The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew is in Shakespeare's Plays.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 09 April 1667. 09 Apr 1667. Up. and to the office a while, none of my fellow officers coming to sit, it being holiday, and so towards noon I to the Exchange, and there do hear mighty cries for peace, and that otherwise we shall be undone; and yet I do suspect the badness of the peace we shall make. Several do complain of abundance of land flung up by tenants out of their hands for want of ability to pay their rents; and by name, that the Duke of Buckingham (39) hath £6000 so flung up. And my father writes, that Jasper Trice, upon this pretence of his tenants' dealing with him, is broke up housekeeping, and gone to board with his brother, Naylor, at Offord; which is very sad.

So home to dinner, and after dinner I took coach and to the King's house, and by and by comes after me my wife with W. Hewer (25) and his mother and Barker, and there we saw "The Tameing of a Shrew", which hath some very good pieces in it, but generally is but a mean play; and the best part, "Sawny",1 done by Lacy (52), hath not half its life, by reason of the words, I suppose, not being understood, at least by me.

After the play was done, as I come so I went away alone, and had a mind to have taken out Knipp to have taken the ayre with her, and to that end sent a porter in to her that she should take a coach and come to me to the Piatza in Covent_Garden, where I waited for her, but was doubtful I might have done ill in doing it if we should be visti ensemble, sed elle was gone out, and so I was eased of my care, and therefore away to Westminster to the Swan, and there did baiser la little missa.... and drank, and then by water to the Old Swan, and there found Betty Michell sitting at the door, it being darkish. I staid and talked a little with her, but no once baiser la, though she was to my thinking at this time une de plus pretty mohers that ever I did voir in my vida, and God forgive me my mind did run sobre elle all the vespre and night and la day suivante.

So home and to the office a little, and then to Sir W. Batten's (66), where he tells me how he hath found his lady's jewels again, which have been so long lost, and a servant imprisoned and arraigned, and they were in her closet under a china cup, where he hath servants will swear they did look in searching the house; but Mrs. Turner (44) and I, and others, do believe that they were only disposed of by my Lady, in case she had died, to some friends of hers, and now laid there again.

So home to supper, and to read the book I bought yesterday of the Turkish policy, which is a good book, well writ, and so owned by Dr. Clerke yesterday to me, commending it mightily to me for my reading as the only book of the subject that ever was writ, yet so designedly.

So to bed.

1. This play was entitled "Sawney the Scot, or the Taming of a Shrew", and consisted of an alteration of Shakespeare's play by John Lacy (52). Although it had long been popular it was not printed until 1698. In the old "Taming of a Shrew" (1594), reprinted by Thomas Amyot for the Shakespeare Society in 1844, the hero's servant is named Sander, and this seems to have given the hint to Lacy (52), when altering Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew", to foist a 'Scotsman into the action. Sawney was one of Lacy's (52) favourite characters, and occupies a prominent position in Michael Wright's (49) picture at Hampton Court. Evelyn, on October 3rd, 1662, "visited Mr. Wright, a Scotsman, who had liv'd long at Rome, and was esteem'd a good painter", and he singles out as his best picture, "Lacy (52), the famous Roscius, or comedian, whom he has painted in three dresses, as a gallant, a Presbyterian minister, and a Scotch Highlander in his plaid". Langbaine and Aubrey both make the mistake of ascribing the third figure to Teague in "The Committee"; and in spite of Evelyn's clear statement, his editor in a note follows them in their blunder. Planche has reproduced the picture in his "History of Costume" (Vol. ii., p. 243).

Around 1675 Peter Lely Painter 1618-1680. Portrait of George Villiers 2nd Duke of Buckingham 1628-1687 wearing his Garter Collar. In 1689 Godfrey Kneller 1646-1723. Portrait of William Hewer 1642-1715.

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