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Wid. Lord, let me never have a cause to figh, 'Till I be brought to fuch a filly pass.
Bian. Fy, what a foolish duty call you this? Luc. I would, your duty were as foolish too! The wifdom of your duty, fair Bianca,
Coft me an hundred crowns fince fupper-time.
What duty they owe to their Lords and Hufbands. Wid. Come, come, you're mocking; we will have no telling.
Pet. Come on, I say, and first begin with her.
Pet. I fay, fhe fhall; and firft begin with her.
A Woman mov'd is like a fountain troubled,
What is the but a foul contending Rebel,
When they are bound to ferve, love, and obey.
But that our foft conditions and our hearts
To bandy word for word, and frown for frown;
But, now Ifee, our launces are but straws,
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare
That feeming to be moft, which we indeed leaft are.
My hand is ready, may it do him ease.
Pet. Why, there's a wench: come on, and kiss me,
Luc. Well, go thy ways, old lad, for thou fhalt ha't.
We two are married, but you two are sped.
[Exeunt Petruchio and Catharine.
Hor. Now go thy ways, thou haft tam'd a curft
Though 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.
Luc. 'Tis a wonder, by your leave, fhe will be
Enter two fervants bearing Sly in his own apparel, and leaving him on the Stage. Then enter a Tapfter.
Sly awaking,] Sim, give's fome more wine-what, all the Players gone? am not I a Lord?
Tap. A Lord, with a murrain! come, art thou drunk fill?
Sly. Who's this? Tapfter! oh, I have had the bravest dream that ever thou heardft in all thy life.
Tap. Yea, marry, but thou hadst beft get thee home, for your wife will curfe you for dreaming here all night.
Sly. Will fhe? I know how to tame a Shrew. dreamt upon it all this night, and thou hast wak'd me out of the best dream that ever I bad. But I'll to my Wife, and tame her too, if fhe anger me*.
*From this play the Tatler formed a ftory, Vol. IV. N° 131.
HERE are very many ill Habits that might with much Eafe have been prevented, which, after we have indulged ourselves in them, become incorrigible. We have a fort of Proverbial Expreffion, of taking a Woman down in her Wedding Shoes, if you would bring her to Reason. An early Behaviour of this Sort, had a very remarkable good Effect in a Family wherein was several Years an intimate Acquaintance.
A Gentleman in Lincolnshire had four Daughters, three of which were early married very happily; but the fourth, though no Way inferior to any of her Sifters, either in Perfon or Accomplishments, had from her InVOL. III.
fancy difcovered fo imperious a Temper (ufually called a high Spirit) that it continually made great Uneafinefs in the Family, became her known Character in the Neighbourhood, and deterred all her Lovers from declaring themfelves. However, in Process of Time, a Gentleman of a plentiful Fortune and long Acquaintance, having obferved that Quickness of Spirit to be her only Fault, made his Addrefies, and obtained her Confent in due Form. The Lawyers finished the Writings (in which, by the Way, there was no Pin-Money) and they were married. After a decent Time spent in the Father's Houfe, the Bridegroom went to prepare hisSeat for her Reception. During the whole Courfe of his Courtship, though a Man of the moft equal Temper, he had artifi
cially lamented to her, that he was the moft paffionate Creature breathing. By this one Intimation, he at once made her understand Warmth of Temper to be what he ought to pardon in her, as well as that he alarmed her against that Conftitution in himfelf. She at the fame Time thought herself highly obliged by the compofed Behaviour which he maintained in her Prefence. Thus far he with great fuccefs foothed her from being guilty of Violences, and ftill refolved to give her fuch a terrible Apprehenfion of his fiery Spirit, that she should never dream of giving Way to her own. He return'd on the day appointed for carrying her home; but instead of a Coach and fix Horfes, together with the gay Equipage fuitable to the Occafion, he appeared without a Servant, mounted on the Skeleton of a Horfe, which his Huntsman had the Day before brought in to feaft his Dogs on the Arrival of his new Miftrefs, with a Pillion fixed behind, and a Cafe of Pistols before him, attended only by a favourite Hound. Thus equipped, he in a very obliging (but fomewhat pofitive) Manner, defired his Lady to feat herfelf on the Cushion; which done, away they crawled. The Road being obftructed by a Gate, the Dog was commanded to open it: 'The poor Cur looked up and wagged his Tail; but the Mafter, to thew the Impatience of his Temper, drew a Pistol and fhot him dead. He had no fooner done it, but he fell into a thoufand Apologies for his unhappy Rafhnefs, and begg'd as many Pardons for his
Exceffes before one for whom he had fo profound a Respect. Soon after their Steed ftumbled, but with fome Difficulty recovered : However, the Bridegroom took Occafion to fwear, if he frightened his Wife so again, he would run him through! And alas! the poor Animal being now almoft tired, made a fecond Trip; immediately on which the careful Hufband alights, and with great Ceremony, first takes off his Lady, then the Acoutrements, draws his Sword, and faves the Huntíman the Trouble of killing him: Then fays to his Wife, Child, prithee take up the Saddle; which the readily did, and tugged it home, where they found all Things in the greatest Order fuitable to their Fortune and the prefent Occafion. Some Time after, the Father of the Lady gave an En- ' tertainment to all his Daughters and their Hufbands, where, when the Wives were retired, and the Gentlemen paffing a Toast about, our laft married Man took Occafion to obferve to the rest of his Brethren, how much, to his great Satisfaction, he found the World mistaken as to the Temper of his Lady, for that he was the moft meek and humble Woman breathing. The Applaufe was received with a loud Laugh: But as a Trial which of them would appear the moft Mafter at home, he propofed they fhould all by Turns fend for their Wives down to them. A Servant was dispatched, and Answer was made by one, Tell him I will come by and by; and another, That the would come when the Cards were
out of her Hand, and fo on. But no fooner was her Hufband's Defire whispered in the Ear of our laft married Lady, but the Cards were clapp'd on the Table, and down the comes with, My Dear, would you fpeak with me? He received her in his Arms, and after repeated Caref. fes tells her the Experiment, confeffes his Good Nature, and affures her, that fince fhe could now command her Temper, he would no longer disguise his own.
It cannot but seem ftrange that Shakespeare fhould be fo little known to the author of the Tatler, that he should fuffer this Story to be obtruded upon him, or fo little known to the Publick, that he could hope to make it pass upon his readers as a novel nar
rative of a transaction in Lincolnfhire; yet it is apparent, that he was deceived, or intended to deceive; that he knew not himself whence the ftory was taken, or hoped that he might rob fo obfcure a writer without detection.
Of this play the two plots are fo 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 diftracted 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 pleafure. The whole play is very popular and diverting.