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Persuade him that he hath been lunatic;
And, when he says he's Sly, say that he dreams,
For he is nothing but a mighty Lord.
This do, and do it kindly, gentle Sirs :
It will be pastime passing excellent,
If it be husbanded with modesty.1
FIRST 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;
Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds :
How now! who is it?
An it please your Honour
Players that offer service to your Lordship.
LORD. Bid them come near.
PLAYERS. We thank
Now, Fellows, you are welcome.
LORD. Do you intend to stay with me to-night?
SEC. PLAY. So please your Lordship to accept our duty.
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
FIRST 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;
But I am doubtful of your modesties;1
And so offend him; for I tell you, Sirs,
If you should smile, he grows impatient.
FIRST PLAY. Fear not, my Lord: we can contain our-
Were he the veriest antic3 in the world.
And give them friendly welcome every one:
Sirrah, go you to Barthol'mew my page,
That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber;
To see her noble lord restor❜d to health,
[Exit a Serving-man.
2 passion of merriment.
I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
I long to hear him call the drunkard Husband;
SCENE II. A Bedchamber.
Enter aloft SLY, with Attendants; some with apparel, others with basin and ewer and other appurtenances ; and Lord.
SLY. For God's sake, a pot of small ale.
FIRST SERV. Will't please your Lordship drink a cup of
SEC. SERV. Will't please your Honour taste of these conserves?
THIRD SERV. What raiment will your Honour wear
SLY. I am Christophero Sly; call not me Honour nor
LORD. Heaven cease this idle humour in your Honour!
Am not I
Christopher Sly, old Sly's son of Burton-heath; by birth a pedler, 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 sheer1 ale, score me
THIRD SERV. O, this it is that makes your Lady mourn!
As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
O noble Lord, bethink thee of thy birth;
Call home thy ancient3 thoughts from banishment,
Wilt thou have music? hark! Apollo plays,
Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch
FIRST SERV. Say thou wilt course; thy greyhounds are as swift
As breathed stags; ay, fleeter than the roe.
SEC. 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 shew thee Io as she was a maid,
And how she was beguiled and surpris'd,
As lively painted as the deed was done.
THIRD SERV. Or Daphne roaming through a thorny wood,
Scratching her legs that one shall swear she bleeds;
4 stags in full course.
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.
FIRST SERV. And, till the tears, that she hath shed for thee,
Like envious floods o'er-run her lovely face,
She was the fairest creature in the world;
SLY. Am I a Lord? and have I such a Lady?
I do not sleep: I see, I hear, I speak ;
I smell sweet savours, and I feel soft things:
And once again, a pot o' the smallest ale.
SEC. SERV. Will 't please your Mightiness to wash your hands?
O, how we joy to see your wit restor❜d!
O, that once more you knew but what you are!
FIRST SERV. O, yes, my Lord; but very idle words:
And say you would present her at the leet,'
Because she brought stone jugs and no seal'd' quarts:
SLY. Ay; the woman's maid of the house.
THIRD 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 o' the Green,
And Peter Turph, and Henry Pimpernell;
And twenty more such names and men as these,
Which never were, nor no man ever saw.
4 manorial court. 5 officially stamped.