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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 Ser. Will't please your lordship drink a cup

sack?

of

2 Ser. Will't please your honour taste of these

conserves?

3 Ser. What raiment will your honour wear to

day?

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 over-leather.

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 2; 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 sheer ale, score me up for the lying'st knave in Christendom. What, I am not bestraught: Here's

1 Ser. 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,

And twenty caged nightingales do sing:

[Musick.

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 Ser. 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 Ser. 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?

[Servant presents a ewer, bason, and napkin. O, how we joy to see your wit restor❜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, 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,
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.

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;

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