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  • Title: The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Modern)
  • Editor: Joost Daalder
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-490-5

    Copyright Digital Renaissance Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Authors: Thomas Dekker, Thomas Middleton
    Editor: Joost Daalder
    Peer Reviewed

    The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Modern)

    2420Enter Friar Anselmo, Hippolito, Mattheo, [and] Infelice.
    Nay, nay, resolve, good father, or deny.
    You press me to an act both full of danger
    And full of happiness, for I behold
    Your father’s frowns, his threats, nay perhaps death
    2425To him that dare do this. Yet, noble lord,
    Such comfortable beams break through these clouds
    By this blest marriage that – your honoured word
    Being pawned in my defence – I will tie fast
    The holy wedding-knot.
    Tush, fear not the Duke.
    O son,
    Wisely to fear is to be free from fear.
    You have our words, and you shall have our lives,
    To guard you safe from all ensuing danger.
    [To Anselmo] Ay, ay; chop ’em up, and away.
    Stay; when is’t fit for me, safest for you,
    2435To entertain this business?
    Not till the evening.
    Be’t so. There is a chapel stands hard by,
    Upon the west end of the abbey wall.
    Thither convey yourselves, and when the sun
    2440Hath turned his back upon this upper world,
    I’ll marry you. That done, no thund’ring voice
    Can break the sacred bond. Yet, lady, here
    You are most safe.
    Father, your love’s most dear.
    Ay, well said! Lock us into some little room by 2445ourselves, that we may be mad for an hour or two.
    O good Mattheo, no. Let’s make no noise.
    How? No noise? Do you know where you are? ’Sfoot, amongst all the madcaps in Milan, so that to throw the house out at window will be the better, and no man will suspect that 2450we lurk here to steal mutton; the more sober we are, the more scurvy ’tis. And though the friar tell us that here we are safest, I’m not of his mind; for if those lay here that had lost their money, none would ever look after them. But here are none but those that have lost their wits, so that if hue and cry 2455be made, hither they’ll come; and my reason is, because none goes to be married till he be stark mad.
    Muffle yourselves: yonder’s Fluello.
    Enter Fluello.
    [To Hippolito] O my lord, these cloaks are not for this rain; the 2460tempest is too great. I come sweating to tell you of it, that you may get out of it.
    Why, what’s the matter?
    ‘What’s the matter?’ You have ‘mattered’ it fair: the Duke’s at hand.
    All [but Fluello]
    The Duke?
    The very Duke.
    Then all our plots
    Are turned upon our heads, and we are blown up
    With our own underminings. ’Sfoot, how comes he?
    What villain durst betray our being here?
    Castruccio. Castruccio told the Duke, and Mattheo here told Castruccio.
    [To Mattheo] Would you betray me to Castruccio?
    ’Sfoot, he damned himself to the pit of hell if he spake on’t again.
    So did you swear to me; so were you damned.
    Pox on ’em, and there be no faith in men, if a man shall not believe oaths. He took bread and salt, by this light, that he would never open his lips.
    O God, O God!
    Son, be not desperate.
    Have patience; you shall trip your enemy down
    2480By his own sleights. [To Fluello] How far is the Duke hence?
    He’s but new set out. Castruccio, Pioratto, and Sinezi come along with him. You have time enough yet to prevent them, if you have but courage.
    You shall steal secretly into the chapel
    2485And presently be married. If the Duke
    Abide here still, spite of ten thousand eyes
    You shall ’scape hence like friars.
    O blest disguise! O happy man!
    Talk not of happiness till your closed hand
    2490Have her by th’forehead, like the lock of Time.
    Be not too slow, nor hasty, now you climb
    Up to the tow’r of bliss. Only be wary
    And patient, that’s all. If you like my plot,
    Build and despatch. If not, farewell; then not.
    O, yes, we do applaud it. We’ll dispute
    No longer, but will hence and execute.
    Fluello, you’ll stay here. Let us be gone.
    The ground that frighted lovers tread upon
    Is stuck with thorns.
    Come then, away. ’Tis meet,
    To escape those thorns, to put on wingèd feet.
    Exeunt [Anselmo, Hippolito, and Infelice].
    No words, I pray, Fluello, for it stands us upon.
    O sir, let that be your lesson.
    [Exit Mattheo.]
    Alas, poor lovers! On what hopes and fears
    2505Men toss themselves for women! When she’s got,
    The best has in her that which pleaseth not.
    Enter, to Fluello, the Duke, Castruccio, Pioratto, and Sinezi from several doors, muffled.
    Who’s there?
    My lord –
    Peace! Send that ‘lord’ away!
    A lordship will spoil all; let’s be all fellows. –
    [Indicating Sinezi] What’s he?
    Fluello; or else Sinezi, by his little legs.
    All [but Duke]
    All friends, all friends.
    What, met upon the very point of time?
    2515Is this the place?
    This is the place, my lord.
    Dream you on lordships? Come, no more ‘lords’, pray!
    You have not seen these lovers yet?
    All [but Duke]
    Not yet.
    Castruccio, art thou sure this wedding feat
    Is not till afternoon?
    So ’tis given out, my lord.
    Nay, nay, ’tis like. Thieves must observe their hours;
    Lovers watch minutes like astronomers.
    How shall the interim hours by us be spent?
    Let’s all go see the madmen.
    2525All [but Duke]
    Mass, content.
    Enter a Sweeper.
    O, here comes one; question him, question him.
    How now, honest fellow, dost thou belong to the house?
    Yes, forsooth, I am one of the implements. I sweep the madmen’s rooms, and fetch straw for ’em, and buy chains 2530to tie ’em and rods to whip ’em. I was a mad wag myself here once, but I thank Father Anselm he lashed me into my right mind again.
    [Aside to the others] Anselmo is the friar must marry them.
    Question him where he is.
    And where is Father Anselmo now?
    Marry, he’s gone but e’en now.
    [To Castruccio] Ay, well done.
    [To the Sweeper] Tell me, whither is he gone?
    Why, to God a’mighty.
    [Laughing] Ha, ha, this fellow is a fool, talks idly.
    Sirrah, are all the mad folks in Milan brought hither?
    How, all? There’s a wise question indeed! Why, if all the mad folks in Milan should come hither, there would not be left ten men in the city.
    Few gentlemen or courtiers here, ha?
    O yes, abundance, abundance. Lands no sooner fall 2545into their hands but straight they run out o’their wits. Citizen’s sons and heirs are free of the house by their fathers’ copy. Farmers’ sons come hither like geese, in flocks; and when they ha’ sold all their cornfields, here they sit and pick the straws.
    Methinks you should have women here as well as men.
    O, ay. A plague on ’em; there’s no ho with them – they are madder than March hares.
    Are there no lawyers here amongst you?
    O, no, not one. Never any lawyer; we dare not let a lawyer come in, for he’ll make ’em mad faster than we can 2555recover em.
    And how long is’t ere you recover any of these?
    Why, according to the quantity of the moon that’s got into ’em. An alderman’s son will be mad a great while, a very great while, especially if his friends left him well. A 2560whore will hardly come to her wits again. A Puritan – there’s no hope of him, unless he may pull down the steeple and hang himself i’th’ bell-ropes.
    I perceive all sorts of fish come to your net.
    Yes, in truth, we have blocks for all heads; we have 2565good store of wild oats here. For the courtier is mad at the citizen, the citizen is mad at the countryman, the shoemaker is mad at the cobbler, the cobbler at the carman; the punk is mad that the merchant’s wife is no whore, the merchant’s wife is mad that the punk is so common a whore. 2570Godso, here’s Father Anselm; pray, say nothing that I tell tales out of the school.
    Enter Anselmo [with Servants].
    God bless you, father.
    Thank you, gentlemen.
    Pray, may we see some of those wretched souls
    2575That here are in your keeping?
    Yes, you shall.
    But, gentlemen, I must disarm you, then.
    There are of mad men, as there are of tame,
    All humoured not alike. We have here some
    So apish and fantastic, play with a feather;
    2580And though ’twould grieve a soul to see God’s image
    So blemished and defaced, yet do they act
    Such antic and such pretty lunacies
    That spite of sorrow they will make you smile.
    Others again we have like hungry lions,
    2585Fierce as wild bulls, untameable as flies,
    And these have oftentimes from strangers’ sides
    Snatched rapiers suddenly and done much harm;
    Whom if you’ll see, you must be weaponless.
    Castruccio, Fluello, Pioratto, and Sinezi
    With all our hearts.
    [They take off their weapons.]
    [To a Servant] Here, take these weapons in.
    [Exit Servant with weapons.]
    [To the Duke and Gentlemen] Stand off a little, pray. So, so, ’tis well.
    I’ll show you here a man that was sometimes
    A very grave and wealthy citizen,
    Has served a prenticeship to this misfortune,
    2595Been here seven years and dwelt in Bergamo.
    How fell he from himself?
    By loss at sea.
    I’ll stand aside; question him you alone,
    For if he spy me he’ll not speak a word
    2600Unless he’s throughly vexed.
    [He] discovers an old man, [1 Madman], wrapped in a net.
    Alas, poor soul!
    A very old man.
    [To 1 Madman] God speed, father.
    1 Madman
    God speed the plough! Thou shalt not speed me.
    We see you, old man, for all you dance in a net.
    26051 Madman
    True, but thou wilt dance in a halter, and I shall not see thee.
    [To the Gentlemen] O, do not vex him, pray.
    Are you a fisherman, father?
    1 Madman
    No, I’m neither fish nor flesh.
    What do you with that net, then?
    26101 Madman
    Dost not see, fool? There’s a fresh salmon in’t. If you step one foot further, you’ll be over shoes; for you see I’m over head and ear in the salt water, and if you fall into this whirlpool where I am, you’re drowned, you’re a drowned rat. I am fishing here for five ships, but I cannot have a good draught, 2615for my net breaks still, and breaks; but I’ll break some of your necks an I catch you in my clutches. Stay, stay, stay, stay, stay; where’s the wind, where’s the wind, where’s the wind, where’s the wind? Out, you gulls, you goose-caps, you gudgeon-eaters! Do you look for the wind in the heavens? [Laughing] 2620Ha, ha, ha, ha! No, no, look there, look there, look there: the wind is always at that door. Hark how it blows – pooff, pooff, pooff!
    All [but Anselmo]
    [Laughing] Ha, ha, ha!
    1 Madman
    Do you laugh at God’s creatures? Do you mock old age, you rogues? Is this grey beard and head counterfeit, that 2625you cry ‘ha, ha, ha’? [To Pioratto] Sirrah, art not thou my eldest son?
    Yes, indeed, father.
    1 Madman
    Then thou’rt a fool, for my eldest son had a polt-foot, crooked legs, a verjuice face, and a pear-coloured beard. I made him a scholar, and he made himself a fool. [To the Duke] Sirrah, 2630thou there, hold out thy hand.
    My hand? Well, here ’tis.
    1 Madman
    Look, look, look, look! Has he not long nails and short hair?
    Yes, monstrous short hair and abominable long nails.
    1 Madman
    Ten-penny nails, are they not?
    Yes, ten-penny nails.
    26351 Madman
    Such nails had my second boy. [To the Duke] Kneel down, thou varlet, and ask thy father blessing. – Such nails had my middlemost son, and I made him a promoter; and he scraped, and scraped, and scraped, till he got the devil and all. But he scraped thus, and thus, and thus, and it went under his legs, till at length 2640a company of kites, taking him for carrion, swept up all, all, all, all, all, all, all. If you love your lives, look to yourselves. See, see, see, see, the Turk’s galleys are fighting with my ships. ‘Bounce!’ go the guns. ‘Oooh!’ cry the men. ‘Rumble, rumble!’ go the waters. Alas, there, ’tis sunk, ’tis sunk! I am 2645undone, I am undone! You are the damned pirates have undone me. You are, by th’Lord, you are, you are! – Stop ’em! – You are!
    Why, how now, sirrah? Must I fall to tame you?
    1 Madman
    Tame me? No, I’ll be madder than a roasted cat. See, see, I am burnt with gunpowder; these are our close fights!
    I’ll whip you if you grow unruly thus.
    1 Madman
    Whip me? Out, you toad! Whip me? What justice is this, to whip me because I’m a beggar? Alas! I am a poor man, a very poor man. I am starved, and have had no meat, by this light, ever since the great flood. I am a poor 2655man.
    Well, well, be quiet, and you shall have meat.
    1 Madman
    Ay, ay, pray do. For look you, here be my guts, these are my ribs. You may look through my ribs; see how my guts come out. These are my red guts, my very guts, O, O!
    [To Servants] Take him in there.
    [Servants remove 1 Madman.]
    2660All [but Anselmo]
    A very piteous sight.
    Father, I see you have a busy charge.
    They must be used like children: pleased with toys,
    And anon whipped for their unruliness.
    I’ll show you now a pair quite different
    2665From him that’s gone. He was all words; and these,
    Unless you urge ’em, seldom spend their speech,
    But save their tongues.
    [Enter 2 and 3 Madmen.]
    [Indicating 3 Madman] La you, this hithermost
    Fell from the happy quietness of mind
    About a maiden that he loved, and died.
    2670He followed her to church, being full of tears,
    And as her body went into the ground
    He fell stark mad.
    [Indicating 2 Madman] That is a married man
    Was jealous of a fair but, as some say,
    A very virtuous wife, and that spoiled him.
    26752 Madman
    All these are whoremongers, and lay with my wife: whore, whore, whore, whore, whore!
    Observe him.
    2 Madman
    Gaffer shoemaker, you pulled on my wife’s pumps and then crept into her pantofles. Lie there, lie there. – This 2680was her tailor. You cut out her loose-bodied gown and put in a yard more than I allowed her. Lie there by the shoemaker. – O, Master Doctor, are you here? You gave me a purgation and then crept into my wife’s chamber to feel her pulses; and you said, and she said, and her maid said, that they went 2685pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat. Doctor, I’ll put you anon into my wife’s urinal. – Heigh, come aloft, Jack! This was her schoolmaster, and taught her to play upon the virginals, and still his jacks lept up, up. You pricked her out nothing but bawdy lessons, but I’ll prick you all – fiddler, doctor, tailor, 2690shoemaker; shoemaker, fiddler, doctor, tailor. So! Lie with my wife again now.
    [A Servant hands a meal to 3 Madman, who starts eating at once.]
    See how he notes the other, now he feeds.
    2 Madman
    Give me some porridge.
    3 Madman
    I’ll give thee none.
    26952 Madman
    Give me some porridge.
    3 Madman
    I’ll not give thee a bit.
    2 Madman
    Give me that flap-dragon.
    3 Madman
    I’ll not give thee a spoonful. Thou li’st; it’s no dragon. ’Tis a parrot that I bought for my sweetheart, and 2700I’ll keep it.
    2 Madman
    Here’s an almond for parrot.
    3 Madman
    Hang thyself.
    2 Madman
    Here’s a rope for parrot.
    3 Madman
    Eat it, for I’ll eat this.
    27052 Madman
    I’ll shoot at thee an thou’t give me none.
    3 Madman
    Wu’t thou?
    2 Madman
    I’ll run a tilt at thee an thou’t give me none.
    3 Madman
    Wu’t thou? Do, an thou dar’st.
    2 Madman
    Bounce! [He strikes him.]
    27103 Madman
    Ooh, I am slain! Murder, murder, murder! I am slain; my brains are beaten out!
    How now, you villains!
    [To Servants] Bring me whips.
    [To 2 and 3 Madmen] I’ll whip you.
    [Exeunt Servants for whips, and return presently.]
    3 Madman
    I am dead. I am slain. Ring out the bell, for I am dead.
    [To 2 Madman] How will you do now, sirrah? You ha’ killed him.
    27152 Madman
    I’ll answer’t at sessions. He was eating of almond-butter, and I longed for’t. The child had never been delivered out of my belly if I had not killed him. I’ll answer’t at sessions, so my wife may be burnt i’th’ hand, too.
    [To Servants] Take ’em in both.
    [Indicating 3 Madman] Bury him, for he’s dead.
    27203 Madman
    Ay, indeed, I am dead. Put me, I pray, into a good pit-hole.
    2 Madman
    I’ll answer’t at sessions.
    Exeunt [Servants with 2 and 3 Madmen].
    Enter Bellafront, [as though] mad.
    How now, huswife, whither gad you?
    A-nutting, forsooth. [To Castruccio, Fluello, and Pioratto] How do you, gaffer? How do 2725you, gaffer? There’s a French curtsy for you, too.
    [Aside] ’Tis Bellafront!
    [Aside] ’Tis the punk, by th’Lord!
    [To Anselmo] Father, what’s she, I pray?
    As yet I know not;
    2730She came but in this day, talks little idly,
    And therefore has the freedom of the house.
    [To Anselmo, Castruccio, Fluello, and Pioratto] Do not you know me? Nor you? Nor you? Nor you?
    All Four
    No, indeed.
    [To Castruccio, Fluello, and Pioratto] Then you are an ass, and you are an ass, and you 2735are an ass; for I know you.
    Why, what are they? Come, tell me, what are they?
    Three fishwives. Will you buy any gudgeons? God’s santy! Yonder come friars. I know them too.
    2740Enter Hippolito, Mattheo, and Infelice disguised in the habits of friars.
    [Seizing Mattheo] How do you, friar?
    [To Bellafront] Nay, nay, away; you must not trouble friars.
    [Aside to Hippolito] The Duke is here. Speak nothing.
    [To Mattheo] Nay indeed, you shall not go; we’ll run at barley-break 2745first, and you shall be in hell.
    [Aside] My punk turned mad whore, as all her fellows are?
    [Aside to Mattheo and Infelice] Speak nothing, but steal hence when you spy time.
    [To Bellafront] I’ll lock you up if you’re unruly; fie!
    Fie? Marry faugh! They shall not go, indeed, till I ha’ told 2750’em their fortunes.
    [To Anselmo] Good father, give her leave.
    Ay, pray, good father, and I’ll give you my blessing.
    Well then, be brief; but if you are thus unruly,
    I’ll have you locked up fast.
    [To Bellafront] Come, to their fortunes.
    Let me see. One, two, three, and four; I’ll begin with the little friar first. [Taking Infelice’s hand] Here’s a fine hand indeed; I never saw friar have such a dainty hand. Here’s a hand for a lady. You ha’ good fortune now.
    O see, see, what a thread here’s spun!
    2760You love a friar better than a nun,
    Yet long you’ll love no friar, nor no friar’s son.
    [She] bow[s] a little.
    The line of life is out. Yet I’m afraid,
    For all you’re holy, you’ll not die a maid.
    God give you joy. [To Mattheo] Now to you, Friar Tuck.
    [She takes his hand.]
    God send me good luck.
    You love one, and one loves you;
    You are a false knave, and she’s a Jew.
    Here is a dial that false ever goes.
    O, your wit drops!
    Troth, so does your nose.
    [To Hippolito] Nay, let’s shake hands with you too.
    Pray open. Here’s a fine hand.
    Ho, friar, ho! God be here!
    [Aside] So He had need. [Aloud to him] You’ll keep good cheer;
    Here’s a free table, but a frozen breast,
    2775For you’ll starve those that love you best.
    Yet you have good fortune; for if I am no liar,
    Then you are no friar, nor you, nor you no friar.
    [She] discovers them.
    [Laughing] Ha, ha, ha, ha!
    Are holy habits cloaks for villainy?
    2780[To his companions] Draw all your weapons!
    Do, draw all your weapons.
    Where are your weapons? Draw!
    Castruccio, Fluello, Pioratto, and Sinezi
    The friar has gulled us of ’em.
    O rare trick!
    2785You ha’ learnt one mad point of arithmetic.
    Why swells your spleen so high? Against what bosom
    Would you your weapons draw?
    [To the Duke] Hers? ’Tis your daughter’s.
    Mine? ’Tis your son’s.
    Son, by yonder sun.
    You cannot shed blood here but ’tis your own;
    To spill your own blood were damnation.
    Lay smooth that wrinkled brow, and I will throw
    Myself beneath your feet;
    2795Let it be rugged still and flinted o’er,
    What can come forth but sparkles, that will burn
    Yourself and us? She’s mine. My claim’s most good;
    She’s mine by marriage, though she’s yours by blood.
    [Kneeling] I have a hand, dear lord, deep in this act,
    2800For I foresaw this storm, yet willingly
    Put forth to meet it. Oft have I seen a father
    Washing the wounds of his dear son in tears,
    A son to curse the sword that struck his father,
    Both slain i’th’ quarrel of your families.
    2805Those scars are now ta’en off, and I beseech you
    To seal our pardon. All was to this end:
    To turn the ancient hates of your two houses
    To fresh green friendship, that your loves might look
    Like the spring’s forehead, comfortably sweet,
    2810And your vexed souls in peaceful union meet.
    Their blood will now be yours, yours will be theirs,
    And happiness shall crown your silver hairs.
    [To the Duke] You see, my lord, there’s now no remedy.
    All [but Duke]
    Beseech your lordship!
    You beseech fair; you have me in place fit
    To bridle me. – Rise, friar; you may be glad
    You can make madmen tame, and tame men mad.
    [The Friar rises.]
    Since fate hath conquered, I must rest content;
    To strive now would but add new punishment.
    2820[To Hippolito and Infelice] I yield unto your happiness. Be blest;
    Our families shall henceforth breathe in rest.
    O happy change!
    Yours now is my content;
    I throw upon your joys my full consent.
    [To the Duke] Am not I a fine fortune-teller? God’s me, you are a brave man! Will not you buy me some sugar-plums for telling how the friar was i’th’ well, will you not?
    Would thou hadst wit, thou pretty soul, to ask,
    As I have will to give!
    ‘Pretty soul’? A pretty soul is better than a pretty body. [To Mattheo] Do not you know my pretty soul?
    Look, fine man. Nay? I know you all by your noses; he was mad for me once, and I was mad for him once, and he 2835was mad for her once, and were you never mad? Yes, I warrant. Is not your name Mattheo?
    Yes, lamb.
    ‘Lamb’? Baa! Am I lamb? There you lie; I am mutton. [To the Duke] I had a fine jewel once, a very fine jewel, and that naughty man stole it away from me – fine jewel, a very fine jewel.
    What jewel, pretty maid?
    ‘Maid’? Nay, that’s a lie. O, ’twas a golden jewel! Hark, ’twas called a maidenhead. And that naughty man had it; had you not, leerer? [Seizing Mattheo.]
    Out, you mad ass, away!
    Had he thy maidenhead?
    He shall make thee 2845amends, and marry thee.
    Shall he? ‘O brave Arthur of Bradley’, then! Shall he?
    An if he bear the mind of a gentleman,
    I know he will.
    I think I rifled her of some such paltry jewel.
    Did you? Then marry her; you see the wrong
    Has led her spirits into a lunacy.
    How? Marry her, my lord? ’Sfoot, marry a madwoman? Let a man get the tamest wife he can come by, she’ll be mad enough afterward, do what he can.
    Father Anselmo here shall do his best
    To bring her to her wits. And will you then?
    I cannot tell – I may choose.
    Nay, then law shall compel. I tell you, sir,
    So much her hard fate moves me, you should not breathe
    2860Under this air, unless you married her.
    Well then, when her wits stand in their right place, I’ll marry her.
    I thank your Grace.
    [Revealing herself] Mattheo, thou art mine.
    I am not mad, but [Turning to Hippolito] put on this disguise
    Only for you, my lord, for you can tell
    2865Much wonder of me. But you are gone. Farewell! –
    Mattheo, thou first mad’st me black; now make me
    White as before. I vow to thee, I’m now
    As chaste as infancy, pure as Cynthia’s brow.
    I durst be sworn, Mattheo, she’s indeed.
    Cony-catched, gulled, must I sail in your fly-boat
    Because I helped to rear your mainmast first?
    Plague ’found you for’t! – ’Tis well.
    The cuckold’s stamp goes current in all nations.
    Some men have horns given them at their creations;
    2875If I be one of those, why, so. It’s better
    To take a common wench, and make her good,
    Than one that simpers and at first will scarce
    Be tempted forth over the threshold door,
    Yet in one se’nnight, zounds, turns arrant whore.
    2880Come, wench, thou shalt be mine. Give me thy golls.
    [They join hands.]
    We’ll talk of legs hereafter. [To the Duke] See, my lord!
    God give us joy.
    All [but Mattheo and Bellafront]
    God give you joy!
    Enter [Viola], Candido’s Wife, and George.
    Come, mistress, we are in Bedlam now. Mass, and see: we 2885come in pudding-time, for here’s the Duke.
    [To the Duke] My husband, good my lord!
    Have I thy husband?
    It’s Candido, my lord; he’s here among the lunatics. Father Anselmo, pray fetch him forth.
    [Exit Anselmo.]
    This madwoman is 2890his wife, and, though she were not with child, yet did she long most spitefully to have her husband, that was as patient as Job, to be more mad than ever was Orlando; and because she would be sure he should turn Jew, she placed him here in Bethlem. – Yonder he comes.
    2895Enter Candido with Anselmo.
    Come hither, signor. Are you mad?
    You are not mad.
    Why, I know that.
    Then may you know I am not mad, that know
    You are not mad, and that you are the Duke.
    2900None is mad here but one. – How do you, wife?
    What do you long for now? – Pardon, my lord.
    Why, signor, came you hither?
    O my good lord,
    She had lost her child’s nose else. I did cut out
    2905Pennyworths of lawn; the lawn was yet mine own.
    A carpet was my gown, yet ’twas mine own.
    I wore my man’s coat, yet the cloth mine own;
    Had a cracked crown, the crown was yet mine own.
    She says for this I’m mad. Were her words true,
    2910I should be mad indeed. O foolish skill!
    Is patience madness? I’ll be a madman still.
    [Kneeling] Forgive me, and I’ll vex your spirit no more.
    Come, come, we’ll have you friends; join hearts, join hands!
    [Joining hands with Viola] See, my lord, we are even.
    2915[To her] Nay, rise, for ill deeds kneel unto none but heaven.
    [She rises.]
    Signor, methinks patience has laid on you
    Such heavy weight that you should loathe it.
    Loathe it?
    For he whose breast is tender, blood so cool,
    2920That no wrongs heat it, is a patient fool.
    What comfort do you find in being so calm?
    That which green wounds receive from sovereign balm.
    Patience, my lord, why, ’tis the soul of peace;
    Of all the virtues ’tis near’st kin to heaven.
    2925It makes men look like gods. The best of men
    That e’er wore earth about him was a sufferer,
    A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
    The first true gentle-man that ever breathed.
    The stock of patience, then, cannot be poor;
    2930All it desires it has. What monarch more?
    It is the greatest enemy to law
    That can be, for it doth embrace all wrongs,
    And so chains up lawyers’ and women’s tongues.
    ’Tis the perpetual prisoner’s liberty,
    2935His walks and orchards. ’Tis the bondslave’s freedom,
    And makes him seem proud of each iron chain,
    As though he wore it more for state than pain.
    It is the beggars’ music, and thus sings –
    Although their bodies beg – their souls are kings.
    2940O my dread liege! It is the sap of bliss
    Rears us aloft, makes men and angels kiss;
    And, last of all, to end a household strife,
    It is the honey ’gainst a waspish wife.
    Thou giv’st it lively colours; who dare say
    2945He’s mad whose words march in so good array?
    ’Twere sin all women should such husbands have,
    For every man must then be his wife’s slave.
    Come, therefore. You shall teach our court to shine;
    So calm a spirit is worth a golden mine.
    2950Wives with meek husbands that to vex them long,
    In Bedlam must they dwell, else dwell they wrong.