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Characters in the Induction.
Lord, before whom the Play is supposed to be play'd.
Christopher Sly, a drunken Tinker. Hoftefs. Page, Players, Huntsmen, and other Servants attending
on the Lord.
Dramatis Persona. Baptista, 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 Catha
Pretenders to Bianca.
Taylor, Haberdashers; with Servants attending on
Baptista, and Petruchio.
SCENE, sometimes in Padua; and sometimes in
Petruchio's House in the Country..
Τ Η Ε
TAMING of the Saraw.
INDUCTION: SCENE, before an Alebouse on a Heath
Enter Hostess and Sly.
LL pheeze 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; (1) let the world slide :
Sly. No, not a deniere : go by, Jeronimo go: to thy cold bed, and warm thee. (2)
Hoft (1) paucus pallabris.] Sly, as an ignorant Fellow, is pura pofely made to aim at Languages out of his Knowledge, and knock the words out of Joint. The Spaniards say, pócas pala. bras, i. e. few words :: as they do likewise, Cella, i. e. be quiet,.
(2) Go by S. Jeronimy, go to thy cold Bed, and warm thee.]: All the Editions have coin'd a Saint here, for Sly to swear by..
Hoft. I know my remedy : I must go fetch the Third-borough. (3)
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.
But the Poet had no such Intentions. The Paffage has partie cular 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 understood. There is a fustian old Play, call'd Hicromymo ; Or, The Spanish Tragedy: which, I find, was the common But of Rallery to all the Poets of Shakespeare's Time : and a Passage, that appear’d very ridiculous in that Play, is here humouroully alluded to. Hieronymo, thinking himself injur’d, applies to the King for Justice ; but the Courtiers, who did not defire his Wrongs Mould be set in a true Light, ate tempt to hinder him from an Audience,
Hiero. Juftice, ob ! justice to Hieronymo.
Hier. Not I: Hieronymo, beware; go by, go by.
(3) I mus go fetch the Headborough. Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth Borougb, &c.] This corrupt Reading had pass'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 Hoffefs? How do tbird, or fourtb, or fiftb Borough relate to Headborougb : The Author intended but a poor Witticism, and even That is loft. The Hifless would say, that The'll fetch a Conftable : and this Officer the calls by his other Name, a Third-borougb: and upon this Term Sly founds the Conundrum in his Answer to her.
Who does not perceive, at a single glance, some Conceit started by this certain Correction? There is an Attempt to Wit, tolerable enough for a Tinker, and one drunk too. ThirdBorougb is a Saxon-term sufficiently explain'd by the Glosaries : and in our Stature books, no farther back than the 28th Year of Henry VIIIth. we find it used to signify a Conflable,