The Taming of the Shrew

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 6

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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

110A 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 inv 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.