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Line 232. Ay, for a turtle; as he takes a buzzard.] Perhaps we may read better,
Ay, for a turtle; and he takes a buzzard.
That is, he may take me for a turtle, and he shall find me a hawk. -a craven.] i. e. a coward, a recreant.
-'tis a world to see,] A rustic expression, mean
ing it is wonderful or curious to see.
Line 353. A meacock wretch-] i. e. a cowardly creature. 381. But thine doth fry.] The same thought occurs in A Woman never Vex'd,
"My old dry wood shall make a lusty bonfire, when thy green "chips lie hissing in the chimney-corner." STEEVENS.
-counterpoints,] i. e. counterpanes formerly composed of patch-work, and sometimes esteemed of great value.
-young gamester,] Gamester here means a fro
licksome fellow, not one addicted to gambling.
Line 451. Yet I have faced it with a card of ten.] That is, with the highest card, in the old simple games of our ancestors. So that this became a proverbial expression. So Skelton,
Fyrst pycke a quarrel, and fall out with him then,
And so outface him with a card of ten. WARBURTON. As we are on the subject of cards, it may not be amiss to take notice of a common blunder relative to their names. We call the king, queen, and knave, court-cards, whereas they were anciently denominated coats, or coat-cards, from their coats or dresses.
ACT III. SCENE I.
Line 1. It appears to have been customary during the earlier representation of theatrical pieces to call up the fool (who was always considered as a necessary and important appendage to the company) to entertain the audience between the acts; and the fool, being the favourite of the vulgar, or, as we now phrase it, the upper gallery, was naturally expected.
Line 18. no breeching scholar-] i. e. no school-boy liable to correction on the posteriors.
Line 36.pantaloon.] The old cully in Italian farces.
-53. Pedascule,] He would have said Didascale, but
thinking this too honourable, he coins the word Pedascule, in imitation of it, from pedant. WARBURTON,
Line 112. and inconstancy.
but I be deceived,] i. e. unless I be deceived.
ACT III. SCENE II.
full of spleen ;] That is, full of humour, caprice, JOHNSON. Line 148. A pair of boots-one buckled, another laced; an old rusty sword ta'en out of the town armory, with a broken hilt, and shapeless; with two broken points.] How a sword should have two broken points, I cannot tell. There is, I think, a transposition caused by the seeming relation of point to sword. I read, a pair of boots, one buckled, another laced with two broken points; an old rusty sword with a broken hilt, and chapeless. JOHNSON. Line 148. that have been candle-cases.] That is, I suppose, boots long left off, and after having been converted into cases to hold the ends of candles, returning to their first office. STEEV. Line 155. -infected with the fashions,-past cure of the fives.] Fashions. So called in the west of England, but by the best writers on farriery, farcins, or farcy.
Fives. So called in the west: vives elsewhere, and avives by the French; a distemper in horses, little differing from the strangles. GREY.
Line 163. a crupper of velure,] Velure from velours, French, is · velvet.
Line 169. -stock-] means stocking.
-An old hat, and the humour of forty fancies prick'd in't for a feather :] This was some ballad or drollery of that time, which the poet here ridicules, by making Petruchio prick it up in his foot-boy's old hat for a feather. WARBURTON.
-to digress ;] To deviate from any promise.
-quaff'd off the muscadel,] It appears from this passage, and another called The History of the two Maids af Moreclacke, a comedy, by Robert Armin, 1609, that it was the custom to drink wine immediately after the marriage ceremony. STEEV. -my horse, my ox, my ass,] An allusion to the
Line 346. tenth commandment.
Line 3. made dirty.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
-was ever man so ray'd?] It means bewray'd, i. e.
So Spenser, b. iii. cant. 8. st. 32.
The whiles the piteous lady up did rise,
Ruffled and foully ray'd with filthy soil.
Away, you three-inch fool!] i, e. with a skull three inches thick, a phrase taken from the thicker sort of planks.
Line 27. —why, thy horn is a foot; and so long am I, at the least.] The meaning is that he had made Curtis a cuckold.
Jack-boy! ho boy!] Fragment of an old ballad.
Line 50. the carpets laid,] In Shakspeare's time, instead of table-cloths, carpets were used-and the floors were covered with rushes.
-bemoiled;] i. e. bemired.
was burst ;] Burst means broken.
-garters of an indifferent knit:] What is the
sense of this I know not, unless it means, that their garters should be fellows; indifferent, or not different, one from the other.
Line 134. -no link to colour Peter's hat,] A link is a torch of pitch. Greene, in his Mihil Mumchance, says--"This cozenage is used likewise in selling olde hats found upon dunghills instead of newe, blackt over with the smoake of an olde linke."
STEEVENS. Line 145. -Soud, soud, &c.] That is, sweet, sweet. Soot, and sometimes sooth, is sweet. So in Milton, to sing soothly, is, to sing sweetly.
Line 149. It was the friar of orders grey.] Dispersed through Shakspeare's plays are many little fragments of ancient ballads, the entire copies of which cannot now be recovered. Many of these
being of the most beautiful and pathetic simplicity, Dr. Percy has selected some of them, and connected them together with a few supplemental stanzas. STEEVENS.
Line 156. And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither.] This cousin Ferdinand, who does not make his personal appearance on the scene, is mentioned, I suppose, for no other reason than to give Catharine a hint, that he could keep even his own relations in order, and make them obedient as his spaniel to his commands. STEEVENS.
Line 161. Come, Kate, and wash,] It was the custom in Shakspeare's time, and a long time before, to wash the hands at dinner and supper, before and after. If they ate with their fingers, as Mr. Steevens observes, it certainly was highly necessary.
-to man my haggard,] A haggard is a wild
hawk; to man a hawk is to tame her.
ACT IV. SCENE II.
cullion :] A term of contempt.
·299. Master, a mercatantè, or a pedant.] The old editions read marcantant. The Italian word mercatante is frequently used in the old plays for a merchant, and therefore I have made no scruple of placing it here.. STEEVENS.
A pedant was a name synonimous to schoolmaster, or teacher of languages.
Line 301. surely like a father.] I know not what he is, says the speaker, however this is certain, he has the gait and countenance of a fatherly man. WARBURTON.
· Line 356. To pass assurance-] To pass assurance has the same meaning as the assignment of a conveyance, or of a deed.
Line 359. Go with me, &c.] There is an old comedy called Supposes, translated from Ariosto, by George Gascoigne. Thence Shakspeare borrowed this part of the plot, (as well as some of the phraseology) though Theobald pronounces it his own invention. There likewise he found the quaint name of Petruchio. My young master and his man exchange habits, and persuade a Scenæse, as he is called, to personate the father, exactly as in this play, by the pretended danger of his coming from Sienna to Ferrara, contrary to the order of the government. FARMER.
ACT IV. SCENE III.
what, sweeting, all amort?] Amort from the French; dull, melancholy, despairing.
Line 408. And all my pains is sorted to no proof.] And all my labour has ended in nothing, or proved nothing. We tried an experiment, but it sorted not. Bacon. JOHNSON.
Line 422. farthingales, and things;] Though things is a poor word, yet I have no better, and perhaps the author had not another that would rhyme. I once thought to transpose the words rings and things, but it would make little improvement. JOHNS. Line 428. Come, tailor, let us see these ornaments ;] In Shakspeare's time, mantua-making was more the occupation of men than
Line 441. Why, sir, I trust I may have leave to speak, &c.] Shakspeare has here copied nature with great skill. Petruchio, by frightening, starving, and overwatching his wife, had tamed her into gentleness and submission. And the audience expects to hear no more of the shrew: when on her being crossed, in the article of fashion and finery, the most inveterate folly of the sex, she flies out again, though for the last time, into all the intemperate rage of her nature. WARBURTON.
Line 460. -censer-] Censers, in barbers' shops, are now disused, but they may easily be imagined to have been vessels which, for the emission of the smoke, were cut with great number and varieties of interstices. JOHNSON.
Line 481. Thou thimble,] The taylor's trade having an appearance of effeminacy, has always been, among the rugged English, liable to sarcasms and contempt. JOHNSON.
-bemete thee- -] Means be-measure thee. -braved many men ;] To brave was to dress with
some degree of elegance.
-a small compassed cape;] A compassed cape is compass is to come round.