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William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act IV. Scene II.

The Taming of the Shrew

Padua.Before BAPTISTA’S House.


Tra.Is ’t possible, friend Licio, that Mistress Bianca

Doth fancy any other but Lucentio?

I tell you, sir, she bears me fair in hand.

Hor.Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said,

Stand by, and mark the manner of his teaching.[They stand aside.


Luc.Now, mistress, profit you in what you read?

Bian.What, master, read you? first resolve me that.

Luc.I read that I profess, the Art to Love.

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

Luc.While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of my heart.[They retire.

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

You that durst swear that your mistress Bianca

Lov’d none in the world so well as Lucentio.

Tra.O despiteful love! unconstant womankind!

I tell thee, Licio, this is wonderful.

Hor.Mistake no more: I am not Licio,

Nor a musician, as I seem to be;

But one that scorns to live in this disguise,

For such a one as leaves a gentleman,

And makes a god of such a cullion:

Know, sir, that I am call’d Hortensio.

Tra.Signior Hortensio, I have often heard

Of your entire affection to Bianca;

And since mine eyes are witness of her lightness,

I will with you, if you be so contented,

Forswear Bianca and her love for ever.

Hor.See, how they kiss and court! Signior Lucentio,

Here is my hand, and here I firmly vow

Never to woo her more; but I do forswear her,

As one unworthy all the former favours

That I have fondly flatter’d her withal.

Tra.And here I take the like unfeigned oath,

Never to marry with her though she would entreat.

Fie on her! see how beastly she doth court him.

Hor.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 lov’d me

As I have lov’d this proud disdainful haggard.

And so farewell, Signior Lucentio.

Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks,

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

In resolution as I swore before.[Exit HORTENSIO.LUCENTIO and BIANCA advance.

Tra.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.

Bian.Tranio, you jest. But have you both forsworn me?

Tra.Mistress, we have.

Luc.Then we are rid of Licio.

Tra.I’ faith, he’ll have a lusty widow now,

That shall be woo’d and wedded in a day.

Bian.God give him joy!

Tra.Ay, and he’ll tame her.

Bian.He says so, Tranio.

Tra.Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school.

Bian.The taming-school! what, is there such a place?

Tra.Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master;

That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long,

To tame a shrew, and charm her chattering tongue.

Enter BIONDELLO, running.

Bion.O master, master! I have watch’d so long

That I’m dog-weary; but at last I spied

An ancient angel coming down the hill

Will serve the turn.

Tra.What is he, Biondello?

Bion.Master, a mercatante, or a pedant,

I know not what; but formal in apparel,

In gait and countenance surely like a father.

Luc.And what of him. Tranio?

Tra.If he be credulous and trust my tale,

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.

Ped.God save you, sir!

Tra.And you, sir! you are welcome.

Travel you far on, or are you at the furthest?

Ped.Sir, at the furthest for a week or two;

But then up further, and as far as Rome;

And so to Tripoli, if God lend me life.

Tra.What countryman, I pray?

Ped.Of Mantua.

Tra.Of Mantua, sir! marry, God forbid!

And come to Padua, careless of your life?

Ped.My life, sir! how, I pray? for that goes hard.

Tra.’Tis death for any one in Mantua

To come to Padua. Know you not the cause?

Your ships are stay’d at Venice; and the duke,—

For private quarrel ’twixt your duke and him,—

Hath publish’d and proclaim’d it openly.

’Tis marvel, but that you are but newly come,

You might have heard it else proclaim’d about.

Ped.Alas, sir! it is worse for me than so;

For I have bills for money by exchange

From Florence, and must here deliver them.

Tra.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?

Ped.Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been;

Pisa, renowned for grave citizens.

Tra.Among them, know you one Vincentio?

Ped.I know him not, but I have heard of him;

A merchant of incomparable wealth.

Tra.He is my father, sir; and, sooth to say,

In countenance somewhat doth resemble you.

Bion.[Aside.]As much as an apple doth an oyster, and all one.

Tra.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,

And in my house you shall be friendly lodg’d,

Look that you take upon you as you should!

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.

Ped.O sir, I do; and will repute you ever

The patron of my life and liberty.

Tra.Then go with me to make the matter good.

This, by the way, I let you understand:

My father is here look’d for every day,

To pass assurance of a dower in marriage

’Twixt me and one Baptista’s daughter here:

In all these circumstances I’ll instruct you.

Go with me to clothe you as becomes you.[Exeunt.