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and we may

gods do this

connive at us,


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't70: 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


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 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.

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



70 Steevens reads, “If I thought it were not a piece of honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would do it.' The transposition of the word not was made by Hanmer; it does not render the passage more intelligible, and as we can extract a meaning out of the passage as it originally stood, I do not think so violent a transposition admissible.

had been the dearer, by I know how 71 much an


Aut. Very wisely; puppies !

[Aside. 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 excrement72. [Takes off his false beard.] How now, rusticks? whither are you bound?

Shep. To the palace, an it like your worship.

Aut. Your affairs there? what? with whom? the condition of that fardel 73, the place of your dwelling, your names, your ages, of what having 74, 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 lie75.

Clo. Your worship had like to have given us one, if you had not taken yourself with the manner 76.

Shep. Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?
Aut. Whether it like me, or no, I am a courtier.

71 We should probably read, 'by I know not how much an ounce.'

72 Thus in The Comedy of Errors : Why is time such a niggard of his hair, being as it is so plentiful an excrement?'

73 Fardel is a bundle, a pack or burthen. • A pack that a man doth bear with him in the way,' says Baret.

74 i. e. estate, property.

75 The meaning is, they are paid for lying, therefore they do not give us the lie.

76 That is, in the fact. Vide Love's Labour's Lost, Act i.Sc. 1.


See'st thou not the air of the court, in these enfoldings ? hath not my gait in it, the measure of the .court 77? receives not thy nose court-odour from me? reflect I not on thy baseness, court-contempt? Think'st thou, for that I insinuate, or toze 78 from thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier? I a courtier, cap-a-pè; 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 79.

Aut. How bless’d are we, that are not simple men! Yet nature might have made me as these are, Therefore I'll 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 ?

77 The measure, the stately tread of courtiers.

78 • Think'st thou because I wind myself into, or draw from thee thy business, I am therefore no courtier ?' To toze is to pluck or draw out. As to toze or teize wool, Carpere lanam. See the old dictionaries.

79 Malone says, 'perhaps in the first of these speeches we should read, a present, which the old shepherd mistakes for a pheasant. The clowns perhaps thought courtiers as corruptible as some justices then were, of whom it is said, 'for half a dozen of chickens they would dispense with a whole dozen of penal statutes.'

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 the 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 heavy, and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane 80 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

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 flayed alive; then, 'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a wasps' nest; then stand, till he be three quarters and a dram dead: then recovered again with aquavitæ, or some other hot infusion: then, raw as he is, and in the hottest day prognostication proclaims 81,

80 Germane, related.
81 The hottest day foretold in the almanack.

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

Shep. An't please you, sir, to undertake the business for us, here is that gold I have: I'll make it 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 flayed 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 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.

82 i.e. being handsomely bribed ; to consider often signified to reward.

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