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ACT I. SCENE I.
Enter Lionel and Petrtjcio.
Lionel. Now, sir, let me bid you welcome to your country, and the longing expectation of those friends, that have almost languish'd for the sight of you.—I must flatter him, and stroke him too, he will give no milk else. [Aside.
Pet? ucio. I have calculated, by all the rules of reason and art, that I shall be a great man; for what singular quality concurs to perfection and advancement, that is defective in me? Take my feature and proportion; have they not a kind of sweetness and harmony, to attract the eyes of the beholders? the confirmation of which, many authentical judgments of ladies have seal'd and subscrib'd to.
Lionel. How do you, sir? are you not well ?Petrucio. Next, my behaviour and discourse, according to the court-garb, ceremonious enough, more promising than substantial, able to keep pace with the best hunting wit of them all: besides, nature has bless'd me with boldness sufficient, and fortune with means. What then should hinder me? nothing but destiny, villainous destiny, that chains virtue to darkness and obscurity. Well, I will insinuate myself
* Mr. Samuel Gale told Dr. Dacarrel, that this comedy was acted two nights in 1718, immediately after the revival of the Society of Antiquaries; and that therein had been introduced a ticket of a turnpike (then new) which was called a Tessera. N.
into the court, and presence of the Duke; and if he have not the grace to distinguish of worth, his ignorance upon him. Lionel. What, in a muse, sir?
Petrucio. Cannot a gentleman ruminate over his good parts, but you must be troubling of him?
Lionel. Wise men and fools are alike ambitious: this travelling motion4 has been abroad in quest of strange fashions, where his spungy brain has suck'dthe dregs of all the folly he could possibly meet with, and is indeed more ass than he went forth. Had I an interest in his disgrace, I'd rail at him, and perhaps beat him for it; but he is as strange to me, as to himself, therefore let him continue in his belov'd simplicity.
[Aside. Petrucio. Next, when he shall be instructed of my worth, and eminent sufficiencies, he cannot dignify me with less employment than the dignity of an embassador. How bravely shall 1 behave myself in that service! and what an ornament unto my country may I arrive to be, and to my kindred! But I will play the gentleman, and neglect them; that's the first thing I'll study.
Lionel. Shall I be bold to interrupt you, sir? Petrucio. Presently I'll be at leisure to talk with you: 'tis'no small point in state policy, still to pretend only to be thought a man of action, and rather than want a colour, be busied with a man's own self.
Lionel. Who does this ass speak to? surely to him- 4 motion] Motion is a puppet. In Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, A. 4. S. 5. Captain Pod, the celebrated owner of a puppet-show, and his motion, are mentioned.
Beaumont and Fletcher's Rule a Wife and have a Wife, A. 2.
"Good friends, for half an hour remove your motion." Dehkar's Villanies discovered by lanthorne and candle-light, 1630, ch. 4.
"This labour being taken, the master of the motion hearkens "where such a nobleman, &c. The motion is presented before "him."
self: and 'tis impossible he should ever be wise, that has always such a foolish auditory. [Aside.
Petrucio. Then, with what emulous courtship will they strive to entertain me in foreign parts! And what a spectacle of admiration shall I be made amongst those who have formerly known me! How dost thou like my carriage?
Lionel. Most exquisite; believe me.
Petrucio. But is it adorn'd with that even mixture of fluency and grace, as are required both in a statist and a courtier5?
Lionel. So far as the divine prospect of my understanding guides me, 'tis without parallel, most excellent; but I am no profess'd critic in the mystery.
Petrucio. Well, thou hast Linceus' eyes for observation, or could'st ne'er have made such a cunning discovery of my practice; but will the ladies, think you, have that apprehension, to discern and approve of me?
Lionel. Without question; they cannot be so dull or stony-hearted, as not to be infinitely taken with your worth. Why, in a while, you shall have them so enamour'd, that they'll watch every opportunity to purchase your acquaintance; then again revive it with often banquetting and visits; nay, and perhaps invite others, by their foolish example, to do the like; and some, that despair of so great happiness, will inquire out your haunts, and walk there two or three hours together, to get but a sight of you.
Petrucio. Oh infinite! I am transported with the thought on't! It draws near noon, and I appointed certain gallants to meet me at the five-crown ordinary: after, we are to wait upon the like beauties you talk'd of, to the public theatre. I feel of late, a strong and witty genius growing upon me, and I begin, I know not how, to be in love with this foolish sin of poetry. Lionel. Are you, sir? there's great hopes of you.
1 Both in a statist and a courtier] A statist, is a statesman. So in Ben Jonson's Cynthia's Reoels, A. 2. S. 3.
"Next is your statist's force, a serious, solemn, and supercilious "face, full of formal and square gravity." The Magneiick Lady, by the same, A. 1. S. 7.
"Will screw you out a secret from a staIist." _ ....
Petrucio. And the reason is, because they say, 'tis both the cause and effect of a good wit, to which I can sufficiently pretend: for nature has not play'd the step-dame with me.
Lionel. In good time, sir.
Petrucio. And now you talk of time, what time of day is it by your watch 1
Lionel. I have none, sir.
Petrucio, How, ne'er a watch? oh monstrous! how do you consume your hours? Ne'er a watch! 'tis the greatest solecism in society that e'er I heard of: ne'er a watch!
Lionel. How deeply you conceive of it!
Petrucio. You have not a gentleman, that's a true gentleman, without one; 'tis the main appendix to a plush lining: besides, it helps much to discourse; for, while others confer notes together, we confer our watches, and spend good part of the day with talking of it.
Lionel. Well, sir, because I'll be no longer destitute of such a necessary implement, I have a suit to you.
Petrucio. A suit to me? Let it alone till I am a great man, and then I shall answer you with the greater promise, and less performance.
Lionel. I hope, sir, you have that confidence, I will ask nothing to your prejudice, but what shall some way recompense the deed.
Petrucio. What is't? Be brief, I am in that point a courtier.
Lionel. Usurp then on the proffer'd means,
Petrucio. A friend! what's that? I know no such thing.
Lionel. A faithful, not a ceremonious friend; But one that will stick by you on occasions, And vindicate your credit, were it sunk
Below all scorn, and interpose his life
Betwixt you and all dangers: such a friend,
That when he sees you carried by your passions
Headlong into destruction, will so follow you,
That he will guide you from't, and with good counsel
Redeem you from ill courses: and not nattering
Your idle humour to a vain expence,
Cares not to see you perish, so he may
Sustain himself a while, and raise a fortune,
Though mean, out of your ruins, and then laugh at you.
Petrucio. Why, be there any such friends as these?
Lionel. A world:
Petrucio. Well, to the purpose, speak to the purpose.
Lionel. If I stand link'd unto you, The Gordian knot was less dissoluble, A rock less firm, or centre moveable.
Petrucio. Speak your demand.
Lionel. Do it, and do it freely then; lend me a hundred ducats.
Petrucio. How is that? lend you a hundred ducats! Not a — I'll never have a friend while I breathe first: no, I'll stand upon my guard; I give all the world leave to whet their wits against me, work like moles to undermine me, yet I'll spurn all their deceits like a hillock. I tell thee, I'll not buy the small repentance of a friend or whore, at the rate of a livre.
Lionel. What's this? I dare not