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OP this play the two plots are so well united, that they can hardly be called two, without injury to the art with which they are interwoven. The attention is entertained with all the variety of a double plot, yet is not distracted by unconnected incidents.
The part between Katharine and Petruchio is eminently spritely and diverting. At the marriage of Bianca the arri. val of the real father, perhaps, produces more perplexity than pleasure. The whole play is very popular and diverting.
JOHNSON. I once thought that the name of this play might have been taken from an old story, entitled, The Wyf lapped in Morells Skin, or The T'aming of a Shrew ; but I have since discovered among the entries in the books of the Stationers' Company the following : “ Peter Shorte] May 2, 1594, a pleasaunt conceyted hystorie, called, The Taminge of a Shrowe.” It is likewise entered to Nich. Ling, Jan. 22, 1606 ; and to John Smythwicke, Nov. 19, 1607.
Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, is of opinion that The Frolicksome Duke, or the Tinker's Good Fortune, an ancient ballad in the Pepys’ Collection, might have suggested to Shakspeare the Induction for this comedy.
The following story, however, which might have been the parent of all the rest, is related by Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy, edit. 1632, p. 649 : “A Tartar Prince, saith Marcus Polus, Lib. II. cap. 28, called Senex de Montibus, the better to establish his government amongst his subjects, and to keepe them in awe, found a convenient place in a pleasant valley environed with hills, in which he made a delitious parke full of odorifferous flowers and fruits, and a palace full of all worldly Contents that could possibly be devised, musicke, pictures, variety of meats, &c. and chose out a certaine young man, whom with a soporiferous potion he so benummed, that he perceived nothing ; and so, fast asleepe as he was, caused him to be conveied into this faire garden. Where, after he had lived a wbile in all such ploasures a sensuall man could desire, he cast him into a sleepe againė, and brought him forth, that when he waked he might tell others he had beene in Paradise.”—Marco Paolo, quoted by Burton, was a traveller of the 13th century.
Chance, however, has at last furnished me with the original to which Shakspeare was indebted for his fable ; nor does this discovery at all dispose me to retract my former opinion, which the reader may find at the conclusion of the play.
other Servants attending on the Lord. Stion.
suitors to Bianca.
ervants to Lucentio.
ervants to Petruchio. PEDANT, an old fellow set up to personate Vincentio.
KATHARINA, the shrew, } daughters to Baptista.
BIANCA, her sister,
Tailor, Haberdasher, and Servants, attending on Bap
tista and Petruchio.
SCENE--sometimes in Padua ; and sometimes in
Petruchio's house in the country,
TAMING OF THE SHREW.
Host. A pair of stocks, you rogue !
Sly. Y'are a baggage ; the Slies are no rogues: Look in the chronicles, we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore, paucas pallabris ;2 let the world slide; Sessa!
Host. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst? 3
Sly. No, not a denier : Go by, says Jeronimy ;-Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee. 4
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
[1! To pheese or fease, is to separate a twist into single threads. In the figurative sense it may well enough be taken, like teaze or toze, for to harrass, to plague. Perhaps, I'll pheeze you, may be equivalent to I'll comb your head, a phrase vulgarly used by persons of Sly's character, on like occasions JOHNS
To pheeze a man, is to beat him ; to give him a pheeze, is, to give hini a knock M. MASON
[?] Sly, as an ignorant fellow is purposely made to aiin at languages out of his knowledge, and knock the words out of joint The Spaniards say, pocas pallabras, i. e. few word ; as they do likewise, Cessa, i. e. be quiei.
THEO.  To burst and to break were anciently synonymous. Falstaff says, that “ John of Gaunt burst Shallow's head for crowding in among the marshal's men."
STEEV.  All the editions have coin d'a saint here, for Sly to swear by But the poet had no such intentions, · The passage has particular humour in it, and must have been very pleasing at that time of l.y. But I must clear up a piece of stage history to make it understood. There is i fustian old play called Hieronymo; or The Spanish Tragedy: which I find was th common butt of saillery to all the poets in Shakspeare's time : and a passage, that appeared very ridiculous in that play, is here humorously alluded to. THEO