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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 Petruchio, stand by awhile.

Gru. A proper stripling, and an amorous!

love:

[they retire.

Gre. O, very well: I have perused the note.
Hark you, sir; I'll have them very fairly bound:
All books of love, see that at any hand;1

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 perfumed;

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 assured)
As firmly as yourself were still in place:
Yea, and, perhaps, with more successful words
Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.

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,

1 At all events.

Whither I am going?-To Baptista Minola.
I promised to inquire carefully

About a schoolmaster for fair Bianca:

And, by good fortune, I have lighted well
On this young man; for learning, and behavior,
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 promised 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 beloved of me.

Gre. Beloved of me,—and that my deeds shall

prove.

Gru. And that his bags shall prove.

[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 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 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?

Will I live?

Pet. 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.1

Gru.

Gre. Hortensio, hark!

For he fears none. [aside.

This gentleman is happily arrived,

My mind presumes, for his own good, and yours.

Hor. I promised, we would be contributors,

And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er.

1 Fright boys with bugbears.

Gre. And so we will, provided that he win her. Gru. I would, I were as sure of a good dinner.

[aside.

Enter TRANIO bravely appareled, 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?

Bion. 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.

Hor. Sir, a word ere you go :-

[aside.

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?

[blocks in formation]

Tra. For what reason, I beseech you?
Gre. For this reason, if you 'll know ;-

at 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,

1

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 1 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 labor 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:

1 Helen.

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