Digital Renaissance Editions

About this text

  • Title: The Honest Whore, Part 2 (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.
    Author: Thomas Dekker
    Editor: Joost Daalder
    Peer Reviewed

    The Honest Whore, Part 2 (Modern)

    Enter at one door Lodovico and Carolo; at another Bots and Mistress Horseleech. Candido and his Bride appear in the shop.
    Hist, hist, Lieutenant Bots, how dost, man?
    Whither are you ambling, Madam Horseleech?
    About worldly profit, sir. How do your worships?
    We want tools, gentlemen, to furnish the trade. They wear out day and night; they wear out till no mettle 1480be left in their back. We hear of two or three new wenches are come up with a carrier, and your old goshawk here [Indicating Horseleech] is flying at them.
    [To Horseleech] And, faith, what flesh have you at home?
    Ordinary dishes. By my troth, sweet men, there’s 1485few good i’th’ city. I am as well furnished as any, and, though I say it, as well customed.
    We have meats of all sorts of dressing. We have stewed meat for your Frenchman, pretty light picking meat for your Italian, and that which is rotten roasted for Don 1490Spaniardo.
    A pox on’t!
    We have poulterer’s ware for your sweet bloods, as dove, chicken, duck, teal, woodcock, and so forth; and butcher’s meat for the citizen. Yet muttons fall very bad 1495this year.
    [Observing Candido and his Bride in the shop] Stay – is not that my patient linen-draper yonder, and my fine young smug mistress, his wife?
    [To Horseleech] Sirrah grannam, I’ll give thee for thy feet twenty crowns, if thou canst but procure me the wearing of yon 1500velvet cap.
    You’d wear another thing besides the cap. You’re a wag.
    [To her] Twenty crowns? We’ll share, and I’ll be your pulley to draw her on.
    Do’t presently; we’ll ha’ some sport.
    [To Lodovico and Carolo] Wheel you about, sweet men. Do you see? I’ll cheapen wares of the man, whilst Bots is doing with his wife.
    To’t. If we come into the shop to do you grace, we’ll call you madam.
    [Aside to Horseleech as they approach the shop] Pox o’your old face! Give it the badge of all scurvy faces, a mask.
    [She puts on a mask.]
    What is’t you lack, gentlewoman? Cambric or lawns, or fine hollands? Pray draw near; I can sell you a pennyworth.
    Some cambric for my old lady.
    Cambric? You shall; the purest thread in Milan.
    Lodovico and Carolo
    [Approaching] Save you, Signor Candido.
    How does my noble master? How my fair mistress?
    [Showing cambric to Bots]
    My worshipful good servant, view it well,
    For ’tis 1520both fine and even.
    [To Horseleech] Cry you mercy, madam; though masked, I thought it should be you by your man. [To Candido] Pray, signor, show her the best, for she commonly deals for good ware.
    Then this shall fit her. – This is for your ladyship.
    [He and Horseleech talk together.]
    [Talking apart to the Bride] A word, I pray. There is a waiting gentlewoman of my lady’s. Her name is Ruina; say’s she’s your kinswoman, and that you should be one of her aunts.
    One of her aunts? Troth, sir, I know her not.
    If it please you to bestow the poor labour of your 1530legs at any time, I will be your convoy thither.
    I am a snail, sir; seldom leave my house. If’t please her to visit me, she shall be welcome.
    Do you hear? The naked truth is my lady hath a young knight, her son, who loves you. You’re made, if you 1535lay hold upon’t. This jewel he sends you.
    [He offers a jewel and takes her by the hand.]
    Sir, I return his love and jewel with scorn. Let go my hand, or I shall call my husband. You are an arrant knave.
    [To Bots] What, will she do?
    Do? They shall all do, if Bots sets upon them once. She was as if she had professed the trade, squeamish at first. At last I showed her this jewel; said a knight sent it her.
    Is’t gold, and right stones?
    Copper, copper; I go a-fishing with these baits. 1545She nibbled, but would not swallow the hook, because the conger-head her husband was by. But she bids the gentleman name any afternoon, and she’ll meet him at her garden house, which I know.
    Is this no lie, now?
    Damn me if –
    O prithee, stay there.
    The twenty crowns, sir.
    Before he [Indicating Carolo] has his work done? But on my knightly word, he shall pay’t thee.
    1555Enter Astolfo, Beraldo, Fontinell, and [Brian], the Irish footman.
    [To Brian] I thought thou hadst been gone into thine own country.
    No, faat, la; I cannot go dis four or tree days.
    Look thee, yonder’s the shop, and that’s the man 1560himself.
    Thou shalt but cheapen, and do as we told thee, to put a jest upon him to abuse his patience.
    I’faat, I doubt my pate shall be knocked. But, sa Crees sa’ me, for your shakes I will run to any linen-draper in 1565hell. Come, predee.
    Astolfo, Beraldo, and Fontinell
    Save you, gallants.
    Lodovico and Carolo
    O, well met!
    [To Horseleech] You’ll give no more, you say? I cannot take it.
    Truly, I’ll give no more.
    It must not fetch it.
    [To Astolfo, Bernardo, and Fontinell]
    What would you have, sweet gentlemen?
    [Indicating Brian] Nay, here’s the customer.
    Exeunt Bots and Horseleech.
    [Aside] The garden house, you say? We’ll bolt out your roguery.
    [To Astolfo, Bernardo, and Fontinell]
    I will but lay these parcels by; my men
    Are all at Custom-House unloading wares.
    If cambric you would deal in, there’s the best;
    All Milan cannot sample it.
    [He displays cambric.]
    [To him] Do you hear? One, two, three – ’sfoot, there came in four gallants! Sure your wife is slipped up, and the fourth man, I hold 1580my life, is grafting your warden tree.
    Ha, ha, ha! You gentlemen are full of jest.
    If she be up, she’s gone some wares to show;
    I have above as good wares as below.
    Have you so? Nay, then –
    [To Astolfo, Bernardo, and Fontinell]
    Now, gentlemen, is’t cambrics?
    I predee, now, let me have de best wares.
    What’s that he says, pray, gentlemen?
    Marry, he says we are like to have the best wars.
    The best wars? All are bad. Yet wars do good.
    1590And, like to surgeons, let sick kingdoms blood.
    Faat a devil prat’st tou so? A pox on dee! I predee, let me see some hollen, to make linen shirts, for fear my body be lousy.
    Indeed, I understand no word he speaks.
    Marry, he says that at the siege in Holland there was much bawdry used among the soldiers, though they were lousy.
    It may be so; that’s likely – true, indeed.
    In every garden, sir, does grow that weed.
    Pox on de gardens, and de weeds, and de fool’s cap dere, and de clouts, hear? Dost make a hobby-horse of me?
    [He tears the cambric.]
    All Gentlemen
    O fie, he has torn the cambric!
    ’Tis no matter.
    It frets me to the soul.
    So does’t not me.
    My customers do oft for remnants call;
    These are two remnants now, no loss at all.
    But let me tell you, were my servants here,
    1610It would ha’ cost more. – Thank you, gentlemen.
    I use you well; pray know my shop again.
    All Gentlemen
    Ha, ha, ha! Come, come; let’s go, let’s go.