A line-by-line translation

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew Translation Induction, Scene 1

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Enter SLY and HOSTESS

SLY

I’ll pheeze you, in faith.

SLY

I'll get you back, I promise.

HOSTESS

A pair of stocks, you rogue!

HOSTESS

I'll have you put in the stocks, you villain!

SLY

Y'are a baggage, the Slys are no rogues. Look in the chronicles—we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore paucas pallabris : let the world slide. Sessa!

SLY

The Slys aren't villains, you whore. Look it up—we came over with Richard the Conqueror. So hold your tongue, and forget about it. Enough!

HOSTESS

You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?

HOSTESS

You won't pay for the glasses you've broken?

SLY

No, not a denier. Go by, Saint Jeronimy. Go to thy coldbed and warm thee.

SLY

No, not a penny. Forget about it, Saint Jeronimy. Run off to bed now and play with yourself.

HOSTESS

I know my remedy. I must go fetch the thirdborough.

HOSTESS

I know what to do. I'll go call the constable.

Exit

SLY

Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I’ll answer him by law.I’ll not budge an inch, boy. Let him come, and kindly.

SLY

Call every last one, I'll answer them all. I have my rights. I won't budge an inch. Let the constable come—I welcome him!

Falls asleep

Wind horns Enter a LORD from hunting, with his train

LORD

Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds. Breathe Merriman, the poor cur is embossed, And couple Clowder with the deep-mouthed brach. Saw’st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault? I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.

LORD

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FIRST HUNTSMAN

Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord. He cried upon it at the merest loss, And twice today picked out the dullest scent. Trust me, I take him for the better dog.

FIRST HUNTSMAN

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LORD

Thou art a fool. If Echo were as fleet, I would esteem him worth a dozen such. But sup them well and look unto them all. Tomorrow I intend to hunt again.

LORD

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FIRST HUNTSMAN

I will, my lord.

FIRST HUNTSMAN

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LORD

What’s here? One dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?

LORD

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SECOND HUNTSMAN

He breathes, my lord. Were he not warmed with ale,This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.

SECOND HUNTSMAN

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LORD

O monstrous beast, how like a swine he lies! Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image! Sirs, I will practice on this drunken man. What think you: if he were conveyed to bed, Wrapped in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers, A most delicious banquet by his bed, And brave attendants near him when he wakes, Would not the beggar then forget himself?

LORD

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FIRST HUNTSMAN

Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.

FIRST HUNTSMAN

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SECOND HUNTSMAN

It would seem strange unto him when he waked.

SECOND HUNTSMAN

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LORD

Even as a flatt'ring dream or worthless fancy. Then take him up and manage well the jest. Carry him gently to my fairest chamber And hang it round with all my wanton pictures. Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet. Procure me music ready when he wakes, To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound. And if he chance to speak, be ready straight And with a low submissive reverence Say, “What is it your Honor will command?” Let one attend him with a silver basin Full of rose-water and bestrewed with flowers, Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper, And say, “Will ’t please your Lordship cool your hands?” Someone be ready with a costly suit And ask him what apparel he will wear. Another tell him of his hounds and horse, And that his lady mourns at his disease. Persuade him that he hath been lunatic, And when he says he is, say that he dreams, For he is nothing but a mighty lord. This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs. It will be pastime passing excellent If it be husbanded with modesty.

LORD

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FIRST HUNTSMAN

My lord, I warrant you we will play our partAs he shall think by our true diligenceHe is no less than what we say he is.

FIRST HUNTSMAN

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LORD

Take him up gently, and to bed with him,And each one to his office when he wakes.

LORD

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Some servants carry out SLY. Sound trumpets

Sirrah, go see what trumpet ’tis that sounds.

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Exit Servingman

Belike some noble gentleman that means,Traveling some journey, to repose him here.

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Enter SERVANT

How now! who is it?

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SERVANT

An’t please your Honor, playersThat offer service to your Lordship.

SERVANT

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LORD

Bid them come near.

LORD

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Enter PLAYERS

Now, fellows, you are welcome.

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PLAYERS

We thank your Honor.

PLAYERS

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LORD

Do you intend to stay with me tonight?

LORD

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A PLAYER

So please your Lordship to accept our duty.

A PLAYER

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LORD

With all my heart. This fellow I remember Since once he played a farmer’s eldest son. 'Twas where you wooed the gentlewoman so well. I have forgot your name, but sure that part Was aptly fitted and naturally performed.

LORD

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A PLAYER

I think ’twas Soto that your Honor means.

A PLAYER

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LORD

'Tis very true. Thou didst it excellent. Well, you are come to me in happy time, The rather for I have some sport in hand Wherein your cunning can assist me much. There is a lord will hear you play tonight; But I am doubtful of your modesties, Lest over-eyeing of his odd behavior— For yet his Honor never heard a play— You break into some merry passion And so offend him. For I tell you, sirs, If you should smile, he grows impatient.

LORD

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A PLAYER

Fear not, my lord, we can contain ourselvesWere he the veriest antic in the world.

A PLAYER

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LORD

Go, sirrah, take them to the butteryAnd give them friendly welcome every one. Let them want nothing that my house affords.

LORD

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Exit one with the PLAYERS

Sirrah, go you to Barthol’mew, my page, And see him dressed in all suits like a lady. That done, conduct him to the drunkard’s chamber And call him “madam,” do him obeisance. Tell him from me, as he will win my love, He bear himself with honorable action, Such as he hath observed in noble ladies Unto their lords, by them accomplishèd. Such duty to the drunkard let him do With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy, And say, “What is ’t your Honor will command, Wherein your lady and your humble wife May show her duty and make known her love?” And then with kind embracements, tempting kisses, And with declining head into his bosom, Bid him shed tears, as being overjoyed To see her noble lord restored to health, Who for this seven years hath esteemed him No better than a poor and loathsome beggar. And if the boy have not a woman’s gift To rain a shower of commanded tears, An onion will do well for such a shift, Which in a napkin being close conveyed Shall in despite enforce a watery eye. See this dispatched with all the haste thou canst:Anon I’ll give thee more instructions.

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Exit a servingman

I know the boy will well usurp the grace, Voice, gait, and action of a gentlewoman. I long to hear him call the drunkard “husband,” And how my men will stay themselves from laughter When they do homage to this simple peasant. I’ll in to counsel them. Haply my presence May well abate the over-merry spleen Which otherwise would grow into extremes.

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Exeunt

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.