O, master, if you did but hear the peddler
O, master, if you did but hear the peddler at
the door, you would never dance again after a tabor
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.
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.
He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes.
No milliner can so fit his customers with gloves. He
has the prettiest love songs for maids, so without
bawdry, which is strange, with such delicate burdens
of dildos and fadings, “Jump her and thump
her.” And where some stretch-mouthed rascal
would, as it were, mean mischief and break a foul
gap into the matter, he makes the maid to answer
“Whoop, do me no harm, good man”; puts him off,
slights him, with “Whoop, do me no harm, good
This is a brave fellow.
Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable
conceited fellow. Has he any unbraided
He hath ribbons of all the colors i' th' rainbow;
points more than all the lawyers in Bohemia
can learnedly handle, though they come to him by
th' gross; inkles, caddises, 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.
Prithee bring him in, and let him
Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous words
in ‘s tunes. Servant exits.
You have of these peddlers that have
more in them than you'd think, sister.
Ay, good brother, or go about to think.
Enter Autolycus, wearing a false beard, singing.
Lawn as white as driven snow,
Cypress 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 coifs 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.
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.
I was promised them against the feast, but they
come not too late now.