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SLY. These fifteen years! by my fay, a goodly nap.
But did I never speak of all that time?

FIRST 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.

THIRD 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
And Peter Turph 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!
ALL. Amen.

SLY. I thank thee: thou shalt not lose by it.

Enter the Page as a lady, attended

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 good-man.

86 seal'd quarts] quart pots certified by an official stamp.

91 Greece] Doubtless a misreading of Greet, a hamlet in Gloucestershire, not far from Stratford-on-Avon.

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100

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 slept above some fifteen year or more.

PAGE. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me, Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.

SLY. "T is 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

I hope this reason stands for my excuse.

bed:

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.

110

120

Enter a Messenger

MESS. Your honour's players, hearing your amend

ment,

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 comonty

a Christmas gambold 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.

130

SLY. Well, we'll see 't. Come, madam wife, sit by my side and let the world slip: we shall ne'er be younger. 140

Flourish

134 comonty] comedy. In the old play there figures a similar blunder "comoditie" (for " comedy ").

140 let the world slip] Cf. note on Induction, i, 5, supra.

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RANIO, SINCE FOR THE great desire I had

To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,

I am arrived for fruitful Lom-
bardy,

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,

My trusty servant, well approved in all,

[graphic]

Here let us breathe and haply institute

A course of learning and ingenious studies.
Pisa renowned for grave citizens

10 Pisa... citizens] The line is repeated, IV, ii, 95, infra.

10

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Gave me my being and my father first,

A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii.

Vincentio's 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 perdonato, 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:
Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
And practise rhetoric in your common talk;

32 checks] rebukes, reproofs.

This is the original reading, which

modern editors needlessly change to ethics.

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34 Balk] The word literally means separate," or "discriminate.” Hence "balk logic" is equivalent to "argue or wrangle" after the manner of logicians.

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