Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

The Taming of the Shrew:

Induction, Scene 1

Sly and Hostess

           Enter Beggar, CHRISTOPHERO SLY,
           and HOSTESS.

1. I'll pheeze you: A vague threat, equivalent to modern "I'll get even with you" or "I'll fix you."
  1   I'll pheeze you, in faith.

2. A pair of stocks: i.e., I'll have you put in the stocks .
  2   A pair of stocks, you rogue!

  3   Ye 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").
  4   look in the chronicles; we came in with
  5   Richard Conqueror. Therefore paucas
  6   pallabris; let the world slide. Sessa!

  7   You will not pay for the glasses you have
8. burst: broken.
  8   burst?

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!"
  9   No, not a denier. Go by, Jeronimy: go to
 10   thy cold bed, and warm thee.

 11   I know my remedy; I must go fetch the
12. third-borough: constable. The first syllable evolved from the Old English word for "peace."
 12   third-borough.


13. fift: fifth.
 13   Third, or fourth, or fift borough, I'll answer him
14. boy: here, a term of contempt, applicable to either sex.
 14   by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy: let him come,
15. kindly: i.e., welcome.
 15   and kindly.

           Falls asleep.

*stage direction.Wind: blow.
           Wind horns. Enter a LORD from hunting,
           with his TRAIN.

16. tender: care for.
 16   Huntsman, 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.
 17   Breathe Merriman, the poor cur is emboss'd;
 18   And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach.
 19   Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
 20   At the hedge-corner, in the coldest fault?
 21   I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.

      First Huntsman
 22   Why, 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.
 23   He cried upon it at the merest loss
 24   And twice today pick'd out the dullest scent:
 25   Trust me, I take him for the better dog.

 26   Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fleet,
 27   I would esteem him worth a dozen such.
 28   But sup them well and look unto them all:
 29   tomorrow I intend to hunt again.

      First Huntsman
 30   I will, my lord.

 31   What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?

      Second Huntsman
 32   He breathes, my lord. Were he not warm'd with ale,
 33   This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.

 34   O 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.
 35   Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
 36   Sirs, I will practice on this drunken man.
 37   What think you, if he were convey'd to bed,
38. sweet: perfumed.
 38   Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,
39. banquet: light repast.
 39   A most delicious banquet by his bed,
40. brave: finely dressed.
 40   And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
 41   Would not the beggar then forget himself?

      First Huntsman
 42   Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.

      Second Huntsman
 43   It would seem strange unto him when he waked.

44. worthless fancy: empty fantasy; flight of imagination.
 44   Even as a flattering dream or worthless fancy.
 45   Then take him up and manage well the jest:
 46   Carry him gently to my fairest chamber
47. wanton pictures: erotic paintings.
 47   And hang it round with all my wanton pictures:
48. Balm: anoint.
 48   Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters
 49   And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet:
 50   Procure me music ready when he wakes,
 51   To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound;
52. straight: immediately.
 52   And if he chance to speak, be ready straight
 53   And with a low submissive reverence
 54   Say "What is it your honor will command?"
 55   Let one attend him with a silver basin
 56   Full of rose-water and bestrew'd with flowers,
57. diaper: towel.
 57   Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
 58   And say "Will't please your lordship cool your hands?"
 59   Some one be ready with a costly suit
 60   And ask him what apparel he will wear;
 61   Another tell him of his hounds and horse,
 62   And that his lady mourns at his disease:
 63   Persuade 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.
 64   And when he says he is, say that he dreams,
 65   For he is nothing but a mighty lord.
66. kindly: naturally; i.e., convincingly.
 66   This do and do it kindly, gentle sirs:
67. passing: surpassingly.
 67   It will be pastime passing excellent,
68. husbanded with modesty: managed with restraint or decorum.
 68   If it be husbanded with modesty.

      First Huntsman
 69   My lord, I warrant you we will play our part,
70. As: so that.
 70   As he shall think by our true diligence
 71   He is no less than what we say he is.

 72   Take him up gently and to bed with him;
73. office: duty.
 73   And each one to his office when he wakes.

           [Some bear out Sly.]
           Sound trumpets.

74. Sirrah: ordinary form of address to inferiors.
 74   Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:

           [Exit Servingman.]

75. Belike: perhaps, probably.
 75   Belike, some noble gentleman that means,
 76   Travelling some journey, to repose him here.

           Enter SERVINGMAN.

 77   How now! who is it?

77. An't: if it.
 77                                       An't please your honor, players
 78   That offer service to your lordship.

 79   Bid them come near.

           Enter PLAYERS.

 79                                 Now, fellows, you are welcome.

 80   We thank your honor.

 81   Do you intend to stay with me tonight?

      A Player
82. duty: expression of respect.
 82   So please your lordship to accept our duty.

 83   With all my heart. This fellow I remember,
 84   Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son:
 85   'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well:
 86   I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part
87. naturally: realistically.
 87   Was aptly fitted and naturally perform'd.

      A Player
 88   I think 'twas Soto that your honor means.

 89   'Tis very true: thou didst it excellent.
90. in happy time: opportunely.
 90   Well, you are come to me in a happy time;
91. The rather for: The more so because.
 91   The rather for I have some sport in hand
92. cunning: skill.
 92   Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
93. will: who will.
 93   There is a lord will hear you play tonight:
94. doubtful of your modesties: worried about your self-control.  95. over-eyeing of: observing.
 94   But I am doubtful of your modesties;
 95   Lest over-eyeing of his odd behavior,—
 96   For yet his honor never heard a play—
97. merry passion: fit of laughter.
 97   You break into some merry passion
 98   And so offend him; for I tell you, sirs,
 99   If you should smile he grows impatient.

      A Player
100   Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves,
101. antic: grotesque creature, eccentric.
101   Were he the veriest antic in the world.

102. buttery: store room for liquor (kept in butts) and other provisions.
102   Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,
103   And give them friendly welcome every one:
104. want: lack.
104   Let them want nothing that my house affords.

           Exit one with the Players.

105   Sirrah, go you to Barthol'mew my page,
106. in all suits: in every detail.
106   And see him dress'd in all suits like a lady:
107   That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber;
108   And call him "madam," do him obeisance.
109. him: i.e., the page, Bartholomew.
109   Tell him from me, as he will win my love,
110. honorable: becoming, decorous.
110   He bear himself with honorable action,
111   Such as he hath observed in noble ladies
112. accomplished: performed.
112   Unto their lords, by them accomplished:
113   Such duty to the drunkard let him do
114   With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy,
115   And say "What is't your honor will command,
116   Wherein your lady and your humble wife
117   May show her duty and make known her love?"
118   And then with kind embracements, tempting kisses,
119   And with declining head into his bosom,
120   Bid him shed tears, as being overjoy'd
121   To see her noble lord restored to health,
122. him: himself.
122   Who for this seven years hath esteem'd him
123   No better than a poor and loathsome beggar:
124   And if the boy have not a woman's gift
125   To rain a shower of commanded tears,
126. shift: purpose.
126   An onion will do well for such a shift,
127. napkin: handkerchief. close: secretly.
127   Which in a napkin being close convey'd
128. in despite: i.e., in spite of his inability to weep.
128   Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
129   See this dispatch'd with all the haste thou canst:
130. Anon: very shortly.
130   Anon I'll give thee more instructions.

           Exit a Servingman.

131. usurp: assume, imitate.
131   I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
132   Voice, gait and action of a gentlewoman:
133   I long to hear him call the drunkard husband,
134   And how my men will stay themselves from laughter
135   When they do homage to this simple peasant.
136. haply: perhaps.
136   I'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.
137   May well abate the over-merry spleen
138   Which otherwise would grow into extremes.