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The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,
With, hey! the sweet birds, 0, 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-lirra chants,
With, hey! with, hey! 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:
I then do most go right.
And bear the sow-skin budget ;
And in the stocks avouch it.
My traffick 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:5 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!
pugging tooth-] perhaps progging, i. e. thievish.
my aunts,] Aunt appears to have been at this time a cant word for a bawd.
wore three-pile;] i. e, rich velvet.
Enter Clown. Clo. Let me see:-Every 'leven wether-tods;o every tod yields-pound and odd shilling: fifteen hundred shorn,-What comes the wool to? Aut. If the springe hold, the cock's mine.
[ Aside. Clo. 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-andtwenty nosegays for the shearers: three-man songmen all, and very good ones; but they are most of them means and bases: but one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. 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. Aut. O, that ever I was born!
[Grovelling on the ground. Clo. I'the name of me,
Aut. O, help me, help me! pluck but off these rags; and then, death, death!
Clo. Alack, poor soul! thou hast need of more rags to lay on thee, rather than have these off.
Aut. Ó, sir, the loathsomeness of them offends
Every eleven wether tods ; i. e. will produce a tod, or twenty-eight pounds of wool: every tod yields a pound and some odd shillings; what then will the wool of fifteen hundred yield?"
three-man song-men all,] i. e. singers of catches in three parts.
means-] Means are tenors.
me more than the stripes I have received; which are mighty ones, and millions.
Cle. Alas, poor man! a million of beating may come to a great matter.
Aut. I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and apparel ta’en from me, and these detestable things put upon me.
Clo. What, by a horse-man, or a foot-man?
Clo. Indeed, he should be a foot-man, by the garments he hath 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.
[Helping him up. Aut. O! good sir, tenderly, oh! Clo. Alas, poor soul.
Aut. O, good sir, softly, good sir: I fear, sir, my
shoulder-blade is out. Clo. How now? canst stand?
Aut. Softly, dear sir; [Picks his pocket.] good sir, softly; you ha' done me a charitable office.
Clo. Dost lack any money? I have a little money for thee.
Aut. 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. Clo. What manner of fellow was he that robbed you?
Aut. A fellow, sir, that I have known to go about with trol-my-dames:' I knew him once servant of the prince; I cannot tell, good sir, for
with trol-my-dames:) Trou-madame, French. The old English title of this game was pigeon-holes; as the arches in the machine through which the balls are rolled, resemble the cavities made for pigeons in a dove-house.
which of his virtues it was, but he was certainly whipped out of the court.
Clo. 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.
Aut. 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.
Clo. Out upon him! Prig, for my life, prig: he haunts wakes, fairs, and bear-baitings. Aut. Very true, sir; he, sir, he; that's the
rogue, that put me into this apparel.
Clo. Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia; if you had but looked big, and spit at him, he'd have run.
Aut. I must confess to you, sir, I am no fighter: I am false of heart that way; and that he knew, I warrant him.
Clo. How do you now?
Aut. Sweet sir, much better than I was; I can stand, and walk: I will even take my and pace softly towards my kinsman's.
Clo. Shall I bring thee on the way?
Clo. Then fare thee well; I must go buy spices for our sheep-shearing.
Aut. 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
leave of you,
motion of the prodigal son,] i. e. the puppet-shew, then called motions. A term frequently occurring in our author.
Prig, for my life, prig:) To prig is to filch.
shearers prove sheep, let me be unrolled, and my name put in the book of virtue!
Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,
And merrily hent the stile-a:*
all the day,
Flo. These your unusual weeds to each part of
you Do give a life: no shepherdess; but Flora, Peering in April's front. This your sheep-shearing Is as a meeting of the petty gods, And you
Sir, my gracious lord, To chide at your extremes,' it not becomes me; O, pardon, that I name them: your high self, The gracious mark o'the land, you have obscur'd With a swain's wearing; and me, poor lowly maid, Most goddess-like prank'd up: But that our feasts In every mess have folly, and the feeders Digest it with a custom, I should blush To see you so attired; sworn, I think, To show myself a glass.
- hent the stile-a:) To hent the stile, is to take hold of it,
- your extremes,] That is, the extravagance of his conduct, in obscuring himself “ in a swain's wearing,” while be" pranked her up most goddess-like." • T'he gracious mark-] The object of all men's notice.
prank'd up:] To prank is to dress with ostentation,