Come, I'll question you / Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were boys: / You were pretty lordlings then?
We were, fair Queen, / Two lads that thought there was no more behind / But such a day tomorrow as today, / And to be boy eternal.
Was not my lord / The verier wag o' th' two?
We were as twinned lambs, that did frisk i' th' sun, / And bleat the one at th' other; what we changed / Was innocence for innocence; we knew not / The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dreamed / That any did; had we pursued that life, / And our weak spirits ne'er been higher reared / With stronger blood, we should have answered heaven / Boldly, "not guilty"; the imposition cleared, / Hereditary ours.
Mamillius, / Art thou my boy?
Ay, my good lord.
I' fecks! / Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutched thy nose? / They say it is a copy out of mine. Come, Captain, / We must be neat — not neat, but cleanly, Captain: / And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf, / Are all called neat. Still virginaling / Upon his palm? How now, you wanton calf, / Art thou my calf?
Yes, if you will, my lord.
Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have / To be full like me: yet they say we are / Almost as like as eggs; women say so, / That will say anything. But were they false / As o'er-dyed blacks, as wind, as waters; false / As dice are to be wished, by one that fixes / No bourn 'twixt his and mine — yet were it true / To say this boy were like me. Come, Sir Page, / Look on me with your welkin eye. Sweet villain, / Most dear'st, my collop! Can thy dam, may 't be? / Affection! Thy intention stabs the center. / Thou dost make possible things not so held, / Communicat'st with dreams — how can this be? — / With what's unreal thou coactive art, / And fellow'st nothing. Then 'tis very credent / Thou mayst co-join with something, and thou dost, / And that beyond commission, and I find it, / And that to the infection of my brains, / And hardening of my brows.
Gone already! / Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a forked one! / Go play, boy, play: thy mother plays, and I / Play too — but so disgraced a part, whose issue / Will hiss me to my grave; contempt and clamour / Will be my knell. Go play, boy, play. There have been, / Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now, / And many a man there is, even at this present, / Now, while I speak this, holds his wife by th' arm, / That little thinks she has been sluiced in 's absence, / And his pond fished by his next neighbour, by / Sir Smile, his neighbour; nay, there's comfort in 't, / Whiles other men have gates, and those gates opened, / As mine against their will. Should all despair, / That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind / Would hang themselves. Physic for 't there's none; / It is a bawdy planet, that will strike / Where 'tis predominant, and 'tis powerful, think it, / From east, west, north, and south. Be it concluded, / No barricado for a belly. Know 't / It will let in and out the enemy, / With bag and baggage. Many thousand on 's / Have the disease, and feel 't not. How now, boy!
Is whispering nothing? / Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses? / Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career / Of laughter with a sigh (a note infallible / Of breaking honesty)? Horsing foot on foot? / Skulking in corners? Wishing clocks more swift? / Hours, minutes? Noon, midnight? And all eyes / Blind with the pin and web, but theirs; theirs only, / That would unseen be wicked? Is this nothing? / Why, then the world and all that's in 't is nothing, / The covering sky is nothing, Bohemia nothing, / My wife is nothing, nor nothing have these nothings, / If this be nothing.
I would there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting. Hark you now! Would any but these boiled brains of nineteen and two-and-twenty hunt this weather? They have scared away two of my best sheep, which I fear the wolf will sooner find than the master; if anywhere I have them, 'tis by the seaside, browsing of ivy. Good luck, an 't be thy will, what have we here? Mercy on 's, a barne! A very pretty barne; a boy or a child, I wonder? A pretty one, a very pretty one; sure, some scape; though I am not bookish, yet I can read waiting-gentlewoman in the scape. This has been some stair-work, some trunk-work, some behind-door-work; they were warmer that got this than the poor thing is here.
My traffic is sheets; when the kite builds, look to lesser linen. My father named me Autolycus, who being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles. With die and drab, I purchased this caparison, and my revenue is the silly cheat. Gallows and knock are too powerful on the highway. Beating and hanging are terrors to me; for the life to come, I sleep out the thought of it.
Shepherdess — / A fair one are you — well you fit our ages / With flow'rs of winter.
Sir, the year growing ancient, / Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth / Of trembling winter, the fairest flow'rs o' th' season / Are our carnations, and streaked gillyvors, / Which some call Nature's bastards; of that kind / Our rustic garden's barren; and I care not / To get slips of them.
Wherefore, gentle maiden, / Do you neglect them?
For I have heard it said, / There is an art, which in their piedness shares / With great creating Nature.
Say there be; / Yet Nature is made better by no mean / But Nature makes that means; so over that art, / Which you say adds to Nature, is an art, / That Nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry / A gentler scion to the wildest stock, / And make conceive a bark of baser kind / By bud of nobler race. This is an art / Which does mend Nature, change it rather; but / The art itself is Nature.
So it is.
Then make your garden rich in gillyvors, / And do not call them bastards.
I'll not put / The dibble in earth, to set one slip of them; / No more than were I painted, I would wish / This youth should say 'twere well, and only therefore / Desire to breed by me. Here's flow'rs for you: / Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram, / The marigold that goes to bed wi' th' sun, / And with him rises, weeping; these are flow'rs / Of middle summer, and I think they are given / To men of middle age. You're very welcome.
He sings several tunes faster than you'll tell money; he utters them as he had eaten ballads, and all men's ears grew to his tunes.
He could never come better; he shall come in; I love a ballad but even too well, if it be doleful matter merrily set down; or a very pleasant thing indeed, and sung lamentably.
He hath songs for man or woman of all sizes; no milliner can so fit his customers with gloves. He has the prettiest love songs for maids, so without bawdry, which is strange; with such delicate burdens of dildos and fadings: "Jump her, and thump her"; and where some stretch-mouthed rascal would, as it were, mean mischief, and break a foul gap into the matter, he makes the maid to answer, "Whoop, do me no harm, good man"; puts him off, slights him, with "Whoop, do me no harm, good man."
Mark your divorce, young sir, / Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base / To be acknowledged. Thou, a scepter's heir, / That thus affect'st a sheep-hook! Thou, old traitor, / I am sorry that by hanging thee, I can / But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece / Of excellent witchcraft, who of force must know / The royal fool thou cop'st with —
O my heart!
I'll have thy beauty scratched with briers and made / More homely than thy state. For thee, fond boy, / If I may ever know thou dost but sigh / That thou no more shalt see this knack — as never / I mean thou shalt — we'll bar thee from succession; / Not hold thee of our blood, no not our kin, / Farre than Deucalion off. Mark thou my words. / Follow us to the court. Thou, churl, for this time, / Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee / From the dead blow of it. And you, enchantment, / Worthy enough a herdsman — yea him, too, / That makes himself, but for our honour therein, / Unworthy thee — if ever henceforth thou / These rural latches to his entrance open, / Or hoop his body more with thy embraces, / I will devise a death as cruel for thee / As thou art tender to 't.
Even here undone!
I understand the business, I hear it. To have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary for a cutpurse; a good nose is requisite also, 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 anything extempore.
Give me thy hand. I will swear to the Prince thou art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.
You may say it, but not swear it.
Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and franklins say it, I'll swear it.
How if it be false, son?
If it be ne'er so false, a true gentleman may swear it in the behalf of his friend; and I'll swear to the Prince thou art a tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt not be drunk; but I know thou art no tall fellow of thy hands, and that thou wilt be drunk; but I'll swear it, and I would thou wouldst be a tall fellow of thy hands.
I will prove so, sir, to my power.
Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow. If I do not wonder how thou dar'st venture to be drunk, not being a tall fellow, trust me not.