Page images

Wid. Lord, let me never have a cause to sigh,
Till I be brought to such a silly pass !
Bian. Fie! what a foolish duty call you this?

Luc. I would your duty were as foolish too.
The wisdom of your duty, fair Bianca,
Ilath cost me a hundred crowns since supper-time.
Bian. The more fool you for laying on my duty.

Pet. Katharine, I charge thec, tell these headstrong

[ocr errors]


What duty they do owe their lords and husbands.
Wid. Come, come, you’re mocking; we will have

no telling.
Pet. Come on, I say; and first begin with her.
Wid. She shall not.
Pet. I say, she shall;—and first begin with her.
Kath. Fie, fie! unknit that threatening, unkind

And dart not scornful glances from those eyes,
To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.
It blots thy beauty, as frosts do bite the meads ;
Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds ;
And in no sense is meet or amiable.
A woman moved, is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty ;
And, while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip, or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign ; one that cares for thee
And for thy maintenance; commits his body
To painful labor, both by sea and land;
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
While thou liest warın 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, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,

[ocr errors]

What is she, but a foul, contending rebel,
And graceless traitor to her loving lord ?
I am ashamed, that women are so simple
To offer war, where they should kneel for peace;
Or seek for rule, supremacy, 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 soft 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 see, our lances are but straws;
Our strength as weak, our weakness past compare,
That seeming to be most, which we indeed least are.
Then vail your stomachs,for it is no boot ;
And place your hands below your husband's foot.
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. — We three are married, but you two are sped.' 'Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white; *

[TO LUCENTIO. And, being a winner, God give you good night!

[Exeunt Petruchio and Kath.

1 That is, the gentle qualities of our minds.

2 “ Vail your slomachs," abate your pride, your spirit ; it is no boot, i. e. it is profitless, it is no advantage.

3 i. e. the fate of you both is decided; for you both have wives who exhibit early proofs of disobedience.

4 The white was the central part of the mark or butt in archery. Here is also a play upon the name of Bianca, which is white in Italian. VOL. II.


Hor. Now go thy ways.; thou hast tamed a curst

shrew. Luc. 'Tis a wonder, by your leave, she will be tamed so.


i The old play continues thus :“ Then enter two, bearing Slie in his own apparel againe, and leaves ham

where they found him, and then goes out then enters the Tapster.
Tapster. Now that the darksome night is overpast,
And dawning day appeares in christall skie,
Now must I haste abroade: but softe! who's this ?
What, Slie? O wondrous ! hath he laine heere all night!
Ile wake him: I thinke he's starved by this,
But that his belly was so stufft with ale:-
What now, Slie? awake for shame.

Slie. (Awaking.) Sim, give's more wine.—What, all the players gone ? -Am I not a lord ?

Tap. A lord, with a murrain ! -Come, art thou drunk still ?

Slié. Who's this? Tapster!-Oh, I have had the bravest dream that ever thou heard'st in all thy life.

Tap. Yea, marry, but thou hadst best get thee home, for your wife will curse you for dreaming here all night.

Slie. 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 she anger me."

Of this play the two plots are so well united that they can hardly be called two, without injury to the art with which they are interwoven. The attention is entertained with all the variety of a double plot, yet is not distracted by unconnected incidents.

The part between Katharina and Petruchio is eminently sprightly and diverting. At the marriage of Bianca, the arrival of the real father, perhaps, produces more perplexity than pleasure. The whole play is very popular and diverting.



« PreviousContinue »