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SCENE II. A Bedchamber in the Lord's House.
Sly is discovered in a rich Night Gown, with Atten-
dants; some with Apparel, others with Bason, Ewer,
and other Appurtenances. Enter Lord, dressed like
Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale.
1 Serv. Will’t please your lordship drink a cup of sack?
2 Serv. Will't please your honour taste of these
3 Serv. What raiinent will your honour wear to-day?
Sly. I am Christophero Sly; call not me-honour, nor lordship: 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!
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 ine mad? Am not I
Christopher Sly, old Sly's son of Burton-beath; by
birth a pedler, by education a card-maker, by- transmu-
tation à 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 :
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
As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
O, noble lord, bethink thee of thy birth;
Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment,
Aud 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 music? hark! Apollo plays. [Music.
And twenty caged nightingales do sing:
Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch,
Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed
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
As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.
2 Serv. Dost thou love pictures? we will fetch thee
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.
1 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 oʻthe smallest ale. [hands?
2 Serv. Will’t please your mightiness to wash your
[Servants present an Ewer, Bason, and Napkin.
0, bow 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?
1 Serv. O, yes, my lord; but very idle words :-
For though yoa 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 leet,
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
Nor no such men, as you have reckon'd up,— [maid;
Sly, and old John Naps of Greece,
And Peter Turf, and Henry Pimpernell;
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!
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
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? 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 Above some fifteen year and more.
(slept Page. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me: Being all this time abandon'd from
bed. Sly. 'Tis much; -Servants, leave me and her
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 loath to fall into my dreams again; I will therefore tarry, in despite of the flesh and the blood.
Enter a Servant.
Serv. Your honour's players, hearing your amend-
Are come to play a pleasant comedy,
For so your doctors hold it very meet;
Seeing too much sadness hath congeal'd your blood,
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy,
Therefore, they thought it good you hear a play,
And frame your mind lo mirth and merriment,
Which bars a thousand harms, and lengthens life.
Sly. Marry, I will; let them play it: Is not a commonty a Christmas gambol, or a tumbling-trick?
Page. No, my good lord; it is more pleasing stuff.
Sly. What, household stuff?
Page. It is a kind of history.
Sly. Well, we'll see't: Come, madam wife, sit by my side, and let the world slip; we shall ne'er be younger.
[They sit down.
SCENE 1. Paduá. A public Place.
Enter LUCENTI0 and TRANIO. Luc. Tranio, since—for the great desire I had To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,I am arriv'd for fruitful Lombardy, The pleasant garden of great Italy; And, by my father's love and leave, am arm'd With bris good will, and thy good company, Most trusty servant, well approv'd in all; Here let us breathe, and happily, institute A course of learning, and ingenious studies. Pisa, renowned for grave citizens, Gave me my being, and my father first, A merchant of great traffic through the world, Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii, Vincentio, his son, brought up in Florence, It shall become, to serve all hopes conceiv'd, To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds: And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study,