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Fer. Why, true, he means to make a fool of thee, To have thee put on such a curtal'd cap. Sirrah, begone with it.
Enter the Tailor with a Goron. San. Here is the tailor, too, with
my mistress' gown. Fer. Let me see it, tailor: what, with cuts and jags ? Zounds, thou villain, thou hast spoiled the gown!
Tailor. Why, sir, I made it as your man gave me direction. You may read the note here.
Fer. Come hither, sirrah. Tailor, read the note.
San. Master, if ever I said loose bodied gown, sew me in a seam, and beat me to death with a bottom of brown thread.
Tailor. I made it as the note bade me.
San. I the note lies in his throat, an thou too an thou sayest it.
Tailor. Nay, nay, ne'er be so hot, sirrah, for I fear
San. Dost thou hear, Tailor, thou hast braved many men: brave not me. Thou hast faced many men
Tailor. Well, Sir ?
San. Face not me: I'll neither be faced nor braved at thy hands, I can tell thee.
Kate. Come, come, I like the fashion of it well enough; Here's more ado than needs; I'll have it, ay, And if you do not like it, hide your eyes ; I think I shall have nothing by your will.”
“A custard-coffin"- A coffin, (says Stevens,) was the ancient culinary term for the raised crust of a pie or custard.
"- a censer in a barber's shop"-Stevens tells us that these “censers" were like modern brasiers. They were probably curiously ornamented.
" — take thou the bill, give me thy METE-YARD, and spare not me”-“The joke intended is lost, unless we remember that .bill' meant either a piece of paper, or, a weapon such as was carried by watchmen, etc., in the time of Shakespeare. On the title-page of Decker's * Lanthorne and Candle-light,' quarto, (1609,) is a representation of a watchman armed with a bill.'"-Coll.
“ Exeunt Tailor and HABERDASHER"-Collier was the first editor who took pity on the Haberdasher, and dismissed him from the stage, for his exit is not mentioned in any prior edition. He had, perhaps, stood trembling by, after producing the cap.
After this exeunt (conclusion of scene iii.) the characters, before whom the play is supposed to be exhibited, were introduced, from the old play, by Mr. Pope, in his edition:
Lord. Who's within here? [Enter Serrants.) A sleep again? Go take him easily up, and put him in his own apparel again. But see you wake him not in any case. Serr. It shall be done, my lord; come help to hear him hence.
(They bear off SlIE. Johnson thought the fifth act should begin here.
Scene V. “Good lord! how bright and goodly shines the moon."
We follow Knight's example in going on with the more striking scenes from the old play. The incidents are literally copied by Shakespeare, and although the poetic imagery substituted in the improved play has more truth and spirit, yet there is some splendour (however overloaded) in the more elaborate passages of the original, so that, indeed, Pope thought them worth ertracting and preserving in his edition, as seeming to have been from the hand of Shakespeare himsell," as a part author even of the earlier play. “Fer. Come, Kate, the moon shines clear to-night,
methinks. Kate. The moon ? why, husband, you are deceiv'd, It is the sun.
Fer. Yet again, come back again, it shall be The moon ere we come at your father's.
Kate. Why, I'll say as you say ; it is the moon. Fer. Jesus, save the glorions moon! Kate. Jesus, save the glorious moon! Fer. I am glad, Kate, your stomach is come down; I know it well thou know'st it is the sun, But I did try to see if thou woulilst speak, And cross me now as thou hast done before; And trust me, Kate, hadst thou not named the moon, We had gone back again as sure as death. But soft, who's this that's coming here?
Enter the Duke of Cestus, alone.
young and affable,
Duke. I think the man is mad; he calls me a woman.
Kate. Fair, lovely lady, bright and crystalline,
“ I knor, it is the moon”-“The repetition by Katharine is most characteristic of her humbled deportment. Stevens strikes out the moon,' and says the old copy redundantly reads,' etc."-KNIGHT.
"-- seemeth green"—"This is another proof of Shakespeare's accurate observation of all natural phenomena. When one has been long in the sunshine, the surrounding objects will often appear tinged with green. The reason is assigned by writers on optics."-Singer.
SCENE IV. “ I cannot tell, EXPECT they are busied about a counterfeit assurance" — The first folio reads "expect," which is changed to except in the later editions. pect" is here used, as frequently by old authors, in what is now its Yankee sense, i. e. Believe, think, that they are busied, etc.
Here, in the old play, (conclusion of scene iv.,) the tinker speaks again :
Slie. Sim, must they be married now?
Enter FERANDO and SANDER.
ACT V.-SCENE I. "- a scarlet cloak! and a copATAIN hat'-The last article is the conical or sugar-loaf hat, once much in vogue. Stubbs says, (1595,) “Sometimes they use them sharpe on the crowne, pearking up like the spear or shaft of a steeple, standing a quarter of a yard above the crowns of their heads.
“Why, sir, what 'cerns it you"-Thus the folio of 1623: it is a colloquial abbreviation of concerns, which is substituted in the folio of 1632, and in very many later editions.
“ While counterfeit SUPPOSEs blear'd thine eyne"This may be an allusion to Gascoigne's comedy, entitled “Supposes," from which several of the incidents were borrowed. Gascoigne's original was Ariosto's “ I Suppositi.” The word “supposes" was often used by Shakespeare's contemporaries; one instance, from Drayton's epistle of King John to Matilda may suffice:
And tell me those are shadows and supposes. To “blear the eye” anciently signified to deceive, to cheat. The reader will remember Milton's,
- spells of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion. 'My cake is dough”-A proverbial expression, when any disappointment was sustained. Gremio has already used it, act i. scene 1, of this play, with an addition, "our cake 's dough on both sides," more emphatically to indicate how completely expectation had failed.
SCESE II. “TRANIO, BIONDELLO, Grumio, and others, attending”--According to the old stage-direction, “the servingmen with Tranio bring in a banquet.” A banquet, as Stevens observes, properly meant what we now call a dessert, though often taken generally for a feast; and to this Lucentio refers when he says,
My banquet is to close our stomachs up,
After our great good cheer. “ Have at you for a BETTER jest or tro"-So the old copies; but Capell suggested “bitler jest or two," and he has been usually followed. Petruchio means “a better jest or two” than Bianca's last, about “head and horn."
“ I'll venture so much of my hark," etc.—“So all the old copies. The modern editors, objecting to Shakespeare's plıraseology, have uniformly represented him to have written on my hawk,' etc."-COLLIER.
“ Then vall your stomachs"—i. e. Lower, or abate, your pride.
“ – though you hit the white"-To " hit the white;' is a phrase borrowed from archery; the "white" being the centre of the target.
“ Ereunt”—The old play continues thus:Then enter two, bearing Sue in his own apparel againe, and
lcares him where they found him, and then goes out; then enters the Tapster.
Tapsler. Now that the darksome night is overpast,
Slie. (Awaking.) Sim, give 's more wine.-What all the players gone?-Am I not a lord?
Tap. A lord, with a murrain? come, art thou drunk still?
Slie. Who's this? Tapster?-Oh I have had the bravest dream that ever thou heard'st in all thy life.
Tap. Yea, marry, but thou hadst hest get thee home, for your wife will curse you for dreaming here all night.
Slie. Will she? I know how to tame a shrew. I dreamt upon it all this pight, and thou hast wak'd me out of the best dream that ever I had; but I'll to my wife, and tame her too, if she anger me.
early works, (in which no such familiarity with Italy is manifest,) but belongs to the period of the MERCHANT or VENICE:-
“ This comedy was entirely rewritten from an older one by an unknown hand, with some, but not many, additions to the fable. It should first be observed that in the older comedy, which we possess, the scene is laid in and near Athens, and that Shakespeare removed it to Padua and its neighbourhood ; an unnecessary change, if he knew no more of one country than of the other.
“ The dramatis persona next attract our attention. Baptista is no longer erroneously the name of a woman, as in Hamlet, but of a man. All the other names, except one, are pure Italian, though most of them are adapted to the English ear. Biondello, the name of a boy, seems chosen with a knowledge of the language,as it signifies a little fair-haired fellow. Even the shrew has the Italian termination to her name, Katharina. The exception is Curtis, Petruchio's servant, seemingly the housekeeper at his villa; which, as it is an insignificant part, may have been the name of the player; but, more probably, it is a corruption of Cortese.
" • Act I. Scene I. A Public Place.' For an open place or a 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
A course of learning, and ingenious studies. "The very next liue I found myself involuntarily repeating, at ihe 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 Bentivolij in Florence, where Lucentio says he was brought up.
“ But these indications, just at the commencement of the play, are not of great force. We now come to something more important; a remarkable proof of his having been aware of the law of the country in respect to the betrothment of Katharina and Petruchio, of which there is not a vestige in the older play. The father gives ber 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 :Bap.
Give me your hands;
Gre, and Tra. Amen! say we; we will be witnesses. Instantly Petruchio addresses them as “father and wife ;' because, from that moment, he possesses the legal power of a husband over her, saving that of taking her to his own house. Unless the betrothment is understood in this light, we cannot account for the father's so tamely yielding afterwards to Petruchio's whim of going in his
mad attire' with her to the church. Authority is no longer with the father; in vain he hopes and requests the bridegroom will change his clothes; Petruchio is peremptory in his lordly will and pleasure, which he could not possibly be, without the previous Italian betrothment.
Mr. Brown's remarks on this play, as a comedy bearing the peculiar feature and stamp" of Italy are very curious, and show that if Shakespeare did not actually visit Italy (according to Mr. Brown's supposition) some time between the composition of the earlier RoMEO AND JULIET and the date of the MERCHANT OF VENICE, and the remodelling of this play,-he had certainly, in that interval, become very familiar with the scenery, manners, customs, and cities of Italy, through some other source. They serve also to strengthen the conclusion to which the internal evidence of style had led my mind, as to the date of this piece; that it was not one of his very
“ Padua lies between Verona and Venice, at a suitable the intuitive knowledge of genius,) in opposition to her distance from both, for the conduct of the comedy. ladyship’s opinion, I beg leave to quote Dr. Johnson : Petruchio, after being securely betrothed, sets off for * Shakespeare, however favoured by nature, could imVenice, the very place for finery, to buy rings and part only what he had learned. With this text as our things, and fine array' for the wedding; and, when mar- guide, it behooves us to point out how he could obtain ried, he takes her to his country-house, in the direction such an intimate knowledge of facts, without having of Verona, of which city he is a native. All this is com- been, like Lady Morgan, an eye-witness to them. plete; and in marked opposition to the worse than mis- “ In addition to these instances, the whole comedy takes in the Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, which was bears an Italian character, and seems written as if the written when he knew nothing whatever of the author had said to his friends, — Now I will give you a country.
comedy, built on Italian manners, neat as I myself have “The rich old Gremio, when questioned respecting imported.'. Indeed, did I not know its archetype, with the dower he can assure to Bianca, boasts, as a primary the scene in Athens, I might suspect it to be an adaptaconsideration, of his richly furnished house :
tion of some unknown Italian play, retaining rather too First, as you know, my house within the city
many local allusions for the English stage. Is richly furnished with plate and gold;
“Some may argue that it was possible for him to Basons and ewers, to lave her dainty hands;
learn all this from books of travels now lost, or in conMy hangings all of Tyrian tapestry:
versation with travellers; but my faith recoils from so In ivory coffers I have stuff'd my crowns,
bare a possibility, when the belief that he saw what he In cypress chests my arras, counterpoints, Costly apparel, tents, and canopies;
described, is, in every point of view, without difficulty, Fine linen, Turkey cushions 'boss'd with pearl,
and probable. Books and conversation may do much Valance of Venice gold in needlework ;
for an author ; but should he descend to particular de. Pewter and brass, and all things that belong To house or house-keeping.
scriptions, or venture to speak of manners and customs
intimately, is it possible he should not once fall into “ Lady Morgan, in her 'Italy,' says, (and my own error with no better instruction ? An objection has been observation corroborates her account,) " there is not an made, imputing an error, in Grumio's inquiring after the article here described, that I have not found in some one rushes strewed.' But the custom of strewing rushes, or other of the palaces of Florence, Venice, and Genoa as in England, belonged also to Italy: this may be seen -the mercantile republics of Italy—even to the Tur- | in old authors; and their very word giuncare, now ont key cushions 'boss'd with pearl. She then adds, this is of use, is a proof of it. English Christian-names, incithe knowledge of genius, acquired by the rapid per- dentally introduced, are but translations of the same ception and intuitive appreciation, etc.; never once Italian names, as Catarina is called Katharine and Kate ; suspecting that Shakespeare had been an eye-witness of and, if they were not, comedy may well be allowed to such furniture. For my part, (unable to comprehend || take a liberty of that nature."-C. A. Brown.