Sidor som bilder

father's, they meet old Vincentio, whom Petruchio immediately addresses as a young lady:

"Petruchio. Good morrow, gentle mistress, where away?
Tell me, sweet Kate, and tell me truly too,
Hast thou beheld a fresher gentlewoman?
Such war of white and red within her cheeks!
What stars do spangle heaven with such beauty,
As those two eyes become that heavenly face?
Fair lovely maid, once more good day to thee:-
Sweet Kate, embrace her for her beauty's sake.

Hortensio. He'll make the man mad to make a woman
of him.

Katherine. Young budding virgin, fair, and fresh, and


Whither away or where is thy abode?

Happy the parents of so fair a child;

Happier the man, whom favourable stars

Allot thee for his lovely bed-fellow.

Petruchio. Why, how now, Kate! I hope thou art not


This is a man, old, wrinkled, faded, wither'd,

And not a maiden, as thou say'st he is.

Katherine. Pardon, old father, my mistaken eyes,
That have been so bedazzled with the sun

That everything I look on seemeth green.
Now I perceive thou art a reverend father;
Pardon, I pray thee, for my mad mistaking.

The whole is carried off with equal spirit, as if the poet's comic Muse had wings of fire. It is strange how one man could be so many things; but so it is. The concluding scene, in which trial is made of the obedience of the new-married wives (so triumphantly for Petruchio) is a very happy one.In some parts of this play there is a little too much

about music-masters and masters of philosophy. They were things of greater rarity in those days than they are now. Nothing, however, can be better than the advice which Tranio gives his master for the prosecution of his studies:

"The mathematics and the metaphysics,

Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you :
No profit grows where is no pleasure taʼen ;—
In brief, sir, study what you most affect."


We have heard the Honey-Moon called " elegant Katherine and Petruchio." We suspect we do not understand this word elegant in the sense that many people do. But in our sense of the word we should call Lucentio's description of his mistress elegant :

"Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move,

And with her breath she did perfume the air :
Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her."

When Biondello tells the same Lucentio for his encouragement, "I knew a wench married in an afternoon as she went to the garden for parsley to stuff a rabbit, and so may you, sir"-there is nothing elegant in this, and yet we hardly know which of the two passages is the best.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW is a play within a play. It is supposed to be a play acted for the benefit of Sly the tinker, who is made to believe himself a lord, when he wakes after a drunken

brawl. The character of Sly, and the remarks with which he accompanies the play, are as good as the play itself. His answer, when he is asked how he likes it, 66 Indifferent well; 'tis a good piece of work, would 'twere done," is in good keeping, as if he were thinking of his Saturday night's job. Sly does not change his tastes with his new situation, but in the midst of splendour and luxury still calls out lustily and repeatedly "for a pot o' the smallest ale." He is very slow in giving up his personal identity in his sudden advancement.-"I am Christophero Sly; call not me honour nor lordship. I never drank sack in my life; and if you give me any conserves, give me conserves of beef: never ask me what raiment I'll wear, for I have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings than legs, nor no more shoes than feet; nay, sometimes more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the over-leather.-What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher Sly, old Sly's son of Burton-heath; by birth a pedler, by education a card-maker, by transmutation a bear-herd, and now by present profession a tinker? Ask Marian Hacket, the fat alewife of Wincot, if she know me not; if she say I am not fourteen pence on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the lyingest knave in Christendom."

This is honest. "The Slies are no rogues," as he says of himself. We have a great predilection for this representative of the family; and what makes us like him the better is, that we take him

to be of kin (not many degrees removed) to Sancho



THIS is a play as full of genius as it is of wisdom. Yet there is an original sin in the nature of the subject, which prevents us from taking a cordial interest in it. "The height of moral argument" which the author has here maintained in the intervals of passion, or blended with the more powerful impulses of nature, is hardly surpassed in any of his plays. But there is in general a want of passion; the affections are at a stand; our sympathies are repulsed and defeated in all directions. The only passion which influences the story is that of Angelo; and yet he seems to have a much greater passion for hypocrisy than for his mistress. Neither are we greatly enamoured of Isabella's rigid chastity, though she could not act otherwise than she did. We do not feel the same confidence in the virtue that is "sublimely good" at another's expense, as if it had been put to some less disinterested trial. As to the Duke, who makes a very imposing and

« FöregåendeFortsätt »