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.
Where’s the cook? is supper ready, the house
trimmed, rushes strewed, 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 every thing in order?
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, 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.
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 left legs and not presume to touch a hair
of my master’s horse-tail till they kiss their
hands. Are they all ready?
And Gabriel’s pumps were all unpink’d i’ the 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.
Where are those—Sit down, Kate, and welcome.—
Sound, sound, sound, sound!
Why, when, I say? Nay, good sweet Kate, be merry.
Off with my boots, you rogues! you villains, when?
It was the friar of orders grey,
As he forth walked on his way:—
Out, you rogue! you pluck my foot awry:
Take that, and mend the plucking off the other.
Be merry, Kate. Some water, here; what, ho!
Where’s my spaniel Troilus? Sirrah, get you hence,
And bid my cousin Ferdinand come hither:
One, Kate, that you must kiss, and be acquainted with.
Where are my slippers? Shall I have some water?
Come, Kate, and wash, and welcome heartily.
You whoreson villain! will you let it fall?
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?
Theretake it to you, trenchers, cups, and all;
You heedless joltheads and unmanner’d slaves!
What, do you grumble? I’ll be with you straight.
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.
And ‘tis my hope to end successfully.
My falcon now is sharp and passing empty;
And till she stoop she must not be full-gorged,
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.