Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew
SCENE II.— A Room in LUCENTIO’S House.
How now! what news?
Bion. Sir, my mistress sends you word
That she is bus, and she cannot come!
Pet. How! she is busy, and she cannot come!
Is that an answer?
Gre. Ay, and a kind one too:
Pray God, sir, your wife send you not a worse.
Pet. I hope better.
Hor. Sirrah Biondello, go and entreat my
To come to me forthwith. [Exit BIONDELLO.
Pet. Oh, ho! entreat her!
Nay, then she must needs come.
Hor. I am afraid, sir,
Do what you can, yours will not be entreated.
Now, where’s my wife?
Bion. She says you have some goodly jest in
She will not come; she bids you come to her.
Pet. Worse and worse; she will not come! O
Intolerable, not to be endur’d!—
Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress;
Say I command her come to me.
Hor. I know her answer.
Hor. She will not come.
Pet. The fouler fortune mine, and there an
Bap. Now, by my holidame, here comes
Kath. What is your will, sir, that you send
for me? [wife?
Pet. Where is your sister, and Hortensio’s
Kath. They sit conferring by the parlour fire.
Pet. Go, fetch them hither: if they deny to
Swinge me them soundly for unto their hus-
Away, I say, and bring them hither straight.
Luc. Here is a wonder, if you talk of a
Hor. And so it is: I wonder what it bodes.
Pet. Marry, peace it bodes, and love, and
An awful rule, and right supremacy; [happy.
And, to be short, what not, that’s sweet and
Bap. Now fair befall thee, good Petruchio!
The wager thou hast won; and I will add
Unto their losses twenty thousand crowns;
Another dowry to another daughter,
For she is chang’d, as she had never been.
Pet. Nay, I will win my wager better yet;
And show more sign of her obedience,
Her new-built virtue and obedience.
See where she comes, and brings your forward
As prisoners to her womanly persuasion—
Re-enter KATHARINA, with BIANCA and Widow.
Katharine, that cap of yours becomes you not:
Off with that bauble, throw it underfoot.
[KATH. pulls off her cap and throws it down.
Wid. Lord, let me never have a cause to
Will I be brought to such a silly pass!
Bian. Fie! what a foolish duty call you this?
Luc. I would your duty were as foolish too:
The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca, [time.
Hath cost me an hundred crowns since supper-
Bian. The more fool you, for laying on my
Pet. Katherine, I charge thee, tell these
What duty they do owe their lords and hus-
Wid. Come, come, you’re mocking: we will
have no telling.
Pet. Come on, I say; and first begin with her.
Wild. She shall not.
Pet. I say she shall;—and first begin with her.
Kath. Fie, fie! unknit that threat’ning un-
And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor:
It blots thy beauty, as frosts do bite the meads;
Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair
And in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman mov’d is like a fountain troubled—
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
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
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,—
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 forward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel,
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?—
I am asham’d that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
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?
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;
Our strength as weak, our weakness past com-
That seeming to be most, which we indeed least
Then vail your stomachs, for it is not boot,
And place your hands below your husband’s
In token of which duty, if he please,
My hand is ready, may it do him ease.
Pet. Why, there’s a wench!—Come on, and
kiss me, Kate. [shalt ha’t.
Luc. Well, go thy ways old lad; for thou
Vic. ‘Tis a good hearing when children are
Luc. But a harsh hearing when women are
Pet. 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; [To LUCENTIO.
And., being a winner, God give you good-night!
[Exeunt PET. and KATH.
Hor. Now go thy ways; thou hast tam’d a
Luc. ‘Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will
be tam’d so. [Exeunt.
(On 9/18/14 – Join me for the start of “The Winter’s Tale”,