Digital Renaissance Editions

Author: Thomas Dekker
Editor: Joost Daalder
Peer Reviewed

The Honest Whore, Part 2 (Modern)

2181.1[4.3]
Enter Mattheo, Orlando [as Pacheco], and Lodovico.
Mattheo
Let who will come, my noble chevalier; I can but play the kind host and bid ’em welcome.
2185Lodovico
We’ll trouble your house, Mattheo, but as Dutchmen do in taverns: drink, be merry, and be gone.
Orlando
[Aside] Indeed, if you be right Dutchmen, if you fall to drinking, you must be gone.
Mattheo
The worst is, my wife is not at home. But we’ll fly 2190high, my generous knight, for all that. There’s no music when a woman is in the consort.
Orlando
[Aside] No, for she’s like a pair of virginals,
Always with jacks at her tail.
Enter Astolfo, Carolo, Beraldo, [and] Fontinell.
2195Lodovico
See, the covey is sprung.
Astolfo, Carolo, Beraldo, and Fontinell
Save you, gallants.
Mattheo
Happily encountered, sweet bloods.
Lodovico
Gentlemen, you all know Signor Candido, the linen-draper, he that’s more patient than a brown baker upon 2200the day when he heats his oven and has forty scolds about him.
Astolfo, Carolo, Beraldo, and Fontinell
Yes, we know him all. What of him?
Lodovico
Would it not be a good fit of mirth to make a piece of English cloth of him, and to stretch him on the tenters 2205till the threads of his own natural humour crack, by making him drink healths, tobacco, dance, sing bawdy songs, or to run any bias according as we think good to cast him?
Carolo
’Twere a morris dance worth the seeing.
Astolfo
But the old fox is so crafy we shall hardly hunt him out 2210of his den.
Mattheo
To that train I ha’ given fire already, and the hook to draw him hither is to see certain pieces of lawn which I told him I have to sell, and indeed have such. – Fetch them down, Pacheco.
2215Orlando
Yes, sir; I’m your water-spaniel, and will fetch anything. [Aside] But I’ll fetch one dish of meat anon shall turn your stomach, and that’s a constable.
Exit.
Enter Bots, ushering Mistress Horseleech.
Astolfo, Carolo, Beraldo, and Fontinell
How now, how now?
2220Carolo
What galley-foist is this?
Lodovico
Peace! Two dishes of stewed prunes: a bawd and a pander. – My worthy Lieutenant Bots! Why, now I see thou’rt a man of thy word. Welcome. – Welcome, Mistress Horseleech. – Pray, gentlemen, salute this reverend matron.
[They kiss her.]
2225Horseleech
Thanks to all your worships.
Lodovico
I bade a drawer send in wine, too. Did none come along with thee, grannam, but the lieutenant?
Horseleech
None came along with me but Bots, if it like you worship.
Who the pox should come along with you but Bots?
Enter two Vintners [with four pottles of wine].
Astolfo, Carolo, Beraldo, and Fontinell
O, brave! March fair!
Lodovico
Are you come? That’s well.
Mattheo
Here’s ordnance able to sack a city.
2235Lodovico
Come, repeat, read this inventory.
1 Vintner
Imprimis, a pottle of Greek wine, a pottle of Peter-sameene, a pottle of Charneco, and a pottle of Leatica.
Lodovico
You’re paid?
22402 Vintner
Yes, sir.
Exeunt Vintners.
Mattheo
So shall some of us be anon, I fear.
Here’s a hot day towards. But zounds, this is the life out of which a soldier sucks sweetness. When this artillery goes off roundly, some must drop to the ground [Pointing at each of the pottles in turn]: 2245cannon, demi-cannon, saker, and basilisk.
Lodovico
Give fire, lieutenant.
[Pouring out wine] So, so. Must I venture first upon the breach? To you all, gallants; Bots sets upon you all.
[He drinks.]
All Gentlemen
It’s hard, Bots, if we pepper not you as well as 2250you pepper us.
[They drink.]
Enter Candido.
Lodovico
My noble linen-draper! – Some wine! – Welcome, old lad.
Mattheo
You’re welcome, signor.
2255Candido
[To him] These lawns, sir?
Mattheo
Presently. My man is gone for them. [Indicating the wine] We ha’ rigged a fleet, you see here, to sail about the world.
Candido
A dangerous voyage, sailing in such ships.
There’s no casting overboard yet.
2260Lodovico
[To Horseleech] Because you are an old lady, I will have you be acquainted with this grave citizen. Pray bestow your lips upon him, and bid him welcome.
Horseleech
Any citizen shall be most welcome to me. [She kisses Candido and addresses him.] I have used to buy ware at your shop.
2265Candido
It may be so, good madam.
Horseleech
Your prentices know my dealings well. I trust your good wife be in good case. If it please you, bear her a token from my lips, by word of mouth.
[She kisses him.]
Candido
I pray, no more! Forsooth, ’tis very well;
Indeed, I 2270love no sweetmeats. [Aside] Sh’as a breath
Stinks worse than fifty polecats.
[Talking apart to Lodovico] Sir, a word –
Is she a lady?
Lodovico
A woman of good house, and an ancient. She’s a bawd.
Candido
A bawd?
[To Mattheo] Sir, I’ll steal hence, and see your 2275lawns
Some other time.
Mattheo
Steal out of such company? Pacheco, my man, is but gone for ’em. – Lieutenant Bots, drink to this worthy old fellow, and teach him to fly high.
All Gentlemen
Swagger! And make him do’t on his knees.
2280Candido
How, Bots? Now bless me, what do I with Bots?
[Bots pours out wine.]
No wine in sooth, no wine, good Master Bots.
Greybeard, goat’s pizzle, ’tis a health. Heave this [Indicating the wine] in your guts, or this [Showing a dagger] there. I will sing a bawdy song, sir, because your verjuice face is melancholy, to make liquor go 2285down glib. Will you fall on your marrowbones, and pledge this health? ’Tis to my mistress, a whore.
Candido
Here’s ratsbane upon ratsbane, Master Bots.
I pray, sir, pardon me. You are a soldier;
Press me not to this service. I am old,
And shoot not in such pot-guns.
2290Bots
Cap, I’ll teach you.
Candido
To drink healths is to drink sickness. – Gentlemen,
Pray rescue me.
Zounds, who dare?
[No one moves.]
All Gentlemen
We shall ha’ stabbing then?
2295Candido
I ha’ reckonings to cast up, good Master Bots.
[Giving him wine] This will make you cast ’em up better.
Lodovico
[To Candido] Why does your hand shake so?
Candido
The palsy, signors, danceth in my blood.
Pipe, with a pox, sir, then! Or I’ll make your blood 2300dance –
[Touching his dagger]
Candido
Hold, hold, good Master Bots, I drink.
[He kneels.]
All Gentlemen
To whom?
Candido
To the old countess there.
[He drinks.]
Horseleech
To me, old boy? This is he that never drunk wine!
2305Once again, to’t.
[Candido slowly finishes the wine.]
Candido
[Aside] With much ado the poison is got down,
Though I can scarce get up. Never before
Drank I a whore’s health, nor will never more.
[He rises.]
Enter Orlando [as Pacheco] with lawns.
2310Mattheo
Hast been at gallows?
Orlando
Yes, sir, for I make account to suffer today.
Mattheo
[To Candido] Look, signor, here’s the commodity.
Candido
Your price?
Mattheo
[Using his fingers] Thus.
2315Candido
No, too dear. [Using his fingers] Thus.
Mattheo
No. O, fie, you must fly higher! Yet take ’em home. Trifles shall not make us quarrel. We’ll agree; you shall have them, and a pennyworth. I’ll fetch money at your shop.
Candido
Be it so, good signor; send me going.
2320Mattheo
Going? [To Orlando] A deep bowl of wine for Signor Candido.
Orlando
He would be going.
Candido
I’ll rather stay than go so. Stop your bowl.
Enter Constable and Billmen.
Lodovico
How now?
Is’t Shrove Tuesday, that these ghosts walk?
Mattheo
What’s your business, sir?
Constable
From the Duke. You are the man we look for, signor. I have warrant here from the Duke to apprehend you upon felony for robbing two pedlars. I charge you 2330i’th’ Duke’s name, go quickly.
Mattheo
Is the wind turned? Well, this is that old wolf my father-in-law. [To Orlando] Seek out your mistress, sirrah.
Orlando
Yes, sir. [Aside] As shafts by piecing are made strong,
So shall thy life be straightened by this wrong.
Exit.
2335All Gentlemen
In troth, we are sorry.
Mattheo
Brave men must be crossed. Pish, it’s but Fortune’s dice roving against me. [To the Constable] Come, sir, pray use me like a gentleman; let me not be carried through the streets like a pageant.
2340Constable
If these gentlemen please, you shall go along with them.
All Gentlemen
Be’t so; come.
Constable
[To Bots] What are you, sir?
I, sir? Sometimes a figure, sometimes a cipher, as the 2345state has occasion to cast up her accounts. I’m a soldier.
Constable
Your name is Bots, is’t not?
Bots is my name; Bots is known to this company.
Constable
I know you are, sir. [Indicating Horseleech] What’s she?
A gentlewoman, my mother.
2350Constable
[To Billmen] Take ’em both along.
Me, sirrr?
Billmen
Ay, sirrr.
Constable
If he swagger, raise the street.
Gentlemen, Gentlemen, whither will you drag us?
2355Lodovico
To the garden house. Bots, are we even with you?
Constable
To Bridewell with ’em!
You will answer this.
Constable
Better than a challenge. I have warrant for my work, sir.
Exeunt [Billmen with Bots and Mistress Horseleech].
2360Lodovico
We’ll go before.
Constable
Pray do. –
Exeunt [all but Constable and Candido].
Who? Signor Candido? A citizen
Of your degree consorted thus, and revelling
In such a house?
Candido
Why, sir? What house, I pray?
2365Constable
Lewd and defamed.
Candido
Is’t so? Thanks, sir; I’m gone.
Constable
What have you there?
Candido
Lawns which I bought, sir, of the gentleman
That keeps the house.
2370Constable
And I have warrant here
To search for such stol’n ware. These lawns are stol’n.
Candido
Indeed?
Constable
So he’s the thief, you the receiver.
I’m sorry for this chance; I must commit you.
2375Candido
Me, sir? For what?
Constable
These goods are found upon you,
And you must answer’t.
Candido
Must I so?
Constable
Most certain.
Candido
I’ll send for bail.
2380Constable
I dare not. Yet, because
You are a citizen of worth, you shall not
Be made a pointing-stock, but without guard
Pass only with myself.
Candido
To Bridewell too?
Constable
No remedy.
2385Candido
Yes, patience. Being not mad,
They had me once to Bedlam. Now I’m drawn
To Bridewell loving no whores.
Constable
You will buy lawn!
Exeunt.