« PreviousContinue »
Aut. How blessed are we, that are not simple men! Yet nature might have made me as these are ; Therefore I'll not disdain.
Clo. This cannot but be a great courtier.
Shep. His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomely.
Clo. He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical ; a great man, I'll warrant; I know, by the picking on's teeth.
Aut. The fardel there? what's i’ the fardel ? Wherefore that box ?
Shep. 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 the speech of him.
Aut. Age, thou hast lost thy labor.
Aut. 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.
Shep. So 'tis said, sir ; about his son, that should have married a shepherd's daughter.
Aut. 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.
Clo. Think you so, sir ?
Aut. Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy, and vengeance bitter; but those that are germanel to him, though removed 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 stoned; 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.
Clo. Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an't like you, sir ?
i Germane, related.
Aut. He has a son, who shall be flayed 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 recovered again with aquavitæ, 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 smiled 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 considered, 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.
Clo. 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! stoned, and flayed alive.
Shep. 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.
Aut. After I have done what I promised ?
Aut. Well, give me the moiety.--Are you a party in this business?
Clo. In some sort, sir; but though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.
Aut. O, that's the case of the shepherd's son,Hang him, he'll be made an example.
Clo. 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.
1 The hottest day foretold in the almanac.
Aut. I will trust you. Walk before toward the seaside ; go on the right hand; I will but look upon the hedge, and follow you.
Clo. We are blessed in this man, as I may say, even blessed.
Shep. Let's before, as he bids us; he was provided to do us good.
[Exeunt Shepherd and Clown. Aut. 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.
Sicilia. A Room in the Palace of
Enter LEONTES, CLEOMENES, Dion, Paulina, and
others. Cleo. Sir, you have done enough, and have per
VOL. III. 12
Do, as the Heavens have done ; forget your evil:
Whilst I remember
True, too true, my lord.
I think so. Killed !
Not at all, good lady
You are one of those,
If you would not so,
There is none worthy,
1 i. e. at rest, dead.
Will have fulfilled their secret purposes ;
Thou speak'st truth.
Had she such power,
She had ; and would incenseme
I should so.
oked upon my lips,
and left them
1 The old copy reads, “ And begin, Why to me?” The transposition of and was made by Steevens.
2 Incense, to instigate or stimulate, was the ancient sense of this word: it is rendered in the Latin dictionaries by dare stimulo.