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Gru. Help, masters, help! my master is mad. Pet. Now, knock when I bid you sirrah! villain ! Enter HORTENSIO.

Hor. How now? what's the matter?-My old friend Grumio and my good friend Petruchio !-How do you all at Verona ?

Pet. Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray? Con tutto il core bene trovato, may I say.

Hor. Alla nostra casa bene venuto,

Molto honorato signor mio Petruchio.

-Rise, Grumio, rise; we will compound this quarrel. Gru. Nay, 'tis no matter, what he leges in latin.6-If this be not a lawful cause 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 ought 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.

Pet. A senseless villain!-Good Hortensio,

I bade the rascal knock upon your gate,

And could not get him for my heart to do it.
Gru. 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?
Pet. Sirrah, be gone, or talk not,
I advise you.
Hor. Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's pledge :
Why, this is 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 ?

Pet.Such wind as scatters young men through the world, To seek their fortunes further than at home,

Where small experience grows. But, in a few,

Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me:

Antonio, my father, is deceas'd;

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.

[6] i. e. I suppose, what he alleges in Latin. Petruchio has been just speaking Italian to Hortensio, which Grumio mistakes for the other language. STEEV.

Hor. Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee,
And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favour'd wife?
Thou’dst 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.

Pet. 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 burthen of my wooing dance,)
Be she as foul as was Florentius' love, 6
As old as Sybil, and as curst and shrewd
As Socrates' Xantippe, 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.

Gru. 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 ;7 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.

Hor. Petruchio, since we have 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 intolerably 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.

Pet. 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. Hor. Her father is Baptista Minola,

[6] The allusion is to a story told by Gower in the first Book De Confessione Amantis. Florent is the name of a knight who had bound himself to marry a deformed hag, provided she taught him the solution of a riddie on which his life depended. STEEV.

[7] i.e. a diminutive being,not exceeding in size the tag of a point, STEE.

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An affable and courteous gentleman :
Her name is Katharina Minola,

Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.

Pet. 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.

Gru. 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; and 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 :9 You know him not, sir.

8

Hor. 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 Bianca ;
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 rehears'd,)
That ever Katharina will be woo'd,

Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en ;-
That none shall have access unto Bianca,
Till Katharine the curst have got a husband.
Gru. Katharine the curst!

A title for a maid, of all titles the worst.

Hor. Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace: And offer me, disguis'd in sober robes,

To old Baptista as a schoolmaster

Well seen in music, 2 to instruct Bianca:

[8] Ropery or rope-tricks originally signified abusive language, without any determinate idea; such language as parrots are taught to speak. So, in Hudibrass:

"Could tell what subt'lest parrots mean,
"That speak, and think contrary clean;
"What member 'tis of whom they talk,
"When they cry rope, and walk, knave walk."

MAL:

[9] It may mean, that he shall swell up her eyes with blows, till she shall seem to peep with a contracted pupil like a cat in the light. JOHNS. [1] Keep is custody. The strongest part of an ancient castle was called the keep. [2] Seen is versed, practised. STEEV.

STEEV.

That so I may by this device, at least,
Have leave and leisure to make love to her,
And, unsuspected, court her by herself.

Enter GREMIO; with him LUCENTIO disguised, with books under his arm.

Gru. Here's no knavery! See; to beguile the old folks, how the young folks lay their heads together!— Master, Master, look about you:-Who goes there? ha! Hor. Peace, Grumio; 'tis the rival of my love : -Petruchio, stand by a while.

Gru. A proper stripling, and an amorous!

[They retire.
Gre. O, very well; I have perus'd 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 papers too,
And let me have them very well perfum'd;

For she is sweeter than perfume itself,

To whom they go. What will you read to her?
Luc. Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you,
As for my patron, (stand you so assur'd,)
As firmly as yourself were still in place:
Yea, and (perhaps) with more successful words
Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.
Gre. O this learning! what a thing it is!
Gru. O this woodcock! what an ass it is!
Pet. Peace, sirrah.

Hor. Grumio, mum!-God save you, signior Gremio! Gre. And you're well met, signior Hortensio. Trow you, Whither I am going?—To Baptista Minola.

I promis'd to inquire carefully

About a schoolmaster for fair Bianca :

And, by good fortune, I have lighted well

On this young man ; for learning, and behaviour,

Fit for her turn; well read in poetry,

And other books,-good ones, I warrant you.

Hor. 'Tis well and I have met a gentleman,

Hath promis'd 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 belov’d of mẹ.

Gre. Belov'd of me,-and that my deeds shall prove. Gru. And that his bags shall prove.

[Aside.

Hor. 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 Katharine ;
Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
Gre. So said, so done, is well :—
Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?

Pet. I know, she is an irksome brawling scold ;

If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.

Gre. No, say'st me so, friend? What countryman? Pet. 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.

Gre. O, sir, such a life, with such a wife, were strange:

But, if you have a stomach, to't, o' God's name];

You shall have me assisting you in all.

But will you woo this wild cat?

Pet. Will I live?

Gru. Will he woo her? ay, or I'll hang her. [Aside.
Pet. 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 ?3
And do you tell me of a woman's tongue;

That gives not half so great a blow to the ear,
As will a chesnut in a farmer's fire?

Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.4

Gru. For he fears none.

Gre. Hortensio, hark!

This gentleman is happily arriv'd,

My mind presumes, for his own good, and yours.

[Aside.

[3] Probably the word clang is here used adjectively, as in the Paradise Lost, b. xi. ver. 834, and not as a verb.

an island salt and bare,

The haunt of seals and orcs, and sea-mews clang." T. WARTON.

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