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Cam. This shows a sound affection.
Shep. But, my daughter,
Say you the like to him?
Per. I cannot speak
So well, nothing so well; no, nor mean better :
By th' pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out
The purity of his.
Shep. Take hands, a bargain;
And, friends unknown! you shall bear witness to't:
I give my daughter to him, and will make
Her portion equal his.
Flo. O, that must be
I'th' virtue of your daughter; one being dead,
I shall have more than you can dream of yet,
Enough then for your wonder : but, come on,
Contract us 'fore these witnesses.
Shep. Come, your hand;
And, daughter, yours.
Pol. Soft, swain, a while; 'beseech you,
Have you a father?
Flo. I have; but what of him?
Pol. Knows he of this?
Flo. He neither does, nor shall.
Pol. Methinks, a father
Is, at the nuptial of his son, a guest
That best becomes the table: 'pray you, once more,
Is not your father grown incapable
Of reasonable affairs ? is he not stupid
With age, and alt’ring rheums ? can he speak? hear?
Know man from man? dispute his own estate?
Lies he not bedrid ? and again does nothing
But what he did being childish?
Flo. No, good fir;
He has his health, and ampler strength, indeed,
Than most have of his age.
Pol. By my white beard,
You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
Something unfilial: reason, my son
Should choose himself a wife; but as good reason,
The father (all whose joy is nothing else
But fair pofterity) should hold some counsel
In such a business.
Flo. I yield all this ;
But, for some other reasons, my grave sir,
Which ’tis not fit you know, I not acquaint
My father of this business.
Pol. Let him know't.
Flo. He shall not.
Pol. Pr’ythee, let him.
Flo. No; he must not.
Shep. Let him, my fon; he shall not need to grieve
At knowing of thy choice.
Flo. Come, come, he must not : Mark our contract.
Pol. Mark your divorce, young sir, (discovering himself. Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base To be acknowledg’d: thou a sceptre's heir, That thus affect's a sheep-hook! Thou old traytor, I'm sorry that by hanging thee I can But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece Of excellent witchcraft, who, of force, must know The royal fool thou cop'st with
Shep. O, my heart !
Pol. I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briars, and made
More homely than thy state. For thee, fond boy,
If I may ever know thou dost but figh
That thou no more shalt see this knack, (as never
I mean thou shalt,) we'll bar thee from succession,
Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,
Less than Deucalion off: mark thou my words;
Follow us to the court. Thou churl, for this time,
Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee
From the dead blow of it. And
Worthy enough a herdsman, yea, him too
That makes himself, but for our honour therein,
Unworthy thee; if ever, henceforth, thou
These rural latches to his entrance open,
Or hoop his body more with thy embraces,
I will devise a death as cruel for thee,
As thou art tender to it.
Per. Even here undone !
I was not much afraid; for once or twice
I was about to speak, and tell him plainly,
The self-fame sun that shines upon his court,
Hides not his visage from our cottage, but
Looks on alike. Will’t please you, sir, be gone?
I told you, what would come of this. 'Beseech you,
Of your own state take care: from this my dream
Being now awake; I'll queen it no inch farther,
But milk my ewes, and weep,
Cam. Why, how now, father?
Speak, ere thou dieft.
Shep. I cannot speak, nor think,
Nor dare to know that which I know. O, fir,
You have undone a man of fourscore three,
That thought to fill his grave in quiet; yea,
To die upon the bed my father dy'd,
To lie close by his honest bones: but now
Some hangman must put on my shroud, and lay me
Where no priest shovels in dust. O cursed wretch !
[to Perdita. That knew'st this was the prince, and wouldst adventure To mingle faith with him. Undone! undone ! If I might die within this hour, I have liv'd To die when I desire.
Flo. Why look you
I am but forry, not afraid; delay'd,
But nothing alter'd: what I was, I am;
More straining on for plucking back; not following
My leash unwillingly.
Cam. Gracious my lord,
You know your father's temper: at this time
He will allow no speech, which I do guess,
You do not purpose to him; and as hardly
Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear:
Then, till the fury of his highness settle,
Come not before him.
Flo. I not purpose it.
I think, Camillo.
Cam. Even he, my lord.
Per. How often have I told you, 'twould be thus ?
How often said, my dignity would last
But till 'twere known?
Flo. It cannot fail but by
The violation of my faith, and then
Let nature crush the sides o’th' earth together,
And mar the seeds within ! — Lift up thy looks.
From my succession wipe me, father; I
Am heir to my affection.
Cam. Be advis'd.
Flo. I am; and by my fancy: if my reason
Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;
If not, my senses, better pleas’d with madness,
Do bid it welcome.
Cam. This is desperate, sir.
Flo. So call it; but it does fulfil my vow;
I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
Not for Bithynia, nor the pomp
may Be thereout glean’d; for all the sun sees, or
C c cc 2
The close earth wombs, or the profound seas hide
In unknown fadoms, will I break my oath
To this my fair belov’d: therefore, I pray you,
have ever been my father's friend,
When he shall miss me, (as, in faith, I mean not
To see him any more) cast your good counsels
Upon his passion ; let myself and fortune
Tug for the time to come. This you may know,
And so deliver, I am put to sea
With her, whom here I cannot hold on shore;
And, most opportune to our need, I have
A vessel rides fast by, but not prepar’d
For this design. What course I mean to hold
Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
Concern me the reporting.
Cam. O my lord,
I would your spirit were easier for advice,
Flo. Hark, Perdita.
I'll hear you by and by.
Cam. He's irremoveable,
Resolv’d for Aight: now were I happy, if
His going I could frame to serve my turn;
Save him from danger, do him love and honour;
Purchase the fight again of dear Sicilia,
And that unhappy king, my master, whom
I so much thirst to fee.
Flo. Now, good Camillo,
I am so fraught with curious business, that
I leave out ceremony.
Cam. Sir, I think,
You have heard of my poor services, i'th' love
That I have born your father.
Flo. Very nobly
Have you deserv’d: it is
deferv’d: it is my father's musick To speak your deeds, not little of his care