Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Act 1 - Scene 1
Padua. A public place
Lucentio : Tranio, since for the great desire I had
[p]To see fair Padua, nursery
of arts, [p]I am arriv'd for fruitful Lombardy, [p]The pleasant garden
of great Italy, [p]And by my father's love and leave am arm'd [p]With
his good will and thy good company, [p]My trusty servant well approv'd
in all, [p]Here let us breathe, and haply institute [p]A course of
learning and ingenious studies. [p]Pisa, renowned for grave
citizens, [p]Gave me my being and my father first, [p]A merchant of
great traffic through the world, [p]Vincentio, come of the
Bentivolii; [p]Vincentio's son, brought up in Florence, [p]It shall
become to serve all hopes conceiv'd, [p]To deck his fortune with his
virtuous deeds. [p]And therefore, Tranio, for the time I
study, [p]Virtue and that part of philosophy [p]Will I apply that
treats of happiness [p]By virtue specially to be achiev'd. [p]Tell me
thy mind; for I have Pisa left [p]And am to Padua come as he that
leaves [p]A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep, [p]And with
satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
Tranio : Mi perdonato, gentle master mine;
[p]I am in all affected as
yourself; [p]Glad that you thus continue your resolve [p]To suck the
sweets of sweet philosophy. [p]Only, good master, while we do
admire [p]This virtue and this moral discipline, [p]Let's be no Stoics
nor no stocks, I pray, [p]Or so devote to Aristotle's checks [p]As
Ovid be an outcast quite abjur'd. [p]Balk logic with acquaintance that
you have, [p]And practise rhetoric in your common talk; [p]Music and
poesy use to quicken you; [p]The mathematics and the
metaphysics, [p]Fall to them as you find your stomach serves
you. [p]No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en; [p]In brief, sir,
study what you most affect.
Lucentio : Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
[p]If, Biondello, thou wert
come ashore, [p]We could at once put us in readiness, [p]And take a
lodging fit to entertain [p]Such friends as time in Padua shall
beget. [p] Enter BAPTISTA with his two daughters, KATHERINA [p]
and BIANCA; GREMIO, a pantaloon; HORTENSIO, [p] suitor to BIANCA.
LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand by [p]But stay awhile; what company is
Tranio : Master, some show to welcome us to town.
Baptista Minola : Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
[p]For how I firmly am resolv'd
you know; [p]That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter [p]Before I
have a husband for the elder. [p]If either of you both love
Katherina, [p]Because I know you well and love you well, [p]Leave
shall you have to court her at your pleasure.
Gremio : To cart her rather. She's too rough for me.
Hortensio, will you any wife?
Katherina : [To BAPTISTA] I pray you, sir, is it your will
[p]To make a stale of
me amongst these mates?
Hortensio : Mates, maid! How mean you that? No mates for you,
[p]Unless you were
of gentler, milder mould.
Katherina : I' faith, sir, you shall never need to fear;
[p]Iwis it is not halfway
to her heart; [p]But if it were, doubt not her care should be [p]To
comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool, [p]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 : Husht, master! Here's some good pastime toward;
[p]That wench is stark
mad or wonderful froward.
Lucentio : But in the other's silence do I see
[p]Maid's mild behaviour and
sobriety. [p]Peace, Tranio!
Tranio : Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.
Baptista Minola : Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
[p]What I have said- Bianca, get
you in; [p]And let it not displease thee, good Bianca, [p]For I will
love thee ne'er the less, my girl.
Katherina : A pretty peat! it is best
[p]Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.
Bianca : Sister, content you in my discontent.
[p]Sir, to your pleasure humbly
I subscribe; [p]My books and instruments shall be my company, [p]On
them to look, and practise by myself.
Lucentio : Hark, Tranio, thou mayst hear Minerva speak!
Hortensio : Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
[p]Sorry am I that our good
will effects [p]Bianca's grief.
Gremio : Why will you mew her up,
[p]Signior Baptista, for this fiend of
hell, [p]And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
Baptista Minola : Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolv'd.
[p]Go in, Bianca.
Exit BIANCA [p]And for I know she taketh most
delight [p]In music, instruments, and poetry, [p]Schoolmasters will I
keep within my house [p]Fit to instruct her youth. If you,
Hortensio, [p]Or, Signior Gremio, you, know any such, [p]Prefer them
hither; for to cunning men [p]I will be very kind, and liberal [p]To
mine own children in good bringing-up; [p]And so, farewell. Katherina,
you may stay; [p]For I have more to commune with Bianca.
Katherina : Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not?
[p]What! shall I be
appointed hours, as though, belike, [p]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
will hold you. There! Love is not so great, [p]Hortensio, but we may
blow our nails together, and fast it fairly [p]out; our cake's dough
on both sides. Farewell; yet, for the love [p]I bear my sweet Bianca,
if I can by any means light on a fit man [p]to teach her that wherein
she delights, I will wish him to her [p]father.
Hortensio : So Will I, Signior Gremio; but a word, I pray. Though
[p]the nature of
our quarrel yet never brook'd parle, know now, upon [p]advice, it
toucheth us both- that we may yet again have access to [p]our fair
mistress, and be happy rivals in Bianca's love- to [p]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. Think'st thou, Hortensio, though her father
rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to hell?
Hortensio : Tush, Gremio! Though it pass your patience and mine to
loud alarums, why, man, there be good fellows in the [p]world, an a
man could light on them, would take her with all [p]faults, and money
Gremio : I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with
this [p]condition: to be whipp'd at the high cross every morning.
Hortensio : Faith, as you say, there's small choice in rotten
come; since this bar in law makes us friends, it [p]shall be so far
forth friendly maintain'd till by helping [p]Baptista's eldest
daughter to a husband we set his youngest free [p]for a husband, and
then have to't afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man [p]be his dole! He that
runs fastest gets the ring. How say you, [p]Signior Gremio?
Gremio : I am agreed; and would I had given him the best horse in
begin his wooing that would thoroughly woo her, wed her, [p]and bed
her, and rid the house of her! Come on.
Tranio : I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
[p]That love should of a sudden
take such hold?
Lucentio : O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
[p]I never thought it possible
or likely. [p]But see! while idly I stood looking on, [p]I found the
effect of love in idleness; [p]And now in plainness do confess to
thee, [p]That art to me as secret and as dear [p]As Anna to the Queen
of Carthage was- [p]Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio, [p]If I
achieve not this young modest girl. [p]Counsel me, Tranio, for I know
thou canst; [p]Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
Tranio : Master, it is no time to chide you now;
[p]Affection is not rated from
the heart; [p]If love have touch'd you, nought remains but
so: [p]'Redime te captum quam queas minimo.'
Lucentio : Gramercies, lad. Go forward; this contents;
[p]The rest will comfort,
for thy counsel's sound.
Tranio : Master, you look'd so longly on the maid.
[p]Perhaps you mark'd not
what's the pith of all.
Lucentio : O, yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
[p]Such as the daughter of
Agenor had, [p]That made great Jove to humble him to her hand, [p]When
with his knees he kiss'd the Cretan strand.
Tranio : Saw you no more? Mark'd you not how her sister
[p]Began to scold and
raise up such a storm [p]That mortal ears might hardly endure the
Lucentio : Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move,
[p]And with her breath she did
perfume the air; [p]Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
Tranio : Nay, then 'tis time to stir him from his trance.
[p]I pray, awake,
sir. If you love the maid, [p]Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her.
Thus it stands: [p]Her elder sister is so curst and shrewd [p]That,
till the father rid his hands of her, [p]Master, your love must live a
maid at home; [p]And therefore has he closely mew'd her up, [p]Because
she will not be annoy'd with suitors.
Lucentio : Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!
[p]But art thou not advis'd he
took some care [p]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,
[p]Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
Lucentio : Tell me thine first.
Tranio : You will be schoolmaster,
[p]And undertake the teaching of the
maid- [p]That's your device.
Lucentio : It is. May it be done?
Tranio : Not possible; for who shall bear your part
[p]And be in Padua here
Vincentio's son; [p]Keep house and ply his book, welcome his
friends, [p]Visit his countrymen, and banquet them?
Lucentio : Basta, content thee, for I have it full.
[p]We have not yet been seen
in any house, [p]Nor can we be distinguish'd by our faces [p]For man
or master. Then it follows thus: [p]Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in
my stead, [p]Keep house and port and servants, as I should; [p]I will
some other be- some Florentine, [p]Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of
Pisa. [p]'Tis hatch'd, and shall be so. Tranio, at once [p]Uncase
thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak. [p]When Biondello comes, he
waits on thee; [p]But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
Tranio : So had you need. [They exchange habits]
[p]In brief, sir,
sith it your pleasure is, [p]And I am tied to be obedient- [p]For so
your father charg'd me at our parting: [p]'Be serviceable to my son'
quoth he, [p]Although I think 'twas in another sense- [p]I am content
to be Lucentio, [p]Because so well I love Lucentio.
Lucentio : Tranio, be so because Lucentio loves;
[p]And let me be a slave t'
achieve that maid [p]Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded
eye. [p][Enter BIONDELLO.] [p]Here comes the rogue. Sirrah, where have
Biondello : Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you?
[p]Master, has my
fellow Tranio stol'n your clothes? [p]Or you stol'n his? or both?
Pray, what's the news?
Lucentio : Sirrah, come hither; 'tis no time to jest,
[p]And therefore frame your
manners to the time. [p]Your fellow Tranio here, to save my
life, [p]Puts my apparel and my count'nance on, [p]And I for my escape
have put on his; [p]For in a quarrel since I came ashore [p]I kill'd a
man, and fear I was descried. [p]Wait you on him, I charge you, as
becomes, [p]While I make way from hence to save my life. [p]You
Biondello : I, sir? Ne'er a whit.
Lucentio : And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth:
[p]Tranio is chang'd into
Biondello : The better for him; would I were so too!
Tranio : So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
indeed had Baptista's youngest daughter. [p]But, sirrah, not for my
sake but your master's, I advise [p]You use your manners discreetly in
all kind of companies. [p]When I am alone, why, then I am
Tranio; [p]But in all places else your master Lucentio.
Lucentio : Tranio, let's go.
[p]One thing more rests, that thyself execute-
make one among these wooers. If thou ask me why- [p]Sufficeth, my
reasons are both good and weighty. Exeunt.
First Servant : My lord, you nod; you do not mind the play.
Christopher Sly : Yes, by Saint Anne do I. A good matter, surely; comes there
more of it?
Page : My lord, 'tis but begun.
Christopher Sly : 'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady
[p]Would 'twere done!
[They sit and mark]
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