The Taming of the Shrew By William Shakespeare Induction: Scene 1


SCENE I. Before an alehouse on a heath.

[Enter HOSTESS and SLY.]

I'll pheeze you, in faith.

A pair of stocks, you rogue!

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?

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 third-borough.


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

[Lies down on the ground, and falls asleep.]

[Horns winded. Enter a LORD from hunting, with Huntsmen and

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.

Why, Bellman is as good as he, my lord;
He cried upon it at the merest loss,
And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent;
Trust me, I take him for the better dog.

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;
To-morrow I intend to hunt again.

I will, my lord.

[ Sees Sly.] What's here? One dead, or drunk?
See, doth he breathe?

He breathes, my lord. Were he not warm'd with ale,
This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.

O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies!
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
Sirs, I will practise 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.

Even as a flattering 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 honour 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.

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.

Take him up gently, and to bed with him,
And each one to his office when he wakes.

[SLY is bourne out. A trumpet sounds.]

Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:


Belike some noble gentleman that means,
Travelling some journey, to repose him here.

[Re-enter SERVANT.]

How now! who is it?

An it please your honour, players
That offer service to your lordship.

Bid them come near.

[Enter PLAYERS.]

Now, fellows, you are welcome.

We thank your honour.

Do you intend to stay with me to-night?

So please your lordship to accept our duty.

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.

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Bartholomew, the page disguised as Sly’s wife, says she cannot sleep with Sly because