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Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.

The Taming of the Shrew: Act 3, Scene 1

Image Source: Chicago Critic
           Enter LUCENTIO [disguised as Cambio],
           HORTENSIO [disguised as Litio],
           and BIANCA.

  1   Fiddler, forbear; you grow too forward, sir:
  2   Have you so soon forgot the entertainment
  3   Her sister Katharina welcomed you withal?

  4   But, wrangling pedant, this is
  5   The patroness of heavenly harmony:
6. to have prerogative: to go first.
  6   Then give me leave to have prerogative;
  7   And when in music we have spent an hour,
8. lecture: lesson.
  8   Your lecture shall have leisure for as much.

9. Preposterous: placing first what should be last.
  9   Preposterous ass, that never read so far
10. ordain'd: instituted.
 10   To know the cause why music was ordain'd!
 11   Was it not to refresh the mind of man
12. pain: labor, toil.
 12   After his studies or his usual pain?
 13   Then give me leave to read philosophy,
 14   And while I pause, serve in your harmony.

15. Sirrah: little sir.  braves: impudent remarks.
 15   Sirrah, I will not bear these braves of thine.

 16   Why, gentlemen, you do me double wrong,
 17   To strive for that which resteth in my choice:
18. breeching scholar: schoolboy liable to be whipped or flogged.  19. 'pointed: appointed.
 18   I am no breeching scholar in the schools;
 19   I'll not be tied to hours nor 'pointed times,
 20   But learn my lessons as I please myself.
 21   And, to cut off all strife, here sit we down:
22. the whiles: meanwhile.
 22   Take you your instrument, play you the whiles;
 23   His lecture will be done ere you have tuned.

24. I am in tune: i.e., my instrument is in tune.
 24   You'll leave his lecture when I am in tune?

25. That will be never: i.e., you will never be in harmony with Bianca.
 25   That will be never: tune your instrument.

26. Where left we last? where did we leave off? —Apparently Lucentio arrived a moment before Hortensio and started his "lecture" right away.
 26   Where left we last?

 27   Here, madam:
28-29. Hic . . . senis: "Here flowed the river Simois; here is the Sigeian land; here stood the lofty palace of old Priam" (Ovid, Heroides, 1.33-34).
 28   "Hic ibat Simois; hic est Sigeia tellus;
 29   Hic steterat Priami regia celsa senis."

30. Conster: construe (in the sense of "translate word-for-word").
 30   Conster them.

 31   "Hic ibat," as I told you before, "Simois," I am
 32   Lucentio, "hic est," son unto Vincentio of Pisa,
 33   "Sigeia tellus," disguised thus to get your love;
 34   "Hic steterat," and that Lucentio that comes
 35   a-wooing, "Priami," is my man Tranio, "regia,"
36. bearing my port: taking my place in society.
 36   bearing my port, "celsa senis," that we might
37. pantaloon: foolish old man (Gremio).
 37   beguile the old pantaloon.

 38   Madam, my instrument's in tune.

39. jars: is out of tune.
 39   Let's hear. O fie! the treble jars.

40. Spit in the hole: Perhaps to tighten the peg so that the string would stay in tune longer, but the phrase may mean simply "get ready for a fresh try."
 40   Spit in the hole, man, and tune again.

 41   Now let me see if I can conster it: "Hic ibat
 42   Simois," I know you not, "hic est Sigeia tellus,"
 43   I trust you not; "Hic steterat Priami," take heed
 44   he hear us not, "regia," presume not, "celsa senis,"
 45   despair not.

 46   Madam, 'tis now in tune.

 46                                     All but the base.

 47   The base is right; 'tis the base knave that jars.


 48   How fiery and forward our pedant is!
 49   Now, for my life, the knave doth court my love:
50. Pedascule: you pedantic letter of the alaphabet (?). —Shakespeare invented this word.
 50   Pedascule, I'll watch you better yet.

 51   In time I may believe, yet I mistrust.

52-53. Æacides / Was Ajax, call'd so from his grandfather: To mislead Hortensio, Lucentio pretends to be concerned with the next line of his Latin passage.
 52   Mistrust it not: for, sure, Æacides
 53   Was Ajax, call'd so from his grandfather.

 54   I must believe my master; else, I promise you,
 55   I should be arguing still upon that doubt:
 56   But let it rest. Now, Litio, to you:
 57   Good masters, take it not unkindly, pray,
58. pleasant: merry.
 58   That I have been thus pleasant with you both.

      HORTENSIO [To Lucentio.]
59. give me leave: allow me opportunity.
 59   You may go walk, and give me leave a while:
60. in three parts: for three voices.
 60   My lessons make no music in three parts.

61. formal: precise.
 61   Are you so formal, sir? well, I must wait,


62. but: unless.
 62   And watch withal; for, but I be deceived,
 63   Our fine musician groweth amorous.

 64   Madam, before you touch the instrument,
 65   To learn the order of my fingering,
 66   I must begin with rudiments of art;
67. gamut: a musical scale. "Gamut" was the musical scale taught to beginners.
 67   To teach you gamut in a briefer sort,
 68   More pleasant, pithy and effectual,
 69   Than hath been taught by any of my trade:
70. there it is in writing: —Hortensio hands Bianca a paper.
 70   And there it is in writing, fairly drawn.

 71   Why, I am past my gamut long ago.

 72   Yet read the gamut of Hortensio.

      BIANCA [Reads.]
73. ground: basis, foundation. accord: harmony.
 73   "'Gamut' I am, the ground of all accord,
 74   'A re,' to Plead Hortensio's passion;
 75   'B mi,' Bianca, take him for thy lord,
76. ut: —"Ut" has long since been superseded by "do." 77. clef: key.
 76   'C fa ut,' that loves with all affection:
 77   'D sol re,' one clef, two notes have I:
 78   'E la mi,' show pity, or I die."
 79   Call you this gamut? tut, I like it not:
80. nice: foolishly trendy.
 80   Old fashions please me best; I am not so nice,
80. change: exchange.
 81   To change true rules for odd inventions.

           Enter a MESSENGER.

 82   Mistress, your father prays you leave your books
 83   And help to dress your sister's chamber up:
 84   You know tomorrow is the wedding-day.

 85   Farewell, sweet masters both; I must be gone.

           [Exeunt Bianca and Messenger.]

 86   Faith, mistress, then I have no cause to stay.


 87   But I have cause to pry into this pedant:
 88   Methinks he looks as though he were in love:
 89   Yet if thy thoughts, Bianca, be so humble
90. stale: decoy, bait.
 90   To cast thy wandering eyes on every stale,
91. Seize thee that list: let him take you that will. ranging: playing the field.  92. be quit: get even. changing: i.e., loving another.
 91   Seize thee that list: if once I find thee ranging,
 92   Hortensio will be quit with thee by changing.