Графични страници
PDF файл


The same. Before Hortensio's House.


PET. Verona, for a while I take my leave,
To see my friends in Padua ; but, of all,
My best beloved and approved friend,
Hortensio; and, I trow, this is his house :-
Here, sirrah Grumio; knock, I say.

GRU. Knock, sir! whom should I knock? is there any man has rebused your worship?" PET. Villain, I say, knock me here soundly. GRU. Knock you here, sir? why, sir, what am I, sir, that I should knock you here, sir?

PET. Villain, I say, knock me at this gate, And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's pate. GRU. My master is grown quarrelsome: I should knock you first,

And then I know after who comes by the worst. PET. Will it not be?

'Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll wring it ;' I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it.

[He wrings GRUMIO by the ears.

- has rebused your worship?] What is the meaning of rebused? or is it a false print for abused? TYRWHITT.

• Knock you here,] Grumio's pretensions to wit have a strong resemblance to those of Dromio in The Comedy of Errors; and this circumstance makes it the more probable that these two plays were written at no great distance of time from each other.

[ocr errors][merged small]

7 -wring it;] Here seems to be a quibble between ringing at a door, and wringing a man's ears.


[ocr errors]


GRU. Help, masters, help! my master is mad. PET. Now, knock when I bid you: sirrah! villain!


HOR. How now? what's the matter?-My old friend Grumio! and my good friend Petruchio!— How do you all at Verona ?

PET. Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray?

Con tutto il core bene trovato, may I say.

HOR. Alla nostra casa bene venuto,

Molto honorato signor mio Petruchio.

Rise, Grumio, rise; we will compound this quarrel. GRU. Nay, 'tis no matter, what he 'leges in Latin. If this be not a lawful cause for me to

• Help, masters,] The old copy reads-here; and in several other places in this play mistress, instead of masters. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. In the MSS. of our author's age, M was the common abbreviation of Master and Mistress. Hence the mistake. See The Merchant of Venice, Act V. 1600, and 1623: "What ho, M. [Master] Lorenzo, and M. [Mistress]


Lorenzo." MALONE.

what he 'leges in Latin.] i. e. I suppose, what he alleges in Latin. Petruchio has been just speaking Italian to Hortensio, which Grumio mistakes for the other language. STEEVENS.

I cannot help suspecting that we should read-Nay, 'tis no matter what be leges in Latin, if this be not a lawful cause for me to leave his service. Look you, sir.-That is, 'Tis no matter what is law, if this be not a lawful cause," &c. TYRWHITT.

Tyrwhitt's amendment and explanation of this passage is evidently right. Mr. Steevens appears to have been a little absent when he wrote his note on it. He forgot that Italian was Grumio's native language, and that therefore he could not possibly mistake it for Latin. M. MASON.

I am grateful to Mr. M. Mason for his hint, which may prove

leave his service,-Look you, sir,-he bid me knock
him, and rap him soundly, sir: Well, was it fit for
a servant to use his master so; being, perhaps, (for
aught I see,) two and thirty,-a pip out?"
Whom, 'would to God, I had well knock'd at first,
Then had not Grumio come by the worst.

PET. A senseless villain!-Good Hortensio,
I bade the rascal knock upon your gate,
And could not get him for my heart to do it.

GRU. Knock at the gate?-O heavens! Spake you not these words plain,-Sirrah, knock me here,

Rap me here, knock me well, and knock me soundly?" And come you now with-knocking at the gate? PET. Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you. HOR. Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's pledge:

beneficial to me on some future occasion, though at the present moment it will not operate so forcibly as to change my opinion. I was well aware that Italian was Grumio's native language, but was not, nor am now, certain of our author's attention to this circumstance, because his Italians necessarily speak English throughout the play, with the exception of a few colloquial sentences. So little regard does our author pay to petty proprieties, that as often as Signior, the Italian appellation, does not occur to him, or suit the measure of his verse, he gives us in its room, "Sir Vincentio,” and “ Sir Lucentio." Steevens.

. 1

a pip out?] The old copy has-peepe. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.


-knock me soundly?] Shakspeare seems to design a ridicule on this clipped and ungrammatical phraseology; which yet he has introduced in Othello:

" I

pray talk me of Cassio."

It occurs again, and more improperly, in heroic translation :

upon advantage spide,

"Did wound me Molphey on the leg," &c.

Arthur Golding's Ovid, B. V. p. 66, b.


Why, this a heavy chance 'twixt him and you;3 Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio. And tell me now, sweet friend,-what happy gale Blows you to Padua here, from old Verona ?

PET. Such wind as scatters young men through the world,

To seek their fortunes further than at home,
Where small experience grows. But, in a few,*
Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me :-
Antonio, my father, is deceas'd;

And I have thrust myself into this maze,
Haply to wive, and thrive, as best I may:
Crowns in my purse I have, and goods at home,
And so am come abroad to see the world.

HOR. Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee,

And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favour'd wife?
Thoud'st thank me but a little for my counsel:
And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich,
And very rich :-but thou'rt too much my friend,
And I'll not wish thee to her.

PET. Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as


Few words suffice: and, therefore, if thou know One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife, (As wealth is burthen of my wooing dance,)


Why, this a heavy chance &c.] I should read:

Why this so heavy chance &c. M. MASON.

• Where small experience grows. But, in a few,] In a few, means the same as in short, in few words. JOHNSON. So, in King Henry IV. Part II:

"In few ;-his death, whose spirit lent a fire," &c.

STEEVENS. (As wealth is burthen of my wooing dance,)] The burthen of a dance is an expression which I have never heard; the burthen of his wooing song had been more proper. JOHNSON.


Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,"
As old as Sybil, and as curst and shrewd

* Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,] I suppose this alludes to the story of a Florentine, which is met with in the eleventh Book of Thomas Lupton's Thousand Notable Things, and perhaps in other Collections:

"39. A Florentine young gentleman was so deceived by the lustre and orientness of her jewels, pearls, rings, lawns, scarfes, laces, gold spangles, and other gaudy devices, that he was ravished overnight, and was mad till the marriage was solemnized. But next morning by light viewing her before she was so gorgeously trim'd up, she was such a leane, yellow, riveled, deformed creature, that he never lay with her, nor lived with her afterwards; and would say that he had married himself to a stinking house of office, painted over, and set out with fine garments: and so for grief consumed away in melancholy, and at last poysoned himself. Gomesius, Lib. 3, de Sal. Gen. cap. 22.”


The allusion is to a story told by Gower in the first Book De Confessione Amantis. Florent is the name of a knight who had bound himself to marry a deformed hag, provided she taught him the solution of a riddle on which his life depended. The following is the description of her:

"Florent his wofull heed up lifte,

"And saw this vecke, where that she sit,
"Which was the lothest wighte

"That ever man caste on his eye:

"Hir nose baas, hir browes hie,
"Hir eyes small, and depe sette,
"Hir chekes ben with teres wette,
“And rivelyn as an empty skyn,
"Hangyng downe unto the chyn;
"Hir lippes shronken ben for age,
"There was no grace in hir visage.
"Hir front was narowe, hir lockes hore,
"She loketh foorth as doth a more:

"Hir necke is shorte, hir shulders courbe,
"That might a mans luste distourbe:
"Hir bodie great, and no thyng small,

"And shortly to descrive hir all,
"She hath no lith without a lacke,
"But like unto the woll sacke:" &c.-

Though she be the fouleste of all," &c.

This story might have been borrowed by Gower from an older

« ПредишнаНапред »