1 Serv. 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 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.

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:

Bestraught seems to have been synonymous to distraught or distracted. See Minshieu's Dict. 1617: " Bestract, a Lat. distractus mente. Vi. Mad and Bedlam." Malone,

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;

[ocr errors]

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!

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,9

9 leet,] At the Court-leet, or courts of the manor. Johnson. And say, you would present her at the leet,

Because she brought stone jugs, and no seal'd quarts:] The leet is the Court-leet, or View of frank pledge, held anciently once a-year, within a particular hundred, manor, or lordship, before the steward of the leet. See Kitchen, On Courts, 4th edit. 1663: "The residue of the matters of the charge which ensue," says that writer, on Court Leets, p. 21, "are enquirable and presentable, and also punishable in a leet." He then enumerates the various articles, of which the following is the twenty-seventh: "Also if tiplers sell by cups and dishes, or measures sealed, or not sealed, is inquirable." See also, Characterismi, or Lenton's Leasures, 12mo. 1631: "He [an informer] transforms himselfe into several shapes, to avoid suspicion of inne-holders, and inwardly joyes at the sight of a blacke pot or jugge, knowing that their sale by sealed quarts, spoyles his market." Malone.

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,1
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.2

Sly. I thank thee; thou shalt not lose by it.

Enter the Page, as a lady, with Attendants.3

Page. How fares my noble lord?

1-John Naps of Greece,] A hart of Greece, was a fat hart. Graisse, Fr. So, in the old ballad of Adam Bell, &c.

"Eche of them slew a hart of graece."

Again, in Ives's Select Papers, at the coronation feast of Elizabeth of York, queen of King Henry VII, among other dishes were "capons of high Greece."

Perhaps this expression was used to imply that John Naps (who might have been a real character) was a fat man: or as Poins calls the associates of Falstaff, Trojans, John Naps might be called a Grecian for such another reason. Steevens.

For old John Naps of Greece, read-old John Naps o' th' Green. Blackstone.

The addition seems to have been a common one. So, in our author's King Henry IV, P. II:

"Who is next?-Peter Bullcalf of the Green." Malone.

2 In this place, Mr. Pope, and after him other editors, had introduced the three following speeches, from the old play, 1607. I have already observed that it is by no means probable, that this former comedy of The Taming of the Shrew was written by Shakspeare, and have therefore removed them from the text: "Sly. By the mass, I think I am a lord indeed:

"What is thy name?

"Man. Sim, an it please your honour.

"Sly. Sim? that's as much as to say, Simeon, or Simon.

"Put forth thy hand, and fill the pot."


3 Enter the Page, &c.] Thus in the original play:

"Enter the Boy in woman's attire.

"Slie. Sim, is this she?

"Lord. I, my lord.

"Slie. Masse 'tis a pretty wench; what's her name?

Sly. Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough. Where is my wife?

Page. Here, noble lord; What is thy will with her? Sly. Are you my wife, and will not call me-husband? My men should call me-lord; I am your good-man. Page. My husband and my lord, my lord and husband;

I am your wife in all obedience.

Sly. I know it well:-What must I call her?
Lord. Madam.`

Sly. Al'ce madam, or Joan madam?

Lord. Madam, and nothing else; so lords call ladies. Sly. Madam wife, they say that I have dream'd, and



Above some fifteen year and more.

Page. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me; Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.

Sly. 'Tis much;


-Servants, leave me and her

Madam, undress you, and come now to bed.

"Boy. Oh that my lovelie lord would once vouchsafe To looke on me, and leave these franticke fits!

"Or were I now but halfe so eloquent

"To paint in words what Ile performe in deedes,

"I know your honour then would pitie me.

"Slie. Harke you, mistresse; will you eat a peece of bread? "Come, sit downe on my knee: Sim, drinke to her, Sim; "For she and I will go to bed anon.

"Lord. May it please you, your honour's plaiers be come "To offer your honour a plaie.

"Slie. A plaie, Sim, O brave! be they my plaiers?

"Lord. I, my lord.

"Slie. Is there not a foole in the plaie ?

"Lord. Yes, my lord.

"Slie. When will they plaie, Sim?

"Lord. Even when it please your honour; they be readie.

"Boy. My lord, Ile go bid them begin their plaie.

"Slie. Doo, but looke that you come againe.

[ocr errors]

Boy. I warrant you, my lord; I will not leave you thus.

[Exit Boy:

"Slie. Come, Sim, where be the plaiers? Sim, stand by me, "And we 'll flowt the plaiers out of their coates.

"Lord. Ile cal them my lord. Ho, where are you there? "Sound trumpets.

"Enter two young gentlemen, and a man, and a boy." Steevens.

Page. Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you, To pardon me yet for a night or two;

Or, if not so, until the sun be set:

For your physicians have expressly charg❜d,
In peril to incur your former malady,

That I should yet absent me from your bed:

I hope, this reason stands for my excuse.

Sly. Ay, it stands so, that I may hardly tarry so long. But I would be loth to fall into my dreams again; I will therefore tarry, in despite of the flesh and the blood. Enter a Servant.

Serv. Your honour's players, hearing your amend


Are come to play a pleasant comedy,
For so your doctors hold it very meet;

Seeing too much sadness hath congeal'd your blood,
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy,

Therefore, they thought it good you hear a play,
And frame your mind to mirth and merriment,
Which bars a thousand harms, and lengthens life.

Sly. Marry, I will; let them play it: Is not a com-
monty a Christmas gambol, or a tumbling-trick?5
Page. No, my good lord; it is more pleasing stuff.
Sly. What, houshold stuff?

Page. It is a kind of history.

Sly. Well, we 'll see 't: Come, madam wife, sit by my side, and let the world slip; we shall ne'er be younger.

[They sit down.

4 Madam wife,] Mr. Pope gives likewise the following prefix to this speech from the elder play:

"Sly. Come, sit down on my knee. Sim, drink to her." Madam, &c. Steevens.

5 Is not a commonty a Christmas gambol, or a tumbling trick?] Thus the old copies; the modern ones read-It is not a commodity, &c. Commonty for comedy, &c. Steevens.

In the old play the players themselves use the word commodity corruptly for a comedy. Blackstone.

« VorigeDoorgaan »