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Home > Taming of the Shrew > ACT I - SCENE I. Padua. A public place.

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ACT I - SCENE I. Padua. A public place.
Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO

1    Tranio, since for the great desire I had
2    To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
3    I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
4    The pleasant garden of great Italy;
5    And by my father's love and leave am arm'd
6    With his good will and thy good company,
7    My trusty servant, well approved in all,
8    Here let us breathe and haply institute
9    A course of learning and ingenious studies.
10   Pisa renown'd for grave citizens
11   Gave me my being and my father first,
12   A merchant of great traffic through the world,
13   Vincetino come of Bentivolii.
14   Vincetino's son brought up in Florence
15   It shall become to serve all hopes conceived,
16   To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds:
17   And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study,
18   Virtue and that part of philosophy
19   Will I apply that treats of happiness
20   By virtue specially to be achieved.
21   Tell me thy mind; for I have Pisa left
22   And am to Padua come, as he that leaves
23   A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
24   And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
25   Mi perdonato, gentle master mine,
26   I am in all affected as yourself;
27   Glad that you thus continue your resolve
28   To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
29   Only, good master, while we do admire
30   This virtue and this moral discipline,
31   Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray;
32   Or so devote to Aristotle's cheques
33   As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured:
34   Balk logic with acquaintance that you have
35   And practise rhetoric in your common talk;
36   Music and poesy use to quicken you;
37   The mathematics and the metaphysics,
38   Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you;
39   No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en:
40   In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
41   Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
42   If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
43   We could at once put us in readiness,
44   And take a lodging fit to entertain
45   Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
46   But stay a while: what company is this?
47   Master, some show to welcome us to town.
48   Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
49   For how I firmly am resolved you know;
50   That is, not bestow my youngest daughter
51   Before I have a husband for the elder:
52   If either of you both love Katharina,
53   Because I know you well and love you well,
54   Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.
55    To cart her rather: she's too rough for me.
56   There, There, Hortensio, will you any wife?
57   I pray you, sir, is it your will
58   To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
59   Mates, maid! how mean you that? no mates for you,
60   Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.
61   I'faith, sir, you shall never need to fear:
62   I wis it is not half way to her heart;
63   But if it were, doubt not her care should be
64   To comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool
65   And paint your face and use you like a fool.
66   From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!
67   And me too, good Lord!
68   Hush, master! here's some good pastime toward:
69   That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
70   But in the other's silence do I see
71   Maid's mild behavior and sobriety.
72   Peace, Tranio!
73   Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.
74   Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
75   What I have said, Bianca, get you in:
76   And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
77   For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.
78   A pretty peat! it is best
79   Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.
80   Sister, content you in my discontent.
81   Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe:
82   My books and instruments shall be my company,
83   On them to took and practise by myself.
84   Hark, Tranio! thou may'st hear Minerva speak.
85   Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
86   Sorry am I that our good will effects
87   Bianca's grief.
88   Why will you mew her up,
89   Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
90   And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
91   Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolved:
92   Go in, Bianca:
93   And for I know she taketh most delight
94   In music, instruments and poetry,
95   Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
96   Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
97   Or Signior Gremio, you, know any such,
98   Prefer them hither; for to cunning men
99   I will be very kind, and liberal
100  To mine own children in good bringing up:
101  And so farewell. Katharina, you may stay;
102  For I have more to commune with Bianca.

103  Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not? What,
104  shall I be appointed hours; as though, belike, I
105  knew not what to take and what to leave, ha?

106  You may go to the devil's dam: your gifts are so
107  good, here's none will hold you. Their love is not
108  so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails
109  together, and fast it fairly out: our cakes dough on
110  both sides. Farewell: yet for the love I bear my
111  sweet Bianca, if I can by any means light on a fit
112  man to teach her that wherein she delights, I will
113  wish him to her father.
114  So will I, Signior Gremio: but a word, I pray.
115  Though the nature of our quarrel yet never brooked
116  parle, know now, upon advice, it toucheth us both,
117  that we may yet again have access to our fair
118  mistress and be happy rivals in Bianco's love, to
119  labour and effect one thing specially.
120  What's that, I pray?
121  Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.
122  A husband! a devil.
123  I say, a husband.
124  I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hortensio, though
125  her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool
126  to be married to hell?
127  Tush, Gremio, though it pass your patience and mine
128  to endure her loud alarums, why, man, there be good
129  fellows in the world, an a man could light on them,
130  would take her with all faults, and money enough.
131  I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with
132  this condition, to be whipped at the high cross
133  every morning.
134  Faith, as you say, there's small choice in rotten
135  apples. But come; since this bar in law makes us
136  friends, it shall be so far forth friendly
137  maintained all by helping Baptista's eldest daughter
138  to a husband we set his youngest free for a husband,
139  and then have to't a fresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man
140  be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring.
141  How say you, Signior Gremio?
142  I am agreed; and would I had given him the best
143  horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would
144  thoroughly woo her, wed her and bed her and rid the
145  house of her! Come on.

146  I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
147  That love should of a sudden take such hold?
148  O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
149  I never thought it possible or likely;
150  But see, while idly I stood looking on,
151  I found the effect of love in idleness:
152  And now in plainness do confess to thee,
153  That art to me as secret and as dear
154  As Anna to the queen of Carthage was,
155  Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
156  If I achieve not this young modest girl.
157  Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst;
158  Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
159  Master, it is no time to chide you now;
160  Affection is not rated from the heart:
161  If love have touch'd you, nought remains but so,
162  'Redime te captum quam queas minimo.'
163  Gramercies, lad, go forward; this contents:
164  The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound.
165  Master, you look'd so longly on the maid,
166  Perhaps you mark'd not what's the pith of all.
167  O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
168  Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
169  That made great Jove to humble him to her hand.
170  When with his knees he kiss'd the Cretan strand.
171  Saw you no more? mark'd you not how her sister
172  Began to scold and raise up such a storm
173  That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?
174  Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move
175  And with her breath she did perfume the air:
176  Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
177  Nay, then, 'tis time to stir him from his trance.
178  I pray, awake, sir: if you love the maid,
179  Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
180  Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd
181  That till the father rid his hands of her,
182  Master, your love must live a maid at home;
183  And therefore has he closely mew'd her up,
184  Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors.
185  Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!
186  But art thou not advised, he took some care
187  To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
188  Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now 'tis plotted.
189  I have it, Tranio.
190  Master, for my hand,
191  Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
192  Tell me thine first.
193  You will be schoolmaster
194  And undertake the teaching of the maid:
195  That's your device.
196  It is: may it be done?
197  Not possible; for who shall bear your part,
198  And be in Padua here Vincentio's son,
199  Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends,
200  Visit his countrymen and banquet them?
201  Basta; content thee, for I have it full.
202  We have not yet been seen in any house,
203  Nor can we lie distinguish'd by our faces
204  For man or master; then it follows thus;
205  Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
206  Keep house and port and servants as I should:
207  I will some other be, some Florentine,
208  Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
209  'Tis hatch'd and shall be so: Tranio, at once
210  Uncase thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak:
211  When Biondello comes, he waits on thee;
212  But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
213  So had you need.
214  In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
215  And I am tied to be obedient;
216  For so your father charged me at our parting,
217  'Be serviceable to my son,' quoth he,
218  Although I think 'twas in another sense;
219  I am content to be Lucentio,
220  Because so well I love Lucentio.
221  Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves:
222  And let me be a slave, to achieve that maid
223  Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye.
224  Here comes the rogue.
225  Sirrah, where have you been?
226  Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you?
227  Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes? Or
228  you stolen his? or both? pray, what's the news?
229  Sirrah, come hither: 'tis no time to jest,
230  And therefore frame your manners to the time.
231  Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,
232  Puts my apparel and my countenance on,
233  And I for my escape have put on his;
234  For in a quarrel since I came ashore
235  I kill'd a man and fear I was descried:
236  Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
237  While I make way from hence to save my life:
238  You understand me?
239  I, sir! ne'er a whit.
240  And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth:
241  Tranio is changed into Lucentio.
242  The better for him: would I were so too!
243  So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
244  That Lucentio indeed had Baptista's youngest daughter.
245  But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master's, I advise
246  You use your manners discreetly in all kind of companies:
247  When I am alone, why, then I am Tranio;
248  But in all places else your master Lucentio.
249  Tranio, let's go: one thing more rests, that
250  thyself execute, to make one among these wooers: if
251  thou ask me why, sufficeth, my reasons are both good
252  and weighty.

The presenters above speak

First Servant
253  My lord, you nod; you do not mind the play.
254  Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely:
255  comes there any more of it?
256  My lord, 'tis but begun.
257  'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady:
258  would 'twere done!
They sit and mark

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Scene Index

  • ACT I

  • ACT II


  • ACT IV

  • ACT V

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