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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)

    1960 Enter Condidoes wife, in her shop, and the
    two Premises.
    Wife. Whats a clocke now.
    2. Pren. Tis almo st 12.
    Wife. Thats well.
    1965The Senate will leaue wording presently:
    But is George ready,
    2. Pre. Yes forsooth, hees furbu sht.
    Wife. Now as you euer hope to win my fauour,
    Throw both your duties and respects on him,
    1970With the like awe as if he were your mai ster,
    Let not your lookes betray it with a smile,
    Or ieering glaunce to any cu stomer,
    Keepe a true Setled countenance, and beware,
    You laugh not whatsoeuer you heare or see.
    1975 2. Pren. I warrant you mi stris, let vs alone for keeping our
    countenance: for if I li st, theres neuer a foole in all Myllan shal
    make me laugh, let him play the foole neuer so like an A s s e,
    whether it be the fat Court foole, or the leane Cittie foole.
    Wife. enough then, call downe George.
    1980 2. Pren. I heare him comming.
    Enter George.
    Wife. Be redy with your legs then let me see,
    How curtzy would become him: gallantly!
    Be shrew my bloud a proper seemely man,
    1985Of a choice carriage walkes with a good port,
    Geo. I thanke you mi stris, my back's broad enough, now
    my Mai sters gown's on.
    Wif Sure I should thinke it were the lea st of sin,
    To mi stake the mai ster, and to let him in.
    1990 Geo. Twere a good Comedy of errors that yfaith.
    2. Pre. whi st, whi st, my mai ster.
    Enter Candido, and Exit presently.
    Wif. You all know your taskes: gods my life, whats that
    hee has got vpon's backe? who can tell?
    1995 Geo. That can I, but I will not.
    Wife. Girt about him like a mad-man: what: has he
    lo st his cloake too: this is the madde st fa shion that ere I
    What said he George when he pasde by thee?
    Geo. Troth Mi stris nothing: not so much as a Bee, he did
    2000not hum: not so much as a bawd he did not hem: not so
    much as a Cuekold he did not ha: neither hum, hem, nor ha,
    onely starde me in the face, pa st along, and made ha st in, as if
    my lookes had workt with him, to giue him a stoole.
    Wi. Sure hees vext now, this trick has mou'd his Spleene,
    2005Hees angred now, because he vttred nothing:
    And wordle s s e wrath breakes out more violent,
    May be heele striue for place, when he comes downe,
    But if thou lou' st me George, affoord him none.
    Geo. Nay let me alone to play my mai sters prize, as long as
    2010my Mi stri s s e warrants me: Ime sure I haue his be st clothes
    on, and I scorne to giue place to any that is inferiour in appa-
    rell to me, thats an Axiom, a principle, & is obseru'd as much
    as the fa shion; let that perswade you then, that Ile shoulder
    with him for the vpper hand in the shop, as long as this
    2015chaine will mainteine it.
    Wi. Spoke with the spirit of a Mai ster, tho with the
    tongue of a Prentise.
    Enter Candido like a Prentise.
    Why how now mad-man? what in your trick sicoates!
    2020 Cand. O peace good Mi stri s s e:
    Enter Crambo and Poli.
    See what you lack, what i st you buy? pure Callicoes, fine
    Hollands, choise Cambrickes, neate Lawnes: see what you
    buy? pray come neere, my Mai ster will vse you well, hee can
    2025affoord you a pennyworth.
    Wi. I that he can, out of a whole peece of Lawne yfaith.
    Cand. Pray see your choise here Gentlemen.
    Wi. O fine foole? what a mad-man? a patient mad-man?
    who euer heard of the like? well sir Ile fit you and your hu-
    2030mour presently: what? cro s s e-points, Ile vntie em all in a trice,
    Ile vex you faith: Boy take your cloake, quick, come. Exit.
    Cand.Be couered George, this chaine, and welted gowne,
    Bare to this coate: then the worlds vp side downe.
    Geo. Vmh, vmh, hum.
    2035 Cram. Thats the shop, and theres the fellow.
    Poli. I but the Mai ster is walking in there.
    Cram. No matter, weele in.
    Poh. Sbloud doe st long to lye in Limbo?
    Cram. And Limbo be in hell, I care not.
    2040 Cand. Looke you Gentlemen, your choise: Cambricks?
    Cramb. No sir, some shirting.
    Cand. You shall.
    Cram. Haue you none of this strip'd Canuas for doublets.
    Cand. None strip'd sir, but plaine.
    2045 2. Pren. I thinke there be one peece strip'd within.
    Geo. Step sirra and fetch it, hum, hum hum.
    Cand. Looke you Gentlemen, Ile make but one spred-
    ding, heres a peece of cloth, fine, yet shall weare like Yron, tis
    without fault, take this vpon my word, tis without fault.
    2050 Cram. Then tis better than you sirra.
    Cand. I, and a number more, ô that each soule
    Were but as spotle s s e as this Innocent white,
    And had as few brakes in it.
    Cram. Twould haue some then: there was a fray here la st
    2055day in this shop.
    Cand. There was indeed a little flea-biting.
    Poh. A Gentleman had his pate broake, call you that but
    a flea-biting.
    Cand. He had so.
    2060 Cram. Zownes doe you stand in't? He strikes him.
    Geo. Sfoot clubs, clubs, prentices, downe with em, ah you
    roagues, strike a Citizen in's shop.
    Cand. None of you stir I pray, forbeare good George.
    Cram. I beseech you sir, we mi stooke our markes, deliuer
    2065vs our weapons.
    Geo. Your head bleeds sir, cry clubs.
    Cand. I say you shall not, pray be patient,
    Giue them their weapons, sirs you're be st be gone,
    I tell you here are boyes more tough then Beares:
    2070Hence, lea st more fi sts do walke about your eares.
    Both. We thanke you sir. Exeunt,
    Gan. You shall not follow them.
    Let them alone pray, this did me no harme,
    Troth I was cold, and the blow made me warme,
    2075I thanke em for't: be sides I had decreed
    To haue a vaine prickt, I did meane to bleede,
    So that theres mony sau'd: they are hone st men,
    Pray vse em well, when they appeare agen.
    Geo. Yes sir, weele vse em like hone st men.
    2080 Cand. I well said George, like hone st men, tho they be ar-
    rant knaues, for thats the praise of the citty; helpe to lay vp
    these wares
    Enter his wife, with Officers.
    Wife. Yonder he stands.
    2085 Off What in a Prentise-coate?
    Wif. I, I, mad, mad, pray take heed.
    Cand. How now? what newes with them? what make they
    with my wife? officers is she attachd? looke to your wares.
    Wif. He talkes to himselfe, oh hees much gone indeed.
    2090 Off . Pray pluck vp a good heart, be not so fearfull,
    Sirs hearke, weele gather to him by degrees.
    Wi. I, I, by degrees I pray: oh me! what makes he with
    the Lawne in his hand, heele teare all the ware in my shop.
    Off . Feare not weele catch him on a sudden.
    2095 Wi. O you had need do so, pray take heed of your warrant
    Off . I warrant mi stris.-- Now Signior Candido?
    Cand. Now sir, what newes with you sir?
    Wi. What newes with you he sayes: oh hees far gon.
    Off . I pray feare nothing, lets alone with him,
    2100Signior, you looke not like your selfe me thinkes,
    (Steale you a tother side) y'are changde, y'are altred.
    Cand. Changde sir, why true sir, is change strange, tis not
    the fa shion vnle s s e it alter: Monarkes turne to beggers; beg-
    gers creepe into the ne sts of Princes, Mai sters serue their
    2105prentises: Ladies their Seruingmen, men turne to women.
    Off And women turne to men.
    Cand. I, and women turne to men, you say true, ha ha, a
    mad world, a mad world.
    Off . Haue we caught you sir?
    2110 Cand. Caught me: well, well: you haue caught: me.
    Wi. Hee laughes in your faces.
    Geo. A rescue Prentises, my mai ster's catch-pold.
    Off . I charge you keepe the peace, or haue your legs gar-
    tered with Yrons, we haue from the Duke a warrant strong
    2115enough for what we doe.
    Cand. I pray re st quiet, I de sire no rescue.
    Wi. La: he de sires no rescue, las poore heart,
    He talkes again st himselfe.
    Cand. Well, whats the matter?
    2120 Off . Looke to that arme,
    Pray make sure worke, double the cord.
    Cand. Why, why?
    Wi. Looke how his head goes! should he get but loose,
    Oh twere as much as all our liues were worth.
    2125 Off . Feare not, weele make all sure for our owne safetie.
    Cand. Are you at leisure now? well, whats the matter?
    Why do I enter into bonds thus? ha?
    Off . Because y'are mad, put feare vpon your wife.
    Wi. Oh I, I went in danger of my life, euery minute.
    2130 Cand. What? am I mad say you, and I not know it?
    Off . That proues you mad, because you know it not.
    Wi. Pray talke as little to him as you can,
    You see hees too farre spent.
    Cand. Bound with strong corde,
    2135A Ci sters thred yfaith had beene enough,
    To lead me any where: Wife do you long?
    You are mad too, or els you do me wrong.
    Geo. But are you mad indeed Mai ster?
    Cand. My Wife sayes so,
    2140And what she sayes; George, is all trueth you know:
    And whether now? to Bethlem Mona stery?--ha! whether?
    Off . Faith eene to the mad-mens pound.
    Cand. A Gods name, still I feele my patience sound. Exe.
    Geo. Come weele see whether he goes, if the mai ster be
    2145mad, we are his seruants, and mu st follow his steps, weele
    be mad caps too; Farewell mi stri s s e, you shall haue vs all in
    Bedlam. Exeunt.
    Wi. I thinke, I ha fitted now, you and your clothes,
    If this moue not his patience, nothing can,
    2150Ile sweare then I haue a saint, and not a man Exit.