160.1[1.2]
Enter Fustigo in some fantastic sea-suit at one door; a Porter meets him at another.
Fustigo
How now, porter, will she come?
Porter
If I may trust a woman, sir, she will come.
165Fustigo
[Giving money] There’s for thy pains. God-a-mercy, if I ever stand in need of a wench that will come with a wet finger, thou shalt earn my money before any clarissimo in Milan. Yet, so God sa’ me, she’s mine own sister, body and soul, as I am a Christian gentleman. Farewell. I’ll ponder till she come. Thou 170hast been no bawd in fetching this woman, I assure thee.
Porter
No matter if I had, sir; better men than porters are bawds.
Fustigo
O God, sir, many that have borne offices. But, porter, art sure thou wentst into a true house?
175Porter
I think so, for I met with no thieves.
Fustigo
Nay, but art sure it was my sister Viola?
Porter
I am sure by all superscriptions it was the party you ciphered.
Fustigo
Not very tall.
Porter
Not very low; a middling woman.
180Fustigo
’Twas she, faith, ’twas she. A pretty plump cheek like mine?
Porter
At a blush, a little; very much like you.
Fustigo
Godso, I would not for a ducat she had kicked up her heels, for I ha’ spent an abomination this voyage; marry, I did it amongst sailors and gentlemen. [Giving more money] There’s a little modicum 185more, porter, for making thee stay. Farewell, honest porter.
Porter
I am in your debt, sir. God preserve you.
Fustigo
Not so neither, good porter.
Exit [Porter].
Enter Viola, [Candido’s Wife].
God’s lid, yonder she comes. – Sister Viola, I am glad to see you stirring. It’s news to have me 190here, is’t not, sister?
Viola
Yes, trust me. I wondered who should be so bold to send for me. You are welcome to Milan, brother.
Fustigo
Troth, sister, I heard you were married to a very rich chuff, and I was very sorry for it that I had no better clothes, 195and that made me send; for you know we Millaners love to strut upon Spanish leather. Ant how does all our friends?
Viola
Very well. You ha’ travelled enough now, I trow, to sow your wild oats.
Fustigo
A pox on ’em! Wild oats? I ha’ not an oat to throw 200at a horse. Troth, sister, I ha’ sowed my oats, and reaped two hundred ducats if I had ’em here. Marry, I must entreat you to lend me some thirty or forty till the ship come. By this hand, I’ll discharge at my day, by this hand.
Viola
These are your old oaths.
205Fustigo
Why, sister, do you think I’ll forswear my hand?
Viola
Well, well, you shall have them. Put yourself into better fashion, because I must employ you in a serious matter.
Fustigo
I’ll sweat like a horse if I like the matter.
Viola
You ha’ cast off all your old swaggering humours?
210Fustigo
I had not sailed a league in that great fishpond, the sea, but I cast up my very gall.
Viola
I am the more sorry, for I must employ a true swaggerer.
Fustigo
Nay, by this iron [Indicating his sword], sister, they shall find I am powder 215and touch-box, if they put fire once into me.
Viola
Then lend me your ears.
Fustigo
Mine ears are yours, dear sister.
Viola
I am married to a man that has wealth enough, and wit enough.
220Fustigo
A linen-draper, I was told, sister.
Viola
Very true, a grave citizen. I want nothing that a wife can wish from a husband. But here’s the spite: he has not all things belonging to a man.
Fustigo
God’s my life, he’s a very mandrake, or else, God bless 225us, one o’these whiblins, and that’s worse, and then all the children that he gets lawfully of your body, sister, are bastards by a statute.
Viola
O, you run over me too fast, brother! I have heard it often said that he who cannot be angry is no man. I am sure 230my husband is a man in print for all things else save only in this: no tempest can move him.
Fustigo
’Slid, would he had been at sea with us. He should ha’ been moved and moved again, for I’ll be sworn, la, our drunken ship reeled like a Dutchman.
235Viola
No loss of goods can increase him a wrinkle, no crabbed language make his countenance sour, the stubbornness of no servant shake him. He has no more gall in him than a dove, no more sting than an ant. Musician will he never be, yet I find much music in him; but he loves no frets, and is 240so free from anger that many times I am ready to bite off my tongue, because it wants that virtue which all women’s tongues have, to anger their husbands. Brother, mine can by no thunder turn him into a sharpness.
Fustigo
Belike his blood, sister, is well brewed, then.
245Viola
I protest to thee, Fustigo, I love him most affectionately, but I know not – I ha’ such a tickling within me, such a strange longing; nay, verily, I do long.
Fustigo
Then you’re with child, sister, by all signs and 250tokens; nay, I am partly a physician, and partly something else. I ha’ read Albertus Magnus, and Aristotle’s Emblems.
Viola
You’re wide o’th’ bow-hand still, brother. My longings are not wanton, but wayward: I long to have my patient 255husband eat up a whole porcupine to the intent the bristling quills may stick about his lips like a Flemish mustachio and be shot at me. I shall be leaner than the new moon unless I can make him horn-mad.
Fustigo
’Sfoot, half a quarter of an hour does that: make him 260a cuckold.
Viola
Pooh! He would count such a cut no unkindness.
Fustigo
The honester citizen he. Then make him drunk, and cut off his beard.
Viola
Fie, fie, idle, idle! He’s no Frenchman, to fret at the 265loss of a little scald hair. No, brother, thus it shall be – you must be secret.
Fustigo
As your midwife, I protest, sister, or a barber-surgeon.
Viola
Repair to the Tortoise here in Saint Christopher’s Street. I will send you money; turn yourself into a brave man. Instead 270of the arms of your mistress, let your sword and your military scarf hang about your neck.
Fustigo
I must have a great horseman’s French feather too, sister.
Viola
O, by any means, to show your light head; else your 275hat will sit like a coxcomb. To be brief, you must be in all points a most terrible, wide-mouthed swaggerer.
Fustigo
Nay, for swaggering points let me alone.
Viola
Resort then to our shop, and, in my husband’s presence, kiss me, snatch rings, jewels, or anything, so you give it back 280again, brother, in secret.
Fustigo
By this hand, sister.
Viola
Swear as if you came but new from knighting.
Fustigo
Nay, I’ll swear after four hundred a year.
285Viola
Swagger worse than a lieutenant among fresh-water soldiers; call me your love, your ingle, your cousin, or so – but ‘sister’ at no hand.
Fustigo
No, no, it shall be ‘cousin’, or rather ‘coz’ – that’s the gulling word between the citizens’ wives and their madcaps 290that man ’em to the garden. To call you one o’my naunts, sister, were as good as call you arrant whore. No, no, let me alone to ‘cousin’ you rarely.
Viola
H’as heard I have a brother, but never saw him; therefore put on a good face.
295Fustigo
The best in Milan, I warrant.
Viola
Take up wares, but pay nothing. Rifle my bosom, my pocket, my purse, the boxes for money to dice withal. But, brother, you must give all back again, in secret.
Fustigo
By this welkin that here roars, I will, or else 300let me never know what a secret is. Why, sister, do you think I’ll cony-catch you, when you are my cousin? God’s my life, then I were a stark ass. If I fret not his guts, beg me for a fool.
Viola
Be circumspect and do so, then. Farewell.
305Fustigo
The Tortoise, sister? I’ll stay there. – Forty ducats.
Viola
Thither I’ll send.
Exit [Fustigo].
This law can none deny:
Women must have their longings, or they die.
Exit.