The Taming of the Shrew: Act 4, Scene 2

           Enter TRANIO [as Lucentio] and

  1   Is't possible, friend Litio, that Mistress Bianca
  2   Doth fancy any other but Lucentio?
3. bears me fair in hand: treats me encouragingly. —However, to "bear in hand" also means "to lead on with intent to deceive," which the stupid Lucentio that Tranio pretends to be does not think of. Of course, in his own person, Tranio is very crafty and much smarter than Hortensio.
  3   I tell you, sir, she bears me fair in hand.

  4   Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said,
  5   Stand by and mark the manner of his teaching.

           Enter BIANCA and LUCENTIO.

6. profit you: do you make progress. read: study (evidently, both Bianca and "Cambio" carry books).
  6   Now, mistress, profit you in what you read?

7. resolve: answer.
  7   What, master, read you? first resolve me that.

8. I read that I profess: I study what I practice.  Art to Love: Ovid's Ars Amatoria.
  8   I read that I profess, the Art to Love.

  9   And may you prove, sir, master of your art!

 10   While you, sweet dear, prove mistress of my heart!

11. proceeders: (1) workers, doers. (2) candidates for academic degrees; playing on the academic term "to proceed Master of Arts," suggested by Bianca's "master of your art."
 11   Quick proceeders, marry! Now, tell me, I pray,
 12   You that durst swear that your mistress Bianca
 13   Loved none in the world so well as Lucentio.

 14   O despiteful love! unconstant womankind!
15. wonderful: a cause for wonder; astounding.
 15   I tell thee, Litio, this is wonderful.

 16   Mistake no more: I am not Litio,
 17   Nor a musician, as I seem to be;
 18   But one that scorn to live in this disguise,
19. such a one: i.e., Bianca. leaves a gentlemanleaves a gentleman: refuses a gentleman (i.e., myself, Hortensio). 20. cullion: base fellow (referring to to "Cambio"; literally the word means testicle).
 19   For such a one as leaves a gentleman,
 20   And makes a god of such a cullion:
 21   Know, sir, that I am call'd Hortensio.

 22   Signior Hortensio, I have often heard
23. entire: unfeigned, sincere.
 23   Of your entire affection to Bianca;
24. lightness: wantonness.
 24   And since mine eyes are witness of her lightness,
 25   I will with you, if you be so contented,
 26   Forswear Bianca and her love for ever.

 27   See, how they kiss and court! Signior Lucentio,
 28   Here is my hand, and here I firmly vow
 29   Never to woo her no more, but do forswear her,
 30   As one unworthy all the former favors
31. fondly: foolishly.
 31   That I have fondly flatter'd her withal.

 32   And here I take the unfeigned oath,
 33   Never to marry with her though she would entreat:
34. beastly: i.e., lewdly.
 34   Fie on her! see, how beastly she doth court him!

35. Would all the world but he had quite forsworn: may everyone in the world forsake her except him. —Hortensio is spitefully wishing that the poor scholar, "Cambio" will be the only man willing to take Bianca for a wife.
 35   Would all the world but he had quite forsworn!
 36   For me, that I may surely keep mine oath,
 37   I will be married to a wealthy widow,
 38   Ere three days pass, which hath as long loved me
 39   As I have loved this proud disdainful haggard.
 40   And so farewell, Signior Lucentio.
 41   Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks,
 42   Shall win my love: and so I take my leave,
 43   In resolution as I swore before.


 44   Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace
45. 'longeth: belongs.
 45   As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case!
 46   Nay, I have ta'en you napping, gentle love,
 47   And have forsworn you with Hortensio.

 48   Tranio, you jest: but have you both forsworn me?

 49   Mistress, we have.

 49                               Then we are rid of Litio.

50. lusty: lively, spirited, vigorous.
 50   I' faith, he'll have a lusty widow now,
 51   That shall be woo'd and wedded in a day.

 52   God give him joy!

 53   Ay, and he'll tame her.

 53                                   He says so, Tranio?

54. he is gone unto the taming-school: Shakespeare seems to have gotten ahead of his plot, since Hortensio doesn't appear at Petruchio's house (which I assume is the "taming-school") until the next scene.
 54   Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school.

 55   The taming-school! what, is there such a place?

 56   Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master;
57. tricks eleven and twenty long: i.e., plenty of tricks to win the game, as in the card game, "one and thirty."
 57   That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long,
 58   To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.

           Enter BIONDELLO.

 59   O master, master, I have watch'd so long
 60   That I am dog-weary: but at last I spied
61. ancient angel: i.e., a fellow of the good old stamp. The angel was a gold coin. ...more 62. serve the turn: answer our purpose.
 61   An ancient angel coming down the hill,
 62   Will serve the turn.

 62                                   What is he, Biondello?

63. mercantant: merchant (Italian mercantante). pedant: schoolmaster.
 63   Master, a mercantant, or a pedant,
 64   I know not what; but formal in apparel,
 65   In gait and countenance surely like a father.

 66   And what of him, Tranio?

 67   If he be credulous and trust my tale,
 68   I'll make him glad to seem Vincentio,
 69   And give assurance to Baptista Minola,
 70   As if he were the right Vincentio
 71   Take in your love, and then let me alone.

           Exeunt LUCENTIO and BIANCA.

Illustration by Sir John Gilbert
           Enter a Pedant.

 72   God save you, sir!

 72                                 And you, sir! you are welcome.
 73   Travel you far on, or are you at the farthest?

 74   Sir, at the farthest for a week or two:
 75   But then up farther, and as far as Rome;
 76   And so to Tripoli, if God lend me life.

 77   What countryman, I pray?

 77                                               Of Mantua.

 78   Of Mantua, sir? marry, God forbid!
 79   And come to Padua, careless of your life?

80. that goes hard: i.e., that's frightening.
 80   My life, sir! how, I pray? for that goes hard.

 81   'Tis death for any one in Mantua
 82   To come to Padua. Know you not the cause?
 83   Your ships are stay'd at Venice, and the duke,
 84   For private quarrel 'twixt your duke and him,
 85   Hath publish'd and proclaim'd it openly:
 86   'Tis, marvel, but that you are but newly come,
 87   You might have heard it else proclaim'd about.

 88   Alas! sir, it is worse for me than so;
 89   For I have bills for money by exchange
 90   From Florence and must here deliver them.

 91   Well, sir, to do you courtesy,
 92   This will I do, and this I will advise you:
 93   First, tell me, have you ever been at Pisa?

 94   Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been,
 95   Pisa renowned for grave citizens.

 96   Among them know you one Vincentio?

 97   I know him not, but I have heard of him;
 98   A merchant of incomparable wealth.

 99   He is my father, sir; and, sooth to say,
100   In countenance somewhat doth resemble you.

      BIONDELLO [Aside.]
101   As much as an apple doth an oyster,
102. all one: no matter, whatever.
102   and all one.

103   To save your life in this extremity,
104   This favor will I do you for his sake;
105   And think it not the worst of an your fortunes
106   That you are like to Sir Vincentio.
107. credit: reputation. undertake: assume.
107   His name and credit shall you undertake,
108   And in my house you shall be friendly lodged:
109. take upon you: i.e., act your part.
109   Look that you take upon you as you should;
110   You understand me, sir: so shall you stay
111   Till you have done your business in the city:
112   If this be courtesy, sir, accept of it.

113. repute: consider.
113   O sir, I do; and will repute you ever
114   The patron of my life and liberty.

115   Then go with me to make the matter good.
116   This, by the way, I let you understand;
117   My father is here look'd for every day,
118. pass assurance: convey a legal guarantee.
118   To pass assurance of a dower in marriage
119   'Twixt me and one Baptista's daughter here:
120. circumstances: details.
120   In all these circumstances I'll instruct you:
121   Go with me to clothe you as becomes you.