[In front of Baptista’s house. It’s the day of the scheduled wedding of Petruchio and Katherina.
The last we heard from Katherina, she said that she would see Petruchio hanged before marrying
him. But she has been forced into it, and is gathering along with everyone else for the wedding.
Enter Baptista, Gremio, Tranio as Lucentio, Lucentio as Cambio, Katherina, Bianca, and attendants]
[To Tranio] Signor Lucentio, this is the 'pointed day
That Katherine and Petruchio should be married,
And yet we hear not of our son-in-law.
What will be said? What mockery will it be,
To want the bridegroom when the priest attends
To speak the ceremonial rites of marriage?
What says Lucentio to this shame of ours?
No shame but mine. I must, forsooth, be forced
To give my hand, opposed against my heart,
Unto a mad-brain rudesby full of spleen,
Who wooed in haste, and means to wed at leisure.
I told you, I, he was a frantic fool,
Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behavior;
And, to be noted for a merry man,
He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriage,
Make friends, invite, and proclaim the banns;
Yet never means to wed where he hath wooed.
Now must the world point at poor Katherine
And say, 'Lo, there is mad Petruchio's wife,
If it would please him come and marry her.’
Patience, good Katherine, and Baptista too.
Upon my life, Petruchio means but well,
Whatever fortune stays him from his word.
Though he be blunt, I know him passing wise;
Though he be merry, yet, withal, he's honest.
Would Katherine had never seen him though!
[Exit weeping, followed by Bianca and others]
Go, girl, I cannot blame thee now to weep,
For such an injury would vex a very saint,
Much more a shrew of thy impatient humor.
[Enter Biondello, Lucentio's servant. Lucentio’s other servant, Tranio, who’s impersonating
him, is looking out for Lucentio’s interests, and therefore wants Katherina’s wedding to happen.]
Master, master, news! Old news and such news as you
never heard of!
Is it new and old too? How may that be?
Why, is it not news to hear of Petruchio's coming?
Is he come?
Why, no, sir.
He is coming.
When will he be here?
When he stands where I am and sees you there.
But say, what to thine old news?
Why, Petruchio is coming in a new hat and
an old jerkin; a pair of old breeches thrice turned; a pair
of boots that have been candle-cases, one buckled,
another laced; an old rusty sword ta'en out of the town
armory, with a broken hilt and chapeless, with two
broken points; his horse hipped, with an old mothy
saddle and stirrups of no kindred; besides, possessed
with the glanders and like to mose in the chine; troub-
led with the lampass, infected with the fashions, full of
windgalls, sped with spavins, rayed with yellows,
past cure of the fives, stark spoiled with the staggers,
begnawn with the bots, swayed in the back and
shoulder-shotten, near-legged before and with, a half-checked
bit and a head-stall of sheep’s leather which,
being restrained to keep him from stumbling, hath been
often burst and now repaired with knots; one girth six
time pieced, and a woman's crupper of velure which
hath two letters for her name fairly set down in studs,
and here and there pieced with packthread.
Who comes with him?
O, sir, his lackey, for all the world caparisoned
like the horse: with a linen stock on one leg and a kersey
boot-hose on the other, gartered with a red and blue list;
an old hat and the humor of forty fancies pricked in't for
a feather — a monster, a very monster in apparel, and not
like a Christian footboy or a gentleman's lackey.
'Tis some odd humor pricks him to this fashion,
Yet oftentimes he goes but mean-apparelled.
I am glad he's come, howsoe'er he comes.
Why, sir, he comes not.
Didst thou not say he comes?
Who? That Petruchio came?
Ay, that Petruchio came.
No, sir, I say his horse comes, with him on his back.
Why, that's all one.
Nay, by Saint Jamy,
I hold you a penny,
A horse and a man
Is more than one,
And yet not many.
[Enter Petruchio and Grumio, his servant]
Come, where be these gallants? Who's at home?
You are welcome, sir.
And yet I come not well.
And yet you halt not.
Not so well apparelled as I wish you were.
Were it not better I should rush in thus?
But where is Kate? Where is my lovely bride?
How does my father? Gentles, methinks you frown;
And wherefore gaze, this goodly company,
As if they saw some wondrous monument,
Some comet or unusual prodigy?
Why, sir, you know this is your wedding-day.
First were we sad, fearing you would not come,
Now sadder, that you come so unprovided.
Fie, doff this habit, shame to your estate,
An eyesore to our solemn festival!
And tell us what occasion of import
Hath all so long detained you from your wife,
And sent you hither so unlike yourself.
Tedious it were to tell, and harsh to hear.
Sufficeth I am come to keep my word,
Though, in some part enforced to digress,
Which, at more leisure, I will so excuse
As you shall well be satisfied withal.
But where is Kate? I stay too long from her.
The morning wears, 'tis time we were at church.
See not your bride in these unreverent robes.
Go to my chamber; put on clothes of mine.
Not I, believe me, thus I'll visit her.
But thus, I trust, you will not marry her.
Good sooth, even thus. Therefore ha' done with words;
To me she's married, not unto my clothes.
Could I repair what she will wear in me,
As I can change these poor accoutrements,
'Twere well for Kate and better for myself.
But what a fool am I to chat with you,
When I should bid good morrow to my bride,
And seal the title with a lovely kiss!
He hath some meaning in his mad attire.
We will persuade him, be it possible,
To put on better ere he go to church.
I'll after him, and see the event of this.
[Exeunt all except Tranio and Lucentio, who can speak freely as servant and master
since no one else is around]
But, sir, to love, concerneth us to add
Her father's liking, which to bring to pass,
As I before imparted to your worship,
I am to get a man, whate'er he be —
It skills not much, we'll fit him to our turn —
And he shall be Vincentio of Pisa
And make assurance here in Padua
Of greater sums than I have promised.
So shall you quietly enjoy your hope,
And marry sweet Bianca with consent.
Were it not that my fellow schoolmaster
Doth watch Bianca's steps so narrowly,
'Twere good, methinks, to steal our marriage;
Which once performed let all the world say no,
I'll keep mine own despite of all the world.
That by degrees we mean to look into,
And watch our vantage in this business.
We'll overreach the greybeard, Gremio,
The narrow prying father, Minola,
The quaint musician, amorous Litio —
All for my master's sake, Lucentio.
[Re-enter Gremio (elder suitor)]
Signor Gremio, came you from the church?
As willingly as e'er I came from school.
Tranio (as Lucentio)
And is the bride and bridegroom coming home?
A bridegroom say you? 'Tis a groom indeed,
A grumbling groom, and that the girl shall find.
Curster than she? Why, 'tis impossible.
Why he's a devil, a devil, a very fiend.
Why, she's a devil, a devil, the devil's dam.
Tut, she's a lamb, a dove, a fool to him!
I'll tell you, Sir Lucentio, when the priest
Should ask, if Katherine should be his wife,
'Ay, by gogs-wouns,' quoth he, and swore so loud,
That, all-amazed, the priest let fall the book,
And as he stooped again to take it up,
The mad-brained bridegroom took him such a cuff
That down fell priest and book, and book and priest.
'Now take them up,' quoth he, 'if any list.’
What said the wench when he rose again?
Trembled and shook; for why he stamped and swore
As if the vicar meant to cozen him.
But after many ceremonies done,
He calls for wine. 'A health!' quoth he, as if
He had been aboard, carousing to his mates
After a storm, quaffed off the muscadel
And threw the sops all in the sexton's face,
Having no other reason
But that his beard grew thin and hungerly,
And seemed to ask him sops as he was drinking.
This done, he took the bride about the neck
And kissed her lips with such a clamorous smack
That at the parting, all the church did echo;
And I, seeing this, came thence for very shame;
And after me, I know, the rout is coming.
Such a mad marriage never was before.
Hark, hark! I hear the minstrels play.
[Music plays. Enter Petruchio, Katherina, Baptista, Bianca, Hortensio (as himself),
Grumio (Petruchio’s servant), and attendants]
Gentlemen and friends, I thank you for your pains.
I know you think to dine with me today,
And have prepared great store of wedding cheer;
But so it is, my haste doth call me hence,
And therefore here I mean to take my leave.
Is't possible you will away tonight?
I must away today, before night come.
Make it no wonder. If you knew my business,
You would entreat me rather go than stay.
And, honest company, I thank you all
That have beheld me give away myself
To this most patient, sweet and virtuous wife.
Dine with my father, drink a health to me;
For I must hence, and farewell to you all.
Tranio (as Lucentio)
Let us entreat you stay till after dinner.
It may not be.
Gremio (elderly suitor)
Let me entreat you.
It cannot be.
Let me entreat you.
I am content.
Are you content to stay?
I am content you shall entreat me stay;
But yet not stay, entreat me how you can.
Now, if you love me, stay.
Grumio, my horse.
Grumio (Petruchio’s servant)
Ay, sir, they be ready. The oats have eaten the horses.
Nay, then, do what thou canst, I will not go today,
No, nor tomorrow, not till I please myself.
The door is open, sir, there lies your way;
You may be jogging whiles your boots are green.
For me, I'll not be gone till I please myself.
'Tis like you'll prove a jolly, surly groom,
That take it on you at the first so roundly.
O Kate, content thee; prithee, be not angry.
I will be angry. What hast thou to do?
Father, be quiet; he shall stay my leisure.
Gremio (elderly suitor)
Ay, marry, sir, now it begins to work!
Gentlemen, forward to the bridal dinner.
I see a woman may be made a fool
If she had not a spirit to resist.
They shall go forward, Kate, at thy command.
Obey the bride, you that attend on her.
Go to the feast, revel and domineer,
Carouse full measure to her maidenhead,
Be mad and merry, or go hang yourselves;
But, for my bonny Kate, she must with me.
Nay, look not big, nor stamp, nor stare, nor fret;
I will be master of what is mine own.
She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house,
My household stuff, my field, my barn,
My horse, my ox, my ass, my any thing;
And here she stands, touch her whoever dare.
I'll bring mine action on the proudest he
That stops my way in Padua. Grumio,
Draw forth thy weapon, we are beset with thieves;
Rescue thy mistress, if thou be a man.
Fear not, sweet wench, they shall not touch thee, Kate;
I'll buckler thee against a million.
[Exeunt Petruchio, Katherina, and Grumio]
Nay, let them go, a couple of quiet ones.
Went they not quickly, I should die with laughing.
Tranio (as Lucentio)
Of all mad matches, never was the like.
Lucentio (as Cambio)
Mistress, what's your opinion of your sister?
That being mad herself, she's madly mated.
I warrant him, Petruchio is Kated.
Neighbors and friends, though bride and bridegroom wants
For to supply the places at the table,
You know there wants no junkets at the feast.
Lucentio, you shall supply the bridegroom's place,
And let Bianca take her sister's room.
Shall sweet Bianca practice how to bride it?
She shall, Lucentio. Come, gentlemen, let's go.