Fie, fie on all tired jades, on all mad masters, and
all foul ways! Was ever man so beaten? Was ever man so ray'd?
Was ever man so weary? I am sent before to make a fire, and
they are coming after to warm them. Now were not I a little
pot and soon hot, my very lips might freeze to my teeth, my
tongue to the roof of my mouth, my heart in my belly, ere I
should come by a fire to thaw me. But I with blowing the fire
shall warm myself; for, considering the weather, a taller man
than I will take cold.
Holla, ho! Curtis!
Am I but three inches? Why, thy horn is a foot, and so
long am I at the least. But wilt thou make a fire, or shall I
complain on thee to our mistress, whose hand- she being now
at hand- thou shalt soon feel, to thy cold comfort, for being
slow in thy hot office?
I prithee, good Grumio, tell me how goes the world?
A cold world, Curtis, in every office but thine; and
therefore fire. Do thy duty, and have thy duty, for my master
and mistress are almost frozen to death.
There's fire ready; and therefore, good Grumio, the news?
Why, 'Jack boy! ho, boy!' and as much news as thou wilt.
Why, therefore, fire; for I have caught extreme cold.
Where's the cook? Is supper ready, the house trimm'd, rushes
strew'd, cobwebs swept, the serving-men in their new fustian,
their white stockings, and every officer his wedding-garment on?
Be the jacks fair within, the jills fair without, the carpets
laid, and everything in order?
All ready; and therefore, I pray thee, news.
First know my horse is tired; my master and mistress fall'n out.
This 'tis to feel a tale, not to hear a tale.
And therefore 'tis call'd a sensible tale; and this
cuff was but to knock at your car and beseech list'ning. Now I begin:
Imprimis, we came down a foul hill, my master riding behind
Tell thou the tale. But hadst thou not cross'd me, thou
shouldst have heard how her horse fell and she under her
horse; thou shouldst have heard in how miry a place, how she
was bemoil'd, how he left her with the horse upon her, how he
beat me because her horse stumbled, how she waded through the
dirt to pluck him off me, how he swore, how she pray'd that
never pray'd before, how I cried, how the horses ran away,
how her bridle was burst, how I lost my crupper- with many
things of worthy memory, which now shall die in oblivion, and
thou return unexperienc'd to thy grave.
By this reck'ning he is more shrew than she.
Ay, and that thou and the proudest of you all shall
find when he comes home. But what talk I of this? Call forth
Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Philip, Walter, Sugarsop, and
the rest; let their heads be sleekly comb'd, their blue coats
brush'd and their garters of an indifferent knit; let them
curtsy with their left legs, and not presume to touch a hair
of my mastcr's horse-tail till they kiss their hands. Are
they all ready?
YOU peasant swain! you whoreson malt-horse drudge!
Did I not bid thee meet me in the park
And bring along these rascal knaves with thee?
Nathaniel's coat, sir, was not fully made,
And Gabriel's pumps were all unpink'd i' th' heel;
There was no link to colour Peter's hat,
And Walter's dagger was not come from sheathing;
There were none fine but Adam, Ralph, and Gregory;
The rest were ragged, old, and beggarly;
Yet, as they are, here are they come to meet you.
'Tis burnt; and so is all the meat.
What dogs are these? Where is the rascal cook?
How durst you villains bring it from the dresser
And serve it thus to me that love it not?
There, take it to you, trenchers, cups, and all;
[Throws the meat, etc., at them]
You heedless joltheads and unmanner'd slaves!
What, do you grumble? I'll be with you straight.
I pray you, husband, be not so disquiet;
The meat was well, if you were so contented.
I tell thee, Kate, 'twas burnt and dried away,
And I expressly am forbid to touch it;
For it engenders choler, planteth anger;
And better 'twere that both of us did fast,
Since, of ourselves, ourselves are choleric,
Than feed it with such over-roasted flesh.
Be patient; to-morrow 't shall be mended.
And for this night we'll fast for company.
Come, I will bring thee to thy bridal chamber.
In her chamber. Making a sermon of continency to her,
And rails, and swears, and rates, that she, poor soul,
Knows not which way to stand, to look, to speak.
And sits as one new risen from a dream.
Away, away! for he is coming hither.
Thus have I politicly begun my reign,
And 'tis my hope to end successfully.
My falcon now is sharp and passing empty.
And till she stoop she must not be full-gorg'd,
For then she never looks upon her lure.
Another way I have to man my haggard,
To make her come, and know her keeper's call,
That is, to watch her, as we watch these kites
That bate and beat, and will not be obedient.
She eat no meat to-day, nor none shall eat;
Last night she slept not, nor to-night she shall not;
As with the meat, some undeserved fault
I'll find about the making of the bed;
And here I'll fling the pillow, there the bolster,
This way the coverlet, another way the sheets;
Ay, and amid this hurly I intend
That all is done in reverend care of her-
And, in conclusion, she shall watch all night;
And if she chance to nod I'll rail and brawl
And with the clamour keep her still awake.
This is a way to kill a wife with kindness,
And thus I'll curb her mad and headstrong humour.
He that knows better how to tame a shrew,
Now let him speak; 'tis charity to show.