The Taming of the Shrew

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Act 2 Scene 1

Katherina demands to know which suitor her sister favours, but Bianca protests that she is not in love with any of them. The various suitors arrive – Gremio with Lucentio (as Cambio), Petruchio with Hortensio (now disguised as a musician called Licio), and Tranio (as Lucentio). Petruchio surprises Baptista with his desire to marry Katherina. Baptista sends the supposed tutors in to see his daughters. Hortensio soon re-emerges, injured: Katherina has broken his lute over his head, and Petruchio, impressed by her feistiness, is even more keen to meet her. 

  1. Enter Katherina and Bianca with her hands tied.

  2. Bianca:

    Good sister, wrong me not, nor wrong yourself,
    To make a bondmaid and a slave of me.
    That I disdain. But, for these other gauds,
    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.

  3. Katherina:

    Of all thy suitors here I charge thee tell
    Whom thou lov’st best. See thou dissemble not.

  4. Bianca:

    Believe me, sister, of all the men alive
    I never yet beheld that special face
    Which I could fancy more than any other.

  5. Katherina:

    Minion thou liest. Is’t not Hortensio?

  6. Bianca:

    If you affect him sister, here I swear
    I’ll plead for you myself, but you shall have him.

  7. Katherina:

    O then belike you fancy riches more,
    You will have Gremio to keep you fair.

  8. Bianca:

    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.

  9. Katherina:

    If that be jest, then all the rest was so.

  10. Katherina hits Bianca, as Baptista enters.

  11. Baptista:

    Why how now dame ! Whence grows this insolence?
    [Untying Bianca’s hands.]
    Bianca, stand aside.—Poor girl, she weeps!
    [To Bianca.]
    Go ply thy needle, meddle not with her.
    [To Katherina.]
    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?

  12. Katherina:

    Her silence flouts me, and I’ll be revenged!
    She runs at Bianca.

  13. Baptista:

    What, in my sight?
    [He parts them.]
    Bianca, get thee in.
    Bianca exits.

  14. Katherina:

    What, will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see
    She is your treasure, she must have a husband,
    I must dance barefoot 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.
    [She exits.]

  15. Baptista:

    Was ever gentleman thus grieved as I?
    But who comes here?

  16. Enter Gremio, Cambio (Lucentio disguised and wearing a poor man’s clothes), Petruchio with Litio (Hortensio disguised as a teacher) and Tranio (disguised as Lucentio).

  17. Gremio:

    Good morrow, neighbour Baptista.

  18. Baptista:

    Good morrow, neighbour Gremio. — God save you, gentlemen.

  19. Petruchio:

    And you good sir. Pray, have you not a daughter
    Called Katherina, fair and virtuous?

  20. Baptista:

    I have a daughter, sir, called Katherina.

  21. Gremio:

    [To Petruchio.]
    You are too blunt. Go to it orderly.

  22. Petruchio:

    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,
    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.
    [Litio (Hortensio) stands forward and bows to Baptista.]
    His name is Litio, born in Mantua.

  23. Baptista:

    Y’are welcome sir, and he for your good sake.
    But for my daughter Katherine, this I know,
    She is not for your turn, the more my grief.

  24. Petruchio:

    I see you do not mean to part with her,
    Or else you like not of my company.

  25. Baptista:

    Mistake me not, I speak but as I find.
    Whence are you, sir? What may I call your name?

  26. Petruchio:

    Petruchio is my name, Antonio’s son,
    A man well known throughout all Italy.

  27. Baptista:

    I know him well. You are welcome for his sake.

  28. Gremio:

    Saving your tale, Petruchio, I pray let us that are poor petitioners speak too! Bacare, you are marvellous forward.

  29. Petruchio:

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

  30. Gremio:

    I doubt it not, sir. But you will curse your wooing.
    [To Baptista.]
    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 Cambio (Lucentio).]
    That hath 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.

  31. Baptista:

    A thousand thanks Signior Gremio. — Welcome good Cambio.
    [To Tranio as Lucentio.]
    But gentle sir, methinks you walk like a stranger. May I be so bold to know the cause of your coming?

  32. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    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.

  33. Baptista:

    A mighty man of Pisa by report,
    I know him well. You are very welcome sir.
    [To Hortensio as Litio and Lucentio as Cambio.]
    Take you the lute, and you the set of books.
    You shall go see your pupils presently. Holla, within!
    Enter a Servant.
    Sirrah, lead these gentlemen
    To my daughters, and tell them both
    These are their tutors. Bid them use them well.
    [The servant leads Litio (Hortensio) and Cambio (Lucentio) off stage.]
    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.

  34. Petruchio:

    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 bettered rather than decreased.
    Then tell me, if I get your daughter’s love,
    What dowry shall I have with her to wife?

  35. Baptista:

    After my death, the one half of my lands,
    And, in possession, twenty thousand crowns.

  36. Petruchio:

    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.

  37. Baptista:

    Ay, when the special thing is well obtained,
    That is, her love, for that is all in all.

  38. Petruchio:

    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.

  39. Baptista:

    Well mayst thou woo, and happy be thy speed.
    But be thou armed for some unhappy words.

  40. Petruchio:

    Ay, to the proof, as mountains are for winds,
    That shakes not, though they blow perpetually.

  41. Enter Litio (Hortensio) with his head broken.

  42. Baptista:

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

  43. Litio (Hortensio):

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

  44. Baptista:

    What, will my daughter prove a good musician?

  45. Litio (Hortensio):

    I think she’ll sooner prove a soldier.
    Iron may hold with her, but never lutes.

  46. Baptista:

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

  47. Litio (Hortensio):

    Why no, for she hath broke the lute to me.
    I did but tell her she mistook her frets,
    And bowed 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, amazèd 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 had she studied to misuse me so.

  48. Petruchio:

    Now, by the world, it is a lusty wench.
    I love her ten times more than ere I did
    O how I long to have some chat with her.

  49. Baptista:

    [To Litio.]
    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?

  50. Petruchio:

    I pray you do.
    All except Petruchio exit.
    I’ll attend her here
    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 washed with dew.
    Say she be mute and will not speak a word,
    Then I’ll commend her volubility
    And say she utt’reth 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.
    Enter Katherina.
    Good morrow Kate, for that’s your name, I hear.

  51. Katherina:

    Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing.
    They call me Katherine that do talk of me.

  52. Petruchio:

    You lie, in faith, for you are called 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 Kates) and therefore, Kate,
    Take this of me, Kate of my consolation.
    Hearing thy mildness praised in every town,
    Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded
    (Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs),
    Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife.

  53. Katherina:

    “Moved! ” In good time let him that moved you hither
    Remove you hence. I knew you at the first
    You were a movable.

  54. Petruchio:

    Why, what’s a movable?

  55. Katherina:

    A joint stool.

  56. Petruchio:

    Thou hast hit it. Come, sit on me.

  57. Katherina:

    Asses are made to bear, and so are you.

  58. Petruchio:

    Women are made to bear, and so are you.

  59. Katherina:

    No such jade as you, if me you mean.

  60. Petruchio:

    Alas good Kate, I will not burden thee,
    For knowing thee to be but young and light—

  61. Katherina:

    Too light for such a swain as you to catch,
    And yet as heavy as my weight should be.

  62. Petruchio:

    Should be? , should — buzz!

  63. Katherina:

    Well ta’en, and like a buzzard.

  64. Petruchio:

    O slow-winged turtle, shall a buzzard take thee?

  65. Katherina:

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

  66. Petruchio:

    Come, come, you wasp. I’faith, you are too angry.

  67. Katherina:

    If I be waspish, best beware my sting.

  68. Petruchio:

    My remedy is then to pluck it out.

  69. Katherina:

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

  70. Petruchio:

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

  71. Katherina:

    In his tongue?

  72. Petruchio:

    Whose tongue?

  73. Katherina:

    Yours, if you talk of tales, and so farewell.

  74. Petruchio:

    What, with my tongue in your tail?
    Nay, come again, good Kate, I am a gentleman—

  75. Katherina:

    [Striking him.] That I’ll try.

  76. Petruchio:

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

  77. Katherina:

    So may you lose your arms.
    If you strike me, you are no gentleman,
    And if no gentleman, why then no arms.

  78. Petruchio:

    A herald Kate? O put me in thy books.

  79. Katherina:

    What is your crest? A coxcomb?

  80. Petruchio:

    A combless cock. So Kate will be my hen.

  81. Petruchio:

    No cock of mine, you crow too like a craven.

  82. Petruchio:

    Nay, come Kate, come. You must not look so sour.

  83. Katherina:

    It is my fashion when I see a crab.

  84. Petruchio:

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

  85. Katherina:

    There is, there is.

  86. Petruchio:

    Then show it me.

  87. Katherina:

    Had I a glass, I would.

  88. Petruchio:

    What, you mean my face?

  89. Katherina:

    Well aimed of such a young one.

  90. Petruchio:

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

  91. Katherina:

    Yet you are withered.

  92. Petruchio:

    ’Tis with cares.

  93. Katherina:

    I care not.

  94. Petruchio:

    [Catching and holding her as she tries to run away.]
    Nay, hear you Kate. In sooth, you ’scape not so.

  95. Katherina:

    I chafe you if I tarry. Let me go.

  96. Petruchio:

    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 springtime 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.
    [Letting her go.]
    Why does the world report that Kate doth limp?
    O sland’rous world! Kate like the hazel twig
    Is straight, and slender, and as brown in hue
    As hazelnuts, and sweeter than the kernels.
    O let me see thee walk. Thou dost not halt.

  97. Katherina:

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

  98. Petruchio:

    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.

  99. Katherina:

    Where did you study all this goodly speech?

  100. Petruchio:

    It is extempore, from my mother wit.

  101. Katherina:

    A witty mother, witless else her son.

  102. Petruchio:

    Am I not wise?

  103. Katherina:

    Yes, keep you warm.

  104. Petruchio:

    Marry, so I mean, sweet Katherine, 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.
    Enter Baptista, Gremio, Tranio (as Lucentio).
    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.

  105. Baptista:

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

  106. Petruchio:

    I must and will have Katherine to my wife.

  107. Baptista:

    Why, how now, daughter Katherina?
    In your dumps?

  108. Katherina:

    Call you me daughter? Now I promise you
    You have showed a tender fatherly regard,
    To wish me wed to one half lunatic,
    A madcap ruffian and a swearing Jack,
    That thinks with oaths to face the matter out.

  109. Petruchio:

    Father, ’tis thus. Yourself and all the world
    That talked of her, have talked 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.

  110. Katherina:

    I’ll see thee hanged on Sunday first.

  111. Gremio:

    Hark, Petruchio, she says she’ll see thee hanged first.

  112. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    Is this your speeding? Nay, then, goodnight our part.

  113. Petruchio:

    Be patient gentlemen. I choose her for myself,
    If she and I be pleased, what’s that to you?
    ’Tis bargained ’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 Katherine shall be fine.

  114. Baptista:

    I know not what to say, but give me your hands.
    God send you joy, Petruchio. ’Tis a match.

  115. Gremio & Tranio:

    Amen, say we. We will be witnesses.

  116. Petruchio:

    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 a’ Sunday.
    Petruchio and Katherina exit.

  117. Gremio:

    Was ever match clapped up so suddenly?

  118. Baptista:

    Faith, gentlemen, now I play a merchant’s part,
    And venture madly on a desperate mart.

  119. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    ’Twas a commodity lay fretting by you.
    ’Twill bring you gain, or perish on the seas.

  120. Baptista:

    The gain I seek is quiet in the match.

  121. Gremio:

    No doubt but he hath got a quiet catch.
    But now, Baptista, to your younger daughter.
    Now is the day we long have lookèd for.
    I am your neighbour and was suitor first.

  122. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    And I am one that love Bianca more
    Than words can witness, or your thoughts can guess.

  123. Gremio:

    Youngling, thou canst not love so dear as I.

  124. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    Graybeard, thy love doth freeze.

  125. Gremio:

    But thine doth fry,
    Skipper, stand back, ’tis age that nourisheth.

  126. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    But youth in ladies’ eyes that flourisheth.

  127. Baptista:

    Content you, gentlemen, I will 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?

  128. Gremio:

    First, as you know, my house within the city
    Is richly furnishèd with plate and gold:
    Basins and ewers to lave her dainty hands;
    My hangings all of Tyrian tapestry
    In ivory coffers I have stuffed my crowns;
    In cypress chests my arras counterpoints;
    Costly apparel, tents, and canopies,
    Fine linen, Turkey cushions bossed with pearl,
    Valance of Venice gold in needlework,
    Pewter and brass, and all things that belongs
    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 tomorrow this is hers,
    If, whilst I live, she will be only mine.

  129. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    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 which shall be her jointure. —
    What, have I pinched you, Signior Gremio?

  130. Gremio:

    Two thousand ducats by the year of land?
    [Aside.] My land amounts not to so much in all.
    That she shall have, besides an argosy
    That now is lying in Marcellus’ road.
    [To Tranio.] What, have I choked you with an argosy?

  131. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    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 off’rest next.

  132. Gremio:

    Nay, I have offered 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.

  133. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    Why then the maid is mine from all the world
    By your firm promise. Gremio is out-vied.

  134. Baptista:

    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?

  135. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    That’s but a cavil. He is old, I young.

  136. Gremio:

    And may not young men die as well as old?

  137. Baptista:

    Well gentlemen, I am thus resolved:
    On Sunday next, you know
    My daughter Katherine is to be marrièd.
    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.

  138. Gremio:

    Adieu, good neighbour.
    Baptista exits.
    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.
    He exits.

  139. Tranio (as Lucentio):

    A vengeance on your crafty withered hide!
    Yet I have faced it with a card of ten.
    ’Tis in my head to do my master good.
    I see no reason but supposed Lucentio
    Must get a father, called supposed 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.
    He exits.