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The Taming of the Shrew

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter aloft SLY, the drunkard, with Attendants, some with apparel, others with basin and ewer and other appurtenances, and LORD dressed as an attendant.
SLY appears above the stage. He is attended by several servants, some carrying clothing and others a basin, pitcher, and other accessories. The LORD also enters disguised as a servant.

SLY
For God’s sake, a pot of small ale.
SLY
For God’s sake, would someone bring me a mug of beer!

FIRST SERVANT
Will ’t please your Lordship drink a cup of sack?
FIRST SERVANT
Wouldn’t your Lordship prefer some imported wine?

SECOND SERVANT
Will ’t please your Honor taste of these conserves?
SECOND SERVANT
Would your Honor like to try this dried fruit?

THIRD SERVANT
What raiment will your Honor wear today?
THIRD SERVANT
What garment would your Honor like to wear today?

5
SLY
I am Christophero Sly. Call not me “Honor” nor “Lordship.” I ne'er drank sack in my life. An if you give me any conserves, give me conserves of beef. Ne'er ask me what raiment I’ll wear, for I have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings than legs, nor no more shoes than feet, nay sometime more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the over-leather.
SLY
I’m Christopher Sly. Don’t call me “your Honor” and “your Lordship.” I’ve never had imported wine in my life, and if you want to bring me something “dried,” try beef jerky. Why ask me what “garment” I’ll wear? I have no more jackets than I have backs, no more leggings than I have legs, and no more shoes than I have feet—in fact, sometimes I have fewer shoes than feet, as I’m not sure the ones where my toes stick out can be called “shoes.”




LORD
Heaven cease this idle humor in your Honor!
Oh, that a mighty man of such descent,
Of such possessions and so high esteem,
Should be infusèd with so foul a spirit!
LORD
May Heaven put an end to this foolish fantasy of your Honor’s! How terrible that a man of your influence and noble family, with so much wealth and an excellent reputation, should be infected with such a horrible illness!