Document: All > Shakespeare > Comedies > The Taming of the Shrew > Act IV, scene IV
[Enter TRANIO, and the Pedant dressed like VINCENTIO]
TRANIO: Sir, this is the house: please it you that I call?
Pedant: 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.
TRANIO: 'Tis well; and hold your own, in any case,
With such austerity as 'longeth to a father.
Pedant: I warrant you.
But, sir, here comes your boy;
'Twere good he were school'd.
TRANIO: Fear you not him. Sirrah Biondello,
Now do your duty throughly, I advise you:
Imagine 'twere the right Vincentio.
BIONDELLO: Tut, fear not me.
TRANIO: But hast thou done thy errand to Baptista?
BIONDELLO: I told him that your father was at Venice,
And that you look'd for him this day in Padua.
TRANIO: 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.
Pedant: Soft son!
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.
BAPTISTA: 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.
TRANIO: 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?
BAPTISTA: 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.
TRANIO: 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.
BAPTISTA: 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.
BIONDELLO: I pray the gods she may with all my heart!
TRANIO: 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.
BAPTISTA: I follow you.
[Exeunt TRANIO, Pedant, and BAPTISTA]
LUCENTIO: What sayest thou, Biondello?
BIONDELLO: You saw my master wink and laugh upon you?
LUCENTIO: Biondello, what of that?
BIONDELLO: Faith, nothing; but has left me here behind, to
expound the meaning or moral of his signs and tokens.
LUCENTIO: I pray thee, moralize them.
BIONDELLO: Then thus. Baptista is safe, talking with the
deceiving father of a deceitful son.
LUCENTIO: And what of him?
BIONDELLO: His daughter is to be brought by you to the supper.
LUCENTIO: And then?
BIONDELLO: The old priest of Saint Luke's church is at your
command at all hours.
LUCENTIO: And what of all this?
BIONDELLO: 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.
LUCENTIO: Hearest thou, Biondello?
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.
LUCENTIO: 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.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW