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Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
A Bedchamber in the Lord's House.
Sly is discovered in a rich night gown, with At
tendants; 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 Serv. Will’t please your honour taste of these
conserves ? 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, or such shoes as my toes look through the overleather. Lord. Heaven cease this idle humour in your ho
nour! 0, 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 pedlar, by education a card-maker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now by present profession a tinker? Ask Marian Hacket, the fat alewife of Wincot, if she know me not: if she
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:5 Here's
1 Serv. 0, 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. O, 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. " — 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 alewife might be a real character. STEEVENS.
S-I am not bestraught :) Bestraught seems to have been synonymous to distraught or distracted.
And twenty caged nightingales do sing :
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
Above the morning lark: Or wilt thou hunt?
are as swift As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe. 2 Serv. Dost thou love pictures? we will fetch
thee straight 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
painted as the deed was done. 3 Serv. Or Daphne, roaming through a thorny 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 o' the smallest ale. 2 Serv. Will't please your mightiness to wash
? [Servants present an cwer, bason, and napkin. O, how we joy to see your wit restor’d! O, 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 you lay here in this goodly chamber, Yet would you say, ye were beaten out of door ; And rail
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 maid; Nor no such men, as you have reckon'd up,As Stephen
Sly, and old John Naps of Greece,
Sly. Now, Lord be thanked for my good amends!
6 leet,] At the Court-lect, or courts of the manor.
Enter the Page, as a lady, with Attendants.
Sly. Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough.
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
Sly. I know it well :- What must I call her?
ladies. Sly. Madam wife, they say that I have dream'd,
and slept Above some fifteen year and more.
Page. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me; Being all this time abandon'd from your bed. Sly. 'Tis much ; Servants, leave me and her
alone. 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.