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And here she stands, touch her whoever dare;
I'll bring mine action on the proudest he
That stops my way in Padua. Grumio,

Draw forth thy weapon, we are beset with thieves;
Rescue thy mistress, if thou be a man.

Fear not, sweet wench, they shall not touch thee, Kate :
I'll buckler thee against a million.

[Exeunt Petruchio, Katharina, and Grumio.

BAP. Nay, let them go, a couple of quiet ones.

GRE. Went they not quickly, I should die with laughing.

TRA. Of all mad matches never was the like.

230

Luc. Mistress, what's your opinion of your sister? BIAN. That, being mad herself, she's madly mated. 240 GRE. I warrant him, Petruchio is Kated.

BAP. Neighbours and friends, though bride and bridegroom wants

For to supply the places at the table,

You know there wants no junkets at the feast.
Lucentio, you shall supply the bridegroom's place;
And let Bianca take her sister's room.

TRA. Shall sweet Bianca practise how to bride it?
BAP. She shall, Lucentio. Come, gentlemen, let's

240 mated] See note on Com. of Errors, III, ii, 54.

go.

[Exeunt.

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IE, 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, with blowing the fire, shall warm myself; for, considering the weather, a taller man than I will take cold. Holla, ho! Curtis !

10

Enter CURTIS

CURT. Who is it 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.

CURT. Is my master and his wife coming, Grumio? GRU. O, ay, Curtis, ay: and therefore fire, fire; cast on no water.

CURT. 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 20 hath tamed my old master, and my new mistress, and myself, fellow Curtis.

CURT. 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 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?

CURT. I prithee, good Grumio, tell me, how goes the world?

GRU. 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.

CURT. There's fire ready; and therefore, good Grumio, the news.

16-17 fire, fire. . . water] a misquotation of the old popular catch, "Scotland burneth; Fire, fire, fire, fire. Cast on some more water."

30

GRU. Why, "Jack, boy! ho! boy!" and as much news as thou wilt.

CURT. 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 40 trimmed, rushes strewed, cobwebs swept; the servingmen 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 every thing in order?

CURT. All ready; and therefore, I pray thee, news. GRU. First, know, my horse is tired; my master and mistress fallen out.

CURT. HOW?

GRU. Out of their saddles into the dirt; and thereby hangs a tale.

CURT. Let's ha't, good Grumio.

GRU. Lend thine ear.

CURT. Here.

50

GRU. There.

[Strikes him.

36 "Jack, boy! ho! boy!"] The first words of an old round or catch in three parts (given in Ravenscroft's Pammelia, 1609), of which the first words are "Jack boy! ho! boy! news; the cat is in the well."

41 rushes strewed] The floors of Elizabethan houses were usually covered with rushes in place of carpets.

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43-44 jacks fair . . . carpets laid] Grumio quibbles on the words jacks" and "jills," which were used for men-servants and maid-servants respectively, as well as for two kinds of drinking vessels of leather and metal respectively. The carpets were the tablecloths.

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CURT. This is to feel a tale, not to hear a tale.

GRU. And therefore 't is called a sensible tale: and this cuff was but to knock at your ear, and beseech listening. Now I begin: Imprimis, we came down a foul hill, my master riding behind my mistress,

CURT. Both of one horse ?

GRU. What's that to thee?

CURT. Why, a horse.

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60

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 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, 70 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 unexperienced to thy grave.

CURT. 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 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 80 left legs, and not presume to touch a hair of my

79 blue coats] Blue was the ordinary colour of menservants' dress. 80 indifferent knit] ordinary texture, neither too fine nor too coarse.

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