Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

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

strange:
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?
Pet.

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." Gru.

For he fears none.

[Aside. 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.

[Aside.

[blocks in formation]

Enter Tranio, bravely apparelld; 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 do? 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 hence.
Tra. Why, sir, I pray, are not the streets as free
For me, as for you?
Gre.

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, insooth;-
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 afternoon, And quaff carouses to our mistress' health;

* Please ye we may contrive this afternoon,] Contrive does not signify here to project, but to spend and wear

out ; probably from contero,

And do as adversaries do in law, ?-
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
Gru. Bion. O excellent motion! Fellows, let's

begone. Hor. The motion's good indeed, and be it so;Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto.

[Exeunt.

8

ACT II.

SCENE I. The same. A Room in Baptista's House.

Enter KATHARINA and BIANCA.

Bian. Good sister, wrong me not, nor wrong

yourself,
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,

7

as adversaries do in law,] By adversaries in law, I believe, our author means not suitors, but barristers, who, however warm in their opposition to each other in the courts of law, live in greater harmony and friendship in private, than perhaps those of any other of the liberal professions. Their clients seldom “ eat and drink with their adversaries as friends." MALONE.

Fellows, let's begone.] Fellows means fellow-servants. Grumio and Biondello address each other, and also the disguised Lucentio. MALONE.

8

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 well 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.

[Strikes her.

Enter BAPTISTA.

Bap. Why, how now, dame! whence grows this

insolence? 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; I must dance bare-foot on her wedding-day, And, for

your

love to her, lead apes in hell."

9

1

hilding-] The word hilding or hinderling, is a low wretch; it is applied to Katharine for the coarseness of her behaviour. JOHNSON.

And, for your love to her, lead upes in hell.] To lead apes" was in our author's time, as at present, one of the employments of a bear-herd, who often carries about one of those animals along with his bear: but I know not how this phrase came to be applied to old maids. MALONE.

That women who refused to bear children, should, after death, be condemned to the care of apes in leading-strings, might have been considered as an act of posthumous retribution. STEEVENS.

« AnteriorContinuar »