I am a gentleman of Verona, sir,
That, hearing of her beauty and her wit,
Her affability and bashful modesty,
Her wondrous qualities and mild behavior,
Am bold to show myself a forward guest
Within your house, to make mine eye the witness
Of that report which I so oft have heard.
And, for an entrance to my entertainment,
I do present you with a man of mine,
Cunning in music and the mathematics,
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.
wooing. Neighbour, this is a gift very grateful, I am
sure of it. To express the like kindness, myself,
that have been more kindly beholding to you than
any, freely give unto you this young scholar,
that hath been long studying at Rheims; as cunning
in Greek, Latin, and other languages, as the other
in music and mathematics: his name is Cambio; pray,
accept his service.
That, being a stranger in this city here,
Do make myself a suitor to your daughter,
Unto Bianca, fair and virtuous.
Nor is your firm resolve unknown to me,
In the preferment of the eldest sister.
This liberty is all that I request,
That, upon knowledge of my parentage,
I may have welcome ‘mongst the rest that woo
And free access and favour as the rest:
And, toward the education of your daughters,
I here bestow a simple instrument,
And this small packet of Greek and Latin books:
If you accept them, then their worth is great.
I know him well: you are very welcome, sir,
Take you the lute, and you the set of books;
You shall go see your pupils presently.
Sirrah, lead these gentlemen
To my daughters; and tell them both,
These are their tutors: bid them use them well.
I am as peremptory as she proud-minded;
And where two raging fires meet together
They do consume the thing that feeds their fury:
Though little fire grows great with little wind,
Yet extreme gusts will blow out fire and all:
So I to her and so she yields to me;
For I am rough and woo not like a babe.
I did but tell her she mistook her frets,
And bow’d her hand to teach her fingering;
When, with a most impatient devilish spirit,
“Frets, call you these?” quoth she; “I’ll fume with them:”
And, with that word, she struck me on the head,
And through the instrument my pate made way;
And there I stood amazed for a while,
As on a pillory, looking through the lute;
While she did call me rascal fiddler
And twangling Jack; with twenty such vile terms,
As had she studied to misuse me so.
And woo her with some spirit when she comes.
Say that she rail; why then I’ll tell her plain
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale:
Say that she frown, I’ll say she looks as clear
As morning roses newly wash’d with dew:
Say she be mute and will not speak a word;
Then I’ll commend her volubility,
And say she uttereth piercing eloquence:
If she do bid me pack, I’ll give her thanks,
As though she bid me stay by her a week:
If she deny to wed, I’ll crave the day
When I shall ask the banns and when be married.
But here she comes; and now, Petruchio, speak.
And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst;
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom
Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation;
Hearing thy mildness praised in every town,
Thy virtues spoke of, and thy beauty sounded,
Yet not so deeply as to thee belongs,
Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife.
‘Twas told me you were rough and coy and sullen,
And now I find report a very liar;
For thou are pleasant, gamesome, passing courteous,
But slow in speech, yet sweet as spring-time flowers:
Thou canst not frown, thou canst not look askance,
Nor bite the lip, as angry wenches will,
Nor hast thou pleasure to be cross in talk,
But thou with mildness entertain’st thy wooers,
With gentle conference, soft and affable.
Why does the world report that Kate doth limp?
O slanderous world! Kate like the hazel-twig
Is straight and slender and as brown in hue
As hazel nuts and sweeter than the kernels.
O, let me see thee walk: thou dost not halt.
And therefore, setting all this chat aside,
Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented
That you shall be my wife; your dowry ‘greed on;
And, Will you, nill you, I will marry you.
Now, Kate, I am a husband for your turn;
For, by this light, whereby I see thy beauty,
Thy beauty, that doth make me like thee well,
Thou must be married to no man but me;
For I am he am born to tame you Kate,
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate
Conformable as other household Kates.
Here comes your father: never make denial;
I must and will have Katharina to my wife.
That talk’d of her, have talk’d amiss of her:
If she be curst, it is for policy,
For she’s not froward, but modest as the dove;
She is not hot, but temperate as the morn;
For patience she will prove a second Grissel,
And Roman Lucrece for her chastity:
And to conclude, we have ‘greed so well together,
That upon Sunday is the wedding-day.
If she and I be pleased, what’s that to you?
‘Tis bargain’d ‘twixt us twain, being alone,
That she shall still be curst in company.
I tell you, ‘tis incredible to believe
How much she loves me: O, the kindest Kate!
She hung about my neck; and kiss on kiss
She vied so fast, protesting oath on oath,
That in a twink she won me to her love.
O, you are novices! ‘tis a world to see,
How tame, when men and women are alone,
A meacock wretch can make the curstest shrew.
Give me thy hand, Kate: I will unto Venice,
To buy apparel ‘gainst the wedding-day.
Provide the feast, father, and bid the guests;
I will be sure my Katharina shall be fine.
Is richly furnished with plate and gold;
Basins and ewers to lave her dainty hands;
My hangings all of Tyrian tapestry;
In ivory coffers I have stuff’d my crowns;
In cypress chests my arras counterpoints,
Costly apparel, tents, and canopies,
Fine linen, Turkey cushions boss’d with pearl,
Valance of Venice gold in needlework,
Pewter and brass and all things that belong
To house or housekeeping: then, at my farm
I have a hundred milch-kine to the pail,
Sixscore fat oxen standing in my stalls,
And all things answerable to this portion.
Myself am struck in years, I must confess;
And if I die to-morrow, this is hers,
If whilst I live she will be only mine.
I am my father’s heir and only son:
If I may have your daughter to my wife,
I’ll leave her houses three or four as good,
Within rich Pisa walls, as any one
Old Signior Gremio has in Padua;
Besides two thousand ducats by the year
Of fruitful land, all which shall be her jointure.
What, have I pinch’d you, Signior Gremio?
Yet I have faced it with a card of ten.
‘Tis in my head to do my master good:
I see no reason but supposed Lucentio
Must get a father, call’d “supposed Vincentio;”
And that’s a wonder: fathers commonly
Do get their children; but in this case of wooing,
A child shall get a sire, if I fail not of my cunning.