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The Taming of the Shrew Scenes

Scene 1

Petruchio’s country house.

(Grumio; Curtis; Joseph; Nathaniel; Peter; Philip; Nicholas; Petruchio; Kate)

English Latin

Freezing cold, Grumio arrives at Petruchio’s house to prepare it for his master’s arrival with Kate. He tells the other servants how Kate fell off her horse into the mud and Petruchio didn’t help her up. Petruchio arrives, bullying the servants and throwing the supper they bring him back in their faces. Insisting the food was terrible, he refuses to let Kate have anything to eat. He takes her to the bedroom and lectures her before coming out and making further plans to keep her from sleep that night. He is taming her with the same techniques used to train falcons. (141 lines)

Enter Grumio. GRU.


Fie, fie on all tir’d jades, on all mad masters, and all foul ways! Was ever man so beaten? Was ever man so ray’d? Was ever man so weary? I am sent before to make a fire, and they are coming after to warm them. Now were not I a little pot and soon hot, my very lips might freeze to my teeth, my tongue to the roof of my mouth, my heart in my belly, ere I should come by a fire to thaw me. But I with blowing the fire shall warm myself; for considering the weather, a taller man than I will take cold. Holla, ho, Curtis!

Enter Curtis. CURT.


Who is that calls so coldly?


A piece of ice. If thou doubt it, thou mayst slide from my shoulder to my heel with no greater a run but my head and my neck. A fire, good Curtis.


Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio?


O ay, Curtis, ay, and therefore fire, fire; cast on no water.


Is she so hot a shrew as she’s reported?


She was, good Curtis, before this frost; but thou know’st winter tames man, woman, and beast; for it hath tam’d my old master and my new mistress and myself, fellow Curtis.


Away, you three-inch fool! I am no beast.


Am I but three inches? Why, thy horn is a foot, and so long am I at the least. But wilt thou make a fire, or shall I complain on thee to our mistress, whose hand (she being now at hand) thou shalt soon feel, to thy cold comfort, for being slow in thy hot office?


I prithee, good Grumio, tell me, how goes the world?


A cold world, Curtis, in every office but thine, and therefore fire. Do thy duty and have thy duty, for my master and mistress are almost frozen to death.


There’s fire ready, and therefore, good Grumio, the news.


Why, “Jack, boy! Ho, boy!” and as much news as wilt thou.


Come, you are so full of cony-catching!


Why, therefore fire, for I have caught extreme cold. Where’s the cook? Is supper ready, the house trimm’d, rushes strew’d, cobwebs swept, the servingmen in their new fustian, their white stockings, and every officer his wedding garment on? Be the Jacks fair within, the Gills fair without, the carpets laid, and every thing in order?


All ready; and therefore I pray thee, news.


First, know my horse is tir’d, my master and mistress fall’n out.




Out of their saddles into the dirt, and thereby hangs a tale.


Let’s ha’t, good Grumio.


Lend thine ear.





Strikes him. GRU. CURT.


This ’tis to feel a tale, not to hear a tale.


And therefore ’tis call’d a sensible tale; and this cuff was but to knock at your ear, and beseech list’ning. Now I begin: Imprimis, we came down a foul hill, my master riding behind my mistress—


Both of one horse?


What’s that to thee?


Why, a horse.


Tell thou the tale. But hadst thou not cross’d me, thou shouldst have heard how her horse fell, and she under her horse; thou shouldst have heard in how miry a place, how she was bemoil’d, how he left her with the horse upon her, how he beat me because her horse stumbled, how she waded through the dirt to pluck him off me; how he swore, how she pray’d that never pray’d before; how I cried, how the horses ran away, how her bridle was burst; how I lost my crupper, with many things of worthy memory, which now shall die in oblivion, and thou return unexperienc’d to thy grave.


By this reck’ning he is more shrew than she.


Ay, and that thou and the proudest of you all shall find when he comes home. But what talk I of this? Call forth Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Philip, Walter, Sugarsop, and the rest; let their heads be slickly comb’d, their blue coats brush’d, and their garters of an indifferent knit; let them curtsy with their left legs, and not presume to touch a hair of my master’s horse-tail till they kiss their hands. Are they all ready?


They are.


Call them forth.


Do you hear, ho? You must meet my master to countenance my mistress.


Why, she hath a face of her own.


Who knows not that?


Thou, it seems, that calls for company to countenance her.


I call them forth to credit her.

Enter four or five Servingmen. NATH. PHIL. JOS. NICH. PETER.


Why, she comes to borrow nothing of them.


Welcome home, Grumio!


How now, Grumio?


What, Grumio!


Fellow Grumio!


How now, old lad?


Welcome, you; how now, you; what, you; fellow, you—and thus much for greeting. Now, my spruce companions, is all ready, and all things neat?


All things is ready. How near is our master?


E’en at hand, alighted by this; and therefore be not—Cock’s passion, silence! I hear my master.

Enter Petruchio and Kate. PET. KATH.


Where be these knaves? What, no man at door

To hold my stirrup, nor to take my horse?

Where is Nathaniel, Gregory, Philip?


Here, here, sir, here, sir.


Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir!

You loggerheaded and unpolish’d grooms!

What? No attendance? No regard? No duty?

Where is the foolish knave I sent before?


Here, sir, as foolish as I was before.


You peasant swain, you whoreson malt-horse drudge!

Did I not bid thee meet me in the park,

And bring along these rascal knaves with thee?


Nathaniel’s coat, sir, was not fully made,

And Gabr’el’s pumps were all unpink’d i’ th’ heel;

There was no link to color Peter’s hat,

And Walter’s dagger was not come from sheathing;

There were none fine but Adam, Rafe, and Gregory;

The rest were ragged, old, and beggarly,

Yet, as they are, here are they come to meet you.


Go, rascals, go, and fetch my supper in.

Exeunt Servants. ALL. SERV. GRU. CURT.

Sings. PET.

“Where is the life that late I led?

Where are those”—

Sit down, Kate, and welcome. Soud, soud, soud, soud!

Enter Servants with supper. ALL. SERV.

Why, when, I say? Nay, good sweet Kate, be merry.

Off with my boots, you rogues! You villains, when?

Sings. PET.

“It was the friar of orders grey,

As he forth walked on his way”—

Out, you rogue, you pluck my foot awry.

Take that, and mend the plucking off the other.

Strikes him. PET. NATH.

Be merry, Kate. Some water here; what ho!

Enter one with water. PHIL.

Where’s my spaniel Troilus? Sirrah, get you hence,

And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither;

One, Kate, that you must kiss, and be acquainted with.

Where are my slippers? Shall I have some water?

Come, Kate, and wash, and welcome heartily.

You whoreson villain, will you let it fall?

Strikes him. PET. PHIL.


Patience, I pray you, ’twas a fault unwilling.


A whoreson, beetle-headed, flap-ear’d knave!

Come, Kate, sit down, I know you have a stomach.

Will you give thanks, sweet Kate, or else shall I?

What’s this? Mutton?




Who brought it?




’Tis burnt, and so is all the meat.

What dogs are these? Where is the rascal cook?

How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser

And serve it thus to me that love it not?

There, take it to you, trenchers, cups, and all.

He throws down the table and meat and all, and beats them. PET. ALL. SERV.

You heedless joltheads and unmanner’d slaves!

What, do you grumble? I’ll be with you straight.

Exeunt Servants. ALL. SERV.


I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet.

The meat was well, if you were so contented.


I tell thee, Kate, ’twas burnt and dried away,

And I expressly am forbid to touch it;

For it engenders choler, planteth anger,

And better ’twere that both of us did fast,

Since of ourselves, ourselves are choleric,

Than feed it with such overroasted flesh.

Be patient, tomorrow’t shall be mended,

And for this night we’ll fast for company.

Come, I will bring thee to thy bridal chamber.

Exeunt. PET. KATH.

Enter Servants severally. ALL. SERV.


Peter, didst ever see the like?


He kills her in her own humor.

Enter Curtis, a servant. CURT.


Where is he?


In her chamber, making a sermon of continency to her,

And rails, and swears, and rates, that she, poor soul,

Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak,

And sits as one new risen from a dream.

Away, away, for he is coming hither.

Exeunt. ALL. SERV. CURT.

Enter Petruchio. PET.


Thus have I politicly begun my reign,

And ’tis my hope to end successfully.

My falcon now is sharp and passing empty,

And till she stoop, she must not be full-gorg’d,

For then she never looks upon her lure.

Another way I have to man my haggard,

To make her come, and know her keeper’s call,

That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites

That bate and beat and will not be obedient.

She eat no meat today, nor none shall eat;

Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not;

As with the meat, some undeserved fault

I’ll find about the making of the bed,

And here I’ll fling the pillow, there the bolster,

This way the coverlet, another way the sheets.

Ay, and amid this hurly I intend

That all is done in reverend care of her,

And in conclusion, she shall watch all night,

And if she chance to nod I’ll rail and brawl,

And with the clamor keep her still awake.

This is a way to kill a wife with kindness,

And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humor.

He that knows better how to tame a shrew,

Now let him speak; ’tis charity to shew.

Exit. PET.


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