illustration of Kate and Petruchio standing and staring at one another

The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

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"A Little Pot, And Soon Hot"

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Context: Grumio, Petruchio's servant, has gone to his master's country house to prepare for his master's homecoming, in which the taming of Petruchio's shrewish wife Katharine will continue. The weather is cold, and Grumio, despite his wit, is in a bad humor when he finds the house cold also. When his presence is known, he is asked numerous questions about the master's new wife, and he replies jokingly. But before all this talk, as he arrives at the inhospitable house, he complains to himself:

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 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 wish blowing the fire shall warm myself, for considering the weather, a taller man than I will take cold. . . .

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