Page images

should come by a fire to thaw me:— But, I, with blowing the fire, shall warm myself; for, considering the weather, a taller man than I will take cold. Holla, hoa! Curtis !

Enter CURTIS. Curt. Who is that, calls so coldly?

Gru. A piece of ice: If thou doubt it, thou may'st slide from my shoulder to my heel, with no greater a run but my head and my neck. A fire, good Curtis.

Curt. Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio ? Gru. 0, ay, Curtis, ay: and therefore fire, fire; cast on no water.

Curt. Is she so hot a shrew as she's reported ?

Gru. She was, good Curtis, before this frost : but, thou know'st winter tames man, woman, and beast ; for it hath tamed my old master, and my new mistress, and myself, fellow Curtis.

Curt. Away, you three inch fool! I am no beast. Gru. Am I but three inches? why, thy horn is a foot; and so long am I, at the least. But wilt thou make a fire, or shall I complain on thee to our mistress, whose hand (she being now at hand) thou shalt soon feel, to thy cold comfort, for being slow in thy hot office ?

Curt. I pr’ythee, good Grumio, tell me, How goes the world?

Gru. A cold world, Curtis, in every office but thine ; and, therefore, fire: Do thy duty, and have thy duty; for my master and mistress are almost frozen to death.

Curt. There's fire ready ; And, therefore, good Grumio, the news ?

Gru. Why, Jack, boy! ho boy" ! and as much news as thou wilt.

Is the beginning of an old round in

4- Jack, boy ! ho boy!] three parts.

Curt. Come, you are so full of conycatching :

Gru. Why, therefore, fire; for I have caught extreme cold. Where's the cook ? is supper ready, the house trimmed, rushes strewed, cobwebs swept; the serving-men in their new fustian, their white stockings, and every officer his wedding-garment on ? Be the jacks fair within, the jills fair without", the carpets laido, and every thing in order ?

Curt. All ready; And, therefore, I pray thee, news ?

Gru. First, know, my horse is tired ; my master and mistress fallen out.

Curt. How?

Gru. Out of their saddles into the dirt; And thereby hangs a tale.

Curt. Let's ha't, good Grumio.
Gru. Lend thine ear.
Curt. Here.
Gru. There.

[Striking him: Curt. This is to feel a tale, not to hear a tale.

Gru. And therefore 'tis called a sensible tale: and this cuff was but to knock at your ear, and beseech listening. Now I begin : Imprimis, we came down a foul hill, my master riding behind my mistress :

Curt. Both on one horse ? Gru. What's that to thee? Curt. Why, a horse. Gru. Tell thou the tale: — But hadst thou not crossed me, thou should’st have heard how her horse fell, and she under her horse ; thou should’st have heard, in how miry a place : how she was bemoiled ';

5 — Be the jacks fair within, the jills fair without i. e. Are the drinking vessels clean, and the maid servants dressed ? Probably the poet meant to play upon the words Jack and Jill, which signify two drinking measures, as well as men and maid servants.

6 — the carpets laid,] In our author's time it was customary to cover tables with carpets. Floors, as appears from the present passage and others, were strewed with rushes.

i bemoiled ;] i. e. be-draggled ; bemired.

how he left her with the horse upon her ; how he beat me because her horse stumbled; how she waded through the dirt to pluck him off me ; how he swore; how she prayed — that never prayed before ; how I cried; how the horses ran away; how her bridle was burst $ ; how I lost my crupper ; with many things of worthy memory; which now shall die in oblivion, and thou return unexperienced to thy grave. Curt. By this reckoning, he is more shrew than

she'. Gru. Ay; and that, thou and the proudest of you all shall find when he comes home. But what talk I of this ? — call forth Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Philip, Walter, Sugarsop, and the rest ; let their heads be sleekly combed, their blue coats brushed, and their garters of an indifferent knit’: let them curtsey with their left legs; and not presume to touch a hair of my master's horse-tail, till they kiss their hands. Are they all ready?

Curt. They are.
Gru. Call them forth.

Curt. Do you hear, ho? you must meet my master, to countenance my mistress.

Gru. Why, she hath a face of her own.
Curt. Who knows not that ?
Gru. Thou, it seems; that callest for company to
countenance her.

Curt. I call them forth to credit her.
Gru. Why, she comes to borrow nothing of them.

8 — was burst ;] i. e. broken.

9 — he is more shrew than she.] The term shrew was anciently applicable to either sex.

itheir blue coats brushed,] The dress of servants at the time.

i garters of an indifferent knit :) Perhaps by “garters of an indifferent knit,” the author meant parti-colour'd garters ; garters of a different knit. In Shakspeare's time indifferent was sometimes used for different.

Enter several Servants. Nath. Welcome home, Grumio. Phil. How now, Grumio ? Jos. What, Grumio! Nich. Fellow Grumio! Nath. How now, old lad ? Gru. Welcome, you ;-how now, you ; — what, you, -fellow, you ;-and thus much for greeting. Now, my spruce companions, is all ready, and all things neat ?

Nath. All things is ready: How near is our master ?

Gru. E'en at hand, alighted by this; and therefore be not, - Cock's passion, silence! — I hear my master.

on, silences; and thenster?

Enter PETRUCHJO and KATHARINA. Pet. Where be these knaves ? What, no man at

door, To hold my stirrup, nor to take my horse ?Where is Nathaniel, Gregory, Philip ?

AU Serv. Here, here, sir ; here, sir.

Pet. Here, sir! here, sir! here, sir! here, sir !You logger-headed and unpolish'd grooms ! What, no attendance ? no regard ? no duty ?Where is the foolish knave I sent before ? Gru. Here, sir ; as foolish as I was before. Pet. You peasant swain! you whoreson malt-horse

Did I not bid thee meet me in the park,
And bring along these rascal knaves with thee ?

Gru. Nathaniel's coat, sir, was not fully made,
And Gabriel's pumps were all un pink'd i'the heel ;
There was no link to colour Peter's hat’,
And Walter's dagger was not come from sheathing:

3 — pitch.

no link to colour Peter's hat,]


link is a torch of

There were none fine, but Adam, Ralph, and Gre

gory ;
The rest were ragged, old, and beggarly;
Yet, as they are, here are they come to meet you.
Pet. Go, rascals, go, and fetch my supper in.-

[Exeunt some of the Servants.
Where is the life that late I led -
Where are those — Sit down, Kate, and welcome.
Soud, soud, soud, soud!

are, here and fetch mycome of the We Sings.

Re-enter Servants, with supper. Why, when, I say?-Nay, good sweet Kate, be merry. Off with my boots, you rogues, you villains; When ?

It was the friar of orders grey,

As he forth walked on his way :-
Out, out, you rogue ! you pluck my foot awry:
Take that, and mend the plucking off the other.—

[Strikes him.
Be merry, Kate: Some water, here ; what, ho !
Where's my spaniel Troilus ?—Sirrah, get you hence,
And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither:

[Exit Servant. One, Kate, that you must kiss, and be acquainted


4 Where, &c.] A scrap of some old ballad. Ancient Pistol elsewhere quotes the same line. In an old black-letter book intituled, A gorgious Gallery of gallant Inventions, London, 1578, 4to, is a song to the tune of Where is the life that late I led ?

5 Soud, soud, &c.] This, I believe, is a word coined by our poet, to express the noise made by a person heated and fatigued. MALONE.

6 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 ; a work, which at once demonstrates his VOL. III.

B b

« PreviousContinue »