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This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs;
It will be pastime passing excellent,
If it be husbanded with modesty.

1 Hun. My lord, I warrant you, we will play our part, As he shall think, by our true diligence, He is no less than what we say he is.

Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him, And each one to his office when he wakes.

[SiY is borne out. A trumpet sounds. Sirrah, go see what trumpet 't is that sounds :

[Exit Servant. Belike, some noble gentleman, that means, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.

Re-enter Servant.
How now? who is 't ?
Serv.

An't please your honour, players
That offer humble service to your lordship.
Lord. Bid them come near.

Enter five or six Players.*

Now, fellows, you are welcome. Players. We thank your honour. Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? 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:’T was 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, 't was Soto that your honour means.

Lord. 'T is 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-eyeing 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.

i Play. Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves, Were he the veriest antic in the world. 1 is it : in f. e. An it: in f. e. 3 Not in f. e. 4 Enter Players :

in f. e.

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 observ'd 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 restor'd to health,
Who for this 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,
When they do homage to this simple peasant.
I'll in to counsel them : haply, my presence
May well abate their over-merry spleen,
Which otherwise would grow into extremes. (Exeunt.

SCENE II.-A Bedchamber in the Lord's House. Sly is discovered, with Attendants ; some with apparel,

others with bason, ewer, and 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 ne'er 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, sometime, more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the overleather.

(honour ! Lord. Heaven cease this evil' humour in your 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 Christophero 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 say I am not fourteen pence on the score for Warwickshire* ale, score me up for the lying'st knave in Christendom. What! I am not bestraught'. Here's

1 Serv. O! this it is that makes your lady mourn. 3 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, [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 On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis.

i idle : in f. e. 2 Barton-on-the-Heath, a village in Warwickshire, is supposed to be alluded to. 3 A place about four miles from Stratford. 4 sheer : in f. e. 5 Distraught, distracted.

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 hedges 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 the 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, bason, and napkin. O, how we joy to see your wits restor'd ! O, that once more, you knew but what you are ! These fifteen years you have been in a dream,

1

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 upon the hostess of the house, And say you would present her at the leet, Because she brought stone jugs, and not seal’d’ quarts. Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket.

Sly. Ay, the woman's maid of the house. [maid,

3 Serv. Why, sir, you know no house, nor no such Nor no such men, as you have reckon’d up, 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! All. Amen. 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 good-man.

Page. My husband and my lord, my lord and hus

band;

I am your wife in all obedience.

Sly. I know it well. What must I call her ?
Lord. Madam.
Sly. Alce 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 about 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; 1 Court leet. 2 Sealed or stamped as full quart measure.

3 above : in f. e.

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