The Taming of the Shrew: Induction, Scene 1
1. I'll pheeze you: A vague threat, equivalent to modern "I'll get even with you," "I'll fix you," or "I'll do for you."
1I'll pheeze you, in faith.
2. A pair of stocks: i.e., I'll have you put in the stocks.
2A pair of stocks, you rogue!
3Ye are a baggage: the Slys are no rogues;
4. Richard Conqueror: Sly's mistake for William the Conqueror? 5. paucas pallabris: few words (Spanish pocas palabras). 6. Sessa: Of uncertain meaning; perhaps equivalent to "let it go" (from Spanish cesar, "cease").
4look in the chronicles; we came in with
5Richard Conqueror. Therefore paucas
6pallabris; let the world slide. Sessa!
7You will not pay for the glasses you have
8. burst: broken.
9-10.denier: copper coin worth very little. Go by, Jeronimy: Maybe Sly is trying to quote a famous line from Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy (1587?), in which the hero, Hieronimo, warns himself to not put himself in danger by interrupting the king. The line is "Hieronimo, beware! goe by, goe by!"
9No, not a denier. Go by, Jeronimy: go to
10thy cold bed, and warm thee.
11I know my remedy; I must go fetch the
12. third-borough: constable. The first syllable evolved from the Old English word for "peace."
13. fift: fifth.
13Third, or fourth, or fift borough, I'll answer him
14. boy: here, a term of contempt, applicable to either sex.
14by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy: let him come,
15. kindly: i.e., welcome.
*stage direction.Wind: blow.
Wind horns. Enter a LORD from hunting,
with his TRAIN.
16. tender: care for.
16Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds:
17. Breathe Merriman: give Merriman a rest. ...more emboss'd: foaming at the mouth from exhaustion. 18. couple Clowder with: put Clowder on the same leash with. the deep-mouth'd brach: i.e., the bitch hound that bays so beautifully. 20. in the coldest fault: when the scent was coldest.
17Breathe Merriman, the poor cur is emboss'd;
18And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach.
19Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
20At the hedge-corner, in the coldest fault?
21I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
22Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;
23. cried upon it: bayed; i.e., was the first to recover the scent. at the merest loss: when the scent had been completely lost.
23He cried upon it at the merest loss
24And twice today pick'd out the dullest scent:
25Trust me, I take him for the better dog.
26Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fleet,
27I would esteem him worth a dozen such.
28But sup them well and look unto them all:
29tomorrow I intend to hunt again.
30I will, my lord.
31What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?
32He breathes, my lord. Were he not warm'd with ale,
33This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
34O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies!
35. image: likeness (with reference to the ancient view that sleep was the image of death). 36. practice: play a joke.
35Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
36Sirs, I will practice on this drunken man.
37What think you, if he were convey'd to bed,
38. sweet: perfumed.
38Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,
39. banquet: light repast.
39A most delicious banquet by his bed,
40. brave: finely dressed.
40And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
41Would not the beggar then forget himself?
42Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
43It would seem strange unto him when he waked.
44. worthless fancy: empty fantasy; flight of imagination.
44Even as a flattering dream or worthless fancy.
45Then take him up and manage well the jest:
46Carry him gently to my fairest chamber
47. wanton pictures: erotic paintings.
47And hang it round with all my wanton pictures:
48. Balm: anoint.
48Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters
49And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet:
50Procure me music ready when he wakes,
51To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound;
52. straight: immediately.
52And if he chance to speak, be ready straight
53And with a low submissive reverence
54Say "What is it your honor will command?"
55Let one attend him with a silver basin
56Full of rose-water and bestrew'd with flowers,
57. diaper: towel.
57Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
58And say "Will't please your lordship cool your hands?"
59Some one be ready with a costly suit
60And ask him what apparel he will wear;
61Another tell him of his hounds and horse,
62And that his lady mourns at his disease:
63Persuade him that he hath been lunatic;
64. is: i.e., is indeed mad, because everyone thinks he is not what he is, Sly the tinker.
64And when he says he is, say that he dreams,
65For he is nothing but a mighty lord.
66. kindly: naturally; i.e., convincingly.
66This do and do it kindly, gentle sirs:
67. passing: surpassingly.
67It will be pastime passing excellent,
68. husbanded with modesty: managed with restraint or decorum.
68If it be husbanded with modesty.
69My lord, I warrant you we will play our part,
70. As: so that.
70As he shall think by our true diligence
71He is no less than what we say he is.
72Take him up gently and to bed with him;
73. office: duty.
73And each one to his office when he wakes.
[Some bear out Sly.]
74. Sirrah: ordinary form of address to inferiors.
74Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:
75. Belike: perhaps, probably.
75Belike, some noble gentleman that means,
76Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
77How now! who is it?
77. An't: if it.
77An't please your honor, players
78That offer service to your lordship.
79Bid them come near.
79Now, fellows, you are welcome.
80We thank your honor.
81Do you intend to stay with me tonight?
82. duty: expression of respect.
82So please your lordship to accept our duty.
83With all my heart. This fellow I remember,
84Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son:
85'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well:
86I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part
87. naturally: realistically.
87Was aptly fitted and naturally perform'd.
88I think 'twas Soto that your honor means.
89'Tis very true: thou didst it excellent.
90. in happy time: opportunely.
90Well, you are come to me in a happy time;
91. The rather for: The more so because.
91The rather for I have some sport in hand
92. cunning: skill.
92Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
93. will: who will.
93There is a lord will hear you play tonight:
94. doubtful of your modesties: worried about your self-control. 95. over-eyeing of: observing.
94But I am doubtful of your modesties;
95Lest over-eyeing of his odd behavior,
96For yet his honor never heard a play
97. merry passion: fit of laughter.
97You break into some merry passion
98And so offend him; for I tell you, sirs,
99If you should smile he grows impatient.
100Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves,
101. antic: grotesque creature, eccentric.
101Were he the veriest antic in the world.
102. buttery: store room for liquor (kept in butts) and other provisions.
102Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,
103And give them friendly welcome every one:
104. want: lack.
104Let them want nothing that my house affords.
Exit one with the Players.
105Sirrah, go you to Barthol'mew my page,
106. in all suits: in every detail.
106And see him dress'd in all suits like a lady:
107That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber;
108And call him "madam," do him obeisance.
109. him: i.e., the page, Bartholomew.
109Tell him from me, as he will win my love,
110. honorable: becoming, decorous.
110He bear himself with honorable action,
111Such as he hath observed in noble ladies
112. accomplished: performed.
112Unto their lords, by them accomplished:
113Such duty to the drunkard let him do
114With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy,
115And say "What is't your honor will command,
116Wherein your lady and your humble wife
117May show her duty and make known her love?"
118And then with kind embracements, tempting kisses,
119And with declining head into his bosom,
120Bid him shed tears, as being overjoy'd
121To see her noble lord restored to health,
122. him: himself.
122Who for this seven years hath esteem'd him
123No better than a poor and loathsome beggar:
124And if the boy have not a woman's gift
125To rain a shower of commanded tears,
126. shift: purpose.
126An onion will do well for such a shift,
127. napkin: handkerchief. close: secretly.
127Which in a napkin being close convey'd
128. in despite: i.e., in spite of his inability to weep.
128Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
129See this dispatch'd with all the haste thou canst:
130. Anon: very shortly.
130Anon I'll give thee more instructions.
Exit a Servingman.
131. usurp: assume, imitate.
131I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
132Voice, gait and action of a gentlewoman:
133I long to hear him call the drunkard husband,
134And how my men will stay themselves from laughter
135When they do homage to this simple peasant.
136. haply: perhaps.
136I'll in to counsel them; haply my presence
137. spleen: impulse, mood. Fits of laughter (as of anger) were supposed to originate in the spleen.
137May well abate the over-merry spleen
138Which otherwise would grow into extremes.