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The Taming of the Shrew

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Act III, Scene 2

Padua. Before BAPTISTA’S house



  • Baptista Minola. [To TRANIO] Signior Lucentio, this is the 'pointed day
    That Katherine and Petruchio should be married, 1365
    And yet we hear not of our son-in-law.
    What will be said? What mockery will it be
    To want the bridegroom when the priest attends
    To speak the ceremonial rites of marriage!
    What says Lucentio to this shame of ours? 1370
  • Katherina. No shame but mine; I must, forsooth, be forc'd
    To give my hand, oppos'd against my heart,
    Unto a mad-brain rudesby, full of spleen,
    Who woo'd in haste and means to wed at leisure.
    I told you, I, he was a frantic fool, 1375
    Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behaviour;
    And, to be noted for a merry man,
    He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriage,
    Make friends invited, and proclaim the banns;
    Yet never means to wed where he hath woo'd. 1380
    Now must the world point at poor Katherine,
    And say 'Lo, there is mad Petruchio's wife,
    If it would please him come and marry her!'
  • Tranio. Patience, good Katherine, and Baptista too.
    Upon my life, Petruchio means but well, 1385
    Whatever fortune stays him from his word.
    Though he be blunt, I know him passing wise;
    Though he be merry, yet withal he's honest.
  • Katherina. Would Katherine had never seen him though!

Exit, weeping, followed by BIANCA and others

  • Baptista Minola. Go, girl, I cannot blame thee now to weep,
    For such an injury would vex a very saint;
    Much more a shrew of thy impatient humour.
    [Enter BIONDELLO]
    Master, master! News, and such old news as you never heard of! 1395
  • Biondello. Why, is it not news to hear of Petruchio's coming?
  • Biondello. When he stands where I am and sees you there.
  • Tranio. But, say, what to thine old news?
  • Biondello. Why, Petruchio is coming- in a new hat and an old 1405
    jerkin; a pair of old breeches thrice turn'd; a pair of boots
    that have been candle-cases, one buckled, another lac'd; an old
    rusty sword ta'en out of the town armoury, with a broken hilt,
    and chapeless; with two broken points; his horse hipp'd, with an
    old motley saddle and stirrups of no kindred; besides, possess'd 1410
    with the glanders and like to mose in the chine, troubled with
    the lampass, infected with the fashions, full of windgalls, sped
    with spavins, rayed with the yellows, past cure of the fives,
    stark spoil'd with the staggers, begnawn with the bots, sway'd in
    the back and shoulder-shotten, near-legg'd before, and with a 1415
    half-cheek'd bit, and a head-stall of sheep's leather which,
    being restrained to keep him from stumbling, hath been often
    burst, and now repaired with knots; one girth six times piec'd,
    and a woman's crupper of velure, which hath two letters for her
    name fairly set down in studs, and here and there piec'd with 1420
  • Biondello. O, sir, his lackey, for all the world caparison'd like
    the horse- with a linen stock on one leg and a kersey boot-hose
    on the other, gart'red with a red and blue list; an old hat, and 1425
    the humour of forty fancies prick'd in't for a feather; a
    monster, a very monster in apparel, and not like a Christian
    footboy or a gentleman's lackey.
  • Tranio. 'Tis some odd humour pricks him to this fashion;
    Yet oftentimes lie goes but mean-apparell'd. 1430
  • Biondello. No, sir; I say his horse comes with him on his back.
  • Biondello. Nay, by Saint Jamy,
    I hold you a penny,
    A horse and a man 1440
    Is more than one,
    And yet not many.


  • Petruchio. Come, where be these gallants? Who's at home?
  • Tranio. Not so well apparell'd
    As I wish you were.
  • Petruchio. Were it better, I should rush in thus. 1450
    But where is Kate? Where is my lovely bride?
    How does my father? Gentles, methinks you frown;
    And wherefore gaze this goodly company
    As if they saw some wondrous monument,
    Some comet or unusual prodigy? 1455
  • Baptista Minola. Why, sir, you know this is your wedding-day.
    First were we sad, fearing you would not come;
    Now sadder, that you come so unprovided.
    Fie, doff this habit, shame to your estate,
    An eye-sore to our solemn festival! 1460
  • Tranio. And tell us what occasion of import
    Hath all so long detain'd you from your wife,
    And sent you hither so unlike yourself?
  • Petruchio. Tedious it were to tell, and harsh to hear;
    Sufficeth I am come to keep my word, 1465
    Though in some part enforced to digress,
    Which at more leisure I will so excuse
    As you shall well be satisfied withal.
    But where is Kate? I stay too long from her;
    The morning wears, 'tis time we were at church. 1470
  • Tranio. See not your bride in these unreverent robes;
    Go to my chamber, put on clothes of mine.
  • Petruchio. Not I, believe me; thus I'll visit her.
  • Petruchio. Good sooth, even thus; therefore ha' done with words; 1475
    To me she's married, not unto my clothes.
    Could I repair what she will wear in me
    As I can change these poor accoutrements,
    'Twere well for Kate and better for myself.
    But what a fool am I to chat with you, 1480
    When I should bid good-morrow to my bride
    And seal the title with a lovely kiss!


  • Tranio. He hath some meaning in his mad attire.
    We will persuade him, be it possible, 1485
    To put on better ere he go to church.


  • Tranio. But to her love concerneth us to add
    Her father's liking; which to bring to pass, 1490
    As I before imparted to your worship,
    I am to get a man- whate'er he be
    It skills not much; we'll fit him to our turn-
    And he shall be Vincentio of Pisa,
    And make assurance here in Padua 1495
    Of greater sums than I have promised.
    So shall you quietly enjoy your hope
    And marry sweet Bianca with consent.
  • Lucentio. Were it not that my fellow schoolmaster
    Doth watch Bianca's steps so narrowly, 1500
    'Twere good, methinks, to steal our marriage;
    Which once perform'd, let all the world say no,
    I'll keep mine own despite of all the world.
  • Tranio. That by degrees we mean to look into
    And watch our vantage in this business; 1505
    We'll over-reach the greybeard, Gremio,
    The narrow-prying father, Minola,
    The quaint musician, amorous Licio-
    All for my master's sake, Lucentio.
    [Re-enter GREMIO] 1510
    Signior Gremio, came you from the church?
  • Gremio. As willingly as e'er I came from school.
  • Tranio. And is the bride and bridegroom coming home?
  • Gremio. A bridegroom, say you? 'Tis a groom indeed,
    A grumbling groom, and that the girl shall find. 1515
  • Tranio. Curster than she? Why, 'tis impossible.
  • Gremio. Why, he's a devil, a devil, a very fiend.
  • Tranio. Why, she's a devil, a devil, the devil's dam.
  • Gremio. Tut, she's a lamb, a dove, a fool, to him!
    I'll tell you, Sir Lucentio: when the priest 1520
    Should ask if Katherine should be his wife,
    'Ay, by gogs-wouns' quoth he, and swore so loud
    That, all amaz'd, the priest let fall the book;
    And as he stoop'd again to take it up,
    This mad-brain'd bridegroom took him such a cuff 1525
    That down fell priest and book, and book and priest.
    'Now take them up,' quoth he 'if any list.'
  • Tranio. What said the wench, when he rose again?
  • Gremio. Trembled and shook, for why he stamp'd and swore
    As if the vicar meant to cozen him. 1530
    But after many ceremonies done
    He calls for wine: 'A health!' quoth he, as if
    He had been abroad, carousing to his mates
    After a storm; quaff'd off the muscadel,
    And threw the sops all in the sexton's face, 1535
    Having no other reason
    But that his beard grew thin and hungerly
    And seem'd to ask him sops as he was drinking.
    This done, he took the bride about the neck,
    And kiss'd her lips with such a clamorous smack 1540
    That at the parting all the church did echo.
    And I, seeing this, came thence for very shame;
    And after me, I know, the rout is coming.
    Such a mad marriage never was before.
    Hark, hark! I hear the minstrels play. [Music plays] 1545
  • Petruchio. Gentlemen and friends, I thank you for your pains.
    I know you think to dine with me to-day,
    And have prepar'd great store of wedding cheer
    But so it is- my haste doth call me hence, 1550
    And therefore here I mean to take my leave.
  • Petruchio. I must away to-day before night come.
    Make it no wonder; if you knew my business,
    You would entreat me rather go than stay. 1555
    And, honest company, I thank you all
    That have beheld me give away myself
    To this most patient, sweet, and virtuous wife.
    Dine with my father, drink a health to me.
    For I must hence; and farewell to you all. 1560
  • Tranio. Let us entreat you stay till after dinner.
  • Petruchio. I am content you shall entreat me stay;
    But yet not stay, entreat me how you can.
  • Grumio. Ay, sir, they be ready; the oats have eaten the horses.
  • Katherina. Nay, then,
    Do what thou canst, I will not go to-day;
    No, nor to-morrow, not till I please myself. 1575
    The door is open, sir; there lies your way;
    You may be jogging whiles your boots are green;
    For me, I'll not be gone till I please myself.
    'Tis like you'll prove a jolly surly groom
    That take it on you at the first so roundly. 1580
  • Petruchio. O Kate, content thee; prithee be not angry.
  • Katherina. I will be angry; what hast thou to do?
    Father, be quiet; he shall stay my leisure.
  • Gremio. Ay, marry, sir, now it begins to work.
  • Katherina. Gentlemen, forward to the bridal dinner. 1585
    I see a woman may be made a fool
    If she had not a spirit to resist.
  • Petruchio. They shall go forward, Kate, at thy command.
    Obey the bride, you that attend on her;
    Go to the feast, revel and domineer, 1590
    Carouse full measure to her maidenhead;
    Be mad and merry, or go hang yourselves.
    But for my bonny Kate, she must with me.
    Nay, look not big, nor stamp, nor stare, nor fret;
    I will be master of what is mine own- 1595
    She is my goods, my chattels, she is my house,
    My household stuff, my field, my barn,
    My horse, my ox, my ass, my any thing,
    And here she stands; touch her whoever dare;
    I'll bring mine action on the proudest he 1600
    That stops my way in Padua. Grumio,
    Draw forth thy weapon; we are beset with thieves;
    Rescue thy mistress, if thou be a man.
    Fear not, sweet wench; they shall not touch thee, Kate;
    I'll buckler thee against a million. 1605


  • Gremio. Went they not quickly, I should die with laughing.
  • Tranio. Of all mad matches, never was the like.
  • Lucentio. Mistress, what's your opinion of your sister? 1610
  • Bianca. That, being mad herself, she's madly mated.
  • Gremio. I warrant him, Petruchio is Kated.
  • Baptista Minola. Neighbours and friends, though bride and bridegroom wants
    For to supply the places at the table,
    You know there wants no junkets at the feast. 1615
    Lucentio, you shall supply the bridegroom's place;
    And let Bianca take her sister's room.
  • Tranio. Shall sweet Bianca practise how to bride it?