Sly i’ll pheeze you, in faith




НазваниеSly i’ll pheeze you, in faith
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120 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 conveyed

Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.

125 See this dispatched with all the haste thou canst:

Anon I’ll give thee more instructions.



That’s just how I want him to behave toward the drunkard, speaking in a low, soft voice and in humble, courteous tones and saying fancy stuff like, “What does your Honor wish to command your lady, your humble wife, to do to show her devotion and demonstrate her love?” Tell him to give the drunkard fond embraces and alluring kisses, and lay his head on the other man’s breast, weeping like a woman overjoyed to see a husband restored to health who for the last seven years has imagined he was no better than a poor, pathetic beggar. The boy may lack a woman’s gift for weeping at will, so it might be good to have an onion handy, hidden in a handkerchief. That’ll make his eyes stream. Get this done as quickly as you can. I’ll give you more instructions later.



Exit a servingman



A servant exits.


130 I know the boy will well usurp the grace,

Voice, gait, and action of a gentlewoman.

I long to hear him call the drunkard “husband,”

And how my men will stay themselves from laughter

When they do homage to this simple peasant.

I’ll in to counsel them. Haply my presence

May well abate the over-merry spleen

Which otherwise would grow into extremes.



I know the boy will be a convincing gentlewoman, taking up her exact walk and talk and gentle gestures. I can’t wait to hear him call the drunkard “husband,” and to watch my men smother their laughter as they pay their respects to this simple peasant. I’ll go and coach them. My presence may put a damper on their high spirits, which might otherwise get out of control.

Exeunt



They all exit.


Induction, Scene 2


Enter aloft SLY, the drunkard, with Attendants, some with apparel, others with basin and ewer and other appurtenances, and LORD dressed as an attendant.



SLY appears above the stage. He is attended by several servants, some carrying clothing and others a basin, pitcher, and other accessories. The LORD also enters disguised as a servant.


SLY

For God’s sake, a pot of small ale.

SLY

For God’s sake, would someone bring me a mug of beer!


FIRST SERVANT

Will ’t please your Lordship drink a cup of sack?

FIRST SERVANT

Wouldn’t your Lordship prefer some imported wine?


SECOND SERVANT

Will ’t please your Honor taste of these conserves?

SECOND SERVANT

Would your Honor like to try this dried fruit?


THIRD SERVANT

What raiment will your Honor wear today?

THIRD SERVANT

What garment would your Honor like to wear today?


5 SLY

I am Christophero Sly. Call not me “Honor” nor “Lordship.” I ne'er

drank sack in my life. An 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 sometime more feet than shoes,

or such shoes as my toes look through the over-leather.

SLY

I’m Christopher Sly. Don’t call me “your Honor” and “your Lordship.” I’ve never had imported wine in my life, and if you want to bring me something “dried,” try beef jerky. Why ask me what “garment” I’ll wear? I have no more jackets than I have backs, no more leggings than I have legs, and no more shoes than I have feet—in fact, sometimes I have fewer shoes than feet, as I’m not sure the ones where my toes stick out can be called “shoes.”


LORD

Heaven cease this idle humor in your Honor!

Oh, that a mighty man of such descent,

Of such possessions and so high esteem,

Should be infusèd with so foul a spirit!

LORD

May Heaven put an end to this foolish fantasy of your Honor’s! How terrible that a man of your influence and noble family, with so much wealth and an excellent reputation, should be infected with such a horrible illness!


SLY

What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher Sly, old Sly’s

son of Burton Heath, by birth a peddler, by education a cardmaker,

by transmutation a bearherd, and now by present profession 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 lying’st knave in Christendom. What! I am

not bestraught! Here’s—

SLY

What, are you trying to make me crazy? I’m Christopher Sly, son of old Sly of Barton-on-Heath, a peddler by birth, a cardmaker by trade, a keeper of trained bears by bad luck, and now, by present profession, a tinker. Go ask Marian Hacket, the fat innkeeper of Wincot. She knows me! She’ll tell you about the tab I’ve run up— fourteen pence just for ale. If she doesn’t, call me the biggest liar in Christendom. I’m not crazy! Just look at how—

THIRD SERVANT

Oh, this it is that makes your lady mourn!

THIRD SERVANT

Oh, this is why your poor wife is mourning!


SECOND SERVANT

Oh, this is it that makes your servants droop!

SECOND SERVANT

And this is why your servants hang their heads in sorrow!


15 LORD

Hence comes it that your kindred shuns 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.

20 Wilt thou have music? Hark! Apollo plays,

LORD

And this is why your relatives never visit, frightened away by this unnatural insanity of yours. Oh noble lord, consider your lineage. Try to recall your former state of mental health and forget these crass, lowly desires. Look how your servants wait on you, each one ready to do whatever you command. Would you care to hear some music? Listen! That’s Apollo playing.

Music



Music plays.


And twenty cagèd nightingales do sing:

Or wilt thou sleep? We’ll have thee to a couch

Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed

On purpose trimmed up for Semiramis.

25 Say thou wilt walk, we will bestrew the ground.

Or wilt thou ride? Thy horses shall be trapped,

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?

30 Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them

And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.



And those birds you hear—twenty caged nightingales. Do you want to sleep? We’ll have a couch made up that’s softer and more fragrant even than the bed of lustful Semiramis. Say you want to take a walk, and we’ll sprinkle the ground with flowers. Or do you want to go horseback riding? Your horses will be adorned with harnesses decorated in gold and pearls. Do you like hawking? You have hawks that can soar higher than the morning lark. Or do you want to hunt? Your hounds will make the sky echo with their high-pitched voices


FIRST SERVANT

Say thou wilt course. Thy greyhounds are as swift

As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.

FIRST SERVANT

If you care to hunt rabbits, your greyhounds are as swift as healthy stags and faster than young deer.


SECOND SERVANT

Dost thou love pictures? We will fetch thee straight

35 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.

SECOND SERVANT

Do you like pictures? We’ll be right back with one of Adonis stretched out beside a rushing brook, with Venus spying on him, hidden in rushes that seem to move and undulate with her lustful sighs, like grass waving in the wind.

LORD

We’ll show thee Io as she was a maid

40 And how she was beguileèd and surprised,

As lively painted as the deed was done.

LORD

There’s one that shows Io as a maid, before she was turned into a cow, in which Jupiter tricks and takes her. It’s so realistic, it seems to be happening right before your eyes.

THIRD SERVANT

Or Daphne roaming through a thorny wood,

Scratching her legs that one shall swear she bleeds,

And at that sight shall sad Apollo weep,

45 So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.

THIRD SERVANT

There’s one of Daphne running through the woods, her legs so scratched by thorns that Apollo himself would weep at the sight. You’ll swear the blood and tears are real.

LORD

Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord.

Thou hast a lady far more beautiful

Than any woman in this waning age.

LORD

You are nothing less than a lord. You have a noble wife who is much more beautiful than any other woman in this declining age.

FIRST SERVANT

And till the tears that she hath shed for thee

50 Like envious floods o'errun her lovely face,

She was the fairest creature in the world—

And yet she is inferior to none.

FIRST SERVANT

Before she began shedding tears all over her lovely face, she was the fairest creature in the world—and even now she has no equal.

SLY

Am I a lord, and have I such a lady?

Or do I dream? Or have I dreamed till now?

55 I do not sleep: I see, I hear, I speak.

I smell sweet savors and I feel soft things.

Upon my life, I am a lord indeed

And not a tinker, nor Christopher Sly.

Well, bring our lady hither to our sight,

60 And once again, a pot o' the smallest ale.

SLY

I’m really a lord? And do I really have a wife like that? Is this a dream? Or has everything up till now been a dream? I don’t seem to be asleep: I can see and hear and speak. I can smell sweet smells and feel things that are soft to the touch. I’ll be damned! I guess I really am a lord and not a tinker, and not Christopher Sly, either. Well, bring my wife to me. Oh, and don’t forget the beer.

SECOND SERVANT

Will ’t please your Mightiness to wash your hands?

O, how we joy to see your wit restored!

O, that once more you knew but what you are!

These fifteen years you have been in a dream

65 Or, when you waked, so waked as if you slept.

SECOND SERVANT

Would your Mightiness care to wash his hands? We’re overjoyed to see you sane again. If only you had a clearer memory of who you are! These past fifteen years you have been living in a dream, and even when you were awake, it was as though you slept.

SLY

These fifteen years! By my fay, a goodly nap.

But did I never speak of all that time?

SLY

Fifteen years! That’s some nap. But I never spoke the whole time?

FIRST SERVANT

O, yes, my lord, but very idle words.

For though you lay here in this goodly chamber,

70 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,

Because she brought stone jugs and no sealed quarts.

Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket.

FIRST SERVANT

Oh yes, you spoke, my lord, but total nonsense. For instance, you’d be lying here in this comfortable room, but you’d say that you were being thrown out of some tavern and would shout at a landlady about how you were going to take her to court for cheating you. Sometimes you would call out for one Cicely Hacket.

SLY

75 Ay, the woman’s maid of the house.

SLY

Yes, the landlady’s maid.

THIRD SERVANT

Why, sir, you know no house nor no such maid,

Nor no such men as you have reckoned up,

As Stephen Sly and old John Naps of Greece,

And Peter Turph and Henry Pimpernell,

80 And twenty more such names and men as these,

Which never were, nor no man ever saw.

THIRD SERVANT

But sir, there is no such house, no such maid, and no such men as you have dreamed up, like a certain Stephen Sly and one old John Naps of Greece, a Peter Turph, one “Henry Pimpernell,” and twenty more men of this sort—who never actually existed


SLY

Now Lord be thanked for my good amends!

SLY

Well, thank God I’m cured!

ALL

Amen.

ALL

Amen.

SLY

I thank thee. Thou shalt not lose by it.

SLY

I thank you all. You won’t regret this.

Enter the PAGE as a lady, with attendants



The PAGE enters, disguised as a noble lady and accompanied by servants.

PAGE

85 How fares my noble lord?

PAGE

How is my noble lord?

SLY

Marry, I fare well,

For here is cheer enough. Where is my wife?

SLY

Not bad, actually. This is all quite pleasant. Where is my wife?

PAGE

Here, noble lord. What is thy will with her?

PAGE

Here, noble lord. What is your wish with regard to her?
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