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Dia. Do you know, he promised me marriage?
Par. 'Faith, I know more than I'll speak.

King. But wilt thou not speak all thou know'st?

Par. Yes, so please your majesty; I did go between them, as I said; but more than that, he loved her-for, indeed, he was mad for her, and talked of Satan, and of limbo, and of furies, and I know not what: yet I was in that credit with them at that time, that I knew of their going to bed; and of other motions, as promising her marriage, and things that would derive me illwill to speak of, therefore I will not speak what I know.

King. Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they are married: But thou art too fine' in thy evidence; therefore stand aside.

This ring, you say was yours?


Ay, my good lord. King. Where did you buy? or who gave it you you? Dia. It was not given me, nor I did not buy it. King. Who lent it you?


It was not lent me neither.

I found it not.

King. Where did you find it then?

King. If it were yours by none of all these ways,
How could you give it him?


I never gave it him.

Laf. This woman's an easy glove, my lórd; she goes

off and on at pleasure.

King. This ring was mine, I gave it his first wife.
Dia. It might be yours, or hers, for aught I know.
King. Take her away, I do not like her now;

To prison with her and away with him.


Unless thou tell'st me where thou hadst this ring,

Thou diest within this hour.


King. Take her away.


I'll never tell you.

I'll put in bail, my liege.

King. I think thee now some common customer."

But thou art too fine-] Too fine, too full of finesse, too artful. A

French expression-trop fine.-MALONE.

customer.] i. e. A common woman.

Dia. By Jove, if ever I knew man, 'twas you. King. Wherefore hast thou accus'd him all this while? Dia. Because he's guilty, and he is not guilty; He knows I am no maid, and he'll swear to't: I'll swear, I am a maid, and he knows not. Great king, I am no strumpet, by my life; I am either maid, or else this old man's wife.

[Pointing to LAFEU. King. She does abuse our ears; to prison with her. Dia. Good mother, fetch my bail.-Stay, royal sir, [Exit Widow.

The jeweller, that owes the ring, is sent for,
And he shall surety me. But for this lord,
Who hath abus'd me, as he knows himself,
Though yet he never harm'd me, here I quit him :
He knows himself my bed he hath defil'd;
And at that time he got his wife with child:
Dead though she be, she feels her young one kick;
So there's my riddle, One that's dead, is quick;
And now behold the meaning.


Re-enter Widow, with HELENA.

Is there no exorcistt

Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes?

Is't real, that I see?


No, my good lord;

"Tis but the shadow of a wife you see,

The name and not the thing.

Both, both; O, pardon!

Hel. O, my good lord, when I was like this maid,
I found you wond'rous kind. There is your ring,
And, look you, here's your letter; This it says,
When from my finger you can get this ring,
And are by me with child, &c.-This is done:
Will you be mine, now you are doubly won?

Ber. If she, my liege, can make me know this clearly, I'll love her dearly, ever, ever dearly.

exorcist-] In Shakspeare's time this word was synonymous with conjurer, and is so given in Minsheu's Dict. 1617.

Hel. If it appear not plain, and prove untrue,
Deadly divorce step between me and you !—
O, my dear mother, do I see you living?

Laf. Mine eyes smell onions, I shall weep anon:Good Tom Drum, [to PAROLLES.] lend me a handkerchief: So, I thank thee; wait on me home, I'll make sport with thee: Let thy courtesies alone, they are scurvy


King. Let us from point to point this story know,
To make the even truth in pleasure flow:
If thou be'st yet a fresh uncropped flower, [TO DIANA.
Choose thou thy husband, and I'll pay thy dower;
For I can guess, that by thy honest aid,

Thou kept'st a wife herself, thyself a maid.—
Of that, and all the progress more and less,
Resolvedly more leisure shall express :
All yet seems well; and, if it end so meet,
The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.


The king's a beggar, now the play is done:
All is well ended, if this suit be won,
That you express content; which we will pay,
With strife to please you, day exceeding day:
Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts :"
Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts.



Ours be your patience then, and yours our parts;] The meaning is: Grant us then your patience: hear us without interruption. And take our parts; that' is, support and defend us.-JOHNSON.

This play has many delightful scenes, though not sufficiently probable, and some happy characters, though not new, nor produced by any deep knowledge of human nature. Parolles is a boaster and a coward, such as has always been the sport of the stage, but perhaps never raised more laughter or contempt than in the hands of Shakspeare.

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I cannot reconcile my heart to Bertram; a man noble without generosity, and young without truth; who marries Helen as a coward, and leaves her as a profligate when she is dead by his unkindness, sneaks home to a second marriage, is accused by a woman whom he has wronged, defends himself by falsehood, and is dismissed to happiness.

The story of Bertram and Diana had been told before of Mariana and Angelo, and, to confess the truth, scarcely merited to be heard a second time.JOHNSON.

Johnson témoigne son aversion pour le comte Bertrand, et trouve mauvais qu'il se tire d'affaire sans autre punition qu' une honte passagère, bien com

pensée par la possession d'une épouse vertueuse. Mais Shakspear n'a point voulu adoucir l'impression que produit l' insensible fierté et la dureté légère de Bertrand; il ne le montre distingué que sous le rapport d' une brillante valeur. Et n'est-ce pas peindre le véritable cours des choses du monde, que de montrer que les hommes n'expient guére, dans l'opinion, leurs torts envers les femmes lorsqu'ils conservent les advantages auxquels on attache pour eux l'idée de l'honneur? Le compte Bertrand n'a qu'une seule excuse, c'est que le roi s'est permis contre lui un acte d' autorité, qui pour un objet est du ressort des droits personnels, le choix d'une épouse.-SCHLEGEL. Cours de Litt. Dram. vol. 3. p. 17, and 18.


Mr. MALONE supposes this comedy to have been written in 1596. It is founded on an anonymous play of nearly the same title, "The Taming of a Shrew," which was probably written about the year 1590, either by George Peele, or Robert Green. The outline of the induction may be traced, as Mr. Douce observes, through many intermediate copies, to the Sleeper Awaked of the Arabian Nights. It has been doubted by Dr. Warburton and Dr. Farmer whether this comedy is really the production of Shakspeare. They have no other grounds for their opinion, but the inferiority of its style. The play, as a whole, is certainly not in our author's best manner, but in the induction and in the scenes between Katharine and Petruchio the traces of his hand are strongly marked. If it be not Shakspeare's, to whom can it be attributed ? Beaumont and Fletcher have written a sequel to this comedy called “The Woman's prize, or the Tamer Tamed," in which a character bearing the name of Petruchio (for nothing but the name remains to him), is subdued by a second wife.

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