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TAMING OF THE SHREW.
SCENE I. Before an Alehouse on a Heath.
Enter Hostess and Sly.
Sly. I'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 Conqueror. Therefore, paucas pallabris"; let the world slide: Sessa 3!
1 So again in Troilus and Cressida, Ajax says of Achilles :'I'll pheese his pride. And in Ben Johnson's Alchemist.
• Come, will you quarrel ? I'll feize you, sirrah.' Mr. Gifford says,' this word does not mean to drive, but to beat, to chastise, to humble, &c. in which sense (in the west of England) it may be heard every day. This is conformable to Skinner's interpretation of 'Fease or Feag, Virgis cædere, Flagellare.' It appears formerly to have sometimes been used in the sense of to drive away, as in Stanyhurst's Translation of Virgil : * Feaze away the drone bees. And again :
• We are toused, and from Italy feazed.' I find in Baret's Alvearie, 1573 : “a feese, or race; Procursus.' Johnson has noticed Sir Thomas Smith's explanation of to feize, in fila diducere.' Kersey, in his Dictionary, 1708, says, that it is a sea-term, and signifies 'to separate a cable by untwisting its ends.' This seems to have some analogy with to teize, or tease, wool : as ' feese, or race,' may with to chase, or drive away.
I bave since found it in Ray's Proverbs, ed. 1737, p. 269, as communicated to him by a Somersetshire man:- I'll vease thee, that is, hunt, drive thee.
2 Pocas palabras, Span. few words. 3 Cessa, Ital. be quiet. VOL. III.
Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst4?
Sly. No, not a denier: Go by, says Jeronimy;Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee 5.
Host. I know my remedy, I must go fetch the thirdborough
[Exit. Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy; let him come, and kindly.
[Lies down on the ground, and falls asleep. Wind Horns. Enter a Lord from Hunting, with
Huntsmen and Servants. Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my
hounds: Brach Merriman,—the poor cur is emboss'd?, And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach 8.
5 This line and the scrap of Spanish is used in burlesque from an old play called Hieronymo, or the Spanish Tragedy. The old copy reads : ‘S. Jeronimy. The emendation is Mason's.
6 An officer whose authority equals that of a constable.
7 • Emboss'd,' says Philips in his World of Words, ‘is a term in hunting, when a deer is so hard chased that she foams at the mouth; it comes from the Spanish Desembocar, and is metaphorically used for any kind of weariness.' Malone has more than once given the same etymology of this word without acknowiedgment, but it is erroneous. Skinner has pointed out its most probable derivation from the Italian word Ambascia or Ambastia, which signifies difficulty of breathing coming from excessive fatigue;' and which is also used metaphorically, like the English word, for weariness. Emboss'd is used in both these senses by Shakspeare and Spenser, as well as in the more common and still usual one of swelling with protuberances. Thus an emboss'd stag is a distress'd stag foaming and panting for breath, like the brach or hound Merriman in the text.
8 Brach originally signified a particular species of dog used for the chase. It was a long eared dog, hunting by the scent. The etymology of the word has not been clearly pointed out; it is from the Gothic racke, hence the Saxon ræc, and the English rache or ratche. In the Book of St. Albans, among the names
Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
1 Hunt. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord; He cried
it at the merest loss,
Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
them well, and look unto them all; To-morrow I intend to hunt again.
1 Hunt. I will, my lord. Lord. What's here ? one dead, or drunk? See,
doth he breathe ? 2 Hunt. He breathes, my lord: Were he not
warm’d with ale, This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Lord. O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies! Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
of dyvers manere houndes,' we have 'raches;' and among the companyes of bestys,' &c. 'a kenel of rachys. And again :
all other bestes that huntyd shall be, Shall be sought and found with ratches so free.' Skelton also, in his Interlude of Magnificence, printed in the reign of Henry VIII.:
* Here is a leyshe of ratches for to renne a hare.' Hence brache and brach. A similar name for a hound is found in most European languages. It came at length to be used in England for a bitch, probably from similarity of sound, and this was a very general acceptation of the word in Shakspeare's time, as appears from Baret's Dictionary: 'a brach or biche, Canicula; Petite Chienne. The reason assigned in The Gentleman's Recreation,' 8vo. p. 27 : “A brach is a mannerly name for all hound bitches. It may be remarked that Merriman could hardly be the name of a bitch; yet there seems no reason to suppose the first brach in this passage a corruption of some other word, for connected speech is no more necessary than it is usual in such field directions.
Sirs, I will practise on this drunken mạn.
1 Hunt. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose. 2 Hunt. It would seem strange unto him when he
wak’d. Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless
he is, that he dreams, For he is nothing but a mighty lord. This do, and do it kindly", gentle sirs;
It will be pastime passing excellent,
1 Hunt. My lord, I warrant you,we'll play our part, As he shall think, by our true diligence, He is no less than what we say he is.
Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him; And each one to his office when he wakes.
[Some bear out Sly. A trumpet sounds. Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds :
[Exit Servant. Belike, some noble gentleman; that means, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
Re-enter a Seryant.
An it please your honour,
Now, fellows, you are welcome. 1 Play. We thank your honour. Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? 2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our
duty 11? Lord. With all my heart.—This fellow I remember, Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son; 'Twas where
woo'd the gentlewoman so well: I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform’d.
1 Play. I think 'twas Soto that your honour means 12. 10 Moderation.
11 It was in old times customary for players to travel in companies and offer their service at great houses.
12 The old copy prefixes the name of Sincklo to this line, who was an actor in the same company with Shakspeare. Soto is a character in Beaumont and Fletcher's Woman Pleased; he is a farmer's eldest son, but he does not woo any gentlewoman.