The Taming of the Shrew Induction
by William Shakespeare

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Scene 1

[Before an alehouse on a heath.]

Enter beggar [Christopher Sly] and Hostess

[Exit]

Falls asleep

[Horns winded. Enter a Lord from hunting, with his train]

[Enter Players]

SLY:
I'll pheeze you, in faith.
HOS:
A pair of stocks, you rogue!
SLY:
Ye are a baggage: the Slys are no rogues; look in the
chronicles; we came in with Richard Conqueror.
Therefore paucas pallabris; let the world slide: sessa!(5)
HOS:
You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?
SLY:
No, not a denier. Go by, St. Jeronimy: go to thy cold
bed, and warm thee.
HOS:
I know my remedy; I must go fetch the third-borough.
SLY:
Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him by(10)
law: I'll not budge an inch, boy: let him come, and
kindly.
LOR:
Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds:
Brach Merriman, the poor cur is emboss'd;(15)
And couple Clowder with the deep-mouth'd brach.
Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
At the hedge-corner, in the coldest fault?
I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
HUN:
Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;(20)
He cried upon it at the merest loss
And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent:
Trust me, I take him for the better dog.
LOR:
Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fleet,
I would esteem him worth a dozen such.(25)
But sup them well and look unto them all:
To-morrow I intend to hunt again.
HUN:
I will, my lord.
LOR:
What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he
breathe?(30)
2ND HUN:
He breathes, my lord. Were he not warm'd with
ale,
This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
LOR:
O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies!
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!(35)
Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.
What think you, if he were convey'd to bed,
Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,
A most delicious banquet by his bed,
And brave attendants near him when he wakes,(40)
Would not the beggar then forget himself?
HUN:
Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
2ND HUN:
It would seem strange unto him when he waked.
LOR:
Even as a flattering dream or worthless fancy.
Then take him up and manage well the jest:(45)
Carry him gently to my fairest chamber
And hang it round with all my wanton pictures:
Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters
And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet:
Procure me music ready when he wakes,(50)
To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound;
And if he chance to speak, be ready straight
And with a low submissive reverence
Say ‘What is it your honour will command?’
Let one attend him with a silver basin(55)
Full of rose-water and bestrew'd with flowers,
Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
And say ‘Will't please your lordship cool your hands?’
Some one be ready with a costly suit
And ask him what apparel he will wear;(60)
Another tell him of his hounds and horse,
And that his lady mourns at his disease:
Persuade him that he hath been lunatic;
And when he says he is, say that he dreams,
For he is nothing but a mighty lord.(65)
This do and do it kindly, gentle sirs:
It will be pastime passing excellent,
If it be husbanded with modesty.
HUN:
My lord, I warrant you we will play our part,
As he shall think by our true diligence(70)
He is no less than what we say he is.
LOR:
Take him up gently and to bed with him;
And each one to his office when he wakes.
Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:
Belike, some noble gentleman that means,(75)
Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
How now! who is it?

Sound trumpets.

Enter Servingman

SER:
An't please your honour, players
That offer service to your lordship.
LOR:
Bid them come near.(80)
Now, fellows, you are welcome.
PLAYERS:
We thank your honour.
LOR:
Do you intend to stay with me tonight?
2ND PLAYER:
So please your lordship to accept our duty.
LOR:
With all my heart. This fellow I remember,(85)
Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son:
'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well:
I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part
Was aptly fitted and naturally perform'd.
A PLAYER:
I think 'twas Soto that your honour means.(90)
LOR:
'Tis very true: thou didst it excellent.
Well, you are come to me in happy time;

(The entire section is 2,340 words.)