The Taming of the Shrew (1590-1)

Online Critical Edition in Progress - Version 1.b.
Date variant: 1590-3
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Act IV, Scene 4

Padua. Before BAPTISTA'S house

Sir, this is the house; please it you that I call?

Ay, what else? And, but I be deceived,
Signior Baptista may remember me
Near twenty years ago in Genoa,
Where we were lodgers at the Pegasus.

'Tis well; and hold your own, in any case,
With such austerity as longeth to a father.

I warrant you. But, sir, here comes your boy;
'Twere good he were school'd.

Fear you not him. Sirrah Biondello,
Now do your duty throughly, I advise you.
Imagine 'twere the right Vincentio.

Tut, fear not me.

But hast thou done thy errand to Baptista?

I told him that your father was at Venice,
And that you look'd for him this day in Padua.

Th'art a tall fellow; hold thee that to drink.
Here comes Baptista. Set your countenance, sir.
Signior Baptista, you are happily met.
[To To the PEDANT] Sir, this is the gentleman I told you of;
I pray you stand good father to me now;
Give me Bianca for my patrimony.

Soft, son!
Sir, by your leave: having come to Padua
To gather in some debts, my son Lucentio
Made me acquainted with a weighty cause
Of love between your daughter and himself;
And- for the good report I hear of you,
And for the love he beareth to your daughter,
And she to him- to stay him not too long,
I am content, in a good father's care,
To have him match'd; and, if you please to like
No worse than I, upon some agreement
Me shall you find ready and willing
With one consent to have her so bestow'd;
For curious I cannot be with you,
Signior Baptista, of whom I hear so well.

Baptista Minola
Sir, pardon me in what I have to say.
Your plainness and your shortness please me well.
Right true it is your son Lucentio here
Doth love my daughter, and she loveth him,
Or both dissemble deeply their affections;
And therefore, if you say no more than this,
That like a father you will deal with him,
And pass my daughter a sufficient dower,
The match is made, and all is done-
Your son shall have my daughter with consent.

I thank you, sir. Where then do you know best
We be affied, and such assurance ta'en
As shall with either part's agreement stand?

Baptista Minola
Not in my house, Lucentio, for you know
Pitchers have ears, and I have many servants;
Besides, old Gremio is heark'ning still,
And happily we might be interrupted.

Then at my lodging, an it like you.
There doth my father lie; and there this night
We'll pass the business privately and well.
Send for your daughter by your servant here;
My boy shall fetch the scrivener presently.
The worst is this, that at so slender warning
You are like to have a thin and slender pittance.

Baptista Minola
It likes me well. Cambio, hie you home,
And bid Bianca make her ready straight;
And, if you will, tell what hath happened-
Lucentio's father is arriv'd in Padua,
And how she's like to be Lucentio's wife. Exit LUCENTIO

I pray the gods she may, with all my heart.

Dally not with the gods, but get thee gone.
Signior Baptista, shall I lead the way?
Welcome! One mess is like to be your cheer;
Come, sir; we will better it in Pisa.

Baptista Minola
I follow you. Exeunt


What say'st thou, Biondello?

You saw my master wink and laugh upon you?

Biondello, what of that?

Faith, nothing; but has left me here behind to expound
the meaning or moral of his signs and tokens.

I pray thee moralize them.

Then thus: Baptista is safe, talking with the deceiving
father of a deceitful son.

And what of him?

His daughter is to be brought by you to the supper.

And then?

The old priest at Saint Luke's church is at your command
at all hours.

And what of all this?

I cannot tell, except they are busied about a
counterfeit assurance. Take your assurance of her, cum privilegio
ad imprimendum solum; to th' church take the priest, clerk, and
some sufficient honest witnesses.
If this be not that you look for, I have more to say,
But bid Bianca farewell for ever and a day.

Hear'st thou, Biondello?

I cannot tarry. I knew a wench married in an afternoon
as she went to the garden for parsley to stuff a rabbit; and so
may you, sir; and so adieu, sir. My master hath appointed me to
go to Saint Luke's to bid the priest be ready to come against you
come with your appendix.

I may and will, if she be so contented.
She will be pleas'd; then wherefore should I doubt?
Hap what hap may, I'll roundly go about her;
It shall go hard if Cambio go without her. Exit


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