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The Taming of the Shrew


[ Enter BAPTISTA, VINCENTIO, GREMIO, the Pedant, LUCENTIO, BIANCA, PETRUCHIO, KATHARINA, HORTENSIO, and Widow, TRANIO, BIONDELLO, and GRUMIO the Serving-men with Tranio bringing in a banquet ]
LUCENTIO At last, though long, our jarring notes agree:
And time it is, when raging war is done,
To smile at scapes and perils overblown.
My fair Bianca, bid my father welcome,
While I with self-same kindness welcome thine. 5
Brother Petruchio, sister Katharina,
And thou, Hortensio, with thy loving widow,
Feast with the best, and welcome to my house:
My banquet is to close our stomachs up,
After our great good cheer. Pray you, sit down; 10
For now we sit to chat as well as eat.
PETRUCHIO Nothing but sit and sit, and eat and eat!
BAPTISTA Padua affords this kindness, son Petruchio.
PETRUCHIO Padua affords nothing but what is kind.
HORTENSIO For both our sakes, I would that word were true. 15
PETRUCHIO Now, for my life, Hortensio fears his widow.
Widow Then never trust me, if I be afeard.
PETRUCHIO You are very sensible, and yet you miss my sense:
I mean, Hortensio is afeard of you.
Widow He that is giddy thinks the world turns round. 20
PETRUCHIO Roundly replied.
KATHARINA Mistress, how mean you that?
Widow Thus I conceive by him.
PETRUCHIO Conceives by me! How likes Hortensio that?
HORTENSIO My widow says, thus she conceives her tale. 25
PETRUCHIO Very well mended. Kiss him for that, good widow.
KATHARINA ‘He that is giddy thinks the world turns round:’
I pray you, tell me what you meant by that.
Widow Your husband, being troubled with a shrew,
Measures my husband’s sorrow by his woe: 30
And now you know my meaning,
KATHARINA A very mean meaning.
Widow Right, I mean you.
KATHARINA And I am mean indeed, respecting you.
PETRUCHIO To her, Kate! 35
HORTENSIO To her, widow!
PETRUCHIO A hundred marks, my Kate does put her down.
HORTENSIO That’s my office.
PETRUCHIO Spoke like an officer; ha’ to thee, lad!
[Drinks to HORTENSIO]
BAPTISTA How likes Gremio these quick-witted folks? 40
GREMIO Believe me, sir, they butt together well.
BIANCA Head, and butt! an hasty-witted body
Would say your head and butt were head and horn.
VINCENTIO Ay, mistress bride, hath that awaken’d you?
BIANCA Ay, but not frighted me; therefore I’ll sleep again. 45
PETRUCHIO Nay, that you shall not: since you have begun,
Have at you for a bitter jest or two!
BIANCA Am I your bird? I mean to shift my bush;
And then pursue me as you draw your bow.
You are welcome all. 50
[Exeunt BIANCA, KATHARINA, and Widow]
PETRUCHIO She hath prevented me. Here, Signior Tranio.
This bird you aim’d at, though you hit her not;
Therefore a health to all that shot and miss’d.
TRANIO O, sir, Lucentio slipp’d me like his greyhound,
Which runs himself and catches for his master. 55
PETRUCHIO A good swift simile, but something currish.
TRANIO ‘Tis well, sir, that you hunted for yourself:
‘Tis thought your deer does hold you at a bay.
BAPTISTA O ho, Petruchio! Tranio hits you now.
LUCENTIO I thank thee for that gird, good Tranio. 60
HORTENSIO Confess, confess, hath he not hit you here?
PETRUCHIO A’ has a little gall’d me, I confess;
And, as the jest did glance away from me,

‘Tis ten to one it maim’d you two outright.
BAPTISTA Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio, 65
I think thou hast the veriest shrew of all.
PETRUCHIO Well, I say no: and therefore for assurance
Let’s each one send unto his wife;
And he whose wife is most obedient
To come at first when he doth send for her, 70
Shall win the wager which we will propose.
HORTENSIO Content. What is the wager?
LUCENTIO Twenty crowns.
PETRUCHIO Twenty crowns!
I’ll venture so much of my hawk or hound, 75
But twenty times so much upon my wife.
LUCENTIO A hundred then.
PETRUCHIO A match! ’tis done.
HORTENSIO Who shall begin? 80
LUCENTIO That will I.
Go, Biondello, bid your mistress come to me.
BAPTISTA Son, I’ll be your half, Bianca comes.
LUCENTIO I’ll have no halves; I’ll bear it all myself. 85
[Re-enter BIONDELLO]
How now! what news?
BIONDELLO Sir, my mistress sends you word
That she is busy and she cannot come.
PETRUCHIO How! she is busy and she cannot come!
Is that an answer? 90
GREMIO Ay, and a kind one too:
Pray God, sir, your wife send you not a worse.
PETRUCHIO I hope better.
HORTENSIO Sirrah Biondello, go and entreat my wife
To come to me forthwith. 95
PETRUCHIO O, ho! entreat her!
Nay, then she must needs come.
HORTENSIO I am afraid, sir,
Do what you can, yours will not be entreated.
[Re-enter BIONDELLO]
Now, where’s my wife? 100
BIONDELLO She says you have some goodly jest in hand:
She will not come: she bids you come to her.
PETRUCHIO Worse and worse; she will not come! O vile,
Intolerable, not to be endured!
Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress; 105
Say, I command her to come to me.
HORTENSIO I know her answer.
HORTENSIO She will not.
PETRUCHIO The fouler fortune mine, and there an end. 110
BAPTISTA Now, by my holidame, here comes Katharina!
[Re-enter KATARINA]
KATHARINA What is your will, sir, that you send for me?
PETRUCHIO Where is your sister, and Hortensio’s wife?
KATHARINA They sit conferring by the parlor fire.
PETRUCHIO Go fetch them hither: if they deny to come. 115
Swinge me them soundly forth unto their husbands:
Away, I say, and bring them hither straight.
LUCENTIO Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder.
HORTENSIO And so it is: I wonder what it bodes.
PETRUCHIO Marry, peace it bodes, and love and quiet life, 120
And awful rule and right supremacy;
And, to be short, what not, that’s sweet and happy?
BAPTISTA Now, fair befal thee, good Petruchio!
The wager thou hast won; and I will add
Unto their losses twenty thousand crowns; 125
Another dowry to another daughter,
For she is changed, as she had never been.
PETRUCHIO Nay, I will win my wager better yet
And show more sign of her obedience,
Her new-built virtue and obedience. 130
See where she comes and brings your froward wives
As prisoners to her womanly persuasion.
[Re-enter KATHARINA, with BIANCA and Widow]
Katharina, that cap of yours becomes you not:
Off with that bauble, throw it under-foot.
Widow Lord, let me never have a cause to sigh, 135
Till I be brought to such a silly pass!
BIANCA Fie! what a foolish duty call you this?
LUCENTIO I would your duty were as foolish too:
The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca,
Hath cost me an hundred crowns since supper-time. 140
BIANCA The more fool you, for laying on my duty.
PETRUCHIO Katharina, I charge thee, tell these headstrong women
What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.
Widow Come, come, you’re mocking: we will have no telling.
PETRUCHIO Come on, I say; and first begin with her. 145
Widow She shall not.
PETRUCHIO I say she shall: and first begin with her.
KATHARINA Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,
And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor: 150
It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads,
Confounds thy fame as whirlwinds shake fair buds,
And in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty; 155
And while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance commits his body 160
To painful labour both by sea and land,
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands
But love, fair looks and true obedience; 165
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince
Even such a woman oweth to her husband;
And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will, 170
What is she but a foul contending rebel
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I am ashamed that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
Or seek for rule, supremacy and sway, 175
When they are bound to serve, love and obey.
Why are our bodies soft and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts? 180
Come, come, you froward and unable worms!
My mind hath been as big as one of yours,
My heart as great, my reason haply more,
To bandy word for word and frown for frown;
But now I see our lances are but straws, 185
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.
Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,
And place your hands below your husband’s foot:
In token of which duty, if he please, 190
My hand is ready; may it do him ease.
PETRUCHIO Why, there’s a wench! Come on, and kiss me, Kate.
LUCENTIO Well, go thy ways, old lad; for thou shalt ha’t.
VINCENTIO ‘Tis a good hearing when children are toward.
LUCENTIO But a harsh hearing when women are froward. 195
PETRUCHIO Come, Kate, we’ll to bed.
We three are married, but you two are sped.
‘Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white;
And, being a winner, God give you good night!
HORTENSIO Now, go thy ways; thou hast tamed a curst shrew. 200
LUCENTIO ‘Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tamed so.