Enter Lucentio and his man Tranio
Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
art (n.) 1
knowledge, learning, scholarship, science
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy,
And by my father's love and leave am armed
With his good will and thy good company,
My trusty servant well approved 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 conceived
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 achieved.
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.
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,
pleasure-despiser, over-rigorous person
Or so devote to Aristotle's checks
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.
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.
serve (v.) 3
provide opportunity [to], be favourable [to], favour
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en.
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
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, and Hortensio, suitor
to Bianca. Lucentio and Tranio stand by
But stay awhile, what company is this?
Master, some show to welcome us to town.
Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
For how I firmly am resolved 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.
To cart her rather. She's too rough for me.
drive around in a cart [usual punishment for a prostitute]
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?
I pray you, sir, is it your will
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
Mates, maid, how mean you that? No mates for you
Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.
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-legged stool,
And paint your face, and use you like a fool.
From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!
And me too, good Lord!
(aside to Lucentio)
Husht, master, here's some good pastime toward.
That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
(aside to Tranio)
But in the other's silence do I see
Maid's mild behaviour and sobriety.
(aside to Lucentio)
Well said, master. Mum! And gaze your fill.
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.
A pretty peat! It is best
Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.
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.
Hark, Tranio, thou mayst hear Minerva speak.
Signor Baptista, will you be so strange?
Sorry am I that our good will effects
Why will you mew her up,
Signor Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
Gentlemen, content ye. I am resolved.
Go in, 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 Signor 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.
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?
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.
So will I, Signor Gremio. But a word, I
pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet never
brooked 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.
What's that, I pray?
Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.
A husband? A devil.
I say a husband.
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?
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.
I cannot tell. But I had as lief take her dowry
with this condition – to be whipped at the high-cross
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 maintained till by
helping Baptista's eldest daughter to a husband we set
his youngest free for a husband, and then have to't
let's go at it, let's renew the fight
afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man be his dole. He that
runs fastest gets the ring. How say you, Signor 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
I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?
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.
Master, it is no time to chide you now;
Affection is not rated from the heart.
If love have touched you, naught remains but so –
Redime te captum quam queas minimo.
free yourself from captivity at the lowest ransom
See Topics: Latin
Gramercies, lad. Go forward, this contents.
The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound.
Master, you looked so longly on the maid,
Perhaps you marked not what's the pith of all.
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 kissed the Cretan strand.
Saw you no more? Marked you not how her sister
Began to scold and raise up such a storm
That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?
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.
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:
wits, also five wits
faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)
Her eldest 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 mewed her up,
Because she will not be annoyed with suitors.
Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!
But art thou not advised he took some care
To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
Ay, marry, am I, sir – and now 'tis plotted.
I have it, Tranio.
Master, for my hand,
Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
Tell me thine first.
You will be schoolmaster,
And undertake the teaching of the maid –
That's your device.
It is. May it be done?
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?
Basta, content thee, for I have it full.
We have not yet been seen in any house,
Nor can we be distinguished 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 hatched, and shall be so. Tranio, at once
Uncase thee, take my coloured hat and cloak.
When Biondello comes, he waits on thee,
But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
So had you need.
They exchange garments
In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
And I am tied to be obedient –
For so your father charged 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.
Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves.
And let me be a slave t' achieve that maid
Whose sudden sight hath thralled my wounded eye.
Here comes the rogue. Sirrah, where have you been?
Where have I been? Nay, how now, where
are you? Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your
clothes, or you stolen his, or both? Pray, what's the
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 countenance on,
And I for my escape have put on his.
For in a quarrel since I came ashore
I killed 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?
I, sir? Ne'er a whit.
And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth.
Tranio is changed into Lucentio.
The better for him, would I were so too!
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.
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.
The Presenters above speak
My lord, you nod, you do not mind the play.
(coming to with a start) Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A
good matter, surely. Comes there any more of it?
My lord, 'tis but begun.
'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady.
Would 'twere done!
They sit and mark