Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Hardin Aasand
Peer Reviewed

The Winter's Tale (Folio 1, 1623)

Scena Tertia.
Enter Autolicus singing.
When Daffadils begin to peere,
1670 With heigh the Doxy ouer the dale,
Why then comes in the sweet o'the yeere,
For the red blood raigns in ye winters pale.
The white sheete bleaching on the hedge,
With hey the sweet birds, O how they sing:
1675 Doth set my pugging tooth an edge,
For a quart of Ale is a dish for a King.
The Larke, that tirra Lyra chaunts,
With heigh, the Thrush and the Iay:
Are Summer songs for me and my Aunts
1680 While we lye tumbling in the hay.
I haue seru'd Prince Florizell, and in my time wore three
pile, but now I am out of seruice.
But shall I go mourne for that (my deere)
the pale Moone shines by night:
1685 And when I wander here, and there
I then do most go right.
If Tinkers may haue leaue to liue,
and beare the Sow-skin Bowget,
Then my account I well may giue,
1690 and in the Stockes auouch-it.
My Trafficke is sheetes: when the Kite builds, looke to
lesser Linnen. My Father nam'd me Autolicus, who be-
ing (as I am) lytter'd vnder Mercurie, was likewise a
snapper-vp of vnconsidered trifles: With Dye and drab,
1695I purchas'd this Caparison, and my Reuennew is the silly
Cheate. Gallowes, and Knocke, are too powerfull on
the Highway. Beating and hanging are terrors to mee:
For the life to come, I sleepe out the thought of it. A
prize, a prize.
1700Enter Clowne.
Clo. Let me see, euery Leauen-weather toddes, euery
tod yeeldes pound and odde shilling: fifteene hundred
shorne, what comes the wooll too?
Aut. If the sprindge hold, the Cocke's mine.
1705Clo. I cannot do't without Compters. Let mee see,
what am I to buy for our Sheepe-shearing-Feast? Three
pound of Sugar, fiue pound of Currence, Rice: What
will this sister of mine do with Rice? But my father hath
made her Mistris of the Feast, and she layes it on. Shee
1710hath made-me four and twenty Nose-gayes for the shea-
rers (three-man song-men, all, and very good ones) but
they are most of them Meanes and Bases; but one Puri-
tan amongst them, and he sings Psalmes to horne-pipes.
I must haue Saffron to colour the Warden Pies, Mace:
1715Dates, none: that's out of my note: Nutmegges, seuen;
a Race or two of Ginger, but that I may begge: Foure
pound of Prewyns, and as many of Reysons o'th Sun.
Aut. Oh, that euer I was borne.
Clo. I'th' name of me.
1720Aut. Oh helpe me, helpe mee: plucke but off these
ragges: and then, death, death.
Clo. Alacke poore soule, thou hast need of more rags
to lay on thee, rather then haue these off.
Aut. Oh sir, the loathsomnesse of them offend mee,
1725more then the stripes I haue receiued, which are mightie
ones and millions.
Clo. Alas poore man, a million of beating may come
to a great matter.
Aut. I am rob'd sir, and beaten: my money, and ap-
1730parrell tane from me, and these detestable things put vp-
on me.
Clo. What, by a horse-man, or a foot-man?
Aut. A footman (sweet sir) a footman.
Clo. Indeed, he should be a footman, by the garments
1735he has left with thee: If this bee a horsemans Coate, it
hath seene very hot seruice. Lend me thy hand, Ile helpe
thee. Come, lend me thy hand.
Aut. Oh good sir, tenderly, oh.
Clo. Alas poore soule.
1740Aut. Oh good sir, softly, good sir: I feare (sir) my
shoulder-blade is out.
Clo. How now? Canst stand?
Aut. Softly, deere sir: good sir, softly: you ha done
me a charitable office.
1745Clo. Doest lacke any mony? I haue a little mony for
Aut. No, good sweet sir: no, I beseech you sir: I haue
a Kinsman not past three quarters of a mile hence, vnto
whome I was going: I shall there haue money, or anie
1750thing I want: Offer me no money I pray you, that killes
my heart.
Clow. What manner of Fellow was hee that robb'd
Aut. A fellow (sir) that I haue knowne to goe about
1755with Troll-my-dames: I knew him once a seruant of the
Prince: I cannot tell good sir, for which of his Ver-
tues it was, but hee was certainely Whipt out of the
The Winters Tale. 291
Clo. His vices you would say: there's no vertue whipt
1760out of the Court: they cherish it to make it stay there;
and yet it will no more but abide.
Aut. Vices I would say (Sir.) I know this man well,
he hath bene since an Ape-bearer, then a Processe-seruer
(a Bayliffe) then hee compast a Motion of the Prodigall
1765sonne, and married a Tinkers wife, within a Mile where
my Land and Liuing lyes; and (hauing flowne ouer ma-
ny knauish professions) he setled onely in Rogue: some
call him Autolicus.
Clo. Out vpon him: Prig, for my life Prig: he haunts
1770Wakes, Faires, and Beare-baitings.
Aut. Very true sir: he sir hee: that's the Rogue that
put me into this apparrell.
Clo. Not a more cowardly Rogue in all Bohemia; If
you had but look'd bigge, and spit at him, hee'ld haue
Aut. I must confesse to you (sir) I am no fighter: I am
false of heart that way, & that he knew I warrant him.
Clo. How do you now?
Aut. Sweet sir, much better then I was: I can stand,
1780and walke: I will euen take my leaue of you, & pace soft-
ly towards my Kinsmans.
Clo. Shall I bring thee on the way?
Aut. No, good fac'd sir, no sweet sir.
Clo. Then fartheewell, I must go buy Spices for our
1785sheepe-shearing. Exit.
Aut. Prosper you sweet sir. Your purse is not hot e-
nough to purchase your Spice: Ile be with you at your
sheepe-shearing too: If I make not this Cheat bring out
another, and the sheere
rs proue sheepe, let me be vnrold,
1790and my name put in the booke of Vertue.
Song. Iog-on, Iog-on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the Stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tyres in a Mile-a.