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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,
"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. 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."
"Lord. For your honor, my lord.
"Slie. Who I, am I a lord?-Iesus, what fine apparell have I got!
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.
It appears from The Captain, by Beaumont and Fletcher, Act IV. sc. ii. that single beer and small beer were synonymous terms.
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 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,
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 pro
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. RITSON.
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.
fession a tinker? Ask Marian Hacket, the fat alewife 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
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 house,
As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
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
Again, in the old song, beginning: "When griping grief," &c. No. 53. Paradyse of dainty Deuises, edit. 1576: "Be-straughted heads relyef hath founde."
Again, in Lord Surrey's translation of the 4th Book of Virgil's Eneid:
"Well near bestraught, upstart his heare for dread." STEEVENS.
Bestraught seems to have been synonymous to distraught or distracted. See Minsheu's DICT. 1617: "Bestract, a Lat. distractus mente. Vi. Mad and Bedlam." Malone.
Wilt thou have musick? hark! Apollo plays,
And twenty caged nightingales do sing:
On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis.
Say, thou wilt walk; we will bestrew the ground:
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 :
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:
LORD. Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord : 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,
SLY. Am I a lord? and have I such a lady?
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
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.
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