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  • Title: The Honest Whore, Part 1 (Quarto 1, 1604)
  • 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 (Quarto 1, 1604)

    Enter Candidoes wife, George, and two prentices
    in the shoppe.
    Wife Come, you put vp your wares in good order heere, do
    485you not thinke you, one peece ca st this way, another that way?
    you had neede have a patient mai ster indeede.
    George I, ile be sworne, for we have a cur st mi stris.
    Wife You mumble, do you mumble? I would your mai ster
    or I could be a note more angry: for two patient folkes in a
    490house spoyle all the servants that ever shall come vnder them.
    1. prentise You patient! I, so is the divell when he is horne
    Enter Ca struchio, Fluello, and Pioratto.
    All three Gentlemen, what do you lacke? what i st you buy?
    495See fine hollands, fine cambrickes, fine lawnes.
    George What i st you lacke?
    2. prentise What i st you buy?
    Ca st . Wheres signior Candido thy mai ster?
    George Faith signior, hees a little negotiated, hee'le appeare (presently.
    500 Ca st . Fellow, lets see a lawne, a choice one sirra.
    George The be st in all Millan, Gentlemen, and this is the
    peece. I can fit you Gentlemen with fine callicoes too for dub-
    lets, the onely sweete fa shion now, mo st delicate and courtlie, a
    meeke gentle calico, cut vpon two double affable taffataes, ah,
    505mo st neate, feate, and vnmatchable.
    Flu. A notable-voluble tongde villaine.
    Pio. I warrant this fellow was never begot without much
    Ca st . What, and is this shee sai st thou?
    510 George I, and the pure st shee that ever you fingerd since
    you were a gentleman: looke how even she is, look how cleane
    she is, ha, as even as the browe of Cinthia, and as cleane as your
    sonnes and heires when they ha spent all.
    Ca st . Puh, thou talk st, pox on't tis rough.
    515 George How? is she rough? but if you bid pox on't sir, twill
    take away the roughne s s e presently.
    Flu. Ha signior; haz he fitted your French curse?
    George Looke you Gentleman, heeres an other, compare
    them I pray, compara Virgilium cum Homero , compare virgins
    520with harlots.
    Ca st . Puh, I ha seene better, and as you terme them, evener
    and cleaner.
    Geor. You may see further for your mind, but tru st me
    you shall not find better for your body. Enter Candido.
    525 Ca st . O here he comes, lets make as tho we pa s s e,
    Come, come, weele try in some other shop.
    Cand. How now? what's the matter?
    Geor. The gentlemen find fault with this lawne, fall out
    with it, and without a cause too.
    530 Cand Without a cause!
    And that makes you to let 'em pa s s e away,
    Ah, may I craue a word with you gentlemen?
    Flu. He calls vs.
    Ca st . Makes the better for the ie st.
    535 Cand. I pray come neare, - y'are very welcome gallants,
    Pray pardon my mans rudene s s e, for I feare me
    Ha's talkt aboue a prentice with you, - Lawnes!
    Looke you kind gentlemen - this! no: - I this:
    Take this vpon my hone st-dealing faith,
    540To be a true weaue, not too hard, nor slack,
    But eene as farre from fal shood, as from black.
    Ca st . Well, how doe you rate it?
    Cand. Very conscionably, 18.s. a yard.
    Ca st . That's too deare: how many yards does the whole
    545piece containe thinke you?
    Cand. Why, some 17. yardes I thinke, or there abouts,
    How much would serue your turne? I pray.
    Ca st . Why let me see - would it were better too.
    Cand. Truth, tis the be st in Millan at fewe words.
    550 Ca st . Well: let me haue then - a whole penny-worth.
    Cand. Ha, ha: y'are a merry gentleman.
    Ca st . A pennorth I say.
    Cand. Of lawne !
    Ca st . Of lawne? I of lawne, a pennorth, sblood do st not
    555heare? a whole pennorth, are you deaffe?
    Cand. Deaffe? no Syr: but I mu st tell you,
    Our wares doe seldome meete such cu stomers.
    Ca st . Nay, and you and your lawnes be so squemi sh,
    Fare you well.
    560 Cand. Pray stay, a word, pray Signior: for what purpose
    is it I beseech you?
    Ca st . Sblood, whats that to you: Ile haue a penny worth.
    Can. A penny-worth! why you shall: Ile serue you (presently.
    2. Pren. Sfoot, a penny-worth mi stris!
    565 Mi st . A penny-worth! call you these Gentlemen?
    Ca st . No, no: not there.
    Can. What then kinde Gentle-man? what at this corner (here?
    Ca st . No nor there neither.
    Ile haue it iu st in the middle, or els not.
    570 Can. Iu st in the middle: - ha - you shall too: what?
    Haue you a single penny>?
    Ca st . Yes, heeres one. Can. Lend it me I pray.
    Flu. An exlent followed ie st.
    Wife. What will he spoile the Lawne now?
    575 Can. Patience, good wife.
    Wife. I, that patience makes a foole of you: Gentlemen,
    you might ha found some other Citizen to haue made a
    kind gull on, be sides my husband.
    Can. Pray Gentlemen take her to be a woman,
    580Do not regard her language. -- O kinde soule:
    Such words will driue away my cu stomers,
    Wife. Cu stomers with a murrē: call you these cu stomers?
    Can. Patience, good wife. Wife. Pax, a your patience.
    Geor. Sfoot mi stris, I warrant these are some cheating
    Can. Looke you Gentleman, theres your ware, I thank
    you, I haue your mony; heare, pray know my shop, pray
    let me haue your cu stome.
    Wife. Cu stome quoth a.
    Can. Let me take more of your money.
    590 Wife. You had need so.
    Pio. Harke in thine eare, tha st lo st an hundred duckets.
    Ca st . Well, well, I knowt: i st po s sible that Homo,
    Should be nor man, nor woman: not once mooud;
    No not at such an iniurie, not at all!
    595Sure hees a pigeon, for he has no gall.
    Flu. Come, come, y'are angry tho you smother it:
    Yare vext ifaith, - confe s s e. Can. Why Gentle-men
    Should you conceit me to be vext or moou'd?
    He has my ware, I haue his money fort,
    600And thats no Argument I am angry: no,
    The be st Logitian can not proue me so.
    Flu. oh, but the hatefull name of a pennyworth of lawne,
    And then cut out, ith middle of the peece:
    Pah, I gue s s e it by my selfe, would moue a Lambe
    605Were he a Lynnen-draper - twould ifaith.
    Can. Well, giue me leaue to answere you for that,
    Were set heere to please all cu stomers,
    Their humours and their fancies: - offend none:
    We get by many, if we leese by one.
    610May be his minde stood to no more then that,
    A penworth serues him, and mong st trades tis (found,
    Deny a pennorth, it may cro s s e a pound.
    Oh, he that meanes to thriue with patient eye,
    Mu st please the diuell, if he come to buy.
    615 Flu. O wondrous man, patient boue wrong or woe,
    How ble st were men, if women could be so.
    Can. And to expre s s e how well my bre st is pleasd,
    And satisfied in all: - George fill a beaker. Exit George.
    Ile drinke vnto that Gentleman, who lately
    620Be stowed his mony with me. Wife. Gods my life,
    We shall haue all our gaines drunke out in beakers,
    To make amends for pennyworths of lawne. Enter Georg.
    Can. Here wife, begin you to the Gentleman.
    Wife. I begin to him. Can. George, filt vp againe:
    625Twas my fault, my hand shooke. Exit George.
    Pio. How strangely this doth showe?
    A patient man linkt with a waspi sh shrowe.
    Flu. A siluer and gilt beaker! I haue a tricke to worke vp-
    on that beaker, sure twil fret him, 630it cannot choose but vexe
    him. Seig. Ca strachio, in pittie to thee, I haue a cōceit, wil saue
    thy 100. Duckets yet, twil doot, & work him to impatience.
    Ca st . Sweet Fluello, I should be bountiful to that conceit.
    635 Flu. Well tis enough. Enter George.
    Can. Here Gentleman to you,
    I wi sh your cu stome, yare exceeding welcome.
    Ca st . I pledge you Seig. Candido, - heere you, that mu st re-
    ceiue a 100. Duccats.
    640 Pior. Ile pledge them deepe yfaith Ca struchio,
    Signior Fluello?
    Flu. Come: play't off: to me,
    I am your la st man.
    Cand. George, supply the cup.
    Flu. So, so, good hone st George,
    645Here Signior Candido, all this to you.
    Cand. Oh you mu st pardon me, I vse it not.
    Flu. Will you not pledge me then?
    Cand. Yes, but not that:
    Great loue is showne in little.
    650 Flu. Blurt on your sentences, - Sfoot you shall pledge
    mee all.
    Cand. Indeed I shall not.
    Flu. Not pledge me? Sblood, Ile cary away the beaker (then.
    655 Cand. The beaker! Oh! that at your pleasure sir.
    Flu. Now by this drinke I will.
    Ca st . Pledge him, heele do't else.
    Flu. So: I ha done you right, on my thumble naile,
    What will you pledge me now?
    660 Cand. You know me syr, I am not of that sin.
    Flu. Why then farewell:
    Ile beare away the beaker by this light.
    Cand. Thats as you please, tis very good.
    Flu. Nay it doth please me, & as you say, tis a very good (one:
    665Farewell Signior Candido.
    Pio. Farewell Candido.
    Cand. Y'are welcome gentlemen.
    Ca st . Heart not mou'd yet?
    I thinke his patience is aboue our wit,
    670 Geor. I told you before mi stre s s e, they were all cheaters. (Exeunt.
    Wife Why foole, why husband, why madman, I hope
    you will not let 'em sneake away so with a siluer and gilt
    beaker, the be st in the house too: goe fellowes make hue and
    cry after them.
    675 Cand. Pray let your tongue lye still, all wil be well:
    Come hither George, hye to the Con stable,
    And in calme order wi sh him to attach them,
    Make no great stirre, because they're gentlemen,
    And a thing partly done in meriment.
    680Tis but a size aboue a ie st thou know st,
    Therefore pursue it mildly, goe be gone,
    The Con stabl's hard by, bring him along, - make ha st a- (gaine.
    Wife. O y'are a goodly patient Woodcocke, are you not
    now? (Exit George.
    685See what your patiēce comes too: euery one sadles you, and
    rydes you, youle be shortly the common stone-horse of
    Myllan: a womans well holp't vp with such a meacocke, I
    had rather haue a husband that would swaddle me thrice a
    day, then such a one, that will be guld twice in halfe an how-
    690er, Oh I could burne all the wares in my shop for anger.
    Cand. Pray weare a peacefull temper, be my wife,
    That is, be patient: for a wife and husband
    Share but one soule between them: this being knowne,
    Why should not one soule then agree in one?
    695 Wife Hang your agreements: But if my beaker be gone. (Exit.
    Enter Ca struchio, Fluello, Pioratto, and George.
    Cand. Oh, heare they come.
    Geor. The Con stable syr, let'em come along with me,
    because there should be no wondring, he staies at dore.
    700 Ca st . Con stable goodman Abram.
    Flu. Now Signior Candido, Sblood why doe you attach (vs?
    Ca st . Sheart! attach vs!
    Cand. Nay sweare not gallants,
    Your oathes may moue your soules, but not moue me,
    705You haue a siluer beaker of my wiues.
    Flu. You say not true: tis gilt.
    Cand. Then you say true.
    And being gilt, the guilt lyes more on you.
    Ca st . I hope y'are not angry syr.
    710 Cand. Then you hope right, for I am not angry.
    Pio. No, but a little mou'de.
    Cand. I mou'd! twas you were mou'd, you were brought (hither.
    Ca st . But you (out of your anger & impatience,)
    Caus'd vs to be attacht.
    715 Cand. Nay you misplace it.
    Out of my quiet sufferaence I did that,
    And not of any wrath, had I showne anger,
    I should haue then pursude you with the lawe,
    And hunted you to shame, as many worldlings
    720Doe build their anger vpon feebler groundes,
    The mores the pitty, many loose their liues
    For scarce so much coyne as will hide their palme:
    Which is mo st cruell, those haue vexed spirits
    That pursue liues, in this opinion re st,
    725 The lo s s e of Millions could not moue my bre st.
    Flu. Thou art a ble st man, and with peace do st deale,
    Such a meeke spirit can ble s s e a common weale.
    Cand. Gentlemen, now tis vpon eating time,
    Pray part not hence, but dyne with me today.
    730 Ca st . I neuer heard a carter yet say nay
    To such a motion. Ile not be the fir st.
    Pio. Nor I,
    Flu. Nor I,
    Cand. The con stable shall beare you company,
    735 George call him in, let the world say what it can,
    Nothing can driue me from a patient man. (Exeunt.