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!
Clo. Let me see: Every leven wether tods; every tod yields pound and odd shilling: fifteen hundred shorn, what comes the wool to?
Aut. [Aside.] If the springe hold, the cocks mine.
Clo. I cannot do t without compters. 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 nosegays 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 hornpipes. I must have saffron, to colour the warden pies; mace, dates,none; thats 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.
Clo. Alas, poor man! a million of beating may come to a great matter.
Aut. I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my money and apparel taen from me, and these detestable things put upon me.
Clo. What, by a horseman or a footman?
Aut. A footman, sweet sir, a footman.
Clo. Indeed, he should be a footman, by the garments he hath left with thee: if this be a horsemans coat, it hath seen very hot service. Lend me thy hand, Ill help thee: come, lend me thy hand. [Helping him up.
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 anything 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 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.
Clo. His vices, you would say: theres 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 tinkers 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: thats 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, hed 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.
Aut. Prosper you, sweet sir![Exit Clown.] Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your spice. Ill 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.