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Home > Taming of the Shrew > SCENE II. A bedchamber in the Lord's house.

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SCENE II. A bedchamber in the Lord's house.
SLY
1    For God's sake, a pot of small ale.
First Servant
2    Will't please your lordship drink a cup of sack?
Second Servant
3    Will't please your honour taste of these conserves?
Third Servant
4    What raiment will your honour wear to-day?
SLY
5    I am Christophero Sly; call not me 'honour' nor
6    'lordship:' I ne'er drank sack in my life; and if
7    you give me any conserves, give me conserves of
8    beef: ne'er ask me what raiment I'll wear; for I
9    have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings
10   than legs, nor no more shoes than feet; nay,
11   sometimes more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my
12   toes look through the over-leather.
Lord
13   Heaven cease this idle humour in your honour!
14   O, that a mighty man of such descent,
15   Of such possessions and so high esteem,
16   Should be infused with so foul a spirit!
SLY
17   What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher
18   Sly, old Sly's son of Burtonheath, by birth a
19   pedlar, by education a cardmaker, by transmutation a
20   bear-herd, and now by present profession a tinker?
21   Ask Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot, if
22   she know me not: if she say I am not fourteen pence
23   on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the
24   lyingest knave in Christendom. What! I am not
25   bestraught: here's--
Third Servant
26   O, this it is that makes your lady mourn!
Second Servant
27   O, this is it that makes your servants droop!
Lord
28   Hence comes it that your kindred shuns your house,
29   As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
30   O noble lord, bethink thee of thy birth,
31   Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment
32   And banish hence these abject lowly dreams.
33   Look how thy servants do attend on thee,
34   Each in his office ready at thy beck.
35   Wilt thou have music? hark! Apollo plays,
Music
36   And twenty caged nightingales do sing:
37   Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch
38   Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed
39   On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis.
40   Say thou wilt walk; we will bestrew the ground:
41   Or wilt thou ride? thy horses shall be trapp'd,
42   Their harness studded all with gold and pearl.
43   Dost thou love hawking? thou hast hawks will soar
44   Above the morning lark or wilt thou hunt?
45   Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them
46   And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.
First Servant
47   Say thou wilt course; thy greyhounds are as swift
48   As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.
Second Servant
49   Dost thou love pictures? we will fetch thee straight
50   Adonis painted by a running brook,
51   And Cytherea all in sedges hid,
52   Which seem to move and wanton with her breath,
53   Even as the waving sedges play with wind.
Lord
54   We'll show thee Io as she was a maid,
55   And how she was beguiled and surprised,
56   As lively painted as the deed was done.
Third Servant
57   Or Daphne roaming through a thorny wood,
58   Scratching her legs that one shall swear she bleeds,
59   And at that sight shall sad Apollo weep,
60   So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.
Lord
61   Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord:
62   Thou hast a lady far more beautiful
63   Than any woman in this waning age.
First Servant
64   And till the tears that she hath shed for thee
65   Like envious floods o'er-run her lovely face,
66   She was the fairest creature in the world;
67   And yet she is inferior to none.
SLY
68   Am I a lord? and have I such a lady?
69   Or do I dream? or have I dream'd till now?
70   I do not sleep: I see, I hear, I speak;
71   I smell sweet savours and I feel soft things:
72   Upon my life, I am a lord indeed
73   And not a tinker nor Christophero Sly.
74   Well, bring our lady hither to our sight;
75   And once again, a pot o' the smallest ale.
Second Servant
76   Will't please your mightiness to wash your hands?
77   O, how we joy to see your wit restored!
78   O, that once more you knew but what you are!
79   These fifteen years you have been in a dream;
80   Or when you waked, so waked as if you slept.
SLY
81   These fifteen years! by my fay, a goodly nap.
82   But did I never speak of all that time?
First Servant
83   O, yes, my lord, but very idle words:
84   For though you lay here in this goodly chamber,
85   Yet would you say ye were beaten out of door;
86   And rail upon the hostess of the house;
87   And say you would present her at the leet,
88   Because she brought stone jugs and no seal'd quarts:
89   Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket.
SLY
90   Ay, the woman's maid of the house.
Third Servant
91   Why, sir, you know no house nor no such maid,
92   Nor no such men as you have reckon'd up,
93   As Stephen Sly and did John Naps of Greece
94   And Peter Turph and Henry Pimpernell
95   And twenty more such names and men as these
96   Which never were nor no man ever saw.
SLY
97   Now Lord be thanked for my good amends!
ALL
98   Amen.
SLY
99   I thank thee: thou shalt not lose by it.
Enter the Page as a lady, with attendants

Page
100  How fares my noble lord?
SLY
101  Marry, I fare well for here is cheer enough.
102  Where is my wife?
Page
103  Here, noble lord: what is thy will with her?
SLY
104  Are you my wife and will not call me husband?
105  My men should call me 'lord:' I am your goodman.
Page
106  My husband and my lord, my lord and husband;
107  I am your wife in all obedience.
SLY
108  I know it well. What must I call her?
Lord
109  Madam.
SLY
110  Al'ce madam, or Joan madam?
Lord
111  'Madam,' and nothing else: so lords
112  call ladies.
SLY
113  Madam wife, they say that I have dream'd
114  And slept above some fifteen year or more.
Page
115  Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me,
116  Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.
SLY
117  'Tis much. Servants, leave me and her alone.
118  Madam, undress you and come now to bed.
Page
119  Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you
120  To pardon me yet for a night or two,
121  Or, if not so, until the sun be set:
122  For your physicians have expressly charged,
123  In peril to incur your former malady,
124  That I should yet absent me from your bed:
125  I hope this reason stands for my excuse.
SLY
126  Ay, it stands so that I may hardly
127  tarry so long. But I would be loath to fall into
128  my dreams again: I will therefore tarry in
129  despite of the flesh and the blood.
Enter a Messenger

Messenger
130  Your honour's players, heating your amendment,
131  Are come to play a pleasant comedy;
132  For so your doctors hold it very meet,
133  Seeing too much sadness hath congeal'd your blood,
134  And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy:
135  Therefore they thought it good you hear a play
136  And frame your mind to mirth and merriment,
137  Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.
SLY
138  Marry, I will, let them play it. Is not a
139  comondy a Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?
Page
140  No, my good lord; it is more pleasing stuff.
SLY
141  What, household stuff?
Page
142  It is a kind of history.
SLY
143  Well, well see't. Come, madam wife, sit by my side
144  and let the world slip: we shall ne'er be younger.
Flourish

< (Previous)SCENE IACT I, SCENE I (Next) >
Scene Index
  • INDUCTION
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II

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