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Mess. Stephano is my name; and I bring
word My mistress will before the break of day Be here at Belmont. She doth stray about 30 By holy crosses, where she kneels and prays For happy wedlock hours. Lor.
Who comes with her ?
Enter Clown (LAUNCELOT).
Lor. Leave hollaing, man; here.
Laun. Tell him there's a post come from my master, with his horn full of good news. My master will be here ere morning. [Exit.] Lor. Sweet soul, let's in, and there expect
[Exit Mess.] How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this
music. Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive; For do but note a wild and wanton herd, Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neighing
loud, Which is the hot condition of their blood, If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, 75 Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze By the sweet power of music; therefore the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and
Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
Enter Portia and NERISSA,
the candle. Por. So doth the greater glory dim the less. A substitute shines brightly as a king Until a king be by; and then his state Empties itself, as doth an inland brook Into the main of waters. Music! Hark!
Ner. It is your music, madam, of the house. Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect; Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by
day. Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it,
madam. Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the
lark When neither is attended, and I think The nightingale, if she should sing by day, When every goose is cackling, would be thought No better a musician than the wren. How many things by season season'd are To their right praise and true perfection! Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion And would not be awak'd. [Music ceases. Lor.
That is the voice, Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia. Por. He knows me as the blind man knows
the cuckoo, By the bad voice. Lor.
Dear lady, welcome home! Por. We have been praying for our hus
bands' welfare, Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. Are they return'd ? Lor.
Madam, they are not yet ; But there is come a messenger before, To signify their coming. Por.
Go in, Nerissa; Give order to my servants that they take No note at all of our being absent hence; Nor you, Lorenzo; Jessica, nor you.
[A tucket sounds. Lor. Your husband is at hand; I hear his
trumpet. We are no tell-tales, madam; fear you not, Por. This night 'methinks is but the day
light sick; It looks a little paler. ”T is a day, Such as the day is when the sun is hid. Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and
their followers. Bass. We should hold day with the Anti
podes, If you would walk in absence of the sun.
Por. Let me give light, but let me not be
light; For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, And never be Bassanio so for me. But God sort all! You 're welcome home, my
lord. Bass. I thank you, madam. Give welcome
to my friend. This is the man, this is Antonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound. Por. You should in all sense be much bound
to him, For, as I hear, he was much bound for you. Ant. No more than I am well acquitted of. Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our
house. It must appear in other ways than words, Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy. Gra. (To Ner.) By yonder moon I swear you
do me wrong; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk, Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, so much at heart. 145 Por. A quarrel, ho, already! What's the
matter? Gra. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring That she did give me, whose posy was For all the world like cutler's poetry Upon a knife, “Love me, and leave me not." Ner. What talk you of the posy or the
value? You swore to me, when I did give it you, That you would wear it till your hour of
death, And that it should lie with in your grave. Though not for me, yet for your vehement
oaths, You should have been respective and have
kept it. Gave it a judge's clerk! No, God 's my judge, The clerk will ne'er wear hair on 's face that
had it. Gra. He will, an if he live to be a man. Ner. Ay, if a woman live to be a man.
Gra. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a A kind of boy, a little scrubbed boy, No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk, A prating boy, that begg'd it as a fee. I could not for my heart deny it him.
Por. You were to blame, I must be plain To part so slightly with your wife's first gift; A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger And so riveted with faith unto your flesh. I gave my love a ring, and made him swear 170 Never to part with it; and here he stands. I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gra
tiano, You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief. An't
were to me, I should be mad at it. Bass. [Aside.) Why, I were best to cut my
left hand off And swear I lost the ring defending it. Gra. My Lord Bassanio gave his ring away
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and indeed Desery'd it too; and then the boy, his clerk, That took some pains in writing, he begg'd And neither man nor master would take anght But the two rings.
Por. What ring gave you, my lord ? Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me. 16
Bass. 'If I could add a lie unto a fault,
Nor I in yours
pleasure. Por. If you had known the virtue of the
ring, Or half her worthiness that gave the ring, Or your own honour to contain the ring, You would not then have parted with the ring. What man is there so much unreasonable, If you had pleas'd to have defended it With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty To urge the thing held as a ceremony? Nerissa teaches me what to believe: I'll die for 't but some woman had the ring.
Bass. No, by my honour, madam, by my soul, No woman had it, but a civil doctor, Which did refuse three thousand 'ducats of
And begg'd the ring; the which I did deny
him And suffer'd him to go displeas'd away; Even he that did uphold the very life Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet
lady? I was enforc'd to send it after him; I was beset with shame and courtesy ; My honour would not let ingratitude So much besmear it. Pardon me, good lady; For, by these blessed candles of the night, 220 Had you been there, I think you would have
begg'd The ring of me to give the worthy doctor. Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my
house. Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd, And that which you did swear to keep for me, I will become as liberal as you. I'll not deny him any thing I have, No, not my body nor my husband's bed. Know him I shall, I am well sure of it. Lie not a night from home. Watch me like
Argus. If you do not, if I be left alone, Now, by mine honour, which is yet mine own, I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow.
Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well
advis'd How you do leave me to mine own protection. Gra. Well, do you so; let not me take him
then ; For if I do, I 'll mar the young clerk's pen. Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these
quarrels. Por. Sir, grieve pot you; you are welcome
notwithstanding: Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforced
wrong; And in the hearing of these many friends I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes, Wherein I see myself Por.
Mark you but that! In both my eyes he doubly sees himself, In each eye, one. Swear by your double self, 245 And there's an oath of credit. Bass.
Nay, but hear me. Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear I never more will break an oath with thee.
Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth, Which, but for him that had your husband's
ring, Had quite miscarried. I dare be bound again, My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord Will never more break faith advisedly. Por. Then you shall be his surety. Give him
this And bid him keep it better than the other. 255 Ant. Here, Lord Bassanio; swear to keep
this ring. Bass. By heaven, it is the same I gave the
doctor! Por. I had it of him. Pardon me, Bassanio; For, by this ring, the doctor lay with me.
Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano; 200 For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, In lieu of this last night did lie with me. Gra. Why, this is like the mending of high
ways In summer, where the ways are fair enough. What, are we cuckolds ere we have desery'd
it? Por. Speak not so grossly. You are all
amaz'd. Here is a letter; read it at your leisure. It comes from Padua, from Bellario.
There you shall find that Portia was the doctor,
I am dumb.
not? Gra. Were you the clerk that is to make me
cuckold? Ner. Ay, but the clerk that never means to
do it, Unless he live until he be a man. Bass. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bed
fellow. When I am absent, then lie with my wife. Ant. Sweet lady, you have given me life and
How now, Lorenzo! My clerk hath some good comforts too for you. Ner. Ay, and I 'll give them him without a
Lor. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way
It is almost morning, And yet I am sure you are not satisfied Of these events at full. Let us go in;. And charge us there upon inter gatories, And we will answer all things faithfully.
Gra. Let it be so. The first inter'gatory 300 That my Nerissa shall be sworn on is, Whether till the next night she had rather stay, Or go to bed now, being two hours to day. But were the day come, I should wish it dark, That I were couching with the doctor's clerk. Well, while I live I'll fear no other thing So sore as keeping safe Nerissa's ring.,
The Taming of the Shrew was first printed, so far as is known, in the First Folio. On this all subsequent texts have been based.
Evidence for the date of composition is purely internal; and this is exceptionally weak on account of the doubt as to the extent of Shakespeare's part in the authorship. Metrical tests are inconclusive. Similarities to other plays, such as The Comedy of Errors in the treatment of the servants, and to Hamlet in the prince's reception of the players, suggest any date from 1590 to 1602. The wit-contest between Katherine and Petruchio in 11. i. associates it with plays like Much Ado and As You Like It; while the occurrence of lines in the dancing measure of the speeches of the Dromios would lead us to place it before these plays. Perhaps 1596–97 is a fair guess.
The immediate source was an earlier play of unknown authorship called The Taming of A Shrew, published in 1594. The story of the taming of a wife is found in German, Spanish, Italian, and, in a version considerably closer to that in the play, in Danish. In English it appears in the old verse tale of A Shrewd and Curst Wife Lapped in Morel's Skin. But no direct connection can be shown between any of these and the play. In the transforming of the earlier into the present play, phrases and occasionally whole lines are retained, and the incidents in the KatherinePetruchio plot are essentially the same; but the dialogue is greatly polished and invigorated, and the details of the stage-craft bettered throughout. Greater changes are made in the Bianca plot. The older play gives Katherine two sisters, each of whom has a lover; and their wooing, hindered only by the necessity of getting Katherine married first, and lacking the interest of rival suitors, is flat and stupid. The device of inducing a casual stranger to personate a suitor's father had been borrowed by the author of A Shrew from George Gascoigne's Supposes, a translation of Ariosto's I Suppositi. This source was used in the revision also for most of the incident in the Bianca plot. In Supposes we have no shrew, but a plot turning on the wooing of a lady by two lovers; and from it were taken direct the aged suitor and the device by which Lucentio and his servant exchange characters. Hortensio and his widow occur in neither of the earlier plays. The trick of the feigned instructors is elaborated from a scene in A Shrew in which Tranio's prototype attempts to give Kate a music lesson in order to afford his master and his friend an opportunity to court her sisters. The Latin lesson may have been suggested by a somewhat similar scene in Robert Wilson's Three Lords and Three Ladies of London, printed in 1590.
The Induction is taken from A Shrew. A story similar to that of the tinker is found in The Arabian Nights, and the trick played on him by the lord is said by Heuterus (De Rebus Burgundicis, ca. 1580) to have been actually perpetrated by Philip the Good about 1440. But none of the several English versions of the narrative of Heuterus appeared before 1598. Warton mentions a similar tale as told by Richard Edwardes in 1570, and some have thought that this version has survived in The Waking Man's Dream, an undated fragment of a lost book. A ballad in Percy's Reliques is based on a version later than the play.
In A Shrew the characters of the Induction appear from time to time throughout the play, and at the close Sly again falls asleep and is restored to his former state. A reason for dropping the Induction at the end of 1. i. of the Shakespearean play may perhaps be found in the necessity of clearing the gallery, from which Sly is viewing the play, for the appearance of the Pedant from a window in v. i.
It is generally agreed that in the working over of A Shrew into the present play another hand than Shakespeare's is evident. The revised Induction and the scenes between Kate and Petruchio are usually assigned to Shakespeare, while the lines in the Bianca plot are thought not to show his style. This points either to an intermediate play, or to revision in collaboration. It has been tacitly assumed that the part of each author was confined to the scenes in which his style appears in the verse and diction. But it is clearly possible that a joint author might have a large share in planning the action of scenes which his partner wrote, and vice versa. Thus no one knows, or is ever likely to know, that Shakespeare is not entitled to credit for the remarkable ingenuity exhibited in the remodelling of the minor plot.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
[DRAMATIS PERSONÆ A Lord.
TRANIO, CHRISTOPHER SLY, a tinker. Persons in the Induc- BIONDELLO,
servants to Lucentio. Hostess, Page, Players, Hunts tion.
GRUMIO, men, and Servants.
servants to Petruchio.
KATHERINA, the shrew, } daughters to Baptista. LUCENTIO, son to Vincentio, in love with Bianca.
suitors to Bianca.
SCENE : Padua, and Petruchio's country house.]
1 Hun. I will, my lord. SCENE I. Before an alehouse on a heath.]
Lord. What's here? One dead, or drunk?
See, doth he breathe ? Enter Hostess, and beggar, CHRISTOPHERO
2. Hun. He breathes, my lord. Were he not SLY.
warm’d with ale,
This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly. Sly. I'll pheese you, in faith.
Lord. O monstrous beast ! how like a swine Host. A pair of stocks, you rogue!
he lies! Sly. Y' are a baggage; the Slys are no Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine rogues. Look in the chronicles; we came in image! with Richard Conqueror. Therefore paucas Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man. pallabris ; let the world slide ; sessa !
What think you, if he were convey'd to bed, Host. You will not pay for the glass you Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his have burst?
fingers, Sly. No, not a denier. Go by, Jeronimy! A most delicious banquet by his bed, Go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.
And brave attendants near him when he Host. I know my remedy; I must go fetch wakes, the thirdborough.
(Exit.] Would not the beggar then forget himself ? Sly. Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll 1. Hun. Believe me, lord, I think he cannot answer him by law. I'll not budge an inch,
choose. boy; let him come, and kindly.
2. Hun. It would seem strange unto him (Falls asleep.
when he wak'd. Wind horns. Enter a LORD from hunting, with
Lord. Even as a flattering dream or worthhis train.
Then take him up and manage well the jest. 45 Lord. Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well Carry him gently to my fairest chamber, my hounds,
And hang it round with all my wanton picBrach Merriman, the poor cur, is emboss'd;
tures. And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters, brach.
And burn sweet wood to make the lodging Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
sweet. At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault ? Procure me music ready when he wakes, I would not lose the dog for twenty pound. To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound; 1. Hun. Why, Belman is as good as he, my And if he chance to speak, be ready straight lord ;
And with a low submissive reverence He cried upon it at the merest loss,
Say, “What is it your honour will command ?" And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent. Let one attend him with a silver basin Trust me, I take him for the better dog. Full of rose-water and bestrew'd with flowers ;
Lord. Thou art a fool ; if Echo were as fleet, Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper, I would esteem him worth a dozen such. And say, "Will 't please your lordship cool But sup them well and look unto them all ; To-morrow I intend to hunt again.
Some one be ready with a costly suit
your hands ?"