Page images

Where meeting with an old religious man,
After some question with him, was converted
Both from his enterprise and from the world,
His crown bequeathing to his banish'd brother,
And all their lands restored to them again
That were with him exiled. This to be true,
I do engage my life.

Duke S.
Welcome, young man ;
Thou offer'st fairly to thy brother's wedding:
To one his lands withheld, and to the other
A land itself at large, a potent dukedom.
First, in this forest let us do those ends
That here were well begun and well begot :
And after, every of this happy number

That have endured shrewd days and nights with us
Shall share the good of our returned fortune,
According to the measure of their states.
Meantime, forget this new-fall'n dignity
And fall into our rustic revelry.

Play, music! And you, brides and bridegrooms all,
With measure heap'd in joy, to the measures fall.

Jaq. Sir, by your patience. If I heard you rightly,
The duke hath put on a religious life

And thrown into neglect the pompous court?
Jaq. de B. He hath.

Jaq. To him will I out of these convertites
There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.

[10 duke] You to your former honour I bequeath;
Your patience and your virtue well deserves it:
[To Orl.] You to a love that your true faith doth merit :
To Oli. You to your land and love and great allies:
To Sil.] You to a long and well-deserved bed:




To Touch.] And you to wrangling; for thy loving voyage Is but for two months victuall'd. So, to your pleasures: I am for other than for dancing measures.

Duke S. Stay, Jaques, stay.

Jaq. To see no pastime I: what you would have I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave.



Duke S. Proceed, proceed we will begin these rites, As we do trust they'll end, in true delights.


[A dance.

Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue; yet to good wine they do use good bushes, and good plays prove the better by the

help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play! I am not furnished like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me my way is to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women-as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hates them-that between you and the women the play may please. If I were a woman I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me and breaths that I defied not: and, I am sure, as many as have good beards or good faces or sweet breaths will, for my kind offer, when I make curtsy, bid me farewell. [Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE I. Before an ale house on a heath.

Enter HOSTESS and SLY.

Sly. I'll pheeze you, in faith.

Host. A pair of stocks, you rogue!

Sly. Ye are a baggage: the Slys are no rogues; look in the chronicles; we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore paucus pallabris; let the world slide: sessa!

Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst? Sly. No, not a denier. Go by, Jeronimy: go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.


Host. I know my remedy; I must go fetch the thirdborough.

[Exit. Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy: let him come, and kindly. [Falls asleep.

Horns winded. Enter a Lord from hunting, with his train. Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds:

Trash Merriman, the poor cur is emboss'd;

And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach.
Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good

At the hedge-corner, in the coldest fault?

I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.

First Hun. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord; He cried upon it at the merest loss

And twice to day pick'd out the dullest scent:

Trust me, I take him for the better dog.

Lord. Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fleet,

I would esteem him worth a dozen such.

But sup them well and look unto them all :
To-morrow I intend to hunt again.

First Hun. I will, my lord.



Lord. What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he


Sec. Hun. He breathes, my lord. Were he not warm'd

with ale,

This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.

Lord. O monstrous beast! 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 cannot 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,
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 he 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.
Re-enter Servingman.

How now! who is it?

An't please your honour, players

That offer service to your lordship.
Lord. Bid them come near.

Enter Players.

Now, fellows, you are welcome.

Players. We thank your honour.

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.
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.



« PreviousContinue »