William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in the complete original text.
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The Taming of the Shrew

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Act I. Scene II.

Scene II.—The Same. Before HORTENSIO'S
House.

Enter PETRUCHIO and GRIJMIO.

Pet. Verona, for awhile I take my leave,
To see my friends in Padua; but, of all
My best beloved and approved friend,
Hortensio; and I trow this is his house.
Here, sirrah Grumio; knock, I say.
Gru. Knock, sir! whom should I knock? is
there any man has rebused your worship?
Pet. Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.
Gru. Knock you here, sir! why, sir, what am
I, sir, that I should knock you here, sir?
Pet. Villain, I say, knock me at this gate;
And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's
pate.
Gru. My master is grown quarrelsome. I
should knock you first,
And then I know after who comes by the worst.
Pet. Will it not be?
Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll ring it;
I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it.
[He wrings GRUMIO by the ears.
Gru. Help, masters, help! my master is mad.
Pet. Now, knock when I bid you, sirrah
villain I

Enter HORTENSIO.
Hor. How now! what's the matter? My old
friend Grumio! and my good friend Petruchio!
How do you all at Verona?
Pet. Signior Hortensio, come you to part the
fray?
Con tutto il cuore ben trovato, may I say.
Hor. Alla nostra casa ben venuto; molto
honorato signior mio Petruchio.
Rise, Grumio, rise: we will compound this
quarrel.
Gru. Nay, 'tis no matter, sir, what he 'leges in
Latin. If this be not a lawful cause for me to
leave his service, look you, sir, he bid me knock
him and rap him soundly, sir: well, was it fit for
a servant to use his master so; being, perhaps,
for aught I see, two-and-thirty, a pip out?
Whom would to God, I had well knock'd at
first,
Then had not Grumio come by the worst.
Pet. A senseless villain! Good Hortensio,
I bade the rascal knock upon your gate,
And could not get him for my heart to do it.
Gru. Knock at the gate! O heavens! Spake
you not these words plain, 'Sirrah, knock me
here, rap me here, knock me well, and knock me
soundly?' And come you now with 'knocking
at the gate?'
Pet. Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you.
Hor. Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's
pledge.
Why, this's a heavy chance 'twixt him and you,
Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio.
And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale
Blows you to Padua here from old Verona?
Pet. Such wind as scatters young men through
the world
To seek their fortunes further than at home,
Where small experience grows. But in a few,
Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me:
Antonio, my father, is deceas'd,
And I have thrust myself into this maze,
Haply to wive and thrive as best I may.
Crowns in my purse I have and goods at home,
And so am come abroad to see the world.
Hor. Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to
thee,
And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favour'd wife?
Thou'dst thank me but a little for my counsel;
And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich,
And very rich: but thou'rt too much my friend,
And I'll not wish thee to her.
Pet. Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends
as we,
Few words suffice; and therefore, if thou know
One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife,
As wealth is burden of my wooing dance,
Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,
As old as Sibyl, and as curst and shrewd
As Socrates' Xanthippe, or a worse,
She moves me not, or not removes, at least,
Affection's edge in me, were she as rough
As are the swelling Adriatic seas:
I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
If wealthily, then happily in Padua.
Gru. Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly
what his mind is: why, give him gold enough
and marry him to a puppet or an aglet-baby;
or an old trot with ne'er a tooth in her head,
though she have as many diseases as two-and-
fifty horses: why, nothing comes amiss, so money
comes withal.
Hor. Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus
far in,
I will continue that I broach'd in jest.
I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife
With wealth enough, and young and beauteous,
Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman:
Her only fault,—and that is faults enough,—
Is, that she is intolerable curst
And shrewd and froward, so beyond all measure,
That, were my state far worser than it is,
I would not wed her for a mine of gold.
Pet. Hortensio, peace! thou know'st not
gold's effect:
Tell me her father's name, and 'tis enough;
For I will board her, though she chide as loud
As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack.
Hor. Her father is Baptista Minola,
An affable and courteous gentleman;
Her name is Katharina Minola,
Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.
Pet. I know her father, though I know not
her;
And he knew my deceased father well.
I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her;
And therefore let me be thus bold with you,
To give you over at this first encounter,
Unless you will accompany me thither.
Gru. I pray you, sir, let him go while the
humour lasts. O' my word, an she knew him as
well as I do, she would think scolding would do
little good upon him. She may, perhaps, call
him half a score knaves or so: why, that's
nothing; an he begin once, he'll rail in his rope-
tricks. I'll tell you what, sir, an she stand him
but a little, he will throw a figure in her face,
and so disfigure her with it that she shall have
no more eyes to see withal than a cat. You know
him not, sir.
Hor. Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee,
For in Baptista's keep my treasure is:
He hath the jewel of my life in hold,
His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca,
And her withholds from me and other more,
Suitors to her and rivals in my love;
Supposing it a thing impossible,
For those defects I have before rehears'd,
That ever Katharina will be woo'd:
Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en,
That none shall have access unto Bianca,
Till Katharine the curst have got a husband.
Gru. Katharine the curst!
A title for a maid of all titles the worst.
Hor. Now shall my friend Petruchio do me
grace,
And offer me, disguis'd in sober robes,
To old Baptista as a schoolmaster
Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca;
That so I may, by this device, at least
Have leave and leisure to make love to her,
And, unsuspected court her by herself.
Gru. Here's no knavery! Sec, to beguile the
old folks, how the young folks lay their heads
together!

Enter GREMIO, and LUCENTIO disguised, with
books tinder his arm.
Master, master, look about you: who goes there,
ha?
Hor. Peace, Grumio! 'tis the rival of my
love.
Petruchio, stand by awhile.
Gru. A proper stripling, and an amorous!
Gre. O! very well; I have perus'd the note.
Hark you, sir; I'll have them very fairly bound:
All books of love, see that at any hand,
And see you read no other lectures to her.
You understand me. Over and beside
Signior Baptista's liberality,
I'll mend it with a largess. Take your papers
too,
And let me have them very well perfum'd;
For she is sweeter than perfume itself
To whom they go to. What will you read to
her?
Luc. Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for
you,
As for my patron, stand you so assur'd,
As firmly as yourself were still in place;
Yea, and perhaps with more successful words
Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.
Gre. O! this learning, what a thing it is.
Gru. O! this woodcock, what an ass it is.
Pet. Peace, sirrah!
Hor. Grumio, mum! God save you, Signior
Gremio!
Gre. And you're well met, Signior Hortensio.
Trow you whither I am going? To Baptists
Minola.
I promis'd to inquire carefully
About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca;
And, by good fortune, I have lighted well
On this young man; for learning and behaviour
Fit for her turn; well read in poetry.
And other books, good ones, I warrant ye.
Hor. 'Tis well: and I have met a gentleman
Hath promis'd me to help me to another,
A fine musician to instruct our mistress:
So shall I no whit be behind in duty
To fair Bianca, so belov'd of me.
Gre. Belov'd of me, and that my deeds shall
prove.
Gru. [Aside.] And that his bags shall prove.
Hor. Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our
love:
Listen to me, and if you speak me fair,
I'll tell you news indifferent good for either.
Here is a gentleman whom by chance I met,
Upon agreement from us to his liking,
Will undertake to woo curst Katharine;
Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
Gre. So said, so done, is well.
Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?
Pet. I know she is an irksome, brawling
scold:
If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.
Gre. No, sayst me so, friend? What country-
man?
Pet. Born in Verona, old Antonio's son:
My father dead, my fortune lives for me;
And I do hope good days and long to see.
Gre. O, sir, such a life, with such a wife, were
strange!
But if you have a stomach, to't i' God's name:
You shall have me assisting you in all.
But will you woo this wild-cat?
Pet. Will I live?
Gru. Will he woo her? ay, or I'll hang her.
Pet. Why came I hither but to that intent?
Think yon a little din can daunt mine cars?
Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
Have I not heard the sea, puff'd up with winds,
Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
Have I not in a pitched battle heard
Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets'
clang?
And do you tell me of a woman's tongue.
That gives not half so great a blow to hear
As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire?
Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
Gru. [Aside.] For he fears none.
Gre. Hortensio, hark:
This gentleman is happily arriv'd,
My mind presumes, for his own good and ours.
Hor. I promis'd we would be contributors,
And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er.
Gre. And so we will, provided that he win her.
Gru. [Aside.] I would I were as sure of a good
dinner.

Enter TRANIO, bravely apparelled; and
BIONDELLO.
Tra. Gentlemen, God save you! If I may be
bold,
Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way
To the house of Signior Baptista. Minola?
Bion. He that has the two fair daughters:
is't he you mean?
Tra. Even he, Biondello!
Gre. Hark you, sir; you mean not her to—
Tra. Perhaps, him and her, sir: what have
you to do?
Pet. Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I
pray.
Tra. I love no chiders, sir. Biondello, let's
away.
Luc. [Aside.] Well begun, Tranio.
Hor. Sir, a word ere you go:
Are you a suitor to the maid you talk of, yea
or no?
Tra. And if I be, sir, is it any offence?
Gre. No; if without more words you will get
you hence.
Tra. Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as
free
For me as for you?
Gre. But so is not she.
Tra. For what reason, I beseech you?
Gre. For this reason, if you'll know,
That she's the choice love of Signior Gremio.
Hor. That she's the chosen of Signior Hor-
tensio.
Tra. Softly, my masters! if you be gentlemen,
Do me this right; hear me with patience.
Baptista is a noble gentleman,
To whom my father is not all unknown;
And were his daughter fairer than she is,
She may more suitors have, and me for one.
Fair Leda's daughter had a thousand wooers;
Then well one more may fair Bianca have, 248
And so she shall; Lucentio shall make one,
Though Paris came in hope to speed alone.
Gre. What! this gentleman will out-talk us
all.
Luc. Sir, give him head: I know he'll prove a
jade.
Pet. Hortensio, to what end are all these
words?
Hor. Sir, let me be so bold as ask you,
Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter?
Tra. No, sir; but hear I do that he hath two,
The one as famous for a scolding tongue
As is the other for beauteous modesty.
Pet. Sir, sir, the first's for me; let her go by.
Gre. Yea, leave that labour to great Hercules,
And let it be more than Alcides' twelve.
Pet. Sir, understand you this of me in sooth:
The youngest daughter, whom you hearken for,
Her father keeps from all access of suitors,
And will not promise her to any man
Until the elder sister first be wed;
The younger then is free, and not before.
Tra. If it be so, sir, that you are the man
Must stead us all, and me among the rest;
And if you break the ice, and do this feat,
Achieve the elder, set the younger free
For our access, whose hap shall be to have her
Will not so graceless be to be ingrate.
Hor. Sir, you say well, and well you do con-
ceive;
And since you do profess to be a suitor,
You must, as we do, gratify this gentleman,
To whom we all rest generally beholding.
Tra. Sir, I shall not be slack: in sign whereof.
Please ye we may contrive this afternoon,
And quaff carouses to our mistress' health,
And do as adversaries do in law,
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
Gru. & Bion.} O excellent motion! Fellows, let's be
gone.
Hor. The motion's good indeed, and be it so:—
Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto. [Exeunt.
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