Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew
SCENE I.—PADUA. A public Place.
Enter LUCENTIO and TRANIO.
Luc. Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
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;
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,
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,
Virtue, and 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
A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep,
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
Tra. Mi perdonate, gentle master mine,
I am in all affected as yourself;
Glad that you thus continue your resolve
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 ethics
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,
Fall to them as you find your stomach serves
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en:
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
Luc. Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou ad-
If Biondello now were come ashore
We could at once put us in readiness,
And take a lodging fit to entertain
Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
But stay awhile: what company is this?
Tra. Master, some show, to welcome us to
Enter BAPTISTA, KATHARINA, BIANCA, GREMIO,
and HORTENSIO. LUCENTIO and TRANIO
Bap. Gentleman, impórtune me no further,
For how I firmly am resolv’d you know;
That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder
If either of you both love Katharina,
Because I know you well and love you well,
Leave shall you have to court her at your
Gre. To cart her rather: she’s too rough for
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?
Kath. [To BAP.] I pray you, sir, is to your will
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
Hor. Mates, maid! how mean you that? no
mates for you,
Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.
Kath. I’ faith, sir, you shall never need to
I wis it is not half-way to her heart;
But if it were, doubt not her care should be
To comb your noddle with a three-legg’d stool,
And paint your face, and use you like a fool.
Hor. From all such devils, good Lord deliver
Gre. And me too, good Lord!
Tra. Hush master! here is some good pas-
That wench is stark mad or wonderful fro-
Luc. But in the other’s silence do I see
Maid’s mild behaviour and sobriety.
Peace, Tranio! [your fill.
Tra. Well said, master; mum! and gaze
Bap. Gentleman, that I may soon make good
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.
Kath. A pretty peat! it is best
Put finger in the eye,—an she knew why.
Brian. Sister, content you in my discon-
Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe:
My books and instruments shall be my com-
On them to look, and practise by myself.
Luc. Hark, Tranio! thou mayst hear Mi-
nerva speak. [Aside.
Hor. Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
Sorry am I that our good-will effects
Gre. Why will you mew her up,
Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
Bap. 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,
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
To mine own children in good bringing-up:
And so, farewell. Katharina, you may stay;
For I have more to commune with Bianca.
Kath. Why, and I trust I may go too, may I
What! shall I be appointed hours; as though,
I knew not what to take and what to leave? Ha!
Gre. You may go to the devil’s dam; your
gifts are so good here is none will hold you.
Their 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 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
Hor. So will I, Signior Gremio; but a word, I
pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet
never brooked parle, know now, upon 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
Gre. What’s that, I pray? [sister.
Hor. Marry, sir, to get a husband for her
Gre. A husband! a devil.
Hor. I say, a husband.
Gre. I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hor-
tensio, though her father be very rich, any man
is so very a fool to be married to hell?
Hor. Tush, Gremio, though it pass your
patience and mine to endure her loud alarums,
why, man, there be good fellows in the world,
an a man, there be good fellows in the world,
with all faults and money enough.
Gre. I cannot tell; but I had a slief take her
dowry with this condition,—to be whipped at
the high-cross every morning.
Hor. 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 maintained, 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 be his
dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring.
How say you, Signior Gremio?
Gre. I am agreed: and would I had given
him the best horse in Padua to begin his woo-
ing, that would thoroughly woo her, wed her,
and bed her, and rid the house of her. Come
on. [Exeunt GRE. and HOR.
(On 8/21/14 – Join me for the continuation of “The Taming of the Shrew”,
We will continue ACT I. SCENE I.—Padula. A public Place.)