ACT I
Scene 1
 

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 arriv'd 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 approv'd in all,
Here let us breathe, and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
Pisa, renowned for grave citizens,
Gave me my being and my father first,
A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii;
Vincentio's son, brought up in Florence,
It shall become to serve all hopes conceiv'd,
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 achiev'd.
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 checks
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjur'd.
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.

Enter BAPTISTA with his two daughters, KATHERINA and BIANCA; GREMIO, a pantaloon; HORTENSIO, suitor to BIANCA. LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand by

But stay awhile; what company is this?

TRANIO
Master, some show to welcome us to town.

BAPTISTA
Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
For how I firmly am resolv'd you know;
That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder.
If either of you both love Katherina,
Because I know you well and love you well,
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.

GREMIO
To cart her rather. She's too rough for me.
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?

KATHERINA
[To BAPTISTA] 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.

KATHERINA
I' faith, sir, you shall never need to fear;
Iwis it is not halfway 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
Husht, 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 behaviour 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.

KATHERINA
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 look, and practise by myself.

LUCENTIO
Hark, Tranio, thou mayst 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 resolv'd.
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. Katherina, you may stay;
For I have more to commune with Bianca.

Exit

KATHERINA
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. There! Love is not so great,
Hortensio, but we may blow our nails together, and fast it
fairly out; our cake's 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 brook'd 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 Bianca'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. Think'st 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 whipp'd 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 maintain'd till by helping
Baptista's eldest daughter to a husband we set his youngest
free for a husband, and then have to't afresh. 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 elder 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 advis'd 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 be 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.

[They exchange habits]

In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
And I am tied to be obedient-
For so your father charg'd 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 t' achieve that maid
Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye.

Enter BIONDELLO.

Here comes the rogue. Sirrah, where have you been?

BIONDELLO
Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you?
Master, has my fellow Tranio stol'n your clothes?
Or you stol'n 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 count'nance 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 chang'd 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]