Shakespeare Quotes: Not budge an inch
Not budge an inch
I'm Christopher Sly. I'm a drunk without much of a career or life. I have no respect for women and I'm easily duped. And you know what I think?
Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him
by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy: let him come,
and kindly. (1.11-13)
Who Said It and Where
The Taming of the Shrew opens in front of a tavern in the English countryside. But this is no quiet town in a peaceful village. In fact, Christopher Sly, a drunken beggar, goes toe-to-toe with the tavern hostess over his disorderly conduct.
When Sly threatens to beat the Hostess, she replies that Sly belongs in the "stocks" (a wooden restraining device used to publicly punish and humiliate criminals). Sly is indignant; he calls her a well, something rude, claims he is the descendant of "Richard the Conqueror" (whoops—he's probably thinking of a William the Conqueror), and refuses to pay for some broken beer mugs. He also misquotes lines from Thomas Kyd's famous play, The Spanish Tragedy.
We're not sure which offense is the worst.
When the Hostess runs off to fetch the law, Sly continues to talk trash to nobody in particular until he passes out cold. Then a local Lord happens along, and decides to teach Sly a lesson. Sly is carried to the Lord's nearby mansion, where he's dressed up like a nobleman and convinced that he is a "mighty Lord."