Imagens das páginas

Lys. How now? How l a dozen of virginities?
Bawd. Now, the gods to-bless ? your honor!
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. 0, 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 sea. Well, there's for you ;-leave us.

Bawd. I beseech your honor, give me leave; a word, and I'll have done presently.

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 gamesterat 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.

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.

For me,
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 Aies i' the purer air!

1 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.

For me, 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.

i Lysimachus must be supposed to say this sneeringly.
2 Clear is pure, innocent.

-- thy mother was
A piece of virtue.”


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. [As Lysimachus is putting up his purse,

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

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 a snow-ball; saying his prayers too.

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

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

Boult. An if she were a thornier piece of ground than she is, she shall be ploughed.

Mar. Hark, hark, you gods !

Bawd. She conjures; away with her. Would she had never come within my doors! Marry, bang you! She's born to undo us. Will you not go the way of womankind ? Marry come up, my dish of chastity with rosemary and bays! [Exit Bawd.

Boult. Come, mistress; come your way with me. Mar. Whither would you have me?

Boult. To take from you the jewel you hold so dear.

Mar. Pr’ythee, tell me one thing first.
Boult. Come now, your one thing.
Mar. What canst thou wish thine enemy to be ?

Boult. Why, I could wish him to be my master, or, rather, my mistress.

Mar. Neither of these are yet so bad as thou art, Since they do better thee in their command. Thou hold'st a place, for which the pained'st fiend Of hell would not in reputation change. Thou’rt the damned door-keeper to every coystrel,? That hither comes inquiring for his tib. To the choleric fisting of each rogue thy ear Is liable; thy very food is such As hath been belched on by infected lungs.

Boult. What would you have me? go to the wars, would you ? where a man may serve seven years for the loss of a leg, and have not money enough in the end to buy him a wooden one ?

Mar. Do any thing but this thou doest. Empty
Old receptacles, common sewers, of filth;
Serve by indenture to the common hangman;
Any of these ways are better yet than this:
For that which thou professest, a baboon,

1 Anciently many dishes were served up with this garniture, during the season of Christmas. The bawd means to call her a piece of ostentatious virtue.

2 A coystrel is a low, mean person.-T'ib was a common name for a strumpet.

vol. VI. 63

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