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

Act IV. Scene IV.

The Taming of the Shrew

Padua.Before BAPTISTA’S House.

Enter TRANIO, and the Pedant dressed like VINCENTIO.

Tra.Sir, this is the house: please it you that I call?

Ped.Ay, what else? and, but I be deceived,

Signior Baptista may remember me,

Near twenty years ago, in Genoa,

Where we were lodgers at the Pegasus.

Tra.’Tis well; and hold your own, in any case,

With such austerity as ’longeth to a father.

Ped.I warrant you. But, sir, here comes your boy;

’Twere good he were school’d.


Tra.Fear you not him. Sirrah Biondello,

Now do your duty throughly, I advise you:

Imagine ’twere the right Vincentio.

Bion.Tut! fear not me.

Tra.But hast thou done thy errand to Baptista?

Bion.I told him that your father was at Venice,

And that you look’d for him this day in Padua.

Tra.Thou’rt a tall fellow: hold thee that to drink.

Here comes Baptista. Set your countenance, sir.


Signior Baptista, you are happily met.

[To the Pedant.]Sir, this is the gentleman I told you of:

I pray you, stand good father to me now,

Give me Bianca for my patrimony.

Ped.Soft, son!

Sir, by your leave: having come to Padua

To gather in some debts, my son Lucentio

Made me acquainted with a weighty cause

Of love between your daughter and himself:

And,—for the good report I hear of you,

And for the love he beareth to your daughter,

And she to him,—to stay him not too long,

I am content, in a good father’s care,

To have him match’d; and, if you please to like

No worse than I, upon some agreement

Me shall you find ready and willing

With one consent to have her so bestow’d;

For curious I cannot be with you,

Signior Baptista, of whom I hear so well.

Bap.Sir, pardon me in what I have to say:

Your plainness and your shortness please me well.

Right true it is, your son Lucentio here

Doth love my daughter and she loveth him,

Or both dissemble deeply their affections:

And therefore, if you say no more than this,

That like a father you will deal with him

And pass my daughter a sufficient dower,

The match is made, and all is done:

Your son shall have my daughter with consent.

Tra.I thank you, sir. Where, then, do you know best

We be affied and such assurance ta’en

As shall with either part’s agreement stand?

Bap.Not in my house, Lucentio; for, you know,

Pitchers have ears, and I have many servants.

Besides, old Gremio is hearkening still,

And happily we might be interrupted.

Tra.Then at my lodging an it like you:

There doth my father lie, and there this night

We’ll pass the business privately and well.

Send for your daughter by your servant here;

My boy shall fetch the scrivener presently.

The worst is this, that, at so slender warning,

You’re like to have a thin and slender pittance.

Bap.It likes me well. Cambio, hie you home,

And bid Bianca make her ready straight;

And, if you will, tell what hath happened:

Lucentio’s father is arriv’d in Padua,

And how she’s like to be Lucentio’s wife.

Luc.I pray the gods she may with all my heart!

Tra.Dally not with the gods, but get thee gone.

Signior Baptista, shall I lead the way?

Welcome! one mess is like to be your cheer.

Come, sir; we will better it in Pisa.

Bap.I follow you.[Exeunt TRANIO, Pedant, and BAPTISTA.


Luc.What sayst thou, Biondello?

Bion.You saw my master wink and laugh upon you?

Luc.Biondello, what of that?

Bion.Faith, nothing; but he has left me here behind to expound the meaning or moral of his signs and tokens.

Luc.I pray thee, moralize them.

Bion.Then thus. Baptista is safe, talking with the deceiving father of a deceitful son.

Luc.And what of him?

Bion.His daughter is to be brought by you to the supper.

Luc.And then?

Bion.The old priest at Saint Luke’s church is at your command at all hours.

Luc.And what of all this?

Bion.I cannot tell, expect they are busied about a counterfeit assurance: take you assurance of her, cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum. To the church! take the priest, clerk, and some sufficient honest witnesses.

If this be not that you look for, I have no more to say,

But bid Bianca farewell for ever and a day.[Going.

Luc.Hearest thou, Biondello?

Bion.I cannot tarry: I knew a wench married in an afternoon as she went to the garden for parsley to stuff a rabbit; and so may you, sir; and so, adieu, sir. My master hath appointed me to go to Saint Luke’s, to bid the priest be ready to come against you come with your appendix.[Exit.

Luc.I may, and will, if she be so contented:

She will be pleas’d; then wherefore should I doubt?

Hap what hap may, I’ll roundly go about her:

It shall go hard if Cambio go without her.[Exit.