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

Act V. Scene II.

The Taming of the Shrew

A Room in LUCENTIO’S House.


Luc.At last, though long, our jarring notes agree:

And time it is, when raging war is done,

To smile at ’scapes and perils overblown.

My fair Bianca, bid my father welcome,

While I with self-same kindness welcome thine.

Brother Petruchio, sister Katharina,

And thou, Hortensio, with thy loving widow,

Feast with the best, and welcome to my house:

My banquet is to close our stomachs up,

After our great good cheer. Pray you, sit down;

For now we sit to chat as well as eat.[They sit at table.

Pet.Nothing but sit and sit, and eat and eat!

Bap.Padua affords this kindness, son Petruchio.

Pet.Padua affords nothing but what is kind.

Hor.For both our sakes I would that word were true.

Pet.Now, for my life, Hortensio fears his widow.

Wid.Then never trust me, if I be afeard.

Pet.You are very sensible, and yet you miss my sense:

I mean, Hortensio is afeard of you.

Wid.He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.

Pet.Roundly replied.

Kath.Mistress, how mean you that?

Wid.Thus I conceive by him.

Pet.Conceives by me! How likes Hortensio that?

Hor.My widow says, thus she conceives her tale.

Pet.Very well mended. Kiss him for that, good widow.

Kath.‘He that is giddy thinks the world turns round:’

I pray you, tell me what you meant by that.

Wid.Your husband, being troubled with a shrew,

Measures my husband’s sorrow by his woe:

And now you know my meaning.

Kath.A very mean meaning.

Wid.Right, I mean you.

Kath.And I am mean, indeed, respecting you.

Pet.To her, Kate!

Hor.To her, widow!

Pet.A hundred marks, my Kate does put her down.

Hor.That’s my office.

Pet.Spoke like an officer: ha’ to thee, lad.[Drinks to HORTENSIO.

Bap.How likes Gremio these quick-witted folks?

Gre.Believe me, sir, they butt together well.

Bian.Head and butt! a hasty-witted body

Would say your head and butt were head and horn.

Vin.Ay, mistress bride, hath that awaken’d you?

Bian.Ay, but not frighted me; therefore I’ll sleep again.

Pet.Nay, that you shall not; since you have begun,

Have at you for a bitter jest or two.

Bian.Am I your bird? I mean to shift my bush;

And then pursue me as you draw your bow.

You are welcome all.[Exeunt BIANCA, KATHARINA, and Widow.

Pet.She hath prevented me. Here, Signior Tranio;

This bird you aim’d at, though you hit her not:

Therefore a health to all that shot and miss’d.

Tra.O sir! Lucentio slipp’d me, like his greyhound,

Which runs himself, and catches for his master.

Pet.A good swift simile, but something currish.

Tra.’Tis well, sir, that you hunted for yourself:

’Tis thought your deer does hold you at a bay.

Bap.O ho, Petruchio! Tranio hits you now.

Luc.I thank thee for that gird, good Tranio.

Hor.Confess, confess, hath he not hit you here?

Pet.A’ has a little gall’d me, I confess;

And, as the jest did glance away from me,

’Tis ten to one it maim’d you two outright.

Bap.Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio,

I think thou hast the veriest shrew of all.

Pet.Well, I say no: and therefore, for assurance,

Let’s each one send unto his wife;

And he whose wife is most obedient

To come at first when he doth send for her,

Shall win the wager which we will propose.

Hor.Content. What is the wager?

Luc.Twenty crowns.

Pet.Twenty crowns!

I’ll venture so much of my hawk or hound,

But twenty times so much upon my wife.

Luc.A hundred then.


Pet.A match! ’tis done.

Hor.Who shall begin?

Luc.That will I.

Go, Biondello, bid your mistress come to me.

Bion.I go.[Exit.

Bap.Son, I will be your half, Bianca comes.

Luc.I’ll have no halves; I’ll bear it all myself.


How now! what news?

Bion.Sir, my mistress sends you word

That she is busy 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 wife

To come to me forthwith.[Exit BIONDELLO.

Pet.O 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 hand:

She will not come: she bids you come to her.

Pet.Worse and worse; she will not come! O vile,

Intolerable, not to be endur’d!

Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress; say,

I command her come to me.[Exit GRUMIO.

Hor.I know her answer.


Hor.She will not.

Pet.The fouler fortune mine, and there an end.


Bap.Now, by my holidame, here comes Katharina!

Kath.What is your will, sir, that you send for me?

Pet.Where is your sister, and Hortensio’s wife?

Kath.They sit conferring by the parlour fire.

Pet.Go, fetch them hither: if they deny to come,

Swinge me them soundly forth unto their husbands.

Away, I say, and bring them hither straight.[Exit KATHARINA.

Luc.Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder.

Hor.And so it is. I wonder what it bodes.

Pet.Marry, peace it bodes, and love, and quiet life,

An awful rule and right supremacy;

And, to be short, what not that’s sweet and happy.

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 froward wives

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 under foot.[KATHARINA pulls off her cap, and throws it down.

Wid.Lord! let me never have a cause to sigh,

Till 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,

Hath cost me an hundred crowns since supper-time.

Bian.The more fool you for laying on my duty.

Pet.Katharine, I charge thee, tell these headstrong women

What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.

Wid.Come, come, you’re mocking: we will have no telling.

Pet.Come on, I say; and first begin with her.

Wid.She shall not.

Pet.I say she shall: and first begin with her.

Kath.Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow,

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 buds,

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’s froward, 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 compare,

That seeming to be most which we indeed least are.

Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot,

And place your hands below your husband’s foot:

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.

Luc.Well, go thy ways, old lad, for thou shalt ha ’t.

Vin.’Tis a good hearing when children are toward.

Luc.But a harsh hearing when women are froward.

Pet.Come, Kate, we’ll to bed.

We three are married, but you two are sped.

’Twas I won the wager,[To LUCENTIO.]though you hit the white;

And, being a winner, God give you good night![Exeunt PETRUCHIO and KATHARINA.

Hor.Now, go thy ways; thou hast tam’d a curst shrew.

Luc.’Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tam’d so.[Exeunt.