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Flo. O Perdita, what have we twain forgot?
Fło. Fortune speed us !
[Exit Flor. with Per. Cam. The swifter speed, the better.
[Exit. Aut. I understand the business, I hear it : to have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necesfary for a cut-purse; a good nose is requisite alfo, to smell out work for th' 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.
Enter Clown and Shepherd. A fide, aside, --here's more matter for a hot brain ; every lane's end, every shop, church, feslion, 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 Changling, and none of your flesh and blood.
Shep. Nay, but hear me,
Clo. She being none of your flesh and blcod, your Aesh and blood has not offended the King; and, fo, VOL. III.
your flesh and blood is not to be punish'd by him. Shew those things you found about her, those secret things, all but what she has with her ; this being done, let the law go
whiille ; 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 your blood had been the dearer by I know how much an ounce. Aut. Very wisely, puppies !.
[-Afide. Shep. Well; let us to the King; there is That in this Farthel will make him scratch his beard.
Aut, I know not what impediment this Complaint may be to the fight of my malter.
Clo. 'Pray heartily, he be at the Palace.
Aut. Tho' I am not naturally honelt, I am so sometimes by chance ; let me pocket up my Pedlar's excrement. "How now, rustiques, whither are you bound?
Shep. To th’ Palace, an it like your Worship.
Aut. Your affairs there, what, with whom, the condition of that farthel, the place of your dwelling, your names, your age, of what having, breeding, and any thing that is fitting for 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 foldiers the lie ; but we pay them for it with Itamped coin, not stabbing steel, therefore they do not give us the lie.
Clo. Your Worship had like to have given us one, if you had not taken yourself with the manner.
Shep. Are you a Courtier, an like you, Sir?
Aut. Whether it like me, or no, I am a Courtier. Seelt thou not the air of the Court in these enfoldings ? hath not my gate in it the measure of the Court ? receives not thy nose court-odour from me ? reflect I not, on thy baseness, COLrt contempt? , think'st thou, for that I infinuate, or toze from thee thy business, I am
therefore no Courtier? I am courtier Cap-a-pè; and
Shep. My business, Sir, is to the King.
Clo. Advocates the court word for a pheasant; fay, you have none.
Shep. None, Sir ; I have no pheasant, cock, nor hen.
Aut. How bless'd are we that are not simple men !
Clo. This cannot be but a great Courtier.
Shep. His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomly.
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 farthel there? what's i' th' farthel ?
Shep. Sir, there lyes such secrets in this farthel and box, which none must know but the King; and which he shall know within this hour, if I may come to th' speech of him.
Aut. Age, thou hast lost thy labour.
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 faid, Sir, about his son that should have married a fhepherd's daughter.
Aut. If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly; the curses he shall have, the tortures he fall feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.
Clo. Think you fo, Sir?
Aut. Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy, and
but those that are germane to him, tho' remov'd fifiy times, shall all come
under the hangman; which tho' 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 ston'd; but that death is too loft for him, say I : draw our throne into a sheep-coat ! all deaths are too few, the sharpelt too eafie.
Clo. Has the old man e'er a son, Sir, do you hear, an't like you, Sir?
Aut. He has a fon, who shall be flay!d 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 recover'd again with Aqua-vite, or some other hot infusion ; then, raw as he is, (and in the hottelt day prognostication proclaims) 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 smil'd at, their offences being fo capital ? Tell me, (for you seem to be honest plain men) what you have to the King ; being something gently consider'd, I'll bring you where he is aboard, tender your persons to his presence, whisper him in your behalf, and if it be in man, besides the King, to effect your suits, here is a 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; Thew the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado. Remember, stond, and flay'd 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 ?
Aut. Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in this business?
Clo. In some sort, Sir ; but tho' my case be a pitiful one, I hope, I shall not be flay'd out of it.
Aut. Oh, that's the case of the shepherd's fon; hang him; he'll be made an example.
Clo. Comfort, good comfort; we muft to the King, and shew our strange fights ; he must know, 'tis none of your daughter, nor my fifter; we are gone else. Sir, I will give you as much as this old man does, -when the bufiness is perform'd; and remain, as he says, your Pawn 'till it be brought you.
Aut. I will trust you, walk before toward the sea-side, go on the right hand ; I will but look upon the hedge, and follow you.
Cle. We are bless'd in this man, as I may say, even bless'd.
Shep. Let's before, as he bids us; he was provided to do us good.
[Exeunt Shep. and Clown. Aut. If I had a mind, to be honest, I fee, 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 shoar 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.