Script of Act I The Taming of the Shrew
The play by William Shakespeare
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Script / Text of Act I The Taming of the Shrew
SCENE I. Before an alehouse on a heath.
Enter Hostess and SLY
I'll pheeze you, in faith.
A pair of stocks, you rogue!
Ye are a baggage: the Slys are no rogues; look in
the chronicles; we came in with Richard Conqueror.
Therefore paucas pallabris; let the world slide: sessa!
You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?
No, not a denier. Go by, Jeronimy: go to thy cold
bed, and warm thee.
I know my remedy; I must go fetch the
Third, or fourth, or fifth borough, I'll answer him
by law: I'll not budge an inch, boy: let him come,
Horns winded. Enter a Lord from hunting, with his train
Huntsman, I charge thee, tender well my hounds:
Brach Merriman, the poor cur is emboss'd;
And couple Clowder with the deep--mouth'd brach.
Saw'st thou not, boy, how Silver made it good
At the hedge-corner, in the coldest fault?
I would not lose the dog for twenty pound.
Why, Belman is as good as he, my lord;
He cried upon it at the merest loss
And twice to-day pick'd out the dullest scent:
Trust me, I take him for the better dog.
Thou art a fool: if Echo were as fleet,
I would esteem him worth a dozen such.
But sup them well and look unto them all:
To-morrow I intend to hunt again.
I will, my lord.
What's here? one dead, or drunk? See, doth he breathe?
He breathes, my lord. Were he not warm'd with ale,
This were a bed but cold to sleep so soundly.
O monstrous beast! how like a swine he lies!
Grim death, how foul and loathsome is thine image!
Sirs, I will practise on this drunken man.
What think you, if he were convey'd to bed,
Wrapp'd in sweet clothes, rings put upon his fingers,
A most delicious banquet by his bed,
And brave attendants near him when he wakes,
Would not the beggar then forget himself?
Believe me, lord, I think he cannot choose.
It would seem strange unto him when he waked.
Even as a flattering dream or worthless fancy.
Then take him up and manage well the jest:
Carry him gently to my fairest chamber
And hang it round with all my wanton pictures:
Balm his foul head in warm distilled waters
And burn sweet wood to make the lodging sweet:
Procure me music ready when he wakes,
To make a dulcet and a heavenly sound;
And if he chance to speak, be ready straight
And with a low submissive reverence
Say 'What is it your honour will command?'
Let one attend him with a silver basin
Full of rose-water and bestrew'd with flowers,
Another bear the ewer, the third a diaper,
And say 'Will't please your lordship cool your hands?'
Some one be ready with a costly suit
And ask him what apparel he will wear;
Another tell him of his hounds and horse,
And that his lady mourns at his disease:
Persuade him that he hath been lunatic;
And when he says he is, say that he dreams,
For he is nothing but a mighty lord.
This do and do it kindly, gentle sirs:
It will be pastime passing excellent,
If it be husbanded with modesty.
My lord, I warrant you we will play our part,
As he shall think by our true diligence
He is no less than what we say he is.
Take him up gently and to bed with him;
And each one to his office when he wakes.
Some bear out SLY. A trumpet sounds
Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds:
Belike, some noble gentleman that means,
Travelling some journey, to repose him here.
How now! who is it?
An't please your honour, players
That offer service to your lordship.
Bid them come near.
Now, fellows, you are welcome.
We thank your honour.
Do you intend to stay with me tonight?
So please your lordship to accept our duty.
With all my heart. This fellow I remember,
Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son:
'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well:
I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part
Was aptly fitted and naturally perform'd.
I think 'twas Soto that your honour means.
'Tis very true: thou didst it excellent.
Well, you are come to me in a happy time;
The rather for I have some sport in hand
Wherein your cunning can assist me much.
There is a lord will hear you play to-night:
But I am doubtful of your modesties;
Lest over-eyeing of his odd behavior,--
For yet his honour never heard a play--
You break into some merry passion
And so offend him; for I tell you, sirs,
If you should smile he grows impatient.
Fear not, my lord: we can contain ourselves,
Were he the veriest antic in the world.
Go, sirrah, take them to the buttery,
And give them friendly welcome every one:
Let them want nothing that my house affords.
Exit one with the Players
Sirrah, go you to Barthol'mew my page,
And see him dress'd in all suits like a lady:
That done, conduct him to the drunkard's chamber;
And call him 'madam,' do him obeisance.
Tell him from me, as he will win my love,
He bear himself with honourable action,
Such as he hath observed in noble ladies
Unto their lords, by them accomplished:
Such duty to the drunkard let him do
With soft low tongue and lowly courtesy,
And say 'What is't your honour will command,
Wherein your lady and your humble wife
May show her duty and make known her love?'
And then with kind embracements, tempting kisses,
And with declining head into his bosom,
Bid him shed tears, as being overjoy'd
To see her noble lord restored to health,
Who for this seven years hath esteem'd him
No better than a poor and loathsome beggar:
And if the boy have not a woman's gift
To rain a shower of commanded tears,
An onion will do well for such a shift,
Which in a napkin being close convey'd
Shall in despite enforce a watery eye.
See this dispatch'd with all the haste thou canst:
Anon I'll give thee more instructions.
Exit a Servingman
I know the boy will well usurp the grace,
Voice, gait and action of a gentlewoman:
I long to hear him call the drunkard husband,
And how my men will stay themselves from laughter
When they do homage to this simple peasant.
I'll in to counsel them; haply my presence
May well abate the over-merry spleen
Which otherwise would grow into extremes.
SCENE II. A bedchamber in the Lord's house.
Enter aloft SLY, with Attendants; some with apparel, others with basin and ewer and appurtenances; and Lord
For God's sake, a pot of small ale.
Will't please your lordship drink a cup of sack?
Will't please your honour taste of these conserves?
What raiment will your honour wear to-day?
I am Christophero Sly; call not me 'honour' nor
'lordship:' I ne'er drank sack in my life; and if
you give me any conserves, give me conserves of
beef: ne'er ask me what raiment I'll wear; for I
have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings
than legs, nor no more shoes than feet; nay,
sometimes more feet than shoes, or such shoes as my
toes look through the over-leather.
Heaven cease this idle humour in your honour!
O, that a mighty man of such descent,
Of such possessions and so high esteem,
Should be infused with so foul a spirit!
What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher
Sly, old Sly's son of Burtonheath, by birth a
pedlar, by education a cardmaker, by transmutation a
bear-herd, and now by present profession a tinker?
Ask Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot, if
she know me not: if she say I am not fourteen pence
on the score for sheer ale, score me up for the
lyingest knave in Christendom. What! I am not
O, this it is that makes your lady mourn!
O, this is it that makes your servants droop!
Hence comes it that your kindred shuns your house,
As beaten hence by your strange lunacy.
O noble lord, bethink thee of thy birth,
Call home thy ancient thoughts from banishment
And banish hence these abject lowly dreams.
Look how thy servants do attend on thee,
Each in his office ready at thy beck.
Wilt thou have music? hark! Apollo plays,
And twenty caged nightingales do sing:
Or wilt thou sleep? we'll have thee to a couch
Softer and sweeter than the lustful bed
On purpose trimm'd up for Semiramis.
Say thou wilt walk; we will bestrew the ground:
Or wilt thou ride? thy horses shall be trapp'd,
Their harness studded all with gold and pearl.
Dost thou love hawking? thou hast hawks will soar
Above the morning lark or wilt thou hunt?
Thy hounds shall make the welkin answer them
And fetch shrill echoes from the hollow earth.
Say thou wilt course; thy greyhounds are as swift
As breathed stags, ay, fleeter than the roe.
Dost thou love pictures? we will fetch thee straight
Adonis painted by a running brook,
And Cytherea all in sedges hid,
Which seem to move and wanton with her breath,
Even as the waving sedges play with wind.
We'll show thee Io as she was a maid,
And how she was beguiled and surprised,
As lively painted as the deed was done.
Or Daphne roaming through a thorny wood,
Scratching her legs that one shall swear she bleeds,
And at that sight shall sad Apollo weep,
So workmanly the blood and tears are drawn.
Thou art a lord, and nothing but a lord:
Thou hast a lady far more beautiful
Than any woman in this waning age.
And till the tears that she hath shed for thee
Like envious floods o'er-run her lovely face,
She was the fairest creature in the world;
And yet she is inferior to none.
Am I a lord? and have I such a lady?
Or do I dream? or have I dream'd till now?
I do not sleep: I see, I hear, I speak;
I smell sweet savours and I feel soft things:
Upon my life, I am a lord indeed
And not a tinker nor Christophero Sly.
Well, bring our lady hither to our sight;
And once again, a pot o' the smallest ale.
Will't please your mightiness to wash your hands?
O, how we joy to see your wit restored!
O, that once more you knew but what you are!
These fifteen years you have been in a dream;
Or when you waked, so waked as if you slept.
These fifteen years! by my fay, a goodly nap.
But did I never speak of all that time?
O, yes, my lord, but very idle words:
For though you lay here in this goodly chamber,
Yet would you say ye were beaten out of door;
And rail upon the hostess of the house;
And say you would present her at the leet,
Because she brought stone jugs and no seal'd quarts:
Sometimes you would call out for Cicely Hacket.
Ay, the woman's maid of the house.
Why, sir, you know no house nor no such maid,
Nor no such men as you have reckon'd up,
As Stephen Sly and did John Naps of Greece
And Peter Turph and Henry Pimpernell
And twenty more such names and men as these
Which never were nor no man ever saw.
Now Lord be thanked for my good amends!
I thank thee: thou shalt not lose by it.
Enter the Page as a lady, with attendants
How fares my noble lord?
Marry, I fare well for here is cheer enough.
Where is my wife?
Here, noble lord: what is thy will with her?
Are you my wife and will not call me husband?
My men should call me 'lord:' I am your goodman.
My husband and my lord, my lord and husband;
I am your wife in all obedience.
I know it well. What must I call her?
Al'ce madam, or Joan madam?
'Madam,' and nothing else: so lords
Madam wife, they say that I have dream'd
And slept above some fifteen year or more.
Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me,
Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.
'Tis much. Servants, leave me and her alone.
Madam, undress you and come now to bed.
Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you
To pardon me yet for a night or two,
Or, if not so, until the sun be set:
For your physicians have expressly charged,
In peril to incur your former malady,
That I should yet absent me from your bed:
I hope this reason stands for my excuse.
Ay, it stands so that I may hardly
tarry so long. But I would be loath to fall into
my dreams again: I will therefore tarry in
despite of the flesh and the blood.
Enter a Messenger
Your honour's players, heating your amendment,
Are come to play a pleasant comedy;
For so your doctors hold it very meet,
Seeing too much sadness hath congeal'd your blood,
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy:
Therefore they thought it good you hear a play
And frame your mind to mirth and merriment,
Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.
Marry, I will, let them play it. Is not a
comondy a Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?
No, my good lord; it is more pleasing stuff.
What, household stuff?
It is a kind of history.
Well, well see't. Come, madam wife, sit by my side
and let the world slip: we shall ne'er be younger.
SCENE I. Padua. A public place.
Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO
Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arrived 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 approved in all,
Here let us breathe and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
Pisa renown'd for grave citizens
Gave me my being and my father first,
A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincetino come of Bentivolii.
Vincetino's son brought up in Florence
It shall become to serve all hopes conceived,
To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds:
And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study,
Virtue and that part of philosophy
Will I apply that treats of happiness
By virtue specially to be achieved.
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.
Mi perdonato, 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 cheques
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured:
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 you;
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en:
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
If, Biondello, thou wert 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 a while: what company is this?
Master, some show to welcome us to town.
Enter BAPTISTA, KATHARINA, BIANCA, GREMIO, and HORTENSIO. LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand by
Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
For how I firmly am resolved you know;
That is, not 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 pleasure.
[Aside] To cart her rather: she's too rough for me.
There, There, Hortensio, will you any wife?
I pray you, sir, is it your will
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
Mates, maid! how mean you that? no mates for you,
Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.
I'faith, sir, you shall never need to fear:
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.
From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!
And me too, good Lord!
Hush, master! here's some good pastime toward:
That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
But in the other's silence do I see
Maid's mild behavior and sobriety.
Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.
Gentlemen, 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.
A pretty peat! it is best
Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.
Sister, content you in my discontent.
Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe:
My books and instruments shall be my company,
On them to took and practise by myself.
Hark, Tranio! thou may'st hear Minerva speak.
Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
Sorry am I that our good will effects
Why will you mew her up,
Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolved:
Go in, 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.
Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not? What,
shall I be appointed hours; as though, belike, I
knew not what to take and what to leave, ha?
You may go to the devil's dam: your gifts are so
good, here's none will hold you. Their love is not
so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails
together, and fast it fairly out: our cakes 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 her father.
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 Bianco's love, to
labour and effect one thing specially.
What's that, I pray?
Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.
A husband! a devil.
I say, a husband.
I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hortensio, though
her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool
to be married to hell?
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 could light on them,
would take her with all faults, and money enough.
I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with
this condition, to be whipped at the high cross
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 all by helping Baptista's eldest daughter
to a husband we set his youngest free for a husband,
and then have to't a fresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man
be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring.
How say you, Signior Gremio?
I am agreed; and would I had given him the best
horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would
thoroughly woo her, wed her and bed her and rid the
house of her! Come on.
Exeunt GREMIO and HORTENSIO
I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?
O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
I never thought it possible or likely;
But see, while idly I stood looking on,
I found the effect of love in idleness:
And now in plainness do confess to thee,
That art to me as secret and as dear
As Anna to the queen of Carthage was,
Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
If I achieve not this young modest girl.
Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst;
Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
Master, it is no time to chide you now;
Affection is not rated from the heart:
If love have touch'd you, nought remains but so,
'Redime te captum quam queas minimo.'
Gramercies, lad, go forward; this contents:
The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound.
Master, you look'd so longly on the maid,
Perhaps you mark'd not what's the pith of all.
O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
That made great Jove to humble him to her hand.
When with his knees he kiss'd the Cretan strand.
Saw you no more? mark'd you not how her sister
Began to scold and raise up such a storm
That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?
Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move
And with her breath she did perfume the air:
Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
Nay, then, 'tis time to stir him from his trance.
I pray, awake, sir: if you love the maid,
Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd
That till the father rid his hands of her,
Master, your love must live a maid at home;
And therefore has he closely mew'd her up,
Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors.
Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!
But art thou not advised, he took some care
To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now 'tis plotted.
I have it, Tranio.
Master, for my hand,
Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
Tell me thine first.
You will be schoolmaster
And undertake the teaching of the maid:
That's your device.
It is: may it be done?
Not possible; for who shall bear your part,
And be in Padua here Vincentio's son,
Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends,
Visit his countrymen and banquet them?
Basta; content thee, for I have it full.
We have not yet been seen in any house,
Nor can we lie distinguish'd by our faces
For man or master; then it follows thus;
Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
Keep house and port and servants as I should:
I will some other be, some Florentine,
Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
'Tis hatch'd and shall be so: Tranio, at once
Uncase thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak:
When Biondello comes, he waits on thee;
But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
So had you need.
In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
And I am tied to be obedient;
For so your father charged me at our parting,
'Be serviceable to my son,' quoth he,
Although I think 'twas in another sense;
I am content to be Lucentio,
Because so well I love Lucentio.
Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves:
And let me be a slave, to achieve that maid
Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye.
Here comes the rogue.
Sirrah, where have you been?
Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you?
Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes? Or
you stolen his? or both? pray, what's the news?
Sirrah, come hither: 'tis no time to jest,
And therefore frame your manners to the time.
Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,
Puts my apparel and my countenance on,
And I for my escape have put on his;
For in a quarrel since I came ashore
I kill'd a man and fear I was descried:
Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
While I make way from hence to save my life:
You understand me?
I, sir! ne'er a whit.
And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth:
Tranio is changed into Lucentio.
The better for him: would I were so too!
So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
That Lucentio indeed had Baptista's youngest daughter.
But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master's, I advise
You use your manners discreetly in all kind of companies:
When I am alone, why, then I am Tranio;
But in all places else your master Lucentio.
Tranio, let's go: one thing more rests, that
thyself execute, to make one among these wooers: if
thou ask me why, sufficeth, my reasons are both good
The presenters above speak
My lord, you nod; you do not mind the play.
Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely:
comes there any more of it?
My lord, 'tis but begun.
'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady:
would 'twere done!
They sit and mark
SCENE II. Padua. Before HORTENSIO'S house.
Enter PETRUCHIO and his man GRUMIO
Verona, for a while I take my leave,
To see my friends in Padua, but of all
My best beloved and approved friend,
Hortensio; and I trow this is his house.
Here, sirrah Grumio; knock, I say.
Knock, sir! whom should I knock? is there man has
rebused your worship?
Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.
Knock you here, sir! why, sir, what am I, sir, that
I should knock you here, sir?
Villain, I say, knock me at this gate
And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's pate.
My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock
And then I know after who comes by the worst.
Will it not be?
Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll ring it;
I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it.
He wrings him by the ears
Help, masters, help! my master is mad.
Now, knock when I bid you, sirrah villain!
How now! what's the matter? My old friend Grumio!
and my good friend Petruchio! How do you all at Verona?
Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray?
'Con tutto il cuore, ben trovato,' may I say.
'Alla nostra casa ben venuto, molto honorato signor
mio Petruchio.' Rise, Grumio, rise: we will compound
Nay, 'tis no matter, sir, what he 'leges in Latin.
if this be not a lawful case for me to leave his
service, look you, sir, he bid me knock him and rap
him soundly, sir: well, was it fit for a servant to
use his master so, being perhaps, for aught I see,
two and thirty, a pip out? Whom would to God I had
well knock'd at first, Then had not Grumio come by the worst.
A senseless villain! Good Hortensio,
I bade the rascal knock upon your gate
And could not get him for my heart to do it.
Knock at the gate! O heavens! Spake you not these
words plain, 'Sirrah, knock me here, rap me here,
knock me well, and knock me soundly'? And come you
now with, 'knocking at the gate'?
Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you.
Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's pledge:
Why, this's a heavy chance 'twixt him and you,
Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio.
And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale
Blows you to Padua here from old Verona?
Such wind as scatters young men through the world,
To seek their fortunes farther than at home
Where small experience grows. But in a few,
Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me:
Antonio, my father, is deceased;
And I have thrust myself into this maze,
Haply to wive and thrive as best I may:
Crowns in my purse I have and goods at home,
And so am come abroad to see the world.
Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee
And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favour'd wife?
Thou'ldst thank me but a little for my counsel:
And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich
And very rich: but thou'rt too much my friend,
And I'll not wish thee to her.
Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as we
Few words suffice; and therefore, if thou know
One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife,
As wealth is burden of my wooing dance,
Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,
As old as Sibyl and as curst and shrewd
As Socrates' Xanthippe, or a worse,
She moves me not, or not removes, at least,
Affection's edge in me, were she as rough
As are the swelling Adriatic seas:
I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
If wealthily, then happily in Padua.
Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his
mind is: Why give him gold enough and marry him to
a puppet or an aglet-baby; or an old trot with ne'er
a tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases
as two and fifty horses: why, nothing comes amiss,
so money comes withal.
Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus far in,
I will continue that I broach'd in jest.
I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife
With wealth enough and young and beauteous,
Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman:
Her only fault, and that is faults enough,
Is that she is intolerable curst
And shrewd and froward, so beyond all measure
That, were my state far worser than it is,
I would not wed her for a mine of gold.
Hortensio, peace! thou know'st not gold's effect:
Tell me her father's name and 'tis enough;
For I will board her, though she chide as loud
As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack.
Her father is Baptista Minola,
An affable and courteous gentleman:
Her name is Katharina Minola,
Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.
I know her father, though I know not her;
And he knew my deceased father well.
I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her;
And therefore let me be thus bold with you
To give you over at this first encounter,
Unless you will accompany me thither.
I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts.
O' my word, an she knew him as well as I do, she
would think scolding would do little good upon him:
she may perhaps call him half a score knaves or so:
why, that's nothing; an he begin once, he'll rail in
his rope-tricks. I'll tell you what sir, an she
stand him but a little, he will throw a figure in
her face and so disfigure her with it that she
shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat.
You know him not, sir.
Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee,
For in Baptista's keep my treasure is:
He hath the jewel of my life in hold,
His youngest daughter, beautiful Binaca,
And her withholds from me and other more,
Suitors to her and rivals in my love,
Supposing it a thing impossible,
For those defects I have before rehearsed,
That ever Katharina will be woo'd;
Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en,
That none shall have access unto Bianca
Till Katharina the curst have got a husband.
Katharina the curst!
A title for a maid of all titles the worst.
Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace,
And offer me disguised in sober robes
To old Baptista as a schoolmaster
Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca;
That so I may, by this device, at least
Have leave and leisure to make love to her
And unsuspected court her by herself.
Here's no knavery! See, to beguile the old folks,
how the young folks lay their heads together!
Enter GREMIO, and LUCENTIO disguised
Master, master, look about you: who goes there, ha?
Peace, Grumio! it is the rival of my love.
Petruchio, stand by a while.
A proper stripling and an amorous!
O, very well; I have perused the note.
Hark you, sir: I'll have them very fairly bound:
All books of love, see that at any hand;
And see you read no other lectures to her:
You understand me: over and beside
Signior Baptista's liberality,
I'll mend it with a largess. Take your paper too,
And let me have them very well perfumed
For she is sweeter than perfume itself
To whom they go to. What will you read to her?
Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you
As for my patron, stand you so assured,
As firmly as yourself were still in place:
Yea, and perhaps with more successful words
Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.
O this learning, what a thing it is!
O this woodcock, what an ass it is!
Grumio, mum! God save you, Signior Gremio.
And you are well met, Signior Hortensio.
Trow you whither I am going? To Baptista Minola.
I promised to inquire carefully
About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca:
And by good fortune I have lighted well
On this young man, for learning and behavior
Fit for her turn, well read in poetry
And other books, good ones, I warrant ye.
'Tis well; and I have met a gentleman
Hath promised me to help me to another,
A fine musician to instruct our mistress;
So shall I no whit be behind in duty
To fair Bianca, so beloved of me.
Beloved of me; and that my deeds shall prove.
And that his bags shall prove.
Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our love:
Listen to me, and if you speak me fair,
I'll tell you news indifferent good for either.
Here is a gentleman whom by chance I met,
Upon agreement from us to his liking,
Will undertake to woo curst Katharina,
Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
So said, so done, is well.
Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?
I know she is an irksome brawling scold:
If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.
No, say'st me so, friend? What countryman?
Born in Verona, old Antonio's son:
My father dead, my fortune lives for me;
And I do hope good days and long to see.
O sir, such a life, with such a wife, were strange!
But if you have a stomach, to't i' God's name:
You shall have me assisting you in all.
But will you woo this wild-cat?
Will I live?
Will he woo her? ay, or I'll hang her.
Why came I hither but to that intent?
Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?
Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
Have I not heard the sea puff'd up with winds
Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
Have I not in a pitched battle heard
Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang?
And do you tell me of a woman's tongue,
That gives not half so great a blow to hear
As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire?
Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
For he fears none.
This gentleman is happily arrived,
My mind presumes, for his own good and ours.
I promised we would be contributors
And bear his charging of wooing, whatsoe'er.
And so we will, provided that he win her.
I would I were as sure of a good dinner.
Enter TRANIO brave, and BIONDELLO
Gentlemen, God save you. If I may be bold,
Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way
To the house of Signior Baptista Minola?
He that has the two fair daughters: is't he you mean?
Even he, Biondello.
Hark you, sir; you mean not her to--
Perhaps, him and her, sir: what have you to do?
Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray.
I love no chiders, sir. Biondello, let's away.
Well begun, Tranio.
Sir, a word ere you go;
Are you a suitor to the maid you talk of, yea or no?
And if I be, sir, is it any offence?
No; if without more words you will get you hence.
Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free
For me as for you?
But so is not she.
For what reason, I beseech you?
For this reason, if you'll know,
That she's the choice love of Signior Gremio.
That she's the chosen of Signior Hortensio.
Softly, my masters! if you be gentlemen,
Do me this right; hear me with patience.
Baptista is a noble gentleman,
To whom my father is not all unknown;
And were his daughter fairer than she is,
She may more suitors have and me for one.
Fair Leda's daughter had a thousand wooers;
Then well one more may fair Bianca have:
And so she shall; Lucentio shall make one,
Though Paris came in hope to speed alone.
What! this gentleman will out-talk us all.
Sir, give him head: I know he'll prove a jade.
Hortensio, to what end are all these words?
Sir, let me be so bold as ask you,
Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter?
No, sir; but hear I do that he hath two,
The one as famous for a scolding tongue
As is the other for beauteous modesty.
Sir, sir, the first's for me; let her go by.
Yea, leave that labour to great Hercules;
And let it be more than Alcides' twelve.
Sir, understand you this of me in sooth:
The younges t daughter whom you hearken for
Her father keeps from all access of suitors,
And will not promise her to any man
Until the elder sister first be wed:
The younger then is free and not before.
If it be so, sir, that you are the man
Must stead us all and me amongst the rest,
And if you break the ice and do this feat,
Achieve the elder, set the younger free
For our access, whose hap shall be to have her
Will not so graceless be to be ingrate.
Sir, you say well and well you do conceive;
And since you do profess to be a suitor,
You must, as we do, gratify this gentleman,
To whom we all rest generally beholding.
Sir, I shall not be slack: in sign whereof,
Please ye we may contrive this afternoon,
And quaff carouses to our mistress' health,
And do as adversaries do in law,
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
O excellent motion! Fellows, let's be gone.
The motion's good indeed and be it so,
Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto.