Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > The Winter's Tale > Act IV, scene III



	[Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing]

AUTOLYCUS: 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 on edge;
	For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.

	The lark, that tirra-lyra 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 Florizel 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 Clown]

Clown: 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.

Clown: I cannot do't without counters. Let me see; what am
	I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? 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 nose-gays for
	the shearers, three-man-song-men all, and very good
	ones; but they are most of them means and bases; but
	one puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to
	horn-pipes. I must have saffron to colour 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' the sun.

AUTOLYCUS: O that ever I was born!

	[Grovelling on the ground]

Clown: I' the name of me--

AUTOLYCUS: O, help me, help me! pluck but off these rags; and
	then, death, death!

Clown: 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.

Clown: 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.

Clown: What, by a horseman, or a footman?

AUTOLYCUS: A footman, sweet sir, a footman.

Clown: 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 hand.

AUTOLYCUS: O, good sir, tenderly, O!

Clown: Alas, poor soul!

AUTOLYCUS: O, good sir, softly, good sir! I fear, sir, my
	shoulder-blade is out.

Clown: How now! canst stand?

AUTOLYCUS: [Picking his pocket]

	Softly, dear sir; good sir, softly. You ha' done me
	a charitable office.

Clown: 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
	any thing I want: offer me no money, I pray you;
	that kills my heart.

Clown: 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.

Clown: 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.

Clown: Out upon him! prig, for my life, prig: he haunts
	wakes, fairs and bear-baitings.

AUTOLYCUS: Very true, sir; he, sir, he; that's the rogue that
	put me into this apparel.

Clown: Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia: if you had
	but looked big and spit at him, he'ld 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.

Clown: 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.

Clown: Shall I bring thee on the way?

AUTOLYCUS: No, good-faced sir; no, sweet sir.

Clown: Then fare thee well: I must go buy spices for our
	sheep-shearing.

AUTOLYCUS: Prosper you, sweet sir!

	[Exit Clown]

	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 foot-path way,
	And merrily hent the stile-a:
	A merry heart goes all the day,
	Your sad tires in a mile-a.

	[Exit]




	THE WINTER'S TALE






Search for this word      in all documents   just this document

What do you think? Grade this document:  

Need writing help? Try RhymeZone's rhyming dictionary and thesaurus features

Help  Advanced  Feedback  Android  iPhone/iPad  API  Blog  Privacy

Copyright © 2018 Datamuse