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

FLORIZEL.
Should I now meet my father,
He would not call me son.

CAMILLO.
Nay, you shall have no hat. — [Giving it to PERDITA.]
Come, lady, come. — Farewell, my friend.

AUTOLYCUS.
Adieu, sir.

FLORIZEL.
O Perdita, what have we twain forgot!
Pray you a word.

[They converse apart.]

CAMILLO.
[Aside.] What I do next, shall be to tell the king
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 re-view Sicilia; for whose sight
I have a woman's longing.

FLORIZEL.
Fortune speed us! —
Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.

CAMILLO.
The swifter speed the better.

[Exeunt FLORIZEL, PERDITA, and CAMILLO.]

AUTOLYCUS.
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 connive
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 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.

[Re-enter CLOWN and SHEPHERD.]

Aside, aside; — here is more matter for a hot brain: every lane's
end, every shop, church, session, hanging, yields a careful man
work.

CLOWN.
See, see; what a man you are now! There is no other way but
to tell the king she's a changeling, and none of your flesh and
blood.

SHEPHERD.
Nay, but hear me.

CLOWN.
Nay, but hear me.

SHEPHERD.
Go to, then.

CLOWN.
She being none of your flesh and blood, your flesh and blood
has not offended the king; and so your flesh and blood is not to
be punished by him. Show those things you found about her; those
secret things, — all but what she has with her: this being done,
let the law go whistle; I warrant you.

SHEPHERD.
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.

CLOWN.
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.

AUTOLYCUS.
[Aside.] Very wisely, puppies!

SHEPHERD.
Well, let us to the king: there is that in this fardel will
make him scratch his beard!

AUTOLYCUS.
[Aside.] I know not what impediment this complaint may
be to the flight of my master.

CLOWN.
Pray heartily he be at palace.

AUTOLYCUS.
[Aside.] Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes
by chance. Let me pocket up my pedlar's excrement. [Takes off
his false beard.] — How now, rustics! whither are you bound?

SHEPHERD.
To the palace, an it like your worship.

AUTOLYCUS.
Your affairs there, what, with whom, the condition of that
fardel, the place of your dwelling, your names, your ages, of
what having, breeding, and anything that is fitting to be known?
discover.

CLOWN.
We are but plain fellows, sir.

AUTOLYCUS.
A lie: you are rough and hairy. Let me have no lying; it becomes
none but tradesmen, and they often give us soldiers the lie:
but we pay them for it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel;
therefore they do not give us the lie.

CLOWN.
Your worship had like to have given us one, if you had not taken
yourself with the manner.

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


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