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Sly is discovered in a rich night gown, with At
tendants; some with apparel, others with bason, ewer, and other appurtenances. Enter Lord, dress'd like a Servant. Sır. For God's fake, a pot of small ale. I Serv. Will’t please your lordship drink a cup
6 A Bedchamber, &c.] From the original stage-direction in the first folio it appears that Sly and the other persons mentioned in the Induction, were intended to be exhibited here, and during the representation of the comedy, in a balcony above the stage. The direction here is" Enter aloft the drunkard with attendants, &c." So afterwards at the end of this scene—“ The Presenters above Speak." See the Account of our old Theatres, Vol. II.
Malone. 7 Sly is discovered, &c.] Thus in the original play: “ Enter two with a table and a banquet on it, and two other, with
Slie asleepe in a chaire, richlie apparelled, and the mufick plaieng. « One. So, firha, now go call my lord; “ And tell him all things are ready as he will'd it.
“ Another. Set thou fome wine upon the boord, “ And then Ile go fetch my lord presently.
[Exit. • Enter the Lord and his men. “ Lord. How now, what is all things readie? “ One. Yea, my lord.
“ Lord. Then found the musicke, and Ile wake him strait, “ And see you doe as earst I gave in charge. “ My lord, my lord, (he sleeps foundly,) my lord.
“ Slie. Tapiter, give's a little small ale: heigh ho. “ Lord. Heere's wine, my lord, the purest of the grape. “ Slie. For which lord ? “ Lord. For your honor, my lord. “ Slie. Who I, am I a lord ?-Iesus, what fine apparell have I got!
« Lord. More richer far your honour hath to weare, « And if it please you, I will fetch them straight. Vol. VI.
2 SERV. Will't please your honour taste of these
conserves? 3 Serv. What raiment will your honour wear to
day? Str. I am Christophero Sly; call not me-honour, nor lordship: I ne'er drank fack 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 thần legs, nor no more shoes than feet; nay, sometimes, more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the overleather. Lord. Heaven cease this idle humour in your ho
nour! O, that a mighty man, of such descent, of such poffessions, and so high esteem, Should be infused with so foul a spirit!
Str. What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher Sly, old Sly's son of Burton-heath;'
• Wil. And if your honour please to ride abroad, “ Ile fetch your luftie steedes more swift of pace “ Then winged Pegasus in all his pride, " That ran to swifilie over Persian plaines.
“ Tom. And if your honour please to hunt the deere, “ Your hounds stands readie cuppled at the docre, " Who in running will oretake the row, • And make the long-breathde tygre broken-winded.” STEVENS,
8_ small ale.] This beverage is mentioned in the accounts of the Stationers' Company in the year 1558: “ For a ftande of small ale ;" I suppose it was what we now call small beer, no mention of that liquor being made on the same books, though duble bere, and duble duble ale, are frequently recorded. Steevens.
It appears from The Captain, by Beaumont and Fletcher, Act IV. sc. ii. that fingle beer and small beer were synonymous terms.
MALONE. 9 of Burton-heath; Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot,] 'I suspect we should read — Barton-heath. Barton and Woodmancot, or, as it is vulgarly pronounced, Woncot, are both of ihem in Gloucestershire, near the residence of Shakspeare's old
by birth a pedler, by education a card-maker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now by present profeffion a tinker? Alk Marian Hacket, the fat alewife of Wincot, if the know me not: if she say I am not fourteen pence on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the lying'st knave in Christendom. What, I am not bestraught:3 Here's
enemy, Justice Shallow. Very probably too, this fat ale-wife might be a real character. STEEVENS.
Wilnecotte is a village in Warwickshire, with which Shakspeare was well acquainted, near Stratford. The house kept by our genial hofteis, still remains, but is at present a mill. The meanest hovel to which Shakspeare has an allusion, interests curiosity, and acquires an importance : at least, it becomes the object of a poetical antiquarian’s inquiries. T. WARTON.
Burton Dorset is a village in Warwickshire. Ritson.
Among Sir A. Cockayn's poems (as Dr. Farmer and Mr. Steevens have observed) there is an epigram on Sly and his ale, addressed to Mr. Clement Fisher of Wincot.
The text is undoubtedly right.
There is a village in Warwickshire called Barton on the Heath, where Mr. Dover, the founder of the Cotswold games, lived.
MALONE. 2 - I am not bestraught :) I once thought that if our poet did not design to put a corrupted word into the mouth of the Tinker, we ought to read-distraught, i. e. distracted. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught," &c. For there is no verb extant from which the participle bestraught can be formed. In Albisn's England, however, by Warner, 1602, I meet with the word as spelt by Shakspeare: “ Now teares had drowned further speech, till she as one
bestrought “ Did crie," &c. Again, in the old Song, beginning, “ When griping grief,” &c. No. 53. Paradyfe of dainty Déuises, edit. 1576:
“ Be-straughted heads relyef hath founde." Again, in Lord Surrey's translation of the 4th Book of Virgil's Æneid: “ Well near bestraught, upstart his heare for dread.”
Loof banin my ancienk thee ange lunas.
I Serv. O, this it is that makes your lady mourn. 2 Serv. O, this it is that makes your servants
droop. Lord. Hence comes it that your kindred shun
your house, 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 musick? hark! Apollo plays,
[Mufick. And twenty caged nightingales do sing : Or wilt thou Neep? 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
foar Above the morning lark: Or wilt thou hunt? Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them, And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth. I Serv. Say, thou wilt course; thy greyhounds
are as swift As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe. 2 Serv. Doft thou love pictures? we will fetch
thee straight Adonis, painted by a running brook; And Cytherea all in sedges hid;
Befraught seems to have been synonymous to distraught or diftracted. See Minsheu's Dict. 1617: • Beftrae, a Lat. diftractus mente. Vi. Mad and Bedlam.” MALONE.
Which seem to move and wanton with her breath, Even as the waving sedges play with wind.
LORD. We'll show thee Io, as she was a maid; And how she was beguiled and surpris’d, As lively painted as the deed was done. 3 Serv. Or Daphne, roaming through a thorny
wood; Scratching her legs, that one shall swear she bleeds: And at that fight shall sad Apollo weep, So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.
Lord. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord:
Slr. Am I a lord ? and have I such a lady?
your hands ?
Servants present an ewer, bafon, 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.
Sir. These fifteen years! by my fay, a But did I never speak of all that time?