« AnteriorContinuar »
And thus I'll curb her mad and headstrong hu
mour :He that knows better how to tame a shrew, Now let him speak; 'tis charity to show. [Erit.
Padua. Before BAPTISTA's House.
Enter Tranio and HORTENSIO.
8 Scene II. Padua, &c.] This scene, Mr. Pope, upon what authority I cannot pretend to guess, has in his editions made the first of the fifth Act : in doing which, he has shown the very power and force of criticism. The consequence of this judicious regulation is, that two unpardonable absurdities are fixed upon the author, which he could not possibly have committed. For, in the first place, by this shuffling the scenes out of their true position, we find Hortensio, in the fourth Act, already gone from Baptista's to Petruchio's country-house; and afterwards in the beginning of the fifth Act we find him first forming the resolution of quitting Bianca ; and Tranio immediately informs us, he is
gone to the Taming-school to Petruchio. There is a figure, indeed, in rhetorick, called úrspov za pótępce, but this is an abuse of it, which the rhetoricians will never adopt upon Mr. Pope's authority. Again, by this misplacing, the Pedant makes his first entrance, and quits the stage with Tranio, in order to go and dress himself like Vincentio, whom he was to personate: but his second entrance is upon the very heels of his erit; and without any interval of an Act, or one word intervening, he comes out again equipped like Vincentio. If such a critic be fit to publish a stage-writer, I shall not envy Mr. Pope's admirers, if they should think fit to applaud his sagacity. I have replaced the scenes in that order in which I found them in the old books.
THEOBALD. that Bianca - ] Mír. Steevens omits mistress as redundant, but the metre is as good here as in the next page:
“You that durst swear that your mistress Bianca
Doth fancy any other but Lucentio ?
Hor. Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said, Stand by, and mark the manner of his teaching.
[They stand aside. Enter Bianca and LucentIO. Luc. Now, mistress, profit you in what you read ? Bian. What, master, read you ? first resolve me
that. Luc. I read that I profess, the art to love. Bian. And may you prove, sir, master of your art ! Luc. While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of
[They retire. Hor. Quick proceeders, marry'! Now, tell me,
pray, You that durst swear that your mistress Bianca Lov'd none ? in the world so well as Lucentio. TRA. O despiteful love! unconstant woman
Hor. Mistake no more : I am not Licio,
1 Quick Proceeders, marry!] Perhaps here an equivoque was intended. To proceed Master of Arts, &c. is the academical term. MALONE.
2 Lov'd none -] Old copy- Lov'd me.-Mr. Rowe made this necessary correction. MALONE. 3
cullion :] A term of degradation, with no very decided meaning; a despicable fellow, a fool, &c. So, in Tom Tyler and his Wife, bl. 1. :
“ It is an old saying Praise at parting.
“ I think I have made the cullion to wring." STEEVENS. “ ('oglione,” says Florio, “a cuglion, a gull, a meacock.”
Tra. Signior Hortensio, I have often heard
TRA. And here I take the like unfeigned oath,Ne'er to marry with her though she would entreat: Fye on her! see, how beastly she doth court him. Hor. 'Would, all the world, but he, had quite
forsworn! For me,—that I may surely keep mine oath, I will be married to a wealthy widow, Ere three days pass; which hath as long lov'd me, As I have lov'd this proud disdainful haggard : And so farewell, signior Lucentio.Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks, Shall win my love and so I take my leave, In resolution as I swore before.
[Exit HORTENS10:-Lucentio and BIANCA
advance. TRA. Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case ! Nay, I have ta’en you napping, gentle love; And have forsworn you, with Hortensio. Bian. Tranio, you jest; But have you both for
sworn me ? Tra. Mistress, we have. Luc.
Then we are rid of Licio.
4 That I have fondly flatter'd her withal.] The old copy reads -them withal. The emendation was made by the editor of the third folio. Malone,
Tra. l'faith, he'll have a lusty widow now,
Bian. God give him joy!
He says so, Tranio. TRA. 'Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school. Bian. The taming-school! what, is there such a
TRA. Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master; That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long, To tame a shrew, and charm her chattering tongue.
Enter BIONDELLO, running. Bion. O master, master, I have watch'd so long That I'm dog-weary; but at last I spied An ancient angel? coming down the hill, Will serve the turn.
s Ay, and he'll tame her, &c.] Thus, in the original play:
he means to tame his wife ere long. “ Val. Hee saies so.
Aurel. Faith he's gon unto the taming-schoole. “ Val. The taming-schoole! why is there such a place ? Aurel. I; and Ferando is the maister of the schoole."
STEEvens. 6 - Charm her chattering tongue.] So, in King Henry VI. Part III. : “ Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.”
STEEVENS. 7 An ancient ANGEL —] For angel Mr. Theobald, and after him Sir T. Hanmer and Dr. Warburton, read engle. Johnson.
It is true that the word enghle, which Sir T. Hanmer calls a gull, (deriving it from engluer, Fr. to catch with bird-lime,) is sometimes used by Ben Jonson. It cannot, however, bear that meaning at present, as Biondello confesses his ignorance of the quality of the person who is afterwards persuaded to represent the father of Lucentio. The precise meaning of it is not ascertained in Jonson, neither is the word to be found in any of the original copies of Shakspeare. I have also reason to suppose that the true import of the word enghle is such as can have no connection with this passage, and will not bear explanation.
Angel primitively signifies a messenger, but perhaps this sense
What is he, Biondello ? Bion. Master, a mercatantè, or a pedant",
is inapplicable to the passage before us. So, Ben Jonson, in The Sad Shepherd :
* -the dear good angel of the spring,
" The nightingale —". And Chapman, in his translation of Homer, always calls a messenger an angel. See particularly b. xxiv.
In The Scornful Lady of Beaumont and Fletcher, an old usurer is indeed called :
-old angel of gold.” It is possible however, that instead of ancient angel, our author might have written-angel-merchant, one whose business it was to negociate money. He is afterwards called a mercatantè, and professes himself to be one who has bills of exchange about him.
STEEVENS. Mr. Gifford, in a note on Jonson's Poetaster, is decidedly in favour of enghle, with Hanmer's explanation, and has supported it by referring us to Gascoigne's Supposes, from which Shakspeare (as he remarks) took this part of his plot: There Erosirato, the Biondello of Shakspeare, looks out for a person to gull by an idle story, judges, from appearances, that he has found him, and is not deceived : At the foot of the hill I met a gentleman, and as methought by his habit and his looks, he should be none of the wisest.” Again,“ This gentleman being, as I guessed at the first, a man of small sapientia ; " and Dulippo (the Lucentio of Shakspeare,) as soon as he spies him coming, exclaims,
Is this he? go meet him: by my troth, he looks like a good soul ; he that fisheth for him might be sure to catch a codshead.”
BOSWELL. 8 Master, a MERCATANTE, or a PEDANT,] The old editions read marcantant. The Italian word mercatantè is frequently used in the old plays for a merchant, and therefore I have made no scruple of placing it here. The modern editors, who printed the word as they found it spelt in the folio, were obliged to supply a syllable to make out the verse, which the Italian pronunciation renders unnecessary. A pedant was the common name for a teacher of languages. So, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson : “ He loves to have a fencer, a pedant, and a musician, seen in his lodgings." STEEVENS.
Mercatantè.” So, Spenser, in the third Book of his Fairy Queen :
“ Sleeves dependant Albanesè wise.” And our author has Veronesè in his Othello. FARMER.
– pedant,” Charron, the sage Charron, as Pope calls him, describes a pedant, as synonymous to a household schoolmaster,