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What great creation, and what dole of honour, | tainly not a hypocrite: and, when he returns Flies where you bid it, I find, that she, which to Rousillon, we are bound to believe him late
when he speaks of Helena as Was in my nobler thoughts most base, is now
“She, whom all men praised, and whom myThe praised of the king; who, so ennobled,
self Is, as 't were, born so."
Since I have lost have loved." Nothing can be less like cowardice than this For ourselves, we can see no poetical injustice speech.
It is the bitterest irony of a de- that he is “dismissed to happiness;” for, sperate will, bowed for a time, but not sub- unless he has become a “sadder and a wiser dued. Nor does Bertram leave Helena as
man,” he will not be happy. “ a profligate.” We, who know the intensity “In this piece,” says Schlegel, “ age is exof her love, whicḥ he could not know, may bibited to singular advantage: the plain think that he was unwise to fly from his own honesty of the King, the good-natured imhappiness; but he believed that he fled from petuosity of old Lafeu, the maternal indulconstraint and misery; from
gence of the Countess to Helena's love of her “ The dark house, and the detested wife.” son, seem all, as it were, to vie with each
in endeavours to conquer the arrogance of The Bertram of the Florentine wars has some
the young Count.” The general benevolence thing to recommend him besides his ancestry: of these characters, and their particular kind“he has done worthy service.” But the
ness towards Helena, are the counterpoises young, proud, courageous Bertram is also a
to Bertram's pride of birth, and his disdain libertine. Schlegel asks, "Did Shakspere of virtue unaccompanied by adventitious disever attempt to mitigate the impression of tinctions. The love of the Countess towards his unfeeling pride and giddy dissipation? Helena is habit,--that of the King is gratiHe intended merely to give us a military tude: in Lafeu the admiration which he perportrait.” This is quite true. The liber- severingly holds towards her is the result of tines of the later comedy are the only gene- his honest sagacity. He admires what is dirous, spirited, intellectual persons of the rect and unpretending, and he therefore loves drama; the virtuous characters are as dull Helena: he hates what is evasive and boastas they are discreet. Shakspere goes out of ful, and he therefore despises Parolles. his usual dramatic spirit in this play, to
Parolles has been called by Ulrici "the mark emphatically the impression which little appendix of the great Falstaff.” SchleBertram's actions produce upon his own as
“ Falstaff has thrown Parolles into sociates. In the third scene of the fourth the shade." Johnson goes farther, and deact they comment with indignation upon his
clares, “Parolles has many of the lineaments desertion of Helena, and his practices to
of Falstaff.” In our view this opinion of wards Diana : “As we are ourselves what Johnson exhibits a singular want of disthings are we !” But then all the Shak- crimination in one who relished Falstaff so sperean tolerance is put forth to make us highly. Parolles is literally what he is deunderstand that Bertram is not isolated in scribed by Helena :his vices, and that even his vices, as those of
“I know him a notorious liar, all other men, are not alone to be regarded
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward." in our estimates of character: “The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill For the “fool,” take the scene in the second together : our virtues would be proud if our act, in which he pieces out the remarks of faults whipped them not; and our crimes Lafeu upon the King's recovery with the would despair if they were not cherished by most impertinent commonplaces — ending our virtues.” This is philosophy, and, what “Nay, 't is strange, 't is very strang that is is more, it is religion—for it is charity. In the brief and the tedious of it.” It was in this spirit the poet undoubtedly intended this dialogue that Lafeu “smoked him ; that we should judge Bertram. He is cer- and he makes no secret, afterwards, of his
opinion: “I did think thee, for two ordina- | Essays.' But Parolles certainly knows himries, to be a pretty wise fellow; thou didst self. There is nothing but plain knavery, make tolerable vent of thy travel ; it might mistaking its proper tools, in his lies and his pass : yet the scarfs and the bannerets about treacheries. The meanpess of his nature is thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believ- his safeguard : after his detection the coning thee a vessel of too great a burthen, Isolations of his philosophy are most chahave now found thee." To the insults of racteristic :Lafeu the boaster has nothing to oppose, —
“ Yet am I thankful : if my heart were great, neither wit nor courage. His very impu
'T would burst at this : Captain I 'll be no dence is overborne. We thoroughly agree more; with Lafeu, that “there can be no kernel in
But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft this light nut.” All this is but a prepara- As captain shall; simply the thing I am tion for the comic scenes"in which he is to
Shall make me live. Who knows himself a play so conspicuous a part—in which his braggart folly, his falsehood, and his cowardice con- Let him fear this; for it will come to pass, spire to make him odious and ridiculous. That every braggart shall be found an ass. Before this exhibition he is denounced to Rust, sword ! cool, blushes ! Parolles, Bertram, by his companions in warfare, as
live “a hilding”_"a bubble "_"a most notable Safest in shame! being fool'd by foolery
thrive! coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise-breaker, the owner of no one good
There's place and means for every man alive.” quality.” The disclosure which he makes of And he will “live.” Lafeu understands him his own folly before he is seized, when the
to the last, when he says, “Though you are lords overhear him, is perfectly true to na
a fool and a knave, you shall eat.” ture, and therefore in the highest degree
And is this crawling, empty, vapouring, true comedy :
cowardly representative of the off-scourings " Par. Ten o'clock: within these three hours of social life, to be compared for a moment 't will be time enough to go home.
What shall with the inimitable Falstaff ?-to be said to I say I have done? It must be a very plausive have “many lineaments in common” with invention that carries it: They begin to smoke him—to be thrown into the shade by himme: and disgraces have of late knocked too to be even “a little appendix” to his greatoften at my door. I find my tongue is too fool- ness ? Parolles is drawn by Shakspere as hardy; but my heart hath the fear of Mars be- utterly contemptible, in intellect, in spirit, fore it, and of his creatures, not daring the in morals. He is diverting from the situareports of my tongue.
tions into which his folly betrays him; and 1 Lord. This is the first truth that e'er thine his complete exposure and humiliation conown tongue was guilty of.
stitu the richness of the comedy. If he Par. What the devil should move me to
had been a particle better, Shakspere would undertake the recovery of this drum; being not
have made his disgrace less; and it is in his ignorant of the impossibility, and knowing I had no such purpose? I must give myself some
charity even to the most degraded that he hurts, and say I got them in exploit: Yet slight has represented him as utterly insensible to ones will not carry it: They will say, Came you
his own shame, and even hugging it as a off with so little? and great ones I dare not give. good :Wherefore? what's the instance? Tongue, I must
“If my heart were great, put you into a butter-woman's mouth, and buy 'T would burst at this." myself another of Bajazet's mule, if you prattle But Falstaff, witty beyond all other characme into these perils. 1 Lord. Is it possible he should know what he
ters of wit-cautious, even to the point of is, and be that he is?
Aside.” | being thought cowardly—swaying all men
by his intellectual resources under the greatThe last sentence is worth a folio of Moral est difficulty-boastful and lying only in a
spirit of hilarity, which makes him the first | The character belongs to the school of which to enjoy his own detection—and withal, Molière is the head, rather than to the school though grossly selfish, so thoroughly genial of Shakspere. that many love him and few can refuse to And what shall we say of the clown ? He laugh with him—is Falstaff to be compared is “the artificial fool ;” and we do not like with Parolles, the notorious liar--great way him, therefore, quite so much as dear Launce fool-solely a coward ? The compari will and dearer Touchstone. To the Fool in not bear examining with patience, and much 'Lear' he can no more be compared than less with painstaking.
Parolles to Falstaff. But he is, nevertheless, But Parolles in his own way is infinitely great—something that no other artist but comic. “The scene of the drum,” according Shakspere could have produced. Our poet to a French critic, “is worthy of Molière.”* has used him as a vehicle for some biting This is the highest praise which a French satire. There can be no doubt that he is writer could bestow; and here it is just. a witty fool,” “a shrewd knave, and an
* Letourneur, "Traduction,' tome ix. p. 329. unhappy.”
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.
"THE TAMING OF THE SUREW' was first altogether as one of Shakspere's performprinted in the folio collection of Shakspere's ances :—“I am satisfied,” he says, Plays in 1623. It is not one of those plays more than one hand (perhaps at distant enumerated as Shakspére's by Meres, in dates) was concerned in it, and that Shake1598.
speare had little to do with any of the scenes The matured opinion of Malone as to the in which Katharine and Petruchio are not date of this play is thus given :—“I had engaged.” Farmer had previously expressed supposed the piece now under consideration the same opinion, declaring the Induction to to have been written in the year 1606. On a be in our poet's best manner, and a great more attentive perusal of it, and more expe- part of the play in his worst, or even below rience in our author's style and manner, I am
Ι it. To this Steevens replies—“I know not persuaded that it was one of his very early to whom I could impute this comedy, if productions, and near, in point of time, to Shakspeare was not its author. I think his "The Comedy of Errors,' “ Love's Labour's hand is visible in almost every scene, though Lost,' and 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona.' perhaps not so evidently as in those which In the old comedies, antecedent to the time pass between Katharine and Petruchio.” of our author's writing for the stage (if, in- Mr. Collier judges that “the underplot much deed, they deserve that name), a kind of resembles the dramatic style of William doggrel measure is often found, which, as I Haughton, author of an extant comedy, have already observed, Shakspeare adopted called Englishmen for my Money,' which in some of those pieces which were undoubt- was produced prior to 1598." edly among his early compositions : I mean But there is another play, 'The Taming of his "Errors' and 'Love's Labour's Lost.' a Shrew,' which first appeared in 1594, under This kind of metre, being found also in the the following title :—“A pleasant conceited play before us, adds support to the supposi- Historie called the taming of a Shrew. As tion that it was one of his early produc- it was sundry times acted by the Right tions.” Mr. Collier, however, doubts whether honourable the Earle of Pembrooke his ser“The Taming of the Shrew' can be treated vants. Printed at London by Peter Short,
and are to be sold by Cuthbert Burbie, at | younger sisters do not woo them in assumed his shop at the Royal Exchange, 1594.' The characters ; though a merchant is brought comedy opens with an Induction, the cha- to personate the Duke of Cestus. The real racters of which are a Lord, Slie, a Tapster, duke arrives, as Vincentio arrives in our Page, Players, and Huntsmen. The incidents play, to discover the imposture ; and his inare precisely the same as those of the play dignation occupies much of the latter part which we call Shakspere's. There is this of the action, with sufficient tediousness. All difference in the management of the cha- parties are ultimately happy and pleased ; racter of Sly in the anonymous comedy, that, and the comedy ends with the wager, as in during the whole of the performance of The Shakspere, about the obedience of the several Taming of a Shrew,' he occasionally makes wives, the Shrew pronouncing a homily upon his remarks; and is finally carried back to the virtue and beauty of submission, which the alehouse door in a state of sleep. In sounds much more hypocritical even than Shakspere we lose this most diverting per- that of the Kate of our poet. There cannot sonage before the end of the first act. After be a doubt that the anonymous author and our poet had fairly launched him in the In- Shakspere sometimes used the same images duction, and given a tone to his subsequent and forms of expression-occasionally sevedemeanour during the play, the performer of ral whole lines : the incidents of those scenes the character was perhaps allowed to con- in which the process of taming the shrew is tinue the dialogue extemporally. We doubt, carried forward are invariably the same. by the way, whether this would have been The spectators of each play had the same permitted after Shakspere had prescribed plots to delight them. They would equally that the Clowns should “speak no more than enjoy the surprise and self-satisfaction of the what is set down for them."
drunken man when he became a lord; equally The scene of 'The Taming of a Shrew' is relish the rough wooing of the master of laid at Athens ; that of Shakspere's at Padua. “ the taming school ;” rejoice at the dignity The Athens of the one and the Padua of the of the more worthy gender when the poor other are resorts of learning; the former woman was denied “ beef and mustard ;” and opening thus :
hold their sides with convulsive laughter
when the tailor was driven off with his gown, “ Welcome to Athens, my beloved friend, To Plato's school, and Aristotle's walks.”
and the haberdasher with his cap. This un
doubted resemblance involves some necessity Alfonso, a merchant of Athens (the Baptista for conjecture, with very little guide from of Shakspere), has three daughters, Kate, evidence. The first and most obvious hypoEmilia, and Phylema. Aurelius, son of the thesis is, that 'The Taming of a Shrew' was duke of Cestus (Sestos), is enamoured of one, an older play than Shakspere's ; and that he Polidor of another, and Ferando (the Petru- borrowed from that comedy. The question cio of Shakspere) of Kate, the Shrew. The then arises, who was its author ? merchant hath sworn, before he will allow The dramatic works of Greene, which have his two younger daughters to be addressed been collected as his, are only six in number; by suitors, that
and one was written in connexion with “His eldest daughter first shall be espoused.”
Lodge. The 'Orlando Furioso' is known to
have been his, by having been mentioned by The wooing of Kate by Ferando is exactly in a contemporary writer. This play, in its the same spirit as the wooing by Petrucio ; form of publication, appears to us to bear a so is the marriage ; so the lenten entertain- striking resemblance to "The Taming of a ment of the bride in Ferando's country- Shrew. The title of the first edition is as house ; so the scene with the Tailor and follows : “ The Historie of Orlando Furioso, Haberdasher; so the prostrate obedience of one of the twelve Pieres of France. As it the tamed Shrew. The underplot, however, was plaid before the Queenes Maiestie. Lonis essentially different. The lovers of the don, Printed by John Danter for Cuthbert
love in me,
Burbie, and are to be sold at his Shop nere
TAMING OF A SHREW. the Royal Exchange, 1594.' Compare this “Fer. Tush, Kate, these words add greater with the title of “The Taming of a Shrew.' Each is a “Historie ;" each is without an And make me think thee fairer than before : author's name ; each is published by Cuth- Sweet Kate, thou lovelier than Diana's purple bert Burbie ; each is published in the same
robe, year, 1594. Might not the recent death of Whiter than are the snowy Apennines, Greene—the reputation which he left behind
Or icy hair that grows on Boreas' chin.
Father, I swear by Ibis' golden beak, him—the unhappy circumstances attending
More fair and radiant is my bonny Kate his death, for he perished in extreme poverty
Than silver Xanthus when he doth embrace -and the remarkable controversy between
The ruddy Simois at Ida's feet; Nash and Harvey, in 1592, “principally
And care not thou, sweet Kate, how I be clad; touching Robert Greene”-have led the
Thou shalt have garments wrought of Median bookseller to procure and publish copies of
silk, these plays, if they were both written by
Enchased with precious jewels fetch'd from far him ? It is impossible, we think, not to be By Italian merchants, that with Russian stems struck with the striking resemblance of these Plough up huge furrows in the terrene main.” anonymous performances, in the structure of the verse, the extravagant employment of
Take a passage, also, of the prose, or comic, mythological allusions, the laboured finery parts of the two plays, each evidently inintermixed with feebleness, and the occa
tended for the clowns :sional outpouring of a rich and gorgeous
ORLANDO FURIOSO. fancy. In the comic parts, too, it appears to
“ Tom. Sirrah Ralph, an thou 'lt go with me, us that there is an equal similarity in the
I'll let thee see the bravest madman that ever two plays—a mixture of the vapid and the
thou sawest. coarse, which looks like the attempt of an
Ralph. Sirrah Tom, I believe it was he that educated man to lower himself to an unin
was at our town o' Sunday: I'll tell thee what formed audience. It is very difficult to he did, sirrah. He came to our house when all establish these opinions without being tedi- our folks were gone to church, and there was ous; but we may compare a detached pas- nobody at home but I, and I was turning of the sage or two :
spit, and he comes in and bade me fetch him ORLANDO FURIOSO.
some drink. Now, I went and fetched him “Orl. Is not my love like those purple- some; and ere I came again, by my troth, he coloured swans,
ran away with the roast meat, spit and all, and That gallop by the coach of Cynthia ?
so we had nothing but porridge to dinner. Org. Yes, marry is she, my lord.
Tom. By my troth, that was brave; but, Orl. Is not her face silver'd like that milk sirrah, he did so course the boys last Sunday; white shape,
and, if ye call him madman, he 'll run after you, When Jove came dancing down to Semele ? and tickle your ribs so with flap of leather that Org. It is, my lord.
he hath, as it passeth.” Orl. Then go thy ways and climb up to the clouds,
TAMING OF A SHREW. And tell Apollo, that Orlando sits
“San. Boy, oh disgrace to my person ! Zounds, Making of verses for Angelica.
boy, of your face, you have many boys with such And if he do deny to send me down
pickadenaunts, I am sure. Zounds, would you The shirt which Deianira sent to Hercules, not have a bloody nose for this? To make me brave upon my wedding-day, Boy. Come, come, I did but jest; where is Tell him, I 'll pass the Alps, and up to Meroe, that same piece of pie that I gave thee to keep ? (I know he knows that watery lakish hill,) San. The pie ? Ay, you have more mind of And pull the harp out of the minstrel's hands, your belly than to go see what your master does. And pawn it unto lovely Proserpine,
Boy. Tush, 't is no matter, man; I prithee That she may fetch the fair Angelica." give it me, I am very hungry I promise thee.