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Аст I.

Woman's Tongue.

Think you, a little din can daunt mine ears?
Have I not in my time heard lions roar?

Have I not heard the sea, puff'd up with winds,
Rage like an angry boar, chafed with sweat?
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
Have I not in a pitched battle heard

Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang?
And do you tell me of a woman's tongue;
That gives not half so great a blow to the ear,
As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire?


Petruchio's uncouth mode of wooing.

I will attend her here

And woo her with some spirit when she comes.
Say, that she rail; Why, then I'll tell her plain,
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale :
Say, that she frown; I'll say, she looks as clear
As morning roses newly wash'd with dew:
Say, she be mute, and will not speak a word,
Then I'll commend her volubility,

And say, she uttereth piercing eloquence:
If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks,
As though she bid me stay by her a week;
If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day

When I shall ask the bans, and when be married.

Petruchio's Mock Flattery of Katharina.

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 art 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.


The Mind alone Valuable.

For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich:
And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds,
So honour peereth* in the meanest habit.
What is the jay more precious than the lark,
Because his feathers are more beautiful?

Or is the adder better than the eel,
Because his painted skin contents the eyes?
O, no, good Kate: neither art thou the worse
For this poor furniture and mean array.


The Wife's Duty to her Husband.

Fie, fie! unknit that threatening unkind brow; And dart not scornful glances from those eyes, To wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor: It blots thy beauty, as frost bites the meads:

* Appeareth.

Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds;
And in no sense is meet, or amiable.

A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,
Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty;
And, while it is so, none so dry or thirsty
Will deign to sip or touch one drop of it.
Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee,
And for thy maintenance; commits his body
To painful labour, both by sea and land;
To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
While thou liest warm at home, secure and safe;
And craves no other tribute at thy hands,
But love, fair looks, and true obedience :-
Too little payment for so great a debt.
Such duty as the subject owes the prince,
Even such a woman oweth to her husband:
And, when she's froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
And not obedient to his honest will,
What is she but a foul contending rebel,
And graceless traitor to her loving lord?—
I am ashamed that women are so simple

To offer war where they should kneel for peace;
Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway,
When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.
Why are our bodies soft, and weak, and smooth,
Unapt to toil and trouble in the world,
But that our soft conditions and our hearts
Should well agree with our external parts?


Helena, a favoured attendant on the Countess of Roussillon, is secretly in love with Bertram, son of the countess, he being ignorant of her attachment to him. The play opens with the departure of Bertram for France, the king of which country is suffering from a malady, which is pronounced by his physicians to be incurable. Helena's father, who has been dead six months, was a physician of eminence; and she, possessing a knowledge of the virtues of some of his prescriptions, follows Bertram to the Court of France, anxious to try the effect of her father's prescriptions on the king. She obtains his majesty's consent to make the trial and restores him to health, claiming as her reward the hand of Bertram, who is commanded by the French king to marry Helena forthwith. Much against his inclination, Bertram assents to the marriage, and immediately after the ceremony orders his newly-wedded wife to return to his mother at Roussillon, whilst he himself departs for the wars, and, attended by Parolles, a vain and empty braggart, who figures conspicuously in the play, he joins the army of the Duke of Florence. Helena, in disguise, proceeds to Florence in search of Bertram; without making herself known to him, she follows him home to Roussillon, where, to the great satisfaction of his mother and the King of France, he accepts her as his wife. Dr. Johnson says "This play has many delightful scenes, though not sufficiently probable, and some happy characters, though not new, nor produced by any deep knowledge of human nature."

Аст I.


Be thou blest, Bertram! and succeed thy father
In manners, as in shape! thy blood and virtue,
Contend for empire in thee; and thy goodness
Share with thy birth-right! Love all, trust a few,
Do wrong to none: be able for thine enemy

Rather in power, than use; and keep thy friend
Under thy own life's key: be check'd for silence,
But never tax'd for speech.

Too ambitious Love.

I am undone; there is no living, none,
If Bertram be away.
It were all one

That I should love a bright particular star,
And think to wed it, he is so above me :
In his bright radiance and collateral light
Must I be comforted, not in his sphere.
The ambition in my love thus plagues itself:
The hind that would be mated by the lion,
Must die for love. 'Twas pretty, though a plague,
To see him every hour; to sit and draw
His arched brows, his hawking eye, his curls,
In our heart's table ;* heart, too capable
Of every line and trick † of his sweet favour:‡
But now he's gone, and my idolatrous fancy
Must sanctify his relics.

Helena's description of Parolles.

I know him a notorious liar,

Think him a great way fool, solely a coward:
Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,

That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Look bleak in the cold wind.

The remedy of Evils exists in Ourselves.

Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven: the fated sky

* The tablet or surface on which a picture is painted, used here

for the picture itself.

+ Peculiarity of feature.


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