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Characters in the Induction....
Lord, before whom the Play is fuppos'd to be play'd.
Page, Players, Huntfmen, and ather Servants attending on the Lord.
Baptifta, 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 fuitor to Catha
Grumio, Servant to Petruchio.
Pedant, an old fellow fet up to perfonate Vincentio.
Pretenders to Bianca.
Servants to Lucentio.
Taylor, Haberdashers; with Servants attending on Baptifta, and Petruchio.
SCENE, fometimes in Padua;` and sometimes in Petruchio's Houfe in the Country.
SCENE, before an Alehouse on a Heath.
Enter Hoftefs and Sly.
'LL pheeze you, in faith.
Hoft. A pair of ftocks, 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 flide: Seffa.
Hoft. You will not pay for the glaffes you have burst? Sly. No, not a deniere: go by, Jeronimo to thy cold bed, and warm thee. (2)
(1) paucus pallabris.] Sly, as an ignorant Fellow, is purpofely made to aim at Languages out of his Knowledge, and knock the words out of Joint. The Spaniards fay, pocas palabras, i. e. few words: as they do likewife, Ceffa, 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. [Falls afleep.
But the Poet had no fuch Intentions. The Passage has parti 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 fuftian old Play, call'd, Hieronymo;. Or, The Spanish Tragedy: which, I find, was the comnon But of Rallery to all the Poets of Shakespeare's Time: and a Paffage, that appear'd very ridiculous in that Play, is here humourously alluded to. Hieronymo, thinking himself injur'd, applies to the King for Juftice; but the Courtiers, who did not defire his Wrongs fhould be fet in a true Light, attempt to hinder him from an Audience.
Hiero. Justice, oh! juftice to Hieronymo.
Lor. Back; - fee'st thou not, the King is bufie?
Hiero. Oh, is he fo?
King. Who is He, that interrupts our Business? Hier. Not I: --- Hieronymo, beware; go by, go by. So Sly here, not caring to be dun'd by the Hostess, cries to her in Effect, "Don't be troublefom, don't interrupt me, go by"; and, to fix the Satire in his Allusion, pleasantly calls her Jero
I must go fetch the Headborough.
Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth Borough, &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 Hoftefs? How do third, or fourth, or fifth Borough relate to Headborough: The Author intended but a poor Witticism, and even That is Joft. The Hoftefs would fay, that she'll fetch a Constable: and: this Officer the calls by his other Name, a Third-borough: and upon this Term Sly founds the Conundrum in his Answer to her. Who does not perceive, at a single glance, some Conceit ftarted by this certain Correction? There is an Attempt at Wit, tolerable enough for a Tinker, and one drunk too. ThirdBorough is a Saxon-term fufficiently explain'd by the Gloffaries: and in our Statute books, no farther back than the 28th Year of Henry VIIIth. we find it fed to fignify a Constable.