Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare
Act 1 - Scene 2
Padua. Before HORTENSIO’S house
Petruchio : Verona, for a while I take my leave,
[p]To see my friends in Padua;
but of all [p]My best beloved and approved friend, [p]Hortensio; and I
trow this is his house. [p]Here, sirrah Grumio, knock, I say.
Grumio : Knock, sir! Whom should I knock?
[p]Is there any man has rebus'd your
Petruchio : Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.
Grumio : Knock you here, sir? Why, sir, what am I, sir, that I
you here, sir?
Petruchio : Villain, I say, knock me at this gate,
[p]And rap me well, or I'll
knock your knave's pate.
Grumio : My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock you first,
I know after who comes by the worst.
Petruchio : Will it not be?
[p]Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock I'll ring
it; [p]I'll try how you can sol-fa, and sing it.
Grumio : Help, masters, help! My master is mad.
Petruchio : Now knock when I bid you, sirrah villain!
Hortensio : How now! what's the matter? My old friend Grumio and my
Petruchio! How do you all at Verona?
Petruchio : Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray?
[p]'Con tutto il cuore
ben trovato' may I say.
Hortensio : Alla nostra casa ben venuto,
[p]Molto honorato signor mio
Petruchio. [p]Rise, Grumio, rise; we will compound this quarrel.
Grumio : Nay, 'tis no matter, sir, what he 'leges in Latin. If this
[p]be not a
lawful cause for me to leave his service- look you, sir: [p]he bid me
knock him and rap him soundly, sir. Well, was it fit [p]for a servant
to use his master so; being, perhaps, for aught I [p]see, two and
thirty, a pip out? [p]Whom would to God I had well knock'd at
first, [p]Then had not Grumio come by the worst.
Petruchio : A senseless villain! Good Hortensio,
[p]I bade the rascal knock upon
your gate, [p]And could not get him for my heart to do it.
Grumio : Knock at the gate? O heavens! Spake you not these words
'Sirrah knock me here, rap me here, knock me well, and [p]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;
[p]Why, this's a heavy
chance 'twixt him and you, [p]Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant
Grumio. [p]And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale [p]Blows you
to Padua here from old Verona?
Petruchio : Such wind as scatters young men through the world
[p]To seek their
fortunes farther than at home, [p]Where small experience grows. But in
a few, [p]Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me: [p]Antonio, my
father, is deceas'd, [p]And I have thrust myself into this
maze, [p]Haply to wive and thrive as best I may; [p]Crowns in my purse
I have, and goods at home, [p]And so am come abroad to see the world.
Hortensio : Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee
[p]And wish thee to a
shrewd ill-favour'd wife? [p]Thou'dst thank me but a little for my
counsel, [p]And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich, [p]And very
rich; but th'art too much my friend, [p]And I'll not wish thee to
Petruchio : Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as we
[p]Few words suffice; and
therefore, if thou know [p]One rich enough to be Petruchio's
wife, [p]As wealth is burden of my wooing dance, [p]Be she as foul as
was Florentius' love, [p]As old as Sibyl, and as curst and
shrewd [p]As Socrates' Xanthippe or a worse- [p]She moves me not, or
not removes, at least, [p]Affection's edge in me, were she as
rough [p]As are the swelling Adriatic seas. [p]I come to wive it
wealthily in Padua; [p]If wealthily, then happily in Padua.
Grumio : Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his mind is.
him gold enough and marry him to a puppet or an [p]aglet-baby, or an
old trot with ne'er a tooth in her head, though [p]she has as many
diseases as two and fifty horses. Why, nothing [p]comes amiss, so
money comes withal.
Hortensio : Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus far in,
[p]I will continue that I
broach'd in jest. [p]I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife [p]With
wealth enough, and young and beauteous; [p]Brought up as best becomes
a gentlewoman; [p]Her only fault, and that is faults enough, [p]Is-
that she is intolerable curst, [p]And shrewd and froward so beyond all
measure [p]That, were my state far worser than it is, [p]I would not
wed her for a mine of gold.
Petruchio : Hortensio, peace! thou know'st not gold's effect.
[p]Tell me her
father's name, and 'tis enough; [p]For I will board her though she
chide as loud [p]As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack.
Hortensio : Her father is Baptista Minola,
[p]An affable and courteous
gentleman; [p]Her name is Katherina Minola, [p]Renown'd in Padua for
her scolding tongue.
Petruchio : I know her father, though I know not her;
[p]And he knew my deceased
father well. [p]I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her; [p]And
therefore let me be thus bold with you [p]To give you over at this
first encounter, [p]Unless you will accompany me thither.
Grumio : I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts. O' my
she knew him as well as I do, she would think scolding [p]would do
little good upon him. She may perhaps call him half a [p]score knaves
or so. Why, that's nothing; and he begin once, he'll [p]rail in his
rope-tricks. I'll tell you what, sir: an she stand [p]him but a
little, he will throw a figure in her face, and so [p]disfigure her
with it that she shall have no more eyes to see [p]withal than a cat.
You know him not, sir.
Hortensio : Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee,
[p]For in Baptista's keep my
treasure is. [p]He hath the jewel of my life in hold, [p]His youngest
daughter, beautiful Bianca; [p]And her withholds from me, and other
more, [p]Suitors to her and rivals in my love; [p]Supposing it a thing
impossible- [p]For those defects I have before rehears'd- [p]That ever
Katherina will be woo'd. [p]Therefore this order hath Baptista
ta'en, [p]That none shall have access unto Bianca [p]Till Katherine
the curst have got a husband.
Grumio : Katherine the curst!
[p]A title for a maid of all titles the worst.
Hortensio : Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace,
[p]And offer me disguis'd
in sober robes [p]To old Baptista as a schoolmaster [p]Well seen in
music, to instruct Bianca; [p]That so I may by this device at
least [p]Have leave and leisure to make love to her, [p]And
unsuspected court her by herself. [p] Enter GREMIO with LUCENTIO
disguised as CAMBIO
Grumio : Here's no knavery! See, to beguile the old folks, how the
folks lay their heads together! Master, master, look about [p]you. Who
goes there, ha?
Hortensio : Peace, Grumio! It is the rival of my love. Petruchio,
Grumio : A proper stripling, and an amorous!
Gremio : O, very well; I have perus'd the note.
[p]Hark you, sir; I'll have
them very fairly bound- [p]All books of love, see that at any
hand; [p]And see you read no other lectures to her. [p]You understand
me- over and beside [p]Signior Baptista's liberality, [p]I'll mend it
with a largess. Take your paper too, [p]And let me have them very well
perfum'd; [p]For she is sweeter than perfume itself [p]To whom they go
to. What will you read to her?
Lucentio : Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you
[p]As for my patron, stand
you so assur'd, [p]As firmly as yourself were still in place; [p]Yea,
and perhaps with more successful words [p]Than you, unless you were a
Gremio : O this learning, what a thing it is!
Grumio : O this woodcock, what an ass it is!
Petruchio : Peace, sirrah!
Hortensio : Grumio, mum! [Coming forward]
[p]God save you,
Gremio : And you are well met, Signior Hortensio.
[p]Trow you whither I am
going? To Baptista Minola. [p]I promis'd to enquire carefully [p]About
a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca; [p]And by good fortune I have
lighted well [p]On this young man; for learning and behaviour [p]Fit
for her turn, well read in poetry [p]And other books- good ones, I
Hortensio : 'Tis well; and I have met a gentleman
[p]Hath promis'd me to help me
to another, [p]A fine musician to instruct our mistress; [p]So shall I
no whit be behind in duty [p]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.
[p]Listen to me, and if you
speak me fair [p]I'll tell you news indifferent good for
either. [p]Here is a gentleman whom by chance I met, [p]Upon agreement
from us to his liking, [p]Will undertake to woo curst
Katherine; [p]Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
Gremio : So said, so done, is well.
[p]Hortensio, have you told him all her
Petruchio : I know she is an irksome brawling scold;
[p]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.
[p]My father dead, my fortune lives
for me; [p]And I do hope good days and long to see.
Gremio : O Sir, such a life with such a wife were strange!
[p]But if you have a
stomach, to't a God's name; [p]You shall have me assisting you in
all. [p]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?
[p]Think you a little din can
daunt mine ears? [p]Have I not in my time heard lions roar? [p]Have I
not heard the sea, puff'd up with winds, [p]Rage like an angry boar
chafed with sweat? [p]Have I not heard great ordnance in the
field, [p]And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies? [p]Have I not
in a pitched battle heard [p]Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and
trumpets' clang? [p]And do you tell me of a woman's tongue, [p]That
gives not half so great a blow to hear [p]As will a chestnut in a
farmer's fire? [p]Tush! tush! fear boys with bugs.
Grumio : For he fears none.
Gremio : Hortensio, hark:
[p]This gentleman is happily arriv'd,
presumes, for his own good and ours.
Hortensio : I promis'd we would be contributors
[p]And bear his charge of wooing,
Gremio : And so we will- provided that he win her.
Grumio : I would I were as sure of a good dinner.
[p]Enter TRANIO, bravely
apparelled as LUCENTIO, and BIONDELLO
Tranio : Gentlemen, God save you! If I may be bold,
[p]Tell me, I beseech you,
which is the readiest way [p]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 : [Aside] Well begun, Tranio.
Hortensio : Sir, a word ere you go.
[p]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
[p]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,
[p]That she's the choice love of
Hortensio : That she's the chosen of Signior Hortensio.
Tranio : Softly, my masters! If you be gentlemen,
[p]Do me this right- hear me
with patience. [p]Baptista is a noble gentleman, [p]To whom my father
is not all unknown, [p]And, were his daughter fairer than she
is, [p]She may more suitors have, and me for one. [p]Fair Leda's
daughter had a thousand wooers; [p]Then well one more may fair Bianca
have; [p]And so she shall: Lucentio shall make one, [p]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,
[p]Did you yet ever see Baptista's
Tranio : No, sir, but hear I do that he hath two:
[p]The one as famous for a
scolding tongue [p]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,
[p]And let it be more than
Petruchio : Sir, understand you this of me, in sooth:
[p]The youngest daughter,
whom you hearken for, [p]Her father keeps from all access of
suitors, [p]And will not promise her to any man [p]Until the elder
sister first be wed. [p]The younger then is free, and not before.
Tranio : If it be so, sir, that you are the man
[p]Must stead us all, and me
amongst the rest; [p]And if you break the ice, and do this
feat, [p]Achieve the elder, set the younger free [p]For our access-
whose hap shall be to have her [p]Will not so graceless be to be
Hortensio : Sir, you say well, and well you do conceive;
[p]And since you do
profess to be a suitor, [p]You must, as we do, gratify this
gentleman, [p]To whom we all rest generally beholding.
Tranio : Sir, I shall not be slack; in sign whereof,
[p]Please ye we may
contrive this afternoon, [p]And quaff carouses to our mistress'
health; [p]And do as adversaries do in law- [p]Strive mightily, but
eat and drink as friends.
Grumio : [with BIONDELLO:] O excellent motion! Fellows, let's be gone.
Hortensio : The motion's good indeed, and be it so.
[p]Petruchio, I shall be your
ben venuto. Exeunt
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