Act 4 Scene 4 Part 2

SHEPHERD  Well, let us to the King. There is that in this
 fardel will make him scratch his beard.

[835]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
[840]  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,

[845]  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
[850]  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
[855]  manner.

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
[860]  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
[865]  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.

[870]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!
[875]  Yet Nature might have made me as these are.
 Therefore I will not disdain.

SHEPHERD’S SON , [to Shepherd]  This cannot be but a
 great courtier.

SHEPHERD  His garments are rich, but he wears them
[880]  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?
[885]  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.

[890]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,
[895]  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
[900]  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
[905]  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
[910]  that death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne
 into a sheepcote? All deaths are too few, the sharpest
 too easy.

SHEPHERD’S SON  Has the old man e’er a son, sir, do you
 hear, an ’t like you, sir?

[915]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
[920]  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,
[925]  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
[930]  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
[935]  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
[940]  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.] 
[945]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.

[950]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
[955]  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.

[960]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
[965]  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
[970]  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
[975]  present them. There may be matter in it.

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