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Flourish. Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO
The sound of trumpet fanfare. LUCENTIO and his servant TRANIO enter.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy,
5 And by my father’s love and leave am armed
With his goodwill and thy good company.
My trusty servant, well approved in all,
Here let us breathe and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
10 Pisa, renownèd for grave citizens,
Gave me my being and my father first,
A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii.
Vincentio’s son, brought up in Florence,
15 It shall become to serve all hopes conceived
To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds.
And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study
Virtue, and that part of philosophy
Will I apply that treats of happiness
20 By virtue specially to be achieved.
Tell me thy mind, for I have Pisa left
And am to Padua come, as he that leaves
A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.

LUCENTIO

Well, Tranio, here we are in fertile Lombardy, garden of Italy, about to fulfill my lifelong dream. You know how I’ve always longed to see the fair city of Padua, famous for its arts and letters, and now, thanks to my father’s generosity, here I am—with his blessing and your good company. So, my trusty servant—and you’ve never let me down—why don’t we settle here for a time to institute a course of study, a really rigorous curriculum. I was born in Pisa, famous for its serious citizens, like my father before me; my father, Vincentio, a successful, world-traveled merchant, was one of the

Bentivolii

The Bentivolis were one of the leading families of Bologna, wielding great political power and influence.

Bentivolii
. It’s only fitting that I, his son, reared in Florence, should concentrate on adding more virtuous deeds to my father’s own, stacking them on top of his wealth. For this reason, Tranio, I’ll study ethics and—for the time being, anyway—pursue those areas of

philosophy

Lucentio is referring to the philosophy of Aristotle.

philosophy
that teach a man how to achieve happiness through virtue. What do you think of all this? Leaving Pisa for Padua,

I feel

Lucentio means he is overwhelmed.

I feel
a little like a thirsty man who turns from a puddle to a vast lake he can drink from.

TRANIO

25 Mi perdonato, gentle master mine.
I am in all affected as yourself,
Glad that you thus continue your resolve
To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
Only, good master, while we do admire
30 This virtue and this moral discipline,
Let’s be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray,
Or so devote to Aristotle’s checks
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.
Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
35 And practice rhetoric in your common talk;
Music and poesy use to quicken you;
The mathematics and the metaphysics—
Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you.
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en.
40 In brief, sir, study what you most affect.

TRANIO

Pardon me, gentle master. As usual, I’m in complete agreement with you about everything, and glad that you still relish the idea of studying philosophy—and let me add that I admire your virtue and your moral discipline. That said, let’s not become total

stoics

Stoics were ancient Greek philosophers who advocated indifference to pain or pleasure.

stoics
or unfeeling blocks of wood and give up all thought of pleasure. We don’t want to become so focused on

Aristotle

Aristotle’s writings would have beencentral to the university curriculum. In contrast, the poet Ovid wrote frequently about erotic love, and much of his work was considered scandalous.

Aristotle
that we forget to read Ovid. Here’s my thought: practice your logic as you chat with your friends, and your rhetoric in ordinary conversation. Use music and poetry to excite your senses. Math and metaphysics—well, I’d play them by ear, spending only as much time on them as you can stand. There’s nothing to be gained from things we take no pleasure in. What I’m saying, sir, is this: study what you most enjoy.

LUCENTIO

Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
We could at once put us in readiness
And take a lodging fit to entertain
45 Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
But stay awhile. What company is this?

LUCENTIO

Thanks, Tranio. That’s good advice. Now if only Biondello would get here, we could find a nice place to stay where the friends we’ll make here in Padua could visit us. Wait! Who are all these people?

TRANIO

Master, some show to welcome us to town.

TRANIO

Maybe it’s a parade to welcome us to town, master.
LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand by
LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand off to one side
Enter BAPTISTA , KATHERINE , BIANCA , GREMIO , and HORTENSIO
BAPTISTA enters with his elder daughter, KATHERINE , the younger daughter, BIANCA , and two suitors to BIANCA , an old man named GREMIO and a younger man named HORTENSIO .

BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
For how I firmly am resolved you know—
50 That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder.
If either of you both love Katherina,
Because I know you well and love you well
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.

BAPTISTA

Enough, gentlemen! You can’t influence me on this point. You know how I feel. I’m determined not to permit my younger daughter to marry until I have a husband for the elder one. I’ve long regarded you both as good friends. Therefore, if either of you is partial to Katherina, he shall have my permission to court her freely.

GREMIO

55 To cart her, rather. She’s too rough for me.—
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?

GREMIO

KATHERINE

(to BAPTISTA) I pray you, sir, is it your will
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?

KATHERINE

(to BAPTISTA) May I ask, sir, if it’s your intention to publicly humiliate me, showing me off like a whore in front of these suitors?

HORTENSIO

“Mates,” maid? how mean you that? No mates for you
60 Unless you were of gentler, milder mold.

HORTENSIO

We’re not your suitors, that’s for sure! Not until you improve your temper, girl!

KATHERINE

I' faith, sir, you shall never need to fear.
I wis it is not halfway to her heart.
But if it were, doubt not her care should be
To comb your noddle with a three-legged stool
65 And paint your face and use you like a fool.

KATHERINE

Don’t worry, I couldn’t care less. The only possible interest I could take in you would be to hit you on the head with a stool, paint your face with blood, and make a fool out of you.

HORTENSIO

From all such devils, good Lord, deliver us!

HORTENSIO

May the good Lord keep me safe from all women like her!

GREMIO

And me too, good Lord!

GREMIO

Me too, Lord!

TRANIO

(aside to LUCENTIO)
Husht, master, here’s some good pastime toward.
70 That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.

TRANIO

(speaking so that only LUCENTIO can hear) Wow! This’ll be fun to watch! This girl is either completely crazy or incredibly willful.

LUCENTIO

(aside to TRANIO) But in the other’s silence do I see
Maid’s mild behavior and sobriety.
Peace, Tranio.

LUCENTIO

(speaking so that only TRANIO can hear) But her sister seems quiet and well behaved, as a young girl should be. Shhh, Tranio.

TRANIO

(aside to LUCENTIO) Well said, master. Mum, and gaze your fill.

TRANIO

(speaking so that only LUCENTIO can hear) Indeed, master. Let’s keep quiet and watch.

BAPTISTA

75 (to GREMIO and HORTENSIO)
Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
What I have said—Bianca, get you in,
And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.

BAPTISTA

(to GREMIO and HORTENSIO) Gentlemen, since I’d like to make good on what I’ve said—Bianca, go inside. And don’t be unhappy, my dear. Whatever happens, you know I’ll never love you less.

KATHERINE

80 A pretty peat! It is best
Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.

KATHERINE

What a spoiled little brat. She’d make herself cry now, if she could think of a reason.

BIANCA

Sister, content you in my discontent.—
Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe.
My books and instruments shall be my company,
85 On them to look and practice by myself.

BIANCA

Sister, be happy in my unhappiness.—Sir, I will humbly obey you. I’ll take comfort in my books and music, reading and practicing my instruments.

LUCENTIO

Hark, Tranio! Thou may’st hear Minerva speak.

LUCENTIO

HORTENSIO

Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
Sorry am I that our goodwill effects
Bianca’s grief.

HORTENSIO

Signior Baptista, will you really be this cruel? I regret that our goodwill should cause Bianca unhappiness.

GREMIO

90 Why will you mew her up,
Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell
And make her bear the penance of her tongue?

GREMIO

Why are you locking her away because of this fiend from hell, Signor Baptista? Why does the one daughter have to be punished for the other’s mouth?

BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, content ye. I am resolved.—
Go in, Bianca.

BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, I’ve made my decision. That’s all there is to it. Go inside, Bianca.
Exit BIANCA
BIANCA exits.
95 And for I know she taketh most delight
In music, instruments, and poetry,
Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
Or, Signior Gremio, you know any such,
100 Prefer them hither, for to cunning men
I will be very kind, and liberal
To mine own children in good bringing up.
And so farewell.—Katherina, you may stay,
For I have more to commune with Bianca.
And because I know how fond she is of music, playing her instruments, and poetry, I plan to hire live-in tutors for her. If either of you gentlemen knows anyone who would be suitable for the job, send him to me. I’ll pay well for good teachers. I don’t stint when it comes to educating my children. Goodbye, gentlemen. Katherina, you may stay. I have things to discuss with Bianca.
Exit
He exits.

KATHERINE

105Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not? What, shall I be appointed hours as though, belike, I knew not what to take and what to leave, ha?

KATHERINE

Stay out here? I don’t think so! Am I to be dictated to, like a child? Told when to come and where to go? No.
Exit
She exits.

GREMIO

You may go to the devil’s dam! Your gifts are so good here’s none will hold you.—Their love is not so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails together and fast it fairly out. Our cake’s dough on both sides. Farewell. Yet for the love I bear my sweet Bianca, if I can by any means light on a fit man to teach her that wherein she delights, I will wish him to her father.

GREMIO

You can go straight to hell! What you have to offer is nothing anyone wants. Hortensio, our desire to be married isn’t so great that we can’t wait this out patiently. It’s tough on both of us, but I guess we’ll live. So long. But to prove my love for Bianca, I’m going to see if I can find a good tutor to give her lessons in the things she enjoys. If I do, I’ll send him to her father.

HORTENSIO

So will I, Signior Gremio. But a word, I pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet never brooked parle, know now upon advice, it toucheth us both, that we may yet again have access to our fair mistress and be happy rivals in Bianca’s love, to labor and effect one thing specially.

HORTENSIO

I’ll do the same. But wait—don’t go just yet, Signior Gremio. I know we’ve never exactly been allies, but it might be in both our interests, if you think about it, to put our heads together about one particular thing. That is, if we ever want to return to being rivals for Bianca’s love.

GREMIO

What’s that, I pray?

GREMIO

And that would be—?

HORTENSIO

Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.

HORTENSIO

To find a husband for her sister.

GREMIO

110 A husband? A devil!

GREMIO

A husband? You mean a devil!

HORTENSIO

I say a husband.

HORTENSIO

I mean a husband.

GREMIO

I say a devil. Think’st thou, Hortensio, though her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to hell?

GREMIO

I say a devil. Do you really think there’s a man fool enough to marry into hell—however rich the father is?

HORTENSIO

Tush, Gremio. Though it pass your patience and mine to endure her loud alarums, why, man, there be good fellows in the world, an a man could light on them, would take her with all faults, and money enough.

HORTENSIO

Oh, I don’t know. Just because we wouldn’t want to put up with her tantrums, that doesn’t mean there aren’t guys who would, if we could find them. Guys who’d take her with all her faults, provided there were enough money involved.

GREMIO

I cannot tell. But I had as lief take her dowry with this condition: to be whipped at the high cross every morning.

GREMIO

I don’t know. All I know is I’d rather endure a public whipping every morning than put up with her—even with a big dowry.

HORTENSIO

115Faith, as you say, there’s small choice in rotten apples. But come, since this bar in law makes us friends, it shall be so far forth friendly maintained till by helping Baptista’s eldest daughter to a husband we set his youngest free for a husband, and then have to ’t afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring. How say you, Signior Gremio?

HORTENSIO

The two choices are about equal, it’s true. But come, since we must be friends in the face of this new obstacle, let’s work together to find a husband for Baptista’s elder daughter, and thus free his younger daughter to have a husband, too. Then we can go back to fighting with each other. Happy the man that claims you, sweet Bianca! And may the best man win. What do you say, Signior Gremio?

GREMIO

I am agreed, and would I had given him the best horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would thoroughly woo her, wed her, and bed her, and rid the house of her! Come on.

GREMIO

Agreed. This imaginary suitor for Katherina—I’d buy him the best horse in Padua if he’d get here quickly, woo her, marry her, take her to bed, and rid the house of her. Let’s go.
Exeunt GREMIO and HORTENSIO
GREMIO and HORTENSIO exit.

TRANIO

I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?

TRANIO

Sir, is it possible that a person could fall in love so suddenly?

LUCENTIO

O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
120 I never thought it possible or likely.
But see, while idly I stood looking on,
I found the effect of love in idleness
And now in plainness do confess to thee
That art to me as secret and as dear
125 As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was,
Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
If I achieve not this young modest girl.
Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst.
Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.

LUCENTIO

Oh, Tranio, until it happened to me, I never would have thought it possible. But now I confess it openly to you, Tranio. You are to me what Anna,

Dido’s

In Virgil’s Aeneid, Dido queen of Carthage, confessed her secret passion for Aeneas to her sister, Anna.

Dido’s
sister, was to the Queen of Carthage. I confide in you. I tell you, Tranio, I’m on fire, in agony. I’ll die if I can’t have this modest young girl for my wife. Advise me, Tranio—I know you can. Help me, Tranio—I know you will.
 

TRANIO

130 Master, it is no time to chide you now.
Affection is not rated from the heart.
If love have touched you, naught remains but so:
Redime te captum quam queas minimo.

TRANIO

Master, this is no moment to lecture you. The heart won’t be reasoned with. If love has touched you, love has touched you—end of story. But, as the Roman Terence advises, now that you’re a captive, it’s time to buy back your freedom at the lowest possible cost.

LUCENTIO

Gramercies, lad, go forward. This contents.
135 The rest will comfort, for thy counsel’s sound.

LUCENTIO

Yes, you’re right. Please go on. I feel better already, and I know there’s more good advice where that came from.

TRANIO

Master, you looked so longly on the maid,
Perhaps you marked not what’s the pith of all.

TRANIO

Master, you were so focused on the girl herself, I wonder if you missed the main point here.

LUCENTIO

Oh yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face
Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
140 That made great Jove to humble him to her hand
When with his knees he kissed the Cretan strand.

LUCENTIO

Oh no! I saw sweetness and beauty in her face of the kind that humbled great

Jove

Jove, or Zeus, king of the gods, fell in love with Europa, a mortal maiden, and changed himself into a bull, carrying a Europa across the sea to Crete, where he raped her.

Jove
. He saw it in Europa that time she brought him to his knees in Crete.

TRANIO

Saw you no more? Marked you not how her sister
Began to scold and raise up such a storm
That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?

TRANIO

That’s all you noticed? You missed the part where her sister began to scold her and made such a ruckus that human ears could hardly stand it?
 

LUCENTIO

145 Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move
And with her breath she did perfume the air.
Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, I saw her coral-pink lips move and perfume the air with her breath. I saw nothing in her except what is virtuous and lovely.

TRANIO

(aside) Nay, then, ’tis time to stir him from his trance.—
I pray, awake, sir! If you love the maid,
150 Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd
That till the father rid his hands of her,
Master, your love must live a maid at home,
And therefore has he closely mewed her up,
155 Because she will not be annoyed with suitors.

TRANIO

(to the audience) I think it’s time to rouse him from his trance.—Wake up, sir! If you love the girl, it’s time to figure out how to win her. The way things stand, her older sister is so bitchy and difficult that the father can’t wait to get rid of her. But until he does, your sweetheart is grounded, locked up at home and not allowed any suitors.

LUCENTIO

Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father’s he!
But art thou not advised, he took some care
To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?

LUCENTIO

Oh, Tranio, what a cruel father he is. Still, did you notice how ready he was to hire good tutors for her?

TRANIO

Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now ’tis plotted!

TRANIO

I did—and now I’ve got it!

LUCENTIO

160 I have it, Tranio!

LUCENTIO

Tranio, I think I’ve got it!

TRANIO

   Master, for my hand,
Both our inventions meet and jump in one.

TRANIO

I’ll bet we’re both thinking the same thing, master.

LUCENTIO

Tell me thine first.

LUCENTIO

Tell me your idea first.

TRANIO

   You will be schoolmaster
And undertake the teaching of the maid:
That’s your device.

TRANIO

You will pretend to be a schoolmaster and offer to teach the girl. Is that your plan?

LUCENTIO

   It is. May it be done?

LUCENTIO

It is. Do you think it would work?

TRANIO

165 Not possible. For who shall bear your part
And be in Padua here Vincentio’s son,
Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends,
Visit his countrymen and banquet them?

TRANIO

No, not a chance. You’re supposed to be here in Padua studying. So who would fill in for you—pretend to be Vincentio’s son, live in his house, pore over his books, welcome his friends, and wine and dine his fellow expatriates from Pisa?

LUCENTIO

Basta, content thee, for I have it full.
170 We have not yet been seen in any house,
Nor can we be distinguished by our faces
For man or master. Then it follows thus:
Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
Keep house and port and servants as I should.
175 I will some other be, some Florentine,
Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
'Tis hatched, and shall be so. Tranio, at once
Uncase thee. Take my colored hat and cloak.

LUCENTIO

Enough! Don’t worry, I have it all figured out. No one has seen us yet, and no one knows what we look like—which of us is master and which servant. It’s obvious: You will be me, Tranio—live in my house, instruct the servants and do everything in my place just as I would. I, meanwhile, will impersonate some other made-up fellow—some guy from Florence or Naples, or some poor guy from Pisa. There! That’s a plan. Take off what you’re wearing and put on my hat and cloak.
They exchange clothes
They exchange clothes.
When Biondello comes, he waits on thee,
180 But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
Here comes Biondello. Where have you been, boy?

BIONDELLO

Where have I been? Nay, how now, where are you? Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes? Or you stolen his? Or both? Pray, what’s the news?

BIONDELLO

Where have I been? Where are you? Has Tranio stolen your clothes, master? Or have you stolen his? Have you both stolen each other’s? Please, what’s going on?

LUCENTIO

Sirrah, come hither: ’tis no time to jest,
And therefore frame your manners to the time.
Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,
185 Puts my apparel and my countenance on,
And I for my escape have put on his;
For in a quarrel since I came ashore
I killed a man and fear I was descried.
Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
190 While I make way from hence to save my life.
You understand me?

LUCENTIO

Come here, boy. It’s no time for jokes: sober up. Tranio and I have traded clothes to save my life. I killed a man in a fight since we came ashore, and I’m worried someone saw me. While I make my escape, I need you to wait on Tranio as though he were me. Understand?

BIONDELLO

    Aye, sir. (aside) Ne'er a whit.

BIONDELLO

Of course, sir. (to the audience) Not a word.

LUCENTIO

And not a jot of “Tranio” in your mouth.
Tranio is changed into Lucentio.

LUCENTIO

And you’re not to utter a syllable of Tranio’s name. “Tranio” is now “Lucentio.”

BIONDELLO

The better for him. Would I were so too.

BIONDELLO

Lucky for him. Wish I could say the same.

TRANIO

195 So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
That Lucentio indeed had Baptista’s youngest daughter.
But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master’s, I advise
You use your manners discreetly in all kind of companies.
When I am alone, why then I am Tranio;
200 But in all places else, your master Lucentio.

TRANIO

I’d second your wish if it automatically meant that Lucentio could have Baptista’s youngest daughter. This is for your master’s sake, not mine. So watch your step when there are other people around. When we’re by ourselves you can call me “Tranio.” Everywhere else, address me as your master Lucentio.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, let’s go. One thing more rests, that thyself execute, to make one among these wooers. If thou ask me why, sufficeth my reasons are both good and weighty.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, let’s go. One last thing, and this is up to you. You’ll have to woo Bianca like the rest. Don’t ask why. Just trust me—I know what I’m doing.
Exeunt
They exit.
The presenters above speak
The presenters up in the balcony speak.

FIRST SERVANT

My lord, you nod. You do not mind the play.

FIRST SERVANT

(to SLY) My lord, you’re falling asleep. You’re not paying attention to the play.

SLY

205Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely. Comes there any more of it?

SLY

No, no. I am. Really. Very impressive. Is there any more, or is that it?

PAGE

My lord, ’tis but begun.

PAGE

(speaking as SLY's wife) My lord, we’ve only just got started.

SLY

'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady. Would
’twere done.

SLY

And what an excellent piece of work it is, too, madam lady! I wish it were over.
They sit and mark
They sit and watch.

Original Text

Modern Text

Flourish. Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO
The sound of trumpet fanfare. LUCENTIO and his servant TRANIO enter.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy,
5 And by my father’s love and leave am armed
With his goodwill and thy good company.
My trusty servant, well approved in all,
Here let us breathe and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
10 Pisa, renownèd for grave citizens,
Gave me my being and my father first,
A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii.
Vincentio’s son, brought up in Florence,
15 It shall become to serve all hopes conceived
To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds.
And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study
Virtue, and that part of philosophy
Will I apply that treats of happiness
20 By virtue specially to be achieved.
Tell me thy mind, for I have Pisa left
And am to Padua come, as he that leaves
A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.

LUCENTIO

Well, Tranio, here we are in fertile Lombardy, garden of Italy, about to fulfill my lifelong dream. You know how I’ve always longed to see the fair city of Padua, famous for its arts and letters, and now, thanks to my father’s generosity, here I am—with his blessing and your good company. So, my trusty servant—and you’ve never let me down—why don’t we settle here for a time to institute a course of study, a really rigorous curriculum. I was born in Pisa, famous for its serious citizens, like my father before me; my father, Vincentio, a successful, world-traveled merchant, was one of the

Bentivolii

The Bentivolis were one of the leading families of Bologna, wielding great political power and influence.

Bentivolii
. It’s only fitting that I, his son, reared in Florence, should concentrate on adding more virtuous deeds to my father’s own, stacking them on top of his wealth. For this reason, Tranio, I’ll study ethics and—for the time being, anyway—pursue those areas of

philosophy

Lucentio is referring to the philosophy of Aristotle.

philosophy
that teach a man how to achieve happiness through virtue. What do you think of all this? Leaving Pisa for Padua,

I feel

Lucentio means he is overwhelmed.

I feel
a little like a thirsty man who turns from a puddle to a vast lake he can drink from.

TRANIO

25 Mi perdonato, gentle master mine.
I am in all affected as yourself,
Glad that you thus continue your resolve
To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
Only, good master, while we do admire
30 This virtue and this moral discipline,
Let’s be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray,
Or so devote to Aristotle’s checks
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.
Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
35 And practice rhetoric in your common talk;
Music and poesy use to quicken you;
The mathematics and the metaphysics—
Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you.
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en.
40 In brief, sir, study what you most affect.

TRANIO

Pardon me, gentle master. As usual, I’m in complete agreement with you about everything, and glad that you still relish the idea of studying philosophy—and let me add that I admire your virtue and your moral discipline. That said, let’s not become total

stoics

Stoics were ancient Greek philosophers who advocated indifference to pain or pleasure.

stoics
or unfeeling blocks of wood and give up all thought of pleasure. We don’t want to become so focused on

Aristotle

Aristotle’s writings would have beencentral to the university curriculum. In contrast, the poet Ovid wrote frequently about erotic love, and much of his work was considered scandalous.

Aristotle
that we forget to read Ovid. Here’s my thought: practice your logic as you chat with your friends, and your rhetoric in ordinary conversation. Use music and poetry to excite your senses. Math and metaphysics—well, I’d play them by ear, spending only as much time on them as you can stand. There’s nothing to be gained from things we take no pleasure in. What I’m saying, sir, is this: study what you most enjoy.

LUCENTIO

Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
We could at once put us in readiness
And take a lodging fit to entertain
45 Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
But stay awhile. What company is this?

LUCENTIO

Thanks, Tranio. That’s good advice. Now if only Biondello would get here, we could find a nice place to stay where the friends we’ll make here in Padua could visit us. Wait! Who are all these people?

TRANIO

Master, some show to welcome us to town.

TRANIO

Maybe it’s a parade to welcome us to town, master.
LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand by
LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand off to one side
Enter BAPTISTA , KATHERINE , BIANCA , GREMIO , and HORTENSIO
BAPTISTA enters with his elder daughter, KATHERINE , the younger daughter, BIANCA , and two suitors to BIANCA , an old man named GREMIO and a younger man named HORTENSIO .

BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
For how I firmly am resolved you know—
50 That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder.
If either of you both love Katherina,
Because I know you well and love you well
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.

BAPTISTA

Enough, gentlemen! You can’t influence me on this point. You know how I feel. I’m determined not to permit my younger daughter to marry until I have a husband for the elder one. I’ve long regarded you both as good friends. Therefore, if either of you is partial to Katherina, he shall have my permission to court her freely.

GREMIO

55 To cart her, rather. She’s too rough for me.—
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?

GREMIO

KATHERINE

(to BAPTISTA) I pray you, sir, is it your will
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?

KATHERINE

(to BAPTISTA) May I ask, sir, if it’s your intention to publicly humiliate me, showing me off like a whore in front of these suitors?

HORTENSIO

“Mates,” maid? how mean you that? No mates for you
60 Unless you were of gentler, milder mold.

HORTENSIO

We’re not your suitors, that’s for sure! Not until you improve your temper, girl!

KATHERINE

I' faith, sir, you shall never need to fear.
I wis it is not halfway to her heart.
But if it were, doubt not her care should be
To comb your noddle with a three-legged stool
65 And paint your face and use you like a fool.

KATHERINE

Don’t worry, I couldn’t care less. The only possible interest I could take in you would be to hit you on the head with a stool, paint your face with blood, and make a fool out of you.

HORTENSIO

From all such devils, good Lord, deliver us!

HORTENSIO

May the good Lord keep me safe from all women like her!

GREMIO

And me too, good Lord!

GREMIO

Me too, Lord!

TRANIO

(aside to LUCENTIO)
Husht, master, here’s some good pastime toward.
70 That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.

TRANIO

(speaking so that only LUCENTIO can hear) Wow! This’ll be fun to watch! This girl is either completely crazy or incredibly willful.

LUCENTIO

(aside to TRANIO) But in the other’s silence do I see
Maid’s mild behavior and sobriety.
Peace, Tranio.

LUCENTIO

(speaking so that only TRANIO can hear) But her sister seems quiet and well behaved, as a young girl should be. Shhh, Tranio.

TRANIO

(aside to LUCENTIO) Well said, master. Mum, and gaze your fill.

TRANIO

(speaking so that only LUCENTIO can hear) Indeed, master. Let’s keep quiet and watch.

BAPTISTA

75 (to GREMIO and HORTENSIO)
Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
What I have said—Bianca, get you in,
And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.

BAPTISTA

(to GREMIO and HORTENSIO) Gentlemen, since I’d like to make good on what I’ve said—Bianca, go inside. And don’t be unhappy, my dear. Whatever happens, you know I’ll never love you less.

KATHERINE

80 A pretty peat! It is best
Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.

KATHERINE

What a spoiled little brat. She’d make herself cry now, if she could think of a reason.

BIANCA

Sister, content you in my discontent.—
Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe.
My books and instruments shall be my company,
85 On them to look and practice by myself.

BIANCA

Sister, be happy in my unhappiness.—Sir, I will humbly obey you. I’ll take comfort in my books and music, reading and practicing my instruments.

LUCENTIO

Hark, Tranio! Thou may’st hear Minerva speak.

LUCENTIO

HORTENSIO

Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
Sorry am I that our goodwill effects
Bianca’s grief.

HORTENSIO

Signior Baptista, will you really be this cruel? I regret that our goodwill should cause Bianca unhappiness.

GREMIO

90 Why will you mew her up,
Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell
And make her bear the penance of her tongue?

GREMIO

Why are you locking her away because of this fiend from hell, Signor Baptista? Why does the one daughter have to be punished for the other’s mouth?

BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, content ye. I am resolved.—
Go in, Bianca.

BAPTISTA

Gentlemen, I’ve made my decision. That’s all there is to it. Go inside, Bianca.
Exit BIANCA
BIANCA exits.
95 And for I know she taketh most delight
In music, instruments, and poetry,
Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
Or, Signior Gremio, you know any such,
100 Prefer them hither, for to cunning men
I will be very kind, and liberal
To mine own children in good bringing up.
And so farewell.—Katherina, you may stay,
For I have more to commune with Bianca.
And because I know how fond she is of music, playing her instruments, and poetry, I plan to hire live-in tutors for her. If either of you gentlemen knows anyone who would be suitable for the job, send him to me. I’ll pay well for good teachers. I don’t stint when it comes to educating my children. Goodbye, gentlemen. Katherina, you may stay. I have things to discuss with Bianca.
Exit
He exits.

KATHERINE

105Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not? What, shall I be appointed hours as though, belike, I knew not what to take and what to leave, ha?

KATHERINE

Stay out here? I don’t think so! Am I to be dictated to, like a child? Told when to come and where to go? No.
Exit
She exits.

GREMIO

You may go to the devil’s dam! Your gifts are so good here’s none will hold you.—Their love is not so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails together and fast it fairly out. Our cake’s dough on both sides. Farewell. Yet for the love I bear my sweet Bianca, if I can by any means light on a fit man to teach her that wherein she delights, I will wish him to her father.

GREMIO

You can go straight to hell! What you have to offer is nothing anyone wants. Hortensio, our desire to be married isn’t so great that we can’t wait this out patiently. It’s tough on both of us, but I guess we’ll live. So long. But to prove my love for Bianca, I’m going to see if I can find a good tutor to give her lessons in the things she enjoys. If I do, I’ll send him to her father.

HORTENSIO

So will I, Signior Gremio. But a word, I pray. Though the nature of our quarrel yet never brooked parle, know now upon advice, it toucheth us both, that we may yet again have access to our fair mistress and be happy rivals in Bianca’s love, to labor and effect one thing specially.

HORTENSIO

I’ll do the same. But wait—don’t go just yet, Signior Gremio. I know we’ve never exactly been allies, but it might be in both our interests, if you think about it, to put our heads together about one particular thing. That is, if we ever want to return to being rivals for Bianca’s love.

GREMIO

What’s that, I pray?

GREMIO

And that would be—?

HORTENSIO

Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.

HORTENSIO

To find a husband for her sister.

GREMIO

110 A husband? A devil!

GREMIO

A husband? You mean a devil!

HORTENSIO

I say a husband.

HORTENSIO

I mean a husband.

GREMIO

I say a devil. Think’st thou, Hortensio, though her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to hell?

GREMIO

I say a devil. Do you really think there’s a man fool enough to marry into hell—however rich the father is?

HORTENSIO

Tush, Gremio. Though it pass your patience and mine to endure her loud alarums, why, man, there be good fellows in the world, an a man could light on them, would take her with all faults, and money enough.

HORTENSIO

Oh, I don’t know. Just because we wouldn’t want to put up with her tantrums, that doesn’t mean there aren’t guys who would, if we could find them. Guys who’d take her with all her faults, provided there were enough money involved.

GREMIO

I cannot tell. But I had as lief take her dowry with this condition: to be whipped at the high cross every morning.

GREMIO

I don’t know. All I know is I’d rather endure a public whipping every morning than put up with her—even with a big dowry.

HORTENSIO

115Faith, as you say, there’s small choice in rotten apples. But come, since this bar in law makes us friends, it shall be so far forth friendly maintained till by helping Baptista’s eldest daughter to a husband we set his youngest free for a husband, and then have to ’t afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring. How say you, Signior Gremio?

HORTENSIO

The two choices are about equal, it’s true. But come, since we must be friends in the face of this new obstacle, let’s work together to find a husband for Baptista’s elder daughter, and thus free his younger daughter to have a husband, too. Then we can go back to fighting with each other. Happy the man that claims you, sweet Bianca! And may the best man win. What do you say, Signior Gremio?

GREMIO

I am agreed, and would I had given him the best horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would thoroughly woo her, wed her, and bed her, and rid the house of her! Come on.

GREMIO

Agreed. This imaginary suitor for Katherina—I’d buy him the best horse in Padua if he’d get here quickly, woo her, marry her, take her to bed, and rid the house of her. Let’s go.
Exeunt GREMIO and HORTENSIO
GREMIO and HORTENSIO exit.

TRANIO

I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
That love should of a sudden take such hold?

TRANIO

Sir, is it possible that a person could fall in love so suddenly?

LUCENTIO

O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
120 I never thought it possible or likely.
But see, while idly I stood looking on,
I found the effect of love in idleness
And now in plainness do confess to thee
That art to me as secret and as dear
125 As Anna to the Queen of Carthage was,
Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
If I achieve not this young modest girl.
Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst.
Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.

LUCENTIO

Oh, Tranio, until it happened to me, I never would have thought it possible. But now I confess it openly to you, Tranio. You are to me what Anna,

Dido’s

In Virgil’s Aeneid, Dido queen of Carthage, confessed her secret passion for Aeneas to her sister, Anna.

Dido’s
sister, was to the Queen of Carthage. I confide in you. I tell you, Tranio, I’m on fire, in agony. I’ll die if I can’t have this modest young girl for my wife. Advise me, Tranio—I know you can. Help me, Tranio—I know you will.
 

TRANIO

130 Master, it is no time to chide you now.
Affection is not rated from the heart.
If love have touched you, naught remains but so:
Redime te captum quam queas minimo.

TRANIO

Master, this is no moment to lecture you. The heart won’t be reasoned with. If love has touched you, love has touched you—end of story. But, as the Roman Terence advises, now that you’re a captive, it’s time to buy back your freedom at the lowest possible cost.

LUCENTIO

Gramercies, lad, go forward. This contents.
135 The rest will comfort, for thy counsel’s sound.

LUCENTIO

Yes, you’re right. Please go on. I feel better already, and I know there’s more good advice where that came from.

TRANIO

Master, you looked so longly on the maid,
Perhaps you marked not what’s the pith of all.

TRANIO

Master, you were so focused on the girl herself, I wonder if you missed the main point here.

LUCENTIO

Oh yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face
Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
140 That made great Jove to humble him to her hand
When with his knees he kissed the Cretan strand.

LUCENTIO

Oh no! I saw sweetness and beauty in her face of the kind that humbled great

Jove

Jove, or Zeus, king of the gods, fell in love with Europa, a mortal maiden, and changed himself into a bull, carrying a Europa across the sea to Crete, where he raped her.

Jove
. He saw it in Europa that time she brought him to his knees in Crete.

TRANIO

Saw you no more? Marked you not how her sister
Began to scold and raise up such a storm
That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?

TRANIO

That’s all you noticed? You missed the part where her sister began to scold her and made such a ruckus that human ears could hardly stand it?
 

LUCENTIO

145 Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move
And with her breath she did perfume the air.
Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, I saw her coral-pink lips move and perfume the air with her breath. I saw nothing in her except what is virtuous and lovely.

TRANIO

(aside) Nay, then, ’tis time to stir him from his trance.—
I pray, awake, sir! If you love the maid,
150 Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd
That till the father rid his hands of her,
Master, your love must live a maid at home,
And therefore has he closely mewed her up,
155 Because she will not be annoyed with suitors.

TRANIO

(to the audience) I think it’s time to rouse him from his trance.—Wake up, sir! If you love the girl, it’s time to figure out how to win her. The way things stand, her older sister is so bitchy and difficult that the father can’t wait to get rid of her. But until he does, your sweetheart is grounded, locked up at home and not allowed any suitors.

LUCENTIO

Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father’s he!
But art thou not advised, he took some care
To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?

LUCENTIO

Oh, Tranio, what a cruel father he is. Still, did you notice how ready he was to hire good tutors for her?

TRANIO

Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now ’tis plotted!

TRANIO

I did—and now I’ve got it!

LUCENTIO

160 I have it, Tranio!

LUCENTIO

Tranio, I think I’ve got it!

TRANIO

   Master, for my hand,
Both our inventions meet and jump in one.

TRANIO

I’ll bet we’re both thinking the same thing, master.

LUCENTIO

Tell me thine first.

LUCENTIO

Tell me your idea first.

TRANIO

   You will be schoolmaster
And undertake the teaching of the maid:
That’s your device.

TRANIO

You will pretend to be a schoolmaster and offer to teach the girl. Is that your plan?

LUCENTIO

   It is. May it be done?

LUCENTIO

It is. Do you think it would work?

TRANIO

165 Not possible. For who shall bear your part
And be in Padua here Vincentio’s son,
Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends,
Visit his countrymen and banquet them?

TRANIO

No, not a chance. You’re supposed to be here in Padua studying. So who would fill in for you—pretend to be Vincentio’s son, live in his house, pore over his books, welcome his friends, and wine and dine his fellow expatriates from Pisa?

LUCENTIO

Basta, content thee, for I have it full.
170 We have not yet been seen in any house,
Nor can we be distinguished by our faces
For man or master. Then it follows thus:
Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
Keep house and port and servants as I should.
175 I will some other be, some Florentine,
Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
'Tis hatched, and shall be so. Tranio, at once
Uncase thee. Take my colored hat and cloak.

LUCENTIO

Enough! Don’t worry, I have it all figured out. No one has seen us yet, and no one knows what we look like—which of us is master and which servant. It’s obvious: You will be me, Tranio—live in my house, instruct the servants and do everything in my place just as I would. I, meanwhile, will impersonate some other made-up fellow—some guy from Florence or Naples, or some poor guy from Pisa. There! That’s a plan. Take off what you’re wearing and put on my hat and cloak.
They exchange clothes
They exchange clothes.
When Biondello comes, he waits on thee,
180 But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
Here comes Biondello. Where have you been, boy?

BIONDELLO

Where have I been? Nay, how now, where are you? Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes? Or you stolen his? Or both? Pray, what’s the news?

BIONDELLO

Where have I been? Where are you? Has Tranio stolen your clothes, master? Or have you stolen his? Have you both stolen each other’s? Please, what’s going on?

LUCENTIO

Sirrah, come hither: ’tis no time to jest,
And therefore frame your manners to the time.
Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,
185 Puts my apparel and my countenance on,
And I for my escape have put on his;
For in a quarrel since I came ashore
I killed a man and fear I was descried.
Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
190 While I make way from hence to save my life.
You understand me?

LUCENTIO

Come here, boy. It’s no time for jokes: sober up. Tranio and I have traded clothes to save my life. I killed a man in a fight since we came ashore, and I’m worried someone saw me. While I make my escape, I need you to wait on Tranio as though he were me. Understand?

BIONDELLO

    Aye, sir. (aside) Ne'er a whit.

BIONDELLO

Of course, sir. (to the audience) Not a word.

LUCENTIO

And not a jot of “Tranio” in your mouth.
Tranio is changed into Lucentio.

LUCENTIO

And you’re not to utter a syllable of Tranio’s name. “Tranio” is now “Lucentio.”

BIONDELLO

The better for him. Would I were so too.

BIONDELLO

Lucky for him. Wish I could say the same.

TRANIO

195 So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
That Lucentio indeed had Baptista’s youngest daughter.
But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master’s, I advise
You use your manners discreetly in all kind of companies.
When I am alone, why then I am Tranio;
200 But in all places else, your master Lucentio.

TRANIO

I’d second your wish if it automatically meant that Lucentio could have Baptista’s youngest daughter. This is for your master’s sake, not mine. So watch your step when there are other people around. When we’re by ourselves you can call me “Tranio.” Everywhere else, address me as your master Lucentio.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, let’s go. One thing more rests, that thyself execute, to make one among these wooers. If thou ask me why, sufficeth my reasons are both good and weighty.

LUCENTIO

Tranio, let’s go. One last thing, and this is up to you. You’ll have to woo Bianca like the rest. Don’t ask why. Just trust me—I know what I’m doing.
Exeunt
They exit.
The presenters above speak
The presenters up in the balcony speak.

FIRST SERVANT

My lord, you nod. You do not mind the play.

FIRST SERVANT

(to SLY) My lord, you’re falling asleep. You’re not paying attention to the play.

SLY

205Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely. Comes there any more of it?

SLY

No, no. I am. Really. Very impressive. Is there any more, or is that it?

PAGE

My lord, ’tis but begun.

PAGE

(speaking as SLY's wife) My lord, we’ve only just got started.

SLY

'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady. Would
’twere done.

SLY

And what an excellent piece of work it is, too, madam lady! I wish it were over.
They sit and mark
They sit and watch.