Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Erin Kelly
Not Peer Reviewed

The Taming of the Shrew (Folio 1, 1623)


1
Actus primus. Scœna Prima.
Enter Begger and Hostes, Christophero Sly.
Begger.
ILe pheeze you infaith.
5Host. A paire of stockes you rogue.
Beg. Y'are a baggage, the Slies are no
Rogues. Looke in the Chronicles, we came
in with Richard Conqueror: therefore Pau-
cas pallabris, let the world slide: Sessa.
10Host. You will not pay for the glasses you haue burst?
Beg. No, not a deniere: go by S. Ieronimie, goe to thy
cold bed, and warme thee.
Host. I know my remedie, I must go fetch the Head-
borough.
15Beg. Third, or fourth, or fift Borough, Ile answere
him by Law. Ile not budge an inch boy: Let him come,
and kindly.
Falles asleepe.
Winde hornes. Enter a Lord from hunting, with his traine.
Lo. Huntsman I charge thee, tender wel my hounds,
20Brach Meriman, the poore Curre is imbost,
And couple Clowder with the deepe-mouth'd brach,
Saw'st thou not boy how Siluer made it good
At the hedge corner, in the couldest fault,
I would not loose the dogge for twentie pound.
25Hunts. Why Belman is as good as he my Lord,
He cried vpon it at the meerest losse,
And twice to day pick'd out the dullest sent,
Trust me, I take him for the better dogge.
Lord. Thou art a Foole, if Eccho were as fleete,
30I would esteeme him worth a dozen such:
But sup them well, and looke vnto them all,
To morrow I intend to hunt againe.
Hunts. I will my Lord.
Lord. What's heere? One dead, or drunke? See doth
35he breath?
2.Hun. He breath's my Lord. Were he not warm'd
with Ale, this were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
Lord. Oh monstrous beast, how like a swine he lyes.
Grim death, how foule and loathsome is thine image:
40Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.
What thinke you, if he were conuey'd to bed,
Wrap'd in sweet cloathes: Rings put vpon his fingers:
A most delicious banquet by his bed,
And braue attendants neere him when he wakes,
45Would not the begger then forget himselfe?
1.Hun. Beleeue me Lord, I thinke he cannot choose.
2.H.It would seem strange vnto him when he wak'd
Lord. Euen as a flatt'ring dreame, or worthles fancie.
Then take him vp, and manage well the iest:
50Carrie him gently to my fairest Chamber,
And hang it round with all my vvanton pictures:
Balme his foule head in warme distilled waters,
And burne sweet Wood to make the Lodging sweete:
Procure me Musicke readie when he vvakes,
55To make a dulcet and a heauenly sound:
And if he chance to speake, be readie straight
(And with a lowe submissiue reuerence)
Say, what is it your Honor vvil command:
Let one attend him vvith a siluer Bason
60Full of Rose-water, and bestrew'd with Flowers,
Another beare the Ewer: the third a Diaper,
And say wilt please your Lordship coole your hands.
Some one be readie with a costly suite,
And aske him what apparrel he will weare:
65Another tell him of his Hounds and Horse,
And that his Ladie mournes at his disease,
Perswade him that he hath bin Lunaticke,
And when he sayes he is, say that he dreames,
For he is nothing but a mightie Lord:
70This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs,
It wil be pastime passing excellent,
If it be husbanded with modestie.
1.Hunts. My Lord I warrant you we wil play our part
As he shall thinke by our true diligence
75He is no lesse then what we say he is.
Lord. Take him vp gently, and to bed with him,
And each one to his office when he wakes.
Sound trumpets.
Sirrah, go see what Trumpet 'tis that sounds,
80Belike some Noble Gentleman that meanes
(Trauelling some iourney) to repose him heere.
Enter Seruingman.
How now? who is it?
Ser. An't please your Honor, Players
85That offer seruice to your Lordship.
Enter Players.
Lord. Bid them come neere:
Now fellowes, you are welcome.
Players. We thanke your Honor.
90Lord. Do you intend to stay with me to night?
2.Player. So please your Lordshippe to accept our
dutie.
Lord. With all my heart. This fellow I remember,
Since once he plaide a Farmers eldest sonne,
95'Twas where you woo'd the Gentlewoman so well:
I haue forgot your name: but sure that part
Was aptly fitted, and naturally perform'd.
Sincklo. I thinke 'twas Soto that your honor meanes.
Lord. 'Tis verie true, thou didst it excellent:
100Well you are come to me in happie time,
The rather for I haue some sport in hand,
Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
There is a Lord will heare you play to night;
But I am doubtfull of your modesties,
105Least (ouer-eying of his odde behauiour,
For yet his honor neuer heard a play)
You breake into some merrie passion,
And so offend him: for I tell you sirs,
If you should smile, he growes impatient.
110Plai. Feare not my Lord, we can contain our selues,
Were he the veriest anticke in the world.
Lord. Go sirra, take them to the Butterie,
And giue them friendly welcome euerie one,
Let them want nothing that my house affoords.
115
Exit one with the Players.
Sirra go you to Bartholmew my Page,
And see him drest in all suites like a Ladie:
That done, conduct him to the drunkards chamber,
And call him Madam, do him obeisance:
120Tell him from me (as he will win my loue)
He beare himselfe with honourable action,
Such as he hath obseru'd in noble Ladies
Vnto their Lords, by them accomplished,
Such dutie to the drunkard let him do:
125With soft lowe tongue, and lowly curtesie,
And say: What is't your Honor will command,
Wherein your Ladie, and your humble wife,
May shew her dutie, and make knowne her loue.
And then with kinde embracements, tempting kisses,
130And with declining head into his bosome
Bid him shed teares, as being ouer-ioyed
To see her noble Lord restor'd to health,
Who for this seuen yeares hath esteemed him
No better then a poore and loathsome begger:
135And if the boy haue not a womans guift
To raine a shower of commanded teares,
An Onion wil do well for such a shift,
Which in a Napkin (being close conuei'd)
Shall in despight enforce a waterie eie:
140See this dispatch'd with all the hast thou canst,
Anon Ile giue thee more instructions.
Exit a seruingman.
I know the boy will wel vsurpe the grace,
Voice, gate, and action of a Gentlewoman:
145I long to heare him call the drunkard husband,
And how my men will stay themselues from laughter,
When they do homage to this simple peasant,
Ile in to counsell them: haply my presence
May well abate the ouer-merrie spleene,
150Which otherwise would grow into extreames.