The Taming of the Shrew

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

CURTIS

Why, a horse.

CURTIS

Well, the difference of a horse!

GRUMIO

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, 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.

GRUMIO

Oh, tell it yourself if you’re so smart. It’s too bad. If you hadn’t made me angry, you would have heard all about how her horse fell with her under it, how swampy the place was, too, and how she was covered in mud, and how he left her like that, with the horse on top of her, and how he beat me because her horse stumbled, and how she waded through the dirt to pull him off me, and how he swore, how she prayed—this woman who never prayed before—and how I yelled, and how the horses ran away, and how her bridle broke, and how I lost my riding crop, and many other things worth telling, which now will all be lost to memory, and you’ll go to your grave ignorant.

CURTIS

30By this reck'ning he is more shrew than she.

CURTIS

By the sound of it, he’s a bigger shrew than she is.

GRUMIO

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 slickly 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?

GRUMIO

Yes—as you and the rest will find out as soon as he’s home. But why am I telling you this? Get them in here—Nathaniel, Joseph, Nicholas, Philip, Walter, Sugarsop, and the rest. Tell them to slick down their hair, brush their blue coats, and make sure their socks match. Have them click their heels together and don’t dare touch a hair of the master’s horse’s tail till they kiss their hands. Are they all ready?

CURTIS

They are.

CURTIS

They are.

GRUMIO

Call them forth.

GRUMIO

Get them in here.

CURTIS

(calling offstage) Do you hear, ho? you must meet my master to countenance my mistress.

CURTIS

(calling offstage) Hey! Does anyone hear me? Hey! You have to come and greet the master and face the new mistress.