The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 1
Enter LUCENTIO and his man
1Tranio, since for the great desire I had
2. nursery of arts: Padua's university was and still is one of the most prestigious in Europe. 3. am arriv'd for: have come here on my way to (?). fruitful: fertile.
2To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
3I am arriv'd for fruitful Lombardy,
4The pleasant garden of great Italy;
5And by my father's love and leave am arm'd
6With his good will and thy good company,
7. approv'd: tested and proved dependable.
7My trusty servant, well approv'd in all,
8. breathe: pause for breath, i.e., remain for a time. haply: by good chance; i.e., because we now have the opportunity. institute: embark upon. 9. ingenious: intellectual.
8Here let us breathe and haply institute
9A course of learning and ingenious studies.
10Pisa renown'd for grave citizens
11. first: i.e., before me.
11Gave me my being and my father first,
12. traffic: business.
12A merchant of great traffic through the world,
13Vincetino come of Bentivolii.
14Vincetino's son brought up in Florence
15. become: befit. to serve all hopes conceiv'd: i.e., to fulfill all hopes that his friends and family have for him. 16. deck: adorn.
15It shall become to serve all hopes conceiv'd,
16To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds:
17And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study
18Virtue and that part of philosophy
19. apply: study. treats of: concerns.
19Will I apply that treats of happiness
20By virtue specially to be achieved.
21Tell me thy mind; for I have Pisa left
22And am to Padua come, as he that leaves
23. plash: pool.
23A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep
24And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
25. Mi perdonato: pardon me [Italian]. gentle: gentlemanly.
26. affected: disposed.
26. affected: disposed.
25Mi perdonato, gentle master mine,
26I am in all affected as yourself;
27Glad that you thus continue your resolve
28To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
29Only, good master, while we do admire
30This virtue and this moral discipline,
31. stocks: i.e., mere blocks of wood.
31Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray;
32. devote: devoted. checks: restraints.
32Or so devote to Aristotle's checks
33. As: so that. Ovid: the Latin love-poet . . . more.
34. Balk logic: i.e., bandy arguments.
34. Balk logic: i.e., bandy arguments.
33As Ovid be an outcast quite abjured.
34Balk logic with acquaintance that you have
35And practise rhetoric in your common talk;
36. quicken: stimulate, enliven.
36Music and poesy use to quicken you;
37The mathematics and the metaphysics,
38. Fall to: partake of. stomach: appetite, inclination.
38Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you;
39No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en:
40. affect: find pleasing.
40In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
41. Gramercies: many thanks.
41Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
42. Biondello: Biondello, Lucentio's other servant, is not present at the moment. Perhaps he stayed behind to handle the luggage.
42If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
43We could at once put us in readiness,
44And take a lodging fit to entertain
45Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
46But stay a while: what company is this?
47Master, some show to welcome us to town.
Enter BAPTISTA with his two
daughters, KATHARINA and BIANCA,
pantaloon: i.e., a foolish, rich, lecherous, old man, like the commedia dell'arte character Pantalone.
GREMIO, a pantaloon, HORTENSIO,
[suitor] to Bianca. LUCENTIO,
TRANIO stand by.
48Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
49For how I firmly am resolved you know;
50That is, not bestow my youngest daughter
51Before I have a husband for the elder:
52If either of you both love Katharina,
53Because I know you well and love you well,
54Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.
55. cart: Cartingbeing paraded through the streets in a cartwas a slut-shaming punishment.
55To cart her rather: she's too rough for me.
56There, There, Hortensio, will you any wife?
57I pray you, sir, is it your will
58. stale: decoy. mates: rude louts (but Hortensio takes the word in the sense of "husbands").
58To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
59Mates, maid! how mean you that? no mates for you,
60Unless you were of gentler, milder mold.
61I'faith, sir, you shall never need to fear:
62. I wis: indeed. it: i.e., marriage. 62‑63. her . . . her: Katharina is speaking of herself in the third person.
62I wis it is not half way to her heart;
63But if it were, doubt not her care should be
64. noddle: noodle, head.
64To comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool
65And paint your face and use you like a fool.
66From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!
67And me too, good Lord!
68. Husht: Hush. toward: developing.
68Husht, master! here's some good pastime toward:
69. wonderful froward: astoundingly headstrong.
69That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
70But in the other's silence do I see
71Maid's mild behavior and sobriety.
71. Peace, Tranio!: Quiet, Tranio!
73Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.
74Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
75What I have said, Bianca, get you in:
76And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
77For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.
78. peat: pet, spoiled darling.
78A pretty peat! it is best
79. Put finger in the eye: i.e., make a big show of crying by poking one's own eye. an: if.
79Put finger in the eye, an she knew why.
79. content you in my discontent: i.e., be happy that I am unhappy.
80Sister, content you in my discontent.
81Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe:
82My books and instruments shall be my company,
83On them to took and practise by myself.
84. Minerva: goddess of wisdom.
84Hark, Tranio! thou may'st hear Minerva speak.
85. so strange: i.e., so unnatural a father.
85Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?
86. Sorry am I that our good will effects Bianca's grief: i.e., I'm sorry that our good intentions have resulted in Bianca's grief.
86Sorry am I that our good will effects
87. mew her up: shut her up; isolate her.
87Why will you mew her up,
88. for this fiend of hell: i.e., rather than Katharina.
88Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,
89. her . . . her: i.e., Bianca . . . Katherina's.
89And make her bear the penance of her tongue?
90Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolved:
91Go in, Bianca:
92. for: because.
92And for I know she taketh most delight
93In music, instruments and poetry,
94Schoolmasters will I keep within my house,
95Fit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,
96Or Signior Gremio, you, know any such,
97. Prefer: recommend. cunning: skillful, able.
97Prefer them hither; for to cunning men
98I will be very kind, and liberal
99To mine own children in good bringing up:
100And so farewell. Katharina, you may stay;
101. commune: talk over.
101For I have more to commune with Bianca.
102Why, and I trust I may go too, may I not? What,
103shall I be appointed hours; as though, belike, I
104knew not what to take and what to leave, ha?
105. dam: mother. 105‑106. your gifts ... hold you: i.e., you have so many wonderful qualities that no one here will hold you back from leaving as quickly as possible. 106. Their love: i.e., the love of women for men. 107. blow our nails: i.e., twiddle our thumbs. 108. fast it fairly out: i.e., pass our time doing without. 108‑109. our cake's dough on both sides: i.e., we're getting nowhere. 111-112. wish him to her father: recommend him to Baptista.
105You may go to the devil's dam: your gifts are so
106good, here's none will hold you. Their love is not
107so great, Hortensio, but we may blow our nails
108together, and fast it fairly out: our cake's dough on
109both sides. Farewell: yet for the love I bear my
110sweet Bianca, if I can by any means light on a fit
111man to teach her that wherein she delights, I will
112wish him to her father.
113So will I, Signior Gremio: but a word, I pray.
114Though the nature of our quarrel yet never
115. brook'd parle: allowed for a discussion of any compromise. upon advice: on second thought. toucheth: behooves, concerns.
115brook'd parle, know now, upon advice, it toucheth
116us both, that we may yet again have access to our fair
117mistress and be happy rivals in Bianca's love, to
118labor and effect one thing specially.
119What's that, I pray?
120Marry, sir, to get a husband for her sister.
121A husband! a devil.
122I say, a husband.
123I say, a devil. Thinkest thou, Hortensio, though
124. so very a fool: such an absolute fool.
124her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool
125to be married to hell?
126. pass: exceeds.
126Tush, Gremio, though it pass your patience and
127. alarums: i.e., screeches, curses, etc.
127mine to endure her loud alarums, why, man, there
128-129. an a man could light on them: if a man could find them.
128be good fellows in the world, an a man could light
129on them, would take her with all faults, and money
131. I cannot tell: i.e., maybe you're right, but I doubt it.
132. high cross: crossroad? a cross set in a crossroad?
132. high cross: crossroad? a cross set in a crossroad?
131I cannot tell; but I had as lief take her dowry with
132this condition, to be whipped at the high cross
134Faith, as you say, there's small choice in rotten
135. bar in law: legal restriction; i.e., Baptista's "law" that Bianca cannot be married until Katharina has a husband.
135apples. But come; since this bar in law makes us
136friends, it shall be so far forth friendly
137maintained till by helping Baptista's eldest daughter
138to a husband we set his youngest free for a husband,
139-140. Happy man be his dole: i.e., may the man who marries Bianca be happy for life. 140. ring: prize, with play on "wedding ring."
139and then have to't afresh. Sweet Bianca! Happy man
140be his dole! He that runs fastest gets the ring.
141How say you, Signior Gremio?
142I am agreed; and would I had given him the best
143horse in Padua to begin his wooing that would
144thoroughly woo her, wed her and bed her and rid the
145house of her! Come on.
stage direction.ambo: both.
Exeunt ambo [GREMIO and HORTENSIO].
stage direction.Manent: remain in place.
Manent Tranio and Lucentio.
146I pray, sir, tell me, is it possible
147That love should of a sudden take such hold?
148O Tranio, till I found it to be true,
149I never thought it possible or likely;
150But see, while idly I stood looking on,
151. the effect of love in idleness: i.e., the magical love-inducing power the heartsease (pansy).
151I found the effect of love in idleness:
152And now in plainness do confess to thee,
153That art to me as secret and as dear
154. Anna: the sister and confidante of Dido, Queen of Carthage, beloved of Aeneas.
154As Anna to the queen of Carthage was,
155Tranio, I burn, I pine, I perish, Tranio,
156If I achieve not this young modest girl.
157Counsel me, Tranio, for I know thou canst;
158Assist me, Tranio, for I know thou wilt.
159Master, it is no time to chide you now;
160. Affection is not rated from the heart: i.e., love cannot be driven away by scolding.
160Affection is not rated from the heart:
161If love have touch'd you, nought remains but so,
162. Redime te captum quam queas minimo: "Ransom yourself from captivity as cheaply as you can." . . . more.
162"Redime te captum quam queas minimo."
Gramercies, lad, go forward; this contents:163. contents: is satisfying.163
164The rest will comfort, for thy counsel's sound.
165. look'd so longly on: i.e., spent so much of your time looking at. 166. pith: essence, gist.
165Master, you look'd so longly on the maid,
166Perhaps you mark'd not what's the pith of all.
167O yes, I saw sweet beauty in her face,
168. daughter of Agenor: Europa, loved by Jupiter; he assumed the form of a bull to carry her off. 169. him: himself.
168Such as the daughter of Agenor had,
169That made great Jove to humble him to her hand.
170. strond: strand, shore.
170When with his knees he kiss'd the Cretan strond.
171Saw you no more? mark'd you not how her sister
172Began to scold and raise up such a storm
173That mortal ears might hardly endure the din?
174Tranio, I saw her coral lips to move
175And with her breath she did perfume the air:
176Sacred and sweet was all I saw in her.
177Nay, then, 'tis time to stir him from his trance.
178I pray, awake, sir: if you love the maid,
179Bend thoughts and wits to achieve her. Thus it stands:
180. curst and shrewd: The adjectives are synonyms, both meaning here "ill-natured, shrewish."
180Her eldest sister is so curst and shrewd
181That till the father rid his hands of her,
182Master, your love must live a maid at home;
183. closely mew'd her up: placed her in close confinement (see line 87). 184. Because: so that.
183And therefore has he closely mew'd her up,
184Because she will not be annoy'd with suitors.
185Ah, Tranio, what a cruel father's he!
186. advis'd: aware.
186But art thou not advis'd, he took some care
187To get her cunning schoolmasters to instruct her?
188Ay, marry, am I, sir; and now 'tis plotted.
189I have it, Tranio.
Master, for my hand,189. for: by.189
190. inventions: plans, schemes. jump: tally, agree.
190Both our inventions meet and jump in one.
191Tell me thine first.
191You will be schoolmaster
192And undertake the teaching of the maid:
193That's your device.
193It is: may it be done?
194Not possible; for who shall bear your part,
195And be in Padua here Vincentio's son,
196Keep house and ply his book, welcome his friends,
197Visit his countrymen and banquet them?
198. Basta: enough. [Italian.] full: i.e., fully planned.
198Basta; content thee, for I have it full.
199We have not yet been seen in any house,
200Nor can we be distinguish'd by our faces
201For man or master; then it follows thus;
202Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead,
203. port: state, style of living.
203Keep house and port and servants as I should:
204I will some other be, some Florentine,
205. meaner: of a lower social class.
205Some Neapolitan, or meaner man of Pisa.
206'Tis hatch'd and shall be so: Tranio, at once
207. Uncase: undress; i.e., remove hat and cloak. colour'd: In Shakespeare's time it was expected that the rich upper classes would dress more colorfully than their servants.
207Uncase thee; take my colour'd hat and cloak:
[They begin to exchange clothes.]
208When Biondello comes, he waits on thee;
209. charm: i.e., very strongly persuade. keep his tongue: keep quiet [about our scheme].
209But I will charm him first to keep his tongue.
210. So had you need: i.e., Yes, you'd better do that. Apparently Biondello is a blabbermouth. 211. sith: since.
210So had you need.
211In brief, sir, sith it your pleasure is,
212And I am tied to be obedient;
213For so your father charged me at our parting,
214. serviceable: diligent in service.
214"Be serviceable to my son," quoth he,
215Although I think 'twas in another sense;
216I am content to be Lucentio,
217Because so well I love Lucentio.
218Tranio, be so, because Lucentio loves:
219And let me be a slave, to achieve that maid
220. Whose sudden sight: i.e., the sudden sight of whom. thrall'd: captured, enthralled. wounded eye: Lucentio's eye has been wounded by a dart of love shot from Cupid's bow.
220Whose sudden sight hath thrall'd my wounded eye.
221Here comes the rogue.
222Sirrah, where have you been?
223Where have I been! Nay, how now! where are you?
224Master, has my fellow Tranio stolen your clothes? Or
225you stolen his? or both? pray, what's the news?
226Sirrah, come hither: 'tis no time to jest,
227And therefore frame your manners to the time.
228Your fellow Tranio here, to save my life,
229. count'nance: outward appearance.
229Puts my apparel and my count'nance on,
230And I for my escape have put on his;
231For in a quarrel since I came ashore
232. descried: seen, identified.
232I kill'd a man and fear I was descried:
233. as becomes: as is suitable.
233Wait you on him, I charge you, as becomes,
234While I make way from hence to save my life:
235You understand me?
235. ne'er a whit: not even a little bit.
235I, sir! ne'er a whit.
236And not a jot of Tranio in your mouth:
237Tranio is changed into Lucentio.
238The better for him: would I were so too!
239So could I, faith, boy, to have the next wish after,
240That Lucentio indeed had Baptista's youngest daughter.
241But, sirrah, not for my sake, but your master's, I advise
242You use your manners discreetly in all kind of companies:
243When I am alone, why, then I am Tranio;
244But in all places else your master Lucentio.
245. rests: remains to be done.
245Tranio, let's go: one thing more rests, that
246thyself execute, to make one among these wooers: if
247. sufficeth: it suffices that.
247thou ask me why, sufficeth, my reasons are both good
[stage direction].Presenters: i.e. Sly and the servants of the lord who is playing the trick on Sly. A presenter is one who, by means of a prologue or an induction, introduces or presents a play to the spectators. above: i.e., seated in the balcony above the stage. 249. mind: pay attention to.
The Presenters above speak.
249My lord, you nod; you do not mind the play.
250Yes, by Saint Anne, do I. A good matter, surely:
251comes there any more of it?
252My lord, 'tis but begun.
253'Tis a very excellent piece of work, madam lady:
254would 'twere done!
[stage direction].mark: observe, pay attention to [the play].
They sit and mark.