The Taming of the Shrew


Text

Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Tranio as Lucentio, and Hortensio as Licio


TRANIO

Is't possible, friend Licio, that Mistress Bianca

Doth fancy any other but Lucentio?

I tell you, sir, she bears me fair in hand.
bear in hand 1 abuse, take advantage of, delude, deceive
fair (adv.) 7 fully, quite, wholly


HORTENSIO

Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said,
satisfy (v.) 1 provide with information, reassure, convince

Stand by and mark the manner of his teaching.
mark (v.) 1 note, pay attention [to], take notice [of] See Topics: Frequency count

They stand aside

Enter Bianca, and Lucentio as Cambio


LUCENTIO

Now, mistress, profit you in what you read?


BIANCA

What, master, read you? First resolve me that.
master (n.) 1 teacher, school-master
resolve (v.) 1 answer, respond to


LUCENTIO

I read that I profess, The Art to Love.
profess (v.) 3 practise, pursue, claim knowledge of


BIANCA

And may you prove, sir, master of your art.


LUCENTIO

While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of my heart.

They court each other
proceeder (n.) worker, scholar, student
quick (adj.) 4 sharp, keen, alert


HORTENSIO

Quick proceeders, marry! Now tell me, I pray,

You that durst swear that your mistress Bianca

Loved none in the world so well as Lucentio.


TRANIO

O despiteful love, unconstant womankind!

I tell thee, Licio, this is wonderful.
wonderful (adj.) amazing, astonishing, extraordinary


HORTENSIO

Mistake no more, I am not Licio,

Nor a musician as I seem to be,

But one that scorn to live in this disguise

For such a one as leaves a gentleman

And makes a god of such a cullion.
cullion (n.) wretch, rascal, rogue

Know, sir, that I am called Hortensio.


TRANIO

Signor Hortensio, I have often heard

Of your entire affection to Bianca,
affection (n.) 4 love, devotion
entire (adj.) sincere, genuine, earnest

And since mine eyes are witness of her lightness,
lightness (n.) 1 irresponsibility, levity, frivolity, fickleness

I will with you, if you be so contented,

Forswear Bianca and her love for ever.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count


HORTENSIO

See how they kiss and court! Signor Lucentio,

Here is my hand, and here I firmly vow

Never to woo her more, but do forswear her,

As one unworthy all the former favours

That I have fondly flattered her withal.
fondly (adv.) foolishly, stupidly, madly


TRANIO

And here I take the unfeigned oath,

Never to marry with her though she would entreat.

Fie on her! See how beastly she doth court him.
beastly (adv.) like an animal, in a beastly manner


HORTENSIO

Would all the world but he had quite forsworn!

For me, that I may surely keep mine oath,

I will be married to a wealthy widow

Ere three days pass, which hath as long loved me

As I have loved this proud disdainful haggard.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count
haggard (n.) [falconry] wild hawk

And so farewell, Signor Lucentio.

Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks,

Shall win my love – and so I take my leave,

In resolution as I swore before.
resolution (n.) 1 determination, courage, firmness of purpose

Exit

Tranio joins Lucentio and Bianca


TRANIO

Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace

As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case!

Nay, I have ta'en you napping, gentle love,

And have forsworn you with Hortensio.
forswear (v), past forms forsworn, forswore 2 abandon, renounce, reject, give up See Topics: Frequency count


BIANCA

Tranio, you jest – but have you both forsworn me?


TRANIO

Mistress, we have.


LUCENTIO

                         Then we are rid of Licio.


TRANIO

I'faith, he'll have a lusty widow now,

That shall be wooed and wedded in a day.


BIANCA

God give him joy!


TRANIO

Ay, and he'll tame her.


BIANCA

                         He says so, Tranio.


TRANIO

Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school.


BIANCA

The taming-school? What, is there such a place?


TRANIO

Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master,

That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long,
eleven and twenty long just right, perfect [a winning hand in the card game of Thirty-one]
trick (n.) 2 way, knack, skill

To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.
charm (v.) 4 overcome, subdue, take over [as if by a charm]

Enter Biondello
watch (v.) 2 keep the watch, keep guard, be on the look-out


BIONDELLO

O master, master, I have watched so long

That I'm dog-weary, but at last I spied
dog-weary (adj.) dog-tired, exhausted

An ancient angel coming down the hill
ancient, aunchient (adj.) 4 aged, very old, venerable
angel (n.) 2 ministering spirit, person who can perform a helpful office

Will serve the turn.
serve one's turn meet one's need, answer one's requirements
turn (n.) 1 need, requirement, purpose [especially in the phrase ‘serve one's turn’ = meet one's need]


TRANIO

                         What is he, Biondello?


BIONDELLO

Master, a marcantant or a pedant,
marcantant (n.) malapropism of Italian ‘mercatante’, merchant
pedant (n.) schoolmaster, teacher

I know not what – but formal in apparel,
apparel (n.) clothes, clothing, dress See Topics: Frequency count

In gait and countenance surely like a father.
countenance (n.) 1 demeanour, bearing, manner
gait (n.) 1 manner of walking, bearing, movement


LUCENTIO

And what of him, Tranio?


TRANIO

If he be credulous and trust my tale,
trust (v.) 1 believe, accept, give credence to

I'll make him glad to seem Vincentio,

And give assurance to Baptista Minola

As if he were the right Vincentio.

Take in your love, and then let me alone.

Exeunt Lucentio and Bianca

Enter a Pedant


PEDANT

God save you, sir.


TRANIO

                         And you, sir. You are welcome.

Travel you farrer on, or are you at the farthest?
farrer (adv.) farther, further


PEDANT

Sir, at the farthest for a week or two,

But then up farther, and as far as Rome,

And so to Tripoli, if God lend me life.


TRANIO

What countryman, I pray?


PEDANT

                         Of Mantua.


TRANIO

Of Mantua? Sir, marry, God forbid!

And come to Padua, careless of your life?
careless (adj.) 1 carefree, unconcerned, untroubled


PEDANT

My life, sir? How, I pray? For that goes hard.
hard (adv.) 3 badly, poorly, ill


TRANIO

'Tis death for any one in Mantua

To come to Padua. Know you not the cause?

Your ships are stayed at Venice, and the Duke,
stay (v.) 7 detain, confine, keep

For private quarrel 'twixt your Duke and him,

Hath published and proclaimed it openly.

'Tis marvel – but that you are but newly come,
marvel (adj.) strange, remarkable

You might have heard it else proclaimed about.


PEDANT

Alas, sir, it is worse for me than so!

For I have bills for money by exchange

From Florence, and must here deliver them.


TRANIO

Well, sir, to do you courtesy,

This will I do, and this I will advise you –

First tell me, have you ever been at Pisa?


PEDANT

Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been,

Pisa renowned for grave citizens.


TRANIO

Among them know you one Vincentio?


PEDANT

I know him not, but I have heard of him,

A merchant of incomparable wealth.


TRANIO

He is my father, sir, and, sooth to say,

In countenance somewhat doth resemble you.


BIONDELLO

(aside)

As much as an apple doth an oyster,

and all one.


TRANIO

To save your life in this extremity,

This favour will I do you for his sake –

And think it not the worst of all your fortunes

That you are like to Sir Vincentio –

His name and credit shall you undertake,
credit (n.) 3 reputation, name, standing, honour
undertake (v.) 6 assume, take on, feign

And in my house you shall be friendly lodged.

Look that you take upon you as you should.
take upon (v.) 1 profess, pretend, affect [oneself]

You understand me, sir. So shall you stay

Till you have done your business in the city.

If this be courtesy, sir, accept of it.


PEDANT

O, sir, I do, and will repute you ever
repute (v.) consider, think, reckon

The patron of my life and liberty.


TRANIO

Then go with me to make the matter good.

This, by the way, I let you understand –

My father is here looked for every day
look for (v.) 1 expect, hope for, anticipate

To pass assurance of a dower in marriage
assurance (n.) 2 confirmation, pledge, guarantee
dower (n.) dowry, property or wealth given with a wife
pass (v.) 7 confirm, ratify, affirm

'Twixt me and one Baptista's daughter here.

In all these circumstances I'll instruct you.

Go with me, sir, to clothe you as becomes you.
become (v.) 1 be fitting, befit, be appropriate to See Topics: Frequency count

Exeunt

 
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