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And if he chance to speak, be ready straight,
1 Hun. My lord, I warrant you, we'll play our 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.
[Some bear out Sly. A trumpet sounds. Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds :
[Exit Servant. Belike, some noble gentleman : that means, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
Re-enter a Servant.
An it please your honour,
Now, fellows, you are welcome. 1 Play. We thank your honour. 1
says he is—,] Dr. Johnson thinks we should read, and when he says kindly,] i. e. Naturally.
modesty.) By modesty is meant moderation, without suffering our merriment to break into an excess.-Johnson.
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 remember,
1 Play. I think, 'twas Sotol that your honour means.
Lord. 'Tis very true ;-thou didst it excellent.-
1 Play. Fear not, my lord ; we can contain ourselves, Were he the veriest antick in the world.
Lord. Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery.
[Exeunt Servant and Players.
to accept aur duty.] It was in those times the custom of players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great houses.- Johnson.
Soto- ] There is a character so called in the Woman pleased by Beaumont and Fletcher, who is as described a farmer's eldest son, but he does not woo any gentlewoman.-Tyrwhitt.
Wherein your lady, and your humble wife,
A Bedchamber in the Lord's House.
Sly is discovered in a rich night-gown, with Attendants; 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. 1 Serv. Will't please your lordship drink a cup of sack? 2 Sero. Will't please your honour taste of these con
3 Serv. What raiment will your honour wear to-day?
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, such shoes as my toes look through the overleather. Lord. Heaven cease this idle humour in
honour! O, 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
1" pedlar, by education a card-maker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now by present profession a tinker? Ask Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife 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:0 Heres-
1 Serv. O, this it is 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. 0, 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.
of Burton-heath: -Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot.] I suspect we should read-Barton-heath. Barton and Woodmancot, or, as it is vulgarly pronounced, Woncot, are both of them in Gloucestershire, near the residence of Shakspeare's old enemy, Justice Shallow. Very probably too, this fat ale-wife might be a real character. -STEEVENS.
- I am not bestraught;] Bestraught seems to have been synonymous to distraught or distracted.-MALONE.
Dost thou love hawking? thou hast hawks will soar
1 Serv. Say, thou wilt course; thy greyhounds are as As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe. [swift
2 Serv. Dost thou love pictures ? we will fetch thee Adonis, painted by a running brook :
Lord. We'll show thee Io, as she was a maid ;
3 Serv. Or Daphne, roaming through a thorny wood;
Lord. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord :
1 Serv. And, till the tears that she hath shed for thee,
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
[Servants present an ewer, bason, and napkin. 0, how we joy to see your wit restor’d! · 0, that once more you knew but what you These fifteen years you have been in a dream ; Or, when you wak’d, so wak'd as if you slept.