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chaff, I had not left a purse alive in the whole army. [cam., Flo., and Per. come forward.
Cam. Nay, but my letters by this means being there So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.
Flo. And those that you'll procure from King Leontes —
Cam. Shall satisfy your father.
Per. Happy be you!
All that you speak shews fair.
Cam. Who have we here ? —
[Seeing Autolyctts. We'll make an instrument of this; omit Nothing may give us aid.
Aut. If they have overheard me now, — why, hanging. [Aside.
Cam. How now, good fellow r why shak'st thou so? Fear not, man; here's no harm intended to thee.
Aut. I am a poor fellow, sir.
Cam. Why, be so still; here's nobody will steal that from thee: yet, for the outside of thy poverty we must make an exchange: therefore, disease 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.
Aut. I am a poor fellow, sir. — I know ye well enough. [Aside.
Cam. Nay, pr'ythee, dispatch: the gentleman is half flay'd already.
Aut. Are you in earnest, sir ? — I smell the trick on 't. — [Aside. Flo. Dispatch, I pr'ythee.
Aut. Indeed I have had earnest; but I cannot with conscience take it.
Cam. Unbuckle, unbuckle. —
[flo. and Aut. exchange garments. Fortunate mistress, — let my prophecy Come home to ye! — 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 The truth of your own seeming; that you may (For I do fear eyes over) to shipboard Get undescri'd.
Per. I see the play so lies
That I must bear a part.
Cam. No remedy. —
Have you done there?
Flo. Should I now meet my father,
He would not call me son.
Cam. Nay, you shall have no hat:
Come, lady, come. — Farewell, my friend.
Aut. Adieu, sir.
Flo. O, Perdita, what have we twain forgot! Pray you, a word. \They converse apart.
Cam. [_Aside.~\ What I do next shall be, to tell the King 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 review Sicilia, for whose sight I have a woman's longing.
Flo. Fortune speed us! —
Thus we set on, Camillo, to th' sea-side.
Cam. The swifter speed the better.
\_Exeunt Flo., Per., and Cam.
Aut. I understand the business; I hear it. To have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary for a cut-purse; 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 year connive at us, and we may do any thing 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 the more knavery to conceal it; and therein am I constant to my profession.
Enter Clown and Shepherd.
Aside, aside; — here is more matter for a hot brain. Every lane's end, every shop, church, session, hanging, yields a careful man work.
Clo. 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.
Shep. Nay, but hear me.
Clo. Nay, but hear me.
Shep. Go to, then.
Clo. 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 punish'd by him. Shew 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.
Shep. I will tell the King all, every word; yea, and 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.
Clo. Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest off you could have been to him; and then your blood had been the dearer, by I know how much an ounce.
Aut. [Aside.'j Very wisely; puppies!
Shep. Well; let us to the King; there is that in this fardel will make him scratch his beard.
Aut. I know not what impediment this complaint may be to the flight of my master.
Clo. 'Pray heartily he be at palace.
Aut. Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance. — Let me pocket up my pedler's excrement. — [Takes off his false beard.'] Ho\* now, rustics? whither are you bound?
Shep. To th' palace, an it like your worship.
Aut. 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 any thing that is fitting to be known, discover?
Clo. We are but plain fellows, sir.
Aut. 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.
Clo. Your worship had like to have given us one, if you had not taken yourself with the manner.
Shep. Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?
Aut. Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier. See'st 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-odour from me? Reflect I not on thy baseness Court-contempt? Think'st thou, for that I insinuate, or touze 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.
Shep. My business, sir, is to the King.
Aut. What advocate hast thou to him?
Shep. I know not, an't like you.
Clo. Advocate's the Court-word for a pheasant; say you have none.
Shep. None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor hen.
Aut. How bless'd are we that are not simple men! Yet Nature might have made me as these are, Therefore I will not disdain.
Clo. This cannot be but a great courtier.
Shep. His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomely.
Clo. He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical: a great man, I'll warrant: I know by the picking on's teeth.
Aut. The fardel there? what's i'the fardel? Wherefore that box?
Shep. 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.
Aut. Age, thou hast lost thy labour.
Shep. Why, sir?
Aut. The King is not at the palace: he is gone aboard a new ship to purge melancholy, and air himself. For if thou be'st capable of things serious, thou must know the King is full of grief.
Shep. So 'tis said, sir, about his son, that should have married a shepherd's daughter.
Aut. If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly; the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.
Clo. Think you so, sir?
Aut. Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make