The Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare

Act I

Scene I. Padua. A public place.

Enter Lucentio and his man Tranio

Lucentio

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.

Tranio

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.

Lucentio

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?

Tranio

Master, some show to welcome us to town.

Enter Baptista, Katharina, Bianca, Gremio, and Hortensio. Lucentio and Tranio stand by

Baptista

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.

Gremio

[Aside] To cart her rather: she’s too rough for me.
There, There, Hortensio, will you any wife?

Katharina

I pray you, sir, is it your will
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?

Hortensio

Mates, maid! how mean you that? no mates for you,
Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.

Katharina

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.

Hortensio

From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!

Gremio

And me too, good Lord!

Tranio

Hush, master! here’s some good pastime toward:
That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.

Lucentio

But in the other’s silence do I see
Maid’s mild behavior and sobriety.
Peace, Tranio!

Tranio

Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.

Baptista

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.

Katharina

A pretty peat! it is best
Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.

Bianca

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.

Lucentio

Hark, Tranio! thou may’st hear Minerva speak.

Hortensio

Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
Sorry am I that our good will effects
Bianca’s grief.

Gremio

  Why will you mew her up,
Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
And make her bear the penance of her tongue?

Baptista

Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolved:
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.

Exit

Katharina

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?

Exit

Gremio

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.

Hortensio

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.

Gremio

What’s that, I pray?

Hortensio

Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.

Gremio

A husband! a devil.

Hortensio

I say, a husband.

Gremio

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?

Hortensio

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.

Gremio

I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with this condition, to be whipped at the high cross every morning.

Hortensio

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?

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

Tranio

I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?

Lucentio

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.

Tranio

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.’

Lucentio

Gramercies, lad, go forward; this contents:
The rest will comfort, for thy counsel’s sound.

Tranio

Master, you look’d so longly on the maid,
Perhaps you mark’d not what’s the pith of all.

Lucentio

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.

Tranio

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?

Lucentio

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.

Tranio

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.

Lucentio

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?

Tranio

Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now ’tis plotted.

Lucentio

I have it, Tranio.

Tranio

  Master, for my hand,
Both our inventions meet and jump in one.

Lucentio

Tell me thine first.

Tranio

You will be schoolmaster
And undertake the teaching of the maid:
That’s your device.

Lucentio

It is: may it be done?

Tranio

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?

Lucentio

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.

Tranio

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.

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.

Enter Biondello

Sirrah, where have you been?

Biondello

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?

Lucentio

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?

Biondello

  I, sir! ne’er a whit.

Lucentio

And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth:
Tranio is changed into Lucentio.

Biondello

The better for him: would I were so too!

Tranio

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.

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 and weighty.

Exeunt

The presenters above speak

First Servant

My lord, you nod; you do not mind the play.

Sly

Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely: comes there any more of it?

Page

My lord, ’tis but begun.

Sly

’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

Petruchio

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.

Grumio

Knock, sir! whom should I knock? is there man has rebused your worship?

Petruchio

Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.

Grumio

Knock you here, sir! why, sir, what am I, sir, that
I should knock you here, sir?

Petruchio

Villain, I say, knock me at this gate
And rap me well, or I’ll knock your knave’s pate.

Grumio

My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock you first, And then I know after who comes by the worst.

Petruchio

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

Grumio

Help, masters, help! my master is mad.

Petruchio

Now, knock when I bid you, sirrah villain!

Enter Hortensio

Hortensio

How now! what’s the matter? My old friend Grumio! and my good friend Petruchio! How do you all at Verona?

Petruchio

Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray?
‘Con tutto il cuore, ben trovato,’ may I say.

Hortensio

‘Alla nostra casa ben venuto, molto honorato signor mio Petruchio.’ Rise, Grumio, rise: we will compound this quarrel.

Grumio

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.

Petruchio

A senseless villain! Good Hortensio,
I bade the rascal knock upon your gate
And could not get him for my heart to do it.

Grumio

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’?

Petruchio

Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you.

Hortensio

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?

Petruchio

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.

Hortensio

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.

Petruchio

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.

Grumio

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.

Hortensio

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.

Petruchio

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.

Hortensio

Her father is Baptista Minola,
An affable and courteous gentleman:
Her name is Katharina Minola,
Renown’d in Padua for her scolding tongue.

Petruchio

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.

Grumio

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.

Hortensio

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.

Grumio

Katharina the curst!
A title for a maid of all titles the worst.

Hortensio

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.

Grumio

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?

Hortensio

Peace, Grumio! it is the rival of my love.
Petruchio, stand by a while.

Grumio

A proper stripling and an amorous!

Gremio

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?

Lucentio

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.

Gremio

O this learning, what a thing it is!

Grumio

O this woodcock, what an ass it is!

Petruchio

Peace, sirrah!

Hortensio

Grumio, mum! God save you, Signior Gremio.

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.

Hortensio

’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.

Gremio

Beloved of me; and that my deeds shall prove.

Grumio

And that his bags shall prove.

Hortensio

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.

Gremio

So said, so done, is well.
Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?

Petruchio

I know she is an irksome brawling scold:
If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.

Gremio

No, say’st me so, friend? What countryman?

Petruchio

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.

Gremio

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?

Petruchio

Will I live?

Grumio

Will he woo her? ay, or I’ll hang her.

Petruchio

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.

Grumio

For he fears none.

Gremio

Hortensio, hark:
This gentleman is happily arrived,
My mind presumes, for his own good and ours.

Hortensio

I promised we would be contributors
And bear his charging of wooing, whatsoe’er.

Gremio

And so we will, provided that he win her.

Grumio

I would I were as sure of a good dinner.

Enter Tranio brave, and Biondello

Tranio

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?

Biondello

He that has the two fair daughters: is’t he you mean?

Tranio

Even he, Biondello.

Gremio

Hark you, sir; you mean not her to —

Tranio

Perhaps, him and her, sir: what have you to do?

Petruchio

Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray.

Tranio

I love no chiders, sir. Biondello, let’s away.

Lucentio

Well begun, Tranio.

Hortensio

Sir, a word ere you go;
Are you a suitor to the maid you talk of, yea or no?

Tranio

And if I be, sir, is it any offence?

Gremio

No; if without more words you will get you hence.

Tranio

Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free
For me as for you?

Gremio

  But so is not she.

Tranio

For what reason, I beseech you?

Gremio

For this reason, if you’ll know,
That she’s the choice love of Signior Gremio.

Hortensio

That she’s the chosen of Signior Hortensio.

Tranio

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.

Gremio

What! this gentleman will out-talk us all.

Lucentio

Sir, give him head: I know he’ll prove a jade.

Petruchio

Hortensio, to what end are all these words?

Hortensio

Sir, let me be so bold as ask you,
Did you yet ever see Baptista’s daughter?

Tranio

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.

Petruchio

Sir, sir, the first’s for me; let her go by.

Gremio

Yea, leave that labour to great Hercules;
And let it be more than Alcides’ twelve.

Petruchio

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.

Tranio

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.

Hortensio

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.

Tranio

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.

Grumio

Biondello

O excellent motion! Fellows, let’s be gone.

Hortensio

The motion’s good indeed and be it so,
Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto.

Exeunt

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Last updated Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 22:30