Digital Renaissance Editions

Authors: Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton
Editor: Joost Daalder
Peer Reviewed

The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Modern)

Enter Fustigo [with bandaged head], Crambo, and Poh.
Hold up your hands, gentlemen. [Giving money] Here’s one, two, three – nay, I warrant they are sound pistoles, and without flaws; I had them of my sister, and I know she uses to put up nothing that’s cracked – three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine; by 1920this hand, bring me but a piece of his blood, and you shall have nine more. I’ll lurk in a tavern not far off, and provide supper to close up the end of the tragedy. The linen-draper’s, remember. Stand to’t, I beseech you, and play your parts perfectly.
Look you, signor, ’tis not your gold that we weigh.
Nay, nay, weigh it and spare not. If it lack one grain of corn, I’ll give you a bushel of wheat to make it up.
But by your favour, signor, which of the servants is it? Because we’ll punish justly.
Marry, ’tis the head man. You shall taste him by his 1930tongue – a pretty, tall, prating fellow, with a Tuscalonian beard.
Tuscalonian? Very good.
Cod’s life, I was ne’er so thrummed since I was a gentleman. My coxcomb was dry-beaten as if my hair had been hemp.
We’ll dry-beat some of them.
Nay, it grew so high that my sister cried ‘Murder!’ out, very manfully. I have her consent, in a manner, to have him peppered; else I’d not do’t to win more than ten cheaters do at a rifling. Break but his pate or so, only his mazer, because I’ll have his head in a cloth as well as mine; he’s a linen-1940draper, and may take enough. I could enter mine action of battery against him, but we may ’haps be both dead and rotten before the lawyers would end it.
No more to do but ensconce yourself i’th’ tavern. Provide no great cheer: a couple of capons, some pheasants, 1945plovers, an orangeado pie or so. But, how bloody soe’er the day be, sally you not forth.
No, no; nay, if I stir, some body shall stink. I’ll not budge; I’ll lie like a dog in a manger.
Well, well, to the tavern. Let not our supper be raw, 1950for you shall have blood enough, your bellyful.
That’s all, so God sa’ me, I thirst after: blood for blood, bump for bump, nose for nose, head for head, plaster for plaster. And so farewell. What shall I call your names? Because I’ll leave word, if any such come to the bar.
My name is Corporal Crambo.
And mine Lieutenant Poh.
Poh is as tall a man as ever opened oyster; I would not be the devil to meet Poh. Farewell.
Nor I, by this light, if Poh be such a Poh.