Aut. If that Shepheard be not in hand-fast, let him flye; the Curses he shall haue, the Tortures he shall feele, will breake the back of Man, the heart of Monster

Clo. Thinke you so, Sir? Aut. Not hee alone shall suffer what Wit can make heauie, and Vengeance bitter; but those that are Iermaine to him (though remou'd fiftie times) shall all come vnder the Hang-man: which, though it be great pitty, yet it is necessarie. An old Sheepe-whistling Rogue, a Ram-tender, to offer to haue his Daughter come into grace? Some say hee shall be ston'd: but that death is too soft for him (say I:) Draw our Throne into a Sheep-Coat? all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easie

Clo. Ha's the old-man ere a Sonne Sir (doe you heare) and't like you, Sir? Aut. Hee ha's a Sonne: who shall be flayd aliue, then 'noynted ouer with Honey, set on the head of a Waspes Nest, then stand till he be three quarters and a dram dead: then recouer'd againe with Aquavite, or some other hot Infusion: then, raw as he is (and in the hotest day Prognostication proclaymes) shall he be set against a Brick-wall, (the Sunne looking with a South-ward eye vpon him; where hee is to behold him, with Flyes blown to death.) But what talke we of these Traitorly-Rascals, whose miseries are to be smil'd at, their offences being so capitall? Tell me (for you seeme to be honest plaine men) what you haue to the King: being something gently consider'd, Ile bring you where he is aboord, tender your persons to his presence, whisper him in your behalfes; and if it be in man, besides the King, to effect your Suites, here is man shall doe it

Clow. He seemes to be of great authoritie: close with him, giue him Gold; and though Authoritie be a stubborne Beare, yet hee is oft led by the Nose with Gold: shew the in-side of your Purse to the out-side of his hand, and no more adoe. Remember ston'd, and flay'd aliue

Shep. And't please you (Sir) to vndertake the Businesse for vs, here is that Gold I haue: Ile make it as much more, and leaue this young man in pawne, till I bring it you

Aut. After I haue done what I promised? Shep. I Sir

Aut. Well, giue me the Moitie: Are you a partie in this Businesse? Clow. In some sort, Sir: but though my case be a pittifull one, I hope I shall not be flayd out of it

Aut. Oh, that's the case of the Shepheards Sonne: hang him, hee'le be made an example

Clow. Comfort, good comfort: We must to the King, and shew our strange sights: he must know 'tis none of your Daughter, nor my Sister: wee are gone else. Sir, I will giue you as much as this old man do's, when the Businesse is performed, and remaine (as he sayes) your pawne till it be brought you

Aut. I will trust you. Walke before toward the Seaside, goe on the right hand, I will but looke vpon the Hedge, and follow you

Clow. We are bless'd, in this man: as I may say, euen bless'd

Shep. Let's before, as he bids vs: he was prouided to doe vs good

Aut. If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune would not suffer mee: shee drops Booties in my mouth. I am courted now with a double occasion: (Gold, and a means to doe the Prince my Master good; which, who knowes how that may turne backe to my aduancement?) I will bring these two Moales, these blind-ones, aboord him: if he thinke it fit to shoare them againe, and that the Complaint they haue to the King, concernes him nothing, let him call me Rogue, for being so farre officious, for I am proofe against that Title, and what shame else belongs to't: To him will I present them, there may be matter in it.

Exeunt.

The Winters Tale Page 33

William Shakespeare Plays

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