HORTENSIO. Her father is Baptista Minola,
An affable and courteous gentleman;
Her name is Katherina Minola,
Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue.
PETRUCHIO. I know her father, though I know not her;
And he knew my deceased father well.
I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her;
And therefore let me be thus bold with you
To give you over at this first encounter,
Unless you will accompany me thither.
GRUMIO. I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts. O' my
word, and she knew him as well as I do, she would think scolding
would do little good upon him. She may perhaps call him half a
score knaves or so. Why, that's nothing; and he begin once, he'll
rail in his rope-tricks. I'll tell you what, sir: an she stand
him but a little, he will throw a figure in her face, and so
disfigure her with it that she shall have no more eyes to see
withal than a cat. You know him not, sir.
HORTENSIO. Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee,
For in Baptista's keep my treasure is.
He hath the jewel of my life in hold,
His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca;
And her withholds from me, and other more,
Suitors to her and rivals in my love;
Supposing it a thing impossible-
For those defects I have before rehears'd-
That ever Katherina will be woo'd.
Therefore this order hath Baptista ta'en,
That none shall have access unto Bianca
Till Katherine the curst have got a husband.
GRUMIO. Katherine the curst!
A title for a maid of all titles the worst.
HORTENSIO. Now shall my friend Petruchio do me grace,
And offer me disguis'd in sober robes
To old Baptista as a schoolmaster
Well seen in music, to instruct Bianca;
That so I may by this device at least
Have leave and leisure to make love to her,
And unsuspected court her by herself.
Enter GREMIO with LUCENTIO disguised as CAMBIO
GRUMIO. Here's no knavery! See, to beguile the old folks, how the
young folks lay their heads together! Master, master, look about
you. Who goes there, ha?
HORTENSIO. Peace, Grumio! It is the rival of my love. Petruchio,
stand by awhile.
GRUMIO. A proper stripling, and an amorous!
[They stand aside]
GREMIO. O, very well; I have perus'd the note.
Hark you, sir; I'll have them very fairly bound-
All books of love, see that at any hand;
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 paper too,
And let me have them very well perfum'd;
For she is sweeter than perfume itself
To whom they go to. What will you read to her?
LUCENTIO. Whate'er I read to her, I'll plead for you
As for my patron, stand you so assur'd,
As firmly as yourself were still in place;
Yea, and perhaps with more successful words
Than you, unless you were a scholar, sir.
GREMIO. O this learning, what a thing it is!
GRUMIO. O this woodcock, what an ass it is!
PETRUCHIO. Peace, sirrah!
HORTENSIO. Grumio, mum! [Coming forward]
God save you, Signior Gremio!
GREMIO. And you are well met, Signior Hortensio.
Trow you whither I am going? To Baptista Minola.
I promis'd to enquire carefully
About a schoolmaster for the fair Bianca;
And by good fortune I have lighted well
On this young man; for learning and behaviour
Fit for her turn, well read in poetry
And other books- good ones, I warrant ye.
HORTENSIO. 'Tis well; and I have met a gentleman
Hath promis'd 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.
GREMIO. Beloved of me- and that my deeds shall prove.
GRUMIO. And that his bags shall prove.
HORTENSIO. 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 Katherine;
Yea, and to marry her, if her dowry please.
GREMIO. So said, so done, is well.
Hortensio, have you told him all her faults?
PETRUCHIO. I know she is an irksome brawling scold;
If that be all, masters, I hear no harm.
GREMIO. No, say'st me so, friend? What countryman?
PETRUCHIO. 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.
GREMIO. O Sir, such a life with such a wife were strange!
But if you have a stomach, to't a God's name;
You shall have me assisting you in all.
But will you woo this wild-cat?
PETRUCHIO. Will I live?
GRUMIO. Will he woo her? Ay, or I'll hang her.