Abbildungen der Seite

Wrap'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,
A most delicious banquet by his bed,
And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
Would not the beggar then forget himself? 40

i Hunt. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose. 2 Hunt. It would seem strange unto him when he

wak'd. Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless

Then take him up, and manage well the jest :-
Carry him gently to my fairest chamber,
And hang it round with all my wanton pictures :
Balm his foul head with warm distilled waters,
And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet :
Procure me musick ready when he wakes,
To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound;

And if he chance to speak, be ready straight,
And, with a low submissive reverence,
Say-What is it your honour will command ?
Let one attend him with a silver bason,
Full of rose-water, and bestrew'd with flowers;
Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
And say-Will't please your lordship cool your

Some one be ready with a costly suit,
And ask him what apparel he will wear;
Another tell him of his hounds and horse,

And that his lady mourns at his disease :
Persuade him, that he hath been lunatick;
And, when he says he is -say that he dreams,


For he is nothing but a mighty lord.
This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs;
It will be pastime passing excellent,
If it be husbanded with modesty.
1 Hunt. My lord, I warrant you, we'll play our

As he shall think, by our true diligence,
He is no less than what we say he is.

70 Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him ; And each one to his office, when he wakes.

[Some bear out Sly. Sound Trumpets. Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds :Belike, some noble gentleman; that means,

[Exit Servant. Travelling some journey, to repose him here.-

Re-enter a Servant,

How now? who is it?

Ser. An't please your honour, players, That offer service to your lordship.

Lord. Bid them come near :

Enter Players.

Now, fellows, you are welcome.

80 Play. We thank your honour. Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? . Play. So please your lordship to accept our

duty. Lord. With all my heart. This fellow I remember, Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son ;


'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well :
I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part
Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform’d.

Sincklo. I think, 'twas Soto that your honour

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]


Lord. 'Tis very true ;-thou didst it excellent.--
Well, you are come to me in happy time;

The rather for I have some sport in hand,
Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
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,
If you should smile, he grows impatient.

Play. Fear not, my lord; we can contain ourselves,
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.-

[Exit one with the Players.
Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page,
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 obsery'd in noble ladies
Unto their lords, by them accomplished:


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


Such duty to the drunkard let himn 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 shew 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 despight enforce a watry eye.
See this dispatch'd with all the haste thou canst; 130
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.

[Exit Lord.



A Room in the Lord's House. Enter Sly, with Attend.

ants, some with Apparel, Bason and Ewer, and other
Appurtenances. Re-enter Lord.
Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale. 140
1 Man. Will't please your lordship drink a cup of

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

conserves 3 Man. 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 overleather.

151 Lord. Heaven cease this idle. humour in your ho

nour !
Oh, 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 Cliristopher Sly, old Sly's son of Burton-Heath ; by birth a pedlar, by education a card-maker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now by present pro


[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »