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Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son;
'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman fo well:
I have forgot your name; but, fure, that part
Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform'd.
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 fome 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 modefties,
Left, overeying of his odd behaviour,
(For yet his honour never heard a play)
You break into fome merry paffion,
And so offend him: for I tell you, firs,
If you should smile, he grows impatient.
Play. Fear not, my lord; we can contain ourselves,
Were he the verieft antick in the world.
2 Play. [to the other.] Go, get a difhclout to make clean your shoes,
And I'll speak for the properties. My lord,
We must have a fhoulder of mutton, and
Some vinegar to make our devil roar.
Lord. Go, firrah, take them to the buttery, Let them want nothing that the house affords.
[Exit one with the Players.
Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page,
And fee him drefs'd in all fuits like a lady:
That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber,
And call him madam, do him all obeifance.
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 foft low tongue, and lowly courtesy;
And fay, 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 bofom,
Bid him fhed tears, as being over-joy'd
To fee her noble lord reftor'd to health,
Who for twice seven years hath esteem'd himself
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 fuch a shift;
Which in a napkin being close convey'd,
Shall in defpite enforce a wat❜ry eye.
See this despatch'd with all the hafte thou canft,
Anon I'll give thee more inftructions.
I know, the boy will well ufurp 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 fimple peasant.
I'll in to counsel them: haply, my prefence
May well abate the over-merry fpleen,
Which otherwife would go into extremes.
A bedchamber in the Lord's houfe.
Enter Sly with attendants, fome with apparel, bafon and ewer, and other appurtenances. Reenter Lord.
OR god's fake a pot of small ale.
1 Serv. Will't please your lordship drink a cup of fack? 2 Serv. Will't please your honour taste of these conferves? 3 Serv. What raiment will your honour wear to-day? Sly. I am Chriftophero Sly; call not me honour, nor lordship : I ne'er drank fack in my life: and if you give me any conferves,
give me conferves 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 fhoes than feet; nay, sometimes more feet than
shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the overleather.
Lord. Heav'n cease this idle humour in your honour!
O, that a mighty man of such descent,
Of fuch poffeffions, and so high esteem,
Should be infufed with fo foul a spirit!
Sly. What, would you make me mad? am not I Chriftophero Sly, old Sly's fon of Burton-heath, by birth a pedler, by education a card-maker, by tranfmutation a bearherd, and now by prefent profeffion 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 fheer ale, score me up for the lying'ft knave in christendom. What?—I am not beftraught: here's
1 Man. O, this it is that makes your lady mourn.
2 Man. O, this it is that makes your fervants droop.
Lord. Hence comes it that your kindred fhun your house, As beaten hence by your ftrange 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 mufick? hark! Apollo plays,
And twenty caged nightingales do fing:
Or wilt thou fleep? we'll have thee to a couch,
Softer and fweeter than the luftful bed
On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis.
Say thou wilt walk, we will beftrew the ground:
Or wilt thou ride? thy horfes fhall be trapp'd,
Their harness studded all with gold and pearl.
Doft thou love hawking? thou haft hawks will foar
Above the morning lark: or wilt thou hunt?
Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them,
And fetch fhrill echces from the hollow earth.
1 Man. Say thou wilt course, thy greyhounds are as swift As breathed stags; ay, fleeter than the roe.
2 Man. Doft thou love pictures? we will fetch thee straight Adonis, painted by a running brook;
And Cytherea all in fedges hid;
Which feem to move, and wanton with her breath,
Ev'n as the waving fedges play with wind.
Lord. We'll fhow thee Io, as fhe was a maid,
And how she was beguiled and furpris'd,
As lively painted as the deed was done.
3 Man. Or Daphne roaming through a thorny wood,
Scratching her legs, that one fhall fwear fhe bleeds;
And at the fight shall fad Apollo weep:
So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.
Lord. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord: Thou haft a lady far more beautiful
Than any woman in this waining age.
I Man. And till the tears that she hath fhed for thee,
Like envious floods, o'errun her lovely face,
She was the faireft creature in the world,
And yet she is inferiour 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 fleep; I fee, I hear, I speak;
I smell sweet favours, and I feel foft things:
Upon my life, I am a lord indeed,
And not a tinker, nor Chriftophero Sly.
Well, bring our lady hither to our fight,
And once again, a pot o'th' smallest ale.
2 Man. Will't please your mightiness to wash your hands?
O, how we joy to fee your wits reftor'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, you wak'd as if you flept.
Sly. These fifteen years! by my fay, a goodly nap:
But did I never speak of all that time?
1 Man. Ó, yes, my lord, but very idle words.
For though you lay here in this goodly chamber,
Yet would you fay, ye were beaten out of door;
And rail'd upon the hostess of the house;
And fay, you would prefent her at the leet,
Because the bought ftone-jugs, and no feal'd quarts:
Sometimes, you would call out for Cicely Hacket.
Sly. Ay, the woman's maid of the house.
3 Man. Why, fir, you know no house, nor no fuch maid ;
Nor no fuch men as you have reckon'd up,
As Stephen Sly, and old John Naps o'th' green,
And Peter Turf, and Henry Pimpernell,
And twenty more fuch names and men as these,
Which never were, nor no man ever faw.
Sly. Now, lord be thanked for my good amends!
Sly. By th' mafs, I think, I am a lord indeed. What is thy name ?
Man. Simon, an't please your honour.
Sly. Sim? that's as much as to fay, Simeon or Simon; put forth thy hand, and fill the pot.
[gives him drink.
Enter Lady with Attendants.
Sly. I thank thee; thou shalt not lose by it.
Lady. How fares my noble lord?
Sly. Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough. Where is my wife?
Lady. 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.
Lady. My hufband and my lord, my lord and husband, I am your wife in all obedience.
Sly. I know it well: what muft I call her?
Sly. Alce madam, or Joan madam?