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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Intro

Forever and a day

I'm Biondello. I'm one of Tranio's servants and I know how to keep big secrets like the fact that my master has really traded places with his other servant, Tranio. And you know what I think?

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. (4.4.88-94)

Who Said It and Where

When Lucentio, a rich guy from Verona, arrives in Padua (along with his trusty servant Tranio) to top off his education, he and his servant Tranio end up eavesdropping on a little family drama that's happening nearby. Apparently, Baptista Minola has to settle the score over who will marry his daughters Kate and Bianca. Baptista lays down the law and says that Bianca's admirers should scram—Bianca's not getting married until Baptista can get Kate off his hands. The suitors whine that this is not fair because Kate is a total you-know-what and nobody wants to marry her.

Lucentio, our little eavesdropper, falls in love with Bianca on the spot and hatches a scheme to sweep her off her feet. The plan? He'll dress up like a tutor named Cambio so he can infiltrate Baptista's house, Trojan horse style, and be near Bianca. His servant Tranio will dress up like Lucentio so he can persuade Baptista to agree to the marriage.

Long story short: Lucentio wins over Bianca and everyone meets up at Baptista's house to celebrate the engagement and sign some contracts. (That's the way it was done back in the day.) There, Baptista sends "Cambio" (really Lucentio) to fetch Bianca and tell her the good news about her upcoming marriage to Lucentio. Instead of fetching Bianca and taking her to her dad, Lucentio has caught up with Biondello, who brings him up to speed on the arrangements for his elopement with Bianca.

While Baptista is kept busy signing contracts with Tranio (as Lucentio) and the Pedant (as Vincentio), Bianca and Lucentio will go to St. Luke's church, where a priest is waiting. Biondello tells Lucentio to get to the church ASAP and to make sure he has some reliable witnesses to confirm the marriage. Lucentio runs off to find Bianca. And we bet you can guess where this goes from there.

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