Page images

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.--

[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 laugh-


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.



A bedchamber in the Lord's house.

BLY is discovered in a rich night gown, with Attendants; some with apparel, others with bason, ewer, and other appurtenances.

dressed like a servant.

Enter LORD,

Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale.

1 Ser. Will't please your lordship drink a cup of


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


3 Ser. What raiment will your honor wear to


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!

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 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 lyingest knave in Christendom. What, I

am not bestraught.1 Here's

1 Ser. O, this it is that makes your lady mourn. 2 Ser. O, this it is that makes your servants


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;

1 Distracted.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][subsumed]

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 music? hark! Apollo plays, [music.
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 Ser. Say, thou wilt course; thy greyhounds are as swift

As breathed stags; ay, fleeter than the roe.

2 Ser. Dost thou love pictures? we will fetch thee straight

Adonis, painted by a running brook;

And Cytherea1 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 surprised,

1 Venus.

« EelmineJätka »