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The Taming of the Shrew - Act 1, scene 1
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Navigate this workThe Taming of the Shrew - Act 1, scene 1
Act 1, scene 1
Lucentio has come with his servant Tranio to Padua to study philosophy. They witness an encounter between Baptista and his daughters, in which Baptista announces that Bianca cannot marry until the elder and bad-tempered Katherine does. Bianca’s suitors decide to search for a husband for Katherine. Meanwhile Lucentio has fallen in love with Bianca and decides to have Tranio impersonate him so that Lucentio, in the disguise of a schoolmaster, can secretly woo Bianca. The two men exchange clothes.Flourish. Enter Lucentio and his man Tranio.
0292 Tranio, since for the great desire I had
0293 To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
0294 I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
0295 The pleasant garden of great Italy,
0296 5 And by my father’s love and leave am armed
0297 With his goodwill and thy good company.
0298 My trusty servant well approved in all,
0299 Here let us breathe and haply institute
0300 A course of learning and ingenious studies.
0301 10 Pisa, renownèd for grave citizens,
0302 Gave me my being, and my father first,
0303 A merchant of great traffic through the world,
0304 ⌜Vincentio,⌝ come of the Bentivolii.
0305 Vincentio’s son, brought up in Florence,
0306 15 It shall become to serve all hopes conceived
0307 To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds.
0308 And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study
0309 Virtue, and that part of philosophy
0310 Will I apply that treats of happiness
0311 20 By virtue specially to be achieved.
0312 Tell me thy mind, for I have Pisa left
0313 And am to Padua come, as he that leaves
p. 330314 A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
0315 And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
0316 25 ⌜Mi perdonato,⌝ gentle master mine.
0317 I am in all affected as yourself,
0318 Glad that you thus continue your resolve
0319 To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
0320 Only, good master, while we do admire
0321 30 This virtue and this moral discipline,
0322 Let’s be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray,
0323 Or so devote to Aristotle’s checks
0324 As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.
0325 Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
0326 35 And practice rhetoric in your common talk;
0327 Music and poesy use to quicken you;
0328 The mathematics and the metaphysics—
0329 Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you.
0330 No profit grows where is no pleasure ta’en.
0331 40 In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
0332 Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
0333 If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
0334 We could at once put us in readiness
0335 And take a lodging fit to entertain
0336 45 Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
Enter Baptista with his two daughters, Katherine and
Bianca; Gremio, a pantaloon, ⌜and⌝ Hortensio, ⌜suitors⌝
0337 But stay awhile! What company is this?
0338 Master, some show to welcome us to town.
Lucentio ⌜and⌝ Tranio stand by.
BAPTISTA, ⌜to Gremio and Hortensio⌝
0339 Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
0340 For how I firmly am resolved you know:
p. 350341 50 That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
0342 Before I have a husband for the elder.
0343 If either of you both love Katherine,
0344 Because I know you well and love you well,
0345 Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.
0346 55 To cart her, rather. She’s too rough for me.—
0347 There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?
KATHERINE, ⌜to Baptista⌝
0348 I pray you, sir, is it your will
0349 To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
0350 “Mates,” maid? How mean you that? No mates for
0351 60 you,
0352 Unless you were of gentler, milder mold.
0353 I’ faith, sir, you shall never need to fear.
0354 Iwis it is not halfway to her heart.
0355 But if it were, doubt not her care should be
0356 65 To comb your noddle with a three-legged stool
0357 And paint your face and use you like a fool.
0358 From all such devils, good Lord, deliver us!
GREMIO 0359 And me too, good Lord.
TRANIO, ⌜aside to Lucentio⌝
0360 Husht, master, here’s some good pastime toward;
0361 70 That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
LUCENTIO, ⌜aside to Tranio⌝
0362 But in the other’s silence do I see
0363 Maid’s mild behavior and sobriety.
0364 Peace, Tranio.
TRANIO, ⌜aside to Lucentio⌝
0365 Well said, master. Mum, and gaze your fill.
BAPTISTA, ⌜to Gremio and Hortensio⌝
0366 75 Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
0367 What I have said—Bianca, get you in,
p. 370368 And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
0369 For I will love thee ne’er the less, my girl.
0370 A pretty peat! It is best
0371 80 Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.
0372 Sister, content you in my discontent.—
0373 Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe.
0374 My books and instruments shall be my company,
0375 On them to look and practice by myself.
LUCENTIO, ⌜aside to Tranio⌝
0376 85 Hark, Tranio, thou mayst hear Minerva speak!
0377 Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
0378 Sorry am I that our goodwill effects
0379 Bianca’s grief.
GREMIO 0380 Why will you mew her up,
0381 90 Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
0382 And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
0383 Gentlemen, content you. I am resolved.—
0384 Go in, Bianca.⌜Bianca exits.⌝
0385 And for I know she taketh most delight
0386 95 In music, instruments, and poetry,
0387 Schoolmasters will I keep within my house
0388 Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
0389 Or, Signior Gremio, you know any such,
0390 Prefer them hither. For to cunning men
0391 100 I will be very kind, and liberal
0392 To mine own children in good bringing up.
0393 And so, farewell.—Katherine, you may stay,
0394 For I have more to commune with Bianca.He exits.
0395 Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not?
0396 105 What, shall I be appointed hours as though, belike,
0397 I knew not what to take and what to leave? Ha!
p. 39GREMIO 0398 You may go to the Devil’s dam! Your gifts are
0399 so good here’s none will hold you.—Their love is
0400 not so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails
0401 110 together and fast it fairly out. Our cake’s dough on
0402 both sides. Farewell. Yet for the love I bear my
0403 sweet Bianca, if I can by any means light on a fit
0404 man to teach her that wherein she delights, I will
0405 wish him to her father.
HORTENSIO 0406 115So will I, Signior Gremio. But a word, I
0407 pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet never
0408 brooked parle, know now upon advice, it toucheth
0409 us both (that we may yet again have access to our
0410 fair mistress and be happy rivals in Bianca’s love) to
0411 120 labor and effect one thing specially.
GREMIO 0412 What’s that, I pray?
HORTENSIO 0413 Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.
GREMIO 0414 A husband? A devil!
HORTENSIO 0415 I say “a husband.”
GREMIO 0416 125I say “a devil.” Think’st thou, Hortensio,
0417 though her father be very rich, any man is so very a
0418 fool to be married to hell?
HORTENSIO 0419 Tush, Gremio. Though it pass your patience
0420 and mine to endure her loud alarums, why,
0421 130 man, there be good fellows in the world, an a man
0422 could light on them, would take her with all faults,
0423 and money enough.
GREMIO 0424 I cannot tell. But I had as lief take her dowry
0425 with this condition: to be whipped at the high cross
0426 135 every morning.
HORTENSIO 0427 Faith, as you say, there’s small choice in
0428 rotten apples. But come, since this bar in law
0429 makes us friends, it shall be so far forth friendly
0430 maintained till by helping Baptista’s eldest daughter
0431 140 to a husband we set his youngest free for a
0432 husband, and then have to ’t afresh. Sweet Bianca!
0433 Happy man be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the
0434 ring. How say you, Signior Gremio?
p. 41GREMIO 0435 I am agreed, and would I had given him the
0436 145 best horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would
0437 thoroughly woo her, wed her, and bed her, and rid
0438 the house of her. Come on.
⌜Gremio and Hortensio⌝ exit.
Tranio and Lucentio remain onstage.
0439 I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
0440 That love should of a sudden take such hold?
0441 150 O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
0442 I never thought it possible or likely.
0443 But see, while idly I stood looking on,
0444 I found the effect of love-in-idleness,
0445 And now in plainness do confess to thee
0446 155 That art to me as secret and as dear
0447 As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was:
0448 Tranio, I burn, I pine! I perish, Tranio,
0449 If I achieve not this young modest girl.
0450 Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst.
0451 160 Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
0452 Master, it is no time to chide you now.
0453 Affection is not rated from the heart.
0454 If love have touched you, naught remains but so:
0455 Redime te ⌜captum⌝ quam queas minimo.
0456 165 Gramercies, lad. Go forward. This contents;
0457 The rest will comfort, for thy counsel’s sound.
0458 Master, you looked so longly on the maid,
0459 Perhaps you marked not what’s the pith of all.
0460 O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
0461 170 Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
0462 That made great Jove to humble him to her hand
0463 When with his knees he kissed the Cretan strand.
0464 Saw you no more? Marked you not how her sister
0465 Began to scold and raise up such a storm
0466 175 That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?
0467 Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move,
0468 And with her breath she did perfume the air.
0469 Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
0470 Nay, then ’tis time to stir him from his trance.—
0471 180 I pray, awake, sir! If you love the maid,
0472 Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it
0474 Her elder sister is so curst and shrewd
0475 That till the father rid his hands of her,
0476 185 Master, your love must live a maid at home,
0477 And therefore has he closely mewed her up,
0478 Because she will not be annoyed with suitors.
0479 Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father’s he!
0480 But art thou not advised he took some care
0481 190 To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
0482 Ay, marry, am I, sir—and now ’tis plotted!
0483 I have it, Tranio!
TRANIO 0484 Master, for my hand,
0485 Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
0486 195 Tell me thine first.
TRANIO 0487 You will be schoolmaster
0488 And undertake the teaching of the maid:
0489 That’s your device.
LUCENTIO 0490 It is. May it be done?
0491 200 Not possible. For who shall bear your part
p. 450492 And be in Padua here Vincentio’s son,
0493 Keep house, and ply his book, welcome his friends,
0494 Visit his countrymen and banquet them?
0495 Basta, content thee, for I have it full.
0496 205 We have not yet been seen in any house,
0497 Nor can we be distinguished by our faces
0498 For man or master. Then it follows thus:
0499 Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
0500 Keep house, and port, and servants, as I should.
0501 210 I will some other be, some Florentine,
0502 Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
0503 ’Tis hatched, and shall be so. Tranio, at once
0504 Uncase thee. Take my colored hat and cloak.
⌜They exchange clothes.⌝
0505 When Biondello comes, he waits on thee,
0506 215 But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
TRANIO 0507 So had you need.
0508 In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
0509 And I am tied to be obedient
0510 (For so your father charged me at our parting:
0511 220 “Be serviceable to my son,” quoth he,
0512 Although I think ’twas in another sense),
0513 I am content to be Lucentio,
0514 Because so well I love Lucentio.
0515 Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves,
0516 225 And let me be a slave, t’ achieve that maid
0517 Whose sudden sight hath thralled my wounded eye.
0518 Here comes the rogue.—Sirrah, where have you
0520 Where have I been? Nay, how now, where are you?
p. 470521 230 Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes?
0522 Or you stolen his? Or both? Pray, what’s the news?
0523 Sirrah, come hither. ’Tis no time to jest,
0524 And therefore frame your manners to the time.
0525 Your fellow, Tranio here, to save my life,
0526 235 Puts my apparel and my count’nance on,
0527 And I for my escape have put on his;
0528 For in a quarrel since I came ashore
0529 I killed a man and fear I was descried.
0530 Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
0531 240 While I make way from hence to save my life.
0532 You understand me?
BIONDELLO 0533 Ay, sir. ⌜Aside.⌝ Ne’er a whit.
0534 And not a jot of “Tranio” in your mouth.
0535 Tranio is changed into Lucentio.
0536 245 The better for him. Would I were so too.
0537 So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
0538 That Lucentio indeed had Baptista’s youngest
0540 But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master’s, I
0541 250 advise
0542 You use your manners discreetly in all kind of
0544 When I am alone, why then I am Tranio;
0545 But in all places else, ⌜your⌝ master Lucentio.
LUCENTIO 0546 255Tranio, let’s go. One thing more rests, that
0547 thyself execute, to make one among these wooers. If
0548 thou ask me why, sufficeth my reasons are both
0549 good and weighty.They exit.
The Presenters above ⌜speak.⌝
0550 My lord, you nod. You do not mind the play.
p. 49SLY 0551 260Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely.
0552 Comes there any more of it?
⌜PAGE, as⌝ Lady 0553 My lord, ’tis but begun.
SLY 0554 ’Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady.
0555 Would ’twere done.
They sit and mark.