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She will not come.
Bah. Now, by my holidame, here comes Katharina!
Pet. Marry, peace it bodes, and love, and quiet life,
Pet. Nay, I will win my wager better yet;
Re-enter KATHARINA, with BIANCA and Widow.
[KATH. pulls off her cap, and throws it down.
Bian. Fy! what a foolish duty call you this?
2 She will not come.] I have added the word-come, to complete the measure, which was here defective; as indeed it is, almost irremediably, in several parts of the present scene. Steevens.
an hundred crowns -] Old copy-five hundred. Cor
Bian. The more fool you, for laying on my duty.
What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.
Pet. Come on, I say; and first begin with her.
Pet. I say, she shall;-and first begin with her.
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
And, when she 's froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
What is she, but a foul contending rebel,
rected by Mr. Pope. In the MS. from which our author's plays were printed, probably numbers were always expressed in figures, which has been the occasion of many mistakes in the early editions. Malone.
-as frosts bite the meads;] The old copy reads-frosts do bite. The correction was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
To offer war, where they should kneel for peace;
My hand is ready, may it do him ease.
Pet. Why, there's a wench!-Come on, and kiss me, Kate.
Luc. Well, go thy ways, old lad; for thou shalt ha 't. Vin. 'Tis a good hearing, when children are toward. Luc. But a harsh hearing, when women are froward. Pet. Come, Kate, we'll to-bed:
We three are married, but you two are sped. 8 'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white;* [To Luc. And, being a winner, God give you good night! [Exeunt PET. and KATH.
-- our soft conditions,] The gentle qualities of our minds. Malone. So, in King Henry V: "my tongue is rough, coz, and my condition is not smooth." Steevens.
which we least are.] The old copy erroneously prolongs. this line by reading-which we indeed least are. 7 Then vail your stomachs,] i. e. abate your pride, your spirit. So, in King Henry IV, P. I:
"Gan vail his stomach, and did grace the shame
you two are sped.] i. e. the fate of you both is decided; for you have wives who exhibit early proofs of disobedience.
Steevens. though you hit the white;] To hit the white is a phrase
Hor. Now go thy ways, thou hast tam'd a curst shrew.1 Luc, 'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tam'd [Exeunt.2
borrowed from archery: the mark was commonly white. Here it alludes to the name, Bianca, or white. Johnson.
So, in Feltham's Answer to Ben Jonson's Ode at the end of his New Inn:
"As oft you 've wanted brains
Again, in Sir Aston Cockayn's Poems, 1658:
"And as an expert archer hits the white."
shrew.] I suppose our author design'd this word to be sounded as if it had been written-shrow. Thus, in Mr. Lodge's Illustrations of English History, Vol. II, p. 164, Burghley calls Lord Shrewsbury-Shrowsbury. See, also, the same work, Vol. II, p. 168-9. Steevens.
2 Exeunt.] At the conclusion of this piece, Mr. Pope continued his insertions from the old play, as follows: "Enter two Servants, bearing Sly in his own apparel, and leaving him on the stage. Then enter a Tapster. "Sly. [awaking] Sim, give 's some more wine.the players gone?Am I not a lord?
Tap. A lord, with a murrain!-Come, art thou drunk still? "Sly. Who's this? Tapster!-Oh, I have had the bravest dream that ever thou heard'st in all thy life.
Tap. Yea, marry, but thou hadst best get thee home, for your wife will curse you for dreaming here all night.
"Sly. Will she? I know how to tame a shrew. I dreamt upon it all this night, and thou hast wak'd me out of the best dream that ever I had. But I'll to my wife, and tame her too, if she anger me."
These passages, which have been hitherto printed as part of the work of Shakspeare, I have sunk into the notes, that they may be preserved, as they seem to be necessary to the integrity of the piece, though they really compose no part of it, being not published in the folio 1623. Mr. Pope, however, has quoted them with a degree of inaccuracy which would have deserved censure, had they been of greater consequence than they are. The players delivered down this comedy, among the rest, as one of Shakspeare's own; and its intrinsic merit bears sufficient evidence to the propriety of their decision.
May I add a few reasons why I neither believe the former comedy of The Taming of the Shrew, 1607, nor the old play of King John, in two parts, to have been the work of Shakspeare? He generally followed every novel or history from whence he took his plots, as closely as he could; and is so often indebted to these
originals for his very thoughts and expressions, that we may fairly pronounce him not to have been above borrowing, to spare himself the labour of invention. It is therefore probable, that both these plays, (like that of King Henry V, in which Oldcastle is introduced) were the unsuccessful performances of contemporary players. Shakspeare saw they were meanly written, and yet that their plans were such as would furnish incidents for a better dramatist. He therefore might lazily adopt the order of their scenes, still writing the dialogue anew, and inserting little more from either piece, than a few lines which he might think worth preserving, or was too much in haste to alter. It is no uncommon thing in the literary world, to see the track of others followed by those who would never have given themselves the trouble to mark out one of their own. Steevens.
It is almost unnecessary to vindicate Shakspeare from being the author of the old Taming of a Shrew. Mr. Pope in conse. quence of his being very superficially acquainted with the phraseology of our early writers, first ascribed it to him, and on his authority this strange opinion obtained credit for half a century. He might, with just as much propriety, have supposed that our author wrote the old King Henry IV, and V, and The History of King Leir and his three Daughters, as that he wrote two plays on the subject of Taming a Shrew, and two others on the story of King John.-The error prevailed for such a length of time, from the difficulty of meeting with the piece, which is so extremely scarce, that I have never seen or heard of any copy existing but one in the collection of Mr. Steevens, and another in my own and one of our author's editors [Mr. Capell] searched for it for thirty years in vain. Mr. Pope's copy is supposed to be irrecoverably lost.
I suspect that the anonymous Taming of a Shrew was written about the year 1590, either by George Peele or Robert Greene.
The following are the observations of Dr. Hurd, on the Induction to this comedy. They are taken from his Notes on the Epistle to Augustus: "The Induction, as Shakspeare calls it, to The Taming of the Shrew, deserves, for the excellence of its moral design and beauty of execution, throughout, to be set in a just light.
"This Prologue sets before us the picture of a poor drunken begr gar, advanced, for a short season, into the proud rank of nobility. And the humour of the scene is taken to consist in the surprise and awkward deportment of Sly, in this his strange and unwonted situation. But the poet had a further design, and more worthy his genius, than this farcical pleasantry. He would expose, under cover of this mimic fiction, the truly ridiculous figure of men of rank and quality, when they employ their great advantages of place and fortune, to no better purposes, than the soft and selfish gratification of their own intemperate passions: Of those, who take the mighty privilege of descent and wealth to live in the freer