« AnteriorContinuar »
heavy, and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to him, though remov'd 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 ston'd; but that death is too soft for him, say I. Draw our throne into a sheep-cote! all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.
Clo. Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an't like you, sir?
Aut. He has a son, who shall be flay'd alive; then, 'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a wasp's nest; then stand, till he be three quarters and a dram dead; then recover'd 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 smil'd at, their offences being so capital? Tell me (for you seem to be honest plain men) what you have to the King: being something gently consider'd, 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.
Clo. 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; shew the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado. Remember, ston'd and flay'd alive!
Shep. An't please you, sir, to undertake the business for us, here is that gold I have: I'll make it w2
as much more; and leave this young man in pawn till I bring it you.
Aut. After I have done what I promised?
Shep. Ay, sir.
Aut. Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in this business?
Clo. In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flay'd out of it.
Aut. O, that's the case of the shepherd's son: — Hang him, he'll be made an example.
Clo. Comfort, good comfort: we must to the King, and shew 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 perform'd; and remain, as he says, your pawn till it be brought you.
Aut. I will trust you. Walk before toward the sea-side: go on the right hand; I will but look upon the hedge, and follow you.
Clo. We are bless'd in this man, as I may say, even bless'd.
Shep. Let's before, as he bids us: he was provided to do us good. [Exeunt Shepherd and Clown.
Aut. 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. [Exit.
Scene I. — Sicilia. A Room in the Palace of Leontes.
Enter Leontes, Cleomenes, Dion, Paulina, and others.
SIR, you have done enough, and have perform'd
Leon. Whilst I remember
Her, and her virtues, I cannot forget
Paul. True, too true, my lord:
If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
Leon. I think so. Kill'd!She I kill'd! I did so; but thou strik'st me
Cleo. Not at all, good lady;
You might have spoken a thousand things that would
Paul. You are one of those
Would have him wed again.
Dion. If you would not so,
You pity not the State, nor the remembrance
Paul. There is none worthy,
Respecting her that's gone. Besides, the gods
not for issue;The Crown will find an heir. Great Alexander
Leon. Good Paulina,—
Who hast the memory of Hermione,
I know, in honour, — O, that ever I
Paul, And left them
More rich for what they yielded.
Leon. Thou speak'st truth.
No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse,
Paul. Had she such power,
She had just cause.
Leon. She had; and would incense me
To murther her I married.
Paul. I should so:
Were I the ghost that walk'd, I'd bid you mark
Leon. Stars, stars,
And all eyes else dead coals ! — Fear thou no wife, I'll have no wife, Paulina.
Paul. Will you swear
Never to marry, but by my free leave?
Leon. Never, Paulina! so be bless'd my spirit!
Paul. Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath, —
Cleo. You tempt him over-much.
Paul. Unless another,
A.s like Hermione as is her picture,
Cleo. Good Madam, I have done.