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(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. 1 Play. Fear' not, my lord ; we can contain our.

selves, Were he the veriest antick in the world.

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; 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 twice 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.

[Excit Servant.

And say,

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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 the over-merry spleen,
Which otherwise would go into extremes.


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A Bedchamber in the Lord's House.

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Sly is discovered in a rich night gown, with At

tendants ; some with apparel, others with bason,
ewer, and other appurtenances. Enter Lord,
dressed like a Servant.
Sly. For heaven's sake, a pot of small ale.
i 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-

Sly. I-am Christopher Sly; call not me--honour,
nor Iordship : I never drank sack in

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 stock-
ings 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 humour in your

O, that a mighty man, of such descent,

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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 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


am not fourteen pence on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the lyingest knave in Christendom. What, I am not bestraught';

Here's 1 Serv. O, this it is that makes your lady mourn. 2 Serv. O, this it is that makes your servants

Lord. Hence comes it that your kindred shun your

As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
0, 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,

And twenty caged nightingales do sing :
Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch,
Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed
purpose trimm'd


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
Above the morning lark : Or wilt thou hunt?
Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them,
And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.

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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 sedges hid ; Which seem to move and wanton with her breath, Even as the waving sedges play with wind. 3 Serv. Or Daphne, roaming through a thorny

wood; Scratching her feet 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


And yet


Like envious floods, o'er-ran her lovely face,
She was the fairest creature in the world;

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. 0, how we joy to see your wit restor'd! 0, that once more you knew but what you 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?

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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 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 maid;
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.

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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

Sly. Are you my wife, and will not call me

My men should call me -

your goodman. Page. My husband and my lord, my lord and


wife in all obedience.
Sly, I know it well : What must I call her?
Lord. Madam,
Sly. Alice madam, or Joan madam ?
Lord. Madam, and nothing else; so lords call


lord ; I am

am your

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· Court-leet.

B B 2

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