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Aut. How blessed are we that are not simple men!
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 faidel? Wherefore that box t
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.
Shep. Why, sir?
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't is 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 monster.
Clo. Think you so, sir 1
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 sheepcote I all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.
Clo. 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 aquavitae, 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 traitory rascals, whose miseries are to be smiled :at, their offences being so capital? Tel] 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?
Shep. Ay, sir.
Aut. Well, give me the moiety.—Are you a party in this business 1
Clo. In some sort, sir 1 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, 't is none of your daughter, nor my sister; we ar 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 'a 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 1 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. ACT V.
Scene I.—Sicilia. A Room in the Palace of
Enter Leontes, Cleomenes, Dion, Paulina,
Cleo. Sir, you have done enough, and have performed
A saint-like sorrow: no fault could you make, Which you have not redeemed; indeed, paid down More penitence than done trespass. At the last, Do as the heavens have done, forget your evil; With them, forgive yourself.
Leon. Whilst I remember
Her, and her virtues, I cannot forget
Paul. True, too true, my lord:
If one by one you wedded all the world,