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Flo. My prettiest Perdita.-
[They talk aside.
Enter AutoLycus. Aut. Ha, ha! what a fool honesty is! And trust, his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I have sold all my trumpery; not a counterfeit stone, not a riband, glass, pomander,' brooch, table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring, to keep my pack from fasting ; they throng who should buy first; as if my trinkets had been hallowed, and brought a benediction to the buyer ; by which means, I saw whose purse was best in picture; and what I saw, to my good use, I remembered. My clown (who wants but something to be a reasonable man) grew so in love with the wenches' song, that he would not stir his pettitoes, till he had both tune and words, which so drew the rest of the herd to me, that all their other senses stuck in ears. You might have pinched a placket, it was senseless; 'twas nothing, to geld a cod piece of a purse; I would have filed keys off, that hung in chains; no hearing, no feeling, but my sir's song, and admiring the nothing of it. So that, in this time of lethargy, I picked and cut most of their festival purses; and had not the old man come in with a whoobub against his daughter and the king's son, Per.
1 Pomanders were little balls of perfumed paste, worn in the pocket, or hung about the neck, and even sometimes suspended to the wrist. The name is derived from pomme d'ambre.
and scared my choughs from the chaff, I had not left a purse alive in the whole army.
Camillo, FLORIZEL, and PERDITA
Happy be you!
Who have we here?
[Seeing AUTOLYCUS. We'll make an instrument of this; omit Nothing, may give us aid.
Aut. If they have overheard me now,— why, hanging.
[ Aside. Cam. How now, good fellow? Why shakest thou so ? Fear not, man ; here's no harm intended to thee.
Aut. I am a poor fellow, sir.
Cam. Why, be so still ; here's nobody will steal that from thee. Yet, for the outside of thy poverty, we must make an exchange: therefore, discase thee instantly, (thou must think, there's necessity in't,) and
pennyworth, on his side, be the worst, yet hold thee, there's some boot.
Aut. I am a poor fellow, sir ;-I know ye well enough.
[Aside. Cam. Nay, pr’ythee, despatch. The gentleman is half flayed already.
Aut. Are you in earnest, sir ?-I smell the trick of it.
[Aside. Flo. Despatch, I pr’ythee.
Aut. Indeed, I have had earnest; but I cannot with conscience take it. Cam. Unbuckle, unbuckle.
[Flo. and Autol. exchange garments. Fortunate mistress,-let my prophecy
Come home to you!-You must retire yourself
I see, the play so lies,
Should I now meet my father,
Nay, you shall have
Aut. Adieu, sir.
Flo. O Perdita, what have we twain forgot ? Pray you, a word.
[They converse apart. Cam. What I do next, shall be to tell the king
Flo. Fortune speed us !-
[Exeunt Flo., PER., and Cam. Aut. I understand the business; I hear it. To have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary for a cutpurse; a good nose is requisite also, to smell out work for the other senses. I see, this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive. What an exchange had this been, without boot! what a boot is here, with this exchange! Sure, the gods do this year connive at us, and we may do any thing extempore. The prince himself is about a piece of iniquity; stealing away from his father, with his clog at his heels. If I thought it were a piece of honesty to acquaint
the king withal, I would not do't. I hold it the more knavery to conceal it; and therein am I constant to my profession.
Enter Clown and Shepherd. Aside, aside :-here is more matter for a hot brain. Every lane's end, every shop, church, session, hanging, yields a careful man work.
Clo. 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.
Shep. Nay, but hear me. •
Clo. 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 punished 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.
Shep. 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.
Clo. 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. Aut. Very wisely; puppies !
[Aside. Shep. Well ; let us to the king; there is that in this fardel, will make him scratch his beard.
Aut. I know not what impediment this complaint may be to the flight of my master.
Člo. 'Pray heartily, he be at palace.
Aut. Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance.—Let me pocket up my pedler's excrement.?" [Takes off his false beard.] How now, rustics? Whither are you bound?
1 We should probably read, “by I know not how much an ounce.”
2 Thus in the Comedy of Errors :-“Why is time such a niggard of his hair, being as it is so plentiful an excrement ?"
Shep. To the palace, an it like your worship.
Aut. 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 any thing that is fitting to be known, discover.
Clo. We are but plain fellows, sir.
Aut. 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.3
Člo. Your worship had like to have given us one, if you had not taken yourself with the manner.
Shep. Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir ?
Aut. 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 ? 5 Receives not thy nose, court-odor from me ? Reflect I not on thy baseness, court-contempt? Thinkest thou, for that I insinuate, or toze 6 from thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier ? I am courtier, cap-a-pie; and one that will either push on, or pluck back thy business there; whereupon, I command thee to open thy affair.
Shep. My business, sir, is to the king.
Clo. Advocate's the court word for a pheasant; say you have none.
Shep. None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock, nor hen.
est thou, vam therefore, will either py
1 Fardel is a bundle, a pack or burden; "a pack that a man doth bear with him in the way,” says Baret.
2 i. e, estate, property.
3 The meaning is, they are paid for lying, therefore they do not give us the lie.
4 That is, in the fact. Vide Love's Labor's Lost, Act i. Sc. 1. 5 The measure, the stately tread of courtiers.
6 To toze is to pluck or draw out; as to toze or teize wool, carpere lanam. See the old dictionaries.
7 Malone says, "Perhaps in the first of these speeches we should read, a present, which the old shepherd mistakes for a pheasant.