The Taming of the Shrew By William Shakespeare Induction: Scene 2

PAGE.
How fares my noble lord?

SLY.
Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough.
Where is my wife?

PAGE.
Here, noble lord: what is thy will with her?

SLY.
Are you my wife, and will not call me husband?
My men should call me lord: I am your goodman.

PAGE.
My husband and my lord, my lord and husband;
I am your wife in all obedience.

SLY.
I know it well. What must I call her?

LORD.
Madam.

SLY.
Al'ce madam, or Joan madam?

LORD.
Madam, and nothing else; so lords call ladies.

SLY.
Madam wife, they say that I have dream'd
And slept above some fifteen year or more.

PAGE.
Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me,
Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.

SLY.
'Tis much. Servants, leave me and her alone.
Madam, undress you, and come now to bed.

PAGE.
Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you
To pardon me yet for a night or two;
Or, if not so, until the sun be set:
For your physicians have expressly charg'd,
In peril to incur your former malady,
That I should yet absent me from your bed:
I hope this reason stands for my excuse.

SLY.
Ay, it stands so that I may hardly tarry so long; but I would
be loath to fall into my dreams again: I will therefore tarry, in
despite of the flesh and the blood.

[Enter a SERVANT.]

SERVANT.
Your honour's players, hearing your amendment,
Are come to play a pleasant comedy;
For so your doctors hold it very meet,
Seeing too much sadness hath congeal'd your blood,
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy:
Therefore they thought it good you hear a play,
And frame your mind to mirth and merriment,
Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.

SLY.
Marry, I will; let them play it. Is not a commonty a
Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?

PAGE.
No, my good lord; it is more pleasing stuff.

SLY.
What! household stuff?

PAGE.
It is a kind of history.

SLY.
Well, we'll see't. Come, madam wife, sit by my side and let
the world slip: we shall ne'er be younger.

[Flourish.]

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




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