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2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our duty.
Lord. With all my heart.-This fellow I remember,
Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son ;-
"Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well:
I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part
Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform'd.
1 Play. I think 'twas Soto that your honour means.
Lord. "Tis very true;-thou didst it excellent.-
Well, you are come to me in happy time;
The rather for I have some sport in hand,
Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
There is a lord will hear you play to-night:
But I am doubtful of your modesties:
Lest, over-eying of his odd behaviour
(For yet his honour never heard a play),
You break into some merry passion,
And so offend him: for I tell you, Sirs,
If you should smile, he grows impatient.
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, And give them friendly welcome every one: Let them want nothing that my house affords. [Exeunt SERVANT and PLAYERS. [To a SERVANT.
Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page,
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 say,-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.-
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,
When they do homage to this simple peasant.
I'll in to counsel them: haply* my presence
May well abate the over-merry spleen,
Which otherwise would grow into extremes.
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 !
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 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 alewife 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:† 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,
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 music? hark! Apollo plays,
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.
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 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 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'erran 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 your hands?
[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:-
For though you 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 maid; Nor no such men as you have reckon'd on
As Stephen 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 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. 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 slept
Above some fifteen years 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 charged,
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 amendment,
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 to 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 I-Padua, A public Place.
Enter LUCENTIO and TRANIO.
Luc. Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,-
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy;
And, by my father's love and leave, am arm'd
With his good will, and thy good company,
Most trusty servant, well approved in all;
Here let us breathe, and happily institute
A course of learning, and ingenuous 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 conceived,
To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds:
And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study
Virtue, and that part of philosophy
Will I apply, that treats of happiness
By virtue 'specially to be achieved.
Tell me thy mind: for I have Pisa left,
And am to Padua come; as he that leaves
A shallow plash* to plunge him in the deep,
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
Tra. Mi perdonate,† gentle master mine,
I am in all affected as yourself;
Glad that you thus continue your resolve,
To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy,
Only, good master, while we do admire
This virtue, and this moral discipline,
Let's be no stoics, nor no stocks, I pray;
Or so devote to Aristotle's checks,
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured:
Talk logic with acquaintance that you have,
And practise rhetoric in your common talk:
Music and poesy use to quicken you:
The mathematics, and the metaphysics,
Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you:
+ Pardon me.