Imatges de pÓgina


SCENE I.-Bohemia. A Room in the Palace of Polixenes.


Pol. (c.) I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more importunate: 'tis a death to grant this.

Cam. (L. c.) It is sixteen years since I saw my country: besides, the penitent king, my master, has sent for me: to whose feeling sorrows I might be some allay ; which is another spur to my departure.

Pol. Of that fatal country, Sicilia, 'prithee, speak no more. Say to me, when saw'st thou the Prince Florizel my son? I have eyes under my service, which look upon his removedness: from whom I have this intelligence; that he is seldom from the house of a most homely shepherd; a man, they say, that, from very nothing, is grown into an unspeakable estate.

Cam. I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended more, than can be thought to begin from such a cottage.

Pol. That's likewise part of my intelligence. Thou shalt accompany us to the place; where we will, not appearing what we are, have some question with the shepherd; from whose simplicity, I think it not uneasy to get the cause of my son's resort thither. 'Pr'ythee, be my present partner in this business, and lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.

Cam. I obey your commands.

Pol. My best Camillo ! We must disguise ourselves.

SCENE II.-The open Country.

Enter AUTOLYCUS singing.

When daffodils begin to peer—

With, hey! the doxy over the dale,

Why, then comes in the sweet o'the year;

[Exeunt, L.

For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.

I have serv'd Prince Florizel, and, in my time, wore three-pile; but now I am out of service.

The white sheet bleaching on the hedge


With, hey 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-lirra chaunts-

With hey! with hey! the thrush and the jay,
Are summer songs for me and my aunts;
While we lie tumbling in the hay.

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 comparison; and my revenue is the silly cheat. A
prize! a prize!
[Retires, L.

Enter CLOWN, r.

Clo. (c.) Let me see. Every 'leven wether tods; every tod yields-pound and odd shilling: fifteen hundred shorn-what comes the wool to?

Aut. [Slyly advancing behind him.] If the springe hold, the cock's mine.

Clo. I cannot do't without counters.

[Takes out a paper, and reads. Let me see what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast! "Three pound of sugar; five pound of 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. "Mace dates," '-none; that's out of my note: "nutmegs, seven; four pound of prunes, and as many of raisins o'the sun." Aut. [Wallowing on the ground.] O, that ever I was


Clo. [Turning round much alarmed.] I'the name of me-Aut. O, help me, help me : pluck but off these rags; and then

Clo. Alack, poor soul! thou hast need of more rags to lay on thee, rather than have these off.

Aut. I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and apparel ta'en from me, and these detestable things put upon me.

Clo. [Bending over him.] What, by a horseman, or a footman?

Aut. A footman, sweet sir, a footman.

Clo. 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. [Helping him up.

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

Clo. How now? Canst stand?

Aut. Softly, dear sir; [Picks the Clown's Pocket] good sir, softly. You ha' done me a charitable office.

Clo. Dost lack any money? I have a little money for thee.

Aut. 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.

Clo. What manner of fellow was he that robbed you?

Aut. A fellow, sir, that I have known to go about with trol-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.

Clo. His vices, you would say; there's no virtue whipped out of the court.

Aut. 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.

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

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

Clo. Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia; if you had but looked big, and spit at him, he'd have run.

Aut. I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter: I am false of heart that way; and that he knew, I warrant him. Clo. How do you, now?

Aut. 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.

Clo. Shall I bring thee on the way?

Aut. No, good-faced sir; no, sweet sir.

Clo. Then fare thee well; I must go buy spices for our sheep-shearing. [Exit Clown, L.

Aut. Prosper you, sweet sir!-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 un-
rolled, and my name put in the book of virtue !
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, R.

SCENE III.-A Lawn before a Shepherd's Cottage.

Enter FLORIZEL and PERDITA, from an alcove, R.

Flo. These, your unusual weeds, to each part of you Do give a life: no shepherdess; but Flora,

Peering in April's front. This, your sheep-shearing,
Is a meeting of the petty gods,

And you the queen on't.

Per. (c.) Sir, my gracious lord,

To chide at your extremes, it not becomes me;
O, pardon, that I name them: your high self,
The gracious mark o' the land, you have obscur'd
With a swain's wearing; and me, poor lowly maid,
Most goddess-like prank'd up.

Flo. (c.) I bless the time,

When my good falcon made her flight across
Thy father's ground.

Per. Now Jove afford you cause!

Even now I tremble

To think, your father, by some accident,
Should pass this way, as you did.

Flo. Thou dearest Perdita,

With these forc'd thoughts, I prithee, darken not
The mirth o'er the feast: Or I'll be thine, my fair,
Or not my father's.

To this I am most constant,

Though destiny say no.

[Tabor and Pipe within, L.]

Your guests are coming;

Lift up your countenance; as it were the day
Of celebration of that nuptial, which

We two have sworn shall come.

Per. O lady fortune,

Stand you auspicious!

Flo. See, your guests approach:

Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,
And let's be red with mirth.


She. Fie, daughter! when my old wife liv'd, upon
This day, she was both pantler, butler, cook;
Both dame and servant: welcom'd all; serv'd all :
You are retir'd,

As if you were a feasted one, and not

The hostess of the meeting: 'Pray you, bid
These unknown friends to us welcome; for it is
A way to make us better friends, more known.
Come, quench your blushes; and present yourself
That which you are, mistress o'the feast: Come on,
And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,
As your good flock shall prosper.

Per. Welcome, sirs!—

It is my father's will, I should take on me

The hostess-ship o'the day :-You're welcome, sirs. [Perdita sings.]

(This is sometimes omitted.)

Come, come, my good shepherds, our flocks we must shear;

In your holiday suits, with your lasses appear:
The happiest of folks are the guileless and free,
And who are so guileless, so happy, as we ?
That giant, Ambition, we never can dread;
Our roofs are too low for so lofty a head;
Content and sweet cheerfulness open our door,
They smile with the simple, and feed with the poor
When love has possess'd us, that love we reveal;
Like the flocks that we feed, are the passions we feel;
So harmless, and simple, we sport and we play,
And leave to fine folks to deceive and betray.

Cam. (L.) Good sooth, she is the queen of curds and


Per. (c.) Give me those flowers there, Dorcas.-Reverend sirs, [To Polixenes and Camillo, L.

For you there's rosemary, and rue :

Grace, and remembrance, be to you both,
And welcome to our shearing!

Pol. (L.) Shepherdess,

(A fair one are you,) well you fit our ages With flowers of winter.

« AnteriorContinua »