[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 an edge,
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
The lark, that tirralirra chants,
 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 Florizell 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,
 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 Shepherd’s Son.]
SHEPHERD’S SON Let me see, every ’leven wether tods,
every tod yields pound and odd shilling; fifteen
hundred shorn, what comes the wool to?
AUTOLYCUS , [aside] If the springe hold, the cock’s
mine. [He lies down.]
SHEPHERD’S SON I cannot do ’t without counters. Let
me see, what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing
feast? ([He reads a paper.]) 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 basses, 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’ th’ sun.
AUTOLYCUS , [writhing as if in pain] O, that ever I was
SHEPHERD’S SON I’ th’ name of me!
AUTOLYCUS O, help me, help me! Pluck but off these
rags, and then death, death.
SHEPHERD’S SON Alack, poor soul, thou hast need of
more rags to lay on thee rather than have these off.
AUTOLYCUS O sir, the loathsomeness of them offends
 me more than the stripes I have received, which are
mighty ones and millions.
SHEPHERD’S SON Alas, poor man, a million of beating
may come to a great matter.
AUTOLYCUS I am robbed, sir, and beaten, my money
 and apparel ta’en from me, and these detestable
things put upon me.
SHEPHERD’S SON What, by a horseman, or a footman?
AUTOLYCUS A footman, sweet sir, a footman.
SHEPHERD’S SON 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
AUTOLYCUS O, good sir, tenderly, O!
SHEPHERD’S SON Alas, poor soul.
AUTOLYCUS O, good sir, softly, good sir. I fear, sir, my
shoulder blade is out.
SHEPHERD’S SON How now? Canst stand?
AUTOLYCUS , [stealing the Shepherd’s Son’s purse] Softly,
 dear sir, good sir, softly. You ha’ done me a charitable
SHEPHERD’S SON Dost lack any money? I have a little
money for thee.
AUTOLYCUS 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 anything I want. Offer me no money, I
pray you; that kills my heart.
SHEPHERD’S SON What manner of fellow was he that
 robbed you?
AUTOLYCUS A fellow, sir, that I have known to 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.
SHEPHERD’S SON 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.
AUTOLYCUS Vices, I would say, sir. I know this 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.
SHEPHERD’S SON Out upon him! Prig, for my life, prig!
He haunts wakes, fairs, and bearbaitings.
AUTOLYCUS Very true, sir: he, sir, he. That’s the rogue
that put me into this apparel.
SHEPHERD’S SON Not a more cowardly rogue in all
Bohemia. If you had but looked big and spit at him,
he’d have run.
AUTOLYCUS I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter. I
am false of heart that way, and that he knew, I
 warrant him.
SHEPHERD’S SON How do you now?
AUTOLYCUS 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.
SHEPHERD’S SON Shall I bring thee on the way?
AUTOLYCUS No, good-faced sir, no, sweet sir.
SHEPHERD’S SON Then fare thee well. I must go buy
spices for our sheep-shearing.
AUTOLYCUS Prosper you, sweet sir.
[Shepherd’s Son exits.]
 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.
 [Sings.] Jog on, jog on, the footpath way,
And merrily hent the stile-a.
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a.