Page images
PDF
EPUB

Pet.How? she's busy and cannotcome: is that an answer?

Gre. Ay, and a kind one too :
Pray God, Sir, your wife send you not a worse.

Pet. I hope better.

Hor. Sirrah, Biondello, go and intreat my wife to come to me forthwith.

Éxit Biondello. Pet.Oh,ho! intreat her! nay, then she needs must come. Hor. I am afraid, Sir, do you what

you can,

Enter Biondello. Yours will not be intreated : now, where's my wife?

Bion. She says, you have some goodly jest in hand; She will not come: the bids you come to her.

Pet. Worse and worse, she will not come!
Oh vile, intolerable, not to be indur'd:
Sirrah, Grumio, go to your mistress,
Say, I command her to come to me.

(Exit. Gru.
Hor. I know her answer.
Pet. What?
Hor. She will not.
Pet. The fouler fortune mine, and there's an end.

Enter Catharina. Bap. Now, by my hollidam, here comes Catharine ! Gath. What is your will, Sir; that you send for me? Pet. Where is your fifter, and Hortenfio's wife? Cath. They fit conferring by the parlour fire.

Pet. Go fetch them hither; if they deny to come, Swinge me them foundly forth unto their husbands : Away, I say, and bring them hither ftraight.

[Exit Catharina. Luc. Here is a wonder, if you talk of a wonder. Hor. And so it is: I wonder, what it bodes.

Pet, Marry, peace it bodes, and love, and quiet life, And awful rule, and right fupremacy: And, to be short, what not, that's sweet and happy.

Bap. Now fair befal thee, good' Petruchio! The wager

thou hast won; and I will add Unto their losses twenty thousand crowns, Another dowry to another daughter;

Fos

For she is chang'd, as she had never been.

Pet. Nay, I will win my wager better yet,
And show more fign of her obedience,
Her new-built virtue and obedience.

Enter Catharina, Bianca and Widow.
See where she comes, and brings your froward wives
As prisoners to her womanly persuasion :
Catharine, that cap of

yours
becomes

you not ; Off with that bauble, throw it under foot.

[She pulls off ber cap, and throws it down. Wid. Lord, let me never have a cause to figh, "Till I be brought to such a filly pass.

Bian. Fy; what a foolish duty call you this?
Luc. I would, your duty were as foolish too!
The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca,
Coft me a hundred crowns fince supper-time.

Bian. The more fool you; for laying on my duty.

Pet. Catharine, I charge thee tell these headftrong women, What duty they owe to their Lords and husbands.

Wid. Come, come, you're mocking; we'll have no
Pet. Come on, I fay, and first begin with her. (telling
Wid. She shall not.
Pet. I say, she shall; and firt begin with her.

Cath. Fy! fy! unknit that threatning unkind brow,
And dart not (cornful glances from those eyes,
To wound thy Lord, thy King, thy Governor.
It blots thy beauty, as frofts bite the meads;
Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds;
And in no sense is meet or amiable,
A woman mov'd is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-feeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
And while it is so, none fo dry or thirsty
Will dain to fip, or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy Lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy fovereigns one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance : commits his body
To painful labour, both by sea and land;
To watch the night in forms, the day in cold,

2

While thou ly'ft warm at home, secure and safe,
And craves no other tribute at thy hands,
But love, fair looks, and true obedience ;
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the Prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband:
And when she's froward,

peevith, fullen, sower,
And not obedient to his honest will
What is the but a foul contending rebel,
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
I am alham'd, that women are so simple
To offer war where they should kneel for peace ,
Or seek for rule, fupremacy, and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft, and weak and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our foft conditions and our hearts
Should well

agree

with our external parts?
Come, come, you froward and unable worms,
My mind hath been as big as one of

yours,
My heart as great, my reason haply more,
To bandy word for word, and frown for frown;
But, now I fee, our launces are but straws,
Our strength as weak, our weakness paft compare ;
That seeming to be most, which we indeed least aré.
(26) Then vale your stomachs, for it is no boot,
And place your hands below your husband's foot:

In

(26) Tben vale your ftomachs, &c.} This doctrine of conjugal obe dience, that runs thro' all Catbarine's speech, shews the business of the play to be compleated in her being so thoroughly reform’d. But this comedy has likewise a subfervient walk, which from the beginning is connected to, and made a part of the main plot; viz. the marriage of Bianca. This marriage, according to the regulation of all the copies, is executed and clear'd up in the fourth act i and the fifth act is not made to begin till the whole company meet at Lucentio's apartment. By this regulation, there is not only an unreasonable disproportion in length betwixt the 4th and 5th acts; but a manifest absurdity com: mitted in the conduct of the fable. By the division I have ventur'd at, these inconveniencies are remedied: and the action lies more uniforma For now the whole catastrophe is wound up in the 5th act: it begins with Lucentio going to church to marry Bianca : the true atia

arrives,

[ocr errors]

In token of which duty, if he please,
My hand is ready, may it do him ease.

Pet. Why, there's a wench: come on, and kiss me, Kate.
Luc. Well, go thy ways, old lad, for thou shalt ha't.
Vin. 'Tis a good hearing, when children are toward,
Luc. But a harsh hearing, when women are froward.

Pet. Come, Kate, we'll to bed ; (27) We three are married, but you two are sped. 'Twas I won the

wager,

tho'
you

hit the white; And being a winner, God give you good night.

[Exeunt Petruchio and Catharina. Hor. Now go thy ways, thou hast tam'd a curft threw. Luc. 'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tam'd fo.

[Exeunt omnes. Enter two servants bearing Sly in his own apparel, and

leave him on the Stage. Then enter a Tapfter. Sly awaking. ] Sim, give's fome more wine-what, all the Players gone ? am not I a Lord ?

Tap. A Lord, with a murrain! come, art thou drunk still?

Sly. Who's this? Tapster! oh, I have had the bravest dream that ever thou heardst in all thy life.

Tap. rea, marry, but thou hadft beft get thee home, for your wife will course you for dreaming here all night. arrives, to discover the imposture carried on by the Pedant : and after this eclaircissement is hung in suspence

(always a pleasure to an audience,) till towards the middle of the 5th act; the main business is wound up, of Catharine approving herself to be a convert; and an instructer, in their duty, to - the other new-married Ladies. If it be objected, that, by the change I make, the Lord and his servants (who are characters out of the Drama) speak in the middle of an act; that is a matter of no importance. Their short interlocution was never deSign'd to mark the intervals of the acts.

(27) We two are married, but you two are sped.] This is the reade ing only of the modern copies, I have chose to read with the older books. Petrucbio, I think verily, would say this : I, and you Lucentio, and you Hortensio, are all under the same predicament in one respect, we are all tbree married; but you two are finely help'd up with wives, that don't know the duty of obedience.

Sly.

ach

Sly. Will she ? I know how to tame a shrew. I dreamt upon it all this night, and thou hast wak’d me out of the best dream that ever I had. But I'll to my wife, and tame her too, if the anger me.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »