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Hath promis'd me to help me to another,
A fine musician to instruct our mistress;
So shall I no whit be behind in duty
To fair Bianca, so belov'd of me.
Gre. Belov'd of me, — and that my deeds shall
Gru. And that his bags shall prove.
Hor. Gremio, 'tis now no time to vent our love:
Listen to me, and if you speak me fair,
I'll tell you news indifferent good for either.
Here is a gentleman, whom by chance I met,
Upon agreement from us to his liking,
Will undertake to woo curst Katharine ;
Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
Gre. So said, so done, is well :-
Hortensio, have you told him all her faults ?
Pet. I know, she is an irksome brawling scold;
If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.
Gre. No, say'st me so, friend ? What countryman ?
Pet. Born in Verona, old Antonio's son:
My father dead, my fortune lives for me;
And I do hope good days, and long, to see.
Gre. O, sir, such a life, with such a wife, were
But if you have a stomach, to't o'God's name ;
You shall have me assisting you in all.
But, will you woo this wild cat ?
Will I live ?
Gru. Will he woo her? ay, or I'll hang her. [Aside.
Pet. Why came I hither, but to that intent?
Think you a little din can daunt mine ears?
Have I not in my time heard lions roar ?
Have I not heard the sea, puff’d up with winds,
Rage like an angry boar, chafed with sweat ?
Have I not heard great ordnance in the field,
And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies?
Have I not in a pitched battle heard
Loud ’larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang ?
And do you tell me of a woman's tongue ;
That gives not half so great a blow to the ear,
As will a chesnut in a farmer's fire ?
Tush! tush ! fear boys with bugs.
Gre. Hortensio, hark !
This gentleman is happily arriv'd,
My mind presumes, for his own good and yours.
Hor. I promis’d, we would be contributors,
And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er.
Gre. And so we will ; provided, that he win her.
Gru. I would, I were as sure of a good dinner.
Enter Tranio, bravely apparell’d; and BIONDELLO.
Tra. Gentlemen, God save you! If I may be bold, Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way To the house of Signior Baptista Minola ?
+ Gre. He that has the two fair daughters : — is't (aside to TRANIO] he you mean?
Tra. Even he. Biondello !
Gre. Hark you, sir; You mean not her to-
Tra. Perhaps, him and her, sir ; What have you to
Pet. Not her that chides, sir, at any hand, I pray.
Tra. I love no chiders, sir :—Biondello, let's away.
Luc. Well begun, Tranio.
[Aside. Hor. Sir, a word ere you go ;Are you a suitor to the maid you talk of, yea or no ?
Tra. An if I be, sir, is it any offence ?
Gre. No; if, without more words, you will get you
Tra. Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free
For me, as for you?
But so is not she.
Tra. For what reason, I beseech you ?
Gre. For this reason, if you'll know,-
That she's the choice love of signior Gremio.
Hor. That she's the chosen of signior Hortensio.
Tra. Softly, my masters ! if you be gentlemen,
Do me this right,-hear me with patience.
Baptista is a noble gentleman,
To whom my father is not all unknown;
And, were his daughter fairer than she is,
She may more suitors have, and me for one.
Fair Leda's daughter had a thousand wooers;
Then well one more may fair Bianca have:
And so she shall; Lucentio shall make one,
Though Paris came, in hope to speed alone.
Gre. What! this gentleman will out-talk us all.
Luc. Sir, give him head; I know he'll prove a jade.
Pet. Hortensio, to what end are all these words?
Hor. Sir, let me be so bold as to ask you,
Did you yet ever see Baptista's daughter?
Tra. No, sir; but hear I do, that he hath two;
The one as famous for a scolding tongue,
As is the other for beauteous modesty.
Pet. Sir, sir, the first's for me; let her go by.
Gre. Yea, leave that labour to great Hercules ;
And let it be more than Alcides' twelve.
Pet. Sir, understand you this of me, in sooth ;-
The youngest daughter, whom you hearken for,
Her father keeps from all access of suitors;
And will not promise her to any man,
Until the elder sister first be wed:
The younger then is free, and not before.
Tra. If it be so, sir, that you are the man
Must stead us all, and me among the rest ;
An if you break the ice, and do this feat,-
Achieve the elder, set the younger free
For our access,—whose hap shall be to have her,
Will not so graceless be, to be ingrate.
Hor. Sir, you say well, and well you do conceive;
And since you do profess to be a suitor,
You must, as we do, gratify this gentleman,
To whom we all rest generally beholden.
Tra. Sir, I shall not be slack: in sign whereof,
Please ye we may contrive this afternoono,
And quaff carouses to our mistress' health ;
And do as adversaries do in law',-
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
Gru. Bion. O excellent motion : Fellows, let's be-
gone. Hor. The motion's good indeed, and be it so ;Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto.
Enter KATHARINA and BIANCA.
Bian. Good sister, wrong me not, nor wrong. your-
To make a bondmaid and a slave of me:
That I disdain ; but for these other gawds,
Unbind my hands, I'll pull them off myself,
Yea, all my raiment, to my petticoat;
Or, what you will command me, will I do,
So well I know my duty to my elders.
Kath. Of all thy suitors, here I charge thee, tell
Whom thou lov'st best: see thou dissemble not.
Bian. Believe me, sister, of all the men alive,
I never yet beheld that special face
Which I could fancy more than any other.
Kath. Minion, thou liest ; Is't not Hortensio ?
Bian. If you affect him, sister, here I swear,
I'll plead for you myself, but you shall have him.
Kath. O then, belike, you fancy riches more:
You will have Gremio to keep you fair.
Bian. Is it for him you do envy me so ?
Nay, then you jest ; and now I will perceive,
You have but jested with me all this while :
I pr’ythee, sister Kate, untie my hands.
Kath. If that be jest, then all the rest was so.
Bap. Why, how now, dame! whence grows this in-
Bianca, stand aside ;-poor girl ! she weeps :--
Go ply thy needle; meddle not with her. -
For shame, thou hilding of a devilish spirit,
Why dost thou wrong her that did ne'er wrong thee?
When did she cross thee with a bitter word ?
Kath. Her silence flouts me, and I'll be reveng’d.
[Flies after BIANCA. Bap. What, in my sight ?—Bianca, get thee in.
[Exit BIANCA. Kath. Will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see, She is your treasure, she must have a husband ;
9- hilding - ] The word hilding or hindeling, is a low wretch : it is applied to Katharine for the coarseness of her behaviour. Johnson.