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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.