The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 10

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POLIXENES

This is a brave fellow.

POLIXENES

This is an excellent fellow.

CLOWN

Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable conceited
fellow. Has he any unbraided wares?

YOKEL

Believe me, you are talking about a very witty fellow. Does he have any new items to sell?

SERVANT

He hath ribbons of an the colours i’ the rainbow;
235points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can
learnedly handle, though they come to him by the
gro inkles, caddisses, cambrics, lawns: why, he
sings ’em over as they were gods or goddesses; you
would think a smock were a she-angel, he so chants
240to the sleeve-hand and the work about the square on’t.

SERVANT

He has ribbons in all the colors of the rainbow, and countless laces that he gets wholesale. He has linen tape and yarn tape, fine linens, too. Why, he sings about them as if they were gods and goddesses. You would think a ladies’ undergarment were an angel, the way he sings to the cuff and embroidery about the bodice.

CLOWN

Prithee bring him in; and let him approach singing.

YOKEL

Please, let him in, and have him sing while he’s approaching us.

PERDITA

Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words in ’s tunes.

PERDITA

Warn him that he musn’t use bad words in his songs.
Exit Servant
The Servant exits.

CLOWN

You have of these pedlars, that have more in them
than you’ld think, sister.

YOKEL

There are some peddlers who have more bad words in them than you would think.

PERDITA

245Ay, good brother, or go about to think.

PERDITA

Ay, good brother, or wish to think.
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing
AUTOLYCUS enters, singing.

AUTOLYCUS

Lawn as white as driven snow;
Cyprus black as e’er was crow;
Gloves as sweet as damask roses;
Masks for faces and for noses;
250Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,
Perfume for a lady’s chamber;
Golden quoifs and stomachers,
For my lads to give their dears:
Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
255What maids lack from head to heel:
Come buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
Buy lads, or else your lasses cry: Come buy.

AUTOLYCUS

Linen as white as wind-whipped snow;
Gloves as sweet-smelling as damask roses;
Masks to cover faces and noses;
A glittering bracelet, a necklace made of amber;
Perfume made for a ladies room;
Golden caps and dress fronts
For my young men to give to their sweethearts;
Pins and rods of steel;
Whatever young woman need from head to toe;
Come buy them from me, or your ladies will cry. Come buy.