The Taming of the Shrew

 
INDUCTION

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Enter Christopher Sly and the Hostess
induction (n.) opening scene [of a play], initial step, preparation
pheeze, feeze (v.) do for, settle the hash of, fix

 

SLY

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I'll pheeze you, in faith.

 

HOSTESS

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A pair of stocks, you rogue!

 

SLY

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Y'are a baggage, the Slys are no rogues. Look in the
baggage (n.) good-for-nothing woman, harlot

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Chronicles, we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore

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paucas pallabris, let the world slide. Sessa!
sessa, sesey, sese (int.) [cry of encouragement used in hunting, fencing] be off, off you go

 

HOSTESS

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You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?
burst (v.) 1 break, smash

 

SLY

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No, not a denier. Go by, Saint Jeronimy, go to thy
denier (n.) tenth of a penny [trivial sum, paltry amount]

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cold bed and warm thee.

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He lies on the ground
thirdborough parish officer, town constable

 

HOSTESS

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I know my remedy, I must go fetch the

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thirdborough.

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Exit

 

SLY

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Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him by

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law. I'll not budge an inch, boy. Let him come, and
boy (n.) 2 servant, slave, menial
law, by in court, with legal proceedings

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kindly.
kindly, and by all means, in any case

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He falls asleep

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Wind horns. Enter a Lord from hunting, with his train

 

LORD

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Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds.
tender (v.) 5 look after, take care of
train (n.) 1 retinue, following, entourage
wind (v.) 2 sound, blow

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Breathe Merriman, the poor cur is embossed,
breathe (v.) 3 allow to breathe, rest
embossed (adj.) 1 driven to such extremes, made mad with exhaustion

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And couple Clowder with the deep-mouthed brach.
brach (n.) hound [which hunts by scent], bitch
couple (v.) 2 leash together

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Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
make good 2 perform well, succeed in carrying out

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At the hedge corner, in the coldest fault?
fault (n.) 5 [hunting] break in a line of scent, loss of scent

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I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.

 

FIRST HUNTSMAN

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Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord.

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He cried upon it at the merest loss,
cry (v.) 2 give tongue, cry out

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And twice today picked out the dullest scent.
dull (adj.) 4 dim, not sharp, lacking keenness

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Trust me, I take him for the better dog.

 

LORD

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Thou art a fool. If Echo were as fleet,
fleet (adj.) swift, nimble, active

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I would esteem him worth a dozen such.

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But sup them well, and look unto them all.
look unto (v.) attend to, take care of
sup (v.) 3 give the last daily feed to

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Tomorrow I intend to hunt again.

 

FIRST HUNTSMAN

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I will, my lord.

 

LORD

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What's here? One dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?

 

SECOND HUNTSMAN

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He breathes, my lord. Were he not warmed with ale,

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This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.

 

LORD

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O monstrous beast, how like a swine he lies!

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Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
image (n.) 1 embodiment, instance, form

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Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.
practise on / upon (v.) 2 work upon, act craftily with, make to operate

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What think you, if he were conveyed to bed,

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Wrapped in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,

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A most delicious banquet by his bed,
banquet, banket (n.) 1 refreshments, light meal, dessert

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And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
brave (adj.) 1 fine, excellent, splendid, impressive

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Would not the beggar then forget himself?
forget (v.) 3 lose one's sense of identity

 

FIRST HUNTSMAN

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Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
choose, cannot have no alternative, cannot do otherwise

 

SECOND HUNTSMAN

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It would seem strange unto him when he waked.
strange (adj.) 1 remarkable, startling, abnormal, unnatural

 

LORD

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Even as a flattering dream or worthless fancy.
fancy (n.) 5 imagining, flight of fancy, fanciful thought

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Then take him up, and manage well the jest.

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Carry him gently to my fairest chamber,

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And hang it round with all my wanton pictures.
wanton (adj.) 4 gay, lively, cheerful

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Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters,
balm (v.) 1 soothe, relieve, heal
distilled (adj.) fragrant, scented, aromatic

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And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet.
sweet (adj.) 1 perfumed, scented, fragrant

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Procure me music ready when he wakes,

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To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound.
dulcet (adj.) sweet, mild, pleasant, agreeable

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And if he chance to speak, be ready straight
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once

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And with a low submissive reverence
reverence (n.) 3 bow, obeisance, salutation

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Say ‘What is it your honour will command?'

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Let one attend him with a silver basin
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]

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Full of rose-water and bestrewed with flowers,
bestrew (v.) 1 strew, scatter, sprinkle

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Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
diaper (n.) towel, napkin, cloth
ewer (n.) pitcher containing water for washing hands

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And say ‘ Will't please your lordship cool your hands?’

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Some one be ready with a costly suit,

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And ask him what apparel he will wear.
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress

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Another tell him of his hounds and horse,

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And that his lady mourns at his disease.
disease (n.) 3 mental illness, disturbance of mind

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Persuade him that he hath been lunatic,
lunatic (adj.) hallucinating, suffering from delusions

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And when he says he is Sly, say that he dreams,

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For he is nothing but a mighty lord.

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This do, and do it kindly, gentle sirs.
gentle (adj.) 2 courteous, friendly, kind
kindly (adv.) 4 naturally, spontaneously, convincingly

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It will be pastime passing excellent,
passing (adv.) very, exceedingly, extremely

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If it be husbanded with modesty.
husband (v.) 1 manage, handle, look after
modesty (n.) 1 moderation, restraint, discipline

 

FIRST HUNTSMAN

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My lord, I warrant you we will play our part
warrant (v.) 1 assure, promise, guarantee, confirm

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As he shall think by our true diligence
true (adj.) 1 loyal, firm, faithful in allegiance

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He is no less than what we say he is.

 

LORD

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Take him up gently and to bed with him,

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And each one to his office when he wakes.
office (n.) 1 task, service, duty, responsibility

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Sly is carried away

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A trumpet sounds

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Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds –

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Exit Servingman

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Belike some noble gentleman that means,
belike (adv.) probably, presumably, perhaps, so it seems

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Travelling some journey, to repose him here.

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Enter Servingman

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How now? Who is it?

 

FIRST SERVINGMAN

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                         An't please your honour, players

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That offer service to your lordship.

 

LORD

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Bid them come near.

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Enter Players

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                         Now, fellows, you are welcome.

 

PLAYERS

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We thank your honour.

 

LORD

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Do you intend to stay with me tonight?

 

FIRST PLAYER

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So please your lordship to accept our duty.
duty (n.) 2 reverence, due respect, proper attitude

 

LORD

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With all my heart. This fellow I remember

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Since once he played a farmer's eldest son.

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'Twas where you wooed the gentlewoman so well.

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I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part

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Was aptly fitted and naturally performed.

 

FIRST PLAYER

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I think 'twas Soto that your honour means.

 

LORD

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'Tis very true, thou didst it excellent.

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Well, you are come to me in happy time,
happy (adj.) 2 opportune, appropriate, propitious, favourable

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The rather for I have some sport in hand

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Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
cunning (n.) 1 skill, ability, expertise
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment

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There is a lord will hear you play tonight;

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But I am doubtful of your modesties,
doubtful (adj.) 1 fearful, worried, apprehensive
modesty (n.) 1 moderation, restraint, discipline

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Lest over-eyeing of his odd behaviour –
over-eye (v.) watch, observe; or: look too much at

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For yet his honour never heard a play –

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You break into some merry passion
merry (adj.) 2 hilarious, uproarious, hysterical
passion (n.) 5 passionate outburst, emotional passage

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And so offend him, for I tell you, sirs,

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If you should smile, he grows impatient.
impatient (adj.) 1 angry, irate, incensed

 

FIRST PLAYER

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Fear not, my lord, we can contain ourselves,
contain (v.) 2 restrain, keep under control

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Were he the veriest antic in the world.
antic, antick(e), antique (n.) 1 grotesque figure, grinning jester, buffoon
very (adj.) 1 [intensifying] thorough-going, absolute

 

LORD

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Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,
buttery (n.) store-room [for provisions], liquor-store

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And give them friendly welcome every one.

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Let them want nothing that my house affords.
afford (v.) 1 have to offer, be capable of supplying
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without

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Exit one with the Players

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Sirrah, go you to Barthol'mew my page,

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And see him dressed in all suits like a lady.
suits, in all in all respects

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That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber,

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And call him ‘ madam,’ do him obeisance.
obeisance (n.) bow, curtsy, respectful salutation

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Tell him from me – as he will win my love –

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He bear himself with honourable action,
action (n.) 8 movement, demeanour, gesture

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Such as he hath observed in noble ladies

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Unto their lords, by them accomplished.
accomplish (v.) 3 perform, do, carry out

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Such duty to the drunkard let him do,
duty (n.) 2 reverence, due respect, proper attitude

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With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy,
courtesy, cur'sy, curtsy (n.) 2 curtsy, bow, gesture of respect
low (adj.) 3 gentle, mild, not shrill
lowly (adj.) 1 humble, modest, submissive

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And say ‘ What is't your honour will command,

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Wherein your lady and your humble wife

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May show her duty and make known her love?’

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And then with kind embracements, tempting kisses,
embracement (n.) embrace, clasping, hug

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And with declining head into his bosom,
declining (adj.) 1 hanging, bowing, drooping

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Bid him shed tears, as being overjoyed

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To see her noble lord restored to health,

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Who for this seven years hath esteemed him
esteem (v.) regard, think, consider

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No better than a poor and loathsome beggar.

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And if the boy have not a woman's gift

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To rain a shower of commanded tears,
commanded (adj.) forced, feigned, contrived

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An onion will do well for such a shift,
shift (n.) 3 stratagem, contriving, trick

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Which in a napkin being close conveyed,
close (adv.) 6 safely, secretly, out of sight

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Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
despite, in 2 no matter what else happens

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See this dispatched with all the haste thou canst,
dispatch, despatch (v.) 1 deal with promptly, settle, get [something] done quickly

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Anon I'll give thee more instructions.
anon (adv.) 1 soon, shortly, presently

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Exit a Servingman

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I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
grace (n.) 4 gracefulness, charm, elegance
usurp (v.) 2 assume, take on, adopt

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Voice, gait, and action of a gentlewoman.
action (n.) 8 movement, demeanour, gesture
gait (n.) 1 manner of walking, bearing, movement
gentlewoman (n.) woman of good breeding, well-born lady

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I long to hear him call the drunkard husband,

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And how my men will stay themselves from laughter
stay (v.) 8 stop, prevent, end

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When they do homage to this simple peasant.
simple (adj.) 1 common, ordinary, average, humble

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I'll in to counsel them. Haply my presence

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May well abate the over-merry spleen,
abate (v.) 1 lessen, lower, diminish
haply (adv.) perhaps, maybe, by chance, with luck
spleen (n.) 1 temper, spirit, passion [part of the body seen as the source of both gloomy and mirthful emotions]

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Which otherwise would grow into extremes.

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Exeunt

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Enter aloft Sly, with attendants; some with apparel,

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basin and ewer, and other appurtenances; and Lord

 

SLY

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For God's sake, a pot of small ale.
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress
beer / ale, small 1 weak beer, beer of poor quality

 

FIRST SERVINGMAN

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Will't please your lordship drink a cup of sack?
sack (n.) [type of] white wine

 

SECOND SERVINGMAN

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Will't please your honour taste of these conserves?
conserve (n.) 2 (plural) confections, sweetmeats, candied fruits

 

THIRD SERVINGMAN

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What raiment will your honour wear today?
raiment (n.) clothing, clothes, dress

 

SLY

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I am Christophero Sly, call not me ‘ honour ’ nor ‘ lordship.’

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I ne'er drank sack in my life. And if you give me

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any conserves, give me conserves of beef. Ne'er ask me
conserve (n.) (plural) preserve, store

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what raiment I'll wear, for I have no more doublets than

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backs, no more stockings than legs, nor no more shoes

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than feet – nay, sometimes more feet than shoes, or such

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shoes as my toes look through the overleather.
overleather (n.) leather in the upper part of a shoe

 

LORD

TS induction.2.12 
Heaven cease this idle humour in your honour!
humour (n.) 2 fancy, whim, inclination, caprice
idle (adj.) 2 mad, crazy, lunatic

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O, that a mighty man of such descent,

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Of such possessions, and so high esteem,

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Should be infused with so foul a spirit!
foul (adj.) 2 false, hypocritical, shameful
infuse (v.) 1 fill, imbue, pervade
spirit (n.) 1 disposition, temperament, frame of mind

 

SLY

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What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher

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Sly, old Sly's son of Burton-heath, by birth a pedlar,

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by education a cardmaker, by transmutation a
cardmaker (n.) instrument for combing wool

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bear-herd, and now by present profession a tinker? Ask
bearherd, bear-herd, bearard, bearward, berrord (n.) bear-keeper, bear-handler [for dancing or baiting]
transmutation (n.) change of condition

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Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot, if she know
ale-wife (n.) ale-house keeper, barmaid

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me not. If she say I am not fourteen pence on the score
score (n.) 1 reckoning, account, debt

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for sheer ale, score me up for the lyingest knave in
knave (n.) 3 boy, lad, fellow
score (v.) 1 mark up, chalk up, add to the tally
sheer (adj.) 2 taken alone, unaccompanied by food

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Christendom.

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A Servingman brings him a pot of ale
bestraught (adj.) bereft of wits, mad, out of one's mind

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What! I am not bestraught. Here's –

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He drinks

 

THIRD SERVINGMAN

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O, this it is that makes your lady mourn.

 

SECOND SERVINGMAN

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O, this is it that makes your servants droop.

 

LORD

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Hence comes it that your kindred shuns your house,

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As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
beat (v.) 3 drive, force, impel

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O noble lord, bethink thee of thy birth,
bethink (v.), past form bethought 1 call to mind, think about, consider, reflect

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Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment,
ancient, aunchient (adj.) 2 former, earlier, past

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And banish hence these abject lowly dreams.

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Look how thy servants do attend on thee,
attend (v.) 2 serve, follow, wait [on/upon]

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Each in his office ready at thy beck.
beck (n.) 1 beckoning, command, call
office (n.) 2 role, position, place, function

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Wilt thou have music? Hark, Apollo plays,

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Music

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And twenty caged nightingales do sing.

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Or wilt thou sleep? We'll have thee to a couch

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Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed
lustful (adj.) lust-arousing

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On purpose trimmed up for Semiramis.
trim up, trim (v.) 1 decorate, array, deck out

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Say thou wilt walk; we will bestrew the ground.
bestrew (v.) 1 strew, scatter, sprinkle

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Or wilt thou ride? Thy horses shall be trapped,
trapped (adj.) adorn with trappings, deck out

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Their harness studded all with gold and pearl.
stud (v.) adorn with studs, emboss

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Dost thou love hawking? Thou hast hawks will soar

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Above the morning lark. Or wilt thou hunt?

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Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them
welkin (n.) sky, firmament, heavens

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And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.

 

FIRST SERVINGMAN

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Say thou wilt course, thy greyhounds are as swift
course (v.) 2 hunt hares [or other game] with hounds by sight

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As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.
breathed (adj.) strong-winded, well-exercised
fleet (adj.) swift, nimble, active

 

SECOND SERVINGMAN

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Dost thou love pictures? We will fetch thee straight
straight (adv.) straightaway, immediately, at once

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Adonis painted by a running brook,

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And Cytherea all in sedges hid,
sedge (n.) variety of grassy plant, rush

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Which seem to move and wanton with her breath
wanton (v.) play, sport, frolic

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Even as the waving sedges play wi'th' wind.

 

LORD

TS induction.2.53 
We'll show thee Io as she was a maid,

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And how she was beguiled and surprised,
beguile (v.) 1 cheat, deceive, trick

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As lively painted as the deed was done.

 

THIRD SERVINGMAN

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Or Daphne roaming through a thorny wood,

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Scratching her legs that one shall swear she bleeds,

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And at that sight shall sad Apollo weep,
sad (adj.) 1 serious, grave, solemn

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So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.
workmanly (adv.) skilfully, with great artistry

 

LORD

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Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord.

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Thou hast a lady far more beautiful

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Than any woman in this waning age.

 

FIRST SERVINGMAN

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And till the tears that she hath shed for thee

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Like envious floods o'errun her lovely face,
envious (adj.) malicious, spiteful, vindictive, full of enmity
overrun (v.) 2 flow over, stream down

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She was the fairest creature in the world –

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And yet she is inferior to none.

 

SLY

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Am I a lord and have I such a lady?

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Or do I dream? Or have I dreamed till now?

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I do not sleep. I see, I hear, I speak.

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I smell sweet savours and I feel soft things.
savour (n.) 1 scent, fragrance, smell

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Upon my life, I am a lord indeed,

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And not a tinker nor Christophero Sly.

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Well, bring our lady hither to our sight,

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And once again a pot o'th' smallest ale.
beer / ale, small 1 weak beer, beer of poor quality

 

SECOND SERVINGMAN

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Will't please your mightiness to wash your hands?

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O, how we joy to see your wit restored!
wit (n.) 1 intelligence, wisdom, good sense, mental ability

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O, that once more you knew but what you are!

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These fifteen years you have been in a dream,

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Or when you waked, so waked as if you slept.

 

SLY

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These fifteen years! By my fay, a goodly nap.
goodly (adj.) 1 splendid, excellent, fine

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But did I never speak of all that time?

 

FIRST SERVINGMAN

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O, yes, my lord, but very idle words,
idle (adj.) 2 mad, crazy, lunatic

TS induction.2.83 
For though you lay here in this goodly chamber,
goodly (adj.) 1 splendid, excellent, fine

TS induction.2.84 
Yet would you say ye were beaten out of door,
beat (v.) 3 drive, force, impel

TS induction.2.85 
And rail upon the hostess of the house,
rail (v.) rant, rave, be abusive [about]

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And say you would present her at the leet,
leet (n.) local court of justice, manorial court
present (v.) 2 put forward [for immediate action]

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Because she brought stone jugs and no sealed quarts.
sealed (adj.) certified, authenticated [through a wax seal]

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Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket.

 

SLY

TS induction.2.89 
Ay, the woman's maid of the house.
house (n.) 1 inn, tavern

 

THIRD SERVINGMAN

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Why, sir, you know no house, nor no such maid,

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Nor no such men as you have reckoned up,
reckon up (v.) list, enumerate

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As Stephen Sly, and did John Naps of Greece,

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And Peter Turph, and Henry Pimpernell,

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And twenty more such names and men as these,

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Which never were nor no man ever saw.

 

SLY

TS induction.2.96 
Now Lord be thanked for my good amends.
amends (n.) recovery, cure, improvement in health

 

ALL

TS induction.2.97 
Amen.

TS induction.2.98.1 
Enter Page as a lady, with attendants. One gives Sly

TS induction.2.98.2 
a pot of ale

 

SLY

TS induction.2.98 
I thank thee, thou shalt not lose by it.

 

PAGE

TS induction.2.99 
How fares my noble lord?
fare (v.) 1 get on, manage, do, cope

 

SLY

TS induction.2.100 
Marry, I fare well, for here is cheer enough.
cheer (n.) 1 entertainment, fare, food and drink

TS induction.2.101 
He drinks

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Where is my wife?

 

PAGE

TS induction.2.102 
Here, noble lord, what is thy will with her?

 

SLY

TS induction.2.103 
Are you my wife, and will not call me husband?

TS induction.2.104 
My men should call me ‘ lord,’ I am your goodman.

 

PAGE

TS induction.2.105 
My husband and my lord, my lord and husband,

TS induction.2.106 
I am your wife in all obedience.

 

SLY

TS induction.2.107 
I know it well. What must I call her?

 

LORD

TS induction.2.108 
Madam.

 

SLY

TS induction.2.109 
Al'ce madam, or Joan madam?

 

LORD

TS induction.2.110 
Madam and nothing else, so lords call ladies.

 

SLY

TS induction.2.111 
Madam wife, they say that I have dreamed

TS induction.2.112 
And slept above some fifteen year or more.

 

PAGE

TS induction.2.113 
Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me,

TS induction.2.114 
Being all this time abandoned from your bed.
abandon (v.) banish, exile, keep away

 

SLY

TS induction.2.115 
'Tis much. Servants, leave me and her alone.

TS induction.2.115 
Exeunt Lord and Servingmen

TS induction.2.116 
Madam, undress you and come now to bed.

 

PAGE

TS induction.2.117 
Thrice-noble lord, let me entreat of you

TS induction.2.118 
To pardon me yet for a night or two,

TS induction.2.119 
Or, if not so, until the sun be set.

TS induction.2.120 
For your physicians have expressly charged,

TS induction.2.121 
In peril to incur your former malady,

TS induction.2.122 
That I should yet absent me from your bed.

TS induction.2.123 
I hope this reason stands for my excuse.
excuse (n.) pardon, dispensation, exoneration
stand for (v.) 5 be acceptable as, be valid as

 

SLY

TS induction.2.124 
Ay, it stands so that I may hardly tarry so long. But I
tarry (v.) 1 stay, remain, linger

TS induction.2.125 
would be loath to fall into my dreams again. I will therefore

TS induction.2.126 
tarry in despite of the flesh and the blood.

TS induction.2.127 
Enter the Lord as a Messenger
amendment (n.) recovery, recuperation, improvement

 

LORD

TS induction.2.127 
Your honour's players, hearing your amendment,

TS induction.2.128 
Are come to play a pleasant comedy;
pleasant (adj.) 2 merry, festive, jolly

TS induction.2.129 
For so your doctors hold it very meet,
meet (adj.) 1 fit, suitable, right, proper

TS induction.2.130 
Seeing too much sadness hath congealed your blood,

TS induction.2.131 
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy.
frenzy (n.) distraction, agitation, delirium
nurse (n.) nourisher, feeder

TS induction.2.132 
Therefore they thought it good you hear a play

TS induction.2.133 
And frame your mind to mirth and merriment,

TS induction.2.134 
Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.
bar (v.) 1 prevent, obstruct, block

 

SLY

TS induction.2.135 
Marry, I will. Let them play it. Is not a comonty a
comonty, commonty (n.) malapropism for ‘comedy’

TS induction.2.136 
Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?
gambold (n.) frolic, entertainment, pastime
tumbling-trick (n.) acrobatic feat

 

PAGE

TS induction.2.137 
No, my good lord, it is more pleasing stuff.
stuff (n.) 1 substance, composition, quality, essence

 

SLY

TS induction.2.138 
What, household stuff?

 

PAGE

TS induction.2.139 
It is a kind of history.
history (n.) 1 story, tale, narrative

 

SLY

TS induction.2.140 
Well, well see 't. Come, madam wife, sit by my side

TS induction.2.141 
and let the world slip, we shall ne'er be younger.

TS induction.2.141.1 
They sit

TS induction.2.141.2 
A flourish of trumpets to announce the play

 
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