The Taming of the Shrew By William Shakespeare Act I: Scene 1

GREMIO.
What's that, I pray?

HORTENSIO.
Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.

GREMIO.
A husband! a devil.

HORTENSIO.
I say, a husband.

GREMIO.
I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hortensio, though her
fatherbe very rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to
hell?

HORTENSIO.
Tush, Gremio! Though it pass your patience and mine to
endure her loud alarums, why, man, there be good fellows in the
world, an a man could light on them, would take her with all
faults, and money enough.

GREMIO.
I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with this
condition: to be whipp'd at the high cross every morning.

HORTENSIO.
Faith, as you say, there's small choice in rotten
apples. But, come; since this bar in law makes us friends, it
shall be so far forth friendly maintained, till by helping
Baptista's eldest daughter to a husband, we set his youngest free
for a husband, and then have to't afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man
be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring. How say you,
Signior Gremio?

GREMIO.
I am agreed; and would I had given him the best horse in
Padua to begin his wooing, that would thoroughly woo her, wed
her, and bed her, and rid the house of her. Come on.

[Exeunt GREMIO and HORTENSIO.]

TRANIO.
I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?

LUCENTIO.
O Tranio! till I found it to be true,
I never thought it possible or likely;
But see, while idly I stood looking on,
I found the effect of love in idleness;
And now in plainness do confess to thee,
That art to me as secret and as dear
As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was,
Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
If I achieve not this young modest girl.
Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst:
Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.

TRANIO.
Master, it is no time to chide you now;
Affection is not rated from the heart:
If love have touch'd you, nought remains but so:
Redime te captum quam queas minimo.

LUCENTIO.
Gramercies, lad; go forward; this contents;
The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound.

TRANIO.
Master, you look'd so longly on the maid.
Perhaps you mark'd not what's the pith of all.

LUCENTIO.
O, yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
That made great Jove to humble him to her hand,
When with his knees he kiss'd the Cretan strand.

TRANIO.
Saw you no more? mark'd you not how her sister
Began to scold and raise up such a storm
That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?

LUCENTIO.
Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move,
And with her breath she did perfume the air;
Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.

TRANIO.
Nay, then, 'tis time to stir him from his trance.
I pray, awake, sir: if you love the maid,
Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
Her elder sister is so curst and shrewd,
That till the father rid his hands of her,
Master, your love must live a maid at home;
And therefore has he closely mew'd her up,
Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors.

LUCENTIO.
Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!
But art thou not advis'd he took some care
To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?

TRANIO.
Ay, marry, am I, sir, and now 'tis plotted.

LUCENTIO.
I have it, Tranio.

TRANIO.
Master, for my hand,
Both our inventions meet and jump in one.

LUCENTIO.
Tell me thine first.

TRANIO.
You will be schoolmaster,
And undertake the teaching of the maid:
That's your device.

LUCENTIO.
It is: may it be done?

TRANIO.
Not possible; for who shall bear your part
And be in Padua here Vincentio's son;
Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends;
Visit his countrymen, and banquet them?

LUCENTIO.
Basta; content thee, for I have it full.
We have not yet been seen in any house,
Nor can we be distinguish'd by our faces
For man or master: then it follows thus:
Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
Keep house and port and servants, as I should;
I will some other be; some Florentine,
Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
'Tis hatch'd, and shall be so: Tranio, at once
Uncase thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak.
When Biondello comes, he waits on thee;
But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.

[They exchange habits]

TRANIO.
So had you need.
In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
And I am tied to be obedient;
For so your father charg'd me at our parting,
'Be serviceable to my son,' quoth he,
Although I think 'twas in another sense:
I am content to be Lucentio,
Because so well I love Lucentio.

LUCENTIO.
Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves;
And let me be a slave, to achieve that maid
Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye.
Here comes the rogue.

[Enter BIONDELLO.]

Sirrah, where have you been?

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