網頁圖片
PDF

Unto their lords, by them accomplished : ,
Such duty to the drunkard let him do,
With soft low tongue, and lowly courtesy;
And say,—What is't your honour will command,
Wherein your lady, and your humble wife,
May show her duty, and make known her love?
And then — with kind embracements, tempting

* kisses,
And with declining head into his bosom,
Bid him shed tears, as being overjoy'd
To see her noble lord restor'd to health,
Who, for twice seven years, hath esteem'd him
No better than a poor and loathsome beggar:
And if the boy have not a woman's gift,
To rain a shower of commanded tears,
An onion will do well for such a shift;
Which in a napkin being close convey'd,
Shall in despite enforce a watery eye,
See this despatch'd with all the haste thou canst;
Anon I'll give thee more instructions.

[Exit Servant.
I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
Voice, gait, and action of a gentlewoman : .
I long to hear him call the drunkard husband;
And how my men will stay themselves from laugh-

ter,
When they do homage to this simple peasant.
I'll in to counsel them : haply*, my presence
May well abate the over-merry spleen,
Which otherwise would grow into extremes.

[Exeunt. SCENE II. A Bedchamber in the Lord's house. Sly is discovered in a rich night-gown, with attendants;

* Perhaps.

some with apparel, others with bason, ewer, and other appurtenances. Enter Lord, dressed like a Servant. Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale. i Serv. Will't please your lordship drink a cup of

sack ? 2 Serv. Will't please your honour taste of these

conserves? 3 Serv. What raiment will your honour wear

to-day? a Sly. I am Christophero Sly; call not me-honour, nor lordship: I never drank sack in my life; and if you give me any conserves, give me conserves of beef: Ne'er ask me what raiment I'll wear; for I have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings than legs, nor no more shoes than feet; nay, sometimes, more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the overleather. Lord. Heaven cease this idle humour in your

honour ! 0, that a mighty man, of such descent, Of such possessions, and so high esteem, Should be infused with so foul a spirit!

Sly. What, would you make me mad ? Am not I Christopher Sly, old Sly's son of Burton-heath; by birth a pedlar, by education a card-maker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now by present profession a tinker? Ask Marian Hacket, the fat alewife of Wincot, if she know me not: if she say, I am not fourteen-pence on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the lyingest knave in Christendom. What, I am not bestraught*: Here's

* Distracted.

hees as sometimhan legre double whakive me

1. Serv. O, this is it that makes your lady mourn. 2 Serv. O, this it is that makes your servants

droop. Lord. Hence comes it that your kindred shun

your house, As beaten hence by your strange lunacy. O, noble lord, bethink thee of thy birth; Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment, And banish hence these abject lowly dreams : Look how thy servants do attend on thee, Each in his office ready at thy beck. Wilt thou have musick? hark ! Apollo plays.

Musick. And twenty caged nightingales do sing: Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch, Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis. Say, thou wilt walk; we will bestrew the ground: Or wilt thou ride? thy horses shall be trapp'd, Their harness studded all with gold and pearl. Dost thou love hawking? thou hast hawks will soar Above the morning lark: Or wilt thou hunt? Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them, And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth. 1 Serv. Say, thou wilt course; thy greyhounds

are as swift As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe. 2 Serv. Dost thou love pictures ? we will fetch

thee straight Adonis, painted by a running brook : And Cytherea all in sedges hid; Which seem to move and wanton with her breath, Even as the waving sedges play with wind.

Lord. We'll show thee Io, as she was a maid; And how she was beguiled and surpris'd, As lively painted as the deed was done. 3 Serv. Or Daphne, roaming through a thorny

. wood; Scratching her legs that one shall swear she bleeds: And at that sight shall sad Apollo weep,

So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.

Lord. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord :
Thou hast a lady far more beautiful
Than any woman in this waning age.
I Serv. And, till the tears that she hath shed for

thee,
Like envious floods, o'er-ran her lovely face,
She was the fairest creature in the world ;
And yet she is inferior to none.

Sly. Am I a lord ? and have I such a lady?
Or do I dream? or have I dream'd till now?
I do not sleep: I see, I hear, I speak;
I smell sweet savours, and I feel soft things:-
Upon my life, I am a lord, indeed ;
And not a tinker, nor Christophero Sly.-
Well, bring our lady hither to our sight;
And once again, a pot o' the smallest ale.
2 Serv. Will't please your mightiness to wash

your hands?

[Servants present an ewer, bason, and napkin. O, how we joy to see your wit restor'd ! 0, that once more you knew but what you are ! These fifteen years you have been in a dream; Or, when you wak’d, so wak'd as if you slept.

Sly. These fifteen years ! by my fay*, a goodly nap. But did I never speak of all that time?

I Serv. O, yes, my lord; but very idle words :-
For though you lay here in this goodly chamber,
Yet would you say, ye were beaten out of door ;
And rail upon the hostess of the house ;
And say, you would present her at the leett,
Because she brought stone jugs and no seal'd quarts:
Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket.

Sly. Ay, the woman's maid of the house.
3 Serv. Why, sir, you know no house, nor no such

maid ?
Nor no such men, as you have reckon'd up,-
As Stephen Sly, and old John Naps of Greece,
And Peter Turf, and Henry Pimpernell ;
* Faith.

+ Court-leet.

And twenty more such names and men as these,
Which never were, nor no man ever saw.

Sly. Now, Lord be thanked for my good amends!
All. Amen.
Sly. I thank thee; thou shalt not lose by it.

Enter the Page, as a lady, with attendants.
Page. How fares my noble lord ?

Sly. Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough. Where is my wife? Page. Here, noble lord; What is thy will with

her ? Sly. Are you my wife, and will not call me-hus

band ? My men should call me-lord; I am your goodman. Page. My husband and my lord, my lord and

husband;
I am your wife in all obedience.

Sly. I know it well :- What must I call her?
Lord. Madam.
Sly. Al'ce madam, or Joan madam ?
Lord. Madam, and nothing else ; so lords call

ladies.
Sly. Madam wife, they say that I have dream’d,

- and slept Above some fifteen year and more.

Page. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me: Being all this time abandon’d from your bed. Sly. 'Tis much ;--Servants leave me and her

alone. Madam, undress you, and come now to bed.

Page. Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you, To pardon me yet for a night or two; Or, if not so, until the sun be set : For your physicians have expressly charg’d, In peril to incur your former malady, That I should yet absent me from your bed : I hope, this reason stands for my excuse.

Sly. Ay, it stands so, that I may hardly tarry so long. But I would be loth to fall into my dreams

« 上一頁繼續 »