Графични страници
PDF файл

Kate. But not for me, for here I meane to dine Ile haue my will in this as well as you, Though you in madding mood would leaue your frends Despite of you Ile tarry with thein still.

Feran. I Kute so thou shalt but at some other time, When as thy sisters here shall be espousd, Then thou and I will keepe our wedding day In better sort then now we can prouide,

For here I promise thee before them all,
We will ere long returne to them againe,
Come Kate stand not on termes we will awaie,
This is my day, tomorrow thou shalt rule,
And I will doo what euer thou commandes.
Gentlemen farwell, wele take our leues,
It will be late before that we come home.

Exit Perando and Kale."


(1) SCENE I.

He that knows better how to tame a shrew,

Now let him speak; 'tis charity to shew. [Exit.] Subjoined is the parallel scene of the older play:

guessed at the first, a man of small sapientia.' And Dulippo (the Lucentio of Shakespeare) as soon as he spies him coming, exclaims, “Is this he? go meet him : by my truth, HE LOOKS LIKE A GOOD SOUL, he that fisheth for him might be sure to catch a codshead.'" But, after all, as Mr. Singer observes, it is not necessary to depart from the reading of the old copy. Cotgrave explains Angelot à la grosse escaille, “An old angell ; and by metaphor a fellow of th' old, sound, honest, and worthie stamp." an ancient angel may here have meant only a good old simple soul. It is singular that, while so much consideration has been bestowed on this expression, one very similar in “The Tempest,” Act II. Sc. 1, " This ancient morsel,” should scarcely have been noticed.


(3) SCENE III.-Go, get thee gone, thou false deluding slave.) We subjoin the analogous scene from the original play :

Enter Ferando and Kate.
Peran. Now welcome Kate: Where's these villains
Here, what? not supper yet vppon the borde:
Nor table spred nor nothing don at all,
Wheres that villaine that I sent before.

San. Now, ad sum, sir.

Feran. Come hether you villaine Ile cut your nose,
You Rogue: helpe me of with my bootes : wilt please
You to lay the cloth? sounes the villaine
Hurts my foote? pull easely I say; yet againe.

He beates them all.

They couer the bord and fetch in the meate.
Sounes ? burnt and skorcht who drest this meate ?
Will. Forsouth Iohn cooke.
He throwes downe the table and meate and all, and beates


"Enter Sander and his Mistres.

Peran. Go you villaines bringe you me such meate,
Out of my sight I say and beare it hence,
Come Kate wele haue other meate prouided,
Is there a fire in my chamber sir ?
San. I forsooth.

Exit Ferando and Kate.
Manent seruing men and eate vp all the meate.
Tom. Sounes? I thinke of my conscience my Masters
Mad since he was maried.

Will. I last what a boxe he gaue Sander
For pulling of his bootes.

Enter Ferando againe,
San. I hurt his foote for the nonce man.
Feran. Did you so you damned villaine.

He beates them all out againe.
This humor must I holde me to awhile,
To bridle and holde backe my headstrong wife,
With curbes of hunger : ease : and want of sleepe,
Nor sleepe nor meate shall she inioie to night,
Ile mew her vp as men do mew their hawkes,
And make her gentlie come vnto the lure,
Were she as stuborne or as full of strength
As were the Thracian horse Alcides tamde,
That King Egeus fed with flesh of men,
Yet would I pull her downe and make her come
As hungry hawkes do flie vnto there lure.


San. Come Mistris.

Kate. Sander I prethe helpe me to some meate,
I am so faint that I can scarsely stande.

San. I marry mistris but you know my maister
Has giuen me a charge that you must eate nothing,
But ihat which he himselfe giueth you.

Kate. Why man thy Maister needs never know it.

San. You say true indede: why looke you Mistris,
What say you to a peese of beeffe and mustard now ?
Kale. Why I say tis excellent meate, canst thou helpe me to

San. I, I could helpe you to some but that
I doubt the mustard is too colerick for you,
But what say you to a sheepes head and garlick?

Kate. Why any thing, I care not what it be.

San. I but the garlike I doubt will make your breath stincke,
and then my maister will course me for letting
You eate it. But what say you to a fat Capon?

Kate. Thats meate for a King sweet Sander helpe
Me to some of it.

San. Nay ber lady then tis too deere for vs, we must
Not meddle with the Kings meate.

Kate. Out villaine dost thou mocke me,
Take that for thy sawsinesse.

She beates him.

(4) SCENE III.- Exeunt.] The incidents in the foregoing scene closely resemble those in the following one from the old piece; it is in their treatment that the pre-eminence of Shakespeare is recognised :


but at last I spied An ancient angel coming down the hill."] For upwards of a century, the expression, “An ancient angel,has been a puzzle to commentators. Theobald, Hanmer, and Warburton concurred in substituting engle, or enghle (the most innocent meaning of which is gull, or dupe) for “angel ;” and this word has been supported strenuously by Gifford. In a note to Jonson's Poetaster, Act II. Sc. 1, he quotes a passage from Gascoigne's Supposes, the play Shakespeare is thought to have been under obligations to for this part of the plot, which he considers decisive :-" There Erostrato, the Biondello of Shakespeare, looks out for a person to gull by an idle story, judges from appearances that he has found him, and is not deceived: :- At the foot of the hill I met a gentleman, and as methought by his habits and his looks he should be none of the wisest.' Again, this gentleman being, as I

"Enter Perando and Kate and Sander.
San. Master the haberdasher has brought my
Mistresse home hir cappe here.

Feran. Come hither sirra : what haue you there?
Habar. A veluet cappe sir and it please you.
Feran. Who spoake for it? didst thou Kate?

Kate. What if I did, come hither sirra, giue me
The cap, Ile see if it will fit me.

She sets it one hir heal!.
Peran. O monstrous, why it becomes thee not,
Let me see it Kate: here sirra take it hence,
This cappe is out of fashion quite.

Kate. The fashion is good inough: belike you
meane to make a foole of me.

Feran. Why true he meanes to make a foole of thee
To haue thee put on such a curtald cappe,
Sirra begon with it.

Hence againe, and Ile content thee for thy paines.
Taylor. I thanke you sir.

Exit Taylor.
Feran. Come Kate we now will go see thy fathers house
Euen in these honest meane abilliments,
Our purses shall be rich our garments plaine,
To shrowd our bodies from the winter rage,
And that's inough, what should we care for more
Thy sisters Kate to morrow must be wed,
And I haue promised them thou shouldst be there
The morning is well vp lets hast away,
It will be nine a clocke ere we come there.

Kate. Nine a clock, why tis allreadie past two
In the after noone by all the clocks in the towne.

Feran. I say tis but nine a clock in the morning.
Kate. I say tis two a clock in the after noone.

Feran. It shall be nine then ere we go to your fathers,
Come backe againe we will not go to day.
Nothing but crossing of me still,
Ile haue you say as I doo ere you go.

Exeunt Omnes."

Enter the Taylor with a gowne.
San. Here is the Taylor too with my Mistris gowne.

Feran. Let me see it Taylor: what with cuts and iagges.
Sounes you villaine, thou hast spoiled the gowne.

Taylor. Why sir I made it as your man gaue me direction.
You may reade the note here.

Feran. Come hither sirra Taylor reade the note.
Taylor. Item, a faire round compast cape.
San. I thats true.
Taylor. And a large truncke sleeue.
San. Thats a lie maister. I sayd two truncke sleeues.
Feran. Well sir goe forward.
Taylor. Item a loose bodied gowne.

San. Maister if euer I sayd loose bodies gowne,
Sew me in a seame and beate me to death,
With bottome of browne thred.

Taylor. I made it as the note bad me.

San. I say the note lies in his throute and thou too
And thou sayst it.

Taylor. Nay nay nere be so hot sirra, for I feare you not.
San. Doost thou heare Taylor, thou hast braued
Many men : braue not me.
Thou'st faste many men.

Taylor. Well sir.

San. Face not me le neither be faste nor braued.
At thy handes I can tell thee.

Kale. Come come I like the fashion of it well enough,
Heres more a do then needs Ile haue it, I
And if you do not like it hide your eies,
I thinke I shall haue nothing by your will.

Feran. Go I say and take it vp for your maisters vse.

San. Souns villaine not for thy life touch it not,
Souns take vp my mistris gowne to his
Maisters vse?

Feran. Well sir whats your conceit of it.
San. I haue a deeper conceite in it then you thinke for, take vp

my mistris gowne To his maisters vse?

Feran, Taylor come hether; for this time take it

(5) SCENE V.-Allots thee for his lovely bed-fellow /] Compare the opening of the original scene :

Feran. Come Kate the Moone shines cleare to night Methinkes.

Kate. The moone? why husband you are deceiued It is the sun.

Feran. Yet againe come backe againe it shall be
The moone ere we come at your fathers.

Kate. Why Ile say as you say it is the moone.
Feran. Iesus saue the glorious moone.
Kate. Iesus saue the glorious moone.
Feran. I am glad Kate your stomack is come downe,
I know it well thou knowest it is the sun,
But I did trie to see if thou wouldst speake,
And crosse me now as thou hast donne before,
And trust me Kale hadst thou not named the moone,
We had gon back againe as sure as death,
But soft whose this thats comming here."


(1) SCENE I.-Call forth an officer.] In the original the performance is interrupted at this point by the Tinker :Slie. I say wele haue no sending to prison.

and Sly is properly re-introduced in the same state in which he first appeared :

" Then enter two bearing of Slie in his

Owne apparrell againe and leaues him
Where they found, him, and then goes out.

Then enter the Tapster.
Tapster. Now that the darkesome night is ouerpast,
And dawning day appeares in chrystall sky,
Now must I hast abroad: but soft whose this?
What Slie oh wondrous hath he laine here allnight,
Ile wake him, I thinke he's starued by this,
But that his belly was so stuft with ale,
What how Slie, Awake for shame.

Slie. Sim gis some more wine, whats all the
Plaiers gon: am not I a Lord ?

Tapster. A lord with a murrin: come art thou dronken still?

Slie. Whose this? Tapster, oh Lord sirra, I haue had
The brauest dreame to night, that euer thou
Hardest in all thy life.

Tapsler. I marry but you had best get you home,
For your wife will course you for dreaming here tonight.

Slie. Will she? I know now how to tame a shrew,
I dreamt vpon it all this night till now,
And thou hast wakt me out of the best dreame
That euer I had in my life, but Ile to my
Wife presently and tame her too.
And if she anger me.

Tapster. Nay tarry Slie for Ile go home with thee,
And heare the rest that thou hast dreamt to night.

Exeunt Omnes.'

Lord. My Lord this is but the play, theyre but in iest.

Slie. I tell thee Sim wele haue no 'sending,
To prison thats flat: why Sim am not I Don Christo Vary? *
Therefore I say they shall not go to prison.

Lord. No more they shall not my Lord,
They be run away.

Slie. Are they run away Sim ? thats well,
Then gis some more drinke, and let them play againe.
Lord. Here my Lord.

Slie drinkes and then falls asleepe."

(2) SCENE II.-Exeunt.] Shakespeare's piece terminates here, and no more is heard of the inimitable Chri er. Whether this is owing to the latter portion of the Induction having been lost, or whether the poet purposely dismissed the Tinker and the characters of the apologue, before whom we were to suppose the comedy was played, in the first act, we shall probably never know. In the old drama, at the end, the scene is supposed to change from the nobleman's palace to the outside of the alohouse-door,

* Christo Vary ?) A humorous variation of Christopher; whence, probably, Shakespeare's Christophero Sly.




“From whatever source the Apologue to this drama may have been directly taken, we cannot but feel highly indebted to Shakspeare for its conversion into a lesson of exquisite moral irony, while, at the same time, it unfolds his wonted richness of humour, and minute delineation of character. The whole, indeed, is conducted with such lightness and frolic spirit, with so many happy touches of risible simplicity, yet chastised by so constant an adherence to nature and verisimilitude, as to form one of the most delightful and instructive sketches.

“So admirably drawn is the character of Sly, that we regret to find the interlocution of the group before whom the piece is supposed to be performed, has been dropped by our author after the close of the first scene of the play. Here we behold the jolly tinker nodding, and, at length, honestly exclaiming, 'Would 't were done!' and though the integrity of the representation requires that he should finally return to his former state, the transformation, as before, being effected during his sleep, yet we hear no more of this truly comic personage; whereas in the spurious play, he is frequently introduced commentiug on the scene, is carried off the stage fast asleep, and on the termination of the drama, undergoes the necessary metamorphosis. It would appear, therefore, either that our bard's continuation of the Induction has been unaccountably lost, or that he trusted the remainder of Sly's part to the improvisatory ingenuity of the performers; or, what is more likely, that they were instructed to copy a certain portion of what had been written, for this subordinate division of the tinker's character, by the author of the elder play. Some of the observations, indeed, of Sly, as given by the writer of this previous comedy, are incompatible with the fable and Dramatis Persona of Shakspeare's production ; and have, consequently, been very injudiciously introduced by Mr. Pope ; but there are two passages which, with the exception of but two names, are not only accordant with our poet's prelude, but absolutely necessary to its completion. Shakspeare, as we have seen, represents Sly as nodding at the end of the first scene, and the parts of the anonymous play to which we allude are those where the nobleman orders the sleeping tinker to be put into his own apparel again, and where he awakens in this garb, and believes the whole to have been a dream ; the only alterations required in this finale being the omission of the Christian appellative Sim, and the conversion of Tapster into Hostess. These few lines were, most probably, those which Shakspeare selected as a necessary accompaniment to his piece, from the old drama supposed to have been written in 1590 ;* and these lines should be withdrawn from the notes in all the modern editions, and though distinguished as borrowed property, should be immediately connected with the text.

“As to the play itself, the rapidity and variety of its action, the skilful connexion of its double plot, and the strength and vivacity of its principal characters, must for ever ensure its popularity. There is, indeed, a depth and breadth of colouring in its execution, a boldness and prominency of relief, which may be thought to border upon coarseness ; but the result has been an effect equally powerful and interesting, though occasionally, as the subject demanded, somewhat glaring and grotesque. Petruchio, Katharina, and Grumio, the most important personages of the play, are consistently supported throughout, and their peculiar features touched, and brought forward with singular sharpness and

[ocr errors]

*I suspect," says Mr. Malone, " that the anonymous • Taming of a Shrew was written about the year 1590, either

by George Peele or Robert Greene."

spirit; the wild fantastic humour of the first, the wayward and insolent demeanour of the second, contrasted with the meek, modest, and retired disposition of her sister, together with the inextinguishable wit and drollery of the third, form a picture, at once rich, varied, and pre-eminently diverting.”


“« The Taming of the Shrew' has the air of an Italian comedy: and indeed, the love of intrigue, which constitutes the main part of it, is derived, mediately or immediately, from a piece of Ariosto. The characters and passions are lightly sketched ; the intrigue is introduced without much preparation, and in its rapid progress impeded by no sort of difficulties; however, in the manner in which Petruchio, though previously cautioned respecting Katharine, still runs the risk of marrying her, and contrives to tame her, the character and peculiar humour of the English are visible. The colours are laid somewhat coarsely on,

but the ground is good. That the obstinacy of a young and untamed girl, possessed of none of the attractions of her sex, and neither supported by bodily nor mental strength, must soon yield to the still rougher and more capricious but assumed self-will of a man: such a lesson can only be taught on the stage, with all the perspicuity of a proverb.

“ The prelude is still more remarkable than the play itself: the drunken tinker removed in his sleep to a palace, where he is deceived into the belief of being a nobleman. The invention, however, is not Shakspeare's ; Holberg has handled the same subject in a masterly manner, and with inimitable truth ; but he has spun it out to five acts, for which the matter is hardly sufficient. He probably did not borrow from the English dramatist, but like him took the hint from a popular story. There are several comic motives of this description, which go back to a very remote age, without ever becoming antiquated.-Shakspeare proves himself here, as well as everywhere else, a great poet: the whole is merely a light sketch, but in elegance and nice propriety it will hardly ever be excelled. Neither has he overlooked the irony which the subject naturally suggested to him, that the great lord who is driven by idleness and ennui to deceive a poor drunkard, can make no better use of his situation than the latter who every moment relapses into his vulgar habits. The last half of this prelude, that in which the tinker in his new state again drinks himself out of his senses, and is transformed in his sleep into his former condition, from some accident or other is lost. It ought to have followed at the end of the larger piece. The occasional observations of the tinker, during the course of the representation of the comedy, might have been improvisatory ; but it is hardly credible that Shakspeare should have trusted to the momentary suggestions of the players, which he did not hold in high estimation, the conclusion of a work, however short, which he had so carefully commenced. Moreover, the only circumstance which connects the prelude with the play, is that it belongs to the new life of the supposed nobleman, to have plays acted in his castle by strolling actors. This invention of introducing spectators on the stage, who contribute to the entertainment, has been very wittily used by later English poets."SCHLEGEL.

[graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]
« ПредишнаНапред »