The Winter's Tale By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 4

My good Camillo,
She is as forward of her breeding as
She is i' the rear our birth.

I cannot say 'tis pity
She lacks instruction; for she seems a mistress
To most that teach.

Your pardon, sir; for this:
I'll blush you thanks.

My prettiest Perdita! —
But, O, the thorns we stand upon! — Camillo, —
Preserver of my father, now of me;
The medicine of our house! — how shall we do?
We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's son;
Nor shall appear in Sicilia.

My lord,
Fear none of this: I think you know my fortunes
Do all lie there: it shall be so my care
To have you royally appointed as if
The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,
That you may know you shall not want, — one word.
[They talk aside.]

[Re-enter AUTOLYCUS.]

Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, his sworn brother,
a very simple gentleman! I have sold all my trumpery; not a
counterfeit stone, not a riband, glass, pomander, brooch,
table-book, ballad, knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet,
horn-ring, to keep my pack from fasting; — they throng who should
buy first, as if my trinkets had been hallowed, and brought a
benediction to the buyer: by which means I saw whose purse was
best in picture; and what I saw, to my good use I remembered. My
clown (who wants but something to be a reasonable man) grew so in
love with the wenches' song that he would not stir his pettitoes
till he had both tune and words; which so drew the rest of the
herd to me that all their other senses stuck in ears: you might
have pinched a placket, — it was senseless; 'twas nothing to geld
a codpiece of a purse; I would have filed keys off that hung in
chains: no hearing, no feeling, but my sir's song, and admiring
the nothing of it. So that, in this time of lethargy, I picked
and cut most of their festival purses; and had not the old man
come in with whoobub against his daughter and the king's son, and
scared my choughs from the chaff, I had not left a purse alive in
the whole army.

[CAMILLO, FLORIZEL, and PERDITA come forward.]

Nay, but my letters, by this means being there
So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.

And those that you'll procure from king Leontes, —

Shall satisfy your father.

Happy be you!
All that you speak shows fair.

[Seeing AUTOLYCUS.] Who have we here?
We'll make an instrument of this; omit
Nothing may give us aid.

[Aside.] If they have overheard me now, — why, hanging.

How now, good fellow! why shakest thou so? Fear not, man; here's
no harm intended to thee.

I am a poor fellow, sir.

Why, be so still; here's nobody will steal that from thee:
yet, for the outside of thy poverty we must make an exchange;
therefore discase thee instantly, — thou must think there's a
necessity in't, — and change garments with this gentleman: though
the pennyworth on his side be the worst, yet hold thee, there's
some boot. [Giving money.]

I am a poor fellow, sir: — [Aside.] I know ye well enough.

Nay, pr'ythee dispatch: the gentleman is half flay'd already.

Are you in earnest, sir? — [Aside.] I smell the trick on't.

Dispatch, I pr'ythee.

Indeed, I have had earnest; but I cannot with conscience
take it.

Unbuckle, unbuckle.

[FLORIZEL and AUTOLYCUS 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 may, —
For I do fear eyes over, — to shipboard
Get undescried.

I see the play so lies
That I must bear a part.

No remedy. —
Have you done there?

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After Camillo reveals Leontes' plan to kill Polixenes, Camillo is sentenced to die for treason.