A line-by-line translation

The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale Translation Act 4, Scene 4

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Enter FLORIZEL and PERDITA

FLORIZEL

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 as a meeting of the petty gods, And you the queen on't.

FLORIZEL

This costume looks good on you! You're not a shepherdess; you're Flora, the goddess of spring. This sheep-shearing festival is a meeting of the gods, and you're the queen of all of them.

PERDITA

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 obscured With a swain's wearing, and me, poor lowly maid, Most goddess-like prank'd up: but that our feasts In every mess have folly and the feeders Digest it with a custom, I should blush To see you so attired, sworn, I think, To show myself a glass.

PERDITA

Sweetheart, I hate to correct your over-exaggerations—please forgive me for pointing them out. Though you've disguised yourself as a shepherd, you're still the prince of our country and I'm only a poor peasant girl playing dress-up. If it weren't the kind of party where everyone will be looking a little silly, I'd be embarrassed for you to be dressed the way you are, and I could hardly look in a mirror.

FLORIZEL

I bless the timeWhen my good falcon made her flight acrossThy father's ground.

FLORIZEL

I'm thankful for the day my falcon landed on your father's farm.

PERDITA

Now Jove afford you cause! To me the difference forges dread; your greatness Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble To think your father, by some accident, Should pass this way as you did: O, the Fates! How would he look, to see his work so noble Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how Should I, in these my borrow'd flaunts, behold The sternness of his presence?

PERDITA

May God keep you safe here! I'm afraid of the consequences; you've been sheltered enough to not know what fear is. I'm terrified of what would happen if your dad showed up here by chance the way that you did. Oh, just imagine! What would he think of his royal son being engaged to someone like me? What would he say? And how would I, in this ridiculous outfit, respond to his anger?

FLORIZEL

Apprehend Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves, Humbling their deities to love, have taken The shapes of beasts upon them: Jupiter Became a bull, and bellow'd; the green Neptune A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god, Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain, As I seem now. Their transformations Were never for a piece of beauty rarer, Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires Run not before mine honour, nor my lusts Burn hotter than my faith.

FLORIZEL

All I want you to think about is having a good time! You know, the gods turned themselves into animals for the sake of love: Jupiter became a bull, Neptune became a ram, and the sun god, Apollo, became a shepherd just like I am now. And their transformations weren't for girls as beautiful as you. Or as pure—since, you know, I'm not trying to move too quickly here. My commitment to you goes beyond physical desire.

PERDITA

O, but, sir, Your resolution cannot hold, when 'tis Opposed, as it must be, by the power of the king: One of these two must be necessities, Which then will speak, that you must change this purpose, Or I my life.

PERDITA

But it will be hard for you to maintain that when the king is against you. One of two things will have to happen: you'll stop pursuing me, or I'll become a different person.

FLORIZEL

Thou dearest Perdita, With these forced thoughts, I prithee, darken not The mirth o' the feast. Or I'll be thine, my fair, Or not my father's. For I cannot be Mine own, nor any thing to any, if I be not thine. To this I am most constant, Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle; Strangle such thoughts as these with any thing That you behold the while. 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.

FLORIZEL

Perdita, please don't ruin the party by worrying. I belong to you, sweetheart, not my father. I'm nothing to myself and the world if I don't have you—I swear I mean it, despite all the odds. Be happy, relax, and get rid of all these negative thoughts. Your guests are coming! Smile like today's the wedding day we've been planning.

PERDITA

O lady Fortune,Stand you auspicious!

PERDITA

I hope Lady Luck is on our side!

FLORIZEL

See, your guests approach:Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,And let's be red with mirth.

FLORIZEL

Look, your guests are coming. Try to have fun with them; let's all have a good time.

Enter Shepherd, Clown, MOPSA, DORCAS, and others, with POLIXENES and CAMILLO disguised

SHEPHERD

Fie, daughter! when my old wife lived, upon This day she was both pantler, butler, cook, Both dame and servant; welcomed all, served all; Would sing her song and dance her turn; now here, At upper end o' the table, now i' the middle; On his shoulder, and his; her face o' fire With labour and the thing she took to quench it, She would to each one sip. You are retired, As if you were a feasted one and not The hostess of the meeting: pray you, bid These unknown friends to's 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.

SHEPHERD

Shame on you, daughter! When your mother was alive, she was a jack-of-all-trades on the day of the festival. She welcomed everyone, served everyone, sang and danced—she was at one end of the table, then the other, serving this man and that man, sweating from working so hard and drinking all the while. Meanwhile, you're relaxing as if you were a guest and not the host! [He gestures toward POLIXENES and CAMILLO] Please welcome these strangers. I hope we can get to know them better. All right, stop blushing and introduce yourself; you're the queen of the feast. Come on, and welcome everyone to the sheep-shearing so that we can start enjoying ourselves.

PERDITA

[To POLIXENES] Sir, welcome:It is my father's will I should take on meThe hostess-ship o' the day. [To CAMILLO] You're welcome, sir.Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,For you there's rosemary and rue; these keepSeeming and savour all the winter long:Grace and remembrance be to you both,And welcome to our shearing!

PERDITA

[To POLIXENES] Welcome, sir. My father has asked me to play hostess today.

[To CAMILLO] You're welcome, too, sir. 

[To DORCAS] Give me those flowers, Dorcas . . .

[To POLIXENES and CAMILLO] Gentlemen, here are some herbs for you that will stay green all winter long; rosemary and rue are a gift to symbolize grace and remembrance. And welcome to our shearing!

POLIXENES

Shepherdess,A fair one are you—well you fit our agesWith flowers of winter.

POLIXENES

You are beautiful, shepherdess. And we see what you did there—you gave us winter flowers because we're old!

PERDITA

Sir, the year growing ancient, Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o' the season Are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors, Which some call nature's bastards: of that kind Our rustic garden's barren; and I care not To get slips of them.

PERDITA

Since it's spring, sir—summer's not over yet and winter hasn't come—the prettiest flowers blooming at the moment are carnations and multicolor gillyvors, which some people call "nature's bastards." We don't grow those here, and I'm not a big fan.

POLIXENES

Wherefore, gentle maiden,Do you neglect them?

POLIXENES

Why don't you care for them?

PERDITA

For I have heard it saidThere is an art which in their piedness sharesWith great creating nature.

PERDITA

I've heard people say that engineering their multicoloredness is "playing God."

POLIXENES

Say there be; Yet nature is made better by no mean But nature makes that mean: so, over that art Which you say adds to nature, is an art That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry A gentler scion to the wildest stock, And make conceive a bark of baser kind By bud of nobler race: this is an art Which does mend nature, change it rather, but The art itself is nature.

POLIXENES

Maybe you're right, but humans can't create anything in nature that doesn't already have the potential to exist; the "engineering" that you say is contrary to nature is actually enabled by nature itself. You see, sweetheart, if we graft a purebred plant to a weed, we can make the weed produce a beautiful flower. This is "engineering" that improves nature, but the engineering itself is all natural. 

PERDITA

So it is.

PERDITA

I suppose you're right.

POLIXENES

Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,And do not call them bastards.

POLIXENES

Then you should grow lots of gillyvors and stop calling them "bastards."

PERDITA

I'll not put The dibble in earth to set one slip of them; No more than were I painted I would wish This youth should say 'twere well and only therefore Desire to breed by me. Here's flowers for you; Hot lavender, mints, savoury, marjoram; The marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun And with him rises weeping: these are flowers Of middle summer, and I think they are given To men of middle age. You're very welcome.

PERDITA

I won't plant a single one. It'd be the same if my boyfriend only thought I was beautiful after I put on heavy make-up.

[She hands flowers to CAMILLO] Here are flowers for you that close at night and open in the day to receive the sunshine. As midsummer flowers, they're the perfect gift for middle-aged men. You're very welcome here.

CAMILLO

I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,And only live by gazing.

CAMILLO

If I were one of your sheep, I wouldn't need to graze on grass—I could live just by gazing at your beautiful face.

PERDITA

Out, alas! You'd be so lean, that blasts of January Would blow you through and through. Now, my fair'st friend, I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might Become your time of day; and yours, and yours, That wear upon your virgin branches yet Your maidenheads growing: O Proserpina, For the flowers now, that frighted thou let'st fall From Dis's waggon! daffodils, That come before the swallow dares, and take The winds of March with beauty; violets dim, But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses That die unmarried, ere they can behold Bright Phoebus in his strength—a malady Most incident to maids; bold oxlips and The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds, The flower-de-luce being one! O, these I lack, To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend, To strew him o'er and o'er!

PERDITA

Oh, stop it! You'd starve to death in that case. 

[To FLORIZEL]
 Now, my dear: if only I had some spring flowers for you and for my friends. Spring flowers are fitting for young virgins. I wish I had the flowers the spring goddess threw away when she was carted off to the underworld! I wish I had daffodils (the earliest spring flowers), violets (so dark and sweet), primroses (that die when kissed by the sun), oxlips (the royal flowers), and every kind of lily, including the fleur-de-lis! Unfortunately I don't have any of these to make a flower-crown for you, or to throw on top of you!

FLORIZEL

What, like a corse?

FLORIZEL

What, like a dead body?

PERDITA

No, like a bank for love to lie and play on; Not like a corse; or if, not to be buried, But quick and in mine arms. Come, take your flowers: Methinks I play as I have seen them do In Whitsun pastorals: sure this robe of mine Does change my disposition.

PERDITA

No, like a grassy hill for lovers to roll around on, not like a dead body! Your body's not anywhere close to being buried, unless you mean buried in my arms. Come on, take your flowers. I feel like I'm acting in a community play; it's like this costume has totally changed my personality. 

FLORIZEL

What you do Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet. I'ld have you do it ever: when you sing, I'ld have you buy and sell so, so give alms, Pray so; and, for the ordering your affairs, To sing them too: when you do dance, I wish you A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do Nothing but that; move still, still so, And own no other function: each your doing, So singular in each particular, Crowns what you are doing in the present deed, That all your acts are queens.

FLORIZEL

Everything you do is even more wonderful than what you did before. My darling, I can't get enough of your voice; I could listen to you talk forever. Your singing is like charity for my poor soul, and makes me want to sing, too. When you dance, I don't want you to stop, I want you to keep moving so gracefully forever. Everything you do—in exactly the way you do it—makes you even more perfect than you already are.

PERDITA

O Doricles,Your praises are too large: but that your youth,And the true blood which peepeth fairly through't,Do plainly give you out an unstain'd shepherd,With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,You woo'd me the false way.

PERDITA

Oh, "Doricles," you exaggerate. If it weren't oh-so-obvious that you're nothing more than an innocent shepherd, I'm afraid I'd think you were just trying to get in my pants!

FLORIZEL

I think you haveAs little skill to fear as I have purposeTo put you to't. But come; our dance, I pray:Your hand, my Perdita: so turtles pair,That never mean to part.

FLORIZEL

You have nothing to be afraid of as far as that's concerned. Come on, let's dance. Give my your hand, Perdita, and never let go.

PERDITA

I'll swear for 'em.

PERDITA

I'll swear to that.

POLIXENES

This is the prettiest low-born lass that everRan on the green-sward: nothing she does or seemsBut smacks of something greater than herself,Too noble for this place.

POLIXENES

[To CAMILLO] She's the prettiest peasant girl I've ever seen. Everything she does is graceful. She's too noble for this place.

CAMILLO

He tells her somethingThat makes her blood look out: good sooth, she isThe queen of curds and cream.

CAMILLO

[Watching FLORIZEL and PERDITA] He's telling her something that makes her blush. Just look how fair her skin is!

CLOWN

Come on, strike up!

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

Come on, start the music!

DORCAS

Mopsa must be your mistress: marry, garlic,To mend her kissing with!

DORCAS

Dance with Mopsa . . . though you might need some strong stuff to cover her bad breath!

MOPSA

Now, in good time!

MOPSA

Hey, cut that out!

CLOWN

Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.Come, strike up!

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

I won't say a word; I'll be perfectly polite. Come on, start the music!

Music. Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses

POLIXENES

Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is thisWhich dances with your daughter?

POLIXENES

Hey, shepherd: who's the young guy dancing with your daughter?

SHEPHERD

They call him Doricles; and boasts himself To have a worthy feeding: but I have it Upon his own report and I believe it; He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter: I think so too; for never gazed the moon Upon the water as he'll stand and read As 'twere my daughter's eyes: and, to be plain. I think there is not half a kiss to choose Who loves another best.

SHEPHERD

His name is Doricles. He says he owns a prosperous farm, and I believe it, considering how handsome and well-dressed he is. He says he's in love with my daughter, and I think it's true. To be blunt, the way he stares at her completely gives it away! You'd be hard pressed to say which one loves the other more. 

POLIXENES

She dances featly.

POLIXENES

She's a great dancer.

SHEPHERD

So she does any thing; though I report it,That should be silent: if young DoriclesDo light upon her, she shall bring him thatWhich he not dreams of.

SHEPHERD

She's good at everything. And, just between you and me: if Doricles does marry her, she'll bring him more than he ever dreamed of

Enter Servant

SERVANT

O master, if you did but hear the pedlar at the door, you would never dance again after a tabour and pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you: he sings several tunes faster than you'll tell money; he utters them as he had eaten ballads and all men's ears grew to his tunes.

SERVANT

[To the SHEPHERD'S SON] Sir, there's a traveling salesman at the door who can play the drums and the flute better than anyone I've ever seen. He knows all sorts of songs—he can sing any ballad you can think of.

CLOWN

He could never come better; he shall come in. Ilove a ballad but even too well, if it be dolefulmatter merrily set down, or a very pleasant thingindeed and sung lamentably.

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

Perfect timing, let him in! I love ballads more than I should: happy ones, sad ones, and even happy ones sung sadly.

SERVANT

He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes; no milliner can so fit his customers with gloves: he has the prettiest love-songs for maids; so without bawdry, which is strange; with such delicate burthens of dildos and fadings, 'jump her and thump her;' and where some stretch-mouthed rascal would, as it were, mean mischief and break a foul gap into the matter, he makes the maid to answer 'Whoop, do me no harm, good man;' puts him off, slights him, with 'Whoop, do me no harm, good man.'

SERVANT

He has songs for men and women of all shapes and sizes. He can fit a song to a crowd better than a tailor can fit a suit to your body. He has love songs for the ladies (and they're not dirty, none of that funny business your average street musician puts into his songs).

POLIXENES

This is a brave fellow.

POLIXENES

This guy has some serious guts.

CLOWN

Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable conceitedfellow. Has he any unbraided wares?

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

Believe me, you've already sold us on this guy. Is he selling anything else?

SERVANT

He hath ribbons of an the colours i' the rainbow; points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can learnedly handle, though they come to him by the gross: inkles, caddisses, cambrics, lawns: why, he sings 'em over as they were gods or goddesses; you would think a smock were a she-angel, he so chants to the sleeve-hand and the work about the square on't.

SERVANT

He has ribbons of every color in the rainbow, more pens than anyone could ever use in a lifetime, ink, and all kinds of fabrics (and he absolutely raves about the workmanship of the weavers).

CLOWN

Prithee bring him in; and let him approach singing.

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

Please bring him in, and have him sing on the way.

PERDITA

Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words in's tunes.

PERDITA

And please ask him not to use any inappropriate language in his songs.

Exit Servant

CLOWN

You have of these pedlars, that have more in themthan you'ld think, sister.

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

These traveling salesmen sometimes have more to them than you might think, sis.

PERDITA

Ay, good brother, or go about to think.

PERDITA

Yes, brother, more than I want to think about.

Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing

AUTOLYCUS

Lawn as white as driven snow; Cyprus black as e'er was crow; Gloves as sweet as damask roses; Masks for faces and for noses; Bugle bracelet, necklace amber, Perfume for a lady's chamber; Golden quoifs and stomachers, For my lads to give their dears: Pins and poking-sticks of steel, What maids lack from head to heel: Come buy of me, come; come buy, come buy; Buy lads, or else your lasses cry: Come buy.

AUTOLYCUS

Linen as white as snow,
Cotton black as a crow,
Sweet-smelling gloves,
Masks for your face,
Beaded bracelets, gemstone necklaces,
Perfume for ladies' bedrooms,
Golden hairpieces and belts
For young men to give their girlfriends,
Steel pins and clips
For ladies that need them:
Come buy from me; come buy, come buy,
Boys, buy up, or your girlfriends will be sad. Come buy!

CLOWN

If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou shouldst takeno money of me; but being enthralled as I am, itwill also be the bondage of certain ribbons and gloves.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

If I weren't in love with Mopsa, I wouldn't spend any money, but since I am in love, I'll have to buy some ribbons and gloves.

MOPSA

I was promised them against the feast; but they comenot too late now.

MOPSA

You promised to get them for me before the feast, but they're just as good now.

DORCAS

He hath promised you more than that, or there be liars.

DORCAS

Unless people are lying, he's promised you more than that.

MOPSA

He hath paid you all he promised you; may be, he haspaid you more, which will shame you to give him again.

MOPSA

He's paid you all he owed you. He probably paid you too much, and you'll have to give something back.

CLOWN

Is there no manners left among maids? will they wear their plackets where they should bear their faces? Is there not milking-time, when you are going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle off these secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling before all our guests? 'tis well they are whispering: clamour your tongues, and not a word more.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Do you ladies have no manners? Is this how you treat each other? Isn't there some other place where you could call each other names, instead of doing it here in front of all our guests? Now everyone's whispering about you. Please shut up; don't say anything else.

MOPSA

I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry-laceand a pair of sweet gloves.

MOPSA

I'm through. Come on, you promised me some lace and a pair of pretty gloves.

CLOWN

Have I not told thee how I was cozened by the wayand lost all my money?

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Didn't I tell you how I was tricked and lost all my money?

AUTOLYCUS

And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad;therefore it behoves men to be wary.

AUTOLYCUS

Sir, it's true that there are tricksters out there, so it's always smart to be aware.

CLOWN

Fear not thou, man, thou shalt lose nothing here.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Don't worry; you're in no danger here.

AUTOLYCUS

I hope so, sir; for I have about me many parcels of charge.

AUTOLYCUS

I hope not, considering how much merchandise I have with me.

CLOWN

What hast here? ballads?

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

What do you have here? Ballads?

MOPSA

Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad in print o'life, for then we are sure they are true.

MOPSA

Aw, please buy some! I love a printed ballad, since if they're printed they must be true.

AUTOLYCUS

Here's one to a very doleful tune, how a usurer'swife was brought to bed of twenty money-bags at aburthen and how she longed to eat adders' heads andtoads carbonadoed.

AUTOLYCUS

Here's one (set to a very sad tune) about how a banker's wife gave birth to twenty money bags and how, during the pregnancy, she had cravings for snakes' heads and grilled frogs.

MOPSA

Is it true, think you?

MOPSA

Do you think it's true?

AUTOLYCUS

Very true, and but a month old.

AUTOLYCUS

Very true, and only a month old.

DORCAS

Bless me from marrying a usurer!

DORCAS

I'll never marry a banker!

AUTOLYCUS

Here's the midwife's name to't, one MistressTale-porter, and five or six honest wives that werepresent. Why should I carry lies abroad?

AUTOLYCUS

Look: the midwife, Mrs. Rumor, signed her name to prove it, along with five or six eyewitnesses. Why would I sell lies?

MOPSA

Pray you now, buy it.

MOPSA

[To the SHEPHERD'S SON] Please buy it.

CLOWN

Come on, lay it by: and let's first see moeballads; we'll buy the other things anon.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

All right, set it aside, but let's look through more ballads first. We'll buy the other things later.

AUTOLYCUS

Here's another ballad of a fish, that appeared upon the coast on Wednesday the four-score of April, forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this ballad against the hard hearts of maids: it was thought she was a woman and was turned into a cold fish for she would not exchange flesh with one that loved her: the ballad is very pitiful and as true.

AUTOLYCUS

Here's another ballad about a fish that washed up on the coast on Wednesday, April twenty-fourth, miles away from the water, and sung this ballad to warn cold-hearted girls. People thought she was a woman who'd been turned into a fish for not having sex with her boyfriend. The ballad is both sad and true.

DORCAS

Is it true too, think you?

DORCAS

Is it really true?

AUTOLYCUS

Five justices' hands at it, and witnesses more thanmy pack will hold.

AUTOLYCUS

Five judges verified it, and there were countless witnesses.

CLOWN

Lay it by too: another.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Put that one aside. Another.

AUTOLYCUS

This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.

AUTOLYCUS

This is a funny ballad, but it's pretty, too.

MOPSA

Let's have some merry ones.

MOPSA

Let's have some funny ones!

AUTOLYCUS

Why, this is a passing merry one and goes tothe tune of 'Two maids wooing a man:' there'sscarce a maid westward but she sings it; 'tis inrequest, I can tell you.

AUTOLYCUS

This is a really funny one that's set to the tune of "Two girls flirting with the same guy." Girls all over the country are singing it; it's in vogue, I'm happy to say.

MOPSA

We can both sing it: if thou'lt bear a part, thoushalt hear; 'tis in three parts.

MOPSA

[To DORCAS] We can both sing it.

[To AUTOLYCUS] If you'll take a part, we can do it, since it has three parts.

DORCAS

We had the tune on't a month ago.

DORCAS

We learned the tune of it a month ago.

AUTOLYCUS

I can bear my part; you must know 'tis myoccupation; have at it with you.

AUTOLYCUS

I can sing my part; it's my job, of course. Let's sing.

SONG

AUTOLYCUS

Get you hence, for I must goWhere it fits not you to know.

AUTOLYCUS

Get out of here; I have to go
Somewhere you can't follow.

DORCAS

Whither?

DORCAS

Where?

MOPSA

O, whither?

MOPSA

Oh, where?

DORCAS

Whither?

DORCAS

Where?

MOPSA

It becomes thy oath full well,Thou to me thy secrets tell.

MOPSA

Since you promised to be my boyfriend,
You shouldn't have any secrets from me.

DORCAS

Me too, let me go thither.

DORCAS

Me too; let's go there together.

MOPSA

Or thou goest to the orange or mill.

MOPSA

Are you going to the forest, or the town?

DORCAS

If to either, thou dost ill.

DORCAS

Whichever it is, it's a mistake.

AUTOLYCUS

Neither.

AUTOLYCUS

Neither.

DORCAS

What, neither?

DORCAS

What do you mean, "neither?"

AUTOLYCUS

Neither.

AUTOLYCUS

Neither.

DORCAS

Thou hast sworn my love to be.

DORCAS

You said you'd be my boyfriend.

MOPSA

Thou hast sworn it more to me:Then whither goest? say, whither?

MOPSA

No, you said you'd be my boyfriend!
So where are you going? Tell me, where?

CLOWN

We'll have this song out anon by ourselves: my father and the gentlemen are in sad talk, and we'll not trouble them. Come, bring away thy pack after me. Wenches, I'll buy for you both. Pedlar, let's have the first choice. Follow me, girls.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

[Interrupting the song] Well, we can finish this song by ourselves later on. My father and the gentlemen are having a serious discussion and we won't bother them.

[To AUTOLYCUS] Come on, bring your merchandise and follow me. Ladies, I'll buy something for both of you. Give them their first choice. Follow me, girls.

Exit with DORCAS and MOPSA

AUTOLYCUS

And you shall pay well for 'em. [Follows singing] Will you buy any tape, Or lace for your cape, My dainty duck, my dear-a? Any silk, any thread, Any toys for your head, Of the new'st and finest, finest wear-a? Come to the pedlar; Money's a medler. That doth utter all men's ware-a.

AUTOLYCUS

And you'll pay well for them.

[AUTOLYCUS follows them, singing]
 Do you want to buy any ribbons
Or lace to decorate your coat,
My beautiful girl, my dear?
Any silk, any thread,
Any hats or bows for your hair
Of the newest and best there is?
Come to the traveling salesman.
Money makes the world go 'round
And it's with money that men buy everything.

Exit

Re-enter Servant

SERVANT

Master, there is three carters, three shepherds, three neat-herds, three swine-herds, that have made themselves all men of hair, they call themselves Saltiers, and they have a dance which the wenches say is a gallimaufry of gambols, because they are not in't; but they themselves are o' the mind, if it be not too rough for some that know little but bowling, it will please plentifully.

SERVANT

Sir, there are three wagon-makers, three shepherds, three cowboys, and three pig-herders outside dressed up as satyrs. They call themselves "The Wits" and say they have a dance to perform, but the girls are saying its a load of garbage. But the men say that, if people aren't easily offended, they'll enjoy the performance.

SHEPHERD

Away! we'll none on 't: here has been too muchhomely foolery already. I know, sir, we weary you.

SHEPHERD

Tell them to go away! We won't have it. There's been enough shenanigans here already.

[To POLIXENES] Sir, I know you're getting tired of us.

POLIXENES

You weary those that refresh us: pray, let's seethese four threes of herdsmen.

POLIXENES

No, this is the kind of thing we like! Come on, let in this group of men.

SERVANT

One three of them, by their own report, sir, hathdanced before the king; and not the worst of thethree but jumps twelve foot and a half by the squier.

SERVANT

Three of them claim to have danced for the king, but they're all liars.

SHEPHERD

Leave your prating: since these good men arepleased, let them come in; but quickly now.

SHEPHERD

Oh, cut it out. If these men are all right with it, we'll let them in. Go quickly!

SERVANT

Why, they stay at door, sir.

SERVANT

They're waiting at the door, sir.

Exit

Here a dance of twelve Satyrs

POLIXENES

O, father, you'll know more of that hereafter. [To CAMILLO] Is it not too far gone? 'Tis time to part them.He's simple and tells much. [To FLORIZEL] How now, fair shepherd! Your heart is full of something that does take Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young And handed love as you do, I was wont To load my she with knacks: I would have ransack'd The pedlar's silken treasury and have pour'd it To her acceptance; you have let him go And nothing marted with him. If your lass Interpretation should abuse and call this Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited For a reply, at least if you make a care Of happy holding her.

POLIXENES

[To the shepherd, but without him hearing] You poor father, you'll have more of this funny business to deal with after the festival.

[To CAMILLO] Has it gone too far? We need to separate them. Florizel is an idiot and is about to give himself away.

[To FLORIZEL] Hello there, handsome shepherd! You're distracted by love and not too focused on this party, huh? I'll tell you, when I was your age, I was a sucker for buying gifts for my girlfriend. I would have bought every piece of silk from the traveling salesman if it would have won her over, but you've let him go without buying a single thing. If your girlfriend interpreted this as a lack of love on your part, you'd be hard-pressed to convince her that you really care.

FLORIZEL

Old sir, I know She prizes not such trifles as these are: The gifts she looks from me are pack'd and lock'd Up in my heart; which I have given already, But not deliver'd. O, hear me breathe my life Before this ancient sir, who, it should seem, Hath sometime loved! I take thy hand, this hand, As soft as dove's down and as white as it, Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd snow that's bolted By the northern blasts twice o'er.

FLORIZEL

Sir, she doesn't care about stuff like that. The gifts she expects from me are the ones that come from the heart,  and I've given those to her already, though I haven't delivered them. You must have had some experience with love, sir, at your age . . . let me explain how much I love her. Watch me take her handher soft, pure white hand. [He holds PERDITA's hand]

POLIXENES

What follows this?How prettily the young swain seems to washThe hand was fair before! I have put you out:But to your protestation; let me hearWhat you profess.

POLIXENES

What comes next? This young shepherd speaks beautifully about a beautiful woman. I'd written you off but, since you ask, I'll listen.

FLORIZEL

Do, and be witness to 't.

FLORIZEL

Listen, and be a witness.

POLIXENES

And this my neighbour too?

POLIXENES

[Gesturing to CAMILLO] And my friend, too?

FLORIZEL

And he, and more Than he, and men, the earth, the heavens, and all: That, were I crown'd the most imperial monarch, Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge More than was ever man's, I would not prize them Without her love; for her employ them all; Commend them and condemn them to her service Or to their own perdition.

FLORIZEL

Sure—him, everyone, the earth, and the heavens. Even if I were king of the whole world, the most handsome man alive, and wiser than anyone in history, it wouldn't matter without her love. Everything I do, I do for her. I put my gifts and my faults into her hands, for better or worse.

POLIXENES

Fairly offer'd.

POLIXENES

Fair enough.

CAMILLO

This shows a sound affection.

CAMILLO

It sounds like you really love her.

SHEPHERD

But, my daughter,Say you the like to him?

SHEPHERD

Perdita, do you feel the same way about him?

PERDITA

I cannot speakSo well, nothing so well; no, nor mean better:By the pattern of mine own thoughts I cut outThe purity of his.

PERDITA

I can't speak as well as he does; not at all, and my words' meaning couldn't be better than his. But our thoughts are one and the same.

SHEPHERD

Take hands, a bargain!And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to 't:I give my daughter to him, and will makeHer portion equal his.

SHEPHERD

Take each other's hands; let's make a wedding contract!

[To POLIXENES and CAMILLO] Our new friends will be our witnesses. I give my daughter to him in marriage, and will give them equal parts of my fortune.

FLORIZEL

O, that must be I' the virtue of your daughter: one being dead, I shall have more than you can dream of yet; Enough then for your wonder. But, come on, Contract us 'fore these witnesses.

FLORIZEL

The only fortune I need is your beautiful daughter; when my father dies, I will have more money than you've ever dreamed of. But, come on, let's swear to our contract before these witnesses.

SHEPHERD

Come, your hand;And, daughter, yours.

SHEPHERD

Give me your hand. And, Perdita, give me yours.

POLIXENES

Soft, swain, awhile, beseech you;Have you a father?

POLIXENES

Just a minute, shepherd. Do you have a father?

FLORIZEL

I have: but what of him?

FLORIZEL

I do. What about him?

POLIXENES

Knows he of this?

POLIXENES

Does he know about this?

FLORIZEL

He neither does nor shall.

FLORIZEL

He doesn't and he never will.

POLIXENES

Methinks a father Is at the nuptial of his son a guest That best becomes the table. Pray you once more, Is not your father grown incapable Of reasonable affairs? is he not stupid With age and altering rheums? can he speak? hear? Know man from man? dispute his own estate? Lies he not bed-rid? and again does nothing But what he did being childish?

POLIXENES

I think fathers are usually important guests at their sons' weddings. Another question: has your father gone senile? Is he ancient and in poor health? Can he speak? Hear? Recognize people? Take care of his property? Is he bedridden? Is he basically like a child again?

FLORIZEL

No, good sir;He has his health and ampler strength indeedThan most have of his age.

FLORIZEL

No, sir. He's healthy and stronger than most men at his age.

POLIXENES

By my white beard, You offer him, if this be so, a wrong Something unfilial: reason my son Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason The father, all whose joy is nothing else But fair posterity, should hold some counsel In such a business.

POLIXENES

Well, then, you're a terrible son for not inviting him to your wedding. If my son were choosing a wife, I'd have a say in it, considering the future of my family is at stake.

FLORIZEL

I yield all this;But for some other reasons, my grave sir,Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaintMy father of this business.

FLORIZEL

That's all true. But for some other reasons, sir, which you don't know, I can't tell my father about this.

POLIXENES

Let him know't.

POLIXENES

Tell him.

FLORIZEL

He shall not.

FLORIZEL

I can't.

POLIXENES

Prithee, let him.

POLIXENES

Please, let him know.

FLORIZEL

No, he must not.

FLORIZEL

No, he can't know.

SHEPHERD

Let him, my son: he shall not need to grieveAt knowing of thy choice.

SHEPHERD

Let him know, son. There's no reason he would disapprove your choice.

FLORIZEL

Come, come, he must not.Mark our contract.

FLORIZEL

I'm serious; he can't know. Let's sign the contract.

POLIXENES

Mark your divorce, young sir, [Discovering himself] Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base To be acknowledged: thou a sceptre's heir, That thus affect'st a sheep-hook! Thou old traitor, I am sorry that by hanging thee I can But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece Of excellent witchcraft, who of force must know The royal fool thou copest with,—

POLIXENES

Sign your divorce, sir—[He takes off his disguise] I can hardly call you my son now; I wouldn't stoop down to your level. Look at you, a prince, dressed up with a shepherd's staff! 

[To the shepherd] You old traitor, it's too bad that by hanging you I won't be shortening your life that much.

[To PERDITA] And you, you witch, as if you don't know that you're meddling with a prince.

SHEPHERD

O, my heart!

SHEPHERD

Oh, my heart!

POLIXENES

I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briers, and made More homely than thy state. For thee, fond boy, If I may ever know thou dost but sigh That thou no more shalt see this knack, as never I mean thou shalt, we'll bar thee from succession; Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin, Far than Deucalion off: mark thou my words: Follow us to the court. Thou churl, for this time, Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee From the dead blow of it. And you, enchantment.— Worthy enough a herdsman: yea, him too, That makes himself, but for our honour therein, Unworthy thee,— if ever henceforth thou These rural latches to his entrance open, Or hoop his body more with thy embraces, I will devise a death as cruel for thee As thou art tender to't.

POLIXENES

[To PERDITA] I'll have your beautiful face scratched with thorns until you're uglier than your ugly poverty. 

[To FLORIZEL] And you, lover boy, if you so much as sigh over not seeing this slut again, you'll never inherit the throne and, what's more, I'll disown you as my son. You'll be out of the family forever, mark my words. Follow me back to court.

[To the SHEPHERD] This time you're off the hook, though I am not at all pleased.

[To PERDITA] And you, you witch! Your tricks might be good enough for a shepherd, but not for my son. If you ever let him through your gates again, or lay a hand on him, I'll think up the cruelest, most painful possible death for you.

Exit

PERDITA

Even here undone! I was not much afeard; for once or twice I was about to speak and tell him plainly, The selfsame sun that shines upon his court Hides not his visage from our cottage but Looks on alike. Will't please you, sir, be gone? I told you what would come of this: beseech you, Of your own state take care: this dream of mine,— Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch farther, But milk my ewes and weep.

PERDITA

Ruined, at the last minute! I wasn't afraid, though. I was about to tell him that the same sun that shines in court shines here at our cottage, looking down on us equally.

[To FLORIZEL] Will you go, then? I told you what would come of this. Please, remember that you are a prince. It was all a dream. Now I'm awake, and I won't imagine I'm a queen anymore. I'll just go back to my sheep and cry.

CAMILLO

Why, how now, father!Speak ere thou diest.

CAMILLO

What do you say for yourself, shepherd? Speak or you die.

SHEPHERD

I cannot speak, nor think Nor dare to know that which I know. O sir! You have undone a man of fourscore three, That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea, To die upon the bed my father died, To lie close by his honest bones: but now Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me Where no priest shovels in dust. O cursed wretch, That knew'st this was the prince, and wouldst adventure To mingle faith with him! Undone! undone! If I might die within this hour, I have lived To die when I desire.

SHEPHERD

I can't speak; I can't think or wrap my head around what I know now.

[To FLORIZEL] Sir, you've ruined an eighty-three-year-old man who only wanted to die in peace on the same bed where his father passed away, and to be buried near him. Now some executioner will bury me, alone.

[To PERDITA] How dare you continue to play around with him, knowing he was the prince? Ruined! Ruined! If I die within the hour, I'll be glad to be out of my misery.

Exit

FLORIZEL

Why look you so upon me? I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd, But nothing alter'd: what I was, I am; More straining on for plucking back, not following My leash unwillingly.

FLORIZEL

Why are you looking at me like that? I'm sorry this happened, but I'm not afraid. This delays me, but doesn't change me. I am who I was before. This setback makes me want to marry Perdita even more.  

CAMILLO

Gracious my lord, You know your father's temper: at this time He will allow no speech, which I do guess You do not purpose to him; and as hardly Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear: Then, till the fury of his highness settle, Come not before him.

CAMILLO

Sir, you know your father has a temper. He doesn't want to hear from you right now, so I don't suggest you try it. He probably doesn't want to see you, either. Stay away from him until his anger dies down.

FLORIZEL

I not purpose it.I think, Camillo?

FLORIZEL

I won't try it, then. You're Camillo, right?

CAMILLO

Even he, my lord.

CAMILLO

That's me, sir.

PERDITA

How often have I told you 'twould be thus!How often said, my dignity would lastBut till 'twere known!

PERDITA

I've told you so many times that this would happen! I've been saying that I'd be ruined as soon as we were found out!

FLORIZEL

It cannot fail but by The violation of my faith; and then Let nature crush the sides o' the earth together And mar the seeds within! Lift up thy looks: From my succession wipe me, father; I Am heir to my affection.

FLORIZEL

You could only be ruined if I left you, but that will never happen! Chin up! My father can disown me; I have my love to sustain me.

CAMILLO

Be advised.

CAMILLO

You should think this through . . .

FLORIZEL

I am, and by my fancy: if my reasonWill thereto be obedient, I have reason;If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,Do bid it welcome.

FLORIZEL

I have, and I know what I'm doing—following my heart. Call me crazy; if I'm crazy, I embrace it.

CAMILLO

This is desperate, sir.

CAMILLO

This is irresponsible, sir.

FLORIZEL

So call it: but it does fulfil my vow; I needs must think it honesty. Camillo, Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may Be thereat glean'd, for all the sun sees or The close earth wombs or the profound sea hides In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath To this my fair beloved: therefore, I pray you, As you have ever been my father's honour'd friend, When he shall miss me,—as, in faith, I mean not To see him any more,— cast your good counsels Upon his passion; let myself and fortune Tug for the time to come. This you may know And so deliver, I am put to sea With her whom here I cannot hold on shore; And most opportune to our need I have A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared For this design. What course I mean to hold Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor Concern me the reporting.

FLORIZEL

Maybe so, but it's keeping my promise and therefore it's the right thing to do. Camillo, I wouldn't break my vow to Perdita, not for the whole country, the sun, the earth, and the sea. So, as my father's friend, please put in a good word for me when he realizes he misses me (since, by the way, I won't be seeing him anymore). Maybe I'll come back onto his good side in the future. You can let him know that Perdita and I are sailing away on a ship I have nearby (which is lucky, though I had it ready for something else). I won't tell you where we're going, though.

CAMILLO

O my lord!I would your spirit were easier for advice,Or stronger for your need.

CAMILLO

Oh, sir, I wish you would listen to my advice; you might need it.

FLORIZEL

Hark, Perdita [Drawing her aside] I'll hear you by and by.

FLORIZEL

Perdita, come here.  [PERDITA and FLORIZEL move away to talk privately]

[To CAMILLO]
 I'll listen to you in a minute.

CAMILLO

He's irremoveable, Resolved for flight. Now were I happy, if His going I could frame to serve my turn, Save him from danger, do him love and honour, Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia And that unhappy king, my master, whom I so much thirst to see.

CAMILLO

[To himself] I can't change his mind; he's decided to leave. I could make this work to my advantage and keep him safe, all the while being loyal to him and to Polixenes. This could be my chance to see Leontes again, who I've wanted to see so much.

FLORIZEL

Now, good Camillo;I am so fraught with curious business thatI leave out ceremony.

FLORIZEL

Now, Camillo: I've been so caught up with all this that I've been rude.

CAMILLO

Sir, I thinkYou have heard of my poor services, i' the loveThat I have borne your father?

CAMILLO

Sir, I think you're familiar with my reputation for service through the work I've done for your father.

FLORIZEL

Very noblyHave you deserved: it is my father's musicTo speak your deeds, not little of his careTo have them recompensed as thought on.

FLORIZEL

Of course; he speaks very highly of you, and is always rewarding you for a job well done.

CAMILLO

Well, my lord, If you may please to think I love the king And through him what is nearest to him, which is Your gracious self, embrace but my direction: If your more ponderous and settled project May suffer alteration, on mine honour, I'll point you where you shall have such receiving As shall become your highness; where you may Enjoy your mistress, from the whom, I see, There's no disjunction to be made, but by— As heavens forefend!—your ruin; marry her, And, with my best endeavours in your absence, Your discontenting father strive to qualify And bring him up to liking.

CAMILLO

Well, sir, since you know I've served your father well, it follows that I would serve just as well the person he loves the most (that is, you). Hear me out: if you encounter any difficulties on your journey, I can tell you where to go, where to take Perdita (since it's clear you don't want to be separated from her, unless some sort of catastrophe got in your way), and where to marry her. And, while you're gone, I can try to win your father over for you.

FLORIZEL

How, Camillo,May this, almost a miracle, be done?That I may call thee something more than manAnd after that trust to thee.

FLORIZEL

Camillo, that would basically be a miracle, but how can we do it? You would be a superhero and I'd never doubt you again.

CAMILLO

Have you thought onA place whereto you'll go?

CAMILLO

Have you thought about where you'll go?

FLORIZEL

Not any yet:But as the unthought-on accident is guiltyTo what we wildly do, so we professOurselves to be the slaves of chance and fliesOf every wind that blows.

FLORIZEL

Nowhere yet, but since this was all unplanned, we're flying by the seat of our pants here.

CAMILLO

Then list to me: This follows, if you will not change your purpose But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia, And there present yourself and your fair princess, For so I see she must be, 'fore Leontes: She shall be habited as it becomes The partner of your bed. Methinks I see Leontes opening his free arms and weeping His welcomes forth; asks thee the son forgiveness, As 'twere i' the father's person; kisses the hands Of your fresh princess; o'er and o'er divides him 'Twixt his unkindness and his kindness; the one He chides to hell and bids the other grow Faster than thought or time.

CAMILLO

Then, listen to me: If you're determined to leave the country, go to Sicily, introduce yourself, and call your bride a princess. If she's going to visit Leontes's court, it's only fitting that she be dressed as your royal wife should. I can imagine Leontes greeting you with a hug, crying as he asks your forgiveness as if you were your own father. He'll kiss your princess's hands. His kindness will be a complete departure from the cruelty you've heard about in the past. He's over that now; he's kicked his evil ways to hell and has been nurturing his better qualities all these years.

FLORIZEL

Worthy Camillo,What colour for my visitation shall IHold up before him?

FLORIZEL

But Camillo, what reason for visiting can I make up?

CAMILLO

Sent by the king your father To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir, The manner of your bearing towards him, with What you as from your father shall deliver, Things known betwixt us three, I'll write you down: The which shall point you forth at every sitting What you must say; that he shall not perceive But that you have your father's bosom there And speak his very heart.

CAMILLO

Say your father sent you to greet him and to bring him gifts. I'll write down some instructions for how to behave toward him and will pack all the gifts you'll deliver on your father's behalf. All of it will support your story: that you've come to make peace between him and your father.

FLORIZEL

I am bound to you:There is some sap in this.

FLORIZEL

I'll do exactly as you say. This makes a lot of sense.

CAMILLO

A cause more promising Than a wild dedication of yourselves To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores, most certain To miseries enough; no hope to help you, But as you shake off one to take another; Nothing so certain as your anchors, who Do their best office, if they can but stay you Where you'll be loath to be: besides you know Prosperity's the very bond of love, Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together Affliction alters.

CAMILLO

It's a better reason, at least, than your completely haphazard journey overseas with no plan, no trajectory, and no help, with no company but each other. Take care of each other. A heart full of love can make even the worst places bearable, and can bring a smile to your face even in the midst of suffering.

PERDITA

One of these is true:I think affliction may subdue the cheek,But not take in the mind.

PERDITA

Part of what you say is true: I think suffering may wipe the smile from your face, but it can never change the state of your mind. 

CAMILLO

Yea, say you so?There shall not at your father's house theseseven yearsBe born another such.

CAMILLO

Oh, you think so? You're one-in-a-million, shepherd girl. 

FLORIZEL

My good Camillo,She is as forward of her breeding asShe is i' the rear our birth.

FLORIZEL

Camillo, she's so far beyond her lower-class origins; she's basically as noble as you and I.

CAMILLO

I cannot say 'tis pityShe lacks instructions, for she seems a mistressTo most that teach.

CAMILLO

I would say "it's too bad she hasn't had an education," but she seems more capable than most teachers I know.

PERDITA

Your pardon, sir; for thisI'll blush you thanks.

PERDITA

I beg your pardon, sir. I'm embarrassed, but thank you.

FLORIZEL

My prettiest Perdita! But O, the thorns we stand upon! Camillo, Preserver of my father, now of me, The medicine of our house, how shall we do? We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's son, Nor shall appear in Sicilia.

FLORIZEL

My beautiful Perdita! But we're in a sticky situation. Camillo, you've rescued my father and now me; you're a life-saver. What should we do? I don't have the clothes and facilities I normally travel with as the prince of Bohemia, and I won't be able to get those things in Sicily.

CAMILLO

My lord, Fear none of this: I think you know my fortunes Do all lie there: it shall be so my care To have you royally appointed as if The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir, That you may know you shall not want, one word.

CAMILLO

Sir, don't worry. As you know, I have a lot of connections there. I can make sure you're provided for, as surely as if I were there myself. For example, sir—if I can ease your mind, talk with me for a moment.

They talk aside

Re-enter AUTOLYCUS

AUTOLYCUS

Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I have sold all my trumpery; not a counterfeit stone, not a ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring, to keep my pack from fasting: they throng who should buy first, as if my trinkets had been hallowed and brought a benediction to the buyer: by which means I saw whose purse was best in picture; and what I saw, to my good use I remembered. My clown, who wants but something to be a reasonable man, grew so in love with the wenches' song, that he would not stir his pettitoes till he had both tune and words; which so drew the rest of the herd to me that all their other senses stuck in ears: you might have pinched a placket, it was senseless; 'twas nothing to geld a codpiece of a purse; I could have filed keys off that hung in chains: no hearing, no feeling, but my sir's song, and admiring the nothing of it. So that in this time of lethargy I picked and cut most of their festival purses; and had not the old man come in with a whoo-bub against his daughter and the king's son and scared my choughs from the chaff, I had not left a purse alive in the whole army.

AUTOLYCUS

Ha, ha! Honest men are idiots, and people who trust me are just plain stupid. I've sold all my junk. I don't have a single fake gem, ribbon, mirror, perfume, jewelry, book, ballad, knife, belt, glove, shoelace, bracelet, or ring left in my bag. They all swarmed to be the first to buy, as if my stuff were some kind of holy charm. I took note of where they kept their wallets and remembered that for later. The shepherd's son (he's not all that bright, by the way) was so impressed with the girls' song that he wouldn't budge until he learned the tune and the words. That was the best advertisement, since it sent all the others running to me to get the song for themselves. There was nothing you could do; everyone was singing this god-awful song, non-stop. While they were all lying around, I took the opportunity to pick their pockets and rifled through most of their purses. If that old man hadn't come in and raised a ruckus about the shepherd's daughter and the prince, scaring everyone away, I wouldn't have left a single penny in anyone's wallet.

CAMILLO, FLORIZEL, and PERDITA come forward

CAMILLO

Nay, but my letters, by this means being thereSo soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.

CAMILLO

No, my letters will get there before you arrive and will clear up any doubt.

FLORIZEL

And those that you'll procure from King Leontes—

FLORIZEL

And the letters you'll get from King Leontes—

CAMILLO

Shall satisfy your father.

CAMILLO

—will satisfy your father.

PERDITA

Happy be you!All that you speak shows fair.

PERDITA

Thank you! You're so generous.

CAMILLO

Who have we here? [Seeing AUTOLYCUS] We'll make an instrument of this, omitNothing may give us aid.

CAMILLO

[Noticing AUTOLYCUS] Who have we here? 

[To FLORIZEL and PERDITA] We'll make use of this; we can't overlook anything that might help us.

AUTOLYCUS

If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.

AUTOLYCUS

If they just overheard me, I'm dead.

CAMILLO

How now, good fellow! why shakest thou so? Fearnot, man; here's no harm intended to thee.

CAMILLO

Hello, sir! Why are you shaking? Don't be afraid; no one's going to hurt you.

AUTOLYCUS

I am a poor fellow, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

I'm a poor man, sir.

CAMILLO

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 discase 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.

CAMILLO

Calm down, no one here is going to steal from you. However, we would like to trade you for your poor man's clothes, so get undressed (it's necessary, you see) and change clothes with this gentleman. Though Florizel's getting the worst end of the deal already, we'll give you some money, too.

AUTOLYCUS

I am a poor fellow, sir. [Aside] I know ye well enough.

AUTOLYCUS

I'm a poor fellow, sir.

[To himself] I know exactly who you are.

CAMILLO

Nay, prithee, dispatch: the gentleman is halfflayed already.

CAMILLO

Come on, now, get your clothes off. Florizel's half-stripped already.

AUTOLYCUS

Are you in earnest, sir? [Aside] I smell the trick on't.

AUTOLYCUS

Are you serious, sir?

[To himself] This must be a trick.

FLORIZEL

Dispatch, I prithee.

FLORIZEL

Get on with it, please.

AUTOLYCUS

Indeed, I have had earnest: but I cannot withconscience take it.

AUTOLYCUS

Ah, I can see you're serious, but I can't take your clothes in good conscience.

CAMILLO

Unbuckle, unbuckle.

CAMILLO

Unbuckle, unbuckle.

FLORIZEL and AUTOLYCUS exchange garments

CAMILLO

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 undescried.

CAMILLO

Perdita, I hope my plan works out for your sake! You need to hide yourself for the time being. Take Florizel's hat and cover your face, change your clothes, and disguise yourself as much as possible. I'm afraid you're being watched, and you need to get onboard the ship undetected.

PERDITA

I see the play so liesThat I must bear a part.

PERDITA

I guess I'll play the part I've been given.

CAMILLO

No remedy.Have you done there?

CAMILLO

There's nothing we can do about it.

[To FLORIZEL] Are you all dressed?

FLORIZEL

Should I now meet my father,He would not call me son.

FLORIZEL

My own father wouldn't recognize me now.

CAMILLO

Nay, you shall have no hat. [Giving it to PERDITA] Come, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.

CAMILLO

No, you don't need a hat. [He gives the hat to PERDITA] Come on, Perdita. 

[To AUTOLYCUS] Goodbye, friend.

AUTOLYCUS

Adieu, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

Goodbye, sir.

FLORIZEL

O Perdita, what have we twain forgot!Pray you, a word.

FLORIZEL

Perdita, are we forgetting anything? Let's talk. [They talk privately]

CAMILLO

[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.

CAMILLO

[To himself] Next I'll tell the king they escaped and where they're headed. I'm hoping he'll go after them and that I'll get to come along to see my beloved country, Sicily.

FLORIZEL

Fortune speed us!Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.

FLORIZEL

I pray we have a quick journey! Camillo, we're off to the seaside.

CAMILLO

The swifter speed the better.

CAMILLO

The quicker the better.

Exeunt FLORIZEL, PERDITA, and CAMILLO

AUTOLYCUS

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 the 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.

AUTOLYCUS

I see what's going on here. As a pickpocket, it's necessary to have an open ear, quick eye, fast hand—and a good nose, too, so you can smell out the good places to steal. This is a great time to be a criminal. He just traded me fancy clothes for my rags; I gained everything, and he gained nothing! The gods have clearly given me permission to do whatever I want now. The prince himself is up to no good, running away from his father with his whore in tow. Even if it were a good deed to tell the king, I wouldn't do it. I think it's more crafty to keep it a secret, and since I'm a crook, I'll do just that. 

Re-enter Clown and Shepherd

AUTOLYCUS

Aside, aside; here is more matter for a hot brain:every lane's end, every shop, church, session,hanging, yields a careful man work.

AUTOLYCUS

[Seeing them] But wait, there's more work to be done. Every street, store, church, meeting, and funeral can turn into an opportunity if you're savvy.

CLOWN

See, see; what a man you are now!There is no other way but to tell the kingshe's a changeling and none of your flesh and blood.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Well, look where you are now! The only thing to do is to tell the king she's a changeling and not your biological daughter.

SHEPHERD

Nay, but hear me.

SHEPHERD

No, listen to me.

CLOWN

Nay, but hear me.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

No, listen to me.

SHEPHERD

Go to, then.

SHEPHERD

Go on, then.

CLOWN

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 punished by him. Show 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.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Since she's not actually part of your family, your family hasn't offended the king, and your family can't be punished by him. Show him the things you found with her—all the things that you kept secret all these years (except for whatever she took with her). Then, the law can have nothing to do with us, I promise you. 

SHEPHERD

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.

SHEPHERD

I'll tell the king everything, every word. And I'll tell him about Florizel's tricks, too. He hasn't been very truthful to his father or to me, considering he was about to make me a king's brother-in-law. 

CLOWN

Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest off youcould have been to him and then your blood had beenthe dearer by I know how much an ounce.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

If they had actually gotten married and you were his brother-in-law by now, he'd hate you even more, and the price on your head would be even higher.

AUTOLYCUS

[Aside] Very wisely, puppies!

AUTOLYCUS

[To himself] Very smart, boys!

SHEPHERD

Well, let us to the king: there is that in thisfardel will make him scratch his beard.

SHEPHERD

Well, let's go to the king. The stuff in this bag will give him something to think about.

AUTOLYCUS

[Aside] I know not what impediment this complaintmay be to the flight of my master.

AUTOLYCUS

[To himself] I'm not sure how this will get in the way of Florizel's departure.

CLOWN

Pray heartily he be at palace.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Let's hope he's at the palace.

AUTOLYCUS

[Aside] Though I am not naturally honest, I am sosometimes by chance: let me pocket up my pedlar's excrement. [Taking off his false beard] How now, rustics! whither are you bound?

AUTOLYCUS

[To himself] I'm not naturally an honest man, but sometimes I'm honest by accident. I need to take off this traveling salesman disguise. 

[AUTOLYCUS takes off his fake beard and speaks to the shepherds] Hello, peasants! Where are you going?

SHEPHERD

To the palace, an it like your worship.

SHEPHERD

To the palace, if it please you, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

Your affairs there, what, with whom, the conditionof that fardel, the place of your dwelling, yournames, your ages, of what having, breeding, and anything that is fitting to be known, discover.

AUTOLYCUS

Tell me what business you have there, and with whom. Tell me what's in that bag, where you live, your names, your ages, how much money you have, who your parents are, and anything else that I should know.

CLOWN

We are but plain fellows, sir.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

We're simple people, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me have nolying: it becomes none but tradesmen, and theyoften give us soldiers the lie: but we pay them forit with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; thereforethey do not give us the lie.

AUTOLYCUS

That's a lie! You're rough and hairy. Don't lie to me. Only business people lie. But, since we soldiers pay them with money instead of pulling out our swords, they don't expose us for lying.

CLOWN

Your worship had like to have given us one, if youhad not taken yourself with the manner.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

It seemed like you were going to try to expose us for lying, but you've just revealed that you're the liar.

SHEPHERD

Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?

SHEPHERD

Are you a courtier or not, 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 court? receives not thy nose court-odor from me? reflect I not on thy baseness court-contempt? Thinkest thou, for that I insinuate, or toaze from thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier? I am courtier cap-a-pe; and one that will either push on or pluck back thy business there: whereupon I command thee to open thy affair.

AUTOLYCUS

Whether I like it or not, I'm a courtier. Can't you see my courtly clothes? Don't I walk like a courtier? Smell like one? Look down my nose at you like one? Just because I'm asking you questions, you think I'm not a courtier? I'm a courtier from head to toe and I have the power to help you to court or to stop you right there. For that reason I command you to tell me everything.

SHEPHERD

My business, sir, is to the king.

SHEPHERD

I have some business with the king, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

What advocate hast thou to him?

AUTOLYCUS

And who is pleading your case to him?

SHEPHERD

I know not, an't like you.

SHEPHERD

I don't know, sir.

CLOWN

Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant: say youhave none.

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

[To the SHEPHERD] "Advocate" is court-speak for "pheasant;" say you don't have one.

SHEPHERD

None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor hen.

SHEPHERD

None, sir. I have no pheasant, male or female. 

AUTOLYCUS

How blessed are we that are not simple men!Yet nature might have made me as these are,Therefore I will not disdain.

AUTOLYCUS

[To himself]  Thank God I'm not an idiot! But, since there but for the grace of God go I, I won't look down on them.

CLOWN

This cannot be but a great courtier.

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

He must be a really important courtier.

SHEPHERD

His garments are rich, but he wearsthem not handsomely.

SHEPHERD

His clothes are fancy, but he's not wearing them elegantly.

CLOWN

He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical:a great man, I'll warrant; I know by the pickingon's teeth.

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

The fact that he's a little crazy makes him seem even more noble. I could spot it a mile away.

AUTOLYCUS

The fardel there? what's i' the fardel?Wherefore that box?

AUTOLYCUS

What about the bag? What's in the bag? And why the box?

SHEPHERD

Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and box,which none must know but the king; and which heshall know within this hour, if I may come to thespeech of him.

SHEPHERD

Sir, there are secrets in this bag and this box which are for the king alone. If I get the chance to speak to him, he'll know within the hour.

AUTOLYCUS

Age, thou hast lost thy labour.

AUTOLYCUS

Old man, you're out of luck.

SHEPHERD

Why, sir?

SHEPHERD

Why, sir?

AUTOLYCUS

The king is not at the palace; he is gone aboard anew ship to purge melancholy and air himself: for,if thou beest capable of things serious, thou mustknow the king is full of grief.

AUTOLYCUS

The king is not at the palace. He went aboard a new ship to escape his sadness. Understand? The king is grieving.

SHEPheRD

So 'tis said, sir; about his son, that should havemarried a shepherd's daughter.

SHEPheRD

I've heard, sir, that he's grieving his son who almost married a shepherd's daughter.

AUTOLYCUS

If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly:the curses he shall have, the tortures he shallfeel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.

AUTOLYCUS

If that shepherd isn't in jail already, he better run for it. The punishment he faces will be enough to break any man.

CLOWN

Think you so, sir?

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

Do you think so, sir?

AUTOLYCUS

Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy and vengeance bitter; but those that are 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 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.

AUTOLYCUS

He'll suffer horribly, but so will his family and everyone within fifty degrees of relation to him. They'll all be hanged; it's a pity, but it's necessary. Can you believe some old shepherd was grooming his daughter to catch a prince? Some say he'll be stoned to death, but I say that's too lenient for someone who almost ruined our prince! No punishment is too harsh for him.

CLOWN

Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear. an'tlike you, sir?

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Have you heard anything about the old man having a son, sir? If it please you, sir?

AUTOLYCUS

He has a son, who shall be flayed 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 recovered again with aqua-vitae or some other hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and in the hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall be 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, their offences 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 in man besides the king to effect your suits, here is man shall do it.

AUTOLYCUS

Oh, he has a son. He'll be skinned alive, drizzled in honey, thrown into a wasp's nest, and forced to stay there until he's nearly dead. Then they'll wake him up with a shot of whisky and stand him, raw flesh and all, on top of a brick wall to be baked in the sun and eaten by flies.

But why are we talking about these backstabbing traitors? We should be thankful they're going to be put to death for their crimes! Since you seem to be humble peasants, tell me what you're bringing to the king. If it's worth his attention, I'll bring you aboard his ship and introduce you to him with a kind recommendation. If there's anyone besides the king who can help you, it's me.

CLOWN

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: show the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado. Remember 'stoned,' and 'flayed alive.'

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

[To the SHEPHERD] He seems to have a lot of power. Let's make friends with him and give him a little money. You can control even power with money; give him a few coins and see how easy everything becomes. Remember he said we're condemned to be "stoned to death" and "skinned alive!"

SHEPHERD

An't please you, sir, to undertake the business forus, here is that gold I have: I'll make it as muchmore and leave this young man in pawn till I bring it you.

SHEPHERD

If it please you to help us, sir, please take this money. I can give more afterward—as much as you like—and you can keep this young man as collateral until I do.

AUTOLYCUS

After I have done what I promised?

AUTOLYCUS

After I have done what I promised?

SHEPHERD

Ay, sir.

SHEPHERD

Yes, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in this business?

AUTOLYCUS

Well, give me that part of it.

[To the SHEPHERD'S SON]
Are you a part of this business?

CLOWN

In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitifulone, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.

CLOWN (Shepherd's son)

Sort of, sir. Even though my share is small, I hope I won't be skinned out of it.

AUTOLYCUS

O, that's the case of the shepherd's son: hang him,he'll be made an example.

AUTOLYCUS

Oh, that's the punishment for the shepherd's son. Forget about him! They'll make an example out of him.

CLOWN

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 performed, and remain, as he says, your pawn till it be brought you.

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

Isn't that comforting?

[To the SHEPHERD] We need to see the king and show him our secret stuff. He needs to know that she's neither your daughter nor my sister, otherwise we're dead. 

[To AUTOLYCUS] Sir, I'll give you as much money as this old man did after the business is done. And you can hold on to me as collateral in the meantime.

AUTOLYCUS

I will trust you. Walk before toward the sea-side;go on the right hand: I will but look upon thehedge and follow you.

AUTOLYCUS

I trust you. Walk down to the sea; I'll follow you from behind.

CLOWN

We are blest in this man, as I may say, even blest.

CLOWN (shepherd's son)

We are blessed to have met this man. Very blessed.

SHEPHERD

Let's before as he bids us: he was provided to do us good.

SHEPHERD

Let's get going and do what he says. God sent him to help us.

Exeunt Shepherd and Clown

AUTOLYCUS

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.

AUTOLYCUS

If I were a good man, maybe I'd make even more money than I do as a criminal. Now I have a two-for-one deal: money and a chance to do Florizel, my former master, some good. Who knows how I can work this to my advantage? I'll bring these two idiots aboard to Polixenes. If he kicks them back to shore and their reason for seeing him turns out to be bogus, the worst that can happen is that he calls me "crook" (which doesn't offend me, since I've earned that title!). I'll present them to Polixenes; it may turn out to be something after all.

Exit

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Bailey sincox
About the Translator: Bailey Sincox

Bailey Sincox is a PhD student in English at Harvard University, where she researches the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her teaching experience includes accessible online courses with edX on Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. She holds a Master's from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's from Duke University.