shep. To th' palace an' it like your worship.

Autol. Your affairs there? what? with whom the condition of that fardel, the place of your dwelling, your names, your age, of what having, breeding, and any thing that is fitting to be known, discover.

Clown. We are but plain fellows, Sir,

Autol. A lye-you are but rough and hairy; let me have no lying, it becomes none but tradesmen. Old Sbep. Are you a courtier, an' like you, Sir?


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Autol. 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 ? reflect not I on thy baseness, court-contempt? think'st thou of that I insinuate or toze from thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier ? cap-a-pee ; and one that will either push on, or push back thy business there; whereupon, I command thee to open thy affair.

Old Sbep. My business, Sir, is to the king.
Autol. What advocate hast thou to him?
Old Sbep. I know not, and't like you. -Advocate !

[Aside to Clown. Clown. Advocate's the court word for a pheasant; say you have none.

[ Apart. Old Sbep. None, Sir, I have no pheasant, cock, nor hen.

Autol. How blest are we that are not simple men!
Yet nature might have made me as these are,
Therefore I will not disdain.

E Aside. Clown. (to Old Sbep:) This cannot be but a great courtier.

Old Sbep. (To Clown.) His garments are rich, but he wears 'em

net handsomely.
Clown. He seems to be more noble in being fantasóical;
a great man I'll warrant; I know by the picking one's teeth.

Autol. The fardel there, what's in the fardel?
Wherefore that box?

Old Sbep. 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.

Autol. Age, thou hast lost thy labour.
Old Sbep. Why, Sir?

Autol. The king is not at the palace, he's 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.

Old Shep. So, 'tis said, Sir; about his son that shou'd have marry'd'a shepherd's daughter.

Autol. if that shepherd be not in hand fast, let him fly; the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall feel, will break the heart of man, the back of monster.

Old Sbep. Think you so, Sir?
Autol. Not be, alone, shall suffer what wit can make hea-


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »