Padua. Before Baptista’s house.
(Tranio; Hortensio; Bianca; Lucentio; Biondello; Pedant)
Tranio and Hortensio see Lucentio and Bianca canoodling, and Tranio immediately makes an oath to no longer woo her, as does Hortensio, who swears he’ll go marry a widow who’s in love with him instead. Hortensio leaves and Tranio informs the lovers that he has rid them of the man. Biondello announces that he has finally found them an old man to play the part of Lucentio’s father. Tranio tells the schoolmaster who comes in that there is war between Padua and his city, and tells him to disguise himself and pretend to be Vincentio to save himself. He agrees with gratitude, and Tranio trains him to play the part. (125 lines)
Enter Tranio as Lucentio and Hortensio as Litio.
Is’t possible, friend Litio, that Mistress Bianca
Doth fancy any other but Lucentio?
I tell you, sir, she bears me fair in hand.
Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said,
Stand by and mark the manner of his teaching.
They stand aside.
Enter Bianca and Lucentio as Cambio.
Now, mistress, profit you in what you read?
What, master, read you? First resolve me that.
I read that I profess, the Art to Love.
And may you prove, sir, master of your art!
While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of my heart!
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.
O despiteful love, unconstant womankind!
I tell thee, Litio, this is wonderful.
Mistake no more, I am not Litio,
Nor a musician, as I seem to be,
But one that scorn 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.
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 forever.
See how they kiss and court! Signior Lucentio,
Here is my hand, and here I firmly vow
Never to woo her more, but do forswear her
As one unworthy all the former favors
That I have fondly flatter’d her withal.
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!
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.
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.
Tranio, you jest, but have you both forsworn me?
Mistress, we have.
Then we are rid of Litio.
I’ faith, he’ll have a lusty widow now,
That shall be woo’d and wedded in a day.
God give him joy!
Ay, and he’ll tame her.
He says so, Tranio?
Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school.
The taming-school! What, is there such a place?
Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master,
That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long,
To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.
O master, master, I have watch’d so long
That I am dog-weary, but at last I spied
An ancient angel coming down the hill,
Will serve the turn.
What is he, Biondello?
Master, a marcantant, or a pedant,
I know not what, but formal in apparel,
In gait and countenance surely like a father.
And what of him, Tranio?
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.
God save you, sir!
And you, sir! You are welcome.
Travel you far on, or are you at the farthest?
Sir, at the farthest for a week or two,
But then up farther, and as far as Rome,
And so to Tripoli, if God lend me life.
What countryman, I pray?
Of Mantua, sir? Marry, God forbid!
And come to Padua, careless of your life?
My life, sir? How, I pray? For that goes hard.
’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.
Alas, sir, it is worse for me than so,
For I have bills for money by exchange
From Florence, and must here deliver them.
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?
Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been,
Pisa renowned for grave citizens.
Among them know you one Vincentio?
I know him not, but I have heard of him;
A merchant of incomparable wealth.
He is my father, sir, and sooth to say,
In count’nance somewhat doth resemble you.
As much as an apple doth an oyster, and all one.
To save your life in this extremity,
This favor 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 court’sy, sir, accept of it.
O sir, I do, and will repute you ever
The patron of my life and liberty.
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 dow’r 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.