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1 Serv. Will 't please your lordship drink a cup of sack? 2 Serv. Will 't please your honour taste of these conserves?

3 Serv. What raiment will your honour wear to-day? 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 stockings than legs, nor no more shoes than feet; nay, sometimes, more

“ Enter two with a table and a banquet on it, and two other, with Slie asleepe in a chaire, richlie apparelled, and the musick plai


"One. So, sirha, now go call my lord;

“ And tell him all things are ready as he will'd it.

"Another. Set thou some wine upon the boord,

"And then Ile go fetch my lord presently.

"Enter the Lord and his men.

"Lord. How now, what is all things readie?

"One. Yea, my lord.


"Lord. Then sound the musicke, and Ile wake him strait, "And see you doe as earst I gave in charge.

"My lord, my lord, (he sleeps soundly) my lord.

"Slie. Tapster, 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 honour, my lord.

"Slie. Who I, am I a lord?-Iesus, what fine apparell have I


"Lord. More richer far your honour hath to weare, "And if it please you, I will fetch them straight. "Wil. And if your honour please to ride abroad, "Ile fetch your lustie steedes more swift of pace "Then winged Pegasus in all his pride,

"That ran so swiftlie over Persian plaines.

"Tom. And if your honour please to hunt the deere, "Your hounds stands readie cuppled at the doore, "Who in running will oretake the row,

“And make the long-breathde tygre broken-winded." Steevens.

6 small ale.] This beverage is mentioned in the accounts of the Stationers' Company in the year 1558: "For a stande 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 single beer and small beer were synonymous terms. Malone.

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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-heath;7 by birth a pedler, 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


7 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 them in Gloucestershire, near the residence of Shakspeare's old 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 hostess, 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.


There is likewise a village in Warwickshire called Burton Hastings.

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.


8 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 Albion'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. Steevens,

1 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

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, [Musick.
And twenty caged nightingales do sing:

Or wilt thou sleep? we 'll have thee to a couch,
Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed

for Semiramis.

On purpose trimm'd up
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.

1 Serv. Say, thou wilt course; thy greyhounds are as swift

As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.

2 Serv. Dost thou love pictures? we will fetch thee straight

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 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 sight shall sad Apollo weep,

So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.

Lord. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord:

Bestraught seems to have been synonymous to distraught or distracted. See Minshieu's Dict. 1617: "Bestract, a Lat. distractus mente. Vi. Mad and Bedlam." Malone.

Thou hast a lady far more beautiful

Than any woman in this waning age.

1 Serv. And, till the tears that she hath shed for thee, Like envious floods, o'er-ran 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.

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

[Servants present an ewer, bason, 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.
Sly. These fifteen years! by my fay, a goodly nap.
But did I never speak of all that time?

1 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 her at the leet,

leet,] At the Court-leet, or courts of the manor. Johnson. And say, you would present her at the leet,

Because she brought stone jugs, and no seal'd quarts:] The leet is the Court-leet, or View of frank pledge, held anciently once a-year, within a particular hundred, manor, or lordship, before the steward of the leet. See Kitchen, On Courts, 4th edit. 1663: "The residue of the matters of the charge which ensue," says that writer, on Court Leets, p. 21, "are enquirable and presentable, and also punishable in a leet." He then enumerates the various articles, of which the following is the twenty-seventh: "Also if tiplers sell by cups and dishes, or measures sealed, or not sealed, is inquirable." See also, Characterismi, or Lenton's Leasures, 12mo. 1631: "He [an informer] transforms himselfe into several shapes, to avoid suspicion of inne-holders, and inwardly joyes at the sight of a blacke pot or jugge, knowing that their sale by sealed quarts, spoyles his market." Malone.

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.

3 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,1
And Peter Turf, and Henry Pimpernell;

And twenty more such names and men as these,
Which never were, nor no man ever saw.

Sly. Now, Lord be thanked for my good amends!
All. Amen.2

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

Enter the Page, as a lady, with Attendants.3

Page. How fares my noble lord?

1 John Naps of Greece,] A hart of Greece, was a fat hart. Graisse, Fr. So, in the old ballad of Adam Bell, &c.

"Eche of them slew a hart of graece."

Again, in Ives's Select Papers, at the coronation feast of Elizabeth of York, queen of King Henry VII, among other dishes were capons of high Greece."


Perhaps this expression was used to imply that John Naps (who might have been a real character) was a fat man: or as Poins calls the associates of Falstaff, Trojans, John Naps might be called a Grecian for such another reason. Steevens.

For old John Naps of Greece, read-old John Naps o' th' Green. Blackstone.

The addition seems to have been a common one. So, in our author's King Henry IV, P. II:

"Who is next?—Peter Bullcalf of the Green.”


2 In this place, Mr. Pope, and after him other editors, had introduced the three following speeches, from the old play, 1607. I have already observed that it is by no means probable, that this former comedy of The Taming of the Shrew was written by Shakspeare, and have therefore removed them from the text: "Sly. By the mass, I think I am a lord indeed:

"What is thy name?

"Man. Sim, an it please your honour.

"Sly. Sim? that's as much as to say, Simeon, or Simon. "Put forth thy hand, and fill the pot." Steevens.

3 Enter the Page, &c.] Thus in the original play:

"Enter the Boy in woman's attire.

"Slie. Sim, is this she?

"Lord. I, my lord.

"Slie. Masse 'tis a pretty wench; what's her name?

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