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Characters in the Induction.
Lord, before whom the Play is fuppos'd to be play'd.
Page, Players, Huntfmen, and other Servants attending on the Lord.
Baptifta, Father to Catharina and Bianca; very rich. Vincentio, an old Gentleman of Pifa.
Lucentio, Son to Vincentio, in love with Bianca. Petruchio, a Gentleman of Verona, a Suitor to Catharina.
Gremio, } Pretenders to Bianca.
Tranio, } Servants to Lucentio.
Grumio, Servant to Petruchio.
Pedant, an old fellow fet up to perfonate Vincentio.
Catharina, the Shrew.
Bianca, her Sifter.
Taylor, Haberdashers; with Servants attending on
SCENE, fometimes in Padua; and fometimes in Petruchio's Houfe in the Country.
TAMING of the SHREW.
Before an Alehoufe on a Heath.
Enter Hoftefs and Sly.
'LL pheese you', in faith.
Hoft. 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, paucus pallabris 2; let the world nide: Seffa.
Tll pheefe you,] To pheeze or feafe, is to feparate a twift into fingle threads. In the figu. rative fense 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 phrafe vulgarly used by perfons of Sly's
character on like occafions.
no rogues.] That is, no vagrants, no mean fellows, but Gentlemen.
2-paucus pallabris; ] Sly, as an ignorant Fellow, is purpofely made to aim at Languages out of his knowledge, and knock the Words out of Joint. The Spaniards say, pocas palabras, i. e. few words as they do likewise, Cefa, i. e. be quiet. B 2
Hoft. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst? Sly. No, not a denier: go by, Jeronimo. thy cold bed, and warm thee 3.
Hoft. I know my remedy; I must go fetch the Thirdborough*.
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. [ Falls afleep.
by; and, to fix the Satire in his Allufion, pleasantly calls her Feronymo. THEOBALD. -I must go fetch the Head
3 Go by S. Jeronimy, go to thy" fom, don't interrupt me, go, cold Bed, and warm thee.] All the Editions have coined a Saint here, for Sly to fwear by. But the Poet had no fuch Intentions. The Paffage has particular Humour 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 underftood. There is a fuftian old Play, call'd, Hieronymo; Or, The Spanish Tragedy: which, I find, was the common Butt of Rallery to all the Poets of Shake Speare's Time and a Paffage, that fappear'd very ridiculous in that Play, is here humorously alluded to. Hieronymo, thinking himfelf injur'd, applies to the King for Juftice; but the Courtiers, who did not defire his Wrongs fhould be fet in a true Light, attempt to hinder him from an Audience.
Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth Borough, &c.] This corropt reading had pafs'd down through all the Copies, and none of the Editors pretended to guess 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 Witticism, and even That is loft. The Hoftefs would fay, that fhe'll fetch a Conftable! and this Officer fhe calls by his other Name, a Thirdborough and upon this Term Sly founds the Conundrum in his Answer to her. Who does not perceive, at a fingle glance, fome Conceit ftarted by this certain Correction? There is an Attempt at Wit, tolerable enough for a Tinker, and one drunk too. Third-borough is a Saxon-Term fufficiently explain'd by the Gloffaries: and in our Statute books, no farther back' than the 28th Year of Henry VIIIth, we find it used to fignify a Confiable.