The Taming of the Shrew
SCENE IV. Padua. Before BAPTISTA'S house.
Enter TRANIO, and the Pedant dressed like VINCENTIO
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.
Thou'rt a tall fellow: hold thee that to drink.
Here comes Baptista: set your countenance, sir.
Enter BAPTISTA and LUCENTIO
Signior Baptista, you are happily met.
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.
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.
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?
Not in my house, Lucentio; for, you know,
Pitchers have ears, and I have many servants:
Besides, old Gremio is hearkening 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.
It likes me well. Biondello, hie you home,
And bid Bianca make her ready straight;
And, if you will, tell what hath happened,
Lucentio's father is arrived in Padua,
And how she's like to be Lucentio's wife.
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.
Exeunt TRANIO, Pedant, and BAPTISTA
What sayest 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.
The old priest of Saint Luke's church is at your
command at all hours.
And what of all this?
I cannot tell; expect they are busied about a
counterfeit assurance: take you assurance of her,
'cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum:' to the
church; take the priest, clerk, and some sufficient
honest witnesses: If this be not that you look for,
I have no more to say, But bid Bianca farewell for
ever and a day.
Hearest 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 pleased; then wherefore should I doubt?
Hap what hap may, I'll roundly go about her:
It shall go hard if Cambio go without her.
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Friday 22 March 2019