« PreviousContinue »
known; but I have missingly noted he is of late much retired from court, and is less frequent to his princely exercises than formerly he hath appeared.
Pol. I have considered so much, Camillo, and with some care; so far, that I have eyes under my service which look upon his removedness : from whom I have this intelligence, that he is seldom from the house of a most homely shepherd; a man, they say that from very nothing, and beyond the imagination of his neighbours, is grown into an unspeakable estate.
Cam. I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended more that can be thought to begin from such a cottage.
Pol. That's likewise part of my intelligence, but I fear the angle that plucks our son thither. Thou shalt accompany us to the place, where we will, not appearing what we are, have some question with the shepherd; from whose simplicity I think it not uneasy to get the cause of my son's resort thither. Prythee, be my present partner in this business, and lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.
Cam. I willingly obey your command.
Pol. My best Camillo !— We must disguise ourselves.
[Exeunt. SCENE II.— The Same. A Road near the Shep
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing. When daffodils begin to peer,
With, heigh ! the doxy over the dale,-Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year ;
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.
The white sheet bleaching on the hedge, —
With heigh! the sweet birds, 0, how they single Doth set my pugging tooth on edge ;
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
The lark, that tirra-lirra chants, –
With heigh! with heigh! the thrush and the jay, Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
While we lie tumbling in the hay.
I have served Prince Florizel, and, in my time, wore three pile ; but now I am out of service :
But shall I go mourn for that, my dear ?
The pale moon shines by night ;
I then do most go right.
If tinkers may have leare to live,
And bear the sou-skin budget,
And in the stocks acouch it. My traffic is sheets; when the kite builds, look to lesser linen. My father named me Autolycus; who being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles. With die and drab I purchased this caparison, and my revenue is the silly cheat. Gallows and knock are too powerful on the highway ; beating and hanging are terrors to me : for the life to come, I sleep out the thought of it.-A prize ! a prize!
Enter Clown. Clo. Let me see :-every 'leven wether tods ; every tod yields pound and odd shilling: fifteen hundred shorn, what comes the wool to?
Aut. (A side.] If the springe hold, the cock's mine.
Clo. I cannot do 't without counters.—Let me see; what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast ? «Three pound of sugar; five pound of currants; rice,'—what will this sister of mine do with rice? But my father hath made her mistress of the feast, and she lays it on. She hath made me four-and-twenty nosegays for the shearers; three
man songmen all, and very good ones, but they are most of them means and bases : but one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. I must have saffron, to colour the warden pies; mace; dates,-none ; that's out of my note: “nutmegs, seven: a race or two of ginger;' but that I may beg :-'four pound of prunes, and as many of raisins o' the sun.' Aut. O, that ever I was born!
[Grovelling on the ground. Clo. I'the name of me,
Aut. O, help me, help me! pluck but off these rags, and then, death, death!
Clo. Alack, poor soul ! thou hast need of more rags to lay on thee, rather than have these off.
Aut. O, sir, the loathsomeness of them offends me more than the stripes I have received, which are mighty ones, and millions.
Clo. Alas, poor man! a million of beating may come to a great matter.
Aut. I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and apparel ta’en from me, and these detestable things put upon me.
Clo. What, by a horseman, or a footman ?
garments he hath left with thee: if this be a horseman's coat, it hath seen very hot service. Lend me thy hand, I'll help thee: come, lend me thy hand.
[Helping him up. Aut. O, good sir, tenderly, O! Clo. Alas, poor soul !
Aut. O, good sir"; softly, good sir. I fear, sir, my shoulder-blade is out.
Clo. How now ? canst stand ?
Aut. Softly, dear sir (picks his pocket), good sir, softly. You ha' done me a charitable office.
Clo. Dost lack any money? I have a little money for thee.
Aut. No, good, sweet sir : no, I beseech you, sir. I have a kinsman not past three-quarters of a inile hence, unto whom I was going : I shall there have money, or anything I want. Offer me no money, I pray you ! that kills my heart.
Clo. What manner of fellow was he that robbed
Aut. A fellow, sir, that I have known to go about with trol-my-dames: I knew him once a servant of the prince. I cannot tell, good sir, for which of his virtues it was, but he was certainly whipped out of the court.
Clo. His vices, you would say ; there's no virtue