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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 musick, 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.
Enter GREMIO; with him LUCENTIO disguised with
books under his arm. Gru. Here's no knavery! Sce; 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 yoù, unless you were a scholar, sir.
3 Well seen in musick,] Seen is versed, practised.
- at any hand ;) i. e: at all events.
Gre. O this learning! what a thing it is!
Whither I am going To Baptista Minola.
I no whit be behind in duty
prove. Gru. And that his bags shall prove. [Aside. Hor. Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our
Gre. So said, so done, is well :
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 country
Pet. Born in Verona, old Antonio's son:
My father dead, my fortune lives for me ;
Will I live?
[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? 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. Gru.
For he fears none.
[Aside. Gre. Hortensio, hark ! This gentleman is happily arriv'd, My mind presumes, for his own good, and yours.
Hor. I promis’d, we would be contributors, And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er.
Gre. And so we will ; provided, that he win her. Gru. I would, I were as sure of a good dinner.
Enter TRANIO, bravely apparelld; and BIONDELLO. Tra. 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 ?
Gre. He that has the two fair daughters :-is't [Aside to Tranio.] he you mean?
Tra. Even he, Biondello!
to do? Pet. Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray. Tra. I love no chiders, sir :-Biondello, let's
away Luc. Well begun, Tranio.
[Aside. Hor. Sir, a word ere you go ;Are you a suitor to the maid you talk of, yea, or noi
Tra. An if I be, sir, is it any offence?
Tra. Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free For me, as for you? Gre.
But so is not she. Tra. For what reason, I beseech you?
Gre. For this reason, if you'll know,That she's the choice love of signior Gremio.
Hor. That she's the chosen of signior Hortensio.
Tra. 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,
Gre. What! this gentleman will out-talk us all.
jade. Pet. Hortensio, to what end are all these
words? Hor. Sir, let me be so bold as to ask you, Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter?
Tra. 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.
Pet. Sir, sir, the first's for me; let her go by.
Gre. Yea, leave that labour to great Hercules; And let it be more than Alcides' twelve.
Pet. Sir, understand you this of me, insooth ;-
Tra. If it be so, sir, that you are the man
Hor. Sir, you say well, and well you do conceive;
Tra. Sir, I shall not be slack: in sign whereof, Please ye we may contrive this afternoon, And quaff carouses to our mistress' health;
* Please ye we may contrive this afternoon,] Contrive does not signify here to project, but to spend and wear out; probably from