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But, to your protestation; let me hear
What you profess.
Flo. Do, and be witness to't.
Pol. And this my neighbour too?
Flo. 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.
Pol. Fairly offer'd.
Cam. This shows a sound affection.
Shep. But, my daughter,
Say you the like to him ?
Per. I cannot speak
So well, nothing so well; no, nor mean better :
By the pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
The purity of his.
Shep. 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.
Flo. O, that must be
I'the 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.
Shep. Come, your hand ;-
And, daughter, yours.
Pol. Soft, swain, awhile, 'beseech you;
Have you a father?
Flo. I have : But what of him?
Pol. Knows he of this?
Flo. He neither does, nor shall.
Pol. Methinks, a father
Is, at the nuptial of his son, a guest
That best becomes the table. Pray you, once more;
Is not your father grown incapable
Of reasonable affairs ? is he not stupid
With age, and altering rheums? Can he speak? hear?
Know man from man ? dispute his own estate ?
Lies he not bed-rid ? and again does nothing,
But what he did, being childish ?
Flo. No, good sir;
He has his health, and ampler strength, indeed,
Than most have of his age.
Pol. 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.
Flo. 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.
Pol. Let him know't.
Flo. He shall not.
Pol. Pr’ythee, let him.
Flo. No, he must not.
Shep. Let him, my son; he shall not need to grieve At knowing of thy choice.
Flo. Come, come, he must not:-
Mark our contract.
Pol. Mark your divorce, young sir,
Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base
To be acknowledged : Thou a sceptre's heir,
That thus affect'st 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 ;-
Shep. O, my heart!
Pol. I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briars, and
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, do not our kin,
Far than Deucalion off :—Mark thou my words ;
Follow us to the court.—Thou chur), 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.
Per. 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.-Wilt please you, sir, be gone? .
[To FloRizel. 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 further, But milk my ewes, and weep.
Cam. Why, how now, father?
Speak, ere thou diest.
Shep. I cannot speak, nor think,
Nor dare to know that which I know.-0, 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.–O cursed wretch !
[To PERDITA. That knew'st this was the prince, and would'st 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. Flo. Why look you so upon me? I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd, But nothing alter’d: What I was, I am: More straining on, for plucking back; not following : My leash unwillingly.
Cam. 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.
Flo. I not purpose it.
I think, Camillo.
Cam. Even he, my lord.
Per. How often have I told you, 'twould be thus ?
How often said, my dignity would last
But till ’twere known?
Flo. It cannot fail, but by
The violation of my faith; And then
Let nature crush the sides o’the earth together,
And mar the seeds within !-Lift up thy looks :-
From my succession wipe me, father! I
Am heir to my affection.
Cam. Be advis’d.
Flo. 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.
Cam. 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 To this my fair belov’d: Therefore, I pray you,