Cortese. Act I. Scene I., A Public Place. For an open place, or & square in a city, this is not a home-bred expression. It may be accidental ; yet it is a literal translation of una piazza publica, exactly what was meant for the scene. The opening of the comedy, which speaks of Lombardy and the university of Padua, might have been written by a native Italian :

"Tranio, since, for the great desire I had
· To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arriv'd for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy.


[ocr errors]


Here let us breathe, and haply institute

A course of learning and ingenious studies.” The very next line I found myself involuntarily repeating, at the sight of the grave countenances within the walls of Pisa :

" Pisa, renowned for grave citizens." They are altogether a grave people, in their demeanour, their history, and their literature, such as it is. I never met with the anomaly of a merry Pisan. Curiously enough, this line is repeated, word for word, in the Fourth Act. Lucentio says, his father came “ of the Bentivolii ;" this is an old Italian plural ; a mere Englishman would write “ of the Bentivolios." Besides, there was and is a branch of the Bentivolii in Florence, where Lucentio says he was brought up. ... Of the betrothment of Katharina and Petruchio, there is not a vestige in the older play. The father gives her hand to him, both parties consenting before two witnesses, who declare themselves such to the act. Such a ceremony is as indissoluble as that of marriage, unless both parties should consent to annul it. The betrothment takes place in due form, exactly as in many of Goldoni's comedies :

Baptista, Give me your hands;
God send you joy, Petruchio ! 'tis a match.

Gremio and Tranio. Amen! say we; we will be witnesses.” Instantly Petruchio addresses them [Baptista and his daughter Katharina] as “father and wife,” because from that moment he

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

possesses the legal power of a husband over her, saving that of taking her to his own house. Padua lies between Verona and Venice, at a suitable distance from both, for the conduct of the comedy. Petruchio, after being securely betrothed, sets off for Venice, the very place for finery, to buy “rings and things, and fine array” for the wedding; and when married, he takes her to his country-house in the direction of Verona, of which city he is a native. All this is complete.'—C. ARMITAGE BROWN.

Mr Armitage Brown, in Shakespeare's Autobiographical Poems, &c., 1838, concludes from certain passages of his plays that Shakespeare must have visited Italy ; but those passages give nothing about Italian manners or places which he might not have obtained by means of books or hearsay. Mr Brown's first proof of his having been in Italy is singularly unfortunate : Taming of the Shrew, Act I. Scene I., A Public Place, a literal translation of una piazza publica, &c. “ A Public Place” is an insertion by the modern editors. Rambling in Italy would have rather interfered with what seems to have been the grand object of Shakespeare from his earliest days—the acquisition of a fortune, which was to enable him eventually to settle himself as a gentleman at Stratford : besides, I cannot but think that, if he had ever been in Italy, an incidental mention of his peregrination must have reached us from some quarter or other.'—DYCE.


A Lord.
CHRISTOPHER SLY, a drunken tinker.
Hostess, Page, Players, Huntsmen, and


Persons in the


BAPTISTA, a rich gentleman of Padua.
VINCENTIO, an old gentleman of Pisa.
LUCENTIO, son to Vincentio, in love with Bianca.
PETRUCHIO, a gentleman of Verona, a suitor to Katharina.

servants to Lucentio,

servants to Petruchio. CURTIS, PEDANT, an old fellow set up to personate Vincentio.

} suitors to Bianca.

KATHARINA, the shrew, } daughters to Baptista.

BIANCA, her sister,

Tailor, Haberdasher, and Servants, attending on BAPTISTA




[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed]

Sly. Come, madam wife, sit by my side, and let the world slip; we shall ne'er be younger.

-Induction, Sc. 2.



SCENE I.-Before an Alehouse on a Heath.


Enter Hostess and 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! 2

Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst ? 3

Sly. No, not a denier. Go, by Saint Jeronimy: Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee. Host. I know my remedy, I must go fetch the thirdborough.5


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 fulls asleep.



Horns Winded. 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.
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 Hun. 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.

them well, and look unto them all ; To-morrow I intend to hunt again.

i Hun. I will, my lord. Lord. What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe ?

2 Hun. 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 Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
2 Hun. 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:

« 上一页继续 »