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The Taming of the Shrew - Act 4, scene 1
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Navigate this workThe Taming of the Shrew - Act 4, scene 1
Act 4, scene 1
At Petruchio’s house in the country, Grumio tells his fellow servant Curtis about the wild journey home to Petruchio’s after the wedding. When Petruchio and Katherine arrive, Petruchio attacks his servants verbally and physically. He refuses to let Katherine eat, saying the dinner is burnt and throwing it to the floor. At the end of the scene he confides to the audience that he intends to tame Katherine in the same way that a hunter tames a falcon—by starving it and keeping it sleepless.Enter Grumio.
GRUMIO 1635 Fie, fie on all tired jades, on all mad masters,
1636 and all foul ways! Was ever man so beaten? Was
1637 ever man so ’rayed? Was ever man so weary? I am
1638 sent before to make a fire, and they are coming
1639 5 after to warm them. Now were not I a little pot and
1640 soon hot, my very lips might freeze to my teeth, my
1641 tongue to the roof of my mouth, my heart in my
1642 belly, ere I should come by a fire to thaw me. But I
1643 with blowing the fire shall warm myself. For, considering
1644 10 the weather, a taller man than I will take
1645 cold.—Holla, ho, Curtis!
CURTIS 1646 Who is that calls so coldly?
GRUMIO 1647 A piece of ice. If thou doubt it, thou mayst
1648 slide from my shoulder to my heel with no greater
1649 15 a run but my head and my neck. A fire, good Curtis!
CURTIS 1650 Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio?
GRUMIO 1651 Oh, ay, Curtis, ay, and therefore fire, fire! Cast
1652 on no water.
CURTIS 1653 Is she so hot a shrew as she’s reported?
GRUMIO 1654 20She was, good Curtis, before this frost. But
1655 thou know’st winter tames man, woman, and
p. 1411656 beast, for it hath tamed my old master and my new
1657 mistress and myself, fellow Curtis.
⌜CURTIS⌝ 1658 Away, you three-inch fool, I am no beast!
GRUMIO 1659 25Am I but three inches? Why, thy horn is a
1660 foot, and so long am I, at the least. But wilt thou
1661 make a fire? Or shall I complain on thee to our
1662 mistress, whose hand (she being now at hand) thou
1663 shalt soon feel, to thy cold comfort, for being slow in
1664 30 thy hot office?
CURTIS 1665 I prithee, good Grumio, tell me, how goes the
GRUMIO 1667 A cold world, Curtis, in every office but thine,
1668 and therefore fire! Do thy duty, and have thy duty,
1669 35 for my master and mistress are almost frozen to
CURTIS 1671 There’s fire ready. And therefore, good Grumio,
1672 the news!
GRUMIO 1673 Why, “Jack boy, ho boy!” and as much news
1674 40 as wilt thou.
CURTIS 1675 Come, you are so full of cony-catching.
GRUMIO 1676 Why, therefore fire, for I have caught extreme
1677 cold. Where’s the cook? Is supper ready, the house
1678 trimmed, rushes strewed, cobwebs swept, the servingmen
1679 45 in their new fustian, ⌜their⌝ white stockings,
1680 and every officer his wedding garment on? Be
1681 the Jacks fair within, the Jills fair without, the
1682 carpets laid, and everything in order?
CURTIS 1683 All ready. And therefore, I pray thee, news.
GRUMIO 1684 50First, know my horse is tired, my master and
1685 mistress fallen out.
CURTIS 1686 How?
GRUMIO 1687 Out of their saddles into the dirt, and thereby
1688 hangs a tale.
CURTIS 1689 55Let’s ha’ t, good Grumio.
GRUMIO 1690 Lend thine ear.
CURTIS 1691 Here.
p. 143GRUMIO 1692 There!⌜He slaps Curtis on the ear.⌝
CURTIS 1693 This ’tis to feel a tale, not to hear a tale.
GRUMIO 1694 60And therefore ’tis called a sensible tale. And
1695 this cuff was but to knock at your ear and beseech
1696 list’ning. Now I begin: Imprimis, we came down a
1697 foul hill, my master riding behind my mistress—
CURTIS 1698 Both of one horse?
GRUMIO 1699 65What’s that to thee?
CURTIS 1700 Why, a horse.
GRUMIO 1701 Tell thou the tale! But hadst thou not crossed
1702 me, thou shouldst have heard how her horse fell,
1703 and she under her horse; thou shouldst have heard
1704 70 in how miry a place, how she was bemoiled, how he
1705 left her with the horse upon her, how he beat me
1706 because her horse stumbled, how she waded
1707 through the dirt to pluck him off me, how he swore,
1708 how she prayed that never prayed before, how I
1709 75 cried, how the horses ran away, how her bridle was
1710 burst, how I lost my crupper, with many things of
1711 worthy memory which now shall die in oblivion,
1712 and thou return unexperienced to thy grave.
CURTIS 1713 By this reck’ning, he is more shrew than she.
GRUMIO 1714 80Ay, and that thou and the proudest of you all
1715 shall find when he comes home. But what talk I of
1716 this? Call forth Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Phillip,
1717 Walter, Sugarsop, and the rest. Let their heads
1718 be slickly combed, their blue coats brushed, and
1719 85 their garters of an indifferent knit. Let them curtsy
1720 with their left legs, and not presume to touch a hair
1721 of my master’s horse-tail till they kiss their hands.
1722 Are they all ready?
CURTIS 1723 They are.
GRUMIO 1724 90Call them forth.
CURTIS, ⌜calling out⌝ 1725 Do you hear, ho? You must meet
1726 my master to countenance my mistress.
GRUMIO 1727 Why, she hath a face of her own.
p. 145CURTIS 1728 Who knows not that?
GRUMIO 1729 95Thou, it seems, that calls for company to
1730 countenance her.
CURTIS 1731 I call them forth to credit her.
GRUMIO 1732 Why, she comes to borrow nothing of them.
Enter four or five Servingmen.
NATHANIEL 1733 Welcome home, Grumio.
PHILLIP 1734 100How now, Grumio?
JOSEPH 1735 What, Grumio!
NICHOLAS 1736 Fellow Grumio!
NATHANIEL 1737 How now, old lad?
GRUMIO 1738 Welcome, you!—How now, you?—What,
1739 105 you!—Fellow, you!—And thus much for greeting.
1740 Now, my spruce companions, is all ready and all
1741 things neat?
NATHANIEL 1742 All things is ready. How near is our
⌜GRUMIO⌝ 1744 110E’en at hand, alighted by this. And therefore
1745 be not—Cock’s passion, silence! I hear my master.
Enter Petruchio and Katherine.
1746 Where be these knaves? What, no man at door
1747 To hold my stirrup nor to take my horse?
1748 Where is Nathaniel, Gregory, Phillip?
ALL THE SERVANTS 1749 115Here! Here, sir, here, sir!
1750 “Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir! Here, sir!”
1751 You loggerheaded and unpolished grooms.
1752 What? No attendance? No regard? No duty?
1753 Where is the foolish knave I sent before?
1754 120 Here, sir, as foolish as I was before.
1755 You peasant swain, you whoreson malt-horse
p. 1471757 Did I not bid thee meet me in the park
1758 And bring along these rascal knaves with thee?
1759 125 Nathaniel’s coat, sir, was not fully made,
1760 And Gabriel’s pumps were all unpinked i’ th’ heel.
1761 There was no link to color Peter’s hat,
1762 And Walter’s dagger was not come from sheathing.
1763 There were none fine but Adam, Rafe, and Gregory.
1764 130 The rest were ragged, old, and beggarly.
1765 Yet, as they are, here are they come to meet you.
1766 Go, rascals, go, and fetch my supper in!
The Servants exit.
⌜Sings.⌝ 1767 Where is the life that late I led?
1768 Where are those—
1769 135 Sit down, Kate, and welcome.
⌜They sit at a table.⌝
1770 Soud, soud, soud, soud!
Enter Servants with supper.
1771 Why, when, I say?—Nay, good sweet Kate, be
1773 Off with my boots, you rogues, you villains! When?
⌜Sings.⌝ 1774 140 It was the friar of orders gray,
1775 As he forth walkèd on his way—
⌜Servant begins to remove Petruchio’s boots.⌝
1776 Out, you rogue! You pluck my foot awry.
1777 Take that!⌜He hits the Servant.⌝
1778 And mend the plucking of the other.—
1779 145 Be merry, Kate.—Some water here! What ho!
Enter one with water.
1780 Where’s my spaniel Troilus? Sirrah, get you hence
1781 And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither.
⌜A Servant exits.⌝
p. 1491782 One, Kate, that you must kiss and be acquainted
1784 150 Where are my slippers? Shall I have some water?—
1785 Come, Kate, and wash, and welcome heartily.—
1786 You whoreson villain, will you let it fall?
⌜He hits the Servant.⌝
1787 Patience, I pray you, ’twas a fault unwilling.
1788 A whoreson beetle-headed flap-eared knave!—
1789 155 Come, Kate, sit down. I know you have a stomach.
1790 Will you give thanks, sweet Kate, or else shall I?—
1791 What’s this? Mutton?
FIRST SERVANT 1792 Ay.
PETRUCHIO 1793 Who brought it?
PETER 1794 160 I.
PETRUCHIO 1795 ’Tis burnt, and so is all the meat.
1796 What dogs are these? Where is the rascal cook?
1797 How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser
1798 And serve it thus to me that love it not?
1799 165 There, take it to you, trenchers, cups, and all!
⌜He throws the food and dishes at them.⌝
1800 You heedless joltheads and unmannered slaves!
1801 What, do you grumble? I’ll be with you straight.
⌜The Servants exit.⌝
1802 I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet.
1803 The meat was well, if you were so contented.
1804 170 I tell thee, Kate, ’twas burnt and dried away,
1805 And I expressly am forbid to touch it,
1806 For it engenders choler, planteth anger,
1807 And better ’twere that both of us did fast
1808 (Since of ourselves, ourselves are choleric)
1809 175 Than feed it with such over-roasted flesh.
1810 Be patient. Tomorrow ’t shall be mended,
p. 1511811 And for this night we’ll fast for company.
1812 Come, I will bring thee to thy bridal chamber.
Enter Servants severally.
NATHANIEL 1813 Peter, didst ever see the like?
PETER 1814 180He kills her in her own humor.
GRUMIO 1815 Where is he?
CURTIS 1816 In her chamber,
1817 Making a sermon of continency to her,
1818 And rails and swears and rates, that she (poor soul)
1819 185 Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak,
1820 And sits as one new-risen from a dream.
1821 Away, away, for he is coming hither!
⌜The Servants exit.⌝
1822 Thus have I politicly begun my reign,
1823 And ’tis my hope to end successfully.
1824 190 My falcon now is sharp and passing empty,
1825 And, till she stoop, she must not be full-gorged,
1826 For then she never looks upon her lure.
1827 Another way I have to man my haggard,
1828 To make her come and know her keeper’s call.
1829 195 That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites
1830 That bate and beat and will not be obedient.
1831 She ate no meat today, nor none shall eat.
1832 Last night she slept not, nor tonight she shall not.
1833 As with the meat, some undeservèd fault
1834 200 I’ll find about the making of the bed,
1835 And here I’ll fling the pillow, there the bolster,
1836 This way the coverlet, another way the sheets.
1837 Ay, and amid this hurly I intend
p. 1531838 That all is done in reverend care of her.
1839 205 And, in conclusion, she shall watch all night,
1840 And, if she chance to nod, I’ll rail and brawl,
1841 And with the clamor keep her still awake.
1842 This is a way to kill a wife with kindness.
1843 And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humor.
1844 210 He that knows better how to tame a shrew,
1845 Now let him speak; ’tis charity to shew.