The Taming of the Shrew
Act Induction, Scene 1
Before an alehouse on a heath.
- Enter beggar, Christopher Sly, and Hostess.
- I’ll pheeze you, in faith.
- A pair of stocks, you rogue!
Christopher Sly3 - 5
- Y’ are a baggage, the Slys are no rogues. Look in the
- chronicles; we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore
- paucas pallabris, let the world slide. Sessa!
- You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?
Christopher Sly7 - 8
- No, not a denier. Go by, Saint Jeronimy! Go to thy cold bed,
- and warm thee.
- I know my remedy; I must go fetch the thirdborough.
Christopher Sly10 - 11
- 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 asleep.
- Wind horns. Enter a Lord from hunting, with his Train.
Lord12 - 17
- Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds
- (Brach Merriman, the poor cur, is emboss’d),
- And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth’d brach.
- Saw’st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
- At the hedge-corner, in the coldest fault?
- I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
First Huntsman18 - 21
- Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;
- He cried upon it at the merest loss,
- And twice today pick’d out the dullest scent.
- Trust me, I take him for the better dog.
Lord22 - 25
- Thou art a fool; if Echo were as fleet,
- I would esteem him worth a dozen such.
- But sup them well, and look unto them all,
- Tomorrow I intend to hunt again.
- I will, my lord.
- What’s here? One dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?
Second Huntsman28 - 29
- He breathes, my lord. Were he not warm’d with ale,
- This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Lord30 - 37
- O monstrous beast, how like a swine he lies!
- Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
- Sirs, I will practice on this drunken man.
- What think you, if he were convey’d to bed,
- Wrapp’d in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,
- A most delicious banquet by his bed,
- And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
- Would not the beggar then forget himself?
- Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
- It would seem strange unto him when he wak’d.
Lord40 - 64
- Even as a flatt’ring dream or worthless fancy.
- Then take him up, and manage well the jest.
- Carry him gently to my fairest chamber,
- And hang it round with all my wanton pictures.
- Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters,
- And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet.
- Procure me music ready when he wakes,
- To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound;
- And if he chance to speak, be ready straight,
- And with a low submissive reverence
- Say, “What is it your honor will command?”
- Let one attend him with a silver basin
- Full of rose-water and bestrew’d with flowers,
- Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
- And say, “Will’t please your lordship cool your hands?”
- Some one be ready with a costly suit,
- And ask him what apparel he will wear;
- Another tell him of his hounds and horse,
- And that his lady mourns at his disease.
- Persuade him that he hath been lunatic,
- And when he says he is, say that he dreams,
- For he is nothing but a mighty lord.
- This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs;
- It will be pastime passing excellent,
- If it be husbanded with modesty.
First Huntsman65 - 67
- My lord, I warrant you we will play our part
- As he shall think by our true diligence
- He is no less than what we say he is.
Lord68 - 73
- Take him up gently and to bed with him,
- And each one to his office when he wakes.
- Some bear out Sly.
- Sound trumpets.
- Sirrah, go see what trumpet ’tis that sounds.
- Exit Servingman.
- Belike some noble gentleman that means
- (Traveling some journey) to repose him here.
- Enter Servingman.
- How now? Who is it?
First Servingman74 - 75
- An’t please your honor, players
- That offer service to your lordship.
- Enter Players.
- Bid them come near. Now, fellows, you are welcome.
- We thank your honor.
- Do you intend to stay with me tonight?
- So please your lordship to accept our duty.
Lord80 - 84
- With all my heart. This fellow I remember
- Since once he play’d a farmer’s eldest son.
- ’Twas where you woo’d the gentlewoman so well.
- I have forgot your name; but sure that part
- Was aptly fitted and naturally perform’d.
- I think ’twas Soto that your honor means.
Lord86 - 96
- ’Tis very true; thou didst it excellent.
- Well, you are come to me in happy time,
- The rather for I have some sport in hand,
- Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
- There is a lord will hear you play tonight;
- But I am doubtful of your modesties,
- Lest, over-eyeing of his odd behavior
- (For yet his honor never heard a play),
- You break into some merry passion,
- And so offend him; for I tell you, sirs,
- If you should smile, he grows impatient.
First Player97 - 98
- Fear not, my lord, we can contain ourselves,
- Were he the veriest antic in the world.
Lord99 - 135
- Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,
- And give them friendly welcome every one.
- Let them want nothing that my house affords.
- Exit one with the Players.
- Sirrah, go you to Barthol’mew my page,
- And see him dress’d in all suits like a lady;
- That done, conduct him to the drunkard’s chamber,
- And call him madam, do him obeisance.
- Tell him from me, as he will win my love,
- He bear himself with honorable action,
- Such as he hath observ’d in noble ladies
- Unto their lords, by them accomplished;
- Such duty to the drunkard let him do,
- With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy,
- And say, “What is’t your honor will command,
- Wherein your lady, and your humble wife,
- May show her duty and make known her love?”
- And then with kind embracements, tempting kisses,
- And with declining head into his bosom,
- Bid him shed tears, as being overjoyed
- To see her noble lord restor’d to health,
- Who for this seven years hath esteemed him
- No better than a poor and loathsome beggar.
- And if the boy have not a woman’s gift
- To rain a shower of commanded tears,
- An onion will do well for such a shift,
- Which in a napkin (being close convey’d)
- Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
- See this dispatch’d with all the haste thou canst;
- Anon I’ll give thee more instructions.
- Exit First Servingman.
- I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
- Voice, gait, and action of a gentlewoman.
- I long to hear him call the drunkard husband,
- And how my men will stay themselves from laughter
- When they do homage to this simple peasant.
- I’ll in to counsel them; haply my presence
- May well abate the over-merry spleen,
- Which otherwise would grow into extremes.