Act 4, Scene 2

What's Happening
[Lucentio and Hortensio have been posing as teachers to get access to Bianca, and in Act 3, Scene 1, they both revealed their true identities to her.  While Lucentio and his servant Tranio know that the supposed music teacher Litio is actually Hortensio, Hortensio has no idea that the language tutor Cambio is actually Lucentio, nor that the man he thinks is Lucentio is actually Tranio. In front of Signor Baptista’s house, enter Tranio-as-Lucentio and Hortensio-as-Litio.]

Tranio-as-Lucentio

Is't possible, friend Litio, that Mistress Bianca doth fancy
any other but Lucentio? I tell you, sir,
she bears me fair in hand.

Hortensio-as-Litio

Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said, stand by and mark     
the manner of his teaching.
[Tranio and Hortensio stand aside as Bianca and Lucentio enter. In front of the others, Bianca and Lucentio are still pretending that Lucentio’s her language teacher.]

Lucentio-as-Cambio

Now, mistress, profit you in what you read?    

Bianca

What, master, read you? First resolve me that.    

Lucentio

I read that I profess, The Art to Love.    

Bianca

And may you prove, sir, master of your art.

Lucentio

While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of my heart.    
[Bianca and Lucentio move away out of hearing, and Hortensio-as-Litio and Tranio-as-Lucentio come forward. Hortensio thinks that they’ve just overheard Bianca flirting with her language tutor.]

Hortensio-as-Litio

Quick proceeders, marry!     
[To Tranio-as-Lucentio] Now, tell me, I pray,   
you that durst swear that your mistress Bianca    
loved none in the world so well as Lucentio —    

Tranio-as-Lucentio

O despiteful love! Unconstant womankind!    
I tell thee, Litio, this is wonderful.    

Hortensio (as himself)

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 called Hortensio.

Tranio-as-Lucentio

Signor 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 for ever.    

Hortensio

See how they kiss and court! Signor Lucentio,
Here is my hand, and here I firmly vow
Never to woo her no more, but do forswear her    
As one unworthy all the former favors    
That I have fondly flattered her withal.

Tranio-as-Lucentio

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!

Hortensio

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 loved me    
As I have loved this proud disdainful haggard.    
And so farewell, Signor Lucentio.
Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks,
Shall win my love, and so I take my leave,
In resolution as I swore before.
[Exit Hortensio. Enter Lucentio and Bianca.]

Tranio (as himself)

Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace    
As 'longeth to a lover's blessèd case!    
Nay, I have ta'en you napping, gentle love,    
And have forsworn you with Hortensio.    

Bianca

Tranio, you jest. But have you both forsworn me?

Tranio

Mistress, we have.

Lucentio (as himself)

                             Then we are rid of Litio.  

Tranio

I' faith, he'll have a lusty widow now,    
That shall be wooed and wedded in a day.    

Bianca

God give him joy!

Tranio

                               Ay, and he'll tame her.  

Bianca

He says so, Tranio?

Tranio

Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school.

Bianca

The taming-school! What, is there such a place?

Tranio

Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master
That teacheth tricks eleven-and-twenty long    
To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.    
[Enter Biondello, who continues to address his fellow servant Tranio as his master, even though the only others around are Lucentio and Bianca, who are in on the ruse.]

Biondello

[To Tranio] O master, master, I have watched so long    
That I am dog-weary, but at last I spied
An ancient angel coming down the hill    
Will serve the turn.    

Tranio

                              What is he, Biondello? 

Biondello

Master, a marcantant, or a pedant,    
I know not what; but formal in apparel,    
In gait, and countenance — surely like a father.    

Lucentio

And what of him, Tranio?

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.    
[Exit Lucentio and Bianca. Enter a Merchant.]

Merchant

God save you, sir!    

Tranio-as-Lucentio

                                  And you, sir. You are welcome. 
Travel you far on, or are you at the farthest?    

Merchant

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.

Tranio-as-Lucentio

What countryman, I pray?    

Merchant

                                             Of Mantua.

Tranio-as-Lucentio

Of Mantua, sir? Marry, God forbid!
And come to Padua, careless of your life?

Merchant

My life, sir? How, I pray? For that goes hard.    

Tranio-as-Lucentio

'Tis death for any one in Mantua    
To come to Padua. Know you not the cause?
Your ships are stayed at Venice, and the Duke,    
For private quarrel 'twixt your Duke and him,    
Hath published and proclaimed it openly.
'Tis marvel, but that you are but newly come,    
You might have heard it else proclaimed about.    

Merchant

Alas! sir, it is worse for me than so,    
For I have bills for money by exchange    
From Florence, and must here deliver them.

Tranio-as-Lucentio

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?

Merchant

Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been,
Pisa renowned for grave citizens.    

Tranio-as-Lucentio

Among them know you one Vincentio?

Merchant

I know him not, but I have heard of him,
A merchant of incomparable wealth.

Tranio-as-Lucentio

He is my father, sir, and, sooth to say,    
In count’nance, somewhat doth resemble you.    

Biondello

[Aside] As much as an apple doth an oyster — and all one.    

Tranio-as-Lucentio

To save your life in this extremity,
This favour 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 lodged.
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 courtesy, sir, accept of it.

Merchant

O sir, I do; and will repute you ever    
The patron of my life and liberty.

Tranio-as-Lucentio

Then go with me to make it so. 
This, by the way, I let you understand:
my father is here looked for every day,    
To pass assurance of a dower 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.
[Exit]