« AnteriorContinuar »
Fer. Why, true, he means to make a fool of thee,
Enter the Tailor with a Goun.
mistress' gown. Fer. Let me see it, tailor: what, with cuts and jags ? Zounds, thou villain, thou hast spoiled the gown!
Tailor. Why, sir, I made it as your man gave me direction. You may read the note here.
Fer. Come hither, sirrah. Tailor, read the note.
San. Master, if ever I said loose bodied gown, sew me in a seam, and beat me to death with a bottom of brown thread.
Tailor. I made it as the note bade me.
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.”
“A custard-COFFIN"- A coffin, (says Stevens,) was the ancient culinary term for the raised crust of a pie or custard.
“- a CENSER in a barber's shop"-Stevens tells us that these “censers" were like modern brasiers. They were probably curiously ornamented.
" - take thou the bill, give me thy METE-YARD, and spare not me”-“The joke intended is lost, unless we remember that ‘bill' meant either a piece of paper, or, a weapon such as was carried by watchmen, etc., in the time of Shakespeare. On the title-page of Decker's * Lanthorne and Candle-light,' quarto, (1609,) is a representation of a watchman armed with a bill.'"-Coll.
“ Exeunt Tailor and HABERDASHER"-Collier was the first editor who took pity on the Haberdasher, and dismissed him from the stage, for his exit is not mentioned in any prior edition. He had, perhaps, stood trembling by, after producing the cap.
After this exeunt (conclusion of scene iii.) the characters, before whom the play is supposed to be exhibited, were introduced, from the old play, by Mr. Pope, in his edition:
Lord. Who's within here? (Enter Serrants.) A sleep again? Go take him easily up, and put him in his own apparel again. But see you wake him not in any case. Serr. It shall be done, my lord; come help to hear him hence.
(They bear of SLIE. Johnson thought the fifth act should begin here.
SCENE V. “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 althongh the poetic imagery substituted in the improved play has more truth and spirit, yet there is some splendour (however 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
Kate. Why, I'll say as you say ; it is the moon.
Fer. I am glad, Kate, your stomach is come down;
Enter the Duke of Cestus, alone.
may be, travels thither ; Good sir, can you direct me the way to Athens ? Fer. [speaks to the old man.] Fair, lovely maiden,
young and affable,
Duke. I think the man is mad; he calls me a woman.
Kate. Fair, lovely lady, bright and crystalline,
“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.
SCENE IV. “ I cannot tell, EXPECT they are busied about a counterfeit assurance" — The first folio reads “expect,” which is changed to except in the later editions.
“ Expect” is here used, as frequently by old authors, in what is now its Yankee sense, i. e. Believe, think, that they are busied, etc.
Here, in the old play, (conclusion of scene iv.,) the tinker speaks again :
Slie. Sim, must they be married now?
Enter FERANDO and SANDER.
ACT V.-SCENE I. "-a scarlet cloak! and a COPATAIN hat" -The last article is the conical or sugar-loaf hat, 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 crowns 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 editions,
“ While counterfeit SUPPOSES blear'd thine eyne" early works, (in which no such familiarity with Italy is This may be an allusion to Gascoigne's comedy, en manifest,) but belongs to the period of the MERCHANT titled “Supposes," from which several of the incidents OF VENICE:-were borrowed. Gascoigne's original was Ariosto's “ I Suppositi.” The word “supposes" was often used by
“ This comedy was entirely rewritten from an older Shakespeare's contemporaries; one instance, from Dray.
one by an unknown hand, with some, but not many,
additions to the fable. It should first be observed that ton's epistle of King John to Matilda may suffice:And tell me those are shadows and supposes.
in the older comedy, which we possess, the scene is laid
in and near Athens, and that Shakespeare removed it To “blear the eye" anciently signified to deceive, to to Padua and its neighbourhood; an unnecessary change, cheat. The reader will remember Milton's
if he knew no more of one country than of the other. spells
“ The dramatis persona next attract our attention. of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion.
Baptista is no longer erroneously the name of a woman, “My cake is dough"-A proverbial expression, when
as in HAMLET, but of a man. All the other names, exany disappointment was sustained. Gremio has already cept one, are pure Italian, though most of them are
Biondello, the name of a used it, act i. scene 1, of this play, with an addition, adapted to the English ear. “our cake 's dough on both sides,” more emphatically boy, seems chosen with a knowledge of the language, to indicate how completely expectation had failed.
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 SCENE II.
the housekeeper at his villa; which, as it is an insignifi“Tranio, BIONDELLO, GRUMIO, and others, attend cant part, may have been the name of the player; but, ing"--According to the old stage-direction, “ the serving more probably, it is a corruption of Cortese. men with Tranio bring in a banquet." A banquet, as
" • Act I. Scene I. A Public Place. For an open Stevens observes, properly meant what we now call a place or a square in a city, this is not a home-bred exdessert, though often taken generally for a feast; and pression. It may be accidental ; yet it is a literal transto this Lucentio refers when he says
lation of una piazza publica, exactly what was meant
for the scene.
“ The opening of the comedy, which speaks of Lom
bardy and the University of Padua, miglit have been “ Hare at you for a BETTER jest or tro"-So the old written by a native Italian :copies; but Capell suggested “bitter jest or two," and
Tranio, since--for the great desire I had he has been usually followed. Petruchio means “a
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,better jest or two" than Bianca's last, about “head and
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy, horn."
The pleasant garden of great Italy:“ I'll venture so much of my hawk," etc.—“So all
Here let us breathe, and happily institute the old copies. The modern editors, objecting to Shake
A course of learning, and ingenious studies. speare's phraseology, have uniformly represented him "The very next liue I found myself involuntarily reto have written on my lawk,' etc.”—COLLIER.
peating, at ihe sight of the grave countenances within
the walls of Pisa:" Then vall your stomachs"-i. e. Lower, or abate,
Pisa, renowned for grave citizens. your pride.
They are altogether a grave people, in their demeanour, “ – though you hit the WHITE"-To " hit the white;'
their history, and their literature, such as it is. I never is a phrase borrowed from archery ; the "white" being met with the anomaly of a merry Pisan. Curiously the centre of the target.
enough, this line is repeated, word for word, in the
fourth act. “ Exeunt"— The old play continues thus:
“Lucentio says, his father came of the Bentivolii:' Then enter two, bearing Sure in his own apparel againe, and this is an old Italian plural; a mere Englishman would
leares him where they found him, and then goes out ; then enters write of the Bentivolios.' Besides, there was, and is, the Tapster.
a branch of the Bentivolij in Florence, where Lucentio Tapsler. Now that the darksome night is overpast,
says he was brought up. And dawning day appeares in christall skie, Now must I haste abroade : but softe! who's this?
But these indications, just at the commencement of What, Slie? O wondrous ? hath he laine heere all night!
the play, are not of great force. We now come to someIle wake him ; I think he's starved by this,
thing more important; a remarkable proof of his having But that his helly was so stufft with ale :
been aware of the law of the country in respect to the What now, Slie? awake for shame. Slie. (Awaking.) Sim, give's more wine.—What all the players
betrothment of Katharina and Petruchio, of which there gone?--Am I not a lord?
is not a vestige in the older play. The father gives ber Tap. A lord, with a murrain ? come, art thou drunk still? hand to him, both parties consenting, before two witSlié. Who's this? Tapster?-Oh I have had the bravest dream
nesses, who declare themselves such, to the act. Such that ever thou heard'st in all thy life. Tap. Yea, marry, but thou hadst hest get thec home, for your wife
a ceremony is as indissoluble as that of marriage, unless will curse you for dreaming here all night.
both parties should consent to annul it. The betrothSlie. Will she? I know how to lame a shrew. I dreamt upon it ment takes place in due form, exactly as in many of all this night, and thou hast wak'd me out of the best dream that
Goldoni's comedies:ever I had; but I'll to my wife, and tame her too, if she anger me.
Give me your hands;
Gre, and Tra. A men! say we; we will be witnesses. Mr. Brown's remarks on this play, as a comedy bearing Instantly Petruchio addresses them as father and wife;' the ** peculiar feature and stamp' of Italy are very curious, because, from that moment, he possesses the legal power and show that if Shakespeare did not actually visit Italy of a husband over her, saving that of taking her to his (according to Mr. Brown's supposition) some time be own house. Unless the betrothment is understood in tween the composition of the earlier ROMEO AND JULIET this light, we cannot account for the father's so tamely and the date of the MERCHANT OF VENICE, and the re yielding afterwards to Petruchio's whim of going in his modelling of this play,-he had certainly, in that interval, 'mad attire' with her to the church. Authority is no become very familiar with the scenery, manners, cus longer with the father; in vain he hopes and requests toms, and cities of Italy, through some other source. the bridegroom will change his clothes; Petruchio is They serve also to strengthen the conclusion to which peremptory in his lordly will and pleasure, which he the internal evidence of style had led my mind, as to could not possibly be, without the previous Italian bethe date of this piece; that it was not one of his very trothment.
“Padua lies between Verona and Venice, at a suitable the intuitive knowledge of genius,) in opposition to her distance from both, for the conduct of the comedy. | ladyship's opinion, I beg leave to quote Dr. Johnson : Petruchio, after being securely betrothed, sets off for Shakespeare, however favoured by nature, could imVenice, the very place for finery, to buy .rings and part only what he had learned. With this text as our things, and fine array' for the wedding; and, when mar guide, it behooves us to point out how he could obtain ried, he takes her to his country-house, in the direction such an intimate knowledge of facts, without having of Verona, of which city he is a native. All this is com been, like Lady Morgan, an eye-witness to them. plete; and in marked opposition to the worse than mis “ In addition to these instances, the whole comedy takes in the Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, which was bears an Italian character, and seems written as if the written when he knew nothing whatever of the author had said to his friends,—Now I will give you a country.
comedy, built on Italian manners, neat as I myself have “The rich old Gremio, when questioned respecting | imported.'. Indeed, did I not know its archetype, with the dower he can assure to Bianca, boasts, as a primary the scene in Athens, I might suspect it to be an adaptaconsideration, of his richly furnished house :
tion of some unknown Italian play, retaining rather too First, as you know, my house within the city
many local allusions for the English stage. Is richly furnished with plate and gold;
“Some may argue that it was possible for him to Basons and ewers, to lave her dainty hands;
learn all this from books of travels now lost, or in conMy hangings all of Tyrian tapestry:
versation with travellers; but my faith recoils from so In ivory coffers I have stuff?d my crowns,
bare a possibility, when the belief that he saw what he In cypress chests my arras, counterpoints, Costly apparel, tents, and canopies;
described, is, in every point of view, without difficulty, Fine linen, Turkey cushions 'boss'd with pearl,
and probable. Books and conversation may do much Valance of Venice gold in needlework ;
for an author; but should he descend to particular de. Pewter and brass, and all things that belong To house or house-keeping.
scriptions, or venture to speak of manners and customs
intimately, is it possible he should not once fall into “Lady Morgan, in her •Italy,' says, (and my own error with no better instruction ? An objection has been observation corroborates her account,) “ there is not an made, imputing an error, in Grumio's inquiring after the article here described, that I have not found in some one * rushes strewed.' But the custom of strewing rushes, or other of the palaces of Florence, Venice, and Genoa as in England, belonged also to Italy : this may be seen -the mercantile republics of Italy—even to the Tur- in old authors; and their very word giuncare, now out key cushions 'boss'd with pearl.'. She then adds, this is of use, is a proof of it, English Christian-names, incithe knowledge of genius, acquired by the rapid per- dentally introduced, are but translations of the same ception and intuitive appreciation, etc. ; never once Italian names, as Catarina is called Katharine and Kate ; suspecting that Shakespeare had been an eye-witness of and, if they were not, comedy may well be allowed to such furniture. For my part, (unable to comprehend || take a liberty of that nature."-C. A. Brown.