Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

SCENE V. Mitylene. A Street before the Brothel.

Enter, from the brothel, tuo Gentlemen. 1 Gent. Did you ever hear the like?

2 Gent. No, nor never shall do in such a place as this, she being once gone.

1 Gent. But to have divinity preached there! did you ever dream of such a thing ?

2 Gent. No, no. Come, I am for no more bawdyhouses; shall we go hear the vestals sing?

1 Gent. I'll do any thing now that is virtuous; but I am out of the road of rutting, forever. [Exeunt.

SCENE VI. The same.

A Room in the Brothel.

Enter PANDER, Bawd, and Boult. Pand. Well, I had rather than twice the worth of her, she had ne'er come here.

Bawd. Fie, fie upon her; she is able to freeze the god Priapus, and undo a whole generation. We must either get her ravished, or be rid of her. When she should do for clients her fitment, and do me the kindness of our profession, she has me her quirks, her reasons, her master-reasons, her prayers, her knees; that she would make a puritan of the devil, if he should cheapen a kiss of her.

Boult. 'Faith, I must ravish her, or she'll disfurnish us of all our cavaliers, and make all our swearers priests.

Pand. Now, the pox upon her green-sickness for me!

Bawd. 'Faith, there's no way to be rid on't, but by the way to the pox. Here comes the lord Lysimachus, disguised.

Boult. We should have both lord and lown, if the peevish baggage would but give way to customers.

2

your honor!

Enter LYSIMACHUS. Lys. How now? Howl a dozen of virginities? Bawd. Now, the gods to-bless Boult. I am glad to see your honor in good health.

Lys. You may so; 'tis the better for you that your resorters stand upon sound legs. How now, wholesome iniquity? Have

you that a man may deal withal, and defy the surgeon ?

Bawd. We have here one, sir, if she would-but there never came her like in Mitylene.

Lys. If she'd do the deeds of darkness, thou wouldst say.

Bawd. Your honor knows what 'tis to say well enough.

Lys. Well; call forth, call forth.

Boult. For flesh and blood, sir, white and red, you shall see a rose ; and she were a rose indeed, if she had but

Lys. What, pr’ythee?
Boult. O, sir, I can be modest.

Lys. That dignifies the renown of a bawd, no less than it gives a good report to an anchor 3 to be chaste.

Enter MARINA.

Bawd. Here comes that which grows to the stalk ; -never plucked yet, I can assure you.

Is she not a fair creature ? Lys. ?Faith, she would serve after a long voyage at

Well, there's for you ;-leave us. Bawd. I beseech your honor, give me leave; a word, and I'll have done presently.

sea.

1 This is justice Shallow's mode of asking the price of a different kind of commodity

" How a score of ewes now ? " 2 The use of to in composition with verbs is very common in Gower and Chaucer.

3 The words an anchor (anchorite) are substituted by Mr. Singer for a number in the old copy.

Lys. I beseech

you,

do. Bawd. First, I would have you note, this is an honorable man. [To Mar., whom she takes aside.

Mar. I desire to find him so, that I may worthily note him.

Bawd. Next, he's the governor of this country, and a man whom I am bound to.

Mar. If he govern the country, you are bound to him indeed; but how honorable he is in that, I know not.

Bawd. 'Pray you, without any more virginal' fencing, will you use him kindly? He will line your apron with gold.

Mar. What he will do graciously, I will thankfully receive.

Lys. Have you done?

Bawd. My lord, she's not paced? yet; you must take some pains to work her to your manage. Come, we will leave his honor and her together.

[Exeunt Bawd, PANDER, and Boult. Lys. Go thy ways.—Now, pretty one, how long have you been at this trade?

Mar. What trade, sir ?
Lys. What I cannot name but I shall offend.

Mar. I cannot be offended with my trade. Please you to name it.

Lys. How long have you been of this profession? Mar. Ever since I can remember.

Lys. Did you go to it so young? Were you a gamester at five, or at seven?

Mar. Earlier too, sir, if now I be one.

Lys. Why, the house you dwell in, proclaims you to be a creature of sale.

Mar. Do you know this house to be a place of such resort, and will come into it? I hear say you are of honorable parts, and are the governor of this place.

1 This uncommon adjective is again used in Coriolanus. 2 A term from the equestrian art. 3 i. e, a wanton.

Lys. Why, hath your principal made known unto you who I am?

Mar. Who is my principal ?

Lys. Why, your herb-woman ; she that sets seeds and roots of shame and iniquity. O, you have heard something of my power, and so stand aloof for more serious wooing. But I protest to thee, pretty one, my authority shall not see thee, or else, look friendly upon thee. Come, bring me to some private place. Come,

come.

For me,

Mar. If you were born to honor, show it now;
If put upon you, make the judgment good
That thought you worthy of it.
Lys. How's this ? how's this ?—Some more; be

sage.
Mar.
That am a maid, though most ungentle fortune
Hath placed me here within this loathsome sty,
Where, since I came, diseases have been sold
Dearer than physic,—0, that the good gods
Would set me free from this unhallowed place,
Though they did change me to the meanest bird
That flies i’the purer air !
Lys.

I did not think
Thou couldst have spoke so well; ne'er dreamed thou

couldst.
Had I brought hither a corrupted mind,
Thy speech had altered it. Hold, here's gold for thee;
Persever still in that clear?

way
thou

goest, And the gods strengthen thee!

Mar. The gods preserve you!
Lys.

be

you thoughten That I came with no ill intent; for to me The very doors and windows savor vilely. Farewell. Thou art a piece of virtue, and I doubt not but thy training hath been noble.

For me,

1 Lysimachus must be supposed to say this sneeringly.
2 Clear is

pure,
innocent.

thy mother was
A piece of virtue.

Tempest.

3

[ocr errors]

Hold; here's more gold for thee.-
A curse upon him, die he like a thief,
That robs thee of thy goodness! If thou hear'st

from me, It shall be for thy good. [ Aš Lysimachus is putting up his purse,

BOULT enters. Boult. I beseech your honor, one piece for me. Lys. Avaunt, thou damned door-keeper! Your

house, But for this virgin that doth

prop

it

up, Would sink, and overwhelm you all

. Away!

[Exit LYSIMACHUS. Boult. How's this? We must take another course with you. If your peevish chastity, which is not worth a breakfast in the cheapest country under the cope,' shall undo a whole household, let me be gelded like a spaniel. Come your ways.

Mar. Whither would you have me?

Boult. I must have your maidenhead taken off, or the common hangman shall execute it. Come your way. We'll have no more gentlemen driven away. Come your ways, I say.

Re-enter Bawd.

Bawd. How now! what's the matter?

Boult. Worse and worse, mistress; she has here spoken holy words to the lord Lysimachus.

Bawd. O, abominable !

Boult. She makes our profession, as it were, to stink afore the face of the gods.

Bawd. Marry, hang her up forever!

Boult. The nobleman would have dealt with her like a nobleman, and she sent him away as cold as a snow-ball; saying his prayers too.

Bawd. Boult, take her away; use her at thy pleasure ; crack the glass of her virginity, and make the rest malleable.

1 i. e. under the cope or canopy of heaven.

« VorigeDoorgaan »