« VorigeDoorgaan »
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, dressed 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 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, sometime, more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the
overleather. LORD. Heaven cease this idle humour in
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 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: Here's
As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
[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
• Bestraught, synonymous with distraught, distracted.
Dost thou love hawking ? thou hast hawks will soar
And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.
As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.
Adonis, painted by a running brook;
Even as the waving sedges play with wind.
And how she was beguiled and surpris'd,
As lively painted as the deed was done.
Scratching her legs that one shall swear she bleeds :
So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.
Thou hast a lady far more beautiful
Than any woman in this waning age.
Like envious floods o'er-ran her lovely face,
And yet she is inferior to none.
Or do I dream, or have I dream'd till now?
And, once again, a pot o' the smallest ale.
[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?
For though you lay here in this goodly chamber,
the hostess of the house;
And say, you would present her at the leet,
Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket.
Nor no such men, as you have reckon'd up,-
Which never were, nor no man ever saw.
Enter the Page, as a lady, with Attendants. PAGE. How fares
my noble lord ?
Where is my wife ?
My men should call me lord; I am your goodman.
I am your wife in all obedience.
And slept above some fifteen year or more.
Being all this time abandon'd from
Madam, undress you, and come now to bed.
To pardon me yet for a night or two ;
bed: I hope, this reason stands for my excuse.
* At the leet, or court-leet, of a manor, the jury presented those who used false weights and measures; and, amongst others, those who, like the “fat ale-wife of Wincot,” used jugs of irregular capacity instead of the sealed or licensed quart.
Or, in the original. In modern editions, and.
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.
Are come to play a pleasant comedy,
Which bars a thousand harms, and lengthens life.
or a tumbling-trick ?
Come, madam wife, sit by my side,
. We print these lines as in the original, where they stand as verse. Are they not a portion of an old song, and intended to be sung?
Luo. Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts',
My. So the folio. The word has been changed by the modern editors to most.
Haply. So the original. Usually printed happily. It seems to us that Lucentio uses the word in the sense of probably.