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.
SHEPHERD: Nay, but hear me.
CLOWN: Nay -- but hear me.
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
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
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 not how much an ounce.
AUTOLYCUS: [Aside.] Very wisely, puppies!
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.
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?
SHEPHERD: To th' palace, and 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 anything
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.
SHEPHERD: Are you a courtier, and'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-odour from me? Reflect I not on thy
baseness court-contempt? Think'st thou, for that I 
insinuate, that toze 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.
SHEPHERD: My business, sir, is to the King. 
AUTOLYCUS: What advocate hast thou to him?
SHEPHERD: I know not, and't like you.
CLOWN: Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant.
Say you have none.
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.
CLOWN: This cannot be but a great courtier.
SHEPHERD: His garments are rich, but he wears them 
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' th' fardel? 
Wherefore that box?
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 th'
speech of him. 
AUTOLYCUS: Age, thou hast lost thy labour.
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 be'st capable of things serious, thou 
must know the King is full of grief.
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.
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 sheepcote! -- all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy. 
CLOWN: Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear,
and'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 he 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 ³stoned,² and ³flayed alive.²
SHEPHERD: And'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?
SHEPHERD: Ay, sir.
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 blessed in this man, as I may say, even
SHEPHERD: Let's before, as he bids us. He was provided to
do us good. 
[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.