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Home > Taming of the Shrew > I - SCENE I. Before an alehouse on a heath.

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I - SCENE I. Before an alehouse on a heath.
Enter Hostess and SLY

1    I'll pheeze you, in faith.
2    A pair of stocks, you rogue!
3    Ye are a baggage: the Slys are no rogues; look in
4    the chronicles; we came in with Richard Conqueror.
5    Therefore paucas pallabris; let the world slide: sessa!
6    You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?
7    No, not a denier. Go by, Jeronimy: go to thy cold
8    bed, and warm thee.
9    I know my remedy; I must go fetch the
10   third--borough.

11   Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him
12   by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy: let him come,
13   and kindly.
Falls asleep

Horns winded. Enter a Lord from hunting, with his train

14   Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds:
15   Brach Merriman, the poor cur is emboss'd;
16   And couple Clowder with the deep--mouth'd brach.
17   Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
18   At the hedge-corner, in the coldest fault?
19   I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
First Huntsman
20   Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;
21   He cried upon it at the merest loss
22   And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent:
23   Trust me, I take him for the better dog.
24   Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fleet,
25   I would esteem him worth a dozen such.
26   But sup them well and look unto them all:
27   To-morrow I intend to hunt again.
First Huntsman
28   I will, my lord.
29   What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?
Second Huntsman
30   He breathes, my lord. Were he not warm'd with ale,
31   This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
32   O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies!
33   Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
34   Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.
35   What think you, if he were convey'd to bed,
36   Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,
37   A most delicious banquet by his bed,
38   And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
39   Would not the beggar then forget himself?
First Huntsman
40   Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
Second Huntsman
41   It would seem strange unto him when he waked.
42   Even as a flattering dream or worthless fancy.
43   Then take him up and manage well the jest:
44   Carry him gently to my fairest chamber
45   And hang it round with all my wanton pictures:
46   Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters
47   And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet:
48   Procure me music ready when he wakes,
49   To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound;
50   And if he chance to speak, be ready straight
51   And with a low submissive reverence
52   Say 'What is it your honour will command?'
53   Let one attend him with a silver basin
54   Full of rose-water and bestrew'd with flowers,
55   Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
56   And say 'Will't please your lordship cool your hands?'
57   Some one be ready with a costly suit
58   And ask him what apparel he will wear;
59   Another tell him of his hounds and horse,
60   And that his lady mourns at his disease:
61   Persuade him that he hath been lunatic;
62   And when he says he is, say that he dreams,
63   For he is nothing but a mighty lord.
64   This do and do it kindly, gentle sirs:
65   It will be pastime passing excellent,
66   If it be husbanded with modesty.
First Huntsman
67   My lord, I warrant you we will play our part,
68   As he shall think by our true diligence
69   He is no less than what we say he is.
70   Take him up gently and to bed with him;
71   And each one to his office when he wakes.
Some bear out SLY. A trumpet sounds
72   Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:
Exit Servingman
73   Belike, some noble gentleman that means,
74   Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
Re-enter Servingman
75   How now! who is it?
76   An't please your honour, players
77   That offer service to your lordship.
78   Bid them come near.
Enter Players
79   Now, fellows, you are welcome.
80   We thank your honour.
81   Do you intend to stay with me tonight?
A Player
82   So please your lordship to accept our duty.
83   With all my heart. This fellow I remember,
84   Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son:
85   'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well:
86   I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part
87   Was aptly fitted and naturally perform'd.
A Player
88   I think 'twas Soto that your honour means.
89   'Tis very true: thou didst it excellent.
90   Well, you are come to me in a happy time;
91   The rather for I have some sport in hand
92   Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
93   There is a lord will hear you play to-night:
94   But I am doubtful of your modesties;
95   Lest over-eyeing of his odd behavior,--
96   For yet his honour never heard a play--
97   You break into some merry passion
98   And so offend him; for I tell you, sirs,
99   If you should smile he grows impatient.
A Player
100  Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves,
101  Were he the veriest antic in the world.
102  Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,
103  And give them friendly welcome every one:
104  Let them want nothing that my house affords.
Exit one with the Players
105  Sirrah, go you to Barthol'mew my page,
106  And see him dress'd in all suits like a lady:
107  That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber;
108  And call him 'madam,' do him obeisance.
109  Tell him from me, as he will win my love,
110  He bear himself with honourable action,
111  Such as he hath observed in noble ladies
112  Unto their lords, by them accomplished:
113  Such duty to the drunkard let him do
114  With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy,
115  And say 'What is't your honour will command,
116  Wherein your lady and your humble wife
117  May show her duty and make known her love?'
118  And then with kind embracements, tempting kisses,
119  And with declining head into his bosom,
120  Bid him shed tears, as being overjoy'd
121  To see her noble lord restored to health,
122  Who for this seven years hath esteem'd him
123  No better than a poor and loathsome beggar:
124  And if the boy have not a woman's gift
125  To rain a shower of commanded tears,
126  An onion will do well for such a shift,
127  Which in a napkin being close convey'd
128  Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
129  See this dispatch'd with all the haste thou canst:
130  Anon I'll give thee more instructions.
Exit a Servingman
131  I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
132  Voice, gait and action of a gentlewoman:
133  I long to hear him call the drunkard husband,
134  And how my men will stay themselves from laughter
135  When they do homage to this simple peasant.
136  I'll in to counsel them; haply my presence
137  May well abate the over-merry spleen
138  Which otherwise would grow into extremes.

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Scene Index

  • ACT I

  • ACT II


  • ACT IV

  • ACT V

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