Imatges de pÓgina
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Hor. Petruchio, patience; I am Grumio's pledge: Why, this a heavy chance 'twixt him and you; Your ancient, trusty, pleasant servant Grumio. And tell me now, sweet friend,-what happy gale Blows you to Padua here, from old Verona?

Pet. Such wind as scatters young men through the world,

To seek their fortunes further than at home,
Where small experience grows. But, in a few,3
Signior Hortensio, thus it stands with me:-
Antonio, my father, is deceas'd;

And I have thrust myself into this maze,
Haply to wive, and thrive, as best I may:
Crowns in my purse I have, and goods at home,
And so am come abroad to see the world.

Hor. Petruchio, shall I then come roundly to thee,

And wish thee to a shrewd ill-favour'd wife?
Thoud'st thank me but a little for my counsel:
And yet I'll promise thee she shall be rich,

And very rich:-but thou'rt too much my friend,
And I'll not wish thee to her.

Pet. Signior Hortensio, 'twixt such friends as we,
Few words suffice: and, therefore, if thou know
One rich enough to be Petruchio's wife,
(As wealth is burthen of my wooing dance,)*
Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,"
As old as Sybil, and as curst and shrewd

3 Where small experience grows. But, in a few,] In a few, means the same as in short, in few words. JOHNSON.

4 (As wealth is burthen of my wooing dance,)] The burthen of a dance is an expression which I have never heard; the burthen of his wooing song had been more proper. JOHNSON.

Be she as foul as was Florentius' love,] The allusion is to a story told by Gower in the first Book De Confessione Amantis. Florent is the name of a knight who had bound himself to marry a deformed hag, provided she taught him the solution of a riddle on which his life depended.

As Socrates' Xantippe, or a worse,

She moves me not, or not removes, at least,
Affection's edge in me; were she as rough
As are the swelling Adriatick seas:

I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
If wealthily, then happily in Padua.

Gru. Nay, look you, sir, he tells you flatly what his mind is: Why, give him gold enough and marry him to a puppet, or an aglet-baby; or an old trot with ne'er a tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases as two and fifty horses: why, nothing comes amiss, so money comes withal.

Hor. Petruchio, since we have stepp'd thus far in, I will continue that I broach'd in jest.

I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife

With wealth enough, and young, and beauteous;
Brought up, as best becomes a gentlewoman:
Her only fault (and that is faults enough,)

Is, that she is intolerably curst,

And shrewd, and froward; so beyond all measure, That, were my state far worser than it is,

I would not wed her for a mine of gold.

Pet. Hortensio, peace; thou know'st not gold's effect:

Tell me her father's name, and 'tis enough;
For I will board her, though she chide as loud
As thunder, when the clouds in autumn crack.
Hor. Her father is Baptista Minola,

An affable and courteous gentleman:
Her name is Katharina Minola,

Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.

Pet. I know her father, though I know not her;

6 aglet-baby;] i. e. a diminutive being, not exceeding in size the tag of a point. An aglet-baby was a small image or head cut on the tag of a point, or lace.

7 -shrewd,] Here means, having the qualities of a shrew. The adjective is now used only in the sense of acute, intelligent.

And he knew my deceased father well:-
I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her;
And therefore let me be thus bold with you,
To give you over at this first encounter,
Unless you will accompany me thither.

Gru. I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts. O' my word, an she knew him as well as I do, she would think scolding would do little good upon him: She may, perhaps, call him half a score knaves, or so: why, that's nothing; an he begin once, he'll rail in his rope-tricks. I'll tell you what, sir,-an she stand him but a little, he will throw a figure in her face, and so disfigure her with it, that she shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat: You know him not, sir.

Hor. Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee; For in Baptista's keep my treasure is:

He hath the jewel of my life in hold,

His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca;
And her withholds from me, and other more
Suitors to her, and rivals in my love:
Supposing it a thing impossible,

(For those defects I have before rehears'd,)
That ever Katharina will be woo'd,
Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en;"
That none shall have access unto Bianca,
Till Katharine the curst have got a husband.
Gru. Katherine the curst!

an he begin once, he'll rail in his rope-tricks.] Ropery or rope-tricks originally signified abusive language, without any determinate idea; such language as parrots are taught to speak.

stand him-] i. e. withstand, resist him.

- that she shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat:] It may mean, that he shall swell up her eyes with blows, till she shall seem to peep with a contracted pupil, like a cat in the light. JOHNSON.

2 Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en;] To take order is tą take measures.

A title for a maid, of all titles the worst.

Hor. Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace;
And offer me, disguis'd in sober robes,
To old Baptista as a schoolmaster

Well seen in musick,3 to instruct Bianca:
That so I may by this device, at least,
Have leave and leisure to make love to her,
And, unsuspected, court her by herself.

Enter GREMIO; with him LUCENTIO disguised, with books under his arm.

Gru. Here's no knavery! See; to beguile the old folks, how the young folks lay their heads together! Master, master, look about you: Who goes

there? ha!

Hor. Peace, Grumio; 'tis the rival of my love:Petruchio, stand by a while.

Gru. A proper stripling, and an amorous!

[They retire. Gre. O, very well; I have perus'd the note. Hark you, sir; I'll have them very fairly bound: All books of love, see that at any hand; And see you read no other lectures to her: You understand me:-Over and beside

Signior Baptista's liberality,

I'll mend it with a largess:-Take your papers too, And let me have them very well perfum'd;

For she is sweeter than perfume itself,

To whom they go. What will you read to her?
Luc. Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you,
As for my patron, (stand you so assur'd,)
As firmly as yourself were still in place:
Yea, and (perhaps) with more successful words
Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.

• Well seen in musick,] Seen is versed, practised. at any hand;] i. e. at all events.

4

Gre. O this learning! what a thing it is!
Gru. O this woodcock! what an ass it is!
Pet. Peace, sirrah.

Hor. Grumio, mum!-God save you, signior
Gremio!

Gre. And you're well met, signior Hortensio.
Trow you,

Whither I am going?-To Baptista Minola.
I promis'd to enquire carefully

About a schoolmaster for fair Bianca:

And, by good fortune, I have lighted well
On this young man; for learning, and behaviour,
Fit for her turn; well read in poetry,

And other books,-good ones, I warrant you.
Hor. 'Tis well: and I have met a gentleman,
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

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[Aside.

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 country

man?

Pet. Born in Verona, old Antonio's son:

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