William Shakespeare: Taming of the Shrew, Act I, Scene II
Enter Petruchio and his man Grumio
Verona, for a while I take my leave, To see my friends in Padua, but of all My best beloved and approved friend, Hortensio; and I trow this is his house. Here, sirrah Grumio; knock, I say.
My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock you first, And then I know after who comes by the worst.
Will it not be? Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll ring it; I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it.
He wrings him by the ears
How now! what's the matter? My old friend Grumio! and my good friend Petruchio! How do you all at Verona?
Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray? 'Con tutto il cuore, ben trovato,' may I say.
'Alla nostra casa ben venuto, molto honorato signor mio Petruchio.' Rise, Grumio, rise: we will compound this quarrel.
Nay, 'tis no matter, sir, what he 'leges in Latin. if this be not a lawful case for me to leave his service, look you, sir, he bid me knock him and rap him soundly, sir: well, was it fit for a servant to use his master so, being perhaps, for aught I see, two and thirty, a pip out? Whom would to God I had well knock'd at first, Then had not Grumio come by the worst.
A senseless villain! Good Hortensio, I bade the rascal knock upon your gate And could not get him for my heart to do it.
Knock at the gate! O heavens! Spake you not these words plain, 'Sirrah, knock me here, rap me here, knock me well, and knock me soundly'? And come you now with, 'knocking at the gate'?
Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's pledge: Why, this's a heavy chance 'twixt him and you, Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio. And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale Blows you to Padua here from old Verona?
Such wind as scatters young men through the world, To seek their fortunes farther than at home Where small experience grows. But in a few, Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me: Antonio, my father, is deceased; And I have thrust myself into this maze, Haply to wive and thrive as best I may: Crowns in my purse I have and goods at home, And so am come abroad to see the world.
Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favour'd wife? Thou'ldst thank me but a little for my counsel: And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich And very rich: but thou'rt too much my friend, And I'll not wish thee to her.
Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as we Few words suffice; and therefore, if thou know One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife, As wealth is burden of my wooing dance, Be she as foul as was Florentius' love, As old as Sibyl and as curst and shrewd As Socrates' Xanthippe, or a worse, She moves me not, or not removes, at least, Affection's edge in me, were she as rough As are the swelling Adriatic seas: I come to wive it wealthily in Padua; If wealthily, then happily in Padua.
Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his mind is: Why give him gold enough and marry him to a puppet or an aglet-baby; or an old trot with ne'er a tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases as two and fifty horses: why, nothing comes amiss, so money comes withal.
Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus far in, I will continue that I broach'd in jest. I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife With wealth enough and young and beauteous, Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman: Her only fault, and that is faults enough, Is that she is intolerable curst And shrewd and froward, so beyond all measure That, were my state far worser than it is, I would not wed her for a mine of gold.
Hortensio, peace! thou know'st not gold's effect: Tell me her father's name and 'tis enough; For I will board her, though she chide as loud As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack.
Her father is Baptista Minola, An affable and courteous gentleman: Her name is Katharina Minola, Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.
I know her father, though I know not her; And he knew my deceased father well. I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her; And therefore let me be thus bold with you To give you over at this first encounter, Unless you will accompany me thither.
I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts. O' my word, an she knew him as well as I do, she would think scolding would do little good upon him: she may perhaps call him half a score knaves or so: why, that's nothing; an he begin once, he'll rail in his rope-tricks. I'll tell you what sir, an she stand him but a little, he will throw a figure in her face and so disfigure her with it that she shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat. You know him not, sir.
Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee, For in Baptista's keep my treasure is: He hath the jewel of my life in hold, His youngest daughter, beautiful Binaca, And her withholds from me and other more, Suitors to her and rivals in my love, Supposing it a thing impossible, For those defects I have before rehearsed, That ever Katharina will be woo'd; Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en, That none shall have access unto Bianca Till Katharina the curst have got a husband.
Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace, And offer me disguised in sober robes To old Baptista as a schoolmaster Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca; That so I may, by this device, at least Have leave and leisure to make love to her And unsuspected court her by herself.
Here's no knavery! See, to beguile the old folks, how the young folks lay their heads together!
Enter Gremio, and Lucentio disguised
Master, master, look about you: who goes there, ha?
O, very well; I have perused the note. Hark you, sir: I'll have them very fairly bound: All books of love, see that at any hand; And see you read no other lectures to her: You understand me: over and beside Signior Baptista's liberality, I'll mend it with a largess. Take your paper too, And let me have them very well perfumed For she is sweeter than perfume itself To whom they go to. What will you read to her?
Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you As for my patron, stand you so assured, As firmly as yourself were still in place: Yea, and perhaps with more successful words Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.
And you are well met, Signior Hortensio. Trow you whither I am going? To Baptista Minola. I promised to inquire carefully About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca: And by good fortune I have lighted well On this young man, for learning and behavior Fit for her turn, well read in poetry And other books, good ones, I warrant ye.
'Tis well; and I have met a gentleman Hath promised me to help me to another, A fine musician to instruct our mistress; So shall I no whit be behind in duty To fair Bianca, so beloved of me.
Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our love: Listen to me, and if you speak me fair, I'll tell you news indifferent good for either. Here is a gentleman whom by chance I met, Upon agreement from us to his liking, Will undertake to woo curst Katharina, Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
Born in Verona, old Antonio's son: My father dead, my fortune lives for me; And I do hope good days and long to see.
O sir, such a life, with such a wife, were strange! But if you have a stomach, to't i' God's name: You shall have me assisting you in all. But will you woo this wild-cat?
Why came I hither but to that intent? Think you a little din can daunt mine ears? Have I not in my time heard lions roar? Have I not heard the sea puff'd up with winds Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat? Have I not heard great ordnance in the field, And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies? Have I not in a pitched battle heard Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang? And do you tell me of a woman's tongue, That gives not half so great a blow to hear As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire? Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.
Hortensio, hark: This gentleman is happily arrived, My mind presumes, for his own good and ours.
Enter Tranio brave, and Biondello
Gentlemen, God save you. If I may be bold, Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way To the house of Signior Baptista Minola?
Softly, my masters! if you be gentlemen, Do me this right; hear me with patience. Baptista is a noble gentleman, To whom my father is not all unknown; And were his daughter fairer than she is, She may more suitors have and me for one. Fair Leda's daughter had a thousand wooers; Then well one more may fair Bianca have: And so she shall; Lucentio shall make one, Though Paris came in hope to speed alone.
No, sir; but hear I do that he hath two, The one as famous for a scolding tongue As is the other for beauteous modesty.
Sir, understand you this of me in sooth: The youngest daughter whom you hearken for Her father keeps from all access of suitors, And will not promise her to any man Until the elder sister first be wed: The younger then is free and not before.
If it be so, sir, that you are the man Must stead us all and me amongst the rest, And if you break the ice and do this feat, Achieve the elder, set the younger free For our access, whose hap shall be to have her Will not so graceless be to be ingrate.
Sir, you say well and well you do conceive; And since you do profess to be a suitor, You must, as we do, gratify this gentleman, To whom we all rest generally beholding.
Sir, I shall not be slack: in sign whereof, Please ye we may contrive this afternoon, And quaff carouses to our mistress' health, And do as adversaries do in law, Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.