The Taming of the Shrew

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Act I, Scene 1

Padua. A public place

       
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Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO

  • Lucentio. Tranio, since for the great desire I had
    To see fair Padua, nursery of arts, 295
    I am arriv'd for fruitful Lombardy,
    The pleasant garden of great Italy,
    And by my father's love and leave am arm'd
    With his good will and thy good company,
    My trusty servant well approv'd in all, 300
    Here let us breathe, and haply institute
    A course of learning and ingenious studies.
    Pisa, renowned for grave citizens,
    Gave me my being and my father first,
    A merchant of great traffic through the world, 305
    Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii;
    Vincentio's son, brought up in Florence,
    It shall become to serve all hopes conceiv'd,
    To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds.
    And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study, 310
    Virtue and that part of philosophy
    Will I apply that treats of happiness
    By virtue specially to be achiev'd.
    Tell me thy mind; for I have Pisa left
    And am to Padua come as he that leaves 315
    A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep,
    And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
  • Tranio. Mi perdonato, gentle master mine;
    I am in all affected as yourself;
    Glad that you thus continue your resolve 320
    To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
    Only, good master, while we do admire
    This virtue and this moral discipline,
    Let's be no Stoics nor no stocks, I pray,
    Or so devote to Aristotle's checks 325
    As Ovid be an outcast quite abjur'd.
    Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
    And practise rhetoric in your common talk;
    Music and poesy use to quicken you;
    The mathematics and the metaphysics, 330
    Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you.
    No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en;
    In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
  • Lucentio. Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
    If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore, 335
    We could at once put us in readiness,
    And take a lodging fit to entertain
    Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
    Enter BAPTISTA with his two daughters, KATHERINA
    and BIANCA; GREMIO, a pantaloon; HORTENSIO, 340
    suitor to BIANCA. LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand by
    But stay awhile; what company is this?
  • Tranio. Master, some show to welcome us to town.
  • Baptista Minola. Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
    For how I firmly am resolv'd you know; 345
    That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
    Before I have a husband for the elder.
    If either of you both love Katherina,
    Because I know you well and love you well,
    Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure. 350
  • Gremio. To cart her rather. She's too rough for me.
    There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?
  • Katherina. [To BAPTISTA] I pray you, sir, is it your will
    To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
  • Hortensio. Mates, maid! How mean you that? No mates for you, 355
    Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.
  • Katherina. I' faith, sir, you shall never need to fear;
    Iwis it is not halfway to her heart;
    But if it were, doubt not her care should be
    To comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool, 360
    And paint your face, and use you like a fool.
  • Hortensio. From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!
  • Gremio. And me, too, good Lord!
  • Tranio. Husht, master! Here's some good pastime toward;
    That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward. 365
  • Lucentio. But in the other's silence do I see
    Maid's mild behaviour and sobriety.
    Peace, Tranio!
  • Tranio. Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.
  • Baptista Minola. Gentlemen, that I may soon make good 370
    What I have said- Bianca, get you in;
    And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
    For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.
  • Katherina. A pretty peat! it is best
    Put finger in the eye, an she knew why. 375
  • Bianca. Sister, content you in my discontent.
    Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe;
    My books and instruments shall be my company,
    On them to look, and practise by myself.
  • Lucentio. Hark, Tranio, thou mayst hear Minerva speak! 380
  • Hortensio. Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
    Sorry am I that our good will effects
    Bianca's grief.
  • Gremio. Why will you mew her up,
    Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell, 385
    And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
  • Baptista Minola. Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolv'd.
    Go in, Bianca. Exit BIANCA
    And for I know she taketh most delight
    In music, instruments, and poetry, 390
    Schoolmasters will I keep within my house
    Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
    Or, Signior Gremio, you, know any such,
    Prefer them hither; for to cunning men
    I will be very kind, and liberal 395
    To mine own children in good bringing-up;
    And so, farewell. Katherina, you may stay;
    For I have more to commune with Bianca. Exit
  • Katherina. Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not?
    What! shall I be appointed hours, as though, belike, 400
    I knew not what to take and what to leave? Ha! Exit
  • Gremio. You may go to the devil's dam; your gifts are so good
    here's none will hold you. There! Love is not so great,
    Hortensio, but we may blow our nails together, and fast it fairly
    out; our cake's dough on both sides. Farewell; yet, for the love 405
    I bear my sweet Bianca, if I can by any means light on a fit man
    to teach her that wherein she delights, I will wish him to her
    father.
  • Hortensio. So Will I, Signior Gremio; but a word, I pray. Though
    the nature of our quarrel yet never brook'd parle, know now, upon 410
    advice, it toucheth us both- that we may yet again have access to
    our fair mistress, and be happy rivals in Bianca's love- to
    labour and effect one thing specially.
  • Hortensio. Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister. 415
  • Gremio. I say a devil. Think'st thou, Hortensio, though her father
    be very rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to hell?
  • Hortensio. Tush, Gremio! Though it pass your patience and mine to 420
    endure her loud alarums, why, man, there be good fellows in the
    world, an a man could light on them, would take her with all
    faults, and money enough.
  • Gremio. I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with this
    condition: to be whipp'd at the high cross every morning. 425
  • Hortensio. Faith, as you say, there's small choice in rotten
    apples. But, come; since this bar in law makes us friends, it
    shall be so far forth friendly maintain'd till by helping
    Baptista's eldest daughter to a husband we set his youngest free
    for a husband, and then have to't afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man 430
    be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring. How say you,
    Signior Gremio?
  • Gremio. I am agreed; and would I had given him the best horse in
    Padua to begin his wooing that would thoroughly woo her, wed her,
    and bed her, and rid the house of her! Come on. 435

Exeunt GREMIO and HORTENSIO

  • Tranio. I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
    That love should of a sudden take such hold?
  • Lucentio. O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
    I never thought it possible or likely. 440
    But see! while idly I stood looking on,
    I found the effect of love in idleness;
    And now in plainness do confess to thee,
    That art to me as secret and as dear
    As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was- 445
    Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
    If I achieve not this young modest girl.
    Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst;
    Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
  • Tranio. Master, it is no time to chide you now; 450
    Affection is not rated from the heart;
    If love have touch'd you, nought remains but so:
    'Redime te captum quam queas minimo.'
  • Lucentio. Gramercies, lad. Go forward; this contents;
    The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound. 455
  • Tranio. Master, you look'd so longly on the maid.
    Perhaps you mark'd not what's the pith of all.
  • Lucentio. O, yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
    Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
    That made great Jove to humble him to her hand, 460
    When with his knees he kiss'd the Cretan strand.
  • Tranio. Saw you no more? Mark'd you not how her sister
    Began to scold and raise up such a storm
    That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?
  • Lucentio. Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move, 465
    And with her breath she did perfume the air;
    Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
  • Tranio. Nay, then 'tis time to stir him from his trance.
    I pray, awake, sir. If you love the maid,
    Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands: 470
    Her elder sister is so curst and shrewd
    That, till the father rid his hands of her,
    Master, your love must live a maid at home;
    And therefore has he closely mew'd her up,
    Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors. 475
  • Lucentio. Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!
    But art thou not advis'd he took some care
    To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
  • Tranio. Ay, marry, am I, sir, and now 'tis plotted.
  • Tranio. Master, for my hand,
    Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
  • Tranio. You will be schoolmaster,
    And undertake the teaching of the maid- 485
    That's your device.
  • Tranio. Not possible; for who shall bear your part
    And be in Padua here Vincentio's son;
    Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends, 490
    Visit his countrymen, and banquet them?
  • Lucentio. Basta, content thee, for I have it full.
    We have not yet been seen in any house,
    Nor can we be distinguish'd by our faces
    For man or master. Then it follows thus: 495
    Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
    Keep house and port and servants, as I should;
    I will some other be- some Florentine,
    Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
    'Tis hatch'd, and shall be so. Tranio, at once 500
    Uncase thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak.
    When Biondello comes, he waits on thee;
    But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
  • Tranio. So had you need. [They exchange habits]
    In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is, 505
    And I am tied to be obedient-
    For so your father charg'd me at our parting:
    'Be serviceable to my son' quoth he,
    Although I think 'twas in another sense-
    I am content to be Lucentio, 510
    Because so well I love Lucentio.
  • Lucentio. Tranio, be so because Lucentio loves;
    And let me be a slave t' achieve that maid
    Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye.
    [Enter BIONDELLO.] 515
    Here comes the rogue. Sirrah, where have you been?
  • Biondello. Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you?
    Master, has my fellow Tranio stol'n your clothes?
    Or you stol'n his? or both? Pray, what's the news?
  • Lucentio. Sirrah, come hither; 'tis no time to jest, 520
    And therefore frame your manners to the time.
    Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,
    Puts my apparel and my count'nance on,
    And I for my escape have put on his;
    For in a quarrel since I came ashore 525
    I kill'd a man, and fear I was descried.
    Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
    While I make way from hence to save my life.
    You understand me?
  • Lucentio. And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth:
    Tranio is chang'd into Lucentio.
  • Biondello. The better for him; would I were so too!
  • Tranio. So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
    That Lucentio indeed had Baptista's youngest daughter. 535
    But, sirrah, not for my sake but your master's, I advise
    You use your manners discreetly in all kind of companies.
    When I am alone, why, then I am Tranio;
    But in all places else your master Lucentio.
  • Lucentio. Tranio, let's go. 540
    One thing more rests, that thyself execute-
    To make one among these wooers. If thou ask me why-
    Sufficeth, my reasons are both good and weighty. Exeunt.

The Presenters above speak

  • Christopher Sly. Yes, by Saint Anne do I. A good matter, surely; comes there
    any more of it?
  • Page. My lord, 'tis but begun.
  • Christopher Sly. 'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady
    Would 'twere done! [They sit and mark] 550

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