Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Winter’s Tale
ACT IV. SCENE III.—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.
Flo. Despatch, I pr’ythee.
Aut. Indeed, I have had earnest; but I can-
not with conscience take it.
Cam. Unbuckle, unbuckle.—
[FLO. and AUTOL. exchange garments.
Fortunate mistress,—let my prophecy
Come home to you!—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
For I do fear eyes over,—to shipboard
Per. I see the play so lies
That I must bear a part.
Cam. No remedy.—
Have you done there?
Flo. Should I now meet my father,
He would not call me son.
Cam. Nay, you shall have no hat.—
[Giving it to PERDITA.
Come, lady, come.—Farewell, my friend.
Aut. Adieu, sir.
Flo. O Perdita, what have we twain forgot?
Pray you, a word. [They converse apart.
Cam. What I do next, shall be to tell the
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.
Flo. Fortune speed us!—
Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.
Cam. The swifter speed the better.
[Exeunt FLOR., PER., and CAM.
Aut. 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 con-
nive at us, and we may do anything 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 hon-
esty to acquaint the king withal, I would not
do’t: I hod it the more knavery to conceal it;
and therein am I constant to my profession.
Re-enter Clown and Shepherd.
Aside, aside;—here is more matter for a hot
brain: every lane’s end, every shope, church,
session, hanging, yields a careful man work.
Clo. See. see: what a man you are now!
(On 10/21/14 – Join me for the continuation of “The Winter’s Tale”,
ACT IV. SCENE III—The same. A Shepherd’s Cottage.