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Lord. O monstrous tcast! how like a swine

he lies !
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.
What think you, if he were convey'd to bed,
Wrapp'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?
First Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he can-

not choose.
Sec. Hun. It would seem strange unto him

when he waked. Lord. Even as a flattering dream or worthless

fancy.
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 in warm distilled waters,
And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet :
Procure me music 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 basin
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

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

36. practise, play a trick. 57. diaper, a towel of fine 40. brave, showily dressed. linen.

50

60

And that his lady mourns at his disease :
Persuade him that he hath been lunatic;
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.
First Hun. My lord, I warrant you we will play

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

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

[Some bear out Sly. A trumpet sounds. Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds :

[Exit Servingman. Belike, some noble gentleman that means, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.

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Re-enter Servingman.
How now! who is it ?
Serv.

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

Lord. Bid them come near.

1

Enter Players.

Now, fellows, you are welcome. Players. We thank your honour. ·

80 64. when he says he is, i.e. when he declares that he must lunatic. This (Mr. Grant still be one, to have his present White's) interpretation is more hallucinations of lordship,' tell satisfactory than to suppose a

him this fear is baseless, for he hiatus after is, or the loss of a is a lord in fact. line. Sly is to be persuaded 66. kindly, with truth to that he has been lunatic, in order nature, vraisemblance to explain how he had come to 68. husbanded with modesty, fancy himself a ţinker; and not overdone.

Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night?
A Player. 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.

A Player. I think 'twas Soto that your honour

means.

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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-eyeing 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.
A Player. Fear not, my lord : we can contain

ourselves,
Were he the veriest antic 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 Barthol'mew my page, And see him dress'd in all suits like a lady:

100

85. gentlewoman; trisyllabic. 92. cunning, skill. (géntlooman).

95. over-eyeing, witnessing. 88. For A Player, the F and

fit Q here substitute Sincklo, the 97. merry passion, of

merriment. name of a player in Shakespeare's company

101. antic, buffoon, zany. 90. happy, opportune.

106. in all suits, in all points. VOL. II

17

с

ΙΙο

And say

120

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 observed in noble ladies
Unto their lords, by them accomplished :
Such duty to the drunkard let him do
With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy,

What is ’t your honour will command,
Wherein your lady and your humble wife
May show 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 restored to health,
Who for this 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 despite enforce a watery eye.
See this dispatch'd with all the haste thou canst :
Anon I'll give thee more instructions.

[Exit a Servingman.
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

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112. accomplished, performed. with head declining into (a

common inversion). 119. with declining head into, 131. usurp, assume.

May well abate the over-merry spleen
Which otherwise would grow into extremes.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A bedchamber in the Lord's house.

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Enter aloft Sly, with Attendants; some with

apparel, others with basin and ewer and other appurtenances ; and Lord. Sly. For God's sake, a pot of small ale. First Serv. Willi't please your lordship drink a

cup of sack? Sec. Serv. Will 't please your honour taste of

these conserves ? Third 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 20 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 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

137. over-merry spleen, the 14. cease, cause to cease. spleen was the supposed organ 19. Burton-heath, probably alike of laughter and of vexa- Barton-on-the- Heath, a Wartion.

wickshire village.

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