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She was the fairest creature in the world;
Sly. Am I a lord? and have I such a lady?
(SERVANTS present a ewer, basin, and napkin.)
Oh, how we joy to see your wit restored !
Sly. These fifteen years! By my fay, a goodly nap!
Ist Serv. O, yes, my lord, but very idle words;
Sly. Ay, the woman's maid of the house.
3d Serv. Why, sir, you know no house, nor no such maid, Nor no such men, as you have reckoned upAs Stephen Sly, and old John Naps of Greece, And Peter Turf, and Henry Pimpernell,
And twenty more such names and men as these,
Sly. Now, Lord be thanked for my good amends !
Enter Page, as a lady.
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 husband ? 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?
Sly. Madam wife, they say that I have dreamed,
Page. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me, Being all this time abandoned from your bed.
Sly. 'Tis much.-Servants, leave me and her alone.-
Page. Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you
Sly. Ay, it stands so, that I may hardly tarry so long; but I would be loth to fall into my dreams again. I will therefore tarry, in despite of the flesh and the blood.
-"The Taming of the Shrew" (Prologue).
Launcelot Gobbo's Conscience
Launcelot. Certainly, my conscience will serve me to run this Jew my master. The fiend is at mine elbow, and tempts me, saying to me, “ Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot,” or “good Gobbo,” or “good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away." My conscience says, “No; take heed, honest Launcelot; take heed, honest Gobbo"; or, as aforesaid, “ honest Launcelot Gobbo; do not run; scorn running with thy heels.” Well, the most courageous fiend bids me pack: “Via !” says the fiend; "away!” says the fiend; " for the heavens, rouse up a brave mind,” says the fiend, "and run.” Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me, “My honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son," or rather an honest woman's son; for, indeed, my father did something smacksomething grow tomhe had a kind of taste-well, my conscience says, “ Launcelot, budge not.” “Budge,” says the
“ fiend. Budge not," says my conscience. “Conscience," say I, "you counsel well."
Fiend,” say I, well.” To be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who—God bless the mark !-is a kind of devil; and to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself. Certainly, the Jew is the very devil incarnation; and, in my
conscience, my conscience is a kind of hard conscience to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel: I will run, fiend; my heels are at your commandment; I will run.
-“ The Merchant of Venice."
Valorous Jack Falstaff
FALSTAFF, GADSHILL, BARDOLPH, POINS, PRINCE HENRY,
Pero, and FRANCIS, with wine.
Poins. Welcome, Jack. Where hast thou been?
I marry, and amen !–Give me a cup of sack, boy.-Ere I lead this life long, I'll sew nether-stocks, and mend them, and foot them too. A plague of all cowards !–Give me a cup of sack, rogue.--Is there no virtue extant? (Drinks.)
P. Hen. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter-pitiful-hearted Titan—that melted at the sweet tale of the sun? If thou didst, then behold that compound.
Fal. You rogue, here's lime in this sack, too: there is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man: yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it: a villainous coward.—Go thy ways, old Jack; die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a shotten herring. There live not three good men unhanged in England, and one of them is fat, and grows old: God help, the while, a bad world, I say. I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or anything. A plague of all cowards, I say still!
P. Hen. How now, wool-sack? What mutter you?
Fal. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild geese, I'll never wear hair on my face more.
You Prince of Wales !
Fal. Are you not a coward? answer me to that; and Poins there?
Poins. 'Zounds, ye fat-paunch, an ye call me coward, I'll stab thee!
Fal. I call thee coward! I'll see thee damned ere I call thee coward; but I would give a thousand pound I could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough in the shoulders; you care not who sees your back: call you that backing of your friends? A plague upon such backing ! Give me them that will face me.-Give me a cup of sack.I am a rogue, if I drunk to-day.
P. Hen. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drunk'st last.
Fal. All's one for that. (Drinks.) A plague of all cowards, still say I!
P. Hen. What's the matter?
Fal. What's the matter! There be four of us here have ta'en a thousand pound this day morning.
P. Hen. Where is it, Jack? Where is it?
Fal. Where is it? Taken from us it is: a hundred upon poor four of us.
P. Hen. What, a hundred, man?
Fal. I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have 'scaped by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet, four through the hose; my buckler cut through and through; my sword hacked like a hand-saw-ecce signum. I never dealt