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The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew Translation Act 4, Scene 1

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Enter GRUMIO

GRUMIO

Fie, fie on all tired jades, on all mad masters, and all foul ways! Was ever man so beaten? Was ever man so 'rayed? 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 mightfreeze 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!

GRUMIO

A curse, a curse  on all tired, worthless horses, on all crazy masters, and on all bad roads! Was ever a man beaten so much as me? Was ever a man so weary? I've been sent ahead to make a fire, and they're coming afterward to warm themselves up. It's a good thing I can keep myself hot with my quick temper, or else my lips might freeze to my teeth, my tongue to the roof of my mouth, and my heart to my belly before I could find a fire to thaw myself out. But I'll keep stoking my anger to stay warm. In weather like this, a better man than I am would catch cold.—Hey, hello! Curtis!

Enter CURTIS

CURTIS

Who is that calls so coldly?

CURTIS

Who is it who calls so coldly?

GRUMIO

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

GRUMIO

A piece of ice. If you doubt me, try it out—you could slide from my shoulder to my heel after just a step from my head to my neck. Start a fire, good Curtis.

CURTIS

Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio?

CURTIS

Are my master and his wife coming, Grumio?

GRUMIO

O, ay, Curtis, ay, and therefore fire, fire. Cast on nowater.

GRUMIO

Oh, yes, Curtis, yes, so they need a fire, a fire. And leave out the water.

CURTIS

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

CURTIS

Is she as fiery a shrew as she's reported to be?

GRUMIO

She was, good Curtis, before this frost. But thou knowest winter tames man, woman and beast, for it hath tamed my old master and my new mistress and myself, fellow Curtis.

GRUMIO

She was, good Curtis, before this frost. But you know how winter tames man, woman, and beast—and so it's tamed my old master, my new mistress, and myself, good colleague Curtis.

CURTIS

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

CURTIS

So you're a beast, and I'm your colleague! I don't think so. Away with you, you tiny fool!

GRUMIO

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 coldcomfort, for being slow in thy hot office?

GRUMIO

Am I only three inches? Why, your cuckold's horn is a foot long, and I'm at least that tall. But are you going to make a fire, or will I have to complain about you to our mistress? Now that she's at hand, you'll soon feel her hand, and you'll find it cold comfort if you're slow in warming us up.

CURTIS

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

CURTIS

Please, good Grumio, tell me, how are things out in the world?

GRUMIO

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.

GRUMIO

It's a cold world, Curtis, for every man except fire-starters like you, so start a fire! Do your duty, and take your reward, for my master and mistress are almost frozen to death.

CURTIS

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

CURTIS

There's a fire ready. So tell me the news, good Grumio.

GRUMIO

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

GRUMIO

Why, "Jack, boy! Ho, boy!" and whatever other news you want.

CURTIS

Come, you are so full of cony-catching!

CURTIS

Well, aren't you full of cony-catching!

GRUMIO

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

GRUMIO

Why, make a fire then, for I have caught extreme cold. Where's the cook? Is supper ready? Is the house prepared, the floor covered, the cobwebs swept up? Are the servingmen wearing their new clothes and white stockings, and the household servants their wedding suits? Are the Jacks and Jills in their places, the tablecloths laid out—is everything in order?

CURTIS

All ready. And therefore, I pray thee, news.

CURTIS

Everything's ready. So please, give me the news.

GRUMIO

First, know my horse is tired, my master and mistress fallen out.

GRUMIO

First of all, my horse is tired, and my master and mistress have had a falling out.

CURTIS

How?

CURTIS

How?

GRUMIO

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

GRUMIO

Out of their saddles and into the dirt. But that's a long story.

CURTIS

Let’s ha' ’t, good Grumio.

CURTIS

Let's hear it, good Grumio.

GRUMIO

Lend thine ear.

GRUMIO

Lean close and I'll tell you.

CURTIS

Here.

CURTIS

Here.

GRUMIO

There!

GRUMIO

There!

Strikes him

CURTIS

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

CURTIS

That's to feel a story, not hear it.

GRUMIO

And therefore ’tis called 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—

GRUMIO

That's why it's a "sensitive" story. I was just knocking to see if your ear was listening. But now I'll begin: first of all, we came down a muddy hill, my master riding behind my mistress.

CURTIS

Both of one horse?

CURTIS

Both on one horse?

GRUMIO

What’s that to thee?

GRUMIO

What's the difference?

CURTIS

Why, a horse.

CURTIS

Why, a horse.

GRUMIO

Tell thou the tale! But hadst thou not crossed me, thoushouldst have heard how her horse fell, and she under her horse. Thou shouldst have heard in how miry a place,how she was bemoiled, how he left her with the horse upon her, how he beat me because her horse stumbled, howshe waded through the dirt to pluck him off me, how he swore, how she prayed that never prayed before, how I cried, how the horses ran away, how her bridle was burst, how I lost my crupper, with many things of worthymemory which now shall die in oblivion, and thou returnunexperienced to thy grave.

GRUMIO

Then why don't you tell the story! If you hadn't interrupted me, you would have heard about how her horse fell, with her under it. You would have heard about the swampy place she landed, and how she was covered in mud, and how my master left her with the horse on top of her, and beat me because her horse stumbled, and how she waded through the dirt to pull him off of me, and how he swore, and how she prayed—she who had never prayed before—and how I yelled, and how the horses ran away, and how her bridle was broken, and how I lost my saddle strap, and many other things worth being remembered, but which will now be forgotten, and you'll go ignorant to your grave.

CURTIS

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

CURTIS

It sounds like he is more of a shrew than she is.

GRUMIO

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 combed, their blue coats brushed, 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?

GRUMIO

Yes, and you and everyone else will find that out when he comes home. But why am I talking about this? Call in Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Philip, Walter, Sugarsop, and all the rest. Make sure their hair is slicked down and combed, their blue coats are brushed, and their garters are normal-looking and matching. Have them do an elaborate greeting and not dare to touch a hair of my master's horse's tail until they've kissed their hands. Are they all ready?

CURTIS

They are.

CURTIS

They are.

GRUMIO

Call them forth.

GRUMIO

Call them in.

CURTIS

[calling offstage] Do you hear, ho? you must meet my master to countenance my mistress.

CURTIS

[Calling offstage] Hey, do you hear that? You must come greet the master and countenance the mistress.

GRUMIO

Why, she hath a face of her own.

GRUMIO

Why, she already has a face of her own.

CURTIS

Who knows not that?

CURTIS

Who said she didn't?

GRUMIO

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

GRUMIO

You did, it seems, since you told them to "countenance" her.

CURTIS

I call them forth to credit her.

CURTIS

I mean they should give her credit.

GRUMIO

Why, she comes to borrow nothing of them.

GRUMIO

Why, she's not coming to borrow money from them.

Enter four or five Servingmen

NATHANIEL

Welcome home, Grumio.

NATHANIEL

Welcome home, Grumio.

PHILIP

How now, Grumio?

PHILIP

How's it going, Grumio?

JOSEPH

What, Grumio!

JOSEPH

Hey, Grumio!

NICHOLAS

Fellow Grumio!

NICHOLAS

Grumio, my friend!

NATHANIEL

How now, old lad?

NATHANIEL

How's it going, old boy?

GRUMIO

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?

GRUMIO

Welcome to you!—How's it going to you?—Hey to you!—My friend to you!—And that's enough greetings. Now, my dapper companions, is everything neat and ready?

NATHANIEL

All things is ready. How near is our master?

NATHANIEL

Everything's ready. How far away is our master?

GRUMIO

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

GRUMIO

He's probably here already. So don't—by God, quiet! I hear him.

Enter PETRUCHIO and KATHERINE

PETRUCHIO

Where be these knaves? What, no man at door To hold my stirrup nor to take my horse! Where is Nathaniel, Gregory, Philip?

PETRUCHIO

Where are those villains? What, there's no man at the door to help me off my horse and take him to the stable! Where are Nathaniel, Gregory, and Philip?

ALL SERVINGMEN

Here, here, sir! Here, sir!

ALL SERVINGMEN

Here, here, sir! Here, sir!

PETRUCHIO

“Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir!” You loggerheaded and unpolished grooms! What, no attendance? No regard? No duty? Where is the foolish knave I sent before?

PETRUCHIO

"Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir!" You blockheaded servants! What, I'll get no service from you? No respect? No duty? Where is the foolish villain I sent ahead of me?

GRUMIO

Here, sir, as foolish as I was before.

GRUMIO

Here, sir, and just as foolish as I was before.

PETRUCHIO

You peasant swain! You whoreson malt-horse drudge!Did I not bid thee meet me in the parkAnd bring along these rascal knaves with thee?

PETRUCHIO

You stupid bumpkin! You bastard workhorse drudge! Didn't I tell you to meet me outside and bring these idiot rascals along with you?

GRUMIO

Nathaniel’s coat, sir, was not fully made, And Gabriel’s pumps were all unpinked 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.

GRUMIO

Nathaniel's coat wasn't ready, sir, and Gabriel's shoes didn't have the proper pattern on them. Peter's hat was the wrong color, and Walter's dagger needed a sheathe. The only ones properly dressed were Adam, Rafe, and Gregory. The rest looked like ragged old beggars. But here they are sir, and they've come as they are to greet you.

PETRUCHIO

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

PETRUCHIO

Go, idiots, go, and fetch me my supper.

Exeunt Servants

Singing Where is the life that late I led— Where are those —Sit down, Kate, and welcome.—Soud, soud, soud, soud!

[Singing] Where is the life I used to lead? Where are those—Sit down, Kate, and make yourself welcome.—Food, food, food, food!

Enter Servants with supper

Why, when, I say?—Nay, good sweet Kate, be merry.— Off with my boots, you rogues! You villains, when?

Now, I say!—Be happy, good sweet Kate.—Get my boots off, you rogues! You villains, now!

Sings It was the friar of orders gray, As he forth walkèd on his way :— A servant tries to take off PETRUCHIO ’s boots. Out, you rogue! You pluck my foot awry. Take that, and mend the plucking off the other. Strikes the servant Be merry, Kate.—Some water, here, what, ho! Where’s my spaniel Troilus? Sirrah, get you hence And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither.

[Singing]
It was the friar in robes of gray,
Who walked along on his way:


[A servant tries to take off PETRUCHIO's boots]
—Damn you, you rogue! You're twisting my foot off! Take that, and do better with the other one. 

[He strikes the servant] Be happy, Kate.—Bring some water here, hey! Where's my spaniel Troilus? Boy, go tell my cousin Ferdinand to come here.

Exit a servant

One, Kate, that you must kiss and be acquainted with.—Where are my slippers? Shall I have some water?—

He's someone you must get to know, Kate.—Where are my slippers? Can I get some water please?

Enter one with water

Come, Kate, and wash, and welcome heartily.—You whoreson villain! Will you let it fall? Strikes him

Come, Kate, and wash, and make yourself at home.—You bastard villain! Are you really going to spill it? 

[He strikes the servant]

KATHERINE

Patience, I pray you! 'Twas a fault unwilling.

KATHERINE

Calm down, please! It was an accident.

PETRUCHIO

A whoreson, beetle-headed, flap-eared 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?

PETRUCHIO

He's a stupid, blockheaded, flap-eared son of a bitch!—Come, Kate, sit down. I know you must be hungry. Will you say grace, sweet Kate, or should I?—What's this? Mutton?

FIRST SERVANT

Ay.

FIRST SERVANT

Yes.

PETRUCHIO

Who brought it?

PETRUCHIO

And who brought it?

PETER

I.

PETER

I did.

PETRUCHIO

'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! Throws the meat, & c. about the stage You heedless joltheads and unmannered slaves! What, do you grumble? I’ll be with you straight.

PETRUCHIO

It's burnt, and so is all the rest of the meat. These servant dogs! Where is the rascal cook? You villains, how dare you bring me this meat when you know I don't like it overcooked? There, take it back, plates, cups, and all!

[He throws the meat and everything else around the stage] You careless morons and ignorant slaves! What, are you grumbling? I'll deal with you right now.

Exeunt servants

KATHERINE

I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet. The meat was well, if you were so contented.

KATHERINE

Please, husband, don't be so upset. The meat was fine, if you would have accepted it.

PETRUCHIO

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 over-roasted 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.

PETRUCHIO

I tell you, Kate, it was burnt and dried up. I'm expressly forbidden from eating meat like that, for it creates choler and makes me angry. It's probably better that we should go hungry, since we're both hotheaded and temperamental, than that we should eat such overcooked meat. Be patient—it'll get fixed tomorrow. For tonight we'll just go without food. Come, I'll bring you to your bridal bedroom.

Exeunt

Enter Servants severally

NATHANIEL

Peter, didst ever see the like?

NATHANIEL

Peter, did you ever see the likes of this?

PETER

He kills her in her own humor.

PETER

He subdues her by acting like her.

Enter CURTIS

GRUMIO

Where is he?

GRUMIO

Where is he?

CURTIS

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!

CURTIS

In her room, preaching to her about self-control. He rants and rails and swears so much that she, poor soul, doesn't know which way to stand, look, or speak, so she just sits like someone who's woken up from a dream. But go, go, he's coming!

Exeunt

Enter PETRUCHIO

PETRUCHIO

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-gorged, 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 ate no meat today, nor none shall eat. Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not. As with the meat, some undeservèd 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 show.

PETRUCHIO

I've begun my reign in this cunning way, and I hope to end up successful. My falcon is now hungry and unfed, and she won't be allowed to eat until she submits to my authority. Otherwise she'll just ignore my bait. And I also have another plan to tame my wild hawk, to make her come and recognize her owner's call—that is, I'll keep her from sleeping, just like trainers do with falcons that flap and flutter and won't be obedient. She ate no food today, and she'll continue to have none. She got no sleep last night, and she'll get none tonight. Just like I did with the meat, I'll make up some problem with the way the bed is made, and throw around the pillow, the cushion, the blanket, and the sheets. Yes, and I'll pretend that I'm making all this fuss for her sake. The result will be that she'll stay awake all night, and if she starts to nod off, I'll scold and argue and keep her awake with my yelling. This is how to kill a wife with kindness, and in this way I'll curb her wild and headstrong nature. If anyone knows a better way to tame a shrew, let him speak up now. I'd appreciate the help.

Exit

The taming of the shrew
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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.