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SCENE I.- Before an Alehouse on a Heath.
Enter HOSTESS and SLY.
Sly. Y'are a baggage; the Slies are no rogues: Look in the chronicles, we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore, paucas pallabris ; † let the world slide: Sessa !!
Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst ?
Sly. No, not a denier: Go by, Jeronimy ;-Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee. Host. I know my remedy, I must go fetch the thirdborough.||
[Exit. Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifthborough, I'll answer him by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy ; let him come, and kindly.
[Lies down on the ground, and falls asleep. Wind horns. Enter a LORD from hunting, with Huntsmen and
1 Hun. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;
Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
1 Hun. I will, my lord. Lord. What's here? one dead or drunk? See, doth he breathe? 2 Hun. He breathes, my lord: Were he not warm’d with ale, This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Lord. O monstrous beast ! how like a swine he lies !
* Beat; pay you off. + A word to the wise.
Be quiet. A line introduced, in ridicule, from Kyd's play of the Spanish Tragedy, the hero of which, Jeronimo, Sly confounds with Saint Jerome (Dyce). | An officer whose authority equals a constable. Strained.
*** A small scenting-hound.
A most delicious banquet by his bed,
1 Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless fancy.
1 Hun. My lord, I warrant you we'll play our part,
Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him; And each one to his office, when
[ 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.
Serv. An it please your honour,
1 Play. We thank your honour.
2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our duty.
Lord. With all my heart. This fellow I remember,
1 Play. I think 'twas Soto that your honour means.
i 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, And give them friendly welcome every one: Let them want nothing that my house affords.
(Exeunt 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 observed 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 - 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 restored to health, Who, for twice 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.- (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 laughter,
SCENE II.-A Bedchamber in the LORD's House. SLY is discovered in a rich night-gown, with Attendants ; some
with apparel, others with basin, 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 Serv. Will’t please your honour taste of these conserves ? 3 Serv. What raiment will your honour wear to-day?
Sly. I am Christopher 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 over-leather.
Lord. Heaven cease this idle humour in your honour !
Sly, What, would you make me mad?. Am not I Christopher Sly, old Sly's son of Barton-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 ale wife of Woncot, 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:t Here's 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,
+ Distraught distracted.
Dost thou love hawking? thou hast hawks will soar
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
Lord. We'll show thee Io, as she was a maid;
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 ?
[SERVANTS present an ewer, basin, and napkin. O, how we joy to see your wit restored ! O, that once more you knew but what you are ! These fifteen years you have been in a dream; Or, when you waked, so waked 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:-
Sly. Ay, the woman's maid of the house.