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Cockayn. I knew Sir Aston was much acquainted with the writers immediately subsequent to Shakspeare; and I was not inclined to dispute his authority: but how was I surprised, when I found that Cockayn ascribes nothing more to Shakspeare, than the Induction-Wincot-Ale and the Beggar! I hope this was only a slip of Mr. Capell's memory. FARMER.
The following is Sir Aston's Epigram:
"TO MR. CLEMENT FISHER, of Wincot.
Shakspeare your Wincot-ale hath much renown'd,
"But you affirm (and in it seem most eager)
Sir A. Cockayn's Poems, 1659, p. 124.
In spite of the great deference which is due from every commentator to Dr. Farmer's judgment, I own I cannot concur with him on the present occasion. I know not to whom I could impute this comedy, if Shakspeare was not its author. I think his hand is visible in almost every scene, though perhaps not so evidently as in those which pass between Katharine and Petruchio.
I once thought that the name of this play might have been taken from an old story, entitled, The Wyflapped in Morells Skin, or The Taming of a Shrew; but I have since discovered among the entries in the books of the Stationers' Company the following: "Peter Shorte] May 2, 1594, a pleasaunt conceyted hystorie, called, The Taminge of a Shrowe." It is likewise entered to Nich. Ling, Jan. 22, 1606; and to John Smythwicke, Nov. 19, 1607.
It was no uncommon practice among the authors of the age of Shakspeare, to avail themselves of the titles of ancient performances. Thus, as Mr. Warton has observed, Spenser sent out his Pastorals under the title of The Shepherd's Kalendar, a work which had been printed by Wynken de Worde, and reprinted about twenty years before these poems of Spenser appeared, viz. 1559.
Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, is of opinion, that The Frolicksome Duke, or the Tinker's Good Fortune, an ancient ballad in the Pepys' Collection,
might have suggested to Shakspeare the Induction for this comedy.
The following story, however, which might have been the parent of all the rest, is related by Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 649: "A Tartar Prince, saith Marcus Polus, Lib. II. cap. 28, called Senex de Montibus, the better to establish his government amongst his subjects, and to keepe them in awe, found a convenient place in a pleasant valley environed with hills, in which he made a delitious parke full of odorifferous flowers and fruits, and a palace full of all worldly contents that could possibly be devised, musicke, pictures, variety of meats, &c. and chose out a certaine young man whom with a soporiferous potion he so benummed, that he perceived nothing; and so, fast asleepe as he was, caused him to be conveied into this faire garden. Where, after he had lived a while in all such pleasures a sensuall man could desire, he cast him into a sleepe againe, and brought him forth, that when he waked he might tell others he had beene in Paradise."-Marco Paolo, quoted by Burton, was a traveller of the 13th century.
Chance, however, has at last furnished me with the original to which Shakspeare was indebted for his fable; nor does this discovery at all dispose me to retract my former opinion, which the reader may find at the conclusion of the play. Such parts of the dialogue as our author had immediately imitated, I have occasionally pointed out at the bottom of the page; but must refer the reader, who is desirous to examine the whole structure of the piece, to Six old Plays on which Shakspeare founded, &c. published by S. Leacroft, at Charing-cross, as a Supplement to our commentaries on Shakspeare.
Beaumont and Fletcher wrote what may be called a sequel to this comedy, viz. The Woman's Prize, or the Tamer Tam'd; in which Petruchio is subdued by a second wife. STEEVENS.
Among the books of my friend the late Mr. William Collins of Chichester, now dispersed, was a collection of short comick stories in prose, printed in the black letter under the year 1570: "sett forth by maister Richard Edwards, mayster of her Majesties revels." Among these tales was that of the INDUCTION OF THE TINKER in Shakspeare's Taming of the Shrew; and perhaps Edwards's story-book was the immediate source from which Shakspeare, or rather the author of the old Taming of a Shrew, drew that diverting apologue. If I recollect right, the circumstances almost tallied with an incident which Heuterus relates from an epistle of Ludovicus Vives to have actually happened at the marriage of Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy,
about the year 1440. That perspicuous annalist, who flourished about the year 1580, says, this story was told to Vives by an old officer of the Duke's court. T. WARTON.
See the earliest English original of this story, &c. at the conclusion of the play. STEEVENS.
Our author's Taming of the Shrew was written, I imagine, in 1594. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. MALONE.
Christopher Sly, a drunken Tinker.
Hostess, Page, Players, Huntsmen, (Persons in the and other Servants attending on the Lord.
Baptista, a rich Gentleman of Padua.
Vincentio, an old Gentleman of Pisa.
Lucentio, Son to Vincentio, in love with Bianca. Petruchio, a Gentleman of Verona, a Suitor to Katharina.
Gremio, Suitors to Bianca.
Pedant, an old Fellow set up to personate Vincentio.
Katharina, the Shrew;
Bianca, her Sister,
}Daughters to Baptista.
Tailor, Haberdasher, and Servants attending on Baptista and Petruchio.
SCENE, sometimes in Padua; and sometimes in Petruchio's House in the Country.