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an excess.

The likeness in writing of Sly and say, produced the omission.

JOHNSON, This is hardly right; for how should the lord know the beggar's name to be Sly?

Steevens. Perhaps the sentence is left imperfect, because he did not know by what name to call him.


-modesty.] By modesty is meant moderation, without suffering our merriment to break into

JOHNSON. 77. An't please your honour, players.] I would rather regulate these lines thus :

-An it please your honour,
Players, that offer service to your lordship.

MALONE. 80. Enter Players.] The old spurious play already quoted, page 7, reads: Enter two of the plaiers with packs at their backs,

and a boy." “ Now, sirs, what store of plaies have you ? “ San. Marry, my lord, you may have a tragicall,

Or a commoditie, or what you will. " The other. A comedie thou shouldst say, souns

thou'lt shame us all. Lord. And what's the name of your comedie ? San. Marrie, my lorde, 'tis calde The Taming of

a Shrew: “ Tis a good lesson for us my L. for us that are maried men,” &c.


83. -to accept our duty.] It was in those times the custom of players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great houses. JOHNSON.

In the fifth Earl of Northumberland's Household Book (with a copy of which I was honoured by the late dutchess) the following article occurs. The book was begun in the year 1512 :

“ Rewards to Playars. “ Item, to be payd to the said Richard Gowge and Thomas Percy for rewards to players for playes playd in Chrystinmas by stranegers in my house after xxd. every play by estimacion somme xxxiijs. iiijd. Whych ys apoynted to be paid to the said Richard Gowge and Thomas Percy at the said Christynmas in full contentacion of the said rewardys xxxiijs. iiijd.”

SreeVENS. 89. I think, 'twas Soto -] There can be little doubt that Sincklo was the name of one of the players, which has crept in, both here and in the Third Part of Henry VI. instead of the name of the person represented.

Again, at the conclusion of the Second Part of K. Henry IV.“ Enter Sincklo and three or four offi. See the quarto 1600.

TYRWHITT. Sincklo or Sinkler, was certainly an actor in the same company with Shakspere, &c.—He is introduced together with Burbage, Condell, Lowin, &c. in the Induction to Marston's Malcontent, 1604, and was also a performer in the entertainment entitled The Seven Deadlie Sinns.


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102. -in the world.] Here follows another insertion made by Mr. Pope from the old play. These words are neither found in the quarto 1631, nor in the folio 1623. I have therefore sunk them into a note, as we have no proof that the first sketch of the piece was written by Shakspere.

" 2 Play. [to the other). Go, get a dish-clout to make clean your shoes, and I'll speak for the properties *.

[Exit Player. “ My lord, we must have a shoulder of mutton for a property, and a little vinegar to make our devil roart."


* Property] in the language of a playhouse, is every implement necessary to the exhibition,

JOHNSON. + a little vinegar to make our devil roar.] When the aĉing the mysteries of the Old and New Testament was in vogue, at the representation of the mystery of the Pase sion, Judas and the devil made a part. And the devil, wherever he came, was always to suffer some disgrace, to make the people laugh: as here, the buffoonery was to apply the gall and vinegar to make him roar. And the Passion being that, of all the mysteries, which was most frequently represented, vinegar beeame at length the standa ing implement to torment the devil; and was used for this purpose even after the mysteries ceased, and the moralities came in vogue; where the devil continued to have a considerable part. The mention of it here was to ridicule so absurd a circumstance in these old farces.



The shoulder of mutton might indeed be necessary afterwards for the dinner of Petruchio, but there is no devil in this piece, or in the original on which Shakspere formed it; neither was it yet determined what comedy should be represented. STEEVENS.


All Dr. Warburton has said relative to Judas and the vinegar wants confirmation. I have met with no such circumstances in any mysteries, whether in MS. or in print; and yet both the Chester and Coventry collections are preserved in the British Museum. See MS. Harl. 2013, and Cotton MS. Vespasian D. viii.

Perhaps, however, some entertainments of a farcical kind might have been introduced between the acts. Between the divisions of one of the Chester Mysteries, I met with this marginal direction : Here the Boy and Pig; and perhaps the devil in the intervals of this first comedy of the Taming of a Shrew, might be tormented for the entertainment of the audience; or, according to a custom observed in some of our ancient puppet-shows, might beat his wife with a shoulder of mutton. In the Preface to Marlow's Tamburlaine, 1590, the Printer says:

“ I have (purposelie) omitted and left out some fond and frivolous jestures, digressing (and in my poore opinion) farre unmeete for the matter, which I thought might seeme more tedious unto the wise, than any way els to be regarded, though (happly) they have bene of some vaine conceited fondlings greatly gaped at, what time they were shewed upon the stage in their graced deformities; neverthelesse now to be mixtured in print with such matter of worth, it would prove a great disgrace,” &c.


123. Who for twice seven years- -] In former editions :

Who for these seven years hath esteemed himself

No better than a poor and loathsome beggar. I have ventured to alter a word here, against the authority of the printed copies; and hope, I shall be justified in it by two subsequent passages. That the poet designed the tinker's supposed lunacy should be of fourteen years standing at least, is evident upon

The bladder of vinegar was, however, used for other purposes. I meet with the following stage direction in the old play of Cambyses (by T. Preston), when one of the characters is supposed to die from the wounds he had just received.Here let a small bladder of vinegar be prick'd. I suppose to counterfeit blood : red-wine vinegar was chiefly used, as appears from the ancient books of cookery.

In the ancient Tragedy, or rather Morality, called All for Money, by T. Lupton, 1578, Sin says:

" I knew I would make him soon change his note,
“ I will make him sing the Black Sanctus, I hold him
a groat,

“ Here Satan shall cry and roar." Again, a little after :

66 Here he roareth and crieth." STEEVENS. It was formerly an established opinion, and in the remote parts of the kingdom not yet forgotten, that by pricking a person suspected to be a witch, so as to make her cry out and bleed, she was thereby rendered incapable of injuring the person who had pricked her.--Perhaps the bladder of vinegar and the crying out of Satan may have a reference to this conceit. Bij


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