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ACT IV. SCENE IV.iii 


Re-enter CLOWN and SHEPHERD

 AUTOLYCUS.

Aside, aside- here is more matter for a hot brain. Every lane's
end, every shop, church, session, hanging, yields a careful man
work.

 CLOWN.

See, see; what a man you are now! There is no other way but
to tell the King she's a changeling and none of your flesh and
blood.

 SHEPHERD.

Nay, but hear me.

 CLOWN.

Nay- but hear me.

 SHEPHERD.

Go to, then.

 CLOWN.

She being none of your flesh and blood, your flesh and blood
has not offended the King; and so your flesh and blood is not to
be punish'd by him. Show those things you found about her, those
secret things- all but what she has with her. This being done,
let the law go whistle; I warrant you.

 SHEPHERD.

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 could have
been to him; and then your blood had been the dearer by I know
how much an ounce.

 AUTOLYCUS.

[Aside] Very wisely, puppies!

 SHEPHERD.

Well, let us to the King. There is that in this fardel
will make him scratch his beard.

 AUTOLYCUS.

[Aside] I know not what impediment this complaint may
be to the flight of my master.

 CLOWN.

Pray heartily he be at palace.

 AUTOLYCUS.

[Aside] Though I am not naturally honest, I am so
sometimes by chance. Let me pocket up my pedlar's excrement.
[Takes off his false beard] How now, rustics! Whither are you
bound?

 SHEPHERD.

To th' palace, an it like your worship.

 AUTOLYCUS.

Your affairs there, what, with whom, the condition of
that fardel, the place of your dwelling, your names, your ages,
of what having, breeding, and anything that is fitting to be
known- discover.

 CLOWN.

We are but plain fellows, sir.

 AUTOLYCUS.

A lie: you are rough and hairy. Let me have no lying; it
becomes none but tradesmen, and they often give us soldiers the
lie; but we pay them for it with stamped coin, not stabbing
steel; therefore they do not give us the lie.

 CLOWN.

Your worship had like to have given us one, if you had not
taken yourself with the manner.

 SHEPHERD.

Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?

 AUTOLYCUS.

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? Receives not thy nose court-odour
from me? Reflect I not on thy baseness court-contempt? Think'st
thou, for that I insinuate, that toaze from thee thy business, I
am therefore no courtier? I am courtier cap-a-pe, and one that
will either push on or pluck back thy business there; whereupon I
command the to open thy affair.

 SHEPHERD.

My business, sir, is to the King.

 AUTOLYCUS.

What advocate hast thou to him?

 SHEPHERD.

I know not, an't like you.

 CLOWN.

Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant; say you have none.

 SHEPHERD.

None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor hen.

 AUTOLYCUS.

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

 CLOWN.

This cannot be but a great courtier.

 SHEPHERD.

His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomely.

 CLOWN.

He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical.
A great man, I'll warrant; I know by the picking on's teeth.

 AUTOLYCUS.

The fardel there? What's i' th' fardel? Wherefore that
box?

 SHEPHERD.

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.

 AUTOLYCUS.

Age, thou hast lost thy labour.

 SHEPHERD.

Why, Sir?

 AUTOLYCUS.

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.

 SHEPHERD.

So 'tis said, sir- about his son, that should have
married a shepherd's daughter.

 AUTOLYCUS.

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.

 CLOWN.

Think you so, sir?

 AUTOLYCUS.

Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy and
vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to him, though
remov'd fifty times, shall all come under the hangman- which,
though it be great pity, yet it is necessary. An old
sheep-whistling rogue, a ram-tender, to offer to have his
daughter come into grace! Some say he shall be ston'd; but that
death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne into a
sheep-cote!- all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.

 CLOWN.

Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an't like you,
sir?

 AUTOLYCUS.

He has a son- who shall be flay'd 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 recover'd
again with aqua-vitae 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 traitorly rascals, whose miseries are to be
smil'd at, their offences being so capital? Tell me, for you seem
to be honest plain men, what you have to the King. Being
something gently consider'd, 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.

 CLOWN.

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- ston'd and flay'd
alive.

 SHEPHERD.

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.

 AUTOLYCUS.

After I have done what I promised?

 SHEPHERD.

Ay, sir.

 AUTOLYCUS.

Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in this
business?

 CLOWN.

In some sort, sir; but though my case be a pitiful one, I
hope I shall not be flay'd out of it.

 AUTOLYCUS.

O, that's the case of the shepherd's son! Hang him,
he'll be made an example.

 CLOWN.

Comfort, good comfort! We must to the King and show our
strange sights. He must know 'tis none of your daughter nor my
sister; we are 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.

 AUTOLYCUS.

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.

 CLOWN.

We are blest in this man, as I may say, even blest.

 SHEPHERD.

Let's before, as he bids us. He was provided to do us
good

Exeunt SHEPHERD and CLOWN

 AUTOLYCUS.

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; 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

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