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Lord. Thou art a fool ; if Echo were as fleet,
1 Hun. I will, my lord.
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, Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers, A most delicious banquet by his bed, And brave attendants near him when he wakes, Would not the beggar then forget himself? 1 Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot
choose. 2 Hun. It would seem strange unto him when
he wak'd. Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless
fancy. Then take him up, and manage well the jest: Carry him gently to my fairest chamber, And hang it round with all my wanton pictures : Balm his foul head with warm distilled waters, And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet : Procure me musick ready when he wakes, To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound ; And if he chance to speak, be ready straight, And, with a low submissive reverence, Say,–What is it your honour will command ? Let one attend him with a silver bason, Full of rose-water, and bestrew'd with flowers ;
Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
i 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, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
Re-enter a Servant.
An it please your honour,
Now, fellows, you are welcome. 1 Play. We thank your honour. Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? 8 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
duty. Lord. With all my heart.- This fellow I remem
ber, Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son ;'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well : I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform’d.
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 our
selves, Were he the veriest antick in the world.
Lord. Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery.”
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.” But 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, Condelle, &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:
(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, Such as he hath observ'd 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 restor'd to health, Who, for twice 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, 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 chąir 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,
3 An onion-] It is not unlikely that the onion was an expes dient used by the actors of interludes.