Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew
SCENE,—Sometimes in SICILIA; sometimes in BOHEMIA.
SCENE II.—The same. A Room of State in
My prisoner or my guest? by your dread verily,
One of them you shall be.
Pol. Your guest, then, madam.
To be your prisoner should import offending;
Which is for me less easy to commit
Than you to punish.
Her. Not your gaoler, then,
But your kind hostess. Come, I’ll question you
Of my lord’s tricks and yours when you were
You were pretty lordlings then.
Pol. We were, fair queen,
Two lads that thought there were no more
But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy eternal. [two?
Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o’ the
Pol. We were as twinn’d lambs that did
frisk i’ the sun
And bleat the one at the other. What we chang’d
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream’d
That any did. Had we pursu’d that life,
And our weak spirits ne’er been higher rear’d
With stronger blood, we should have answer’d
Boldly, Not guilty; the imposition clear’d
Her. By this we gather
You have tripp’d since.
Pol. O my most sacred lady,
Temptations have since then been born to’s!
In those unfledg’d days was my wife a girl;
Your precious self had then not cross’d the eyes
Of m young play-fellow.
Her. Grace to boot!
Of this make no conclusion, lest you say
Your queen and I are devils: yet, go on;
The offences we have made you do we’ll an-
If you first sinn’d with us, and that with us
You did continue fault, and that you slipp’d
With any but with us.
Leon. Is he won yet?
Her. He’ll stay, my lord.
Leon. At my request he would not.
Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok’st
To better purpose.
Leon. Never but once.
Her. What! have I twice said well? when
was’t before? [make’s
I pr’ythee, tell me: cram’s with praise, and
As fat as tame things: one good deed dying
Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages: you may ride’s
With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs ere
With spur we heat an acre. But to the goal:—
My last good deed was to entreat his stay;
What was my first? it has an elder sister,
Or I mistake you: O, would her name were
But once before I spoke to the purpose: when?
Nay, let me have’t; I long.
Leon. Why, that was when
Three crabbed months had sour’d themselves
Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,
And clap thyself my love; then didst thou
I am yours for ever.
Her. It is Grace indeed.—
Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose
The one for ever earn’d a royal husband;
The other for some while a friend.
[Giving her hand to POLIXENES.
(On 9/22/14 – Join me for the continuation of “The Winter’s Tale”,
ACT I. SCENE II. (cont’d)—The same. A Room of State in the Palace.