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The Taming of the Shrew

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Flourish. Enter LUCENTIO and his man TRANIO
The sound of trumpet fanfare. LUCENTIO and his servant TRANIO enter.





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LUCENTIO
Tranio, since for the great desire I had
To see fair Padua, nursery of arts,
I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy,
The pleasant garden of great Italy,
And by my father’s love and leave am armed
With his goodwill and thy good company.
My trusty servant, well approved in all,
Here let us breathe and haply institute
A course of learning and ingenious studies.
Pisa, renownèd 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 conceived
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 achieved.
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.
LUCENTIO
Well, Tranio, here we are in fertile Lombardy, garden of Italy, about to fulfill my lifelong dream. You know how I’ve always longed to see the fair city of Padua, famous for its arts and letters, and now, thanks to my father’s generosity, here I am—with his blessing and your good company. So, my trusty servant—and you’ve never let me down—why don’t we settle here for a time to institute a course of study, a really rigorous curriculum. I was born in Pisa, famous for its serious citizens, like my father before me; my father, Vincentio, a successful, world-traveled merchant, was one of the

Bentivolii

The Bentivolis were one of the leading families of Bologna, wielding great political power and influence.

Bentivolii
. It’s only fitting that I, his son, reared in Florence, should concentrate on adding more virtuous deeds to my father’s own, stacking them on top of his wealth. For this reason, Tranio, I’ll study ethics and—for the time being, anyway—pursue those areas of

philosophy

Lucentio is referring to the philosophy of Aristotle.

philosophy
that teach a man how to achieve happiness through virtue. What do you think of all this? Leaving Pisa for Padua,

I feel

Lucentio means he is overwhelmed.

I feel
a little like a thirsty man who turns from a puddle to a vast lake he can drink from.