Act 4 Scene 4

Scene 4

[Enter Florizell and Perdita.]


FLORIZELL 
 These your unusual weeds to each part of you
 Does give a life—no shepherdess, but Flora
 Peering in April’s front. This your sheep-shearing
 Is as a meeting of the petty gods,
[5]  And you the queen on ’t.

PERDITA   Sir, my gracious lord,
 To chide at your extremes it not becomes me;
 O, pardon that I name them! Your high self,
 The gracious mark o’ th’ land, you have obscured
[10]  With a swain’s wearing, and me, poor lowly maid,
 Most goddesslike pranked up. But that our feasts
 In every mess have folly, and the feeders
 Digest it with a custom, I should blush
 To see you so attired, swoon, I think,
[15]  To show myself a glass.

FLORIZELL   I bless the time
 When my good falcon made her flight across
 Thy father’s ground.

PERDITA   Now Jove afford you cause.
[20]  To me the difference forges dread. Your greatness


 Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble
 To think your father by some accident
 Should pass this way as you did. O the Fates,
 How would he look to see his work, so noble,
[25]  Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how
 Should I, in these my borrowed flaunts, behold
 The sternness of his presence?

FLORIZELL   Apprehend
 Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,
[30]  Humbling their deities to love, have taken
 The shapes of beasts upon them. Jupiter
 Became a bull, and bellowed; the green Neptune
 A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god,
 Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,
[35]  As I seem now. Their transformations
 Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,
 Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires
 Run not before mine honor, nor my lusts
 Burn hotter than my faith.

[40]PERDITA   O, but sir,
 Your resolution cannot hold when ’tis
 Opposed, as it must be, by th’ power of the King.
 One of these two must be necessities,
 Which then will speak: that you must change this
[45]  purpose
 Or I my life.

FLORIZELL   Thou dear’st Perdita,
 With these forced thoughts I prithee darken not
 The mirth o’ th’ feast. Or I’ll be thine, my fair,
[50]  Or not my father’s. For I cannot be
 Mine own, nor anything to any, if
 I be not thine. To this I am most constant,
 Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle.
 Strangle such thoughts as these with anything
[55]  That you behold the while. Your guests are coming.


 Lift up your countenance as it were the day
 Of celebration of that nuptial which
 We two have sworn shall come.

PERDITA   O Lady Fortune,
[60]  Stand you auspicious!

FLORIZELL   See, your guests approach.
 Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
 And let’s be red with mirth.


[Enter Shepherd, Shepherd’s Son, Mopsa, Dorcas,
Shepherds and Shepherdesses, Servants, Musicians,
and Polixenes and  Camillo in disguise.]


SHEPHERD 
 Fie, daughter, when my old wife lived, upon
[65]  This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,
 Both dame and servant; welcomed all; served all;
 Would sing her song and dance her turn, now here
 At upper end o’ th’ table, now i’ th’ middle;
 On his shoulder, and his; her face afire
[70]  With labor, and the thing she took to quench it
 She would to each one sip. You are retired
 As if you were a feasted one and not
 The hostess of the meeting. Pray you bid
 These unknown friends to ’s welcome, for it is
[75]  A way to make us better friends, more known.
 Come, quench your blushes and present yourself
 That which you are, mistress o’ th’ feast. Come on,
 And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
 As your good flock shall prosper.

[80]PERDITA , [to Polixenes]   Sir, welcome.
 It is my father’s will I should take on me
 The hostess-ship o’ th’ day. [ To Camillo.] You’re
 welcome, sir.—
 Give me those flowers there, Dorcas.—Reverend
[85]  sirs,


 For you there’s rosemary and rue. These keep
 Seeming and savor all the winter long.
 Grace and remembrance be to you both,
 And welcome to our shearing.

[90]POLIXENES   Shepherdess—
 A fair one are you—well you fit our ages
 With flowers of winter.

PERDITA   Sir, the year growing ancient,
 Not yet on summer’s death nor on the birth
[95]  Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o’ th’ season
 Are our carnations and streaked gillyvors,
 Which some call nature’s bastards. Of that kind
 Our rustic garden’s barren, and I care not
 To get slips of them.

[100]POLIXENES   Wherefore, gentle maiden,
 Do you neglect them?

PERDITA   For I have heard it said
 There is an art which in their piedness shares
 With great creating nature.

[105]POLIXENES   Say there be;
 Yet nature is made better by no mean
 But nature makes that mean. So, over that art
 Which you say adds to nature is an art
 That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry
[110]  A gentler scion to the wildest stock,
 And make conceive a bark of baser kind
 By bud of nobler race. This is an art
 Which does mend nature, change it rather, but
 The art itself is nature.

[115]PERDITA   So it is.

POLIXENES 
 Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,
 And do not call them bastards.

PERDITA   I’ll not put
 The dibble in earth to set one slip of them,


[120]  No more than, were I painted, I would wish
 This youth should say ’twere well, and only
 therefore
 Desire to breed by me. Here’s flowers for you:
 Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram,
[125]  The marigold, that goes to bed wi’ th’ sun
 And with him rises weeping. These are flowers
 Of middle summer, and I think they are given
 To men of middle age. You’re very welcome.

CAMILLO 
 I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,
[130]  And only live by gazing.

PERDITA   Out, alas!
 You’d be so lean that blasts of January
 Would blow you through and through.  ([To
 Florizell.]) 
Now, my fair’st friend,
[135]  I would I had some flowers o’ th’ spring, that might
 Become your time of day,  ([to the Shepherdesses])
 and yours, and yours,
 That wear upon your virgin branches yet
 Your maidenheads growing. O Proserpina,
[140]  For the flowers now that, frighted, thou let’st fall
 From Dis’s wagon! Daffodils,
 That come before the swallow dares, and take
 The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,
 But sweeter than the lids of Juno’s eyes
[145]  Or Cytherea’s breath; pale primroses,
 That die unmarried ere they can behold
 Bright Phoebus in his strength—a malady
 Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and
 The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,
[150]  The flower-de-luce being one—O, these I lack
 To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,
 To strew him o’er and o’er.

FLORIZELL   What, like a corse?


PERDITA 
 No, like a bank for love to lie and play on,
[155]  Not like a corse; or if, not to be buried,
 But quick and in mine arms. Come, take your
 flowers.
 Methinks I play as I have seen them do
 In Whitsun pastorals. Sure this robe of mine
[160]  Does change my disposition.

FLORIZELL   What you do
 Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet,
 I’d have you do it ever. When you sing,
 I’d have you buy and sell so, so give alms,
[165]  Pray so; and for the ord’ring your affairs,
 To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you
 A wave o’ th’ sea, that you might ever do
 Nothing but that, move still, still so,
 And own no other function. Each your doing,
[170]  So singular in each particular,
 Crowns what you are doing in the present deeds,
 That all your acts are queens.

PERDITA   O Doricles,
 Your praises are too large. But that your youth
[175]  And the true blood which peeps fairly through ’t
 Do plainly give you out an unstained shepherd,
 With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,
 You wooed me the false way.

FLORIZELL   I think you have
[180]  As little skill to fear as I have purpose
 To put you to ’t. But come, our dance, I pray.
 Your hand, my Perdita. So turtles pair
 That never mean to part.

PERDITA   I’ll swear for ’em.

[185]POLIXENES , [to Camillo] 
 This is the prettiest lowborn lass that ever
 Ran on the greensward. Nothing she does or seems
 But smacks of something greater than herself,
 Too noble for this place.


CAMILLO   He tells her something
[190]  That makes her blood look out. Good sooth, she is
 The queen of curds and cream.

SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Musicians]   Come on, strike up.

DORCAS 
 Mopsa must be your mistress? Marry, garlic
 To mend her kissing with.

[195]MOPSA   Now, in good time!

SHEPHERD’S SON 
 Not a word, a word. We stand upon our manners.—
 Come, strike up. [ Music begins.]
[Here a Dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses.]

POLIXENES 
 Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this
 Which dances with your daughter?

SHEPHERD 
[200]  They call him Doricles, and boasts himself
 To have a worthy feeding. But I have it
 Upon his own report, and I believe it.
 He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter.
 I think so too, for never gazed the moon
[205]  Upon the water as he’ll stand and read,
 As ’twere, my daughter’s eyes. And, to be plain,
 I think there is not half a kiss to choose
 Who loves another best.

POLIXENES   She dances featly.

SHEPHERD 
[210]  So she does anything, though I report it
 That should be silent. If young Doricles
 Do light upon her, she shall bring him that
 Which he not dreams of.


[Enter a  Servant.]


SERVANT  O, master, if you did but hear the peddler at
[215]  the door, you would never dance again after a tabor
 and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you. He


 sings several tunes faster than you’ll tell money. He
 utters them as he had eaten ballads and all men’s
 ears grew to his tunes.

[220]SHEPHERD’S SON  He could never come better. He shall
 come in. I love a ballad but even too well if it be
 doleful matter merrily set down, or a very pleasant
 thing indeed and sung lamentably.

SERVANT  He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes.
[225]  No milliner can so fit his customers with gloves. He
 has the prettiest love songs for maids, so without
 bawdry, which is strange, with such delicate burdens
 of dildos and fadings, “Jump her and thump
 her.” And where some stretch-mouthed rascal
[230]  would, as it were, mean mischief and break a foul
 gap into the matter, he makes the maid to answer
 “Whoop, do me no harm, good man”; puts him off,
 slights him, with “Whoop, do me no harm, good
 man.”

[235]POLIXENES  This is a brave fellow.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable

 conceited fellow. Has he any unbraided
 wares?

SERVANT  He hath ribbons of all the colors i’ th’ rainbow;
[240]  points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia
 can learnedly handle, though they come to him by
 th’ gross; inkles, caddises, cambrics, lawns—why,
 he sings ’em over as they were gods or goddesses.
 You would think a smock were a she-angel, he so
[245]  chants to the sleeve-hand and the work about the
 square on ’t.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Prithee bring him in, and let him
 approach singing.

PERDITA  Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words
[250]  in ’s tunes. [Servant exits.]

SHEPHERD’S SON  You have of these peddlers that have
 more in them than you’d think, sister.


PERDITA  Ay, good brother, or go about to think.


[Enter Autolycus, wearing a false beard,  singing.]


AUTOLYCUS  
 Lawn as white as driven snow,
[255]  Cypress black as e’er was crow,
 Gloves as sweet as damask roses,
 Masks for faces and for noses,
 Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
 Perfume for a lady’s chamber,
[260]  Golden coifs and stomachers
 For my lads to give their dears,
 Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
 What maids lack from head to heel,
 Come buy of me, come. Come buy, come buy.
[265]  Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry.
 Come buy.

SHEPHERD’S SON  If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou
 shouldst take no money of me; but being enthralled
 as I am, it will also be the bondage of certain
[270]  ribbons and gloves.

MOPSA  I was promised them against the feast, but they
 come not too late now.

DORCAS  He hath promised you more than that, or there
 be liars.

[275]MOPSA  He hath paid you all he promised you. Maybe
 he has paid you more, which will shame you to give
 him again.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Is there no manners left among
 maids? Will they wear their plackets where they
[280]  should bear their faces? Is there not milking time,
 when you are going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle
 of these secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling
 before all our guests? ’Tis well they are whisp’ring.
 Clamor your tongues, and not a word more.


[285]MOPSA  I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry
 lace and a pair of sweet gloves.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Have I not told thee how I was cozened
 by the way and lost all my money?

AUTOLYCUS  And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad;
[290]  therefore it behooves men to be wary.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Fear not thou, man. Thou shalt lose
 nothing here.

AUTOLYCUS  I hope so, sir, for I have about me many
 parcels of charge.

[295]SHEPHERD’S SON  What hast here? Ballads?

MOPSA  Pray now, buy some. I love a ballad in print
 alife, for then we are sure they are true.

AUTOLYCUS  Here’s one to a very doleful tune, how a
 usurer’s wife was brought to bed of twenty moneybags
[300]  at a burden, and how she longed to eat adders’
 heads and toads carbonadoed.

MOPSA  Is it true, think you?

AUTOLYCUS  Very true, and but a month old.

DORCAS  Bless me from marrying a usurer!

[305]AUTOLYCUS  Here’s the midwife’s name to ’t, one Mistress
 Taleporter, and five or six honest wives that
 were present. Why should I carry lies abroad?

MOPSA , [to Shepherd’s Son]  Pray you now, buy it.

SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Autolycus]   Come on, lay it by, and
[310]  let’s first see more ballads. We’ll buy the other
 things anon.

AUTOLYCUS  Here’s another ballad, of a fish that appeared
 upon the coast on Wednesday the fourscore
 of April, forty thousand fathom above water, and
[315]  sung this ballad against the hard hearts of maids. It
 was thought she was a woman, and was turned into
 a cold fish for she would not exchange flesh with
 one that loved her. The ballad is very pitiful, and as
 true.

[320]DORCAS  Is it true too, think you?


AUTOLYCUS  Five justices’ hands at it, and witnesses
 more than my pack will hold.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Lay it by too. Another.

AUTOLYCUS  This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty
[325]  one.

MOPSA  Let’s have some merry ones.

AUTOLYCUS  Why, this is a passing merry one and goes
 to the tune of Two Maids Wooing a Man. There’s
 scarce a maid westward but she sings it. ’Tis in
[330]  request, I can tell you.

MOPSA  We can both sing it. If thou ’lt bear a part, thou
 shalt hear; ’tis in three parts.

DORCAS  We had the tune on ’t a month ago.

AUTOLYCUS  I can bear my part. You must know ’tis my
[335]  occupation. Have at it with you.

Song.





AUTOLYCUS   Get you hence, for I must go
 Where it fits not you to know.

DORCAS    Whither?

MOPSA     O, whither?

[340]DORCAS     Whither?

MOPSA   It becomes thy oath full well
 Thou to me thy secrets tell.

DORCAS    Me too. Let me go thither.

MOPSA   Or thou goest to th’ grange or mill.

[345]DORCAS   If to either, thou dost ill.

AUTOLYCUS    Neither.

DORCAS     What, neither?

AUTOLYCUS     Neither.

DORCAS   Thou hast sworn my love to be.

[350]MOPSA   Thou hast sworn it more to me.
  Then whither goest? Say whither.


SHEPHERD’S SON  We’ll have this song out anon by
 ourselves. My father and the gentlemen are in sad


 talk, and we’ll not trouble them. Come, bring away
[355]  thy pack after me.—Wenches, I’ll buy for you
 both.—Peddler, let’s have the first choice.—Follow
 me, girls.
[He exits with Mopsa, Dorcas, Shepherds and
Shepherdesses.]
AUTOLYCUS  And you shall pay well for ’em.

Song.





  Will you buy any tape,
[360]   Or lace for your cape,
 My dainty duck, my dear-a?
  Any silk, any thread,
  Any toys for your head,
 Of the new’st and fin’st, fin’st wear-a?
[365]   Come to the peddler.
  Money’s a meddler
 That doth utter all men’s ware-a.
[He exits.]


[Enter a Servant.]


SERVANT , [to Shepherd]   Master, there is three carters,
 three shepherds, three neatherds, three swineherds,
[370]  that have made themselves all men of hair.
 They call themselves saultiers, and they have a
 dance which the wenches say is a gallimaufry of
 gambols, because they are not in ’t, but they themselves
 are o’ th’ mind, if it be not too rough for
[375]  some that know little but bowling, it will please
 plentifully.

SHEPHERD  Away! We’ll none on ’t. Here has been too
 much homely foolery already.—I know, sir, we
 weary you.

[380]POLIXENES  You weary those that refresh us. Pray, let’s
 see these four threes of herdsmen.


SERVANT  One three of them, by their own report, sir,
 hath danced before the King, and not the worst of
 the three but jumps twelve foot and a half by th’
[385]  square.

SHEPHERD  Leave your prating. Since these good men
 are pleased, let them come in—but quickly now.

SERVANT  Why, they stay at door, sir.


[He admits the herdsmen.]


[Here a Dance of twelve herdsmen, dressed as  Satyrs.]
[Herdsmen, Musicians, and Servants exit.]

POLIXENES , [to Shepherd] 
 O father, you’ll know more of that hereafter.
[390]   [Aside to Camillo.] Is it not too far gone? ’Tis time to
 part them.
 He’s simple, and tells much.   [To Florizell.] How now,
 fair shepherd?
 Your heart is full of something that does take
[395]  Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young
 And handed love, as you do, I was wont
 To load my she with knacks. I would have ransacked
 The peddler’s silken treasury and have poured it
 To her acceptance. You have let him go
[400]  And nothing marted with him. If your lass
 Interpretation should abuse and call this
 Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited
 For a reply, at least if you make a care
 Of happy holding her.

[405]FLORIZELL   Old sir, I know
 She prizes not such trifles as these are.
 The gifts she looks from me are packed and locked
 Up in my heart, which I have given already,
 But not delivered.   [To Perdita. O, hear me breathe
[410]  my life
 Before this ancient sir, who,  it should seem,


 Hath sometime loved. I take thy hand, this hand
 As soft as dove’s down and as white as it,
 Or Ethiopian’s tooth, or the fanned snow that’s
[415]  bolted
 By th’ northern blasts twice o’er.

POLIXENES   What follows this?—
 How prettily th’ young swain seems to wash
 The hand was fair before.—I have put you out.
[420]  But to your protestation. Let me hear
 What you profess.

FLORIZELL   Do, and be witness to ’t.

POLIXENES 
 And this my neighbor too?

FLORIZELL   And he, and more
[425]  Than he, and men—the Earth, the heavens, and
 all—
 That were I crowned the most imperial monarch,
 Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth
 That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge
[430]  More than was ever man’s, I would not prize them
 Without her love; for her employ them all,
 Commend them and condemn them to her service
 Or to their own perdition.

POLIXENES   Fairly offered.

[435]CAMILLO 
 This shows a sound affection.

SHEPHERD   But my daughter,
 Say you the like to him?

PERDITA   I cannot speak
 So well, nothing so well, no, nor mean better.
[440]  By th’ pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
 The purity of his.

SHEPHERD   Take hands, a bargain.—
 And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to ’t:
 I give my daughter to him and will make
[445]  Her portion equal his.


FLORIZELL   O, that must be
 I’ th’ virtue of your daughter. One being dead,
 I shall have more than you can dream of yet,
 Enough then for your wonder. But come on,
[450]  Contract us fore these witnesses.

SHEPHERD   Come, your hand—
 And daughter, yours.

POLIXENES , [To Florizell]   Soft, swain, awhile, beseech
 you.
[455]  Have you a father?

FLORIZELL   I have, but what of him?

POLIXENES 
 Knows he of this?

FLORIZELL   He neither does nor shall.

POLIXENES  Methinks a father
[460]  Is at the nuptial of his son a guest
 That best becomes the table. Pray you once more,
 Is not your father grown incapable
 Of reasonable affairs? Is he not stupid
 With age and alt’ring rheums? Can he speak? Hear?
[465]  Know man from man? Dispute his own estate?
 Lies he not bedrid, and again does nothing
 But what he did being childish?

FLORIZELL   No, good sir.
 He has his health and ampler strength indeed
[470]  Than most have of his age.

POLIXENES   By my white beard,
 You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
 Something unfilial. Reason my son
 Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason
[475]  The father, all whose joy is nothing else
 But fair posterity, should hold some counsel
 In such a business.

FLORIZELL   I yield all this;
 But for some other reasons, my grave sir,


[480]  Which ’tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
 My father of this business.

POLIXENES   Let him know ’t.

FLORIZELL 
 He shall not.

POLIXENES   Prithee let him.

[485]FLORIZELL   No, he must not.

SHEPHERD 
 Let him, my son. He shall not need to grieve
 At knowing of thy choice.

FLORIZELL   Come, come, he must not.
 Mark our contract.

[490]POLIXENES , [removing his disguise]    Mark your divorce,
 young sir,
 Whom son I dare not call. Thou art too base
 To be acknowledged.  Thou a scepter’s heir
 That thus affects a sheep-hook!—Thou, old traitor,
[495]  I am sorry that by hanging thee I can
 But shorten thy life one week.—And thou, fresh
 piece
 Of excellent witchcraft, whom of force must know
 The royal fool thou cop’st with—

[500]SHEPHERD   O, my heart!

POLIXENES 
 I’ll have thy beauty scratched with briers and made
 More homely than thy state.—For thee, fond boy,
 If I may ever know thou dost but sigh
 That thou no more shalt see this knack—as never
505]  I mean thou shalt—we’ll bar thee from succession,
 Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
  Far’r  than Deucalion off. Mark thou my words.
 Follow us to the court.   [To Shepherd.]  Thou, churl,
 for this time,
[510]  Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
 From the dead blow of it.—And you, enchantment,
 Worthy enough a herdsman—yea, him too,


 That makes himself, but for our honor therein,
 Unworthy thee—if ever henceforth thou
[515]  These rural latches to his entrance open,
 Or hoop  his body more with thy embraces,
 I will devise a death as cruel for thee
 As thou art tender to ’t. [He exits.]

PERDITA   Even here undone.
[520]  I was not much afeard, for once or twice
 I was about to speak and tell him plainly
 The selfsame sun that shines upon his court
 Hides not his visage from our cottage but
 Looks on alike.   [To Florizell.]  Will ’t please you, sir,
[525]  be gone?
 I told you what would come of this. Beseech you,
 Of your own state take care. This dream of mine—
 Being now awake, I’ll queen it no inch farther,
 But milk my ewes and weep.

[530]CAMILLO , [to Shepherd]    Why, how now, father?
 Speak ere thou diest.

SHEPHERD   I cannot speak, nor think,
 Nor dare to know that which I know.   [To Florizell.]
 O sir,
[535]  You have undone a man of fourscore three,
 That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea,
 To die upon the bed my father died,
 To lie close by his honest bones; but now
 Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me
[540]  Where no priest shovels in dust.   [To Perdita.] O
 cursèd wretch,
 That knew’st this was the Prince, and wouldst
 adventure
 To mingle faith with him!—Undone, undone!
[545]  If I might die within this hour, I have lived
 To die when I desire. [He exits.]

FLORIZELL , [to Perdita]    Why look you so upon me?
 I am but sorry, not afeard; delayed,


 But nothing altered. What I was, I am,
[550]  More straining on for plucking back, not following
 My leash unwillingly.

CAMILLO   Gracious my lord,
 You know your  father’s temper. At this time
 He will allow no speech, which I do guess
[555]  You do not purpose to him; and as hardly
 Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear.
 Then, till the fury of his Highness settle,
 Come not before him.

FLORIZELL   I not purpose it.
[560]  I think Camillo?

CAMILLO , [removing his disguise]    Even he, my lord.

PERDITA , [to Florizell] 
 How often have I told you ’twould be thus?
 How often said my dignity would last
 But till ’twere known?

[565]FLORIZELL   It cannot fail but by
 The violation of my faith; and then
 Let nature crush the sides o’ th’ Earth together
 And mar the seeds within. Lift up thy looks.
 From my succession wipe me, father. I
[570]  Am heir to my affection.

CAMILLO   Be advised.

FLORIZELL 
 I am, and by my fancy. If my reason
 Will thereto be obedient, I have reason.
 If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,
[575]  Do bid it welcome.

CAMILLO   This is desperate, sir.

FLORIZELL 
 So call it; but it does fulfill my vow.
 I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
 Not for Bohemia nor the pomp that may
[580]  Be thereat gleaned, for all the sun sees or
 The close earth wombs or the profound seas hides


 In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath
 To this my fair beloved. Therefore, I pray you,
 As you have ever been my father’s honored friend,
[585]  When he shall miss me, as in faith I mean not
 To see him anymore, cast your good counsels
 Upon his passion. Let myself and fortune
 Tug for the time to come. This you may know
 And so deliver: I am put to sea
[590]  With her who here I cannot hold on shore.
 And most opportune to our  need I have
 A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared
 For this design. What course I mean to hold
 Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
[595]  Concern me the reporting.

CAMILLO   O my lord,

 I would your spirit were easier for advice
 Or stronger for your need.

FLORIZELL   Hark, Perdita.—
[600]  I’ll hear you by and by.
[Florizell and Perdita walk aside.]

CAMILLO   He’s irremovable,
 Resolved for flight. Now were I happy if
 His going I could frame to serve my turn,
 Save him from danger, do him love and honor,
[605]  Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia
 And that unhappy king, my master, whom
 I so much thirst to see.

FLORIZELL , [coming forward]   Now, good Camillo,
 I am so fraught with curious business that
[610]  I leave out ceremony.

CAMILLO   Sir, I think
 You have heard of my poor services i’ th’ love
 That I have borne your father?

FLORIZELL   Very nobly
[615]  Have you deserved. It is my father’s music


 To speak your deeds, not little of his care
 To have them recompensed as thought on.

CAMILLO   Well, my
 lord,
[620]  If you may please to think I love the King
 And, through him, what’s nearest to him, which is
 Your gracious self, embrace but my direction,
 If your more ponderous and settled project
 May suffer alteration. On mine honor,
[625]  I’ll point you where you shall have such receiving
 As shall become your Highness, where you may
 Enjoy your mistress—from the whom I see
 There’s no disjunction to be made but by,
 As heavens forfend, your ruin—marry her,
[630]  And with my best endeavors in your absence,
 Your discontenting father strive to qualify
 And bring him up to liking.

FLORIZELL   How, Camillo,
 May this, almost a miracle, be done,
[635]  That I may call thee something more than man,
 And after that trust to thee?

CAMILLO   Have you thought on
 A place whereto you’ll go?

FLORIZELL   Not any yet.
[640]  But as th’ unthought-on accident is guilty
 To what we wildly do, so we profess
 Ourselves to be the slaves of chance, and flies
 Of every wind that blows.

CAMILLO   Then list to me.
[645]  This follows: if you will not change your purpose
 But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia,
 And there present yourself and your fair princess,
 For so I see she must be, ’fore Leontes.
 She shall be habited as it becomes
[650]  The partner of your bed. Methinks I see


 Leontes opening his free arms and weeping
 His welcomes forth, asks thee, the  son, forgiveness,
 As ’twere i’ th’ father’s person; kisses the hands
 Of your fresh princess; o’er and o’er divides him
[655]  ’Twixt his unkindness and his kindness. Th’ one
 He chides to hell and bids the other grow
 Faster than thought or time.

FLORIZELL   Worthy Camillo,
 What color for my visitation shall I
[660]  Hold up before him?

CAMILLO   Sent by the King your father
 To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,
 The manner of your bearing towards him, with
 What you, as from your father, shall deliver,
[665]  Things known betwixt us three, I’ll write you down,
 The which shall point you forth at every sitting
 What you must say, that he shall not perceive
 But that you have your father’s bosom there
 And speak his very heart.

[670]FLORIZELL   I am bound to you.
 There is some sap in this.

CAMILLO   A course more promising
 Than a wild dedication of yourselves
 To unpathed waters, undreamed shores, most
[675]  certain
 To miseries enough; no hope to help you,
 But as you shake off one to take another;
 Nothing so certain as your anchors, who
 Do their best office if they can but stay you
[680]  Where you’ll be loath to be. Besides, you know
 Prosperity’s the very bond of love,
 Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
 Affliction alters.

PERDITA   One of these is true.
[685]  I think affliction may subdue the cheek
 But not take in the mind.


CAMILLO   Yea, say you so?
 There shall not at your father’s house these seven
 years
[690]  Be born another such.

FLORIZELL   My good Camillo,
 She’s as forward of her breeding as she is
 I’ th’ rear our birth.

CAMILLO   I cannot say ’tis pity
[695]  She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress
 To most that teach.

PERDITA   Your pardon, sir. For this
 I’ll blush you thanks.

FLORIZELL   My prettiest Perdita.
[700]  But O, the thorns we stand upon!—Camillo,
 Preserver of my father, now of me,
 The medicine of our house, how shall we do?
 We are not furnished like Bohemia’s son,
 Nor shall appear in Sicilia.

[705]CAMILLO   My lord,
 Fear none of this. I think you know my fortunes
 Do all lie there. It shall be so my care
 To have you royally appointed as if
 The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,
[710]  That you may know you shall not want, one word.
[They step aside and talk.]


[Enter Autolycus.]


AUTOLYCUS  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
 ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table book, ballad,
[715]  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


[720]  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
[725]  all their other senses stuck in ears. You might have
 pinched a placket, it was senseless; ’twas nothing to
 geld a codpiece of a purse. I could  have filed
 keys off that hung in chains. No hearing, no feeling,
 but my sir’s song and admiring the nothing of it. So
[730]  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 hubbub against his daughter and the
 King’s son, and scared my choughs from the chaff, I
 had not left a purse alive in the whole army.
[Camillo, Florizell, and Perdita come forward.]

CAMILLO , [to Florizell]  
[735]  Nay, but my letters, by this means being there
 So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.

FLORIZELL 
 And those that you’ll procure from King Leontes—

CAMILLO 
 Shall satisfy your father.

PERDITA   Happy be you!
[740]  All that you speak shows fair.

CAMILLO , [noticing an id="line-SD 4.4.741" title="SD 4.4.741"> Autolycus]
   Who have we here?
 We’ll make an instrument of this, omit
 Nothing may give us aid.

AUTOLYCUS , [aside] 
 If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.

[745]CAMILLO  How now, good fellow? Why shak’st thou so?
 Fear not, man. Here’s no harm intended to thee.

AUTOLYCUS  I am a poor fellow, sir.

CAMILLO  Why, be so still. Here’s nobody will steal that
 from thee. Yet for the outside of thy poverty we


[750]  must make an exchange. Therefore discase thee
 instantly—thou must think there’s a necessity in
 ’t—and change garments with this gentleman.
 Though the pennyworth on his side be the worst,
 yet hold thee, there’s some boot.
[He hands Autolycus money.]

[755]AUTOLYCUS  I am a poor fellow, sir.  [Aside.] I know you
 well enough.

CAMILLO  Nay, prithee, dispatch. The gentleman is half
 flayed already.

AUTOLYCUS  Are you in earnest, sir? [ Aside.] I smell the
[760]  trick on ’t.

FLORIZELL  Dispatch, I prithee.

AUTOLYCUS  Indeed, I have had earnest, but I cannot
 with conscience take it.

CAMILLO  Unbuckle, unbuckle.
[Florizell and Autolycus exchange garments.]
[765]  Fortunate mistress—let my prophecy
 Come home to you!—you must retire yourself
 Into some covert. Take your sweetheart’s hat
 And pluck it o’er your brows, muffle your face,
 Dismantle you, and, as you can, disliken
[770]  The truth of your own seeming, that you may—
 For I do fear eyes over—to shipboard
 Get undescried.

PERDITA   I see the play so lies
 That I must bear a part.

[775]CAMILLO   No remedy.—
 Have you done there?

FLORIZELL   Should I now meet my father,
 He would not call me son.

CAMILLO   Nay, you shall have no hat.
[He gives Florizell’s hat to Perdita.]
[780]  Come, lady, come.—Farewell, my friend.

AUTOLYCUS   Adieu, sir.


FLORIZELL 
 O Perdita, what have we twain forgot?
 Pray you, a word. [They talk aside.]

CAMILLO , [aside] 
 What I do next shall be to tell the King
[785]  Of this escape, and whither they are bound;
 Wherein my hope is I shall so prevail
 To force him after, in whose company
 I shall re-view Sicilia, for whose sight
 I have a woman’s longing.

[790]FLORIZELL   Fortune speed us!—
 Thus we set on, Camillo, to th’ seaside.

CAMILLO  The swifter speed the better.
[Camillo, Florizell, and Perdita exit.]

AUTOLYCUS  I understand the business; I hear it. To have
 an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand is
[795]  necessary for a cutpurse; a good nose is requisite
 also, to smell out work for th’ 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
[800]  year connive at us, and we may do anything 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
[805]  the more knavery to conceal it, and therein am I
 constant to my profession.


[Enter Shepherd’s Son and Shepherd, carrying the
 bundle and the box.]


 Aside, aside! Here is more matter for a hot brain.
 Every lane’s end, every shop, church, session, hanging,
 yields a careful man work. [He moves aside.]


[810]SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Shepherd]  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.

[815]SHEPHERD’S SON  Nay, but hear me!

SHEPHERD  Go to, then.

SHEPHERD’S SON  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
[820]  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.

SHEPHERD  I will tell the King all, every word, yea, and
[825]  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.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest
 off you could have been to him, and then your
[830]  blood had been the dearer by I know how much an
 ounce.

AUTOLYCUS , [aside]  Very wisely, puppies.

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