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The Taming of the Shrew

Induction.i.l (346,1) [I'll pheeze you] To pheeze 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. The following explanation of the word is given by Sir Tho. Sayth in his book de Sermone Anglico, printed by Robert Stephens, 4vo. To feize means in fila diducere. (see 1765, III,[3],1)

Induction.i.3 (347,2) [no rogues] That is vagrants, no mean fellows, but gentlemen.

Induction.i.17 (348,7) [Brach Merriman, the poor cur is imboat] Sir T. Banner reads, Leech Merriman that is, apply some remedies to Merriman, the poor cur has his joints swelled. Perhaps we might read, bathe Merriman, which is I believe the common practice of huntsmen, but the present reading may stand:

-tender well my hounds: Brach--Merriman--the poor cur is imboat.

Induction.i.64 (351,8) [And when he says he is,--say that he dreams] [steevens: he's poor,--say] 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.(1773)

Induction.i.67 (352,9)

[It will be pastime excellent, If it be husbanded with modesty]

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

Induction.i.82 (352,1) [to accept our duty] It was in those times the custom of players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great houses.

Induction.i.101 (353,4) [property] in the language of a playhouse, is every implement necessary to the exhibition.

Induction.i.125 (355,7) [To rain a shower of commanded toars, An onion will do well for such a shift]

It is not unlikely that the onion was an expedient used by the actors of interludes.

Induction.ii.89 (359,8) [Leet] As the Court leet or courts of the manor.

I.i.9 (362,2) [ingenious studies] I rather think it was written ingenuous studies, but of this and a thousand such observations there is little certainty.

I.i.18 (363,4) [Virtue, and that part of philosophy Will I apply] Sir Thomas Hammer, and after him Dr. Warburton, read to virtues but formerly ply and apply were indifferently used, as to ply or apply his studies.

I.i.78 (365,7) [A pretty peat!] Peat or pet is a word of endearment from petit, little, as if it meant pretty little thing.

I.i.85 (365,8) [will you be so strange?] That is, so odd, so different from others in your conduct.

I.i.97 (366,9) [cunning men] Cunning had not yet lost its original signification of knowing, learned, as nay be observed in the translations of the Bible.

I.i.167 (368,2) [Redime te captum quasi queas minimi] Our author had this line from Lilly, which I mention, that it may not be brought as an argument of his learning.

I.i.208 (369,3) [port] Pert, is figure, show, appearance.

I.ii.52 (372,5) [Where small experience grows. But, in a few] Why this should seem nonsense, I cannot perceive. In few words it means the same as in short.

I.ii.68 (373,6) [As wealth is burthen of my wooing dance] The burthen of a dance is an expression which I have never heard; the burthen of his wooing song had been more proper.

I.ii.72 (373,8) [Affection's edge in me] Surely the sense of the present reading is too obvious to be missed or mistaken. Petruchio says, that, if a girl has money enough, no bad qualities of mind or body will remove affection's edge; i.e. hinder him from liking her.

I.ii.112 (375,1) [an' he begin once, he'll rail--In his rope-tricks] This is obscure. Sir Thomas Hammer reads, he'll rail in his rhetorick; I'll tell you, &c. Rhetorick agrees very well with figure in the succeeding part of the speech, yet I am inclined to believe that rope-tricks is the true word.

I.ii.115 (375,2) [that she shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat] It may mean, that he shall swell up her eyes with blows, till she shall seem to peep with a contracted pupil like a cat in the light. (1773)

I.ii.276 (381,9) [Please ye, we may contrive this afternoon] The word is used in the same sense of spending or wearing out in the Palace of Pleasure.

II.1.17 (382,2) [You will have Gremio, to keep you fair] I wish to read, To keep you fine. But either word may serve.

II.i.26 (388,3) [hilding] The word hildlng or hinderling--a low wretch; it is applied to Catharine for the coarseness of her behaviour.

II.i.209 (389,7) [Ay, for a turtle; as he takes a buzzard] Perhaps we may read better, Ay, for a turtle, and he take a buzzard. That is, he may take me for a turtle, and he shall find me a hawk.

II.i.310 (393,9) [kill on kiss She vy's so fast] I know not that the word vie has any construction that will suit this place; we may easily read,

----kiss on kiss She ply'd so fast.

II.i.340 (394,1)

[Tra. Grey-beard! thy love doth freeze. Ore. But thine doth fry]

Old Gremio's notions are confirmed by Shadwell:

The fire of love in youthful blood. Like what is kindled in brush-wood. But for a moment burns-- But when crept into aged reins, It slowly burns, and long remains, It glows, and with a sullen heat. Like fire in logs, it burns, and warms us long; And though the flame be not so great, Yet is the heat as strong.

II.1.407 (397,4) [Yet have I fac'd it with a card of ten] [W. quoted Jonson for "a hart of ten"] If the word hart be right, I do not see any use of the latter quotation.

II.1.413 (398,5)[Here the former editors add, Sly. Sim, when will the fool come again? Steevens.] The character of the fool has not been introduced in this drama, therefore I believe that the word again should be omitted, and that Sly asks, When will the fool come? the fool being the favourite of the vulgar, or, as we now phrase it, of the upper gallery, was naturally expected in every interlude.

III.1.37 (400,6) [pantaloon] the old cully in Italian farces.

III.ii.10 (403,1) [full of spleen] That is, full of humour, caprice; and inconstancy.

III.ii.45 (404,3) [a pair of boots that have been candle--eases; one buckled, another lac'd; an old rusty sword ta'en out of the town armory, with a broken hilt, and chapeless, with two broken points] Bow a sword should have two broken points, I cannot tell. There is, I think, a transposition caused by the seeming relation of point to sword. I read, a pair of boots, one buckled, another

laced with two broken points; an old rusty sword--with a broken hilt, and chapeless.

III.ii.109 (406,7) [to digress] to deviate from any promise.

IV.i.3 (412,9) [was ever man so ray'd?] That is, was ever man so mark'd with lashes.

IV.i.93 (416,7) [garters of an indifferent knit] What is the sense of this I know not, unless it means, that their garters should be fellows; indifferent, or not different, one from the other.

IV.i.139 (417,8) [no link, to colour Peter's hat] Link, I believe, is the name with what we now call lamp-black.

IV.i.145 (418,9) [Soud, soud] That is, sweet, sweet. Soot, and sometimes sooth, is sweet. So in Milton, to sing soothly, is, to sing sweetly.

IV.i.196 (420,3) [to man my haggard] A haggard is a wild hawk; to man a hawk is to tame her.

IV.iii.43 (428,8) [And all my pains is sorted to no proof] And all my labour has ended in nothing, or proved nothing. We tried an experiment, but it sorted not. -Bacon.

IV.iii.56 (428,9) [With silken coats, and caps, and golden rings, With ruffs, and cuffs, and fardingals, and things] Though things is a poor word, yet I have no better, and perhaps the authour had not another that would rhyme. I once thought to transpose the words rings and things, but it would make little improvement.

IV.iii.91 (430,2) [censer] in barber's shops, are now disused, but they may easily be imagined to have been vessels which, for the emission of the smoke, were cut with great number and varieties of interstices.

IV.iii.107 (430,3) [thou thimble] The taylor's trade having an appearance of effeminacy, has always been, among the rugged English, liable to sarcasms and contempt.

IV.iii.140 (431,3) [a small compass'd cape] A compass'd cape is a round cape. To compass is to come round. (1773)

IV.iv (434,5) I cannot but think that the direction about the Tinker, who is always introduced at the end of the acts, together with the change of the scone, and the proportion of each act to the rest, make it probable that the fifth act begins here.

IV.iv.48 (436,7) [Where then do you know best, Be we affied] This seems to be wrong. We may read more commodiously,

Where then you do know best Be we affied;

Or thus, which I think is right, Where then do you trow best, We be affied;

V.i.70 (443,2) [a copatain hat!] is, I believe, a hat with a conical crown, such as was anciently worn by well-dressed men.

V.ii.54 (448,5) [A good swift simile] besides the original sense of speedy in motion, signified witty, quick-witted. So in As You Like It, the Duke says of the Clown, He is very swift and sententious. Quick is now used in almost the same sense as nimble was in the age after that of our author. Heylin says of Hales, that he had known Laud for a nimble, disputant.

V.ii.186 (453,7) [tho' you hit the white] To hit the white is a phrase borrowed from archery: the mark was commonly white. Here it alludes to the name Bianca, or white.

(454) General Observation. From this play the Tatler formed a story, [Johnson here copies out the Tatler story.] It cannot but seen strange that Shakespeare should be so little known to the author of the Tatler, that he should suffer this story to be obtruded upon him; or so little known to the publick, that he could hope to make it pass upon his readers as a real narrative of a transaction in Lincolnshire; yet it is apparent, that he was deceived, or intended to deceive, that he knew not himself whence the story was taken, or hoped that he might rob so obscure a writer without detection.

Of 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 Catharine and Petruchio is eminently spritely and diverting. At the marriage of Bianca the arrival of the real father, perhaps, produces more perplexity than pleasure. The whole play is very popular and diverting, (see 1765, III,97,5)

Samuel Johnson