Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

TAMING OF THE SHREW.

INDUCTION.

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!

Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?:

Sly. No, not a denier : Go by, says Jeronimy ;-Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.*

Host. I know my remedy: I must go fetch the thirdborough

[Exit Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer hin by law : I'll not budge an inch, boy; let him come, and kindly. [Lies dozen on the ground, and falls asleep.

[1] To preese or fease, is to separate a twist into single threads. In the figurative sense it may well enough be taken, like tease or tose, for to harass, to plague. Perhaps, I'll pheeze you, may be equivalent to l'll comb your head, a phrase vulgarly used by persons of Sly's character, on like occasions. JOHNSON To pheeze a man, is to beat him ; to give him a pheese, is, to give him a koock.

M. MASON [2] Sly, as ad ignorant fellow is purposely made to aim at languages out of his koon ledge, and knock the words out of joint. The Spaniards say, pocas pallabras, j. e. few words; as they do likewise, Cessa, i. e. be quiet. THÉOBALD.

[3]. To burs! and to break were anciently synonymous. Falstaff says, that " John of Gaunt burst Shallow's head for crowding in aipong the warshal's men."

STEEVENS. [4] All the editions have coined a saint here, for Sly to swear by. But the poec 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 his. tory to make it understood. There is a fustian old play called Flieronymo; or The Spanish Tragedy: which I find was the common buit of raillery to all the poets in Shakespeare's time : and a pagsage, that appeared very ridiculous in that play, is here humorously alluded to: THEOBALD.

Vol. III.

L 2

my

Wind horns. Enter a Lord from hunting, with Huntsmen

and Servants.
Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well hounds
Brach Merriman,--the poor cur is emboss'd,"
And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach.
Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault ?
I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.

1 Hunt. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord ;
He cried upon it at the merest loss,
And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent :
Trust me, I take him for the better dog.

Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
I would esteem him worth a dozen such.
But sup 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 !
Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.
What think you, if he were convey'd to bed,
Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,
A most delicious banquet by his bed,
And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
Would not the beggar then forget himself ?

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 fancy.
Then take him up, and manage well the jest :-
Carry him gently to my fairest chamber,
And hang it round with all my wanton pictures :
Balm his foul head with warm distilled waters,
And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet :
Procure me music ready when he wakes,
To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound ;

[4] Emboss'd is a bunting term. When a deer is hard run, and foams at the mouth, he is said to be emboss'd. A dog also when he is strained with hard running (especially upon hard ground,) will have his knees swelled, and then he is said to be emboss'd: from the French word bosse, which signifies a tumour.

T. WARTON

6

And if he chance to speak, be ready straight,
And, with a low submissive reverence,
Say,-What is it your honour will command?
Let one attend him with a silver bason,
Full of rose-water, and bestrew'd with flowers ;
Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
And say,-Will't please your lordship cool your hands?
Some one be ready with a costly suit,
And ask him what apparel he will wear ;
Another tell him of his hounds and horse,
And that his lady mourns at his disease :
Persuade him, that he hath been lunatic ;
And, when he says he is, say, 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,
If it be husbanded with modesty.

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 :Belike, some noble gentleman ; that means, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.

Re-enter a Servant.
Ilow now ? who is it?

Serv. An it please your honour, players
That offer service to your lordship.
Lord. Bid them come near :-

Enter Players.
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.?

Lord. With all my heart.--This fellow I remember, Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son ;'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well :

[5] Kindly, means naturally. M. MASON. [6] By modesty is meant moderation, without suffering our merriment to break

JOHNSON (7] It was in those times the custom of players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great houses. JOHNSON.

[Er. Serv.

into an excess.

« PreviousContinue »