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Enter a Lord from Hunting, with Huntsmen and Servants.
Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds:
Brach Merriman,-the poor cur is embossed,1
1 Hunt. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;
Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
1 Hunt. I will, my lord.
Lord. What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?
2 Hunt. He breathes, my lord. Were he not warmed with ale,
This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Lord. O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies!
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
1 Hunt. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
1 "Embossed," says Philips, in his World of Words, "is a term in hunting, when a deer is so hard chased that she foams at the mouth; it comes from the Spanish desembocar, and is metaphorically used for any kind of weariness."
2 Brach originally signified a particular species of dog used for the chase. It was a long-eared dog, hunting by the scent.
2 Hunt. It would seem strange unto him when he waked.
Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless fancy.
Then take him up, and manage well the jest:-
And say,-Will't please your lordship cool your
Some one be ready with a costly suit,
It will be pastime passing excellent,
1 Hunt. My lord, I warrant you, we'll play our part,
As he shall think, by our true diligence,
Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him; And each one to his office when he wakes.
[Some bear out SLY. A trumpet sounds. Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:
Belike, some noble gentleman, that means,
Re-enter a Servant.
How now? who is it?
Now, fellows, you are welcome. 1 Play. We thank your honor. Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? 2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our duty.1 Lord. With all my heart.-This fellow I remember,
Since once he played a farmer's eldest son ;-
1 Play. I think 'twas Soto that your honor means.
1 It was in old times customary for players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great houses.
2 The old copy prefixes the name of Sincklo to this line, who was an actor in the same company with Shakspeare. Soto is a character in Beaumont and Fletcher's Woman Pleased; he is a farmer's eldest son, but he does not woo any gentlewoman.
1 Play. Fear not, my lord; we can contain ourselves,
Were he the veriest antic in the world.1
Lord. Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,2 And give them friendly welcome every one: Let them want nothing that my house affords.[Exeunt Servants and Players. Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page,
[To a Servant.
And see him dressed in all suits like a lady:
Bid him shed tears, as being overjoyed
To see her noble lord restored to health,
1 In the old play the dialogue is thus continued:—
"San. [To the other.] Go get a dishclout to make cleyne your shooes, and Ile speak for the properties. [Exit Player.] My lord, we must have a shoulder of mutton for a property, and a little vinegre to make our divell roar."
2 Pope remarks, in his preface to Shakspeare, that "the top of the profession were then mere players, not gentlemen of the stage; they were led into the buttery, not placed at the lord's table, or the lady's toilet."
3 The old copy reads this. The emendation is Theobald's.
4 Him is used for himself, as in Chapman's Banquet of Sense, 1595:"The sense wherewith he feels him deified."
Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
SCENE II. A Bedchamber in the Lord's House. SLY is discovered in a rich night-gown, with Attendants; some with apparel, others with basin, ewer, and other appurtenances.
Enter Lord, dressed like a Servant.1
Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale.
1 Serv. Will't please your lordship drink a cup sack?
2 Serv. Will't please your honor taste of these conserves?
3 Serv. What raiment will your honor wear to-day? Sly. I am Christophero Sly; call not me-honor, 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 over-leather.
Lord. Heaven cease this idle humor in your honor!
1 From the original stage direction in the first folio, it appears that Sly and the other persons mentioned in the Induction were intended to be exhibited here, and during the representation of the comedy, in a balcony above the stage.