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Now, heaven thee save, thou reverend friar; I pray thee tell to me
If ever, at your holy shrine
My true-love thou did see.
And how should I your true-love know
From any other one?
O, by his cockle-hat and staff,
The holy father thus replied:
O lady, he is dead and gone,
And at his head a green grass turf, And at his heels a stone.
Weep no more, lady; lady, weep no more. Thy sorrow is in vain;
For violets plucked, the sweetest showers
Will ne'er make grow again.
Yet stay, fair lady, rest awhile,
Beneath yon cloister wall:
See through the hawthorn blows the wind,
And drizzling rain doth fall.
O stay me not, thou holy friar,
O stay me not I pray;
No drizzling rain that falls on me Can wash my fault away.
"-to MAN MY HAGGARD"-To tame my hawk. In the technical language of hawking, to watch or wake, was one of the means of taming, by preventing sleep. To bate is to flutter.
"An ancient ANGEL coming down the hill”—“For 'angel,' Theobald, and after him, Hanmer and Warburton, read engle; which Hanmer calls a gull, deriving it from engluer, Fr., to catch with bird-lime; but without sufficient reason. Mr. Gifford, in a note on Jonson's Poetaster,' is decidedly in favour of enghle, with Hanmer's explanation, and supports it by referring to Gascoigne's 'Supposes,' from which Shakespeare took this part of his plot :-There Erostrato (the Biondello of Shakespeare) looks out for a person to gull by an idle story, judges from appearances that he has found him, and is not deceived:- At the foot of the hill I met a gentleman, and, as methought by his habits and his looks, he should be none of the wisest.' Again: 'this gentleman, being, as I guessed at the first, a man of small sapientia.' And Dulippo, (the Lucentio of Shakespeare,) as soon as he spies him coming, exclaims: 'Is this he? go meet him: by my troth, HE LOOKS LIKE A GOOD SOUL; he that fisheth for him might be sure to catch a codshead.'-Act ii. scene 1. These are the passages,' says Mr. Gifford, which our great Poet had in view; and these, I trust, are more than sufficient to explain why Biondello concludes, at first sight, that this ancient piece of formality' will serve his turn. This is very true; and yet it is not necessary to change the reading of the old copy, which is undoubtedly correct, though the commentators could not explain it. 'An ancient angel,' then, was neither more nor less than the good soul of Gascoigne; or, as Cotgrave (often the best commentator on Shakespeare) explains it:-AN OLD ANGEL, by metaphor, a fellow of th' old sound honest and worthie stamp-un angelot à gros escaille.' One who, being honest himself, suspects no guile in others, and is therefore easily duped. I am quite of Mr. Nares's opinion, that enghie is only a different spelling of ingle, which is often used for a favourite, and originally meant one of the most detestable kind: we have no example adduced of its ever having been used for a gull.”—SINGER.
“Master, a mercatante," etc.-Marcantant is the word given in the old folio; "mercatante" is the Italian for merchant: Biondello did not know whether he was a merchant or a pedant. "Mercatante" is the amend
ment of Stevens.
44 Nor never needed that I should entreat"-This line (by mere typographical carelessness) is omitted in "Malone's SHAKESPEARE," by Boswell, and in very many of the best editions since 1803, when it was first dropped in Reed's edition of Johnson and Stevens's text.
"Grey has been hastily betrayed into a remark, upon this scene in Shakespeare, which is singularly opposed to his usual accuracy:-This seems to be borrowed from Cervantes's account of Sancha Panza's treatment by his physician, when sham governor of the island of Barataria." The first part of Don Quixote' was not published till 1605; and our Poet unquestionably took the scene from the old Taming of a Shrew,' which was published in 1594."-KNIGHT.
"-is sorted to no PROOF"-i. e. Approof, or appro
[She beats him.'
Come, tailor, let us see these ornaments."
The imitation by Shakespeare of the scene in the old play, in which the Shrew is tried to the utmost by her husband's interference with her dress, is closer than in almost any other part. The "face not me," and "brave not me," of Grumio, are literal transcripts of the elder jokes. In the speech of Petruchio after the Tailor is driven out, we have three lines taken, with the slightest alteration, from the following:
San. say 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."
"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 (how. ever overloaded) in the more elaborate passages of the original, so that, indeed, Pope thought them worth extracting and preserving in his edition, as "seeming to have been from the hand of Shakespeare himself," 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 glorious 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 wouldst 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. Duke. Thus all alone from Cestus am I come, And left my princely court and noble train, To come to Athens, and in this disguise, To see what course my son Aurelius takes. But stay, here's some, it may be, travels thither; Great sir, can you direct me the way to Athens? Fer. [speaks to the old man. n.] Fair. lovely maiden, young and affable, More clear of hue, and far more beautiful Than precious sardonix or purple rocks Of amethysts or glittering hyacinth, More amiable far than is the plain, Where glittering Cepherus in silver bowers Gazeth upon the Giant, Andromede. Sweet Kate, entertain this lovely woman.
Duke. I think the man is mad; he calls me a woman Kate. Fair, lovely lady, bright and crystalline Beauteous and stately as the eye-train'd bird, As glorious as the morning washed with dew, Within whose eyes she takes her dawning beams And golden summer sleeps upon thy cheeks, Wrap up thy radiations in some cloud, Lest that thy beauty make this stately town Inhabitable like the burning zone, With sweet reflections of thy lovely face."
"I know, 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.
ACT V.-SCENE I.
"-a scarlet cloak! and a COPATAIN hat"-The last article is the conical or sugarhat, 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 crown 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
Tap. A lord, with a murrain! come, art thou drunk still? Sie. 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 best 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 night, 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.
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
early works, (in which no such familiarity with Italy is manifest,) but belongs to the period of the MERCHANT OF 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 persone 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:
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.
"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 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:
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.
"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; and in marked opposition to the worse than mistakes in the Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, which was written when he knew nothing whatever of the country.
"The rich old Gremio, when questioned respecting the dower he can assure to Bianca, boasts, as a primary consideration, of his richly furnished house :
First, as you know, my house within the city
In ivory coffers I have stuff'd my crowns,
"Lady Morgan, in her Italy,' says, (and my own observation corroborates her account,)" there is not an article here described, that I have not found in some one or other of the palaces of Florence, Venice, and Genoa -the mercantile republics of Italy-even to the Turkey cushions 'boss'd with pearl.' She then adds, this is the knowledge of genius, acquired by the rapid perception and intuitive appreciation,' etc.; never once suspecting that Shakespeare had been an eye-witness of such furniture. For my part, (unable to comprehend
the intuitive knowledge of genius,) in opposition to her ladyship's opinion, I beg leave to quote Dr. Johnson: Shakespeare, however favoured by nature, could impart only what he had learned.' With this text as our guide, it behooves us to point out how he could obtain such an intimate knowledge of facts, without having been, like Lady Morgan, an eye-witness to them.
"In addition to these instances, the whole comedy bears an Italian character, and seems written as if the author had said to his friends,-Now I will give you a comedy, built on Italian manners, neat as I myself have imported.' Indeed, did I not know its archetype, with the scene in Athens, I might suspect it to be an adaptation of some unknown Italian play, retaining rather too many local allusions for the English stage.
"Some may argue that it was possible for him to learn all this from books of travels now lost, or in conversation with travellers; but my faith recoils from so bare a possibility, when the belief that he saw what he described, is, in every point of view, without difficulty. and probable. Books and conversation may do much for an author; but should he descend to particular descriptions, or venture to speak of manners and customs intimately, is it possible he should not once fall into error with no better instruction? An objection has been made, imputing an error, in Grumio's inquiring after the 'rushes strewed.' But the custom of strewing rushes, as in England, belonged also to Italy: this may be seen in old authors; and their very word giuncare, now out of use, is a proof of it. English Christian-names, incidentally introduced, are but translations of the same Italian names, as Catarina is called Katharine and Kate; and, if they were not, comedy may well be allowed to take a liberty of that nature."-C. A. BROWN.