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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 Attendants ;
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 Seru. Will't please your lordship drink a cup of
sack? 2 Serv. Will't please your honour taste of these con
serves ? 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,
Sly. What, would you make me mad ? Am not ! Christopher Sly, old Sly's son of Burton-heath 4; 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 Wincot, 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 bestraughts: 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 musick ? hark ! Apollo plays. [Musick. 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
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 ale-wife might be a real character. STEEVENS.
I am not bestraught;] Bestraught seems to have been synonymous to distraught or distracted.
Above the morning lark: Or wilt thou hunt?
swift As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe. 2 Serv. Dost thou love pictures ? we will fetch thee
Lord. We'll show thee Io, as she was a maid;
3 Serv. Or Daphne, roaming through a thorny wood;
Lord. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord:
1 Serv. And, till the tears that she hath shed for thee,
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
[Servants present an ewer, bason, and napkin. O, how we joy to see your wit restor'd !
O, that once more you knew but what
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 upon the hostess of the house; And say, you would present her at the leeto, 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
have reckon'd up,
Sly. Now, Lord be thanked for my good amends !
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 - hus
band; My men should call me - lord; I am your goodman. Page. My husband and my lord, my lord and hus
band, I am your wife in all obedience.
leet,] At the court-leet, or courts of the manor.
Sly. I know it well: What must I call her ?
slept Above some
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
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 'amend
ment, Are come to play a pleasant comedy, For so your doctors hold it
Sly. Marry, I will ; let them play it: Is not a commonty a Christmas gambol, or a tumbling-trick??
7 Is not a commonty a Christmas gambol, or a 'tumbling trick?]