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Conqueror. Therefore, paucas pallabrist; let the world flides: Seffa!
his hand is vifible in almost every fcene, though perhaps not fo evidently as in thofe which pafs between Katharine and Pe
I once thought that the title of this play may have been taken from an old ftory, entitled, The Wyf lapped in Morells fkin, or The Taming of a Shrew; but I have fince difcovered among the entrics in the books of the Stationers' Company the following. "Peter Shorte] May 2, 1594, a pleafaunt concerted hystorie called, The Tayminge of a Shrowe." It is likewife entered to Nich. Ling, Jan. 22, 1606; and to John Smythwicke, Nov. 19, 1607.
It was no uncommon practice among the authors of the age of Shakspeare, to avail themselves of the titles of ancient performances. Thus, as Mr. Warton has obferved, Spenfer fent out his Paftorals under the title of the Shepherd's Kalendar, a work which had been printed by Wynkyn de Worde, and reprinted about twenty years before thefe poems of Spenfer appeared, viz. 1559.
Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient Englifh Poetry, is of opinion, that The Frolickfome Duke, or the Tinker's Good Fortune, an ancient ballad in the Pepy's Collection, might have suggested to Shakspeare the Induction for this comedy.
Chance, however, has at last furnished me with the original to which Shakspeare was indebted for his fable; nor does this difcovery at all difpofe me to retract my former opinion, which the reader may find at the conclufion of the play. Such parts of the dialogue as our author had immediately imitated, I have occafionally pointed out at the bottom of the page; but must refer the reader, who is defirous to examine the whole structure of the piece, to Six old Plays on which Shakspeare founded, &c. published by S. Leacroft, at Charing-crofs, as a Supplement to our commentaries on Shakspeare.
Beaumont and Fletcher wrote what may be called a fequel to this comedy, viz. The Woman's Prize, or the Tamer Tam'd; in which Petruchio is fubdued by a fecond wife. STEEVENS.
2 I'll pheefe you,-] To pheeze or feafe, is to feparate a twist into fingle threads. In the figurative fenfe it may well enough be taken, like teaze or toze, for to barrass, to plague. Perhaps I'll pheeze you, may be equivalent to I'll comb your head, a phrase vulgarly ufed by perfons of Sly's character on like occafions. The following explanation of the word is given by Sir Tho. Smith in his book de Sermone Anglico, printed by Robert Stephens, 4to. To feize, means in fila diducere. JOHNSON.
Hoft. You will not pay for the glaffes you have burst"?
Shakspeare repeats his ufe of the word in Troilus and Creffida, where Ajax fays he will pheefe the pride of Achilles : and Lovewit in the Alchemift employs it in the fame fenfe. Again, in Puttenham's Art of Poetry, 1589:
"Your pride ferves you to feaze them all alone." Again, in Stanyhurit's verfion of the first book of Virgil's Encid: "We are touz'd, and from Italye feaz'd."
-Italis longe disjungimur oris.
"Feaze away the droane bees, &c." STEEVENS. -no rogues:] That is, vagrants, no mean fellows, but gentlemen. JOHNSON.
One William Sly was a performer in the plays of Shakspeare, as appears form the lift of comedians prefixed to the folio, 1623. This Sly is likewife mentioned in Heywood's Actor's Vindication, and the Induction to Marfton's Malecontent. He was also among thofe to whom James I. granted a licence to act at the Globe the atre in 1603. STEEVENS.
paucas pallabris ;] Sly, as an ignorant fellow, is purposely made to aim at languages out of his knowledge, and knock the words out of joint. The Spaniards fay, pocas palabras, i. e. few words: as they do likewife, Ceffa, i. e. be quiet.
This is a burlefque on Hieronymo, which Theobald speaks of in the following note. "What new device have they devised now? Pocas pallabras." In the comedy of the Roaring Girl, 1611, a eut-purse makes ufe of the fame words. Again, they appear in The Wife Woman of Hogfden, 1638, and in fome others, but are always appropriated to the loweft characters. STEEVENS.
5let the world flide :] This expreffion is proverbial. It is ufed in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit without Money: will you go drink,
"And let the world flide, uncle " STEEVENS.
-you have burft?] To burft and to break were anciently fynonymous. Falstaff fays-that "John of Gaunt burft Shallow's head for crowding in among the marshal's men." Again, in Soliman and Perfeda:
"God fave you, fir, you have burst your Again, in Dr. Philemon Holland's tranflation of Plutarch's Apophthegins, cdit. 1603, p. 405. To braft and to burf, have the fame meaning. So, in All for Money, a tragedy by T. Lupton,
If you forfake our father, for forrow he will brat."
Sly. No, not a denier: Go by, Jeronimy;-Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee7.
Hoft. I know my remedy, I must go fetch the third boroughs. [Exit. Sly.
In the fame piece burft is ufed when it fuited the rhime.
Though thou weep till thy hart to braft." STEEVENS. Burft is ftill ufed for broke in the North of England. See Dodfley's Collection of Old Plays. Edition 1780. vol. xii. p. 375. EDITOR.
Go by, S. Jeronimy, go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.] All the editions have coined a faint here, for Sly to fwear by. But the poet had no fuch intentions. The paffage has particular hu mour in it, and must have been very pleafing at that time of day. But I must clear up a piece of stage hiftory to make it understood. There is a fuftian old play, called Hieronymo; or, The Spanish Tragedy: which, I find, was the common butt of raillery to all the poets in Shakspeare's time: and a paffage, that appeared very ridiculous in that play, is here humorously alluded to. Hieronymo, thinking himfelf injur'd, applies to the king for juf tice; but the courtiers, who did not defire his wrongs fhould be fet in a true light, attempt to hinder him from an audience. "Hiero. Juice! oh! juftice to Hieronymo. "Lor. Back;-fee'ft thou not the king is bufy? "Hiero. Oh, is he fo?
"King. Who is be, that interrupts our business?
So Sly here, not caring to be dun'd by the Hoftefs, cries to her in effect, "Don't be troublesome, don't interrupt me, go by ;" and to fix the fatire in his allufion, pleasantly calls her Jeronimo. THEOBALD. The first part of this tragedy is called Jeronimo. The Tinker therefore does not fay Jeronimo as a mistake for Hieronymo. STEEVENS,
8 -1 must go fetch the Headborough.
Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth Borough, &c.] This corrupt reading had pafs'd down through all the copies, and none of the editors pretended to guefs at the poet's conceit. What an infipid, unmeaning reply does Sly make to his Hoftefs? How do third, or fourth, or fifth borough relate to Headborough? The author intended but a poor witticifm, and even that is lott. The Hoftefs would fay, that fhe'll fetch a conftable: and this officer fhe calls by his other name, a Third-borough: and upon this term Sly founds the conundrum in his anfwer to her. Who does not perceive at a fingle glance, fome conceit ftarted by this certain correction?
Sh. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll anfwer him by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy; let him come, and kindly. [Falls afleep.
correction? There is an attempt at wit, tolerable enough for a tinker, and one drunk too. Third-borough is a Saxon term fufficiently explained by the gloffaries: and in our ftatute-books, no further back than the 28th year of Henry VIII. we find it used to fignify a confiable. THEOBALD.
Theobald took his explanation of Third-borough, from Cowel's Las Dict. which at the fame time might have taught him to doubt of its propriety. In the Perfonae Dramatis to Ben Jonfon's Tale of a Tub, the high-confiable, the petty-confiable, the head-borough, and the third-borough, are enumerated as diftinct characteis. It is difficult to fay precifely what the office of a third-borough was. STEEVENS.
A third-borough feems originally to have fignified him who had the principal government within his own tything, or trithing. Norden's Hift. of Cornwall, decides for the former word tithing. See p. 20, 30. "The thirife has his bayliwickes; the hundreds have conftables; tythings have therd-barows, in fome places hedborows, in fome borrowfhed, and in the wefte partes, a tythingman." TOLLET.
If the authority of Lambard and Cowel are not fufficient to juflify Theobald in preferring this word to headborough, gloffarie are of no ufe. As to the office of thirdborough it is known to all acquainted with the civil conftitution of this country to be coextenfive with that of the conftable. See vol. ii. p. 404. Sir JOHN HAWKINS.
9 Falls allcep.] The fpurious play already mentioned, begins thus: "Enter a Tapfter, beating out of his doores Slie drunken. Tapf. You whorefon drunken flave, you had best be gone, "And empty your drunken panch fomewhere else, "For in this houfe thou fhalt not rest to night. [Exit Tapfter. Slie. Tilly vally; by crifee Tapfter Ile fefe you anone: "Fills the t'other pot, and all's paid for looke you, "I dooc drink it of mine own initigation. "Heere Ile lie awhile: why Tapfter, I fay, "Fill's a fresh cufhen heere:
[He falles afleepe "Enter a noble man and his men from hunting."
Heigh ho, heere's good warme lying.
Wind horns. Enter a Lord from hunting, with a train. Lord. Huntfman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds:
Brach Merriman,-the poor cur is imboft',
1 Brach Merriman, the poor cur is imboft, And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach.] Here, fays Pope, brach fignifics a degenerate hound: but Edwards explains it a hound in general.
That the latter of thefe criticks is right, will appear from the ufe of the word brach in Sir T. More's Comfort against Tribulation, book iii. ch. 24. "Here it must be known of fome men that' can skill of hunting, whether that we mistake not our terms, for then are we utterly afhamed as ye wott well.- And I am fo cunning, that I cannot tell, whether among them a bitche be a bitche or no; but as I remember the is no bitch but a brache." The meaning of the latter part of the paragraph feems to be, "I am fo little killed in hunting, that I can hardly tell whether a bitch be a bitch or not; ray judgment goes no further, than just to direct me to call either dog or bitch by their general name-Hound." I am aware that Spelman acquaints his reader, that brache was ufed in his days for a lurcher, and that Shakfpeare himfelf has made it a dog of a particular fpecies. Maftiff, greyhound, mungrill grim, "Hound or Spaniel, brache or lym."
K. Lear, act iii. fc. 5.
But it is manifeft from the paffage of More juft cited, that it was fometimes applied in a general fenfe, and may therefore be fo understood in the paffage before us; and it may be added, that brache appears to be ufed in the fame fenfe by Beaumont and Fletcher. "A. Is that your brother? E. Yes, have you loft your memory? 4. As I live he is a pretty fellow. r. O this is a fweet brache." Scornful Lady, a&t i. fc. 1. WARTON.
Sir T. Hanmer reads, Leech Merriman, that is, apply fome remedies to Merriman, the poor cur has his joints fwell'd. Perhaps we might read, bathe Merriman, which is I believe the common practice of huntfmen, but the prefent reading may stand:
-tender well my hounds: Brach-Merriman
the poor cur is imboft.
JOHNSON. Imboft,] A hunting term; when a deer is hard run and foams at the mouth, he is faid to be embojs'd. A dog alfo when he is frained with hard running (especially upon hard ground) will have his knees fwelled, and then he is faid to be emboss'd: from