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The Taming of the Shrew

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Act IV, Scene 2

Padua. Before BAPTISTA’S house



  • Tranio. Is 't possible, friend Licio, that Mistress Bianca
    Doth fancy any other but Lucentio? 1825
    I tell you, sir, she bears me fair in hand.
  • Hortensio. Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said,
    Stand by and mark the manner of his teaching.

[They stand aside]


  • Lucentio. Now, mistress, profit you in what you read?
  • Bianca. What, master, read you, First resolve me that.
  • Lucentio. I read that I profess, 'The Art to Love.'
  • Bianca. And may you prove, sir, master of your art!
  • Lucentio. While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of my heart. 1835

[They retire]

  • Hortensio. Quick proceeders, marry! Now tell me, I pray,
    You that durst swear that your Mistress Bianca
    Lov'd none in the world so well as Lucentio.
  • Tranio. O despiteful love! unconstant womankind! 1840
    I tell thee, Licio, this is wonderful.
  • Hortensio. Mistake no more; I am not Licio.
    Nor a musician as I seem to be;
    But one that scorn to live in this disguise
    For such a one as leaves a gentleman 1845
    And makes a god of such a cullion.
    Know, sir, that I am call'd Hortensio.
  • Tranio. Signior Hortensio, I have often heard
    Of your entire affection to Bianca;
    And since mine eyes are witness of her lightness, 1850
    I will with you, if you be so contented,
    Forswear Bianca and her love for ever.
  • Hortensio. See, how they kiss and court! Signior Lucentio,
    Here is my hand, and here I firmly vow
    Never to woo her more, but do forswear her, 1855
    As one unworthy all the former favours
    That I have fondly flatter'd her withal.
  • Tranio. And here I take the like unfeigned oath,
    Never to marry with her though she would entreat;
    Fie on her! See how beastly she doth court him! 1860
  • Hortensio. Would all the world but he had quite forsworn!
    For me, that I may surely keep mine oath,
    I will be married to a wealtlly widow
    Ere three days pass, which hath as long lov'd me
    As I have lov'd this proud disdainful haggard. 1865
    And so farewell, Signior Lucentio.
    Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks,
    Shall win my love; and so I take my leave,
    In resolution as I swore before. Exit
  • Tranio. Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace 1870
    As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case!
    Nay, I have ta'en you napping, gentle love,
    And have forsworn you with Hortensio.
  • Bianca. Tranio, you jest; but have you both forsworn me?
  • Tranio. Mistress, we have. 1875
  • Tranio. I' faith, he'll have a lusty widow now,
    That shall be woo'd and wedded in a day.
  • Tranio. Ay, and he'll tame her. 1880
  • Tranio. Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school.
  • Bianca. The taming-school! What, is there such a place?
  • Tranio. Ay, mistress; and Petruchio is the master,
    That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long, 1885
    To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.


  • Biondello. O master, master I have watch'd so long
    That I am dog-weary; but at last I spied
    An ancient angel coming down the hill 1890
    Will serve the turn.
  • Tranio. What is he, Biondello?
  • Biondello. Master, a mercatante or a pedant,
    I know not what; but formal in apparel,
    In gait and countenance surely like a father. 1895
  • Tranio. If he be credulous and trust my tale,
    I'll make him glad to seem Vincentio,
    And give assurance to Baptista Minola
    As if he were the right Vincentio. 1900
    Take in your love, and then let me alone.


Enter a PEDANT

  • Tranio. And you, sir; you are welcome. 1905
    Travel you far on, or are you at the farthest?
  • Pedant. Sir, at the farthest for a week or two;
    But then up farther, and as far as Rome;
    And so to Tripoli, if God lend me life.
  • Tranio. What countryman, I pray? 1910
  • Tranio. Of Mantua, sir? Marry, God forbid,
    And come to Padua, careless of your life!
  • Pedant. My life, sir! How, I pray? For that goes hard.
  • Tranio. 'Tis death for any one in Mantua 1915
    To come to Padua. Know you not the cause?
    Your ships are stay'd at Venice; and the Duke,
    For private quarrel 'twixt your Duke and him,
    Hath publish'd and proclaim'd it openly.
    'Tis marvel- but that you are but newly come, 1920
    You might have heard it else proclaim'd about.
  • Pedant. Alas, sir, it is worse for me than so!
    For I have bills for money by exchange
    From Florence, and must here deliver them.
  • Tranio. Well, sir, to do you courtesy, 1925
    This will I do, and this I will advise you-
    First, tell me, have you ever been at Pisa?
  • Pedant. Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been,
    Pisa renowned for grave citizens.
  • Tranio. Among them know you one Vincentio? 1930
  • Pedant. I know him not, but I have heard of him,
    A merchant of incomparable wealth.
  • Tranio. He is my father, sir; and, sooth to say,
    In count'nance somewhat doth resemble you.
  • Biondello. [Aside] As much as an apple doth an oyster, and all 1935
  • Tranio. To save your life in this extremity,
    This favour will I do you for his sake;
    And think it not the worst of all your fortunes
    That you are like to Sir Vincentio. 1940
    His name and credit shall you undertake,
    And in my house you shall be friendly lodg'd;
    Look that you take upon you as you should.
    You understand me, sir. So shall you stay
    Till you have done your business in the city. 1945
    If this be court'sy, sir, accept of it.
  • Pedant. O, sir, I do; and will repute you ever
    The patron of my life and liberty.
  • Tranio. Then go with me to make the matter good.
    This, by the way, I let you understand: 1950
    My father is here look'd for every day
    To pass assurance of a dow'r in marriage
    'Twixt me and one Baptista's daughter here.
    In all these circumstances I'll instruct you.
    Go with me to clothe you as becomes you. Exeunt 1955