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

Act II. Scene I.

The Taming of the Shrew

Padua.A Room in BAPTISTA’S House.


Bian.Good sister, wrong me not, nor wrong yourself,

To make a bondmaid and a slave of me;

That I disdain: but for these other gawds,

Unbind my hands, I’ll pull them off myself,

Yea, all my raiment, to my petticoat;

Or what you will command me will I do,

So well I know my duty to my elders.

Kath.Of all thy suitors, here I charge thee, tell

Whom thou lov’st best: see thou dissemble not.

Bian.Believe me, sister, of all the men alive

I never yet beheld that special face

Which I could fancy more than any other.

Kath.Minion, thou liest. Is ’t not Hortensio?

Bian.If you affect him, sister, here I swear

I’ll plead for you myself, but you shall have him.

Kath.O! then, belike, you fancy riches more:

You will have Gremio to keep you fair.

Bian.Is it for him you do envy me so?

Nay, then you jest; and now I well perceive

You have but jested with me all this while:

I prithee, sister Kate, untie my hands.

Kath.If that be jest, then all the rest was so.[Strikes her.


Bap.Why, how now, dame! whence grows this insolence?

Bianca, stand aside. Poor girl! she weeps.

Go ply thy needle; meddle not with her.

For shame, thou hilding of a devilish spirit,

Why dost thou wrong her that did ne’er wrong thee?

When did she cross thee with a bitter word?

Kath.Her silence flouts me, and I’ll be reveng’d.[Flies after BIANCA.

Bap.What! in my sight? Bianca, get thee in.[Exit BIANCA.

Kath.What! will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see

She is your treasure, she must have a husband;

I must dance bare-foot on her wedding-day,

And, for your love to her, lead apes in hell.

Talk not to me: I will go sit and weep

Till I can find occasion of revenge.[Exit.

Bap.Was ever gentleman thus griev’d as I?

But who comes here?

Enter GREMIO, with LUCENTIO in the habit of a mean man; PETRUCHIO, with HORTENSIO as a Musician; and TRANIO, with BIONDELLO bearing a lute and books.

Gre.Good morrow, neighbour Baptista.

Bap.Good morrow, neighbour Gremio. God save you, gentlemen!

Pet.And you, good sir. Pray, have you not a daughter

Call’d Katharina, fair and virtuous?

Bap.I have a daughter, sir, call’d Katharina.

Gre.You are too blunt: go to it orderly.

Pet.You wrong me, Signior Gremio: give me leave.

I am a gentleman of Verona, sir,

That, hearing of her beauty and her wit,

Her affability and bashful modesty,

Her wondrous qualities and mild behaviour,

Am bold to show myself a forward guest

Within your house, to make mine eye the witness

Of that report which I so oft have heard.

And, for an entrance to my entertainment,

I do present you with a man of mine,[Presenting HORTENSIO.

Cunning in music and the mathematics,

To instruct her fully in those sciences,

Whereof I know she is not ignorant.

Accept of him, or else you do me wrong:

His name is Licio, born in Mantua.

Bap.You’re welcome, sir; and he, for your good sake.

But for my daughter Katharine, this I know,

She is not for your turn, the more my grief.

Pet.I see you do not mean to part with her,

Or else you like not of my company.

Bap.Mistake me not; I speak but as I find.

Whence are you, sir? what may I call your name?

Pet.Petruchio is my name; Antonio’s son;

A man well known throughout all Italy.

Bap.I know him well: you are welcome for his sake.

Gre.Saving your tale, Petruchio, I pray,

Let us, that are poor petitioners, speak too.

Backare! you are marvellous forward.

Pet.O, pardon me, Signior Gremio; I would fain be doing.

Gre.I doubt it not, sir; but you will curse your wooing.

Neighbour, this is a gift very grateful, I am sure of it. To express the like kindness myself, that have been more kindly beholding to you than any, freely give unto you this young scholar,[Presenting LUCENTIO.]that has been long studying at Rheims; as cunning in Greek, Latin, and other languages, as the other in music and mathematics. His name is Cambio; pray accept his service.

Bap.A thousand thanks, Signior Gremio; welcome, good Cambio.—[To TRANIO.]But, gentle sir, methinks you walk like a stranger: may I be so bold to know the cause of your coming?

Tra.Pardon me, sir, the boldness is mine own,

That, being a stranger in this city here,

Do make myself a suitor to your daughter,

Unto Bianca, fair and virtuous.

Nor is your firm resolve unknown to me,

In the preferment of the eldest sister.

This liberty is all that I request,

That, upon knowledge of my parentage,

I may have welcome ’mongst the rest that woo,

And free access and favour as the rest:

And, toward the education of your daughters,

I here bestow a simple instrument,

And this small packet of Greek and Latin books:

If you accept them, then their worth is great.

Bap.Lucentio is your name, of whence, I pray?

Tra.Of Pisa, sir; son to Vincentio.

Bap.A mighty man of Pisa; by report

I know him well: you are very welcome, sir.

[To HORTENSIO.]Take you the lute,[To LUCENTIO.]and you the set of books;

You shall go see your pupils presently.

Holla, within!

Enter a Servant.

Sirrah, lead these gentlemen

To my two daughters, and then tell them both

These are their tutors: bid them use them well.[Exit Servant, with HORTENSIO, LUCENTIO, and BIONDELLO.

We will go walk a little in the orchard,

And then to dinner. You are passing welcome,

And so I pray you all to think yourselves.

Pet.Signior Baptista, my business asketh haste,

And every day I cannot come to woo.

You knew my father well, and in him me,

Left solely heir to all his lands and goods,

Which I have better’d rather than decreas’d:

Then tell me, if I get your daughter’s love,

What dowry shall I have with her to wife?

Bap.After my death the one half of my lands,

And in possession twenty thousand crowns.

Pet.And, for that dowry, I’ll assure her of

Her widowhood, be it that she survive me,

In all my lands and leases whatsoever.

Let specialties be therefore drawn between us,

That covenants may be kept on either hand.

Bap.Ay, when the special thing is well obtain’d,

That is, her love; for that is all in all.

Pet.Why, that is nothing; for I tell you, father,

I am as peremptory as she proud-minded;

And where two raging fires meet together

They do consume the thing that feeds their fury:

Though little fire grows great with little wind,

Yet extreme gusts will blow out fire and all;

So I to her, and so she yields to me;

For I am rough and woo not like a babe.

Bap.Well mayst thou woo, and happy be thy speed!

But be thou arm’d for some unhappy words.

Pet.Ay, to the proof; as mountains are for winds,

That shake not, though they blow perpetually.

Re-enter HORTENSIO, with his head broke.

Bap.How now, my friend! why dost thou look so pale?

Hor.For fear, I promise you, if I look pale.

Bap.What, will my daughter prove a good musician?

Hor.I think she’ll sooner prove a soldier:

Iron may hold with her, but never lutes.

Bap.Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?

Hor.Why, no; for she hath broke the lute to me.

I did but tell her she mistook her frets,

And bow’d her hand to teach her fingering;

When, with a most impatient devilish spirit,

‘Frets, call you these?’ quoth she; ‘I’ll fume with them;’

And, with that word, she struck me on the head,

And through the instrument my pate made way;

And there I stood amazed for a while,

As on a pillory, looking through the lute;

While she did call me rascal fiddler,

And twangling Jack; with twenty such vile terms

As she had studied to misuse me so.

Pet.Now, by the world, it is a lusty wench!

I love her ten times more than e’er I did:

O! how I long to have some chat with her!

Bap.[To HORTENSIO.]Well, go with me, and be not so discomfited:

Proceed in practice with my younger daughter;

She’s apt to learn, and thankful for good turns.

Signior Petruchio, will you go with us,

Or shall I send my daughter Kate to you?

Pet.I pray you do; I will attend her here,[Exeunt BAPTISTA, GREMIO, TRANIO, and HORTENSIO.

And woo her with some spirit when she comes.

Say that she rail; why then I’ll tell her plain

She sings as sweetly as a nightingale:

Say that she frown; I’ll say she looks as clear

As morning roses newly wash’d with dew:

Say she be mute and will not speak a word;

Then I’ll commend her volubility,

And say she uttereth piercing eloquence:

If she do bid me pack; I’ll give her thanks,

As though she bid me stay by her a week:

If she deny to wed; I’ll crave the day

When I shall ask the banns, and when be married.

But here she comes; and now, Petruchio, speak.


Good morrow, Kate; for that’s your name, I hear.

Kath.Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing:

They call me Katharine that do talk of me.

Pet.You lie, in faith; for you are call’d plain Kate,

And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst;

But, Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom;

Kate of Kate-Hall, my super-dainty Kate,

For dainties are all cates: and therefore, Kate,

Take this of me, Kate of my consolation;

Hearing thy mildness prais’d in every town,

Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded,—

Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs,—

Myself am mov’d to woo thee for my wife.

Kath.Mov’d! in good time: let him that mov’d you hither

Remove you hence. I knew you at the first,

You were a moveable.

Pet.Why, what’s a moveable?

Kath.A joint-stool.

Pet.Thou hast hit it: come, sit on me.

Kath.Asses are made to bear, and so are you.

Pet.Women are made to bear, and so are you.

Kath.No such jade as bear you, if me you mean.

Pet.Alas! good Kate, I will not burden thee;

For, knowing thee to be but young and light,—

Kath.Too light for such a swain as you to catch,

And yet as heavy as my weight should be.

Pet.Should be! should buz!

Kath.Well ta’en, and like a buzzard.

Pet.O slow-wing’d turtle! shall a buzzard take thee?

Kath.Ay, for a turtle, as he takes a buzzard.

Pet.Come, come, you wasp; i’ faith you are too angry.

Kath.If I be waspish, best beware my sting.

Pet.My remedy is, then, to pluck it out.

Kath.Ay, if the fool could find it where it lies.

Pet.Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting?

In his tail.

Kath.In his tongue.

Pet.Whose tongue?

Kath.Yours, if you talk of tails; and so farewell.

Pet.What! with my tongue in your tail? nay, come again.

Good Kate, I am a gentleman.

Kath.That I’ll try.[Striking him.

Pet.I swear I’ll cuff you if you strike again.

Kath.So may you lose your arms:

If you strike me, you are no gentleman;

And if no gentleman, why then no arms.

Pet.A herald, Kate? O! put me in thy books.

Kath.What is your crest? a coxcomb?

Pet.A combless cock, so Kate will be my hen.

Kath.No cock of mine; you crow too like a craven.

Pet.Nay, come, Kate, come; you must not look so sour.

Kath.It is my fashion when I see a crab.

Pet.Why, here’s no crab, and therefore look not sour.

Kath.There is, there is.

Pet.Then show it me.

Kath.Had I a glass, I would.

Pet.What, you mean my face?

Kath.Well aim’d of such a young one.

Pet.Now, by Saint George, I am too young for you.

Kath.Yet you are wither’d.

Pet.’Tis with cares.

Kath.I care not.

Pet.Nay, hear you, Kate: in sooth, you ’scape not so.

Kath.I chafe you, if I tarry: let me go.

Pet.No, not a whit: I find you passing gentle.

’Twas told me you were rough and coy and sullen,

And now I find report a very liar;

For thou art pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous,

But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers:

Thou canst not frown, thou canst not look askance,

Nor bite the lip, as angry wenches will;

Nor hast thou pleasure to be cross in talk;

But thou with mildness entertain’st thy wooers,

With gentle conference, soft and affable.

Why does the world report that Kate doth limp?

O slanderous world! Kate, like the hazel-twig,

Is straight and slender, and as brown in hue

As hazel nuts, and sweeter than the kernels.

O! let me see thee walk: thou dost not halt.

Kath.Go, fool, and whom thou keep’st command.

Pet.Did ever Dian so become a grove

As Kate this chamber with her princely gait?

O! be thou Dian, and let her be Kate,

And then let Kate be chaste, and Dian sportful!

Kath.Where did you study all this goodly speech?

Pet.It is extempore, from my mother-wit.

Kath.A witty mother! witless else her son.

Pet.Am I not wise?

Kath.Yes; keep you warm.

Pet.Marry, so I mean, sweet Katharine, in thy bed:

And therefore, setting all this chat aside,

Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented

That you shall be my wife; your dowry ’greed on;

And will you, nill you, I will marry you.

Now, Kate, I am a husband for your turn;

For, by this light, whereby I see thy beauty,—

Thy beauty that doth make me like thee well,—

Thou must be married to no man but me:

For I am he am born to tame you, Kate;

And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate

Conformable as other household Kates.

Here comes your father: never make denial;

I must and will have Katharine to my wife.


Bap.Now, Signior Petruchio, how speed you with my daughter?

Pet.How but well, sir? how but well?

It were impossible I should speed amiss.

Bap.Why, how now, daughter Katharine! in your dumps?

Kath.Call you me daughter? now, I promise you

You have show’d a tender fatherly regard,

To wish me wed to one half lunatic;

A mad-cap ruffian and a swearing Jack,

That thinks with oaths to face the matter out.

Pet.Father, ’tis thus: yourself and all the world,

That talk’d of her, have talk’d amiss of her:

If she be curst, it is for policy,

For she’s not froward, but modest as the dove;

She is not hot, but temperate as the morn;

For patience she will prove a second Grissel,

And Roman Lucrece for her chastity;

And to conclude, we have ’greed so well together,

That upon Sunday is the wedding-day.

Kath.I’ll see thee hang’d on Sunday first.

Gre.Hark, Petruchio: she says she’ll see thee hang’d first.

Tra.Is this your speeding? nay then, good night our part!

Pet.Be patient, gentlemen; I choose her for myself:

If she and I be pleas’d, what’s that to you?

’Tis bargain’d ’twixt us twain, being alone,

That she shall still be curst in company.

I tell you, ’tis incredible to believe

How much she loves me: O! the kindest Kate.

She hung about my neck, and kiss on kiss

She vied so fast, protesting oath on oath,

That in a twink she won me to her love.

O! you are novices: ’tis a world to see,

How tame, when men and women are alone,

A meacock wretch can make the curstest shrew.

Give me thy hand, Kate: I will unto Venice

To buy apparel ’gainst the wedding-day.

Provide the feast, father, and bid the guests;

I will be sure my Katharine shall be fine.

Bap.I know not what to say; but give me your hands.

God send you joy, Petruchio! ’tis a match.

Gre, Tra.Amen, say we: we will be witnesses.

Pet.Father, and wife, and gentlemen, adieu.

I will to Venice; Sunday comes apace:

We will have rings, and things, and fine array;

And, kiss me, Kate, we will be married o’ Sunday.[Exeunt PETRUCHIO and KATHARINA, severally.

Gre.Was ever match clapp’d up so suddenly?

Bap.Faith, gentlemen, now I play a merchant’s part,

And venture madly on a desperate mart.

Tra.’Twas a commodity lay fretting by you:

’Twill bring you gain, or perish on the seas.

Bap.The gain I seek is, quiet in the match.

Gre.No doubt but he hath got a quiet catch.

But now, Baptista, to your younger daughter:

Now is the day we long have looked for:

I am your neighbour, and was suitor first.

Tra.And I am one that love Bianca more

Than words can witness, or your thoughts can guess.

Gre.Youngling, thou canst not love so dear as I.

Tra.Greybeard, thy love doth freeze.

Gre.But thine doth fry.

Skipper, stand back: ’tis age that nourisheth.

Tra.But youth in ladies’ eyes that flourisheth.

Bap.Content you, gentlemen; I’ll compound this strife:

’Tis deeds must win the prize; and he, of both,

That can assure my daughter greatest dower

Shall have my Bianca’s love.

Say, Signior Gremio, what can you assure her?

Gre.First, as you know, my house within the city

Is richly furnished with plate and gold:

Basins and ewers to lave her dainty hands;

My hangings all of Tyrian tapestry;

In ivory coffers I have stuff’d my crowns;

In cypress chests my arras counterpoints,

Costly apparel, tents, and canopies,

Fine linen, Turkey cushions boss’d with pearl,

Valance of Venice gold in needle-work,

Pewter and brass, and all things that belong

To house or housekeeping: then, at my farm

I have a hundred milch-kine to the pail,

Six score fat oxen standing in my stalls,

And all things answerable to this portion.

Myself am struck in years, I must confess;

And if I die to-morrow, this is hers,

If whilst I live she will be only mine.

Tra.That ‘only’ came well in. Sir, list to me:

I am my father’s heir and only son:

If I may have your daughter to my wife,

I’ll leave her houses three or four as good,

Within rich Pisa walls, as any one

Old Signior Gremio has in Padua;

Besides two thousand ducats by the year

Of fruitful land, all of which shall be her jointure.

What, have I pinch’d you, Signior Gremio?

Gre.Two thousand ducats by the year of land!

My land amounts not to so much in all:

That she shall have; besides an argosy

That now is lying in Marseilles’ road.

What, have I chok’d you with an argosy?

Tra.Gremio, ’tis known my father hath no less

Than three great argosies, besides two galliasses,

And twelve tight galleys; these I will assure her,

And twice as much, whate’er thou offer’st next.

Gre.Nay, I have offer’d all, I have no more;

And she can have no more than all I have:

If you like me, she shall have me and mine.

Tra.Why, then the maid is mine from all the world,

By your firm promise. Gremio is out-vied.

Bap.I must confess your offer is the best;

And, let your father make her the assurance,

She is your own; else, you must pardon me:

If you should die before him, where’s her dower?

Tra.That’s but a cavil: he is old, I young.

Gre.And may not young men die as well as old?

Bap.Well, gentlemen,

I am thus resolv’d. On Sunday next, you know,

My daughter Katharine is to be married:

Now, on the Sunday following, shall Bianca

Be bride to you, if you make this assurance;

If not, to Signior Gremio:

And so, I take my leave, and thank you both.

Gre.Adieu, good neighbour.[Exit BAPTISTA.]Now I fear thee not:

Sirrah young gamester, your father were a fool

To give thee all, and in his waning age

Set foot under thy table. Tut! a toy!

An old Italian fox is not so kind, my boy.[Exit.

Tra.A vengeance on your crafty wither’d hide!

Yet I have fac’d it with a card of ten.

’Tis in my head to do my master good:

I see no reason, but suppos’d Lucentio

Must get a father, called ‘suppos’d Vincentio;’

And that’s a wonder: fathers, commonly

Do get their children; but in this case of wooing,

A child shall get a sire, if I fail not of my cunning.[Exit.