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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act IV. Scene III.

The Taming of the Shrew

A Room in PETRUCHIO’S House.


Gru.No, no, forsooth; I dare not, for my life.

Kath.The more my wrong the more his spite appears.

What, did he marry me to famish me?

Beggars, that come unto my father’s door,

Upon entreaty have a present alms;

If not, elsewhere they meet with charity:

But I, who never knew how to entreat,

Nor never needed that I should entreat,

Am starv’d for meat, giddy for lack of sleep;

With oaths kept waking, and with brawling fed.

And that which spites me more than all these wants,

He does it under name of perfect love;

As who should say, if I should sleep or eat

’Twere deadly sickness, or else present death.

I prithee go and get me some repast;

I care not what, so it be wholesome food.

Gru.What say you to a neat’s foot?

Kath.’Tis passing good: I prithee let me have it.

Gru.I fear it is too choleric a meat.

How say you to a fat tripe finely broil’d?

Kath.I like it well: good Grumio, fetch it me.

Gru.I cannot tell; I fear ’tis choleric.

What say you to a piece of beef and mustard?

Kath.A dish that I do love to feed upon.

Gru.Ay, but the mustard is too hot a little.

Kath.Why, then the beef, and let the mustard rest.

Gru.Nay, then I will not: you shall have the mustard,

Or else you get no beef of Grumio.

Kath.Then both, or one, or anything thou wilt.

Gru.Why then, the mustard without the beef.

Kath.Go, get thee gone, thou false deluding slave,[Beats him.

That feed’st me with the very name of meat.

Sorrow on thee and all the pack of you,

That triumph thus upon my misery!

Go, get thee gone, I say.

Enter PETRUCHIO with a dish of meat; and HORTENSIO.

Pet.How fares my Kate? What, sweeting, all amort?

Hor.Mistress, what cheer?

Kath.Faith, as cold as can be.

Pet.Pluck up thy spirits; look cheerfully upon me.

Here, love; thou seest how diligent I am,

To dress thy meat myself and bring it thee:[Sets the dish on a table.

I am sure, sweet Kate, this kindness merits thanks.

What! not a word? Nay then, thou lov’st it not,

And all my pains is sorted to no proof.

Here, take away this dish.

Kath.I pray you, let it stand.

Pet.The poorest service is repaid with thanks,

And so shall mine, before you touch the meat.

Kath.I thank you, sir.

Hor.Signior Petruchio, fie! you are to blame.

Come, Mistress Kate, I’ll bear you company.

Pet.[Aside.]Eat it up all, Hortensio, if thou lov’st me.

Much good do it unto thy gentle heart!

Kate, eat apace: and now, my honey love,

Will we return unto thy father’s house,

And revel it as bravely as the best,

With silken coats and caps and golden rings,

With ruffs and cuffs and farthingales and things;

With scarfs and fans and double change of bravery,

With amber bracelets, beads and all this knavery.

What! hast thou din’d? The tailor stays thy leisure,

To deck thy body with his ruffling treasure.

Enter Tailor.

Come, tailor, let us see these ornaments;

Lay forth the gown.—

Enter Haberdasher.

What news with you, sir?

Hab.Here is the cap your worship did bespeak.

Pet.Why, this was moulded on a porringer;

A velvet dish: fie, fie! ’tis lewd and filthy:

Why, ’tis a cockle or a walnut-shell,

A knack, a toy, a trick, a baby’s cap:

Away with it! come, let me have a bigger.

Kath.I’ll have no bigger: this doth fit the time,

And gentlewomen wear such caps as these.

Pet.When you are gentle, you shall have one too;

And not till then.

Hor.[Aside.]That will not be in haste.

Kath.Why, sir, I trust I may have leave to speak,

And speak I will; I am no child, no babe:

Your betters have endur’d me say my mind,

And if you cannot, best you stop your ears.

My tongue will tell the anger of my heart,

Or else my heart, concealing it, will break:

And rather than it shall, I will be free

Even to the uttermost, as I please, in words.

Pet.Why, thou sayst true; it is a paltry cap,

A custard-coffin, a bauble, a silken pie.

I love thee well in that thou lik’st it not.

Kath.Love me or love me not, I like the cap,

And it I will have, or I will have none.[Exit Haberdasher.

Pet.Thy gown? why, ay: come, tailor, let us see ’t.

O mercy, God! what masquing stuff is here?

What’s this? a sleeve? ’tis like a demi-cannon:

What! up and down, carv’d like an apple-tart?

Here’s snip and nip and cut and slish and slash,

Like to a censer in a barber’s shop.

Why, what, i’ devil’s name, tailor, call’st thou this?

Hor.[Aside.]I see, she’s like to have neither cap nor gown.

Tai.You bid me make it orderly and well,

According to the fashion and the time.

Pet.Marry, and did: but if you be remember’d,

I did not bid you mar it to the time.

Go, hop me over every kennel home,

For you shall hop without my custom, sir.

I’ll none of it: hence! make your best of it.

Kath.I never saw a better-fashion’d gown,

More quaint, more pleasing, nor more commendable.

Belike you mean to make a puppet of me.

Pet.Why, true; he means to make a puppet of thee.

Tai.She says your worship means to make a puppet of her.

Pet.O monstrous arrogance! Thou liest, thou thread,

Thou thimble,

Thou yard, three-quarters, half-yard, quarter, nail!

Thou flea, thou nit, thou winter-cricket thou!

Brav’d in mine own house with a skein of thread!

Away! thou rag, thou quantity, thou remnant,

Or I shall so be-mete thee with thy yard

As thou shalt think on prating whilst thou liv’st!

I tell thee, I, that thou hast marr’d her gown.

Tai.Your worship is deceiv’d: the gown is made

Just as my master had direction.

Grumio gave order how it should be done.

Gru.I gave him no order; I gave him the stuff.

Tai.But how did you desire it should be made?

Gru.Marry, sir, with needle and thread.

Tai.But did you not request to have it cut?

Gru.Thou hast faced many things.

Tai.I have.

Gru.Face not me: thou hast braved many men; brave not me: I will neither be faced nor braved. I say unto thee, I bid thy master cut out the gown; but I did not bid him cut it to pieces: ergo, thou liest.

Tai.Why, here is the note of the fashion to testify.

Pet.Read it.

Gru.The note lies in ’s throat if he say I said so.

Tai.Imprimis. A loose-bodied gown.

Gru.Master, if ever I said loose-bodied gown, sew me in the skirts of it, and beat me to death with a bottom of brown thread. I said, a gown.


Tai.With a small compassed cape.

Gru.I confess the cape.

Tai.With a trunk sleeve.

Gru.I confess two sleeves.

Tai.The sleeves curiously cut.

Pet.Ay, there’s the villany.

Gru.Error i’ the bill, sir; error i’ the bill. I commanded the sleeves should be cut out and sewed up again; and that I’ll prove upon thee, though thy little finger be armed in a thimble.

Tai.This is true that I say: an I had thee in place where thou shouldst know it.

Gru.I am for thee straight: take thou the bill, give me thy mete-yard, and spare not me.

Hor.God-a-mercy, Grumio! then he shall have no odds.

Pet.Well, sir, in brief, the gown is not for me.

Gru.You are i’ the right, sir; ’tis for my mistress.

Pet.Go, take it up unto thy master’s use.

Gru.Villain, not for thy life! take up my mistress’ gown for thy master’s use!

Pet.Why, sir, what’s your conceit in that?

Gru.O, sir, the conceit is deeper than you think for.

Take up my mistress’ gown to his master’s use!

O, fie, fie, fie!

Pet.[Aside.]Hortensio, say thou wilt see the tailor paid.

[To Tailor.]Go take it hence; be gone, and say no more.

Hor.[Aside to Tailor.]Tailor, I’ll pay thee for thy gown to-morrow:

Take no unkindness of his hasty words.

Away! I say; commend me to thy master.[Exit Tailor.

Pet.Well, come, my Kate; we will unto your father’s,

Even in these honest mean habiliments.

Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor:

For ’tis the mind that makes the body rich;

And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds,

So honour peereth in the meanest habit.

What is the jay more precious than the lark

Because his feathers are more beautiful?

Or is the adder better than the eel

Because his painted skin contents the eye?

O, no, good Kate; neither art thou the worse

For this poor furniture and mean array.

If thou account’st it shame, lay it on me;

And therefore frolic: we will hence forthwith,

To feast and sport us at thy father’s house.

Go, call my men, and let us straight to him;

And bring our horses unto Long-lane end;

There will we mount, and thither walk on foot.

Let’s see; I think ’tis now some seven o’clock,

And well we may come there by dinner-time.

Kath.I dare assure you, sir, ’tis almost two;

And ’twill be supper-time ere you come there.

Pet.It shall be seven ere I go to horse.

Look, what I speak, or do, or think to do,

You are still crossing it. Sirs, let ’t alone:

I will not go to-day; and ere I do,

It shall be what o’clock I say it is.

Hor.Why, so this gallant will command the sun.[Exeunt.