Page images

At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault?
I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.

1 Hun. Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord; He cried upon it at the merest loss,

And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent:
Trust me, I take him for the better dog.

Lord. Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,

I would esteem him worth a dozen such.


sup them well, and look unto them all; To-morrow I intend to hunt again.

1 Hun. I will, my lord.

Lord. What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?

2 Hun. He breathes, my lord: Were he not warm'd 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 convey'd to bed,

Wrapp'd 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 Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
2 Hun. It would seem strange unto him when he


Lord. Even as a flattering dream, or worthless fancy.
Then take him up, and manage well the jest:-
Carry him gently to my fairest chamber,

And hang it round with all my wanton pictures:
Balm his foul head with warm distilled waters,
And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet:
Procure me musick ready when he wakes,
To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound;
And if he chance to speak, be ready straight,
And, with a low submissive reverence,


how Silver made it good-] This, I suppose, is a technical term. It occurs likewise in the 23d song of Drayton's Polyolbion:

"What 's offer'd by the first, the other good doth make.”


Say, What is it your honour will command?
Let one attend him with a silver bason,

Full of rose-water, and bestrew'd with flowers;
Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,


And say, Will 't please your lordship cool your
Some one be ready with a costly suit,
And ask him what apparel he will wear;
Another tell him of his hounds and horse,
And that his lady mourns at his disease:
Persuade him, that he hath been lunatick;
And, when he says he is, say, that he dreams,
For he is nothing but a mighty lord.2

This do, and do it kindly,3 gentle sirs;

It will be pastime passing excellent,
If it be husbanded with modesty.*

1 Hun. My lord, I warrant you, we 'll play our part, As he shall think, by our true diligence,

He is no less than what we say he is.

Lord. Take him up gently, and to bed with him;

And each one to his office, when he wakes.

[Some bear out SLY. A trumpet sounds.

2 And, when he says he is, say, that he dreams,

For he is nothing but a mighty lord.] I rather think, (with Sir Thomas Hanmer) that Shakspeare wrote:

And when he says he's poor, say that he dreams. The dignity of a lord is then significantly opposed to the poverty which it would be natural for Sly to acknowledge.


If any thing should be inserted, it may be done thus:

And when he says he's Sly, say that he dreams. The likeness in writing of Sly and say produced the omission. Johnson. This is hardly right; for how should the Lord know the beg gar's name to be Sly? Steevens.

Perhaps the sentence is left imperfect, because he did not know by what name to call him. Blackstone.

I have no doubt that the blank was intended by the author. It is observable that the metre of the line is perfect, without any supplemental word. In The Tempest a similar blank is found, which Shakspeare there also certainly intended:-"I should know that voice; it should be ; but he is drowned, and these are devils." Malone.

3 This do, and do it kindly,] Kindly, means naturally.

M. Mason. modesty.] By modesty is meant moderation, without suffering our merriment to break into an excess. Johnson.

Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds :-
[Exit Serv.

Belike some noble gentleman, that means,
Travelling some journey, to repose him here.-
Re-enter a Servant.

How now? who is it?


An it please your honour,

Players that offer service to your lordship.
Lord. Bid them come near:-

[blocks in formation]

1 Play. We thank your honour.

Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? 2 Play. So please your lordship to accept our duty." Lord. With all my heart.-This fellow I remember, Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son;— 'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well: I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform'd.

1 Play. I think, 'twas Soto" that your honour means.

5 Enter players.] The old play already quoted reads: "Enter two of the plaiers with packs at their backs, and a boy. "Now, sirs, what store of plaies have you?

"San. Marry my lord you may have a tragicall,

"Or a commoditie, or what

you will.

"The other. A comedie thou shouldst say, souns thou 'lt shame us all.

"Lord. And what's the name of your comedie?

"San. Marrie my lord, 'tis calde The Taming of a Shrew: ""Tis a good lesson for us my L. for us that are married men," &c. Steevens.

6 to accept our duty.] It was in those times the custom of players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great houses. Johnson.

In the fifth Earl of Northumberland's Household Book, (with a copy of which I was honoured by the late duchess) the following article occurs. The book was begun in the year 1512:

"Rewards to Playars.

"Item, to be payd to the said Richard Gowge and Thomas Percy for rewards to players for playes playd in Chrystinmas by stranegers in my house after xxd. every play by estimacion somme xxxiijs. iiijd. Which ys apoynted to be paid to the said Richard Gowge and Thomas Percy at the said Christynmas in full contentacion of the said rewardys xxxiijs. iiijd." Steevens.

7 I think, 'twas Soto-] I take our author here to be paying a

Lord. 'Tis very true;-thou didst it excellent.-
Well, you are come to me in happy time;
The rather for I have some sport in hand,
Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
There is a lord will hear you play to-night:
But I am doubtful of your modesties;
Lest, over-eying of his odd behaviour,
(For yet his honour never heard a play)
You break into some merry passion,
And so offend him; for I tell you, sirs,
you should smile, he grows impatient.


1 Play. Fear not, my lord; we can contain ourselves, Were he the veriest antick in the world.

compliment to Beaumont and Fletcher's Woman Pleased, in which comedy there is the character of Soto, who is a farmer's son, and a very facetious serving-man. Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope prefix the name of Sim to the line here spoken; but the first folio has it Sincklo; which, no doubt, was the name of one of the players here introduced, and who had played the part of Soto with applause. Theobald.

As the old copy prefixes the name of Sincklo to this line, why should we displace it? Sincklo is a name elsewhere used by Shakspeare. In one of the parts of King Henry VI, Humphrey and Sincklo enter with their bows, as foresters.

With this observation I was favoured by a learned lady, and have replaced the old reading. Steevens.

It is true that Soto, in the play of Woman Pleased, is a farmer's eldest son, but he does not wooe any gentlewoman; so that it may be doubted, whether that be the character alluded to.

There can be little doubt that Sincklo was the name of one of the players, which has crept in, both here and in The Third Part of K. Henry VI, instead of the name of the person represented.

Again, at the conclusion of The Second Part of King Henry IV: "Enter Sincklo and three or four officers." See the quarto, 1600. Tyrwhitt.

If Soto were the character alluded to, the compliment would be to the person who played the part, not to the author.

M. Mason.

Sincklo or Sinkler, was certainly an actor in the same company with Shakspeare, &c.-He is introduced together with Burbage, Condell, Lowin, &c. in the Induction to Marston's Malcontent, 1604, and was also a performer in the entertainment entitled The Seven Deadlie Sinns. Malone.


in the world.] Here follows another insertion made by Mr. Pope from the old play. These words are not in the folio, 1623. I have therefore degraded them, as we have no proof that the first sketch of the piece was written by Shakspeare:

Lord. Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,

"San. [to the other.] Go, get a dishclout to make cleane your shooes, and Ile speak for the properties.* [Exit Player. "My lord, we must have a shoulder of mutton for a propertie, and a little vinegre to make our diuel rore."†

The shoulder of mutton might indeed be necessary afterwards for the dinner of Petruchio, but there is no devil in this piece, or in the original on which Shakspeare formed it; neither was it yet determined what comedy should be represented. Steevens.


Property] in the language of a playhouse, is every implement necessary to the exhibition. Johnson.

t - a little vinegre to make our diuel rore.] When the acting the mysteries of the Old and New Testament was in vogue at the representation of the mystery of the Passion, Judas and the Devil made a part. And the Devil, wherever he came, was always to suffer some disgrace, to make the people laugh: as here, the buffoonery was to apply the gall and vinegar to make him roar. And the Passion being that, of all the mysteries, which was most frequently represented, vinegar became at length the standing implement to torment the Devil; and was used for this purpose even after the mysteries ceased, and the moralities came in vogue; where the Devil continued to have a considerable part. The mention of it here, was to ridicule so absurd a circumstance in these old farces. Warburton.

All that Dr. Warburton has said relative to Judas and the vinegar, wants confirmation. I have met with no such circumstances in any mysteries, whether in MS. or in print; and yet both the Chester and Coventry collections are preserved in the British Museum. See MS. Harl. 2013, and Cotton MS. Vespasian D. viii.

Perhaps, however, some entertainments of a farcical kind might have been introduced between the Acts. Between the divisions of one of the Chester Mysteries, I met with this marginal direction: Here the Boy and Pig; and perhaps the Devil in the intervals of this first comedy of The Taming of the Shrew, might be tormented for the entertainment of the audience; or, according to a custom observed in some of our ancient puppetshows, might beat his wife with a shoulder of mutton. In the preface to Marlowe's Tamburlaine, 1590, the Printer says:

"I have (purposelie) omitted and left out some fond and frivolous jestures, digressing (and in my poore opinion) farre unmeete for the matter, which I thought might seeme more tedious unto the wise, than any way els to be regarded, though (happly) they have bene of some vaine conceited fondlings greatly gaped at, what time they were showed upon the stage in their graced deformities: neverthelesse now to be mixtured in print with such matter of worth, it would prove a great disgrace," &c. The bladder of vinegar was, however, used for other purposes.

« PreviousContinue »