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The Taming of the Shrew

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Act III, Scene 1

Padua. BAPTISTA’S house



  • Lucentio. Fiddler, forbear; you grow too forward, sir.
    Have you so soon forgot the entertainment
    Her sister Katherine welcome'd you withal? 1270
  • Hortensio. But, wrangling pedant, this is
    The patroness of heavenly harmony.
    Then give me leave to have prerogative;
    And when in music we have spent an hour,
    Your lecture shall have leisure for as much. 1275
  • Lucentio. Preposterous ass, that never read so far
    To know the cause why music was ordain'd!
    Was it not to refresh the mind of man
    After his studies or his usual pain?
    Then give me leave to read philosophy, 1280
    And while I pause serve in your harmony.
  • Hortensio. Sirrah, I will not bear these braves of thine.
  • Bianca. Why, gentlemen, you do me double wrong
    To strive for that which resteth in my choice.
    I am no breeching scholar in the schools, 1285
    I'll not be tied to hours nor 'pointed times,
    But learn my lessons as I please myself.
    And to cut off all strife: here sit we down;
    Take you your instrument, play you the whiles!
    His lecture will be done ere you have tun'd. 1290
  • Hortensio. You'll leave his lecture when I am in tune?
  • Lucentio. That will be never- tune your instrument.
  • Lucentio. Here, madam:
    'Hic ibat Simois, hic est Sigeia tellus, 1295
    Hic steterat Priami regia celsa senis.'
  • Lucentio. 'Hic ibat' as I told you before- 'Simois' I am Lucentio-
    'hic est' son unto Vincentio of Pisa- 'Sigeia tellus' disguised
    thus to get your love- 'Hic steterat' and that Lucentio that 1300
    comes a-wooing- 'Priami' is my man Tranio- 'regia' bearing my
    port- 'celsa senis' that we might beguile the old pantaloon.
  • Bianca. Let's hear. O fie! the treble jars.
  • Lucentio. Spit in the hole, man, and tune again. 1305
  • Bianca. Now let me see if I can construe it: 'Hic ibat Simois' I
    know you not- 'hic est Sigeia tellus' I trust you not- 'Hic
    steterat Priami' take heed he hear us not- 'regia' presume not-
    'celsa senis' despair not.
  • Hortensio. The bass is right; 'tis the base knave that jars.
    [Aside] How fiery and forward our pedant is!
    Now, for my life, the knave doth court my love.
    Pedascule, I'll watch you better yet. 1315
  • Bianca. In time I may believe, yet I mistrust.
  • Lucentio. Mistrust it not- for sure, AEacides
    Was Ajax, call'd so from his grandfather.
  • Bianca. I must believe my master; else, I promise you,
    I should be arguing still upon that doubt; 1320
    But let it rest. Now, Licio, to you.
    Good master, take it not unkindly, pray,
    That I have been thus pleasant with you both.
  • Hortensio. [To LUCENTIO] You may go walk and give me leave
    awhile; 1325
    My lessons make no music in three Parts.
  • Lucentio. Are you so formal, sir? Well, I must wait,
    [Aside] And watch withal; for, but I be deceiv'd,
    Our fine musician groweth amorous.
  • Hortensio. Madam, before you touch the instrument 1330
    To learn the order of my fingering,
    I must begin with rudiments of art,
    To teach you gamut in a briefer sort,
    More pleasant, pithy, and effectual,
    Than hath been taught by any of my trade; 1335
    And there it is in writing fairly drawn.
  • Bianca. Why, I am past my gamut long ago.
  • Bianca. [Reads]
    '"Gamut" I am, the ground of all accord- 1340
    "A re" to plead Hortensio's passion-
    "B mi" Bianca, take him for thy lord-
    "C fa ut" that loves with all affection-
    "D sol re" one clef, two notes have I-
    "E la mi" show pity or I die.' 1345
    Call you this gamut? Tut, I like it not!
    Old fashions please me best; I am not so nice
    To change true rules for odd inventions.


  • Servant. Mistress, your father prays you leave your books 1350
    And help to dress your sister's chamber up.
    You know to-morrow is the wedding-day.
  • Bianca. Farewell, sweet masters, both; I must be gone.


  • Lucentio. Faith, mistress, then I have no cause to stay. 1355


  • Hortensio. But I have cause to pry into this pedant;
    Methinks he looks as though he were in love.
    Yet if thy thoughts, Bianca, be so humble
    To cast thy wand'ring eyes on every stale- 1360
    Seize thee that list. If once I find thee ranging,
    Hortensio will be quit with thee by changing. Exit