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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 willingly obey your command.
Pol. My best Camillo !-We must disguise ourselves.
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing.
With, heigh! the doxy over the dale, Why, then comes in the sweet o’the year ;
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale?. The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
With, hey! the sweet birds, 0, how they siny! Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king. The lark, that tirra-lirra chants,
With, hey! with, hey! the thrush and the jayAre summer songs for me and my aunts *,
While we lie tumbling in the hay. 'Autolycus was the son of Mercury, and as famous for all the arts of fraud and thievery as his father.
* Non fuit Autolyci tam peccata manus.'-— Martial. See also Homer's Odyssey, book xix.
• the red, the spring blood now reigns over the parts lately under the dominion of winter.' A pale was a division, a place set apart from another, as the English pale, the pale of the church. The words pale and red were used for the sake of the antithesis. The glow of spring reigns over the paleness of winter.
3 A puggard was a cant name for some kind of thief. In the Roaring Girl, 1611, we have
Cheaters, lifters, nips, foists, puggards,' &c. Pugging is used by Greene in one of his pieces.
* Aunt was a cant word for a bawd or trull.
2 i. e.
I have served Prince Florizel, and, in my time, wore three-piles; but now I am out of service:
But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?
The pale moon shines by night :
I then do most go right.
And bear the sow-skin budget ;
may give, And in the stocks avouch it. My traffick is sheets; when the kite builds, look to lesser linen 6. 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 caparison; and my revenue is the silly cheat?: Gallows, and knock, are too powerful on the highway: beating, and hanging, are terrors to me; for the life to come, I sleep out the thought of it.—A prize! a prize!
Enter Clown. Clo. Let me see ;--Every 'leven wether-tods 8; every tod yields-pound and odd shilling: fifteen hundred shorn,—What comes the wool to? Aut. If the springe hold, the cock's mine.
5 i. e. rich velvet, so called. See Measure for Measure, p. 9, note 3. In the fourth act of the same play, a mercer is called Master Three-pile.
6 Autolycus means that his practice was to steal sheets ; leaving the smaller linen to be carried away by the kites, who will sometimes carry it off to line their nests.
7 The silly cheat is one of the slang terms belonging to coney catching or thievery. It is supposed to have meant picking of pockets.
Every eleven sheep will produce a tod or twenty-eight pounds of wool. The price of a tod of wool was about 20 or 22s, in 1581,
Clo. I cannot do't without counters 9.—Let me see; what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three pound of sugar; five pound of currants; 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. She hath made me four-and-twenty nosegays for the shearers: three-man song-men all, and very good ones; but they are most of them
11 and bases: but one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. I must have saffron, to colour the warden pies 12; mace,--dates, -none; that's out of my note: nutmegs, seven; a race, or two, of ginger; but that I may beg;- four pound of prunes, and as many of raisins o’the sun. Aut. O, that ever I was born!
[Grovelling on the ground. Clo. I'the name of me,
Aut. O, help me, help me! pluck but off these rags; and then, death, death!
Clo. Alack, poor soul! thou hast need of more rags to lay on thee, rather than have these off.
Aut. 0, sir, the loathsomeness of them offends me more than the stripes I have received; which are mighty ones and millions.
Clo. Alas, poor man! a million of beating may come to a great matter.
Aut. I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and apparel ta'en from me, and these detestable things put upon me.
9 Counters were circular pieces of base metal, anciently used by the illiterate to adjust their reckonings.
10 i. e. singers of catches in three parts. ,1 Means are tenors.
12 Wardens are a large sort of pear, called in French Poires de Garde, because, being a late hard pear, they may be kept very long. It is said that their name is derived from the Anglo Saxon wearden, to preserve. They are now called baking-pears, and are generally coloured with cochineal instead of saffron as of old.
Clo. What, by a horse-man, or a foot-man?
Clo. Indeed, he should be a footman, by the garments he hath 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, tenderly, oh! Clo. Alas, poor soul !
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 his 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
heart 13. 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 14 : 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.
13 Dame Quickly, speaking of Falstaff, says:~'the king hath killed his heart.'
14 • Trol my dames.' The old English title of this game was pigeon-holes; as the arches in the board through which the balls are to be rolled resemble the cavities made for pigeons in a dove-house. In Jones's Treatise on Buckstone Bathes "The ladyes, &c. if the weather be not agreeable, may have in the ende of a benche eleven holes made, into the which to troule pummits: the pastime troule in madame is called. It is a cor
of trou-madame; and was also called trunkes according to Cotgrave.
Clo. His vices,
virtue whipped out of the court: they cherish it, to make it stay there; and yet it will no more but abide 15.
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 16 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 17, 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
now? • Aut. Sweet sir, much better than I was; I can stand, and walk : I will
you, and pace softly towards
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.
Aut. Prosper you, sweet sir!-[Exit Clown.] 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
15 • Abide,' only sojourn, or dwell for a time.
16 • He compassed a motion,' &c.; he obtained a puppet show, &c.
17 Prig, another cant phrase for the order of thieves. Harman in his Caveat for Cursetor, 1573, calls a horse-stealer 'a prigger of prancers; for to prigge in their language is to steale.'