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Enter TRANIO, bravely apparelld; and Bion
DELLO. 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.
[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 ?
But so is not she.
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;
19 This biatus is in the old copy, it is most probable that an abrupt sentence was intended.
Then well one more may fair Bianca have:
Gre. What! this gentleman will out-talk us all.
Hor. Sir, let me be so bold as 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 20.
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 21 this afternoon,
21 To contrive is to wear out, to pass away, from contrivi, the preterite of contero, one of the disused Latinisms. So in Damon and Pithịas, 1571:
• In travelling countries, we three have contrived
And quaff carouses to our mistress' health;
begone. Hor. The motion's good indeed, and be it so;Petruchio, I shall be your ben venuto. (Exeunt.
Enter KATHARINA and BIANCA.
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,
22 Adversaries most probably here signifies contending barristers, or counsellors ; surely not their clients ?
23 Fellows means companions, and not fellow-servants, as Malone supposed. •One that helpeth, aideth, or taketh part, that is companion or fellow. Socius, compaignon, complice, allie.'-Baret,
"Toys, trifling ornaments.
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 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 barefoot on her wedding-day, And, for your love to her, lead apes in hell 4.
3 A hilding signified a base low wretch: it is applied to Katharina for the coarseness of her behaviour.
4 The origin of this very old proverbial phrase is not known. Steevens suggests that it might have been considered an act of posthumous retribution for women who refused to bear children, to be condemned to the care of apes in leading strings after death.
Talk not to me; I will go sit and weep,
[Exit KATHARINA. Bap. Was ever gentleman thus griev'd as I ? But who comes here?
Enter GREMIO, with LUCENTio in the habit of a mean man; PETRUCHIO, with HORTENSIO as a Musician; and TRANIO, with BIONDELLO bearing a Lute and Books. Gre. Good-morrow, neighbour Baptista.
Bap. Good-morrow, neighbour Gremio: God save you, gentlemen! Pet. And you, good sir! Pray, have you not a
Bap. I have a daughter, sir, calld Katharina.
[Presenting HORTENSIO. Cunning in musick, and the mathematicks, To instruct her fully in those sciences, Whereof, I know, she is not ignorant: Accept of him, or else you do me wrong; His name is Licio, born in Mantua.