William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in the complete original text.
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HOME > Plays > The Taming of the Shrew > Act IV. Scene IV.

The Taming of the Shrew

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Act IV. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—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.

Enter BIONDELLO.
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 Bap-
tista?
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.

Enter BAPTISTA and LUCENTIO.
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 in 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 arrived 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.
Bion. Cambio!
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 assur-
ance 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 mar-
ried 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 ap-
pointed 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.
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