Enter the PAGE as a lady, with ATTENDANTS
SLY. I thank thee; thou shalt not lose by it.
PAGE. How fares my noble lord?
SLY. Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough.
Where is my wife?
PAGE. Here, noble lord; what is thy will with her?
SLY. Are you my wife, and will not call me husband?
My men should call me 'lord'; I am your goodman.
PAGE. My husband and my lord, my lord and husband;
I am your wife in all obedience.
SLY. I know it well. What must I call her?
SLY. Al'ce madam, or Joan madam?
LORD. Madam, and nothing else; so lords call ladies.
SLY. Madam wife, they say that I have dream'd
And slept above some fifteen year or more.
PAGE. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me,
Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.
SLY. 'Tis much. Servants, leave me and her alone.
Madam, undress you, and come now to bed.
PAGE. Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of you
To pardon me yet for a night or two;
Or, if not so, until the sun be set.
For your physicians have expressly charg'd,
In peril to incur your former malady,
That I should yet absent me from your bed.
I hope this reason stands for my excuse.
SLY. Ay, it stands so that I may hardly tarry so long. But I would
be loath to fall into my dreams again. I will therefore tarry in
despite of the flesh and the blood.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. Your honour's players, hearing your amendment,
Are come to play a pleasant comedy;
For so your doctors hold it very meet,
Seeing too much sadness hath congeal'd your blood,
And melancholy is the nurse of frenzy.
Therefore they thought it good you hear a play
And frame your mind to mirth and merriment,
Which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life.
SLY. Marry, I will; let them play it. Is not a comonty a
Christmas gambold or a tumbling-trick?
PAGE. No, my good lord, it is more pleasing stuff.
SLY. What, household stuff?
PAGE. It is a kind of history.
SLY. Well, we'll see't. Come, madam wife, sit by my side and let
the world slip;-we shall ne'er be younger.
[They sit down]
A flourish of trumpets announces the play
ACT I. SCENE I. Padua. A public place
Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO
LUCENTIO. Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arriv'd for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy,
And by my father's love and leave am arm'd
With his good will and thy good company,
My trusty servant well approv'd in all,
Here let us breathe, and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
Pisa, renowned for grave citizens,
Gave me my being and my father first,
A merchant of great traffic through the world,
Vincentio, come of the Bentivolii;
Vincentio's son, brought up in Florence,
It shall become to serve all hopes conceiv'd,
To deck his fortune with his virtuous deeds.
And therefore, Tranio, for the time I study,
Virtue and that part of philosophy
Will I apply that treats of happiness
By virtue specially to be achiev'd.
Tell me thy mind; for I have Pisa left
And am to Padua come as he that leaves
A shallow plash to plunge him in the deep,
And with satiety seeks to quench his thirst.
TRANIO. Mi perdonato, gentle master mine;
I am in all affected as yourself;
Glad that you thus continue your resolve
To suck the sweets of sweet philosophy.
Only, good master, while we do admire
This virtue and this moral discipline,
Let's be no Stoics nor no stocks, I pray,
Or so devote to Aristotle's checks
As Ovid be an outcast quite abjur'd.
Balk logic with acquaintance that you have,
And practise rhetoric in your common talk;
Music and poesy use to quicken you;
The mathematics and the metaphysics,
Fall to them as you find your stomach serves you.
No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en;
In brief, sir, study what you most affect.
LUCENTIO. Gramercies, Tranio, well dost thou advise.
If, Biondello, thou wert come ashore,
We could at once put us in readiness,
And take a lodging fit to entertain
Such friends as time in Padua shall beget.
Enter BAPTISTA with his two daughters, KATHERINA
and BIANCA; GREMIO, a pantaloon; HORTENSIO,
suitor to BIANCA. LUCENTIO and TRANIO stand by
But stay awhile; what company is this?
TRANIO. Master, some show to welcome us to town.
BAPTISTA. Gentlemen, importune me no farther,
For how I firmly am resolv'd you know;
That is, not to bestow my youngest daughter
Before I have a husband for the elder.
If either of you both love Katherina,
Because I know you well and love you well,
Leave shall you have to court her at your pleasure.
GREMIO. To cart her rather. She's too rough for me.
There, there, Hortensio, will you any wife?
KATHERINA. [To BAPTISTA] I pray you, sir, is it your will
To make a stale of me amongst these mates?
HORTENSIO. Mates, maid! How mean you that? No mates for you,
Unless you were of gentler, milder mould.
KATHERINA. I' faith, sir, you shall never need to fear;
Iwis it is not halfway to her heart;
But if it were, doubt not her care should be
To comb your noddle with a three-legg'd stool,
And paint your face, and use you like a fool.
HORTENSIO. From all such devils, good Lord deliver us!
GREMIO. And me, too, good Lord!
TRANIO. Husht, master! Here's some good pastime toward;
That wench is stark mad or wonderful froward.
LUCENTIO. But in the other's silence do I see
Maid's mild behaviour and sobriety.
TRANIO. Well said, master; mum! and gaze your fill.
BAPTISTA. Gentlemen, that I may soon make good
What I have said- Bianca, get you in;
And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,
For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.