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PETRUCHIO Come, let’s continue on toward your father’s house. Good Lord, how bright bright and splendid is the moon tonight! KATHERINE The moon? You mean the sun! It is not nighttime now. PETRUCHIO I say it’s the moon that shines so bright. KATHERINE I know it’s the sun that shines so bright PETRUCHIO Now, by my mother’s son, and that’s me, it will be moon or star or whatever I want before I’ll travel to your father’s house. (to servants) Go return our horses.— Constantly contradicted and contradicted, and nothing but contradicted!
HORTENSIO (to KATHERINE) Say what he wants or we’ll never go.KATHERINE Since we’ve come this far, please—let’s continue on. And whatever it is—moon or sun or anything you like—if you want to call it a tea candle, that’s what it is as far as I’m concerned. From now on, I promise. PETRUCHIO I say it’s the moon. KATHERINE I know it’s the moon. PETRUCHIO Well, you’re a liar, then. It’s the blessed sun.
KATHERINE Then God be praised, it is the blessed sun. But it is not the sun when you say it is not, and the moon changes according to your mind. Whatever you want to call a thing, that’s what it is—and that’s what it will always be for me. HORTENSIO Petruchio, do whatever you like. You’ve won PETRUCHIo Well, onward, then. That’s how things should be—straight and smooth. But, hang on! I hear someone coming. Enter vincentio (to VINCENTIO) Good morning, young miss, where are you going?—Tell me, sweet Kate, and tell me truly, have you ever seen a young gentlewoman blooming more with health? The way the shades of white and red compete in her complexion. Which of the stars in heaven shine with such beauty as the two eyes that sparkle in that heavenly face? Fair lovely maid, once more good day to you.—Sweet Kate, embrace her for her beauty.
HORTENSIO (speaking so that only the audience can hear) He will drive the man mad pretending he thinks he’s a woman. KATHERINE Young budding virgin, fair and pure and sweet, where are you off to? Or where do you live? Your parents are lucky to have such a lovely child. And luckier still is the man who gets to be your husband and share your bed.PETRUCHIO Why, dear me, Kate! I hope you haven’t lost your mind. This is not a maiden, as you say, but an old man—wrinkled, faded, and withered.KATHERINE Sir, pardon my imperfect eyes, which have been so blinded by the sun that everything I look at appears GREEN PETRUCHIO Do, good old grandfather, and while you’re at it, tell us which way you’re traveling. If we’re all headed in the same direction, we’d love your company.
VINCENTIO Well, sir, and you, witty lady, who gave me quite a turn with your strange talk, my name is Vincentio, my hometown Pisa, and I am traveling to Padua to visit a son of mine whom I haven’t seen in a long while.PETRUCHIO What is his name?VINCENTIO Lucentio, sir.PETRUCHIO A fortunate coincidence—more fortunate for your son. I can now call you “father” in a legal sense, not just out of respect for your age. The sister of my wife, this lady here, is married to your son. And there’s no need for wonder or worry. His bride is well thought of, with a rich dowry and noble birth—a fit wife for any nobleman.Let me embrace the father of Lucentio, and then we’ll journey on to see your son, who will rejoice at your arrival.
VINCENTIO Is all this true? Or is this your way of livening up your travels—playing jokes on people you meet on the way?HORTENSIO I assure you, sir, it’s true.PETRUCHIO Look, come along with us and see the truth for yourself. Our earlier joke has made you understandably suspicious.HORTENSIO Well, Petruchio, all this is very encouraging. I’ll visit my widow now, and if she proves difficult to manage, I’ll know how to make myself impossible.
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