The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 4

page Act 4 Scene 4 Page 33

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AUTOLYCUS

[Aside] Very wisely, puppies!

AUTOLYCUS

(aside) Very wise, gullible men!

SHEPHERD

800Well, let us to the king: there is that in this
fardel will make him scratch his beard.

SHEPHERD

Well, let’s go to the king. There is something in this bundle that will make him reconsider things.

AUTOLYCUS

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

AUTOLYCUS

(aside) I don’t know how this complaint might hinder the flight of Florizel, my master.

CLOWN

Pray heartily he be at palace.

YOKEL

Let’s hope that he’s at the palace.

AUTOLYCUS

805[Aside] Though I am not naturally honest, I am so
sometimes by chance: let me pocket up my pedlar’s excrement.

AUTOLYCUS

(aside) Even if I’m not naturally honest, sometimes I happen to be. Let me take off my peddler’s beard.
Takes off his false beard
He takes off his false beard.
How now, rustics! whither are you bound?
Hello, countrymen! Where are you going?

SHEPHERD

To the palace, an it like your worship.

SHEPHERD

To the palace, if it pleases your worship.

AUTOLYCUS

Your affairs there, what, with whom, the condition
810of that fardel, the place of your dwelling, your
names, your ages, of what having, breeding, and any
thing that is fitting to be known, discover.

AUTOLYCUS

Tell me what your business is there, and with whom, what’s in that bundle, where you live, your names, ages, what you own and your parents, or anything else that ought to be known.

CLOWN

We are but plain fellows, sir.

YOKEL

We’re just ordinary fellows, sir.

AUTOLYCUS

A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let me have no
815lying: 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.

AUTOLYCUS

That’s a lie. You’re ragged-looking and hairy. Don’t lie to me. It only works for tradesmen, and they often call us soldiers liars and cheat us at the same time. But we pay them for it with coins rather than swords, so they’re not really giving us lies since we’re paying.

CLOWN

Your worship had like to have given us one, if you
820had not taken yourself with the manner.

YOKEL

You would have given us a lie if you hadn’t stopped yourself in the middle.