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

Total: 64

# Act, Scene, Line
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Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter Clown]

Clown. Hilloa, loa!



Old Shepherd. What, art so near? If thou'lt see a thing to talk
on when thou art dead and rotten, come hither. What
ailest thou, man?

Clown. I have seen two such sights, by sea and by land!
but I am not to say it is a sea, for it is now the
sky: betwixt the firmament and it you cannot thrust
a bodkin's point.



Old Shepherd. Why, boy, how is it?

Clown. I would you did but see how it chafes, how it rages,
how it takes up the shore! but that's not the
point. O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls!
sometimes to see 'em, and not to see 'em; now the
ship boring the moon with her main-mast, and anon
swallowed with yest and froth, as you'ld thrust a
cork into a hogshead. And then for the
land-service, to see how the bear tore out his
shoulder-bone; how he cried to me for help and said
his name was Antigonus, a nobleman. But to make an
end of the ship, to see how the sea flap-dragoned
it: but, first, how the poor souls roared, and the
sea mocked them; and how the poor gentleman roared
and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than
the sea or weather.



Old Shepherd. Name of mercy, when was this, boy?

Clown. Now, now: I have not winked since I saw these
sights: the men are not yet cold under water, nor
the bear half dined on the gentleman: he's at it



Old Shepherd. Would I had been by, to have helped the old man!

Clown. I would you had been by the ship side, to have
helped her: there your charity would have lacked footing.



Old Shepherd. Heavy matters! heavy matters! but look thee here,
boy. Now bless thyself: thou mettest with things
dying, I with things newborn. Here's a sight for
thee; look thee, a bearing-cloth for a squire's
child! look thee here; take up, take up, boy;
open't. So, let's see: it was told me I should be
rich by the fairies. This is some changeling:
open't. What's within, boy?

Clown. You're a made old man: if the sins of your youth
are forgiven you, you're well to live. Gold! all gold!



Old Shepherd. This is fairy gold, boy, and 'twill prove so: up
with't, keep it close: home, home, the next way.
We are lucky, boy; and to be so still requires
nothing but secrecy. Let my sheep go: come, good
boy, the next way home.

Clown. Go you the next way with your findings. I'll go see
if the bear be gone from the gentleman and how much
he hath eaten: they are never curst but when they
are hungry: if there be any of him left, I'll bury



Old Shepherd. That's a good deed. If thou mayest discern by that
which is left of him what he is, fetch me to the
sight of him.

Clown. Marry, will I; and you shall help to put him i' the ground.



(stage directions). [Enter Clown]

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.

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.



(stage directions). [Grovelling on the ground]

Clown. I' the name of me—



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

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.

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

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



Autolycus. A footman, sweet sir, a footman.

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!

Clown. Alas, poor soul!



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

Clown. How now! canst stand?



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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Clown. Shall I bring thee on the way?



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

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



Camillo. He tells her something
That makes her blood look out: good sooth, she is
The queen of curds and cream.

Clown. Come on, strike up!



Mopsa. Now, in good time!

Clown. Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.
Come, strike up!
[Music. Here a dance of Shepherds and]



Servant. O master, if you did but hear the pedlar at the
door, you would never dance again after a tabour and
pipe; no, the bagpipe could not move you: 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.

Clown. 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.



Polixenes. This is a brave fellow.

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



Servant. He hath ribbons of an the colours i' the rainbow;
points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia can
learnedly handle, though they come to him by the
gross: 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
to the sleeve-hand and the work about the square on't.

Clown. Prithee bring him in; and let him approach singing.



(stage directions). [Exit Servant]

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



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.

Clown. If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou shouldst take
no money of me; but being enthralled as I am, it
will also be the bondage of certain ribbons and gloves.



Mopsa. He hath paid you all he promised you; may be, he has
paid you more, which will shame you to give him again.

Clown. Is there no manners left among maids? will they
wear their plackets where they should bear their
faces? Is there not milking-time, when you are
going to bed, or kiln-hole, to whistle off these
secrets, but you must be tittle-tattling before all
our guests? 'tis well they are whispering: clamour
your tongues, and not a word more.



Mopsa. I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry-lace
and a pair of sweet gloves.

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.

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



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

Clown. What hast here? ballads?



Mopsa. Pray you now, buy it.

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



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

Clown. Lay it by too: another.



Mopsa. Thou hast sworn it more to me:
Then whither goest? say, whither?

Clown. We'll have this song out anon by ourselves: my
father and the gentlemen are in sad talk, and we'll
not trouble them. Come, bring away thy pack after
me. Wenches, I'll buy for you both. Pedlar, let's
have the first choice. Follow me, girls.



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.

Clown. See, see; what a man you are now!
There is no other way but to tell the king
she's a changeling and none of your flesh and blood.



Old Shepherd. Nay, but hear me.

Clown. Nay, but hear me.



Old Shepherd. Go to, then.

Clown. She being none of your flesh and blood, your flesh
and blood has not offended the king; and so your
flesh and blood is not to be punished by him. Show
those things you found about her, those secret
things, all but what she has with her: this being
done, let the law go whistle: I warrant you.



Old Shepherd. I will tell the king all, every word, yea, and his
son's pranks too; who, I may say, is no honest man,
neither to his father nor to me, to go about to make
me the king's brother-in-law.

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

Clown. Pray heartily he be at palace.



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.

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.

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



Old Shepherd. I know not, an't like you.

Clown. Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant: say you
have none.



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

Clown. This cannot be but a great courtier.



Old Shepherd. His garments are rich, but he wears
them not handsomely.

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. 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.

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.

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.

Clown. He seems to be of great authority: close with him,
give him gold; and though authority be a stubborn
bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold: show
the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand,
and no more ado. Remember 'stoned,' and 'flayed alive.'



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

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.

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.

Clown. We are blest in this man, as I may say, even blest.



Old Shepherd. Come, boy; I am past moe children, but thy sons and
daughters will be all gentlemen born.

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.

Clown. Ay, and have been so any time these four hours.



Old Shepherd. And so have I, boy.

Clown. So you have: but I was a gentleman born before my
father; for the king's son took me by the hand, and
called me brother; and then the two kings called my
father brother; and then the prince my brother and
the princess my sister called my father father; and
so we wept, and there was the first gentleman-like
tears that ever we shed.



Old Shepherd. We may live, son, to shed many more.

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



Old Shepherd. Prithee, son, do; for we must be gentle, now we are

Clown. Thou wilt amend thy life?



Autolycus. Ay, an it like your good worship.

Clown. Give me thy hand: I will swear to the prince thou
art as honest a true fellow as any is in Bohemia.



Old Shepherd. You may say it, but not swear it.

Clown. Not swear it, now I am a gentleman? Let boors and
franklins say it, I'll swear it.



Old Shepherd. How if it be false, son?

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.

Clown. Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow: if I do not
wonder how thou darest venture to be drunk, not
being a tall fellow, trust me not. Hark! the kings
and the princes, our kindred, are going to see the
queen's picture. Come, follow us: we'll be thy
good masters.

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