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ing to the reason or the conscience of the woman; unlike Petruchio, he has no mind to quell her by force. Like Petruchio, again, he does her not so much honour as lies in a reproach; to responsible humanity belong reproof, rebuke, remonstrance, or even dislike, even forgiveness, but not to a woman married into a family of Venice. The husband in Goldoni's comedies neither hates nor pardons the furies - he does no more than evade them. If the noise will but spend itself and the daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law return to their own apartments, pacified by promises, all is well for the time. The master-mind was never more tolerant or unmoved than in this master of a tempestuous household. He makes no comment, and generalises not at all. Il ne fait que constater. Sufficient for the day is the storm. After a reading of Goldoni, it might be worth while — for the love of Shakespeare, but hardly for the love of this play of his-to disentangle what is Italian from what is English. We have plenty of evidence of the currency of a popular play, "Taming of a Shrew," in England in the time of Shakespeare. Other parts of Shakespeare's play are derived remotely from the Italian of Ariosto, and, moreover, the author of the comedy of which Petruchio is hero had a small piece of Italian knowledge of which the author of the tragedy that has Hamlet for hero was ignorant, -the gender, that is, of the Italian name Battista, or, as the English plays have it, Baptista. Its final vowel gave it a feminine sound, and it is a woman's name in "Hamlet," but a man's, as it should be, in "The Taming of the Shrew." This dis


parity has of course been remarked by those who have not thought the play last named to be the work of Shakespeare; but the incident is too slight to bear any such significance. Obviously, Shakespeare might forget his scholarship on the point of Italian Christian names, if, as seems to be the case, we must not suppose that he corrected it, because "Hamlet ”was the later work. Whatever may be the conflict of expert opinion as to the entire authorship, on the external ground, the testimony of the play itself is surely that, although Shakespeare the manager borrowed his plot, the scenes are the writing of Shakespeare the dramatist. "The Taming of the Shrew" is authentically Shakespeare's to the reader. Circumstantial evidence apart, the Shakespearean who is in every man and woman of letters, English and American, will not hesitate to pronounce it veritably Shakespeare's, almost Shakespeare's worst (the "Induction" apart), but as certainly his as "Lear" itself; yet will be willing to accept any well-accredited origin for the dramatic story - Italian lendings, or popular current English horse-play, or any other. The note of the time is no more manifest than the tone of the man of the time. Shakespeare's tone, even when it is hardly significant enough to be called Shakespeare's style, is assuredly to be recognised like a voice. The note is Elizabethan: and the dramatists, the lyrists, the sonneteers sing it alike; but who would doubt the tone of the driest couplet in one of Shakespeare's sonnets? Hardly more can one doubt whose voice in literature it is that speaks a slight speech for Bianca or for Tranio. Tranio, by the

way, is very Italian. That manner of man, who survived so buoyantly in the comedy of Molière, is evidently the Arlecchino, or Harlequin, of the primitive stage of Italy: the tricksy and shifty spirit, the trusty rogue, the wonder-worker, the man in disguise, the Mercurial one. He is many times modified, and is exquisitely altered by the loss of his customary good luck, in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." For when Mercutio falls, there falls with him the gay but inhuman figure falls, for English literature, perhaps finally. It lives, it takes a mortal wound at Tybalt's sword-point, it bleeds and dies. The primitive Italian tradition is, moreover, touched in another place, where Lucentio speaks to the smooth Bianca of her father, behind his back, as "the old Pantaloon." Baptista is very little of a Pantaleone; except insomuch as he suffers deception, he is a person of sufficient dignity. And that he is subject to this deception is a token both of the Italian and of the Shakespearean humour. Of the two-the typical Italian primitive and the single Shakespeare-it may be suspected that it was Shakespeare who best loved a mystification; the word is not a good one in English, but we may quote it from the French, to describe precisely the kind of jest. That Shakespeare took some Puckish pleasure in that jest we know. "The Comedy of Errors" bears witness to this, so does "Twelfth Night," so does "All's Well that Ends Well." Nay., a brief mystification comes to pass in the course of a tragedy; it hampers the urgency of some passage of passionate feeling; the moment, stretched with apprehension and dismay, is made to

include a misunderstanding, such as that of Juliet and her nurse after the death of Tybalt. What Shakespeare manifestly loved was the error, but he loved it best in the form of mystification. The beguiling of Baptista by his daughter Bianca, the denying of Vincentio by his men, and the presentation of the Pedant in his place are perfect examples of that unjust pleasantry the suf ferer whereof has no defence, for no wit nor wisdom nor wariness could avail him- he is entirely in the hands of a tormentor who has all the knowledge and all the advantage, and uses them for sport with delight, and without sparing, against the aged, the reverend, or the noble. It is true that the hero-son and lover-does not follow the jest to the utmost; that is left for Arlecchino, the merry rogue without a conscience. Whoever was Shakespeare's coadjutor - if he had one, and in some scenes in the part of Bianca it seems probable-Shakespeare in person took a sharp interest in this "coney-catching." To the greater number of modern spirits it is of so little interest, and so little to be loved, as to stand somewhat between them and their dramatist, —a difference involving the very substructure of humour. There is nothing for it but a reconciliation in the most humorous "Induction.” And what is this but a mystification also? Although it is not perhaps the delusion of the tinker that so takes us, but his nature under all fortunes. We have Christopher Sly in common with Shakespeare, let his lord use him as he may. Careless Shakespeare, having carried his inner play to a jolly end, with a preposterous grave moral, sweeps the persons off their little sanctuary stage,

and forgets to close up the outer comedy at all; so that we know no more of the tinker, nor of his restoration to the ale-house on the heath and to his quarrel with the ale-wife. Or the conclusion is lost. But, as it stands, the inner play carries off the victory, and the "Induction” is forgotten. The tinker ceases in the illusion of the lord's house. He ceases and vanishes, and the dramatist does not stay to have the laugh finally against him. No one waits to see Christopher Sly himself again, or to hear him attempt an indignant Marian Hacket with the recital of his adventure. So that the last we hear from him is the restless sigh offered by the clown to the fancy of drama and mirth: "Comes there any more of it? . "T is a very excellent piece of work, madam lady; would 't were done.”

A scientific inquiry into the evidence touching the authorship of the play in all its parts is not within the province of this short essay. But it does belong to the appreciation of the comedy, and it is in the competence of a student of verse, to dwell for a moment upon the metrical testimony to the identity of the author of "Love's Labour's Lost" and the author of "The Taming of the Shrew." Anapæsts (I speak of course of anapæsts as one may adapt the word to the use of English prosody) are rare in English literature before the eighteenth century made them its lighter favourites, and peculiarly its own, the expression of its dapper and commonplace gaiety and frolic, whether in the age of Anne or when Mrs. Thrale was rendering epigrams from the French. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries meddled little

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