[Signor Baptista’s house. Enter Bianca followed by Lucentio posing as a language teacher named Cambio and Hortensio posing as a music teacher named Litio. Neither knows the true identity of his fellow tutor.]
Fiddler, forbear; you grow too forward, sir.
Have you so soon forgot the entertainment
Her sister Katherine welcomed you withal?
But, wrangling pedant, this is
The patroness of heavenly harmony.
Then give me leave to have prerogative,
And when in music we have spent an hour,
Your lecture shall have leisure for as much.
Preposterous ass, that never read so far
To know the cause why music was ordained!
Was it not to refresh the mind of man
After his studies or his usual pain?
Then give me leave to read philosophy,
And while I pause, serve in your harmony.
Sirrah, I will not bear these braves of thine.
Why, gentlemen, you do me double wrong
To strive for that which resteth in my choice.
I am no breeching scholar in the schools,
I'll not be tied to hours, nor 'pointed times,
But learn my lessons as I please myself.
And to cut off all strife, here sit we down.
Take you your instrument, play you the whiles.
His lecture will be done ere you have tuned.
You'll leave his lecture when I am in tune?
That will be never. Tune your instrument.
[Hortensio moves away and starts to tune his lute.]
Where left we last?
[Reading from a work by the ancient Roman poet Ovid]
'Hic ibat Simois; hic est Sigeia tellus;
Hic steterat Priami regia celsa senis.'
'Hic ibat,' as I told you before; 'Simois,' I am Lucentio;
'hic est,' son unto Vincentio of Pisa;
'Sigeia tellus,' disguised thus to get your love;
'Hic steterat,' and that Lucentio that comes a-wooing;
'Priami,' is my man, Tranio; 'regia,' bearing my port;
'celsa senis,' that we might beguile the old pantaloon.
Madam, my instrument's in tune.
Let's hear. [He plays] O fie! The treble jars.
Spit in the hole, man, and tune again.
[To Lucentio] Now let me see if I can construe it:
'Hic Ibat Simois,' I know you not; 'hic est Sigeia tellus,'
I trust you not; 'Hic steterat Priami,' take heed he hear us not;
'regia,' presume not; 'celsa senis,' despair not.
Madam, 'tis now in tune.
[He plays again]
All but the bass.
The bass is right, 'tis the base knave that jars.
[Aside] How fiery and forward our pedant is!
Now, for my life, the knave doth court my love.
Pedascule, I'll watch you better yet.
[To Lucentio] In time I may believe, yet I mistrust.
[To Bianca] Mistrust it not. [Loudly] For, sure, Aeacides
Was Ajax, called so from his grandfather.
I must believe my master, else I promise you,
I should be arguing still upon that doubt,
But let it rest. [To Hortensio] Now, Litio, to you.
Good master, take it not unkindly, pray,
That I have been thus pleasant with you both.
[To Lucentio] You may go walk and give me leave awhile.
My lessons make no music in three parts.
Are you so formal, sir? Well, I must wait —
[Aside] And watch withal, for but I be deceived,
Our fine musician groweth amorous.
[He stands aside]
Madam, before you touch the instrument,
To learn the order of my fingering,
I must begin with rudiments of art,
To teach you gamut in a briefer sort,
More pleasant, pithy, and effectual
Than hath been taught by any of my trade,
And there it is in writing fairly drawn.
Why, I am past my gamut long ago.
Yet read the gamut of Hortensio.
[Reads the scale which he has written out for her]
Gamut — I am the ground of all accord,
A re — to plead Hortensio's passion.
B mi — Bianca, take him for thy lord,
C fa ut — that loves with all affection.
D sol re — One clef, two notes have I.
E la mi — Show pity, or I die.'
Call you this ‘gamut’? Tut, I like it not.
Old fashions please me best; I am not so nice
To change true rules for odd inventions.
[Enter a Servant]
Mistress, your father prays you leave your books
And help to dress your sister's chamber up.
You know tomorrow is the wedding day.
Farewell, sweet masters both, I must be gone.
[Exit Bianca and Servant]
Faith, mistress, then I have no cause to stay.
But I have cause to pry into this pedant;
Methinks he looks as though he were in love.
Yet if thy thoughts, Bianca, be so humble
To cast thy wandering eyes on every stale,
Seize thee that list. If once I find thee ranging,
Hortensio will be quit with thee by changing.