[In front of Baptista’s house. Enter Tranio as Lucentio; and Hortensio as Litio, a music teacher.
We join them in the middle of their conversation.]
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.
[Hortensio and Tranio stand aside as Bianca and Lucentio enter. Earlier, Lucentio revealed
to Bianca that’s he’s actually a nobleman from Pisa and in love with her; but they’re still
keeping up the pretence that Lucentio’s just her language teacher.]
Lucentio (as Cambio)
Now, mistress, profit you in what you read?
What, master, read you? First resolve me that.
I read that I profess, The Art to Love.
And may you prove, sir, master of your art.
While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of my heart.
[Bianca and Lucentio move away, out of hearing. Hortensio is still pretending to the music
teacher Litio, and he still believes that Tranio is Lucentio, a nobleman from Pisa who’s also
infatuated with Bianca.]
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.
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.
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.
See how they kiss and court! Signior 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.
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!
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. Lucentio and Bianca come join Tranio, Petruchio’s servant,
and hear how he has persuaded Hortensio to swear off Bianca by pretending
to be a jealous Lucentio.]
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.
Tranio, you jest. But have you both forsworn me?
Mistress, we have.
Lucentio (as himself)
Then we are rid of Litio.
I' faith, he'll have a lusty widow now,
That shall be wooed and wedded in a day.
God give him joy!
Ay, and he'll tame her.
He says so, Tranio.
Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school.
The taming-school! What, is there such a place?
Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master
That teacheth tricks eleven-and-twenty long
To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.
[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.
What is he, Biondello?
Master, a marcantant, or a pedant,
I know not what, but formal in apparel,
In gait, and countenance — surely like a father.
And what of him, 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.
[Exeunt Lucentio and Bianca. Enter a Merchant (as it turns out, he seems
to be a respectable merchant rather than a school teacher)]
God save you, sir!
And you, sir. You are welcome.
Travel you far on, or are you at the farthest?
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.
What countryman, I pray?
Of Mantua, sir? Marry, God forbid!
And come to Padua, careless of your life?
My life, sir? How, I pray? For that goes hard.
'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.
Alas! sir, it is worse for me than so,
For I have bills for money by exchange
From Florence, and must here deliver them.
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?
Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been,
Pisa renowned for grave citizens.
Among them know you one Vincentio?
I know him not, but I have heard of him,
A merchant of incomparable wealth.
He is my father, sir, and, sooth to say,
In count’nance, somewhat doth resemble you.
[Aside] As much as an apple doth an oyster — And all one.
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.
O sir, I do; and will repute you ever
The patron of my life and liberty.
Then go with me to make the matter good.
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.