Sweet Katharina

( from The Taming of the Shrew 

by William Shakespear, 1593 )

( Photo from www.russianplanet.ru )

BAPTISTA
Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
For how I firmly am resolved you know;
That is, not bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder:
If either of you both love Katharina,
Because I know you well and love you well,
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.

GREMIO
[Aside] To cart her rather: she’s too rough for me.
There, There, Hortensio, will you any wife? …

HORTENSIO
Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.

GREMIO
A husband! a devil.

HORTENSIO
I say, a husband.

GREMIO
I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hortensio, though
her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool
to be married to hell? …

HORTENSIO
Petruchio, since we are stepp’d thus far in,
I will continue that I broach’d in jest.
I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife
With wealth enough and young and beauteous,
Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman:
Her only fault, and that is faults enough,
Is that she is intolerable curst
And shrewd and froward, so beyond all measure
That, were my state far worser than it is,
I would not wed her for a mine of gold.

PETRUCHIO
Hortensio, peace! thou know’st not gold’s effect:
Tell me her father’s name and ’tis enough;
For I will board her, though she chide as loud
As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack…

* * *

( Photo from www.russianplanet.ru )

PETRUCHIO
You lie, in faith; for you are call’d plain Kate,
And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst;
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom
Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation;
Hearing thy mildness praised in every town,
Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded,
Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs,
Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife.

KATHARINA
Moved! in good time: let him that moved you hither
Remove you hence: I knew you at the first
You were a moveable.

PETRUCHIO
Why, what’s a moveable?

KATHARINA
A join’d-stool.

PETRUCHIO
Thou hast hit it: come, sit on me.

KATHARINA
Asses are made to bear, and so are you.

PETRUCHIO
Women are made to bear, and so are you.

KATHARINA
No such jade as you, if me you mean.

PETRUCHIO
Alas! good Kate, I will not burden thee;
For, knowing thee to be but young and light–

KATHARINA
Too light for such a swain as you to catch;
And yet as heavy as my weight should be.

PETRUCHIO
Should be! should–buzz!

KATHARINA
Well ta’en, and like a buzzard.

PETRUCHIO
O slow-wing’d turtle! shall a buzzard take thee?

KATHARINA
Ay, for a turtle, as he takes a buzzard.

PETRUCHIO
Come, come, you wasp; i’ faith, you are too angry.

KATHARINA
If I be waspish, best beware my sting.

PETRUCHIO
My remedy is then, to pluck it out.

KATHARINA
Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies,

PETRUCHIO
Who knows not where a wasp does
wear his sting? In his tail.

KATHARINA
In his tongue.

PETRUCHIO
Whose tongue?

KATHARINA
Yours, if you talk of tails: and so farewell.

PETRUCHIO
What, with my tongue in your tail? nay, come again,
Good Kate; I am a gentleman.

KATHARINA
That I’ll try.

( She strikes him )

PETRUCHIO
I swear I’ll cuff you, if you strike again.

KATHARINA
So may you lose your arms:
If you strike me, you are no gentleman;
And if no gentleman, why then no arms.

PETRUCHIO
A herald, Kate? O, put me in thy books!

KATHARINA
What is your crest? a coxcomb?

PETRUCHIO
A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen.

KATHARINA
No cock of mine; you crow too like a craven.

PETRUCHIO
Nay, come, Kate, come; you must not look so sour.

KATHARINA
It is my fashion, when I see a crab.

PETRUCHIO
Why, here’s no crab; and therefore look not sour.

KATHARINA
There is, there is.

PETRUCHIO
Then show it me.

KATHARINA
Had I a glass, I would.

PETRUCHIO
What, you mean my face?

KATHARINA
Well aim’d of such a young one.

PETRUCHIO
Now, by Saint George, I am too young for you.

KATHARINA
Yet you are wither’d.

PETRUCHIO
‘Tis with cares.

KATHARINA
I care not.

PETRUCHIO
Nay, hear you, Kate: in sooth you scape not so.

KATHARINA
I chafe you, if I tarry: let me go.

PETRUCHIO
No, not a whit: I find you passing gentle.
‘Twas told me you were rough and coy and sullen,
And now I find report a very liar; For thou are pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous,
But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers:
Thou canst not frown, thou canst not look askance,
Nor bite the lip, as angry wenches will,
Nor hast thou pleasure to be cross in talk,
But thou with mildness entertain’st thy wooers,
With gentle conference, soft and affable.
Why does the world report that Kate doth limp?
O slanderous world! Kate like the hazel-twig
Is straight and slender and as brown in hue
As hazel nuts and sweeter than the kernels.
O, let me see thee walk: thou dost not halt.

KATHARINA
Go, fool, and whom thou keep’st command.

PETRUCHIO
Did ever Dian so become a grove
As Kate this chamber with her princely gait?
O, be thou Dian, and let her be Kate;
And then let Kate be chaste and Dian sportful!

KATHARINA
Where did you study all this goodly speech?

PETRUCHIO
It is extempore, from my mother-wit.

KATHARINA
A witty mother! witless else her son.

PETRUCHIO
Am I not wise?

KATHARINA
Yes; keep you warm.

PETRUCHIO
Marry, so I mean, sweet Katharina, in thy bed:
And therefore, setting all this chat aside,
Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented
That you shall be my wife; your dowry ‘greed on;
And, Will you, nill you, I will marry you.
Now, Kate, I am a husband for your turn;
For, by this light, whereby I see thy beauty,
Thy beauty, that doth make me like thee well,
Thou must be married to no man but me;
For I am he am born to tame you Kate,
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate
Conformable as other household Kates.
Here comes your father: never make denial;
I must and will have Katharina to my wife.

* * *

 

( Photo from www.russianplanet.ru )

BAPTISTA
Now, in good sadness, son Petruchio,
I think thou hast the veriest shrew of all.

PETRUCHIO
Well, I say no: and therefore for assurance
Let’s each one send unto his wife;
And he whose wife is most obedient
To come at first when he doth send for her,
Shall win the wager which we will propose.

HORTENSIO
Content. What is the wager?

LUCENTIO
Twenty crowns.

PETRUCHIO
Twenty crowns!
I’ll venture so much of my hawk or hound,
But twenty times so much upon my wife.

LUCENTIO
A hundred then.

HORTENSIO
Content.

PETRUCHIO
A match! ’tis done.

HORTENSIO
Who shall begin?

LUCENTIO
That will I. Go, Biondello, bid your mistress come to me.

BIONDELLO
I go.
( Exit )

BAPTISTA
Son, I’ll be your half, Bianca comes.

LUCENTIO
I’ll have no halves; I’ll bear it all myself.
(Re-enter BIONDELLO)
How now! what news?

BIONDELLO
Sir, my mistress sends you word
That she is busy and she cannot come.

PETRUCHIO
How! she is busy and she cannot come!
Is that an answer?

GREMIO
Ay, and a kind one too:
Pray God, sir, your wife send you not a worse.

PETRUCHIO
I hope better.

HORTENSIO
Sirrah Biondello, go and entreat my wife
To come to me forthwith.

( Exit BIONDELLO )

PETRUCHIO
O, ho! entreat her!
Nay, then she must needs come.

HORTENSIO
I am afraid, sir,
Do what you can, yours will not be entreated.

( Re-enter BIONDELLO )
Now, where’s my wife?

BIONDELLO
She says you have some goodly jest in hand:
She will not come: she bids you come to her.

PETRUCHIO
Worse and worse; she will not come! O vile,
Intolerable, not to be endured!
Sirrah Grumio, go to your mistress;
Say, I command her to come to me.

( Exit GRUMIO )

HORTENSIO
I know her answer.

PETRUCHIO
What?

HORTENSIO
She will not.

PETRUCHIO
The fouler fortune mine, and there an end.

BAPTISTA
Now, by my holidame, here comes Katharina!
( Re-enter KATARINA )

KATHARINA
What is your will, sir, that you send for me? …

PETRUCHIO
Come, Kate, we’ll to bed.
We three are married, but you two are sped.

( Photo from www.russianplanet.ru )

THE END

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8 thoughts on “Sweet Katharina

  1. yasniger says:

    Reblogged this on yasniger and commented:
    It has always been the Woman’s prerogative to be tolerated, I guess.

  2. yasniger says:

    You have a refreshing approach that is quite engaging. I read this story afresh, like it was just recently dug up from a long hidden past, well maybe indeed it was; the way you posted it with the small illustrations. Simply beautiful. It brought home that old message like never before…” Women are made to bear”.

    I have re-blogged this & Bela too!

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