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while the lioness watches her sleeping prey, and Touchstone's lecture to the shepherd, his defence of cuckolds, and panegyric on the virtues of “ an If."-All of these are familiar to the reader: there is one passage of equal delicacy and beauty which may have escaped him, and with it we shall close our account of As YOU LIKE IT. It is Phebe's description of Ganimed, at the end of the third act.

"Think not I love him, though I ask for him;
'Tis but a peevish boy :-yet he talks well ;—
But what care I for words! yet words do well,
When he that speaks them pleases those that hear.
It is a pretty youth :-not very pretty ;—

But sure, he's proud! and yet his pride becomes him ;
He'll make a proper man the best thing in him
Is his complexion; and faster than his tongue
Did make offence, his eye did heal it up.

He is not tall; yet for his years he's tall :
His leg is but so so, and yet 'tis well:
There was a pretty redness in his lip,

A little riper, and more lusty red

Than that mix'd in his cheek; 'twas just the difference
Betwixt the constant red and mingled damask.
There be some women, Silvius, had they mark'd him
In parcels as I did, would have gone near

To fall in love with him: but for my part

I love him not, nor hate him not; and yet

I have more cause to hate him than to love him;
For what had he to do to chide at me?"


THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is almost the only one of Shakspeare's comedies that has a regular plot, and downright moral. It is full of bustle, animation, and rapidity of action. It shows admirably how self-will is only to be got the better of by stronger will, and how one degree of ridiculous perversity is only to be driven out by another still greater. Petruchio is a madman in his senses; a very honest fellow, who hardly speaks a word of truth, and succeeds in all his tricks and impostures. He acts his assumed character to the life, with the most fantastical extravagance, with complete presence of mind, with untired animal spirits, and without a particle of ill-humour from beginning to end. The situation of poor Katherine, worn out by his incessant persecutions, becomes at last almost as pitiable as it is ludicrous, and it is difficult to say which to admire most, the unaccountableness of his actions, or the unalterableness of his reso


lutions. It is a character which most husbands ought to study, unless perhaps the very audacity of Petruchio's attempt might alarm them more than his success would encourage them. What a sound must the following speech carry to some married ears!

"Think you a little din can daunt my ears?
Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
Have I not heard the sea, puff'd up with winds,
Rage like an angry boar, chafed with sweat?
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
And heav'n's artillery thunder in the skies?
Have I not in a pitched battle heard

Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets clang?
And do you tell me of a woman's tongue,

That gives not half so great a blow to the ear

As will a chesnut in a farmer's fire?"

Not all Petruchio's rhetoric would persuade more than some dozen followers" to be of this heretical way of thinking. He unfolds his scheme for the Taming of the Shrew, on a principle of contradiction, thus:


"I'll woo her with some spirit when she comes.
Say, that she rail; why, then I'll tell her plain
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale :

Say, that she frown; I'll say, she looks as clear
As morning roses newly wash'd with dew:
Say, she'll be mute, and will not speak a word;
Then I'll commend her volubility,
And say she uttereth piercing eloquence:
If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks,
As though she bid me stay by her a week:

If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day,

When I shall ask the banns, and when be married?"

He accordingly gains her consent to the match, by telling her father that he has got it; disappoints her by not returning at the time he has promised to wed her, and when he returns, creates no small consternation by the oddity of his dress and equipage. This, however, is nothing to the astonishment excited by his mad-brained behaviour at the marriage. Here is the account of it by an eyewitness :

"Gremio. Tut! she's a lamb, a dove, a fool to him.
I'll tell you, Sir Lucentio; when the priest
Should ask-if Katherine should be his wife,
Ay, by gog's woons, quoth he; and swore so loud,
That, all amaz'd, the priest let fall the book;
And as he stooped to take it up again,

The mad-brain'd bridegroom took him such a cuff,
That down fell priest and book, and book and priest:
Now take them up, quoth he, if any list.

Tranio. What said the wench, when he arose again?
Gremio. Trembled and shook; for why, he stamp'd and


As if the vicar meant to cozen him.

But after many ceremonies done,

He calls for wine -a health, quoth he; as if
He 'ad been aboard carousing with his mates
After a storm :-quaff'd off the muscadel,
And threw the sops all in the sexton's face;
Having no other reason,

But that his beard grew thin and hungerly,
And seem'd to ask his sops as he was drinking.
This done, he took the bride about the neck,
And kiss'd her lips with such a clamorous smack,

That, at the parting, all the church echoed.
I, seeing this, came thence for very shame;
And after me, I know, the rout is coming;
Such a mad marriage never was before."

The most striking and at the same time laughable feature in the character of Petruchio throughout is the studied approximation to the intractable character of real madness, his apparent insensibility to all external considerations, and utter indifference to everything but the wild and extravagant freaks of his own self-will. There is no contending with a person on whom nothing makes an impression but his own purposes, and who is bent on his own whims just in proportion as they seem to want common sense. With him a thing's being plain and reasonable is a reason against it. The airs he gives himself are infinite, and his caprices as sudden as they are groundless. The whole of his treatment of his wife at home is in the same spirit of ironical attention and inverted gallantry. Everything flies before his will, like a conjuror's wand, and he only metamorphoses his wife's temper by metamorphosing her senses and all the objects she looks upon at a word's speaking. Such are his insisting that it is the moon, and not the sun, which they see, &c. This extravagance reaches its most pleasant and poetical height in the scene where, on their return to her

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