AUTOLYCUS , [aside] I know not what impediment this
complaint may be to the flight of my master.
SHEPHERD’S SON Pray heartily he be at’ palace.
AUTOLYCUS , [aside] Though I am not naturally honest,
I am so sometimes by chance. Let me pocket up my
 peddler’s excrement. ([He removes his false beard.])
How now, rustics, whither are you bound?
SHEPHERD To th’ palace, an it like your Worship.
AUTOLYCUS 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 anything that is fitting to be known, discover!
SHEPHERD’S SON We are but plain fellows, sir.
AUTOLYCUS 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.
SHEPHERD’S SON Your Worship had like to have given
us one, if you had not taken yourself with the
SHEPHERD Are you a courtier, an ’t like you, sir?
AUTOLYCUS 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? Receives not thy nose court odor from me?
Reflect I not on thy baseness court contempt?
Think’st thou, for that I insinuate and toze 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.
SHEPHERD My business, sir, is to the King.
AUTOLYCUS What advocate hast thou to him?
SHEPHERD I know not, an ’t like you.
SHEPHERD’S SON , [aside to Shepherd] Advocate’s the
court word for a pheasant. Say you have none.
SHEPHERD , [to Autolycus] None, sir. I have no pheasant,
cock nor hen.
How blest are we that are not simple men!
 Yet Nature might have made me as these are.
Therefore I will not disdain.
SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Shepherd] This cannot be but a
SHEPHERD His garments are rich, but he wears them
 not handsomely.
SHEPHERD’S SON He seems to be the more noble in
being fantastical. A great man, I’ll warrant. I know
by the picking on ’s teeth.
AUTOLYCUS The fardel there. What’s i’ th’ fardel?
 Wherefore that box?
SHEPHERD 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 th’ speech of him.
AUTOLYCUS Age, thou hast lost thy labor.
SHEPHERD Why, sir?
AUTOLYCUS The King is not at the palace. He is gone
aboard a new ship to purge melancholy and air
himself, for, if thou beest capable of things serious,
 thou must know the King is full of grief.
SHEPHERD So ’tis said, sir—about his son, that should
have married a shepherd’s daughter.
AUTOLYCUS If that shepherd be not in handfast, let him
fly. The curses he shall have, the tortures he shall
 feel, will break the back of man, the heart of
SHEPHERD’S SON Think you so, sir?
AUTOLYCUS Not he alone shall suffer what wit can
make heavy and vengeance bitter; but those that are
 germane 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 sheepcote? All deaths are too few, the sharpest
SHEPHERD’S SON Has the old man e’er a son, sir, do you
hear, an ’t like you, sir?
AUTOLYCUS He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then
’nointed over with honey, set on the head of a
wasps’-nest; then stand till he be three-quarters and
a dram dead, then recovered again with aqua vitae
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 offenses 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.
SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Shepherd] 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.”
SHEPHERD , [to Autolycus] 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.
AUTOLYCUS After I have done what I promised?
SHEPHERD Ay, sir.
AUTOLYCUS Well, give me the moiety. [Shepherd hands
him money.] Are you a party in this business?
SHEPHERD’S SON In some sort, sir; but though my case
be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.
AUTOLYCUS O, that’s the case of the shepherd’s son!
Hang him, he’ll be made an example.
SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Shepherd] 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.
AUTOLYCUS I will trust you. Walk before toward the
seaside. Go on the right hand. I will but look upon
the hedge, and follow you.
SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Shepherd] We are blessed in this
man, as I may say, even blessed.
SHEPHERD Let’s before, as he bids us. He was provided
to do us good. [Shepherd and his son exit.]
AUTOLYCUS 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.