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Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
1 Hun. I will, my lord.
Lord. What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?
2 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,
And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
1 Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot
2 Hun. It would seem strange unto him when he wak'd.
Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless
Then take him up, and manage well the jest:-
And hang it round with all my wanton pictures:
Say, What is it your honour will command?
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,
1 Hun. My lord, I warrant you, we'll 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 Servant.
Belike, some noble gentleman; that means,
Re-enter a Servant.
How now? who is it?
An it please your honour,
Players that offer service to your lordship.
Lord. Bid them come near:
Now, fellows, you are welcome.
1 Play. We thank your honour.
Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night?
This do, and do it kindly,] Kindly, means naturally.
modesty.] By modesty is meant moderation, without suffering our merriment to break into an excess.
2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our
Lord. With all my heart.-This fellow I remember,
Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son;-
1 Play. I think, 'twas Soto, that your honour
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-eying 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.
i Play. Fear not, my lord; we can contain ourselves,
Were he the veriest antick in the world.
Lord. Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,2
to accept our duty.] It was in those times the custom of players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great houses. JOHNSON.
take them to the buttery,] Mr. Pope had probably these words in his thoughts, when he wrote the following passage of his preface: "the top of the profession were then mere players, not gentlemen of the stage; they were led into the buttery by the steward, not placed at the lord's table, or the lady's toilette." he seems not to have observed, that the players here introduced are strollers: and there is no reason to suppose that our author, Heminge, Burbage, Condell, &c. who were licensed by King James, were treated in this manner. MALONE.
At the period when this comedy was written, and for many years after, the profession of a player was scarcely allowed to be
And give them friendly welcome every one:
Let them want nothing that my house affords.Exeunt Servant and Players.
Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page,
[To a Servant. 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,
And with declining head into his bosom,-
To see her noble lord restor❜d to health,
Who, for twice seven years, hath esteemed him
reputable. The imagined dignity of those who did not belong to itinerant companies, is, therefore, unworthy consideration. I can as easily believe that the blundering editors of the first folio were suffered to lean their hands on Queen Elizabeth's chair of state, as that they were admitted to the table of the Earl of Leicester, or the toilette of Lady Hunsdon. Like Stephen in Every Man in his Humour, the greatest indulgence our histrionic leaders could have expected, would have been " a trencher and a napkin in the buttery." STEEVENS.
An onion-] It is not unlikely that the onion was an expedient used by the actors of interludes.
Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
See this despatch'd with all the haste thou canst;
I know, the boy will well usurp the grace,
I long to hear him call the drunkard, husband;
When they do homage to this simple peasant.
Which otherwise would grow into extremes.
A Bedchamber in the Lord's House.
SLY is discovered in a rich night gown, with At tendants; 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
2 Serv. Will't please your honour taste of these
3 Serv. What raiment will
Sly. I am Christophero Sly; call not me-honour, nor lordship: I never 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 stock