The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2

           Enter PETRUCHIO and his man GRUMIO.

  1   Verona, for a while I take my leave,
  2   To see my friends in Padua, but of all
  3   My best beloved and approved friend,
4. trow: believe.
  4   Hortensio; and I trow this is his house.
  5   Here, sirrah Grumio; knock, I say.

  6   Knock, sir! whom should I knock? is there man has
7. rebus'd: "Abused" would make sense, but Grumio is putting on a show of being an ignorant servant.
  7   rebused your worship?

8,11,12. me: i.e., for me (but Grumio misunderstands, or pretends to).
  8   Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.

  9   Knock you here, sir! why, sir, what am I, sir, that
 10   I should knock you here, sir?

 11   Villain, I say, knock me at this gate
 12   And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's pate.

 13   My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock you first,
 14   And then I know after who comes by the worst.

 15   Will it not be?
16. ring: With play on wring.
 16   Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock, I'll ring it;
17. I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it: i.e., I'll make you cry out, howl.
 17   I'll try how you can sol, fa, and sing it.

           He wrings him by the ears.

 18   Help, masters, help! my master is mad.

19. sirrah villain: i.e., little Mr. Rascal.
 19   Now, knock when I bid you, sirrah villain!

           Enter HORTENSIO.

 20   How now! what's the matter? My old friend
 21   Grumio! and my good friend Petruchio!
 22   How do you all at Verona?

 23   Signior Hortensio, come you to part the fray?
24. Con tutto il cuore, ben trovato: with all my heart, well met. — Apparently Shakespeare believes that since Padua is in Italy, the characters ought to speak a little Italian.
 24   Con tutto il cuore, ben trovato, may I say.

25-26. Alla nostra casa ben venuto, / Molto honorato signor mio Petruchio: Welcome to our house, my most honored Signor Petruchio. 27. compound: settle.
 25   Alla nostra casa ben venuto,
 26   Molto honorato signor mio Petruchio.
 27   Rise, Grumio, rise: we will compound this quarrel.

28. 'leges: alleges. Latin: —The joke is that Grumio, an Italian, thinks (or pretends to think) that when Petruchio speaks in Italian he's using a fancy-pants language that can't be understood by real people: Latin.
 28   Nay, 'tis no matter, sir, what he 'leges in Latin.
 29   if this be not a lawful case for me to leave his
 30   service, look you, sir, he bid me knock him and
 31   rap him soundly, sir: well, was it fit for a servant
 32   to use his master so, being perhaps, for aught I see,
33. two and thirty, a pip out: slang for "drunk" (deriving from the card game trentuno, or one and thirty; peep = pip, a spot on a playing card, and a peep out = off by one).
 33   two and thirty, a pip out? Whom would to God I
 34   had well knock'd at first, then had not Grumio
 35   come by the worst.

Graham Abbey as Petruchio
Wayne Best as Grumio
Image Source: Pinterest
 36   A senseless villain! Good Hortensio,
 37   I bade the rascal knock upon your gate
 38   And could not get him for my heart to do it.

 39   Knock at the gate! O heavens! Spake you
 40   not these words plain, "Sirrah, knock me here,
 41   rap me here, knock me well, and knock me
 42   soundly"? And come you now with, "knocking
 43   at the gate"?

 44   Sirrah, be gone, or talk not, I advise you.

45. pledge: surety.
 45   Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's pledge:
46. this': this is. heavy chance: sad accidental quarrel.
 46   Why, this' a heavy chance 'twixt him and you,
47. ancient: of long standing. pleasant: i.e., prone to making amusing remarks.
 47   Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio.
 48   And tell me now, sweet friend, what happy gale
 49   Blows you to Padua here from old Verona?

 50   Such wind as scatters young men through the world,
 51   To seek their fortunes farther than at home
52. in a few: in short.
 52   Where small experience grows. But in a few,
 53   Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me:
 54   Antonio, my father, is deceased;
55. maze: i.e., this new, exciting, and confusing world away from home. 56. Happily: haply, perchance.
 55   And I have thrust myself into this maze,
 56   Happily to wive and thrive as best I may:
57. crowns: silver coins.
 57   Crowns in my purse I have and goods at home,
 58   And so am come abroad to see the world.

59. come roundly: speak plainly.
 59   Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee
60. ill-favor'd: unpopular, widely disliked.
 60   And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favor'd wife?
 61   Thou'ldst thank me but a little for my counsel:
 62   And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich
 63   And very rich: but thou'rt too much my friend,
 64   And I'll not wish thee to her.

 65   Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as we
 66   Few words suffice; and therefore, if thou know
 67   One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife,
68. burden: i.e., ground base or undersong.
 68   As wealth is burden of my wooing dance,
69. foul: ugly. Florentius' love: a hag. ...more
 69   Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,
70. Sibyl: prophetess of Cumae, who lived about a thousand years. ...more shrowd: shrewd; i.e., shrewish. 71. Xanthippe: Socrates' notoriously shrewish wife. 72. moves: disturbs, troubles.
 70   As old as Sibyl and as curst and shrowd
 71   As Socrates' Xanthippe, or a worse,
 72   She moves me not, or not removes, at least,
 73   Affection's edge in me, were she as rough
 74   As are the swelling Adriatic seas:
 75   I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
 76   If wealthily, then happily in Padua.

 77   Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his
78. mind: intention.
 78   mind is: Why give him gold enough and marry him to
79. puppet: child's doll. aglet-baby: an aglet in the shape of a person? ...more trot: steet-walker; common prostitute.
 79   a puppet or an aglet-baby; or an old trot with ne'er
 80   a tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases
 81   as two and fifty horses: why, nothing comes amiss,
82. withal: with it.
 82   so money comes withal.

 83   Petruchio, since we are stepp'd thus far in,
84. that: that which.
 84   I will continue that I broach'd in jest.
 85   I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife
 86   With wealth enough and young and beauteous,
 87   Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman:
 88   Her only fault, and that is faults enough,
 89   Is that she is intolerable curst
 90   And shrewd and froward, so beyond all measure
91. state: financial situation.
 91   That, were my state far worser than it is,
 92   I would not wed her for a mine of gold.

 93   Hortensio, peace! thou know'st not gold's effect:
 94   Tell me her father's name and 'tis enough;
95. board her: make advances to her (literally, come alongside a ship in order to attack). chide: rail, brawl.
 95   For I will board her, though she chide as loud
 96   As thunder when the clouds in autumn crack.

 97   Her father is Baptista Minola,
 98   An affable and courteous gentleman:
 99   Her name is Katharina Minola,
100   Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.

101   I know her father, though I know not her;
102   And he knew my deceased father well.
103   I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her;
104   And therefore let me be thus bold with you
105. give you over: leave you.
105   To give you over at this first encounter,
106   Unless you will accompany me thither.

107. humor: mood, whim.
107   I pray you, sir, let him go while the humor lasts.
108   O' my word, an she knew him as well as I do, she
109   would think scolding would do little good upon him:
110   she may perhaps call him half a score knaves or so:
111. an he begin once: if he gets started
111   why, that's nothing; an he begin once, he'll rail in
112. rope-tricks: malapropism for "rhetorics" ??
112   his rope-tricks. I'll tell you what sir, an she
113. stand: withstand. figure: figure of speech ?? ...more
113   stand him but a little, he will throw a figure in
114   her face and so disfigure her with it that she
115. withal: with. no more eyes . . . than a cat: — This is puzzling, as cats are renowned for having excellent eyes.
115   shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat.
116   You know him not, sir.

117   Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee,
118. in Baptista's keep: in Baptista's keeping; in Baptista's stronghold.
118   For in Baptista's keep my treasure is:
119   He hath the jewel of my life in hold,
120   His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca,
121   And her withholds from me and other more,
122   Suitors to her and rivals in my love,
123   Supposing it a thing impossible,
124. For those defects I have before rehearsed: because of those terrible qualities (of Katharina) that I have already told you about.
124   For those defects I have before rehearsed,
125   That ever Katharina will be woo'd;
126   Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en,
127   That none shall have access unto Bianca
128   Till Katharina the curst have got a husband.

129   Katharina the curst!
130   A title for a maid of all titles the worst.

131. grace: a favor.
131   Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace,
132   And offer me disguised in sober robes
133   To old Baptista as a schoolmaster
134. seen: skilled, versed.
134   Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca;
135   That so I may, by this device, at least
136. Have leave and leisure to make love to her: have the opportunity and time to woo her.  137. unsuspected; i.e., without anyone suspecting that it's really me.
136   Have leave and leisure to make love to her
137   And unsuspected court her by herself.

138   Here's no knavery! See, to beguile the old folks,
139   how the young folks lay their heads together!

           Enter GREMIO, and LUCENTIO
           disguised [as a schoolmaster].

140   Master, master, look about you: who goes there, ha?

141. the rival of my love: i.e., my rival in my pursuit of Bianca.
141   Peace, Grumio! it is the rival of my love.
142   Petruchio, stand by a while.

143. proper stripling: handsome young man. —Grumio is mocking old Gremio.
143   A proper stripling and an amorous!

144. note: Maybe a list of books for Bianca.
144   O, very well; I have perused the note.
145. I'll have them very fairly bound: i.e., see that they have handsome bindings. 146. see that at any hand: make sure of that in any case. 147. read no other lectures: teach no other lessons.
145   Hark you, sir: I'll have them very fairly bound:
146   All books of love, see that at any hand;
147   And see you read no other lectures to her:
148   You understand me: over and beside
149. liberality: i.e., generous payment for serving as Bianca's schoolmaster. 150. mend it with a largess: add to it with a liberal gift of money.  paper: the "note" of line 144?  151. them: i.e., the books.
149   Signior Baptista's liberality,
150   I'll mend it with a largess. Take your paper too,
151   And let me have them very well perfumed
152   For she is sweeter than perfume itself
153   To whom they go to. What will you read to her?

154   Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you
155   As for my patron, stand you so assured,
156. As firmly as yourself were still in place: as securely as if you yourself were always present.
156   As firmly as yourself were still in place:
157   Yea, and perhaps with more successful words
158. a scholar: a person able to read and write.
158   Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.

159   O this learning, what a thing it is!

160. woodcock: A bird easily caught, hence proverbial for stupidity.
160   O this woodcock, what an ass it is!

161   Peace, sirrah!

162   Grumio, mum! God save you, Signior Gremio.

163   And you are well met, Signior Hortensio.
164. Trow: Know.
164   Trow you whither I am going? To Baptista Minola.
165   I promised to inquire carefully
166   About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca:
167   And by good fortune I have lighted well
168   On this young man, for learning and behavior
169   Fit for her turn, well read in poetry
170   And other books, good ones, I warrant ye.

171   'Tis well; and I have met a gentleman
172. Hath: who has.
172   Hath promised me to help me to another,
173   A fine musician to instruct our mistress;
174   So shall I no whit be behind in duty
175   To fair Bianca, so beloved of me.

176   Beloved of me; and that my deeds shall prove.

177. bags: i.e., money bags.
177   And that his bags shall prove.

178. vent: express.
178   Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our love:
179. fair: courteously, civilly.
179   Listen to me, and if you speak me fair,
180. indifferent: equally.
180   I'll tell you news indifferent good for either.
181   Here is a gentleman whom by chance I met,
182. Upon agreement from us to his liking: given that we agree to his terms. —Apparently Petruchio's terms are that Gremio and Hortensio pay the extra expenses involved in courting Katharina (see lines 214-215, below).
182   Upon agreement from us to his liking,
183   Will undertake to woo curst Katharina,
184   Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.

185. So said, so done, is well: i.e., good deal, if it's carried out.
185   So said, so done, is well.
186   Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?

187   I know she is an irksome brawling scold:
188   If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.

What countryman? i.e., where are you from? —Gremio is expressing his surprise at Petruchio's strange attitude.
189   No, say'st me so, friend? What countryman?

190   Born in Verona, old Antonio's son:
191   My father dead, my fortune lives for me;
192   And I do hope good days and long to see.

193   O sir, such a life, with such a wife, were strange!
194. if you have a stomach: i.e., if you have the courage for it, and a taste for combat. to't a' God's name: i.e., have at it, by God!
194   But if you have a stomach, to't a' God's name:
195   You shall have me assisting you in all.
196   But will you woo this wild-cat?

196                                                   Will I live?

197   Will he woo her? ay, or I'll hang her.

198   Why came I hither but to that intent?
199   Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?
200   Have I not in my time heard lions roar?
201   Have I not heard the sea puff'd up with winds
202. chafed: irritated.
202   Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat?
203. ordnance: cannon.
203   Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
204   And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
205   Have I not in a pitched battle heard
206. 'larums: alarums, calls to arms.
206   Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang?
207   And do you tell me of a woman's tongue,
208. blow: bang, boom. —The "blow" of a roasted chestnut would be a pop, like the popping of a single kernel of popcorn.  210. fear boys with bugs: frighten children with bugbears, bogeymen.
208   That gives not half so great a blow to hear
209   As will a chestnut in a farmer's fire?
210   Tush, tush! fear boys with bugs.

210                                                       For he fears none.

211   Hortensio, hark:
212. happily: fortunately, just when needed.
212   This gentleman is happily arrived,
213   My mind presumes, for his own good and ours.

214   I promised we would be contributors
215. charge: expense.
215   And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er.

216   And so we will, provided that he win her.

217   I would I were as sure of a good dinner.

stage direction. brave: finely dressed.
        Enter TRANIO brave [disguised as Lucentio],
           and BIONDELLO.

218   Gentlemen, God save you. If I may be bold,
219   Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way
220   To the house of Signior Baptista Minola?

221   He that has the two fair daughters: is't he you mean?

222   Even he, Biondello.

223   Hark you, sir; you mean not her to—

224. him and her: i.e., both Baptista Minola and his daughter. what have you to do? what is it to you?
224   Perhaps, him and her, sir: what have you to do?

225   Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray.

226   I love no chiders, sir. Biondello, let's away.

      LUCENTIO [Aside.]
227   Well begun, Tranio.

227                                 Sir, a word ere you go;
228   Are you a suitor to the maid you talk of, yea or no?

229   And if I be, sir, is it any offence?

230   No; if without more words you will get you hence.

231   Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free
232   For me as for you?

232                             But so is not she.

233   For what reason, I beseech you?

233                                 For this reason, if you'll know,
234   That she's the choice love of Signior Gremio.

235   That she's the chosen of Signior Hortensio.

236. Softly: Gently.
236   Softly, my masters! if you be gentlemen,
237. right: justice.
237   Do me this right; hear me with patience.
238   Baptista is a noble gentleman,
239   To whom my father is not all unknown;
240   And were his daughter fairer than she is,
241   She may more suitors have and me for one.
242. Fair Leda's daughter: Helen of Troy.

245. Paris: Trojan prince who won Helen of Troy from her husband, King Menelaus of Sparta. came: were to come. speed: succeed.
242   Fair Leda's daughter had a thousand wooers;
243   Then well one more may fair Bianca have:
244   And so she shall; Lucentio shall make one,
245   Though Paris came in hope to speed alone.

246   What! this gentleman will out-talk us all.

247. give him head: I know he'll prove a jade: i.e., let him trot on: I know he'll turn out to be a quitter.
247   Sir, give him head: I know he'll prove a jade.

248   Hortensio, to what end are all these words?

249   Sir, let me be so bold as ask you,
250   Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter?

251   No, sir; but hear I do that he hath two,
252   The one as famous for a scolding tongue
253   As is the other for beauteous modesty.

254   Sir, sir, the first's for me; let her go by.

255   Yea, leave that labor to great Hercules;
256. Alcides' twelve: i.e., the twelve labors of Hercules. —Hercules was also known as "Alcides" because he was the descendant of Alcaeus.
256   And let it be more than Alcides' twelve.

257. sooth: truth.
257   Sir, understand you this of me in sooth:
258. you hearken for: i.e. you are hoping to see.
258   The youngest daughter whom you hearken for
259   Her father keeps from all access of suitors,
260   And will not promise her to any man
261   Until the elder sister first be wed:
262   The younger then is free and not before.

263   If it be so, sir, that you are the man
264. Must stead: who must help.
264   Must stead us all and me amongst the rest,
265   And if you break the ice and do this feat,
266   Achieve the elder, set the younger free
267-268. whose hap . . . have her: i.e., he who has the good fortune to win Bianca will not be such a jerk that he won't give Petruchio a payoff.
267   For our access, whose hap shall be to have her
268   Will not so graceless be to be ingrate.

269. conceive: understand.
269   Sir, you say well and well you do conceive;
270   And since you do profess to be a suitor,
271. gratify: requite, reward.
271   You must, as we do, gratify this gentleman,
272. generally: as a whole. beholding: beholden, indebted.
272   To whom we all rest generally beholding.

273   Sir, I shall not be slack: in sign whereof,
274. contrive: pass the time.
274   Please ye we may contrive this afternoon,
275. quaff carouses: drink toasts.
275   And quaff carouses to our mistress' health,
276. adversaries: i.e., lawyers on opposite sides of a case. 277. Strive: compete.
276   And do as adversaries do in law,
277   Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.

278. motion: suggestion.
278   O excellent motion! Fellows, let's be gone.

279   The motion's good indeed and be it so,
280. ben venuto: welcome; i.e., host.
280   Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto.