« AnteriorContinuar »
with other writers of his time, “ the old man of the mountain." Warton refers to a collection of short comic stories in prose, “ set forth by maister Richard Edwards, master of her majesties revels,” in 1570 (which he had seen in the collection of Collins the poet), for the immediate source of the fable of the old drama. The incident related by Heuterus in his Rerum Birgund., lib. iv., is also to be found in Goulart's Admirable and Memorable Histories, translated by E. Grimeston, 4to. 1607. The story of Charles V. is related by Sir Richard Barckley, in a Discourse on the Felicitie of Man, printed in 1598; but the frolic, as Mr. Holt White observes, seems better suited to the gayety of the gallant Francis, or the revelry of our own boisterous Henry.
Of the story of the Taming of the Shrew no immediate English source has been pointed out. Mr. Douce has referred to a novel in the Piacevoli Notti of Strapa rola, notte 8, fav. 2, and to El Conde Lucanor, by Don Juan Manuel, Prince of Castile, who died in 1362, as containing similar stories. He observes that the character of Petruchio bears some resemblance to that of Pisardo in Straparola's novel, notte fav. 7.
Schlegel remarks that this play " has the air of an Italian comedy;" and, indeed, the love intrigue of Lucentio is derived from the Suppositi of Ariosto, through the translation of George Gascoigne. Johnson has observed the skilful combination of the two plots, by which such a variety and succession of comic incident is insured without running into perplexity. Petruchio is a bold and happy sketch of a humorist, in which Schlegel thinks the character and peculiarities of an Englishman are visible. It affords another example of Shakspeare's deep insight into human character, that in the last scene the meek and mild Bianca shows she is not without a spice of self-will. The play inculcates a fine moral lesson, which is not always taken as it should be.
Every one, who has a true relish for genuine humor, must regret that we are deprived of Shakspeare's continuation of this Interlude of Sly,"
* Dr. Drake suggests that some of the passages in which Sly is introduced should be adopted from the old drama, and connected with the text, so as to complete his story; making very slight alteration, and distinguishing the borrowed parts by some mark.
“ who is indeed of kin to Sancho Panza.” We think, with a late clegant writer, “ the character of Sly, and the remarks with which he accompanies the play, as good as the play itself."
It appears to have been one of Shakspeare's earliest productions, and is supposed by Malone to have been produced in 1504.
Characters in the Original Play of The Taming of a Shrero, entered on
the Stationers' Books in 1594, and printed in quarto in 1607.
Alphonsus, a Merchant of Athens.
Suitors to the Daughters of Alphonsus.
Tailor, llaberdasher, and Servants lo Ferando and Alphonsus.
SCENE, Athens; and sometimes Ferando's Country-House.
other Servants attending on the Lord.
Persons in the
BAPTISTA, a rich Gentleman of Padua.
arina. GREMIO, HORTENSIO,
} Suitors to Bianca.
Servants to Lucentio.
} Servants to Petruchio.
KATHARINA, the threro, } Daughters to Baptista.
Tailor, Haberdasher, and Servants attending on Baptista
SCENE, sometimes in Padua; and sometimes in
Petruchio's House in the Country.
TAMING OF THE SHREW.
SCENE I. Before an Alehouse on a Heath.
Enter Hostess and Sly.
Sly. Y'are a baggage; the Slies are no rogues : Look in the chronicles; we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore, paucas pallabris;let the world slide. Sessa!
Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?
Sly. No, not a denier. Go by, says Jeronimy ;Go to thy cold bed and warm thee.
Host. I know my remedy; I must go fetch_the thirdborough.
[Exit. Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him by law. I'll not budge an inch, boy; let him come, and kindly.
[Lies down on the ground, and falls asleep.
1 So again in Troilus and Cressida, Ajax says of Achilles :—“I'll pheese his pride." And in Ben Jonson's Alchemist :
“Come, will you quarrel? I'll feize you, sirrah.” 2 Pocas palabras (Span.), few words. 3 Cessa (Ital.), be quiet. 4 This line and the scrap of Spanish is used in burlesque from an old play called Hieronymo, or the Spanish Tragedy. The old copy reads :S. Jeronimy.” The emendation is Mason's.
5 An officer whose authority equals that of a constable.
Wind Horns. Enter a Lord from Hunting, with
Huntsmen and Servants. Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my
hounds: Brach Merriman,—the poor cur is embossed," And couple Clowder with the deep-mouthed brach.” Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault? I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
1 Hunt. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;
Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
1 Hunt. I will, my lord.
doth he breathe ? 2 Hunt. He breathes, my lord. Were he not
warmed with ale, This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly. Lord. O monstrous beast! how like a swine he
lies! Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image! Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man. What think you if he were conveyed to bed, Wrapped in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers, A most delicious banquet by his bed, And brave attendants near him when he wakes; Would not the beggar then forget himself?
1 Hunt. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
1 « Embossed,” says Philips, in his World of Words,“ is a term in hunting, when a deer is so hard chased that she foams at the mouth; it comes from the Spanish deseinbocar, and is metaphorically used for any kind of weariness."
2 Brach originally signified a particular species of dog used for the chase. It was a long-eared dog, hunting by the scent.