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gardein and to hunt the hare, and to havke. They bring him backe unto the pallace where he sups in
Candles being light, the musitions begin to play; and, the tables taken way, the gentlemen and gentlewomen fell to dancing. Then they played a pleasant Comedie, after which followed a Banket, whereat they had presently store of Ipocras and pretious wine, with all sorts of confitures, to this Prince of the new impression; so has he was dronke, and fell soundlie asleep. Hereupon the Duke com• manded that he sliould be disrobed of all his riche attire. He was put into his olde ragges, and carried into the same place where he had beene found the night before; where he spent that night. Being awake in the morning, he beganne to remember what had happened before; he knewe not whether it were true indeede, or a dreame that had troubled his braine. But in the end, after many discourses, he concludes that all was but a dreame that had happened unto him; and so entertained his wife, his children, and his neighbours, without any other apprehension." MALONE.
From this play the Tatler formed a story, Vol. IV. No. 231.
„THERE are very many ill habits that might with much ease have been prevented, which, after we have indulged ourselves in them, become incorrigible. We have a sort of proverbial expression, 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 I was several years an intimate acquaintance.
„A gentleman in Lincolnshire had four daughiers, three of which were early married very happily; but the fourth, though no way inferior to any of her sisters, either in person or accomplishments, had
from her infancy discovered so imperious a temper, (usually called a high spirit,) that it continualls inade great uneasiness in the family, became her known character in the neighbourhood, and deter: red all lovers from declaring themselves. However, in process of time, a gentleman of a plentiful for. tune and long acquaintance having observed that quickness of spirit to be her only fanlt, made his addresses, and obtained her consent 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 house, the bridegroom went to prepare his seat for her reception. During the whole course of his courtship, though a man of the most equal temper, he had artificially lamented to her, that he was the most passionate creature breathing. By this one in. timation, he at once made her to understand warmth of temper to be what he onght to pardon in her, as well as that he alarmed her against that constitution in himself. She at the same time thought herself higlıly obliged by the composed behaviour which he maintained in her presence.
Thus far he with great success soothed her from being guilty of violences, and still resolved to give her such a terrible appre. hension of his fiery spirit, that she should never dream of giving way to her own.
He returned on the day appointed for carrying her home; but instead of a coach and six horses, together with the gay equipage suitable to the occasion, he appeared with. out a servant, mounted on a skeleton of a horse, which his huntsman had the day before brought in to feast his dogs on the arrival of his new mistress, with a pillion fixed behind, and a case of pistols before him, attended only by a favourite hound. Thus equipped, he in a very obliging (but some
what positive manner), desired his lady to seat her. self on the cushion; which done, away they crawl. ed. The road being obstructed by a gaie, she dog was commanded to open it: the poor cur looked up and wagged his tail; but the master, to show the. impatience of his temper, drew a pistol and shut him dead. He had no sooner done it, but he fell into a thousand apologies for his unhappy rathness, and begged as many pardons for his excesses before one for whom he had so profound a respect. Soon after their steed stumbled, but with some difficulty recovered; however the bridegroom took occasion to swear, if he frightened his wife so again, he woul run him through! And alas! the poor animal being now almost tired, made a second trip; immcdiately on which the careful husband alights, and with great ceremony, first takes off his lady, then the accoutrements, draws his sword, and saves the huntsman the trouble of killing him: then says to his wife, Child, prythee, take up the saddle; which she readily did, and ingged it home, where they found all things in the greatest order, suitable to their fortune and the present occasion. Some time after, the father of the lady gave an entertainment to all his daughters and their husbands, where when the wives were retired, and the gentlemen passing a toast about, our last married man took occasiou to observe 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 she was the most meek and humble, woman breathing. The applause was received with a loud laugh; but as a trial which of them would appear the most master at home, he proposed they should all by turus send for their wives down 10 them. A scrvant was dispatched, and answer made
261 NOT. TO THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. by one, Tell him I will come by and by;' and another, That she would come when the cards were out of her hand;' and so on. But no sooner was her husband's desire whispered in tlie car of our last married lady, but the cards were clapped on the table, and down she comes with, My dear, would sou speak with me?' He received her in his arms, and, after repeated caresses, tells her the experiment, confesses his good-nature, and assures her, that since she could now command her temper, he would no longer disguise his own."
I cannot but seem strange that Shakspeare 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 aitention is entertained with all the variety of a double plot, yet is not distracted by unconnected incidents.
The part between Katharina 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 vyhole play is very popular and diverting. JOHNSON,
NOTES TO THE
"W I N T E R' S
T A L E.
This play, throughout, is written in the very spirit of its author. And in telling this homely and simple, though agreeable, country tale,
Our sweetest Shakspeare, fancy's child,
Warbles his native wood-notes wild. This was necessary to observe in mere justice to the play; as the meanness of the fable,' and the extravagant conduct of it, hat misled some of great name into a wrong judgement of its merit; which, as far as it regards sentiment and character, is scarce inferior to any in the whole collection.
WARBURTON. At Stationers' Hall, May 22, 1594, Edward White entered „A booke entitled A Wynter Nyght's Pas. time." STEEVEN.
The story of this play is taken from The Plea. sant History of Dorastus and Fawnia, written by Robert Greene. JOHNSON.
In this novel, the King of Sicilia whom Shak. speare name's Leontes, is called