The Taming of the Shrew Act IV
by William Shakespeare

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Scene 1

[SCENE 1][Petruchio's country house.]

Enter Grumio.

Enter Curtis.

Enter four or five serving men.

Enter Petruchio and Katherine.

Exeunt.

Enter Servants severally.

Enter Curtis a servant.

Enter Petruchio.

Exit

GRU:
Fie, fie on all tired jades, on all mad masters, and all foul
ways! Was ever man so beaten? was ever man so rayed?
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(5)
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!(10)
CUR:
Who is that calls so coldly?
GRU:
A piece of ice: if thou doubt it, thou mayst slide from
my shoulder to my heel with no greater a run but my
head and my neck. A fire, good Curtis.
CUR:
Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio?(15)
GRU:
O, ay, Curtis, ay: and therefore fire, fire; cast on no
water.
CUR:
Is she so hot a shrew as she's reported?
GRU:
She was, good Curtis, before this frost: but, thou knowest,
winter tames man, woman, and beast; for it hath(20)
tamed my old master and my new mistress and myself, fellow
Curtis.
CUR:
Away, you three-inch fool! I am no beast.
GRU:
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(25)
I complain on thee to our mistress, whose hand, she
being now at hand, thou shalt soon feel, to thy cold com-
fort, for being slow in thy hot office?
CUR:
I prithee, good Grumio, tell me, how goes the world?
GRU:
A cold world, Curtis, in every office but thine; and(30)
therefore fire: do thy duty, and have thy duty; for my
master and mistress are almost frozen to death.
CUR:
There's fire ready; and therefore, good Grumio, the
news.
GRU:
Why, ‘Jack, boy! ho! boy!’ and as much news as will(35)
thaw.
CUR:
Come, you are so full of cony-catching!
GRU:
Why, therefore fire; for I have caught extreme cold.
Where's the cook? is supper ready, the house trimmed,
rushes strewed, cobwebs swept; the serving-men in their(40)
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 every thing in order?
CUR:
All ready; and therefore, I pray thee, news.
GRU:
First, know, my horse is tired; my master and mis-(45)
tress fallen out.
CUR:
How?
GRU:
Out of their saddles into the dirt; and thereby hangs a
tale.
CUR:
Let's ha't, good Grumio.(50)
GRU:
Lend thine ear.
CUR:
Here.
GRU:
There.
CUR:
This is to feel a tale, not to hear a tale.
GRU:
And therefore 'tis called a sensible tale: and this cuff(55)
was but to knock at your ear, and beseech listening. Now
I begin: Inprimis, we came down a foul hill, my master
riding behind my mistress,—
CUR:
Both of one horse?
GRU:
What's that to thee?(60)
CUR:
Why, a horse.
GRU:
Tell thou the tale: but hadst thou not crossed 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 bemoiled, how he left her with the horse(65)
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 prayed, that never prayed before, how I
cried, how the horses ran away, how her bridle was burst,
how I lost my crupper, with many things of worthy mem-(70)
ory, which now shall die in oblivion and thou return unex-
perienced to thy grave.
CUR:
By this reckoning he is more shrew than she.
GRU:
Ay; and that thou and the proudest of you all shall find
when he comes home. But what talk I of this? Call forth(75)
Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Philip, Walter, Sugarsop and
the rest: let their heads be sleekly combed, their blue
coats brushed, and their garters of an indifferent knit: let
them curtsy with their left legs and not presume to touch
a hair of my master's horse-tail till they kiss their hands.(80)
Are they all ready?
CUR:
They are.
GRU:
Call them forth.
CUR:
Do you hear, ho? you must meet my master...

(The entire section is 5,794 words.)