Speeches (Lines) for Autolycus
in "Winter's Tale"

Total: 67

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

IV,3,1724

(stage directions). [Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing]

Autolycus. When daffodils begin to peer,
With heigh! the doxy over the dale,
Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year;
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.
The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they sing!
Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
The lark, that tirra-lyra chants,
With heigh! with heigh! the thrush and the jay,
Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
While we lie tumbling in the hay.
I have served Prince Florizel and in my time
wore three-pile; but now I am out of service:
But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?
The pale moon shines by night:
And when I wander here and there,
I then do most go right.
If tinkers may have leave to live,
And bear the sow-skin budget,
Then my account I well may, give,
And in the stocks avouch it.
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. A prize! a prize!


2

IV,3,1759

Clown. Let me see: every 'leven wether tods; every tod
yields pound and odd shilling; fifteen hundred
shorn. what comes the wool to?

Autolycus. [Aside]
If the springe hold, the cock's mine.


3

IV,3,1775

Clown. I cannot do't without counters. Let me see; what am
I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three pound
of sugar, five pound of currants, rice,—what will
this sister of mine do with rice? But my father
hath made her mistress of the feast, and she lays it
on. She hath made me four and twenty nose-gays for
the shearers, three-man-song-men all, and very good
ones; but they are most of them means and bases; but
one puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to
horn-pipes. I must have saffron to colour the warden
pies; mace; dates?—none, that's out of my note;
nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger, but that I
may beg; four pound of prunes, and as many of
raisins o' the sun.

Autolycus. O that ever I was born!


4

IV,3,1778

Clown. I' the name of me—

Autolycus. O, help me, help me! pluck but off these rags; and
then, death, death!


5

IV,3,1782

Clown. Alack, poor soul! thou hast need of more rags to lay
on thee, rather than have these off.

Autolycus. O sir, the loathsomeness of them offends me more
than the stripes I have received, which are mighty
ones and millions.


6

IV,3,1787

Clown. Alas, poor man! a million of beating may come to a
great matter.

Autolycus. I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and apparel
ta'en from me, and these detestable things put upon
me.


7

IV,3,1791

Clown. What, by a horseman, or a footman?

Autolycus. A footman, sweet sir, a footman.


8

IV,3,1796

Clown. Indeed, he should be a footman by the garments he
has left with thee: if this be a horseman's coat,
it hath seen very hot service. Lend me thy hand,
I'll help thee: come, lend me thy hand.

Autolycus. O, good sir, tenderly, O!


9

IV,3,1798

Clown. Alas, poor soul!

Autolycus. O, good sir, softly, good sir! I fear, sir, my
shoulder-blade is out.


10

IV,3,1801

Clown. How now! canst stand?

Autolycus. [Picking his pocket]
Softly, dear sir; good sir, softly. You ha' done me
a charitable office.


11

IV,3,1805

Clown. Dost lack any money? I have a little money for thee.

Autolycus. No, good sweet sir; no, I beseech you, sir: I have
a kinsman not past three quarters of a mile hence,
unto whom I was going; I shall there have money, or
any thing I want: offer me no money, I pray you;
that kills my heart.


12

IV,3,1811

Clown. What manner of fellow was he that robbed you?

Autolycus. A fellow, sir, that I have known to go about with
troll-my-dames; I knew him once a servant of the
prince: I cannot tell, good sir, for which of his
virtues it was, but he was certainly whipped out of the court.


13

IV,3,1818

Clown. His vices, you would say; there's no virtue whipped
out of the court: they cherish it to make it stay
there; and yet it will no more but abide.

Autolycus. Vices, I would say, sir. I know this man well: he
hath been since an ape-bearer; then a
process-server, a bailiff; then he compassed a
motion of the Prodigal Son, and married a tinker's
wife within a mile where my land and living lies;
and, having flown over many knavish professions, he
settled only in rogue: some call him Autolycus.


14

IV,3,1827

Clown. Out upon him! prig, for my life, prig: he haunts
wakes, fairs and bear-baitings.

Autolycus. Very true, sir; he, sir, he; that's the rogue that
put me into this apparel.


15

IV,3,1831

Clown. Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia: if you had
but looked big and spit at him, he'ld have run.

Autolycus. I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter: I am
false of heart that way; and that he knew, I warrant
him.


16

IV,3,1835

Clown. How do you now?

Autolycus. Sweet sir, much better than I was; I can stand and
walk: I will even take my leave of you, and pace
softly towards my kinsman's.


17

IV,3,1839

Clown. Shall I bring thee on the way?

Autolycus. No, good-faced sir; no, sweet sir.


18

IV,3,1842

Clown. Then fare thee well: I must go buy spices for our
sheep-shearing.

Autolycus. Prosper you, sweet sir!
[Exit Clown]
Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your spice.
I'll be with you at your sheep-shearing too: if I
make not this cheat bring out another and the
shearers prove sheep, let me be unrolled and my name
put in the book of virtue!
[Sings]
Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the stile-a:
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a.


19

IV,4,2109

(stage directions). [Enter AUTOLYCUS, 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;
Bugle 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,
What maids lack from head to heel:
Come buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
Buy lads, or else your lasses cry: Come buy.


20

IV,4,2140

Clown. Have I not told thee how I was cozened by the way
and lost all my money?

Autolycus. And indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad;
therefore it behoves men to be wary.


21

IV,4,2143

Clown. Fear not thou, man, thou shalt lose nothing here.

Autolycus. I hope so, sir; for I have about me many parcels of charge.


22

IV,4,2147

Mopsa. Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad in print o'
life, for then we are sure they are true.

Autolycus. Here's one to a very doleful tune, how a usurer's
wife was brought to bed of twenty money-bags at a
burthen and how she longed to eat adders' heads and
toads carbonadoed.


23

IV,4,2152

Mopsa. Is it true, think you?

Autolycus. Very true, and but a month old.


24

IV,4,2154

Dorcas. Bless me from marrying a usurer!

Autolycus. Here's the midwife's name to't, one Mistress
Tale-porter, and five or six honest wives that were
present. Why should I carry lies abroad?


25

IV,4,2160

Clown. Come on, lay it by: and let's first see moe
ballads; we'll buy the other things anon.

Autolycus. Here's another ballad of a fish, that appeared upon
the coast on Wednesday the four-score of April,
forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this
ballad against the hard hearts of maids: it was
thought she was a woman and was turned into a cold
fish for she would not exchange flesh with one that
loved her: the ballad is very pitiful and as true.


26

IV,4,2168

Dorcas. Is it true too, think you?

Autolycus. Five justices' hands at it, and witnesses more than
my pack will hold.


27

IV,4,2171

Clown. Lay it by too: another.

Autolycus. This is a merry ballad, but a very pretty one.


28

IV,4,2173

Mopsa. Let's have some merry ones.

Autolycus. Why, this is a passing merry one and goes to
the tune of 'Two maids wooing a man:' there's
scarce a maid westward but she sings it; 'tis in
request, I can tell you.


29

IV,4,2180

Dorcas. We had the tune on't a month ago.

Autolycus. I can bear my part; you must know 'tis my
occupation; have at it with you.


30

IV,4,2183

(stage directions). [SONG]

Autolycus. Get you hence, for I must go
Where it fits not you to know.


31

IV,4,2193

Dorcas. If to either, thou dost ill.

Autolycus. Neither.


32

IV,4,2195

Dorcas. What, neither?

Autolycus. Neither.


33

IV,4,2205

(stage directions). [Exit with DORCAS and MOPSA]

Autolycus. And you shall pay well for 'em.
[Follows singing]
Will you buy any tape,
Or lace for your cape,
My dainty duck, my dear-a?
Any silk, any thread,
Any toys for your head,
Of the new'st and finest, finest wear-a?
Come to the pedlar;
Money's a medler.
That doth utter all men's ware-a.


34

IV,4,2556

(stage directions). [Re-enter AUTOLYCUS]

Autolycus. Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and Trust, his
sworn brother, a very simple gentleman! I have sold
all my trumpery; not a counterfeit stone, not a
ribbon, glass, pomander, brooch, table-book, ballad,
knife, tape, glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring,
to keep my pack from fasting: they throng who
should buy first, as if my trinkets had been
hallowed and brought a benediction to the buyer:
by which means I saw whose purse was best in
picture; and what I saw, to my good use I
remembered. My clown, who wants but something to
be a reasonable man, grew so in love with the
wenches' song, that he would not stir his pettitoes
till he had both tune and words; which so drew the
rest of the herd to me that all their other senses
stuck in ears: you might have pinched a placket, it
was senseless; 'twas nothing to geld a codpiece of a
purse; I could have filed keys off that hung in
chains: no hearing, no feeling, but my sir's song,
and admiring the nothing of it. So that in this
time of lethargy I picked and cut most of their
festival purses; and had not the old man come in
with a whoo-bub against his daughter and the king's
son and scared my choughs from the chaff, I had not
left a purse alive in the whole army.


35

IV,4,2592

Camillo. Who have we here?
[Seeing AUTOLYCUS]
We'll make an instrument of this, omit
Nothing may give us aid.

Autolycus. If they have overheard me now, why, hanging.


36

IV,4,2595

Camillo. How now, good fellow! why shakest thou so? Fear
not, man; here's no harm intended to thee.

Autolycus. I am a poor fellow, sir.


37

IV,4,2603

Camillo. Why, be so still; here's nobody will steal that from
thee: yet for the outside of thy poverty we must
make an exchange; therefore discase thee instantly,
—thou must think there's a necessity in't,—and
change garments with this gentleman: though the
pennyworth on his side be the worst, yet hold thee,
there's some boot.

Autolycus. I am a poor fellow, sir.
[Aside]
I know ye well enough.


38

IV,4,2608

Camillo. Nay, prithee, dispatch: the gentleman is half
flayed already.

Autolycus. Are you in earnest, sir?
[Aside]
I smell the trick on't.


39

IV,4,2612

Florizel. Dispatch, I prithee.

Autolycus. Indeed, I have had earnest: but I cannot with
conscience take it.


40

IV,4,2633

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

Autolycus. Adieu, sir.


41

IV,4,2646

(stage directions). [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 any thing
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.


42

IV,4,2683

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!


43

IV,4,2686

Old 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.


44

IV,4,2689

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?


45

IV,4,2694

Old 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 any
thing that is fitting to be known, discover.


46

IV,4,2699

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.


47

IV,4,2707

Old Shepherd. Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?

Autolycus. Whether it like me or no, I am a courtier. Seest
thou not the air of the court in these enfoldings?
hath not my gait in it the measure of the court?
receives not thy nose court-odor from me? reflect I
not on thy baseness court-contempt? Thinkest thou,
for that I insinuate, or toaze from thee thy
business, I am therefore no courtier? I am courtier
cap-a-pe; and one that will either push on or pluck
back thy business there: whereupon I command thee to
open thy affair.


48

IV,4,2718

Old Shepherd. My business, sir, is to the king.

Autolycus. What advocate hast thou to him?


49

IV,4,2723

Old Shepherd. None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock nor hen.

Autolycus. How blessed are we that are not simple men!
Yet nature might have made me as these are,
Therefore I will not disdain.


50

IV,4,2732

Clown. He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical:
a great man, I'll warrant; I know by the picking
on's teeth.

Autolycus. The fardel there? what's i' the fardel?
Wherefore that box?


51

IV,4,2738

Old Shepherd. Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel and box,
which none must know but the king; and which he
shall know within this hour, if I may come to the
speech of him.

Autolycus. Age, thou hast lost thy labour.


52

IV,4,2740

Old Shepherd. Why, sir?

Autolycus. The king is not at the palace; he is gone aboard a
new ship to purge melancholy and air himself: for,
if thou beest capable of things serious, thou must
know the king is full of grief.


53

IV,4,2746

Old Shepherd. So 'tis said, sir; about his son, that should have
married a shepherd's daughter.

Autolycus. If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly:
the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall
feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.


54

IV,4,2750

Clown. Think you so, sir?

Autolycus. Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy
and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to
him, though removed fifty times, shall all come
under the hangman: which though it be great pity,
yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue a
ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into
grace! Some say he shall be stoned; but that death
is too soft for him, say I. draw our throne into a
sheep-cote! all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.


55

IV,4,2761

Clown. Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear. an't
like you, sir?

Autolycus. He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then
'nointed over with honey, set on the head of a
wasp's nest; then stand till he be three quarters
and a dram dead; then recovered again with
aqua-vitae or some other hot infusion; then, raw as
he is, and in the hottest day prognostication
proclaims, shall be be set against a brick-wall, the
sun looking with a southward eye upon him, where he
is to behold him with flies blown to death. But what
talk we of these traitorly rascals, whose miseries
are to be smiled at, their offences being so
capital? Tell me, for you seem to be honest plain
men, what you have to the king: being something
gently considered, I'll bring you where he is
aboard, tender your persons to his presence,
whisper him in your behalfs; and if it be in man
besides the king to effect your suits, here is man
shall do it.


56

IV,4,2787

Old Shepherd. An't please you, sir, to undertake the business for
us, here is that gold I have: I'll make it as much
more and leave this young man in pawn till I bring it you.

Autolycus. After I have done what I promised?


57

IV,4,2789

Old Shepherd. Ay, sir.

Autolycus. Well, give me the moiety. Are you a party in this business?


58

IV,4,2792

Clown. In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitiful
one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.

Autolycus. O, that's the case of the shepherd's son: hang him,
he'll be made an example.


59

IV,4,2800

Clown. Comfort, good comfort! We must to the king and show
our strange sights: he must know 'tis none of your
daughter nor my sister; we are gone else. Sir, I
will give you as much as this old man does when the
business is performed, and remain, as he says, your
pawn till it be brought you.

Autolycus. I will trust you. Walk before toward the sea-side;
go on the right hand: I will but look upon the
hedge and follow you.


60

IV,4,2806

(stage directions). [Exeunt Shepherd and Clown]

Autolycus. If I had a mind to be honest, I see Fortune would
not suffer me: she drops booties in my mouth. I am
courted now with a double occasion, gold and a means
to do the prince my master good; which who knows how
that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring
these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him: if he
think it fit to shore them again and that the
complaint they have to the king concerns him
nothing, let him call me rogue for being so far
officious; for I am proof against that title and
what shame else belongs to't. To him will I present
them: there may be matter in it.


61

V,2,3108

(stage directions). [Enter AUTOLYCUS and a Gentleman]

Autolycus. Beseech you, sir, were you present at this relation?


62

V,2,3114

First Gentleman. I was by at the opening of the fardel, heard the old
shepherd deliver the manner how he found it:
whereupon, after a little amazedness, we were all
commanded out of the chamber; only this methought I
heard the shepherd say, he found the child.

Autolycus. I would most gladly know the issue of it.


63

V,2,3222

(stage directions). [Exeunt Gentlemen]

Autolycus. Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me,
would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old
man and his son aboard the prince: told him I heard
them talk of a fardel and I know not what: but he
at that time, overfond of the shepherd's daughter,
so he then took her to be, who began to be much
sea-sick, and himself little better, extremity of
weather continuing, this mystery remained
undiscovered. But 'tis all one to me; for had I
been the finder out of this secret, it would not
have relished among my other discredits.
[Enter Shepherd and Clown]
Here come those I have done good to against my will,
and already appearing in the blossoms of their fortune.


64

V,2,3244

Clown. You are well met, sir. You denied to fight with me
this other day, because I was no gentleman born.
See you these clothes? say you see them not and
think me still no gentleman born: you were best say
these robes are not gentlemen born: give me the
lie, do, and try whether I am not now a gentleman born.

Autolycus. I know you are now, sir, a gentleman born.


65

V,2,3257

Clown. Ay; or else 'twere hard luck, being in so
preposterous estate as we are.

Autolycus. I humbly beseech you, sir, to pardon me all the
faults I have committed to your worship and to give
me your good report to the prince my master.


66

V,2,3263

Clown. Thou wilt amend thy life?

Autolycus. Ay, an it like your good worship.


67

V,2,3277

Clown. 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.

Autolycus. I will prove so, sir, to my power.


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