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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:
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,
And say
"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

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


SCENE II. A bedchamber in the Lord's house.

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. Will'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 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 Burtonheath, by birth a pedlar, 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

Third Serv. O, this it is that makes your lady mourn !
Sec. Serv. O, this is it that makes your servants droop!
Lord. Hence comes it that your kindred shuns your

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 music? hark! Apollo plays


And twenty caged nighingales 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.

First Serv. Say thou wilt course; thy grey-hounds are as swift

As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.


Sec. Serv. Dost thou love pictures? we will fetch thee


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 lo as she was a maid,

And how she was beguiled and surprised,

As lively painted as the deed was done.

Third Serv. Or Dapline 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 :

Thou hast a lady far more beautiful

Than any woman in this waning age.


First Serv. And till the tears that she hath shed for thee
Like envious floods o'er-run 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

And not a tinker nor Christophero Sly.

Well, bring our lady hither to our sight;
And once again, a pot o' the smallest ale.


Sec. Serv. Will 't please your mightiness to wash your hands?

O, how we joy to see your wit restored!

O, that once more you knew but what you are!
These fifteen years you have been in a dream;
Or when you waked, so waked as if you slept.

Sly. These fifteen years! by my fay, a goodly nap.
But did I never speak of all that time?

First 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 at her at the leet,

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.



Third Serv. Why, sir, you know no house nor no such


Nor no such men as you have reckon'd up,

As Stephen Sly and old John Naps of Greece
And Peter Turph and Henry Pimpernell.
And twenty more such names and men as these
Which never were nor no man ever saw.

Sly. Now Lord be thankful for my good amends !
All. Amen.

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

Enter the Page as a lady, with attendants. Page. How fares my noble lord?

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 goodman. 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 slept above some fifteen year or møre.

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 alone

Madam, undress you and come now to bed.

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 charged,

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 loath to fall into my dreams again: I will therefore tarry in despite of the flesh and the blood.

Enter a Messenger.


Mess. Your honour's players, hearing your amendment, 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 comonty a Christmas gam bold or a tumbling trick?

Page. No, my good lord; it is more pleasing stuff.
Sly. What, household 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.



SCENE I. Padua. A public place.

Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO.

Luc. Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,

I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy;
And by my father's love and leave am arm'd
With his good will and thy good company,
My trusty servant, well approved in all
Here let us breathe and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
Pisa renown'd for grave citizens

Gave me my being and my father first,

A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii.

Vincentio's son brought up in Florence

It shall become to serve all hopes conceived,

To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds:
And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study,
Virtue and that part of philosophy
Will I apply that treats of happiness
By virtue specially to be achieved.
Tell me thy mind; for I have Pisa left
And am to Padua come, as he that leaves
A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
Tra. Mi perdonato, gentle master mine,
I am in all affected as yourself;
Glad that you thus continue your resolve
To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
Only, good master, while we do admire
This virtue and this moral discipline,
Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray;

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