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Scene I.- Before an Alehouse on a Heath.
Enter Hostess and Sly.
Sly. Y'are a baggage: the Slys are no rogues ;
world slide. Sessa! Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have Lord. Thou art a fool : if Echo were as fleet, burst!
I would esteem him worth a dozen such. Sly. No, not a denier. Go, by S. Jeronimy, But sup them well, and look unto them all : Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.
To-morrow I intend to hunt again. Host. I know my remedy; I must go fetch the 1 Hun. I will, my lord. third-borough
[Erit. Lord. What's here? one dead, or drunk ? Sce, Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll an
doth he breathe ? swer him by law. I'll not budge an inch, boy: let 2 Hun. He breathes, my lord. Were he not him come, and kindly.
warm'd with ale, (Lies down on the ground, and falls asleep. This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Lord. O, monstrous beast! how like a swine he Wind horns. Enter a Lord from hunting, with
lies. Huntsmen and Servants.
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image! Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man. hounds :
What think you, if he were convey'd to bed, Brach Merriman,—the poor cur is emboss'd, Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers, And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach. A most delicious banquet by his bed, Sawist thou not, boy, how Silver made it good And brave attendants near him when he wakes, At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault?
Would not the beggar then forget himself? I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
1 Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot 1 Hun. Why, Belman is as good as he, my
choose. lord ;
2 Hun. It would seem strange unto him when He cried upon it at the merest loss.
he wak’d. And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent: Lord. Even as a Nattering dream, or worthless Trust me, I také him for the better dog.
Then take him up, and manage well the jest.
part, As he shall think, by our true diligence, He is no less than what we say he is.
Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him, And each one to his office when he wakes.
(Sly is burne oul. A trumpel sounds. Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:
[Eril Servant. Belike, some noble gentleman, that means, Travelling soine journey, to repose him here.
An it please your honour,
Now, sellows, you are welcome. Players. We thank your honour. Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night ? 2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our
duty. Lord. With all my heart.—This fellow I re
member, Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son:'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well. I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part Was aptly fitted, and naturally performid.
1 Play. I think, 'twas Soto that your honour Lord. 'Tis very true: thou didst it excellent. Well, you are come to me in happy time, The rather for I have some sport in hand, Wherein your cunning can assist me much There is a lord will hear you play to-night; But I am doubtful of your modesties, Lest, over-eyeing of his odd behaviour, (For yet his honour never heard a play,) You break into some merry passion, And so offend him; for I tell you, sirs, If you
should smile he grows impatient. 1 Play. Fear not, my lord: we can contain our
selves, Were he the veriest antic in the world.
Lord. Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery, And give them friendly welcome every one: Let them want nothing that my house affords.
[Ereunt Servant and Players. Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page,
[To a Servant. And see him dress'd in all suits like a lady: That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber; And call him madam, do him obeisance : Tell him from me, as he will win my love, He bear himself with honourable action, Such as he hath observ'd in noble ladies 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 this seven years hath esteemed 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.
[Erit Serrant. 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 laughter, When they do homage to this simple peasant. l'll in to counsel them: haply, my presence May well abate the over-merry spleen, Which otherwise would grow into extremes.
[Ereunt. SCENE II.-A Bedchamber in the Lord's House. Sly is discovered, with Allendants ; some with ap
parel, others wilh bason, ewer, and appurtenances. Enler LORD, dressed like a Servant. Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale. 1 Scrr. 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
Sly. I am Christophero Sly; call not me honour, nor lordship: I ne'er drank sack in my life; and if you give me any conserves, give me conserves of beer. 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, sometime, 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, or 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 Burtonheath; by birth a pedlar, by education a cardmaker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now by
present profession a tinker? Ask Marian Hacket, As beaten hence by your strange lunacy. the fat alewife of Wincot, if she know me not: if O, noble lord! bethink thee of thy birth; she say I am not fourteen pence on the score for Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment, sheer ale, score me up for the lyingest knave in And banish hence these abject lowly dreams. Christendom. What! I am not bestraught. Here's— Look how thy servants do attend on thee,
1 Serv. O! this it is that makes your lady mourn. Each in his office ready at thy beck: 2 Serv. O! this it is that makes your servants
Wilt thou have music ? hark! Apollo plays, droop.
[Music. Lord. Hence comes it that your kindred shun And twenty caged nightingales do sing: your house,
Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch,
Soster and sweeter than the lustful bed
Sly. Am I a lord ? and have I such a lady? On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis.
Or do I dream? or have I dream'd till now? Say thou wilt walk, we will bestrew the ground: I do not sleep; I see, I hear, I speak : Or wilt thou ride, thy horses shall be trapp'd, I smell sweet savours, and I feel soft things.Their harness studded all with gold and pearl. Upon my life, I am a lord, indeed, Dost thou love hawking? thou hast hawks will soar And not a tinker, nor Christopher Sly:Above the morning lark: or wilt thou hunt? Well, bring our lady bither to our sight; Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them, And once again, a pot o' the smallest ale. And fetch sbrill echoes from the hollow earth. 2 Serv. Will 't please your mightiness to wash 1 Sero. Say thou wilt course, thy greyhounds
your hands? are as swift
[Servants present an ewer, bason, and napkin. As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.
O, how we joy to see your wit restor'd ! 2 Serv. Dost thou love pictures ? we will fetch O, that once more you knew but what you are ! thee straight
These fifteen years you have been in a dream, Adonis painted by a running brook,
Or, when you wak’d, so wak'd as if you slept. And Cytherea all in sedges hid,
Sly. These fifteen years! by my fay, a goodly Which seem to move and wanton with her breath,
nap. Even as the waving sedges play with wind. But did I never speak of all that time?
Lord. We'll show thee lo as she was a maid, 1 Serv. O! yes, my lord, but very idle words ;And how she was beguiled and surpris'd,
For though you lay here in this goodly chamber, As lively painted as the deed was done.
Yet would you say, ye were beaten out of door, 3 Serc. Or Daphne roaming through a thorny And rail upon the hostess of the house, wood,
And say you would present her at the leet, Scratching her legs, that one shall swear she bleeds ; Because she brought stone jugs and no seal'd quarts. And at that sight shall sad Apollo weep,
Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket. So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.
Sly. Ay, the woman's maid of the house. Lord. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord: 3 Serv. Why, sir, you know no house, nor no Thou hast a lady, far more beautiful
such maid, Than any woman in this waning age.
Nor no such men, as you have reckon'd up, 1 Sero. And, till the tears that she hath shed for As Stephen Sly, and old John Naps of Greece, thee,
And Peter Turf, and Henry Pimpernell, Like envious floods, o'er-ran her lovely face, And twenty more such names and men as these, She was the fairest creature in the world;
Which never were, nor no man ever saw. And yet she is inferior to none.
Sly. Now, Lord be thanked for my good amends!
For your physicians have expressly charg'd, Sly. I thank thee; thou shalt not lose by it. In peril to incur your former malady,
That I should yet absent me from your bed. Enter the Page, as a Lady, with Attendants.
I hope this reason 'stands for my excuse. Page. How fares my noble lord ?
Sly. Ay, it stands so, that I may hardly tarry so
1 Sly. Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough. | long; but I would be loath to fall into my dreams Where is my wife?
again: I will therefore tarry, in despite of the flesh Page. Here, noble lord: what is thy will with her? and the blood. Sly. Are you my wife, and will not call me husband?
Enter a Servant. My men should call me lord : I am your good-man. Serv. Your honour's players, hearing your amendPage. My husband and my lord, my lord and
Are come to play a pleasant comedy; I am your wife in all obedience.
For so your doctors hold it very meet, Sly. I know it well.—What must I call her? Seeing too much sadness hath congeal'd your blood, Lord. Madam.
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy: Sly. Al'ce madam, or Joan madam?
Therefore, they thought it good you hear a play, Lord. Madam, and nothing else : so lords call And frame your mind to mirth and merriment, ladies.
Which bars a thousand harms, and lengthens life. Sly. Madam wife, they say that I have dream'd. Sly. Marry, I will let them play it. Is not a And slept above some fifteen year and more. commonty a Christmas gambol, or a tumbling
Page. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me, trick ? Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.
Page. No, my good lord: it is more pleasing Sly. 'Tis much.-Servants, leave me and her stuff. alone.
Sly. What, household stuff? Madam, undress you, and come now to bed.
Page. It is a kind of history. Page. Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you Sly. Well, we'll see 't. Come, madam wife, sit To pardon me yet for a night or two;
by my side, Or if not so, until the sun be set,
And let the world slip: we shall ne'er be younger.