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And then, with mutual explanations, they travel together to Signior Lucentio's house.
A bounteous feast is prepared : and all the guests are assembled to celebrate the wedding of Signior Lucentio to the pretty Bianca. Among these, we see old Signior Vincentio, and his travelling friends Petrucio and Katharina : besides the pedant Gremio, and, of course, the new Bride and Bridegroom: with a group of visitors, including Tranio, Biondello, and Grumio. But see: in yonder shady corner sit another newly married pair: it is Hortensio and the “wealthy widow,” whom he had prudently selected to console himself for the loss of the pretty Bianca. But, hush: the happy bridegroom Lucentio is about to address his friends : Luc. At 'last, though 'long, our jarring notes agree:
And time it is, wben raging 'war is done,
Hortensio, the newly married man, says :
Petrucio cries out:
The Widow merrily interposes :
I mean, Hortensio is afeard of 'you.
Measures 'my husband's sorrow by his woe:
And now you 'know my meaning. Kath. A very 'mean meaning!
And so the merriment proceeds till the Ladies retire. The Gentlemen continue their jests by making comparison of their wives : Baptista says: Bap. Now, in good sadness, son Petrucio,
I think 'thou hast the veriest shrew of all.
10. R. come.
Pet. Well, 'I say 'no: and therefore, for assurance,
Let each one of us 'send unto his wife ;
Shall 'win the wager which we will propose.
I'll venture so much on' my hawk or hound,
But'twenty times so much upon my 'wife!
That will 'I.
mistress come to me. [ Bap. Son, I will be your 'half, Bianca 'comes. Luc. I'll have no'balves; I'll bear it 'all myself. [Brands alone.
How now! what news ? Bion.
Sir, my mistress sends
word That she is 'busy, and she 'cannot come. Pet. How! she is busy, and she 'cannot come!
Is that an 'answer?
Ay, and a 'kind one too:
[ Pet. O ho!'entreat her! Nay,then, she must 'needs come. IIor. I am afraid, sir,
Do what you can, 'yours will not be entreated.
wifo? Bion. She says, you have some goodly 'jest in hand ;
She 'will not come: she bids you come to 'her.
Intolerable! not to be endured!
I 'command her come to me.
Hortensio's prediction is falsified, and the general expectation defeated, by the immediate entrance of Katharine. Kath. What is your will, sir, that you 'send for me?
(Biondello again returns alone.
a O. R. of.
Pet. Where is your sister ? and Hortensio's wife?
'Swinge me them soundly forth unto their husbands.
Away, I say, and 'bring them hither 'straight. .
An awful rule, and right supremacy ;
The merry old father Baptista says :
The wager 'thou hast won! and I will add,
For she 'is changed, as she had never been.
See, where she comes, and 'brings your froward wives
The Widow says:
The Widow is a shocked":
A predicts, foretells,
To wound thy lord,—thy king, thy governor !
When they are bound to 'serve, 'love, and 'obey.
She does not refuse him this time. Hortensio says to Petrucio :
Lucentio adds :
And the exultant Petrucio concludes:
And 'being a winner, Heaven give you all “Good
END OF THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.
a O. R. do.
CO. R. thou hast tam'd a curst shrow 10. R. 'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tam'd so. e a phrase in archery : the central part of the “bull's eye” was usually painted whitē; also a punning allusion to the name of Bianca (white). ftwo transposed lines.
A MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM.
The beautifully poetic Comedy of “A Midsummer Night's Dream," (which has been aptly described as “a play of fancy, and a plea for fancy,") was twice printed in 1600;" but it must have been performed at least two years earlier, as it is mentioned in Meres' list of 1598. (See p. 6.)
Love is the general theme; but the lovers are like Tennysons “ Pleiades ”_"A nest of fire-flies tangled in a silver braid.”_
There were many legendary sources whence the loves of Theseus and Hippolyta might have been obtained :-Statius in his • • Thebaid" Boccaccio in his “ Teseide "-or Chaucer in his “Knight's Tale."Besides, fairy lore and witch tradition were fashionable in Shakespeare's day; and the poet was evidently well acquainted with all the folk-lore superstitions of the King and Queen of the Fairies, Oberon and Titania, (or Mab, as he elsewhere calls her) and of Puck, or Robin Good-fellow—the “lob "of spirits, his royal master's jester, companion, and chief agent in mischief, fough and shockpated; contrasting with the dainty-limbed delicacy of spiritual refinement, and the clumsy grotesqueness of dull-brained humanity.
The story of “Pyramus and Thisbe" is also a time-honoured theme with poets—from Ovid, (a translation of whose “Metamorphoses," by Golding, appeared in 1527) to Saxe, the American humourist. The performance of “the most lamentable comedy by the “great unwashed” of Athens, may have had its prototype among the Poet's fellow-townsmen in Stratford-on-Avon.
“I am convinced," writes Coleridge, “that Shakespeare availed himself of the title of this Play in his own mind, and worked upon it as a 'Dream' throughout;" and though the story of the “most cruel comedy" be the “silliest stuff," yet the remark of Theseus redeems it from 'folly :-“ The 'best in this kind are but shadows, and the worst are no worse, if Imagination amend them."
This Comedy consists of four incongruous histories :—that of Theseus and Hippolyta-of the four Athenian lovers, Lysander and Demetrius, Helena and Hermia ;-of the hard-handed mechanics who would fain become great actors in the classic city of Athens ;—and of the Fairies, headea by Oberon and Titania, their King and Queen, with Puck as their Prime Minister in mischief.
The following is the entry on the “Stationers' Register” of October 8, 1600 : “Tho. Fisher) A booke called a Midsomer Nyghte Dreame." This first Quarto, (known as Fisher's,) has the following title: "A Midsommer nights dreame : As it hath beene sundry times publickely acted by the Right honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. Written by William Bhakespeare. Imprinted at London for Thomas Fisher, and are to be soulde at his shoppe at the signe of the White Hart in Fleete streete, 1600 "
The second Quarto, (known as Roberts',) is nearly the same, but with the addition of a few stage directions : it appeared shortly after, in the same year : “A Midsommer nights dreame, As it hath beene sundry times publikely acted by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. Written by William Shakespeare. Printed by Iames Roberts, 1600.”