The Taming of the Shrew

by: William Shakespeare

  Induction Scene 2

page Induction Scene 2 Page 6

Original Text

Modern Text

SLY

95Madam wife, they say that I have dreamed
And slept above some fifteen year or more.

SLY

Madam wife, they say I’ve been dreaming or asleep for more than fifteen years.

PAGE

Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me,
Being all this time abandoned from your bed.

PAGE

Yes, and it seemed twice as long to me, having been kept from your bed that whole time.

SLY

'Tis much.—Servants, leave me and her alone.
100Madam, undress you and come now to bed.

SLY

That’s too long.—Servants, leave her and me alone. Now, madam, undress and come to bed.

PAGE

Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you
To pardon me yet for a night or two,
Or if not so, until the sun be set.
For your physicians have expressly charged,
105In peril to incur your former malady,
That I should yet absent me from your bed.
I hope this reason stands for my excuse.

PAGE

Thrice noble lord, I beg you to excuse me for another night or two—or at least until nightfall. Your doctors have expressly forbidden me to sleep with you, as there’s a risk that you might have a relapse. I hope this explanation will stand as my excuse.

SLY

Ay, it stands so that I may hardly tarry so long. But I would be loath to fall into my dreams again. I will therefore tarry in despite of the flesh and the blood.

SLY

Well, something’s standing up. I’m not sure I can wait that long. Still, I’d hate to see my former dreams return. So I will wait, however

flesh and blood

Sly means that he is sexually aroused.

flesh and blood
may feel about it.
Enter a MESSENGER
A MESSENGER.

MESSENGER

Your Honor’s players, hearing your amendment,
110Are come to play a pleasant comedy,
For so your doctors hold it very meet,
Seeing too much sadness hath congealed your blood,
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy.
Therefore they thought it good you hear a play
115And frame your mind to mirth and merriment,
Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.

MESSENGER

Your Honor’s actors, hearing of your recovery, have come to perform a pleasing comedy for you—and your doctors approve wholeheartedly. They say that too much suffering has made your blood coagulate, and that sadness leads to madness. So they think it’s a good idea for you to watch a play and direct your thoughts toward laughter and merriment—two strong preventive medicines that foster long life.