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A Lord, before whom the play is suppos’d to be play'd.
, a Tinker. Hostess. Page, Players, Huntsmen, and other Servants attending on
Baptista, Father to Catharina and Bianca ; Dery rich.
Hortensio, } Pretenders to Bianca.
Catharina, the Shrew.
Taylor, Haberdasher ; with Servants attending on Bap
tista, and Petruchio.
SCENE, fometimes in Padua ; and sometimes in Pe
truchio's House in the Country.
"LL pheese you,' in faith.
Host. A pair of stocks, you rogue !
Sly. Y'are a baggage ; the Slies are no‘rogues, Look in the Chronicles, we came in with Richard
We have hitherto supposed Shakespeare the author of the Taming of the Shrew, but his property in it is extremely disput. able. I will give you my opinion, and the reasons on which it is founded. I suppose then the present play not originally the work of Shakespeare, but restored by him to the stage, with the whole Induction of the Tinker; and some other occasional improvements; especially in the character of Petruchio. It is very obvious that the Induction and the Play were either the works of different hands, or written at a great interval of time. The former is in our author's best manner, and a great part of the latter in his wors, or even below it. Dr. Warburton declares it to be certainly spurious ; and without doubt jupposing it to have been written by Shakespeare, it must have been one of his earliest productions. Yet it is not mentioned in the list of his works by Meres
I have met with a facetious piece of fir John Harrington, printed in 1596, (and possibly there may be an earlier edition) called The Metamorphoses of Ajax, where I suspect an allusion
Conqueror. Therefore, paucas pallabris; } let the world fide: Seja.
Hoft. to the old play ; " Read the booke of Tuming a Shrew, which hath made a number of us so perfect, that now every one can rule a shrew in our countrey, fave he that hath hir.”-I am aware a anodern linguift may object that the word took does not at present seem di amatick, but it was once technically fo : Gosfon in his Schocle of Abuse, containing a pleasuunt Inuective against Poets, Pipers, Players, Jefers, and fuch like Caterpillars of a common. wealth, 1579, mentions“ twoo piofe tankes played at the Bellsauage:" and Hearne tells us, in a note at the end of William of Worceller, that he had seen a MS. in the nature of a Play or laterlude, intitled the booke of úr Thomas Meure.''
And in fact there is such an old anonymous play, in Mr. Pope's lift: “A pleafunt conceited history, calles, The Taming of a Shrew-fundry times acted by the earl of Pembroke his fervants.” Which seems to have been republished by the remains of that company in 1607, when Shakespeare's copy appeared at the BlackFriars or the Globe.--Nor let this seem derogatory from the character of our poet. There is no reason to believe that he wanted to claim the play as his own; for it was not even printed till some years after his death ; but he merely revived it on his stage as a manager. FARMER.
In spite of the great deference which is due from every commen. tator to Mr. Farmer's judgment, I own I cannot entirely concur with him on the present occasion. I know not to whom I could impute this comedy, if Shakespeare was not the author of it. I think his hand is visible in almost every fcene, though perhaps not so evidently as in those which pass between Catherine and Pe. trochio,
The title of this play was probably taken from an old story, entitled, The Wyf lapped in Morel's skin, or The Taming of a Sbrew.
STEEVENS. " I'll pherfe you,---) To pheeze or reale, is to fcparate a twist into fingle threads. In the figurative fenie it may well enough be taken, like traze or toze, for io ! arrass, to plegue. Perhaps l'! pbeeze you, may be equivalent to l'il comb your lead, a phrase volgarly used by persons of Sly's character on like occafiors. The following explanation of the word is given by Sir Tho. Smyth in his book de Sermone Anglico, printed by Robert Stephens, 40. To feize, means in fila dilucere. Johnsen.
Shakespeare repeats his use of the word in Troilus and Creffida, where Ajax says he will phrase the pride of Achilles; and Love.
Hoft. You will not pay for the glasses you have
burst? + Sly. No, not a denier: Go by, Jeronimy go to thy cold bed, and warm thee. 5
Host, wit in the Alchemist employs it in the same sense. Again in Puttenham's Art of Poetry, 1589; 5. Your pride serves you to feaze them all alone.”
Steevens. -no rogues.] That is, vagrants, no mean fellows, but gentlemen. JOHNSON.
-paucus pallabris;] Sly, as an ignorant fellow, is purposely made to aim at languages out of his knowledge, and knock the words out of joint. The Spaniards say, pocas palabras, i. e. few words; as they do likewise, Ceffa, i. e. be quiet.
THEOBALD. This is a burlesque on Hieronymo, which Theobald speaks of in the following note. "What new device have they devised now? Pocas pallabras.” In the comedy of the Roaring Girl, 1611, a cut-purse makes use of the fame words. Again they appear in
The Wise Woman of Hogfden, 1638, and in some others, but are always appropriated to the lowest characters. STEVENS.
4 you have burst.) To burs and to break were anciently fynonimous. Falstaff says—that John of Gaunt burf Shallow's head for crowding in among the marshal's men.
STEEVENS. s Go by S. Jeronimy, go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.] All the editions have coined a saint here, for Sly to swear by. But the poet had no such intentions. The passage has particular humour in it, and must have been very pleasing at that time of day. But I must clear up a piece of stage history, to make it understood. There is a fustian old play, called Hieronymo; Or, The Spanish Tragedy: which, I find, was the common butt of raillery to all the poets in Shakespeare's time: and a passage, that appeared very ridiculous in that play is here humourously alluded to. Hi. eronymo, thinking himtelf injur’d, applies to the king for juftice, but the courtiers, who did not defire his wrongs Thould be set in a true light, attempt to hinder him from an audience.
Hiero." Justice, oh! justice to Hieronymo.