The Taming of the Shrew: Act 4, Scene 2
Enter TRANIO [as Lucentio] and
1Is't possible, friend Litio, that Mistress Bianca
2Doth 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.
3I tell you, sir, she bears me fair in hand.
4Sir, to satisfy you in what I have said,
5Stand 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).
6Now, mistress, profit you in what you read?
7. resolve: answer.
7What, 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.
8I read that I profess, the Art to Love.
9And may you prove, sir, master of your art!
10While 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."
11Quick proceeders, marry! Now, tell me, I pray,
12You that durst swear that your mistress Bianca
13Loved none in the world so well as Lucentio.
14O despiteful love! unconstant womankind!
15. wonderful: a cause for wonder; astounding.
15I tell thee, Litio, this is wonderful.
16Mistake no more: I am not Litio,
17Nor a musician, as I seem to be;
18But 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).
19For such a one as leaves a gentleman,
20And makes a god of such a cullion:
21Know, sir, that I am call'd Hortensio.
22Signior Hortensio, I have often heard
23. entire: unfeigned, sincere.
23Of your entire affection to Bianca;
24. lightness: wantonness.
24And since mine eyes are witness of her lightness,
25I will with you, if you be so contented,
26Forswear Bianca and her love for ever.
27See, how they kiss and court! Signior Lucentio,
28Here is my hand, and here I firmly vow
29Never to woo her no more, but do forswear her,
30As one unworthy all the former favors
31. fondly: foolishly.
31That I have fondly flatter'd her withal.
32And here I take the unfeigned oath,
33Never to marry with her though she would entreat:
34. beastly: i.e., lewdly.
34Fie 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.
35Would all the world but he had quite forsworn!
36For me, that I may surely keep mine oath,
37I will be married to a wealthy widow,
38Ere three days pass, which hath as long loved me
39As I have loved this proud disdainful haggard.
40And so farewell, Signior Lucentio.
41Kindness in women, not their beauteous looks,
42Shall win my love: and so I take my leave,
43In resolution as I swore before.
44Mistress Bianca, bless you with such grace
45. 'longeth: belongs.
45As 'longeth to a lover's blessed case!
46Nay, I have ta'en you napping, gentle love,
47And have forsworn you with Hortensio.
48Tranio, you jest: but have you both forsworn me?
49Mistress, we have.
49Then we are rid of Litio.
50. lusty: lively, spirited, vigorous.
50I' faith, he'll have a lusty widow now,
51That shall be woo'd and wedded in a day.
52God give him joy!
53Ay, and he'll tame her.
53He 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.
54Faith, he is gone unto the taming-school.
55The taming-school! what, is there such a place?
56Ay, 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."
57That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long,
58To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.
59O master, master, I have watch'd so long
60That 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.
61An ancient angel coming down the hill,
62Will serve the turn.
62What is he, Biondello?
63. mercantant: merchant (Italian mercantante). pedant: schoolmaster.
63Master, a mercantant, or a pedant,
64I know not what; but formal in apparel,
65In gait and countenance surely like a father.
66And what of him, Tranio?
67If he be credulous and trust my tale,
68I'll make him glad to seem Vincentio,
69And give assurance to Baptista Minola,
70As if he were the right Vincentio
71Take in your love, and then let me alone.
Exeunt LUCENTIO and BIANCA.
Illustration by Sir John Gilbert
Enter a Pedant.
72God save you, sir!
72And you, sir! you are welcome.
73Travel you far on, or are you at the farthest?
74Sir, at the farthest for a week or two:
75But then up farther, and as far as Rome;
76And so to Tripoli, if God lend me life.
77What countryman, I pray?
78Of Mantua, sir? marry, God forbid!
79And come to Padua, careless of your life?
80. that goes hard: i.e., that's frightening.
80My life, sir! how, I pray? for that goes hard.
81'Tis death for any one in Mantua
82To come to Padua. Know you not the cause?
83Your ships are stay'd at Venice, and the duke,
84For private quarrel 'twixt your duke and him,
85Hath publish'd and proclaim'd it openly:
86'Tis, marvel, but that you are but newly come,
87You might have heard it else proclaim'd about.
88Alas! sir, it is worse for me than so;
89For I have bills for money by exchange
90From Florence and must here deliver them.
91Well, sir, to do you courtesy,
92This will I do, and this I will advise you:
93First, tell me, have you ever been at Pisa?
94Ay, sir, in Pisa have I often been,
95Pisa renowned for grave citizens.
96Among them know you one Vincentio?
97I know him not, but I have heard of him;
98A merchant of incomparable wealth.
99He is my father, sir; and, sooth to say,
100In countenance somewhat doth resemble you.
101As much as an apple doth an oyster,
102. all one: no matter, whatever.
102and all one.
103To save your life in this extremity,
104This favor will I do you for his sake;
105And think it not the worst of an your fortunes
106That you are like to Sir Vincentio.
107. credit: reputation. undertake: assume.
107His name and credit shall you undertake,
108And in my house you shall be friendly lodged:
109. take upon you: i.e., act your part.
109Look that you take upon you as you should;
110You understand me, sir: so shall you stay
111Till you have done your business in the city:
112If this be courtesy, sir, accept of it.
113. repute: consider.
113O sir, I do; and will repute you ever
114The patron of my life and liberty.
115Then go with me to make the matter good.
116This, by the way, I let you understand;
117My father is here look'd for every day,
118. pass assurance: convey a legal guarantee.
118To pass assurance of a dower in marriage
119'Twixt me and one Baptista's daughter here:
120. circumstances: details.
120In all these circumstances I'll instruct you:
121Go with me to clothe you as becomes you.