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There is a lord will hear you play to-night:
But I am doubtful of your modesties;
Lest, over-eying of his odd behaviour,
(For yet his honour never heard a play,)
You break into some merry passion,
And so offend him; for I tell you, sirs,
should smile, he grows impatient.

If you

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;
And say,—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 wat'ry eye.
See this despatch'd with all the haste thou canst;
Anon I'll give thee more instructions.——

[Exit Servant.
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 grow into extremes.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

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, dress'd like a Servant. Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale.

1 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 today?

Sly. I am Christophero Sly; call not me-honour, nor lordship: I ne'er 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 honour!

O, that a mighty man, of such descent,
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 alewife 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 lying'st knave in Christendom. What, I am not bestraught: Here's

1 Sero. 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

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

1 Sero. 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.
Lord. We'll show thee Io, as she was a maid;
And how she was beguiled and surpris'd,

As lively painted as the deed was done.

3 Serv. Or Daphne, roaming through a thorny

wood;

Scratching her legs, 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

thee,

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

[Servants present an ewer, bason, and napkin.

O, how we joy to see your wit restor❜d!

you are!

O, that once more you knew but what
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 leet,

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