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Now in good time! Clo. Not a word, a word; we stand upon our
manners, Come, strike up:
[Music. Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses. Pol. Pray, good shepherd, what Fair swain is this, which dances with your daughter?
Shep. They call him Doricles, and he boasts himself To have a worthy feeding ; but I have it Upon his own report, and I believe it; He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter; I think so too; for never gazed the moon Upon the water, as he'll stand, and read, As 'twere, my daughter's eyes; and, to be plain, I think there is not half a kiss to choose, Who loves another best. Pol.
She dances featly. Shep. So she does any thing; though I report it, That should be silent. If young Doricles Do light upon her, she shall bring him that Which he not dreams of.
Enter a Servant. Serv. O, master, if you did but hear the pedler at the door, you would never dance again after a tabor and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you. He sings several tunes faster than you'll tell money; he utters them as he had eaten ballads, and all men's ears grew to his tunes.
Clo. He could never come better; he shall come in. I love a ballad but even too well; if it be doleful matter, merrily set down, or a very pleasant thing indeed, and sung lamentably.
Serv. He hath songs, for man, or woman, of all sizes; no milliner can so fit his customers with gloves ; he has the prettiest love-songs for maids; so without 1 i. e. we are now on our good behavior.
2 Truth. 3 That is, dexterously, nimbly. 4 The trade of a milliner was formerly carried on by men exclusively.
bawdry, which is strange ; with such delicate burdens of dildos and fadings; 1 jump her and thump her; and where some stretch-mouthed rascal would, as it were, mean mischief, and break a foul gap into the matter, he makes the maid to answer, Whoop, do me no harm, good man; puts him off, slights him, with Whoop, do me no harm, good man.”
Pol. This is a brave fellow.
Clo. Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable conceited fellow. Has he any unbraided wares ? 3
Serv. He hath ribands of all the colors i' the rainbow; points,4 more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can learnedly handle, though they come to him by the gross; inkles, caddisses, cambrics, lawns. Why, he sings them over, as they were gods or goddesses ; you would think a smock were a she-angel; he so chants to the sleeve-hand, and the work about the square on't.8
Clo. Pr'ythee, bring him in; and let him approach singing
Per. Forewarn him, that he use no scurrilous words in his tunes.
Clo. You have of these pedlers, that have more in 'em than you'd think, sister.
Per. Ay, good brother, or go about to think.
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing.
Masks for faces, and for noses ; 1 - With a hie dildo dill, and a dildo dee,” is the burden of an old ballad or two. Fading is also another burden to a ballad found in Shirley's Bird in a Cage; and perhaps to others.
2 This was also the burden of an old ballad. 3 i. e. undamaged wares, true and good. 4 Points, upon which lies the quibble, were laces with tags. 5 A kind of tape. 6 A kind of ferret or worsted lace. 7 Sleeve-hand, the cuffs, or wristband. 8 The work about the bosom of it.
lads to give their dears ;
Clo. If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou shouldst take no money of me; but being enthralled as I am, it will also be the bondage of certain ribands and gloves.
Mop. I was promised them against the feast; but they come not too late now.
Dor. He hath promised you more than that, or there be liars.
Mop. He hath paid you all he promised you; may be, he has paid you more ; which will shame you to give him again.
Clo. Is there no manners left among maids ? Will they wear their plackets? where they should bear their faces? Is there not a milking-time, when you are going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle off these secrets; but you must be tittle-tattling before all our guests? 'Tis well, they are whispering. Clamor your tongues, and not a word more.
Mop. I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry lace, and a pair of sweet gloves.
1 A stick of metal or wood, used by the laundress in plaiting ruffles. 2 i. e. stomacher.
3 The kiln-hole generally means the fireplace for drying malt; still a noted gossiping place.
4 An expression taken from bell-ringing; now contracted to clam. The bells are said to be clammed, when, after a course of rounds or changes, they are all pulled off at once, and give a general clash or clam, by which the peal is concluded. As this clam is succeeded by a silence, it exactly suits the sense of the passage.
5 A tawdry lace was a sort of necklace worn by country wenches.
6 Sweet, or perfumed gloves, are often mentioned by Shakspeare; they were very much esteemed, and a frequent present in the Poet's time.
Clo. Have I not told thee how I was cozened by
and lost all my money?. Aut. And, indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad; therefore it behoves men to be wary.
Clo. Fear not thou, man; thou shalt lose nothing here.
Aut. I hope so, sir ; for I have about me many parcels of charge.
Clo. What hast here? ballads ?
Mop. 'Pray now, buy some. I love a ballad in print, a’-life; for then we are sure they are true.
Aut. Here's one to a very doleful tune, How a usurer's wife was brought to bed of twenty money-bags at a burden; and how she longed to eat adders’ heads, and toads carbonadoed.
Mop. Is it true, think you ?
Aut. Here's the midwife's name to’t, one mistress Taleporter; and five or six honest wives, that were present. Why should I carry lies abroad?
Mop. 'Pray you now, buy it.
Clo. Come on, lay it by. And let's first see more ballads ; we'll buy the other things anon.
Aut. Here's another ballad, of a fish, that appeared upon the coast, on Wednesday the fourscore of April, forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this ballad against the hard hearts of maids; it was thought she was a woman, and was turned into a cold fish, for she would not exchange flesh with one that loved her. The ballad is very pitiful, and as true.
Dor. Is it true, think you ?
Aut. Five justices' hands at it; and witnesses, more than my pack will hold.
Clo. Lay it by too. Another.
Aut. This is a merry ballad; but a very pretty one.
Mop. Let's have some merry ones.
Aut. Why, this is a passing merry one; and goes to the tune of, Two maids wooing a man. There's scarce a maid westward, but she sings it ; 'tis in request, I can tell
you. Mop. We can both sing it: if thou'lt bear a part, thou shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.
Dor. We had the tune on't a month ago.
Aut. I can bear my part; you must know, 'tis my occupation ; have at it with you.
A. Get you hence, for I must go ;
D. Whither? M. O whither? D. Whither?
D. Me too, let me go thither.
A. Neither. D. What, neither? A. Neither.
Then, whither go'st? Say, whither?
Wenches, I'll buy for you both.—Pedler, let's have the first choice.- Follow me, girls. Aut. And you shall pay well for 'em. .
[ Aside. Will you buy any tape,
Or lace for your cape,
Any silk, any thread,
Any toys for your head,
Come to the pedler ;
[Exeunt Clown, Aut., Dorc., and MopsA.
1 A sale or utterance of ware.