The Taming of the Shrew

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

GRUMIO

She was, good Curtis, before this frost. But thou knowest winter tames man, woman and beast, for it hath tamed my old master and my new mistress and myself, fellow Curtis.

GRUMIO

Well she was, good Curtis, before this frost. But you know how winter tames man, woman, and beast. And it’s tamed my old master and my new mistress and myself, my good colleague.

CURTIS

Away, you three-inch fool! I am no beast.

CURTIS

Who are you calling “beast,” midget. You’re no bigger than three inches!

GRUMIO

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?

GRUMIO

Three inches? Really? Your horn is a foot long, and I’m at least that size. Now are you going to make a fire, or am I going to have to report you to our mistress, whose hand, now that she is herself at hand, you’ll be feeling soon. You’ll find it cold comfort, but that’s what you get for being slow with your warming duties.

CURTIS

10I prithee, good Grumio, tell me, how goes the world?

CURTIS

So tell me, Grumio, how goes the world?

GRUMIO

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.

GRUMIO

Cold, Curtis. It’s a cold world, except for people who have to start fires. Therefore, do your duty and take your reward, because my master and mistress are nearly frozen to death.

CURTIS

There’s fire ready. And therefore, good Grumio, the news.

CURTIS

The fire is ready. So go on, tell me the news.

GRUMIO

Why, “Jack, boy! Ho, boy!” and as much news as wilt thou.

GRUMIO

CURTIS

Come, you are so full of cony-catching!

CURTIS

Oh, you’re just so funny.

GRUMIO

15Why, therefore fire, for I have caught extreme cold. Where’s the cook? Is supper ready, the house 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 everything in order?

GRUMIO

Well, make a fire, then. I think I’m getting delirious. Where’s the cook? Is supper ready? Is the house fixed up, the floor covered, the cobwebs swept out of the corners, the servingmen in their new work clothes and the household servants each in his wedding suit? Are all the cups and glasses in their places, the tablecloths laid out—everything in order?