SCENE IIIA road near the Shepherd's cottage.
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, O, how they sing!
Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
The lark, that tirra-lyra chants, (10)
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:
And when I wander here and there,
I then do most go right.
If tinkers may have leave to live, (20)
And bear the sow-skin budget,
Then my account I well may give,
And in the stocks avouch 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.
Let me see: every 'leven wether tods;
every tod yields pound and odd shilling; fifteen
hundred shorn, what comes the wool to?
[Aside] If the springe hold, the cock's
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-song-men 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 color 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.
O that ever I was born!
Grovelling on the ground.
I' the name of me--
O, help me, help me! pluck but off
these rags; and then, death, death!
Alack, poor soul! thou hast need of
more rags to lay on thee, rather than have
O sir, the loathsomeness of them offends
me more than the stripes I have received,
which are mighty ones and millions.
Alas, poor man! a million of beating (63)
may come to a great matter.
I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my
money and apparel ta'en from me, and these
detestable things put upon me.
What, by a horseman, or a footman?
A footman, sweet sir, a footman.
Indeed, he should be a footman by
the garments he has 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.
O, good sir, tenderly, O!
Alas, poor soul!
O, good sir, softly, good sir! I fear,
sir, my shoulder-blade is out.
How now! canst stand?
[Picking his pocket] Softly, dear sir;
good sir, softly. You ha' done me a charitable
Dost lack any money? I have a little (83)
money for thee.
No, good sweet sir; no I beseech
you, sir: I have a kinsman not past three
quarters of a mile hence, unto whom I was
going; I shall there have money, or any thing
I want: offer me no money, I pray you; that
kills my heart.
What manner of fellow was he that
A fellow, sir, that I have known to (92)
go about with troll-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.
His vices, you would say; there's no
virtue whipped out of the court: they cherish
it to make it stay there; and yet it will no
more but abide.
Vices, I would say, sir. I know this (101)
man well: he hath been since an ape-bearer;
then a process-server, a bailiff; then he compassed
a motion of the Prodigal Son, and married
a tinker's wife within a mile where my
land and living lies; and, having flown over
many knavish professions, he settled only in
rogue: some call him Autolycus.
Out upon him! prig, for my life, prig:
he haunts wakes, fairs and bear-baitings.
Very true, sir; he, sir, he; that's the
rogue that put me into this apparel.
Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia: (113)
if you had but looked big and spit at
him, he'ld have run.
I must confess to you, sir, I am no
fighter: I am false of heart that way; and
that he knew, I warrant him.
How do you now?
Sweet sir, much better than I was; I
can stand and walk: I will even take my leave
of you, and pace softly towards my kinsman's.
Shall I bring thee on the way?
No, good-faced sir; no, sweet sir.
Then fare thee well: I must go buy
spices for our sheep-shearing.
Prosper you, sweet sir! [Exit Clown.]
Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your
spice. I'll be with you at your sheep-shearing
too: if I make not this cheat bring out another
and the shearers prove sheep, let me be unrolled
and my name put in the book of virtue!
Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a. [Exit.