Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sincklo. I think, 'twas Soto that your honour

means.
Lord. 'Tis very true; thou didst it excellent.
Well, you are come to me in happy time,
The rather for I have some sport in hand,
Wherein your cunning can affist me much.
There is a lord will hear you play to-night:
But I am doubtful of your modesties;
Left, over-eying of his odd behaviour,
(For yet his honour never heard a play,)
You break into some merry passion,
And so offend him : for I tell you, sirs,
If you should smile, he grows impatient.

Play. Fear not my lord ; we can contain ourselves, Were he the veriest antick in the world. 3

Lord. 2 I think, 'twas Soto - -) I take our author here to be paying a compliment to Beaumont and Fletcher's Women pleas'a, in which comedy there is the character of Soto, who is a farmer's son, and a very facetious serving-man. Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope prefix the name of Sim to the line here spoken ; but the first folio has it Sincklo; which, no doubt, was the name of one of the players here introduced, and who had played the part of Soto with applause. THEOBALD.

As both the quarto and folio prefix the name of Sincklo to this line, why should we displace it? Sincklo is a name elsewhere used by Shakespeare. In one of the parts of Henry VI. Humphrey and Sincklo enter with their bows, as foresters.

With this observation I was favoured by a learned lady, and have replaced the old reading. Steevens.

3 —in the world.] Here follows another insertion made by Mr. Pope from the old play, which is neither found in the quarto, 1631, nor in the folio, 1623. I have therefore sunk it into a note, as we have no proof that the first sketch of the play was written by Shakespeare.

2 Play. [to the other] Go, get a dish.clout to make clean “ your shoes, and I'll speak for the properties. * [Exit Player.

My lord, we must have a shoulder of mutton for a property, " and a little vinegar to make our devil roar." +

Tho Property) in the language of a playhouse, is every implement necessary to the exhibition. JOHNSON. VOL. III.

+ -A lililo

A 2

Lord. Go, firrah, take them to the buttery, And give them friendly welcome, every one: Let them want nothing that the house affords.

[Exit one with the players. Sirrah, go you to Bartholomew my page, And see him dress'd in all suits like a lady: That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber, And call him madam, do him obeisance. Tell him from me, (as he will win my love) He bear himself with honourable action, Such as he hath observ'd in noble ladies Unto their lords, by them accomplished ; Such duty to the drunkard let him do, With soft low tongue, and lowly courtesy; And say, What is’t your honour will command, Wherein your lady and your humble wife, May shew her duty, and make known her love? And then with kind embracements, tempting kiffes, And with declining head into his bofom,

The phulo'er of mouthin was indeed necesary afterwards for the dinner of Petruchio, but there is no devil in the piece, neither were the players yet informed what comedy they should represent.

STEEVENS. t--olitule vincgar to make our devil roar.) When the acting the , myfieries of the Old and New Testament was in vogue ; at the repre

fentation of the myrery of the Passion, Judas and the Devil made a part. And the Devil, wherever he came, was always to futier fome disgrace, to make the people laugh : as here, the buffoonery was to apply the gall and vinegar to make him roar. And the Patlion being thai, of all the mysteries, which was most frequently represented, ri. negar became at length the standing implement to torment the deril; and used for this purpose even after the mysteries ceased, and the moralities came in vogue ; where the Devil continued to have a cont. derable part: - The mention of it here wis to ridicule so absurd a circumstance in these old farces. WARBURTON.

The bladder of vinegar was likewise used for other purposes. I meet with the following itage direction in the old play of Cambyses (by T. Pielton) when one of the characters is suppoled to die from the wounds be bait just received — Here let a small bladder of vinegar de pricka. I uppose to counterfeit blood: red wine vinegar was chiedy aled, as appears from the old books of cookery. STEEVENS.

Bid him shed tears, as being over-joy'd
To see her noble lord restor'd to health,
Who for twice seven years hath esteemed him
No better than a poor and loathsome beggar:
And if the boy have not a woman's gift
To rain a lower of commanded tears,
An' 7 onion will do well for such a shift;
Which in a napkin being close convey'd,
Shall in delpight enforce a watery eye.
See this dispatch’d, with all the haste thou canst ;
Anon I'll give thee more instructions.

[Exit Servant.
I know, the boy will well usurp the grace,
Voice, 'gais, and action of a gentlewoman.
I long to hear him call the drunkard, husband;
And how my men will stay themselves from laughter,
When they do homage to this simple peasant.
III in to 'countel them : haply, my presence
May well abàtë' the over-merry spleen;
Which otherwise will go into extremes. [Exit Lord.
Who for twice seven years.

] In former editions, W bo for these seven years hath effeem'd himself

No better iban a foor and loathsome beggar. I have ventured to alter a word here, against the authority of the printed copies ; and hope, I shall be justified in it by two subsequent paffages. That the poet designed, the tinker's supposed dunacy should be of "fourteen years standing at least, is evident upon two parallel passages in the play to that purpose.

THEOBALD. 7 An onion -Í It is not unlikely that the onion was an expedient used by the actors of interludes. JOHNSON. 11. Co in Anthony and Cleopatra :

The tears live in an onion that should water
This forrow.

STEEVENS.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE II.

A room in the lord's house. Enter Sly with Attendants, some with apparel, bason and

ewer, and other appurtenances. Re-enter Lord, Sly. For God's fake, a pot of small ale. i Man. Will't please your lordship drink a cup of

fack? 2 Man. Will't please your honour taste of these

conserves ? 3 Man. What raiment will your honour wear co

day?

Sly. I am Christophero Sly, call not me-Honour, nor Lordship: I ne'er drank fack in my life ; and if you give me any conserves, give me conserves of beef. Ne'er ask me what raiment I'll wear; for I have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings chan legs, nor no more shoes than feet; nay, sometimes, more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the over-leather. Lord. Heaven cease this idle humour in your ho

nour1
Oh, that a mighty man, of such descent,
Of such poffeffions, and so high efteem,
Should be infused with so foul a spirit !

Sly. What, would you make me mad ? am not I Christopher Sly, old 'Sly's son • of Burton-heath ; by birth a pedlar, by education a card-maker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now by present profeffion a tinker? ask Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot, if she know me not: if she say, I am

of Burton-beath-Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot.] Í suspect we should read Barton-bearb. Barton and Woodmancot, or, as it is vulgarly pronounced, Woncot, are both of them in Gloftershire, near the refidence of Shakespeare's old enemy, Justice Shallow. Very probably too, this fát ale-wife might be a real character,

STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

not fourteen-pence on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the lying'st knave in Christendom. What, I am not bestraught: Here's-

1 Man. Oh, this it is that makes your lady mourn. 2 Man. Oh, this it is that makes your servants

droop.
Lord. Hence comes it, that your kindred shun your

house,
As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
Oh, noble lord, bethink thee of thy birth;
Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment,
And banish hence these abject lowly dreams.
Look, how thy servants do attend on thee;
Each in his office ready at thy beck.
Wilt thou have musick? hark! Apollo plays,

[Mufick.
And twenty caged nightingales do sing.
Or wilt thou neep? we'll have thee to a couch,
Softer and sweeter than the luftful bed
On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis. .
Say, thou wilt walk, we will bestrow the ground:
Or wilt thou ride ? thy horses shall be trapp'd,
Their harness studded all with gold and pearl.
Doft thou love hawking? thou hast hawks, will soar
Above the morning lark. Or wilt thou hunt?
Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them,
And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.
1 Man. Say, thou wilt course, thy greyhounds are

as swift
As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.
2 Man. Dost thou love pictures ? we will fetch

thee strait
Adonis, painted by a running brook ;
And Cytherea all in fedges hid;
Which seem to move and wanton with her breath,
Even as the waving sedges play with wind.
Аа 3

Lord.

« PreviousContinue »